Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

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GyroVorbis
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Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by GyroVorbis » Thu May 11, 2017 1:45 am

Hey guys,

So EVMU has the ability to rip out the animated icons that show up in the DC BIOS for each save file to individual frames as PNGs. For example, in Chao Adventure, I can rip the little 3-frame bouncing Chao icon that shows up in the VMU file manager on the Dreamcast.

The VMS header for each save file also contains an optional field for an "eyecatch," which is a much larger, higher resolution image that it looks like was almost never used. I have implemented the ability to rip this as well within EVMU, but since I have no clue which games actually use eyecatches, I have no way of testing whether my code actually works at all or not.

So does anybody know of a Deamcast game with a save file that uses the extra "eyecatch" icon? I think this will show up when you click on the save file and look at the more detailed information. Not positive, though.
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by DCDayDreamer » Thu May 11, 2017 5:27 am

I'm probably way off track here but does that eyecatch header information have anything to do with displaying a background image on the Dreamcast system menu? (Puyo Puyo Fever and the EXTRA_BG.PVR file springs to mind).
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by GyroVorbis » Thu May 11, 2017 1:42 pm

DCDayDreamer wrote:I'm probably way off track here but does that eyecatch header information have anything to do with displaying a background image on the Dreamcast system menu? (Puyo Puyo Fever and the EXTRA_BG.PVR file springs to mind).
Not really, but it works similarly to that. That EXTRA_BG.PVR is like an optional image file that the DC BIOS looks for to display a custom background with.

The eyecatch is actually a part of the save file itself, just like the little animation icons. I know for damn sure the File Manager in the DC BIOS displays it somewhere if it's included within the save file. I'm PRETTY SURE if you select a VMU file like this:
Image
Then the eyecatch will be an extra icon that's displayed in the menu with the text or something somewhere in addition to the icon after the file is selected... It's possible that some of you guys with a lot of save files who play a lot of Dreamcast might be able to boot it up and go to the file manager and see a few files with this extra icon.

The problem with it is that it's a higher resolution image, so it bloats save file size a good amount, so I think most developers opted not to use it in addition to the main animation icon.

Then FURTHER complicating matters is the fact that there are 3 different image formats for the eyecatch (16-bit true color, 256 color palette, and 16 color palette) that really all need to be tested to make sure I didn't screw up my code. If we do start finding some eyecatches, my code will tell us which format they're in, so we can keep track of which ones we've covered.
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by mankrip » Thu May 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Damn, I'm sure that I have a game that saves the eyecatch. Give me a week and I'll find it again (gotta clean up my DC to set it up again).

Falco, the biggest use for an eyecatch image is to save a small screenshot that can be viewed in the DC's VMU manager, although the only game I've found only used it for the developer's logo. Back when I was developing the DC port of Makaqu, I was planning to add an option to include a screenshot in the eyecatch of Quake's savestates.
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by GyroVorbis » Thu May 11, 2017 4:23 pm

mankrip wrote:Damn, I'm sure that I have a game that saves the eyecatch. Give me a week and I'll find it again (gotta clean up my DC to set it up again).

Falco, the biggest use for an eyecatch image is to save a small screenshot that can be viewed in the DC's VMU manager, although the only game I've found only used it for the developer's logo. Back when I was developing the DC port of Makaqu, I was planning to add an option to include a screenshot in the eyecatch of Quake's savestates.
Oh shit, that's a really good idea! I hadn't thought of it as a screenshot for a save file... That makes it a LOT more epic/useful... Damn, that's even how PS3 generation save files are represented a lot of the times too.

Also thanks, I really appreciate the help!

EDIT: By the way, I have been adding a bunch of command-line developer tools to EVMU, like an instruction-set reference, disassembler, and VMS header file generator. I plan to also include tools for importing/converting images into icons and eyecatches and putting them in the VMS file, so it'll be easier for developers to use this kind of functionality.

My main goal is to make EVMU the end-all VMU emulation/development/file management tool. There are lots of resources around the net, but they're all disjoint, lots of them are command-line only and outdated, most of them only build on Windows, etc. I want to provide all of this functionality uniformly on every platform with EVMU.
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by DCDayDreamer » Fri May 12, 2017 4:27 am

GyroVorbis wrote:The eyecatch is actually a part of the save file itself, just like the little animation icons. I know for damn sure the File Manager in the DC BIOS displays it somewhere if it's included within the save file.
I thought that it displayed somewhere in the menu (just couldn't remember where), thanks for the info.
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Re: Dreamcast Games With Eyecatch Save File Icon?

Post by GyroVorbis » Fri May 12, 2017 5:41 am

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