First and foremost, complete credit goes to Romi for putting much effort into creating such an amazing tool!
Secondly, yes, Romi has given me permission to release this tool. ;)
Thirdly, the tool is not 100% complete yet.
Romi still has to implement a static text feature, and possibly
more things if he has the time.
Hello, one and all. I am pleased to be releasing this tool on Romi's behalf. Let's get this topic rolling:
Variable Width Font Tool
Variable Width Font Tool is a program which allows for versatile cutscenes to be implemented into your SMW hacks. You type out the text as you normally would in a txt file, and the tool can convert it into data sprites ready to insert into your ROM! Not only can the tool allow for text to display in your hack, but it also has the ability for other neat things, like drawing sprites onto the screen, activating screen exits and level goals, changing font color, etc.
A couple of things you will need before you start:
You will need to have ActivePerl
installed on your computer in order to run the tool.
In order to assemble the cutscene sprites into your ROM, you must have this version of xkas
(mod edit: use this
instead) placed in your hack folder.
Now, I've prepared what I feel will be some Frequently Asked Questions:
: Is the tool difficult to use?
: It depends. I personally find it relatively easy to use, as you can easily type of the text normally, and the tool will convert it. However, for special commands, such as drawing sprites and changing font color, they use HTML-styled to implement. Basically, I'd say the tool is as complicated as you make it out to be: the more complicated you want your scenes to be, the tougher it will be, however, I don't feel the overall task it too
: Wait, so is this a sprite or a tool?
: Both. The tool converts your cutscene .txt files into data sprites ready to insert into your ROM.
: So how many sprites will I need to insert into my ROM?
: Two. For every cutscene, you'll need to both the main cutscene sprite as well as the data sprite which holds the specific cutscene information.
: Wait a minute! Will I have to insert a different data sprite for each separate cutscene I want to trigger? That'll take up too much of my custom sprite space!
: No! The cutscene which is triggered is dependent on the position you place the data sprite on the screen. Which means, you can have up to 256 cutscenes fit into just one data sprite!
: I get an error message when inserting the sprites that they won't assemble. Why does this happen?
: Make sure you have the version of xkas listed above in your hack folder.
: I get an error message when inserting the data sprite that it won't fit in a bank. What do I do?
: When this happens, that means you've reached the maximum size for the data sprite, likely because you've stored cutscenes of great size into them. Once this happens, you will have to move on to a new data sprite.
Of course, there's a readme which fully explains the whole process. I'm hoping this will turn into a productive thread, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask, and I shall help to the best of my ability.
I would just like to say, I think we all need to acknowledge and appreciate all the amazing effort and diligent work Romi has poured into making such an awesome tool which I feel will shape the SMW hacking community for the better. Let's all give a big round of applause to such a talented and intelligent SMW hacker and tool developer.