(DC) Sonic Adventure Prototype (1998-10-16)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Orengefox, May 21, 2013.

  1. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

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    Let's bring this topic back from the dead again:



    Using the method I mentioned in the SADX/SA1 hacking topic I was able to port over the geometry for Act 3 from the Autodemo. There are some setbacks with this method. On top of that, I made a slight error when generating the nodetable so I wasn't able to modify the individual materials for each object in the landtable. I didn't bother to replace the textures yet, as I don't have anything to really use and was more concerned with just getting anything loading up at all. I modified the original SET file to include only the objects that I was able to identify in both the final retail version and the prototype's object list. There weren't that many similarities between the object lists, and I probably got one or two things wrong. I also have a hunch that the SET file included in the Autodemo might be for an even earlier version of the level, so the object type IDs probably don't match either (at least the later type entries don't match). What leads me to believe this is that the level is completely void of enemies save for one, and I know there should be more based on earlier videos. But the common objects like the rings and springs seem to match the level pretty well. Although I'm not sure why the level doesn't have item boxes and dash pads as it looks like the level was meant to use at least a few.

    The cam file included in the Autodemo for this act has nothing in it, so the camera has to be controlled manually. The camera frequently went under the floor especially going down slopes. I suppose the game remedied this a tad with path data, which I didn't port over (it should be in 1ST_READ somewhere, though). The starting position for Sonic was ported over though and that does exist in 1ST_READ along with the starting position for the missing Act 2. The death zones should also be in 1ST_READ, but all I did was lower the death zone that already existed for the stage.

    For the level itself - it's fun to play. There are definitely a lot more alternate paths and routes to take and even some little spots to explore that could've been used for hidden items and such. The camera is a bit of a pain as you can see in the video, but I bet it would've been much better if they had included something in the CAM file. The one lone spring in the level shoots you up very very high so I'm not sure if that behavior was intended. There are lots of spots where you can be lifted around by wind gusts across gaps and such. Near the end of the video you can see what appears to be a dock on one edge of the cliff and then another one just like it on a cliff below, possibly for the RAFT object that was meant to be in the level.

    And that's about it. I was thinking about releasing what I have, but I know that there were a few people working on getting the levels ported over more accurately. I hope this at least boosts interest again. Act 1 is possible to port over in the same manner but the level has tons of objects and it'd take some time. But at least that act has a CAM file that does stuff.

    I apologize in advance for the video quality. Youtube sux.

    PS: As a side note, I mentioned before that I found data for the tornado. Looking at it again, the data I located doesn't appear to be an actual level object. It seems that it might be part of the tornado enclosure for the missing Act 2. There are even subroutines that are used to load up the data and the related textures still in STG02.BIN. Unfortunetly, because of this I don't know what object in the prototype's object list is meant to be the tornado that loads in Act 1. It should be an object that only appears once in the act's set file, but it's hard to track down with DXEdit because there are so many objects in the set file.
     
  2. Jen

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    It's nice that, a year after we released it, people are still working with the AutoDemo and doing some really cool things.

    Awesome work evilhamwizard :D I, for one, would be very interested if you were to release what you've done so far. I really enjoyed watching your video.
     
  3. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

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    Sure, I guess there's no harm in releasing what I have so far. You can download the mod here. You need SADX Mod Loader and the US version of sonic.exe to use it. It also wouldn't hurt to enable the super jump cheat so you can explore the level. I also made some mistakes in the set file for Act 3 so I threw in an updated version in there too. There are more enemies on the map now.

    In the mean time, I also ported over the mesh for Act 1 as well as some of the objects from the set file:



    Again I apologize for the video quality. I was fiddling around to make sure you could see everything there was to the level, so it's not exactly a playthrough.

    A few things about this part. This act actually has it's CAM file, so you can kinda play it without fiddling with the camera too much. However, it might've been meant for an older version of the camera system so the camera might act weird in some places. As it was discussed in the SADX/SA1 hacking topic, the SET file for Act 1 has a lot more objects than the game can load at one point (I think the SET file originally contained 1800 objects). There are an ass ton of flowers. I trimmed it down by taking out the objects I wasn't sure that I would be able to find an equivalent for. I had to manually insert the tornado into the set file, because I don't think it existed as a place-able object in the prototype. There might have been some event flag at one point that would load it onto the map via a subroutine for the level, or maybe it was part of some other object that would be triggered under a certain event. But I needed to add the tornado in order to move on to the next act. I also didn't mess with the textures again this time either for the same reasons I stated before.

    For the level itself, it's pretty interesting. Much like Act 3 there are parts where you can be carried off by wind to reach little hidden areas that you can use to backtrack. Ring placement seems to hint at paths you can run around on in the air, but since I didn't port over the path data you can't do that here. After realizing my mistake from making the set file for the last act, I realized that there are more enemies than I previously thought. However, the odd part is that out of the three possible enemies that can be loaded only two are used. The chameleon badniks aren't loaded anywhere but they are part of the object list for the level, and there are videos where you can see that they at least existed for Tails in Act 3. Another thing I realize now is that the area shown in this picture:

    [​IMG]

    Is actually the beginning part of Windy Valley Act 1. I don't think Amy's supposed to be there though. I didn't check to see if maybe init start position coordinates for her exist that might put her somewhere on Windy Valley. Also, going back to Act 3, in this picture:

    [​IMG]

    Is actually near the end of the first act, right around where the tornado loads in the mod. I haven't checked if there are starting position coordinates for Big for this level either.

    And that's about it.
     
  4. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Interesting. Feels like it was designed with Knuckles' abilities in mind too, much like first part of Red Mountain
     
  5. Orengefox

    Orengefox

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    evilhamwizard for Tech Membership (assuming he's not got it yet) please :v:

    Yeah like Jen said, it's been over a year and people continue to further research, do hacking projects, and have general discussions relating to the AutoDemo. It's nice to know there's still an interest.

    I can tell you really enjoy working these particular projects and feel quite accomplished about it. If it's something you've got the time and patience for, you should do a complete port of these prototype levels (making them as accurate as possible to the original ones). If not, do a joint effort with whoever else is doing the ports.
     
  6. Cooljerk

    Cooljerk

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    This is so fucking awesome!
     
  7. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

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    I've always thought there were a lot of design similarities between Red Mountain Act 1 and Beta Windy Valley. I feel like there are a lot of connections between the two levels.

    Now that we've seen the level in action, I have two thoughts:

    1. It really does look like Windy Valley was originally designed to accommodate all of the characters. I wonder if the original intention of SA was to have a more traditional level progression, I.e. all of the characters would access all of the levels. I'm sure that this would obviously be a major undertaking, so I wouldn't be surprised if we got the level revisions and character-specific levels due to the fact that it would be difficult to design every level with every character in mind.

    2. Beta Windy Valley for some reason feels like it would have been a first level. Is there any indication that BWV would have been the first level characters would go through?
     
  8. Jen

    Jen

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    Yeah, could be. The level's certainly open-ended enough for that to have been the case. I think it would've been really cool if the game had been designed in that way, but I can understand why it wasn't.

    In any case, I love the sheer scale of Beta Windy Valley, it's huge! It makes the final version seem a bit boring by comparison.
     
  9. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

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    I posted the source code from the project on GitHub. You can look at it here. I'm completely new to GitHub so forgive me for the badness. Wouldn't mind some contributors and stuff.
     
  10. Sappharad

    Sappharad

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    Wasn't someone working on a project last year to re-create all of the textures based on the few screenshots and videos we have? Were those the textures Dude used for the Sonic Generations port of Act 3?

    I might be interested in doing a few just for fun, if there's some easy way to identify which ones you need and where they would end up going.
     
  11. British Gaijin

    British Gaijin

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    I saw the new article about the Windy Valley beta level port, and I must say, good job so far! Act 1 and Act 3 look incredible even without proper textures.

    However, I'm having a problem with the mod file linked to in the article. Once I've set the game up to use the mod loader, it crashes trying to load in the DLL (it does the set and cam files just fine). When I remove all references to the DLL file from the mod, it loads up with the new camera data and new object layouts, so it's something in the DLL causing the game to crash -- my money is on the level geometry being the problem. Other mods work fine.

    [​IMG]

    I'd like to know if you have any ideas what I'm doing wrong. I desperately want to experience these beta levels no matter how barren and green they are.
     
  12. darkspines35

    darkspines35

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    That would be Catley and I. They were basically done, the issue is this stuff wasn't exactly a clear cut science back a year ago. I've been putting work into making that playable (though it'll be an incomplete project). Also, Dude is also working on a version with a lot of my source material (What I would consider to be the finalized version when it's done). I don't know what all he's actually done at this point though.

    Oh, and Dude did not use any of Catley or mine's materials when doing his mod for Generations that I know of.
     
  13. Dude

    Dude

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    Confirmed - the generations version uses the textures the came with the rip I found, and I substituted a bunch of them myself.

    I can also confirm that I'm working on a full port of all 3 stage segments using the textures provided to me by darkspines35. I'm simultaneously working on the export tools and SADXLVL2, so that's why things are kind of slow. But when I'm done you should have all 3 acts with full camera layouts, textures, paths, objects and everything else. I won't be releasing a bunch of different versions as I progress though, I'll just release one when I'm done, since I've found that most people tend to just download the first thing they find and never pick up updates.
     
  14. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

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    You need to update your SADX Mod Loader.

    This is what I was hoping for. You'll do a much better job than I could ever do.
     
  15. British Gaijin

    British Gaijin

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    Cheers m'dears!

    That works smashingly.
    Windy Valley originally had such a large, mountainous feel, I wonder why they changed that?
     
  16. GeneHF

    GeneHF

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    Perhaps they felt they wanted to streamline the levels to better demonstrate the characters' sense of speed and direction in the level. Maybe it's because I'm not used to it, but the stages seemed a bit too expansive, especially for an early level.

    Or, the more popular theory, they're just test levels.
     
  17. Dude

    Dude

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    I think yours is closer to the truth. Personally I believe it was a combination of 'our playtesters are getting lost/taking forever' and 'this level runs great on our devkits... aww crap it runs poorly on the actual dc due to how big it is'.
     
  18. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

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    Speaking of running on the DC, am I correct in assuming no one is anywhere near capable of getting BWV running on the original SA?
     
  19. Dude

    Dude

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    No one has tried a dreamcast level mod that requires a bigger file than the original yet. In fact the most anyone has done to a dreamcast level is that time I ported RDX's speed highway to the Dreamcast:

    [​IMG]
    Download

    A great deal got cut out of this version. The dreamcast version does not like to be poked anywhere near as much as the PC version does. Just copy/pasting the SET files causes many objects to not load.

    It might be possible. I guess we'd need more information about what the program does with the memory space it puts the level stuff in. Does it just malloc(sizeof(levefile))? If so, you'd be able to make the levelfile whatever size you want. I doubt it though, considering what has do be done with SADXPC's DLL files to extend them.
     
  20. darkspines35

    darkspines35

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    Actually, I got the game running with some edits several times. As far as Beta Windy Valley goes though...we would have to edit every pointer that directs to 1ST_READ because IIRC, Beta Windy Valley is technically using a different version of 1ST_READ than what's actually in the AutoDemo. If someone had the time to do that (and the patience), it might just work, but I don't know how well it would.