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27 years old
December 15, 1989
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  1. Sonic Retro PSOBB server?

    03 November 2014 - 11:11 PM

    There are a few PSO topics scattered about already, but I figured I should post a new one in order to garner more attention.

    For a while now I've been wanting to try and play PSO on a regular basis. Since SCHTHACK turned to SCHT with their DRM-laden exes, the community, if there ever was one, has fractured irreparably over several smaller servers (each with their unique brand of forced shit), moved on to PSO2 or quit altogether. Tethealla is a simple Windows-based server you can run on your own machine and it works great, but I'd also like to have people to play the game with. People who actually want to play PSO. (I tried this as an experiment with friends a while ago with dwindling results.)

    So I come to you with a humble question: How many of you would actually be interested in us hosting our own PSOBB server and playing the game on a regular basis? By which I mean, get together once every week (or every other week) over Steam or Skype or whatever, set up the game and enjoy a few hours of pure photon fun. The server would not need to be running 24/7, since the whole point is playing the game together as a group instead of power-leveling in single player mode, so what I'm really looking for is commitment. Commitment to a schedule and actual desire to get together and enjoy the game as a team.

    Stuff I can bring to the table: I have my own personal exe and text mods that fix some of the notorious mistranslations and also the syntax/formatting errors introduced by the SCHTSERV staff when porting over the JP client (such as item description boxes and technique disk names); it's a work in progress that I keep tweaking whenever I find stuff that warrants fixing. I could host the server myself, but since I have a dynamic IP, that'd force everyone to do hosts file trickery every now and then.
  2. Look Ma, I Can Do It Too

    07 April 2012 - 10:41 AM

    Man, it's been a while since I've made a topic.

    For a few years now, since the whole "SNCBNKs were meant for looping" thing cropped up and Shadow Hog made his set of MP3s, I've always wanted to take a jab at the idea myself. And I did. ...about three years ago. Unfortunately, I had both the attention span of a dying walrus and the misguided idea of starting with Palmtree Panic, which is nigh impossible to loop convincingly, prompting me to give up after having created one measly track.

    But no longer. I got it into my head about three days ago that I was going to see this project through, even though I have already been beaten to the point several times over. So between eating, bathing, and playing Goof Troop with Ritz, I've come up with this.

    Sonic CD Looping (OGG format, 24.4 MB)

    Now, what does this one have that the others don't? Well, for one thing, it's in looping OGG format. So you can loop it over and over and over and

    Secondly, even though it was the SNCBNK talk that initially drove me to do this, these loops don't use the SNCBNK samples. At all. This is chiefly due to two reasons: 1) I didn't get a quick enough answer to this post, 2) the samples themselves are of much lower quality than the CD-quality soundtrack, kind of defeating the point, and 3) whether they went unused due to technical reasons or not doesn't change the fact that at the end of the day, they went unused, and reintroducing them will always sound alien because it's not what we're used to hearing since 1993.

    As a result, a lot of these tracks are identical to those found in the 712 prototype, just with clever loop metadata applied. However, a fair amount also required some creative rejiggering to make everything feel right, so I hope you'll appreciate that too.

    What's that, Billy? You'd rather have a properly tagged set of 320kbps MP3s to listen on your iDoowacky? Well we've got that too.

    Sonic CD Looping (MP3 format, 222 MB)

    Constructive criticism is not only allowed and expected, but encouraged. Sure, it'll most likely piss me off having to change stuff after all that work making such a clean release, but I'll be damned if this doesn't go down in history as the greatest re-re-re-re-release of a 1993 video game soundtrack ever. By the way, webmasters, mirrors would be a nice gesture.

    Happy Easter!

    Note to moderators: I briefly considered putting this in the Creative Works forum, but decided against it on the grounds that I didn't really create anything. Besides, I think this is of general interest to all Sonic fans, right?
  3. Technical aspects of the Sonic games

    24 March 2008 - 09:54 PM

    For a while now, I've had a few questions poking at my brain, with no answer available to calm them down. Questions about intricate aspects of the Megadrive Sonic titles, to whom which I had insufficient knowledge or no answer at all to solve. I haven't posted them before mainly just because I'm lazy, and because I keep forgetting them. Today, I remembered some, I'm near my computer, I have a cold, it's over 2 AM -- it's the perfect time. Without further ado:

    1. Sonic 2 Special Stages

    There's two particular aspects about the special stages in Sonic 2 that I could never quite understand:

    1) Why does it use the 256x244 display mode rather than the full 320x224 resolution? The only other things that use the mode in Sonic games are the Sonic CD title/special stage, with the intent of using the "Mode7" display mode for the clouds and level track, respectively. Sonic 2's special stage, however, doesn't use it, so I can't see any justification to it except that it requires less 8x8 tiles to be displayed in order to fill the screen. This is really the only explanation to make sense, but then again I think about Sonic 3's special stage, which is pretty busy itself, but manages to use the full 320x224 mode. Is the Sonic 3 special stage less intensive, or is the reason for using 256x224 in Sonic 2's a different one?

    2) Why are the graphics for the stage doubled up in scale? Are the graphics themselves stored in the ROM like that, or does the game blow them up via software scaling to be displayed on screen? If so, what's the reason for that? Saving ROM space, or is it a video memory limitation of sorts?

    In both cases, would it be technically possible to implement the Sonic 2 special stage in full 320x224 resolution with un-blown up graphics?

    2. 2P Versus mode oddities

    Again, these are actually two questions in one. Sonic 2's 2P mode works perfectly with the selectable stages (Emerald Hill, Casino Night and Mystic Cave), however, the same cannot be said about the remainder of the stages:

    1) Most stages do not display correctly. Most of them have weird artifacts floating across the entire stage, and in some the 2P scene is not drawn correctly and the camera doesn't scroll the level fluidly, but rather in "chunks" (which I assume is the visible area of the level as it's loaded to memory). What I'm wondering is why does this happen? Why does, say, Chemical Plant not draw correctly, but Casino Night does? And about the 2P scene not behaving correctly - does it have to do with special level settings such as vertical wrapping, etc? In any case, would the levels be fixable in order to work properly in 2P mode? And if so, would it be at the expense of removing features from a level?

    2) Levels with water do not load at all. This must be a condition set by the game itself, as water must seriously fuck up 2P mode. Why does water not work, could it be made to work without major alterations to the level itself, and if so, how?

    3. The Megadrive NTSC display border

    This isn't really a Sonic question, but it's Sonic-related. I've noticed that in Sonic 1 and 2, the little border on the top and bottom of the screen (covering the empty space left from displaying a 320x224 image in a 320x240 screen) seems to take the color of the first index in pallete line 1 (or something to the effect), whilst as in Sonic 3 (and Knuckles) this border is always black (save for the Sega screen and the level select, which is hangover from Sonic 2). It's obvious that the color the border displays can be conditioned by software, but how exactly? Can you directly tell the system which color to use, or does Sonic 3 go around this and arranges it so that the border is always black?

    I'll post more as they come back to me.
  4. *Spilled* Next-Gen Sonic details

    04 May 2006 - 12:50 PM

    Giant hedgehogs, princesses, and an Ibliss Trigger

    IGN said:

    SEGA has grown Sonic into an adult by means of a few simple techniques. The team has basically stretched his legs and arms to relatively human proportions. Thus, Sonic still looks just like he always did, but now he's about 5'10".


    Due on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this fall, Sonic's new game follows a simple narrative premise. In a pristine kingdom holding a royal family, a certain Princess Elise retains a chaos emerald -- and a deep secret. In an inevitable turn of events, Dr. Robotnik learns of the emerald and kidnaps the princess, and thus the emerald, and Sonic is compelled to retrieve her and the precious stone. The new rival, basically a cream-colored furry that looks remarkably like Sonic, appears in the following cutscene, peering down from an overlooking hill into a village, and proclaims, "I've finally found it, the Iblis Trigger." The Iblis Trigger we're told is Sonic, and this new rival is going to cause him great pain due to vaguely revealed supernatural powers. You'll also be able to play as the new character.


    Large Kingdom Valley of Soleanna at Mach speed

    Gamespy said:

    For the first time in the series' history, Sonic will exist in a human-oriented gameplay world. As such, the characters look and feel more grown-up, including a more ominous looking Dr. Eggman. The details surrounding the story are being kept tightly under wraps for now, although we do know that the action takes place in the maritime capital of Solieanna which is a huge sprawling metropolis surrounded by ocean.


    During the demo, I was able to see the Kingdom Valley stage running on the 360. While is was obvious that there were still a lot of tweaking and game balancing issues to be fixed, the general feeling was that of a much larger scale Sonic game. The level looked huge and gave a sense of size unseen before in the other games in the series.


    But most important of all was the blistering speed that Sonic can move at. There are essentially two levels of speed too. The first is still really fast and represents the movement around the hub world levels and the regular stages. But second level is reserved for specific areas in the regular levels, and this is where the coined "mach speed areas" are found. The mach speed content uses a zoom-out camera perspective and some clever camera work to give a much increased sensation of speed.

    Sonic goes online?

    1-Up said:

    We caught hints that Sonic Team is seriously investigating the idea of online gameplay, though very few concrete details are known as of yet. It could be as simple as a multiplayer race mode through the action stages. It could be co-op gameplay through the exploration stages. It could be battle-based minigames, similar in style to Monkey Ball. It could be something completely different. Until E3 (hopefully), your guess is as good as ours.

    A Silver Drop

    Sega of America said:

    Along the way, Sonic encounters a mysterious character named Silver. Blocking him with unique supernatural powers, even the Blue dude with 'tude will find it difficult to out-maneuver the enigmatic Silver!

    Trailers depicting the three characters' gameplay, the storyline and both the Town and Action Stages.
  5. Sonic Heroes PAC sound files

    26 January 2006 - 06:27 PM

    Quite simply, I have searched everywhere for this fabled utility, with limited success. What I'm looking for is an apllication which can unpack the samples from the PAC files in the PC version of Sonic Heroes. I need no packing utility, all I need is the unpacker. It supposedly exists somewhere out there, but unfortunately I seem to be cursed never to find out where =\

    Also, if I've posted this in the wrong forum, please accept my apologies and move this to where it should be.


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