Katelog #6: Paving the way for tools

The experimental release for August 2023 is here!

This release is fully incompatible with previous versions. You can either access https://kate.qteati.me/?reset=erase-all-data or go to Settings -> Diagnostics & Recover -> Delete all data to reset Kate’s storage to be able to use the new version.

This release has focused heavily on adding the basic infrastructure to allow game dev tools (and other kind of tools) to be released as Kate cartridges. That means a new cartridge format and new powerful capabilities, but also some support for text input.

You’re not going to see the current command-line-based publishing tools as cartridges just yet—but they’re coming in the next release! Instead, to test the waters, this release went with a much simpler tool: the Kate Importer.

The Importer is a small cartridge that can take in a Ren’Py or Bitsy game that was originally released for PC/Windows (or Web, in Bitsy’s case), and patch it so that it works as a regular Kate cartridge. This means it’s possible to play some Ren’Py games released only for PC on your phone’s browser with a little bit of effort. There are some significant issues with more complex parts of Ren’Py though, and a fairly long startup time, so don’t expect it to work for larger/more commercial games.

Though not exactly visible, there has been some good progress on the device sync and store features. It’s still too early to say if they will make the next version’s cut, but one of them might! Otherwise, the focus will be on lifting the current publishing tools from their command-line form into proper graphical user interfaces and a release as Kate cartridge.

See you in September!