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SADX/SA1 Hacking/Modding Now with more research and development!

#2566 User is offline Tobibrocki 

Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:07 PM

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A quick question, I'm trying to replace the blob shadow texture (that characters, cars, etc. use) in OBJ_REGULAR with something a little less pixelated and so far had success, but there is one thing I can't figure out.
I would like to have it so that I don't need to carry over all textures in OBJ_REGULAR just for a different shadow texture to work. Is there a way to do that, replacing just one texture via a mod and not the whole texture pack?

This is what it looks like currently:
Link
This post has been edited by Tobibrocki: 23 June 2017 - 04:13 PM

#2567 User is offline Morph 

Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:38 PM

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Planned functionality. The initial texture pack implementation worked this way, but it's fundamentally different from the current full replacement system, so it'll take some work to integrate it into the existing system.

#2568 User is offline PkR 

Posted 01 August 2017 - 06:44 PM

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I decided to make a public release of the Enhanced Emerald Coast mod.

Screenshot gallery

This mod is for people who don't use Dreamcast mods. It's based on the SADX version of Emerald Coast and tries to stay faithful to the original SADX level wherever possible. The mod restores the ocean wave effect and introduces various other improvements. It's compatible with SADXFE if you load SADXFE before it.

List of enhancements:
  • Higher-resolution ocean wave textures with proper tiling (texture and animation by SteG)
  • Green ocean color from SADX Gamecube
  • Wave effect during the whale chase from the Dreamcast version
  • Better fog distance closer to the Gamecube version, improves sand color too
  • Correct skybox scale for proper ocean alignment against the horizon
  • In Act 2, the water in the pool near the start of the stage no longer has a visible gap on the right side
  • In Act 3, the water in Big's secret area is properly aligned vertically and there are no ocean waves at the top of the cave
  • Big's secret area has dynamic white fog similar to the Dreamcast version


Known issues:
  • The water bubbles create a strange effect with missing textures when they reach the water surface. This is a bug in SADX - actually I just fixed this in the DC_General mod, will probably be in SADXFE too.
  • The ocean alignment fix causes a minor reduction in draw distance.
  • The ocean looks slightly different from the moment you enter the area right before the whale effect. This is caused by a model switch as the SADX ocean doesn't support the wave effect. As of version 1.4 it's a lot less noticeable than before.
  • The ocean UVs don't scroll on the model that is used for the wave effect.


The mod will do nothing if DC_EmeraldCoast is detected, so if you want a similar-looking ocean for Dreamcast Emerald Coast, use SADX Style Water instead.
This post has been edited by PkR: 03 August 2017 - 01:58 AM

#2569 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:26 PM

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Thank you, Emerald Coast looks fantastic with this! The sea looks so vibrant, the wave effect is back, and no more misaligned horizon.

Say, I'd really appreciate it if you could make a similar mod for Mystic Ruins. Specifically, one that makes the area with jungle look like in your MR Dreamcast mod, but keeps the rest of MR the same. That area looks like ass in the PC version without your mod, with the fog and the crappy looking jungle, so the option of getting the fixed version without having to turn the whole Mystic Ruins into the DC version would be welcome. And if you're feeling adventurous, you could even try porting the GC version's jungle, which looked the best out of all versions IMO, as it wasn't flat (here's a comparison).
This post has been edited by Blue Spikeball: 01 August 2017 - 08:35 PM

#2570 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 05 August 2017 - 03:10 PM

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This is looking like a good tune up. Can it still work with Dreamcast lighting since that's in a separate mod?

Someone needs to figure out how to make the skybox higher poly though. I tried making some high res backgrounds for Emerald Coast, but even they look rather odd stretched on a shape with blatant corners.
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 05 August 2017 - 03:13 PM

#2571 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 05 August 2017 - 03:34 PM

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Making a higher poly skybox should be as simple as... importing a higher poly model for the skybox.

#2572 User is offline Irixion 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

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Was there a reason that DX was just so...bad of a port? From my understanding wasn't the original ported to GC and then to PC? Why didn't they bump up poly counts on other stuff? Fix some of the aNiMaTiOn quirks?

#2573 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 04:52 PM

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Because that would require effort.

#2574 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 07:55 PM

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I'm playing it thanks to this year's Steam summer sales, and I haven't notice a downgrade in game's quality from its original Dreamcast version, but it's true that there aren't many upgrades in it either, they left there a ton of bugs and issues so we wouldn't notice it wasn't the original. :v:

#2575 User is offline Morph 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 09:33 PM

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I cannot stress enough how bad the Steam port is, and that it should not be shown support by purchasing it. It is a disgrace and I cannot believe it is considered a professionally developed port. I can go into detail, but to address the original point:

Imagine somebody took Sonic 1 and said, "you know, this isn't realistic enough", and reduced the overall vibrancy of the tile design. Now everything is a shade of grey or brown. That is what SADX is to SA1.

On top of this, DX dropped overall texture quality during their blatantly bulk conversion from the Dreamcast to the GameCube (of which a .bat file sitting on the SA2B disc remains (which also consequently suffers from texture quality degradation!)). The PC version was made EVEN WORSE by the fact that they then did ANOTHER bulk conversion from GameCube GVR (which is inherently lower quality than Dreamcast PVR) back to low quality Dreamcast PVR. And during that process, this time they decided to drop all mipmaps from the textures because hey, why not, am I right? Let's just make this thing the worst looking version we possibly can.

Then they thought, hey, you know our flagship lighting system in SA1? Who needs it? Trash it! We know you dev guys spent a whole lot of time getting it working and implemented in some GC prototypes (yes, the GC prototypes have the palette lighting system implemented and working), but we just don't want it anymore so get rid of it ok thanks.

Their SADX rendering pipeline completely disregards certain Dreamcast-standard material flags. This is why characters are all so shiny. Despite their materials almost all having the flag indicating that they should ignore specular lighting, the DX rendering pipeline completely disregards this and applies it anyway. It also forces it to stay off for stage geometry. The Dreamcast version did not have this "issue", which I call an issue, but in reality is a very deliberate design choice on their part. Everything graphically in DX that doesn't look as great as SA1 I can almost guarantee you is a deliberate design choice, having seen the implementation myself (albeit reverse engineered).

There are of course things they couldn't really help, such as transparency. There are many cases in DX where alpha sorting is a big issue. The Dreamcast had order-independent transparency and the game was designed accordingly, so fixing that I'm sure was no easy task. I won't go into detail here, though, as I've done it many times elsewhere.

Honestly I think the best things to come out of DX as an enhanced port are the mission system (which is just a revised version of the DLC system they had on the Dreamcast) and arguably the higher-poly character models, although aesthetically I think they're a little off the mark. The SA2B Chao system was also a nice improvement. I never bothered with the Chao Garden in vanilla SA1 because I also had SA2 where it was objectively superior.

...But alas, this is a hacking thread. :v:

#2576 User is offline Shaddy the guy 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:44 PM

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I'd have a lot less issue with the higher poly character models if the human and enemy models were also updated. As it is they just don't gel very well.

Not that I wouldn't still probably like the DC versions better, I like low-poly. I never turn the HD models on in Half-Life 1.

#2577 User is offline Turbohog 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:54 PM

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View PostMorph, on 06 August 2017 - 09:33 PM, said:

On top of this, DX dropped overall texture quality during their blatantly bulk conversion from the Dreamcast to the GameCube (of which a .bat file sitting on the SA2B disc remains (which also consequently suffers from texture quality degradation!)). The PC version was made EVEN WORSE by the fact that they then did ANOTHER bulk conversion from GameCube GVR (which is inherently lower quality than Dreamcast PVR) back to low quality Dreamcast PVR. And during that process, this time they decided to drop all mipmaps from the textures because hey, why not, am I right? Let's just make this thing the worst looking version we possibly can.


I knew they messed up the texture quality, but holy cow! I can't believe they even left a .bat file on the disc! Is the bat file actually on the SA2B disc? Or was that a typo? If so, I'm assuming SA2B also has worse textures (which would make sense, I've just never really looked into it).

#2578 User is offline Morph 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:10 PM

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View PostTurbohog, on 06 August 2017 - 10:54 PM, said:

I knew they messed up the texture quality, but holy cow! I can't believe they even left a .bat file on the disc! Is the bat file actually on the SA2B disc? Or was that a typo? If so, I'm assuming SA2B also has worse textures (which would make sense, I've just never really looked into it).


@echo off
gvrconv %1.pvm %1.gvm
press -r -f %1.gvm %1.prs



Posted Image

DC left, GC right:
Posted Image

#2579 User is offline Blue Spikeball 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:18 PM

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View PostShaddy the guy, on 06 August 2017 - 10:44 PM, said:

I'd have a lot less issue with the higher poly character models if the human and enemy models were also updated. As it is they just don't gel very well.

Not that I wouldn't still probably like the DC versions better, I like low-poly. I never turn the HD models on in Half-Life 1.

The human models were always considerably lower poly than the character models. Even in the DC version.

#2580 User is offline Shaddy the guy 

Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:42 PM

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Well I know that, but that just makes the SADX models fit in even worse by comparison.

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