Looking at Talisman animations

While the situation in Ukraine is stable bad so I keep looking at game formats instead of playing those games instead.

Apparently there’s a German adventure game from mid-1990s called Talisman and that’s about all I can tell about it. Yet it seems to have rather interesting animation format that’s worth talking about.

It turned out to be codebook-based compression with a codebook shared by a group of frames (typically 20-30) and actual codebook being created from a transmitted codebook data mixed with the static codebook (an interesting fact: unlike many other game formats, this one not merely allows seeking inside, there’s a special chunk preceding group of frames with the same codebook that contains an offset of the next such chunk). Tile operations are either copying 2×2 tile from another part of the frame (optionally updating one pixel in it) or reading it raw.

While it’s not the most complex format ever it turned out to be interesting enough. And with that I’ve probably exhausted the game video formats to look at. I’ll probably revisit SIFF but that’s about it.

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