Playable Quotes for Game Boy
This project offers the ability to create and share playable quotes of Game Boy games. A playable quote is a durable, delimited reference to a specific moment in a game along with a reference recording of how that moment can play out.
Quotes can allow players to share exciting moments and play styles
from their favorite games, they can allow game publishers to tease
content available in full games, and they can allow critics and
educators to make convincing comparisons within and across the many
moments in past games. These examples quote Game Boy games to
illustrate potential use cases for playable quotes. Everything needed
to reproduce each quote is contained within the
.png files seen here.
For full details, see our post: "How We Made Playable Quotes for the Game Boy".
To record a new quote, you need access to a full game (typically a
.gbc file). Try playing these freely
licensed, homebrew games:
Find more homebrew games at the Game Boy Homebrew Hub.
If you prefer, start with a blank canvas.
What's in a Quote File?
.png quote files used in this project also contain a
.zip file. We chose PNG because it's a familiar file
format that people already know is easy to share online.
The ZIP inside of the PNG contains a copy of the original game's ROM image with almost all entries (except those needed to play the quote) masked out. It also contains a state snapshot from our specially-prepared Game Boy emulator along with a list of timed actions needed to (approximately) reproduce the recorded gameplay. The ZIP file is steganographically encoded in the least significant bits of the image pixel data (8 bits per pixel) so that it is difficult for the information about the ROM and savestate to become detached from the screenshot.
But how do we know just which parts of the game to slice out in order to make a playable quote? You can read all the details in our post How We Made Playable Quotes for the Game Boy.
You can also check out the project source on Glitch: https://glitch.com/~tenmile
Insert ROM to Continue
If you happen to have access to the original game associated with a
given playable quote, you can load/drop the
onto the quote player to resume unrestricted play from the
moment captured in the quote. From there, you can record and share new
quotes. Use this feature to re-record improvements on the gameplay in
the original quote, share your progress in the game with a friend, or
requests someone else's help getting through a difficult part of a
game that you both play.
- More platforms: We need help finding and modifying emulators for other game platforms. Can you help us get quotes for PC games working on top of the v86 emulator?
Software organization: We need help refactoring the
code of this prototype into a form that is easier to reuse. We want
embedding quotes into a new webpage feel like using the existing
- Robust playback: We need help further modifying an open-source Game Boy emulator in order to perfectly reproduce recorded gameplay given only the state snapshot and the recorded input events.
- Robust riffing: We need systems to help players avoid accidentally exceeding the bounds of the quote when they take control for themselves (e.g. lookaheads and/or an undo trails).
- Funding: Want to see playable quotes built out for your platform/ecosystem? Want to see a prototype application of playable quotes for your market? Contact Dr. Adam Smith of the Design Reasoning Lab at UC Santa Cruz to find out about donating research funds.