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Dreamcast mods for SADX DC Branding, textures, level ports, lighting research, etc.

#196 User is offline PkR 

Posted 06 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 04-August 12
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
I've launched the SADX Sins blog, a comprehensive guide on changes in SADX that can be considered downgrades from the original Dreamcast version. At the moment all Action Stages and Adventure Fields are covered, as well as character models and some general aspects of the game such as lighting, texture and sound quality, transparency problems etc.
Sections on bosses, sub games and the Chao Gardens will be up sometime soon.
The blog posts are written for a general audience. You don't have to be a hacker to understand this stuff, and many of you won't learn anything new from this blog, but at least I hope you find it entertaining. There are also some (easy) technical explanations on what I think happened with transparency, lighting and textures in SADX.
Let me know what you think, especially if you have any corrections or want to add something to what's already there!

#197 User is offline itsstillthinking 

Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:30 PM

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  • Project:Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 Dreamcast Website, Sega Saturn Netlink Voip
Very nice! i myself will always prefer the original Dreamcast release but this is really cool

#198 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:15 PM

  • Posts: 363
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  • Gender:Male

View PostPkR, on 06 November 2017 - 05:45 PM, said:

I've launched the SADX Sins blog, a comprehensive guide on changes in SADX that can be considered downgrades from the original Dreamcast version. At the moment all Action Stages and Adventure Fields are covered, as well as character models and some general aspects of the game such as lighting, texture and sound quality, transparency problems etc.
Sections on bosses, sub games and the Chao Gardens will be up sometime soon.
The blog posts are written for a general audience. You don't have to be a hacker to understand this stuff, and many of you won't learn anything new from this blog, but at least I hope you find it entertaining. There are also some (easy) technical explanations on what I think happened with transparency, lighting and textures in SADX.
Let me know what you think, especially if you have any corrections or want to add something to what's already there!

Nice. Learning about the many downgrades brought by SADX that I've missed should make me appreciate the Dreamcast version and the conversion mods even more. Plus it should be an interesting read.

#199 User is online Strife 

Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:54 PM

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Cool stuff! Definitely more comprehensive than the article on The Cutting Room Floor comparing port differences.

I always preferred the DX models but I'm surprised at how many visual effects got borked or removed during the upgrade process. Perhaps modding in some edited DX models can restore some of the lost effects?

#200 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:30 PM

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Hey PkR, would it be possible to remove the Dreamcast landtables, environment textures, etc. from the DC Bosses mod and put them in the respective area's mod instead? For example, making it so that the Chaos 0 arena with the original clock tower is stored in the DC Station Square mod. That way it wouldn't create inconsistencies if you enable the Bosses mod but not the corresponding adventure field mod.
This post has been edited by Blue Spikeball: 19 November 2017 - 09:35 PM

#201 User is offline PkR 

Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:21 PM

  • Posts: 174
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  • Project:SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
It is possible, but it requires a lot of code and asset reorganization between several mods, which I'm not interested in doing at this point.

#202 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:40 PM

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Fair enough.

#203 User is offline PkR 

Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:43 AM

  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 04-August 12
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
I finally managed to make Eggman's Mystic Ruins base look almost identical to the Dreamcast version. Here's a comparison, left: old fix, right: new fix.
Here you can also check what it looks like on the Gamecube/in vanilla SADXPC, and if you scroll down you'll find screenshots of an earlier version of the fix.
The fix is now integrated into Dreamcast Mystic Ruins, but if you don't play with Dreamcast mods you can get a standalone version here.

Also, I've released a massive update for my installer, which you can use to install Dreamcast Conversion and other mods easily on any version of SADX. It can be entirely web-based and download mods on demand, or you can use the offline version that has everything. The new version of the installer includes an automatic update system that lets you check for updates for any offline packages, including the Mod Loader and the installer itself. It also includes several profiles with minimal user input for quick and easy installation, as well as a Custom mode for advanced users.

A bit of shameless self-promotion, but if you like my mods, I'd really appreciate it if you voted for Dreamcast Conversion in ModDB's Mod of the Year. You can vote from the installer's page linked above.

#204 User is offline PkR 

Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:17 AM

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  • Project:SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening

View PostStrife, on 07 November 2017 - 10:54 PM, said:

Cool stuff! Definitely more comprehensive than the article on The Cutting Room Floor comparing port differences.

I always preferred the DX models but I'm surprised at how many visual effects got borked or removed during the upgrade process. Perhaps modding in some edited DX models can restore some of the lost effects?

I was messing with some of this stuff today and managed to restore a couple of effects:
Sonic's "rainbow" spindash trail effect. Turns out the game just wasn't setting the correct texture - it's supposed to be alternating between the first two textures in SON_EFF.PVM, but in SADX it's always set to 7.
Knuckles' Maximum Heat Attack - this isn't an exact restoration of the SA1 effect, but I tried to imitate it as close as possible. I added a few transparency workarounds, made the effect scale differently and recreated the blue circle effect with sprites. I had to recreate the sprites because the SADX version of the effect uses the same model as the red aura so it's set up a bit differently.
Transparency on Knuckles' punch effect - I had no idea about this but I accidentally saw it when testing the Maximum Heat Attack effect. It's very brief but the punch effect is supposed to fade in, while in SADX it just abruptly shows up. The game calculates an alpha value but it isn't applied because of transparency shenanigans. I fixed it by adding a model specifically for this effect, changing its material's alpha value to the calculated one and rendering this model instead of what was there. By the way, this thing also uses the Maximum Heat aura model.
I've also made some progress with the Light Speed Dash aura, it's certainly fixable but I need to understand how the glow works. I can get very similar results but something's always slightly off.
This post has been edited by PkR: 05 December 2017 - 07:23 AM

#205 User is offline Dissident 

Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:27 AM

  • AKA Discoid
  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 17-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tallahasee, Florida

View PostPkR, on 05 December 2017 - 07:17 AM, said:

View PostStrife, on 07 November 2017 - 10:54 PM, said:

Cool stuff! Definitely more comprehensive than the article on The Cutting Room Floor comparing port differences.

I always preferred the DX models but I'm surprised at how many visual effects got borked or removed during the upgrade process. Perhaps modding in some edited DX models can restore some of the lost effects?

I was messing with some of this stuff today and managed to restore a couple of effects:
Sonic's "rainbow" spindash trail effect. Turns out the game just wasn't setting the correct texture - it's supposed to be alternating between the first two textures in SON_EFF.PVM, but in SADX it's always set to 7.
Knuckles' Maximum Heat Attack - this isn't an exact restoration of the SA1 effect, but I tried to imitate it as close as possible. I added a few transparency workarounds, made the effect scale differently and recreated the blue circle effect with sprites. I had to recreate the sprites because the SADX version of the effect uses the same model as the red aura so it's set up a bit differently.
Transparency on Knuckles' punch effect - I had no idea about this but I accidentally saw it when testing the Maximum Heat Attack effect. It's very brief but the punch effect is supposed to fade in, while in SADX it just abruptly shows up. The game calculates an alpha value but it isn't applied because of transparency shenanigans. I fixed it by adding a model specifically for this effect, changing its material's alpha value to the calculated one and rendering this model instead of what was there. By the way, this thing also uses the Maximum Heat aura model.
I've also made some progress with the Light Speed Dash aura, it's certainly fixable but I need to understand how the glow works. I can get very similar results but something's always slightly off.

Sick dude I didn't think the spindash trail would ever get fixed! Thanks

#206 User is offline Dissident 

Posted 08 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

  • AKA Discoid
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  • Location:Tallahasee, Florida
PkR, would it be possible to restore the blur effect on Sonic's run animation from the original Japanese release? The stretching on his shoe looks a bit odd without it. Just curious.

#207 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 08 December 2017 - 02:22 PM

  • Every day's the same old thing... Same place, different day...
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Looks like someone isn't following us on Twitter.

#208 User is offline Dissident 

Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:11 PM

  • AKA Discoid
  • Posts: 127
  • Joined: 17-July 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tallahasee, Florida

View PostMainMemory, on 08 December 2017 - 02:22 PM, said:


Lol. Well no worries, that problem has just been solved. ;)

#209 User is offline ezodagrom 

Posted 10 December 2017 - 06:31 AM

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I don't know which, but one of these updates is causing the last room of Lost World (Sonic) to crash:

Posted Image

#210 User is offline PkR 

Posted 10 December 2017 - 06:59 AM

  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 04-August 12
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
This may have been the experimental mirror room fix for Twinkle Park. Should be fixed now.

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