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

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

  1. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Probably not too surprising. Haven't we seen the chao racing around in part of this level in a demo video?
     
  2. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

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    Instead of doing text or whatever I did a general feedback/commentary video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk56zpP9-JQ

    There's also a regular run at the end where I go through without talking about how I feel.
     
  3. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

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    The area shown in videos would seem to be the Chao Garden described in this post earlier in the topic. Its geometry is a direct rip of part of the prototype Windy Valley (complete with a large hole in one side where it intersects with another landmass in the actual stage), but it's its own entity. Notice also that in all videos of the area it only has a plain blue gradient background, even though in the same videos any Windy Valley footage seems to have an actual cloud background for that part of the stage.
     
  4. OKei

    OKei

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    I'm just gonna copy n' paste and extend what I wrote on your video because I know it's gonna be too long for any idiot to read it all on YouTube.

    Thank you for making this. You basically nailed everything wrong with the camera, and its further proof that Sonic Adventure really had such a terrible camera system to begin.

    What I should share here in regards to the level as a whole (particularly in Act 3) are that some parts (10:51 - 13:30) are too narrow and hard for players to run through confidently on their first few tries.

    This version, while non-linear and open field, has too many paths that branch off to too many alternative passages --- which complicates the level. When I first played this level (I actually have a video recording of my having a candid first-time playthough of the level too), I couldn't tell which was the best path to take. Even when you see a trail of rings that are suppose to guide you, it's difficult to tell where you should run off to. The camera even seems to be working against you, having it facing downward toward the ground that disorients you causing you to miss details that you'd otherwise need to know or would be interested in (as shown in 7:29) and the level's quirky design doesn't help at all either. Don't even get me started on that beta Act 2 tornado; that part was just... yuck. Beta Act 1 is broad but again, the camera spoils the sense of exporation that you would've had to explore the level (I hate that wall/camera clipping in 1:17). Stick to Free Camera for that act.

    I know I've said this before, but I thought the final Act 3 nailed the thrilling, yet simple-to-blaze-through railways that guided you through the level. Perhaps it was a tad bit "point A to B", but you didn't have to make a lot of unnecessary stops and turns, or objects to jump over that slows the action down -- which is what this beta version does. The final Act 2 tornado had simple, flat platforms to manuver through and the camera wasn't clumsily caught onto the surrounding objects as the beta did. The final Act 1 loses the broadness of the original, but it's more compact and more "focused." I can actually see what's ahead of me. Perhaps its a camera thing.

    Now, I appreciate Dude and the team for recreating beta WW (and I still understand that the camera data wasn't readily available for this level and some were custom-made for this mod) but I honestly prefer the final Windy Valley. I know I might be echoing certain statements I wrote before on a WIP build of the restoration mod, but here we have an near 1:1 replica of the original WW to actually play and compare the final version to, and I can say that Sonic Team made a good call redesigning this level. And given around this time when ST still had a good reputation for making good games, that's saying something.

    EDIT: I just can't help refining my post.
     
  5. Dude

    Dude

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    I feel as though I should explain some of these. Also remember that we don't understand the game's camera system very well. It is only partially reverse-engineered. There is a feature that I am 99% sure exists, but cannot use as it hasn't been found yet that can solve many of the 'looking at the floor' issues.

    1:08 the camera gets that close to sonic to keep from getting embedded in the wall to the immediate left. It's a crappy solution, but there isn't much else to do.

    Glitch at 4:16 has a patch. It'll probably show up in the HC version.

    Also - I realized something. You're playing in 16:9 mode. SADX crops to 16:9 mode, so you're losing information on the top and bottom (and sides believe it or not) of the screen. This seems to be responsible for many of your 'I can't see where I'm going' moments. Try playing it in a 4:3 window.

    You also mentioned the pan speeds several times. Some times it's too slow, some times it's too fast. The problem here is that if you make a slow pan camera and someone is running super fast, they can't see where they're going. If someone is leisurely strolling through an area and you've got a pan speed set up for someone flying through the level, they get disoriented. Even worse, in part 3 where you mentioned the 'quick rapid camera' movements, if someone comes flying through that area of the stage and the camera doesn't move, they will go flying off the side of the stage. Did you notice that in these areas if you just press forward you will (usually) be ok? I can try making some of the pans trigger earlier but there really isn't a whole lot I can do - there's a direct conflict here between players going fast and players who aren't.

    Anyways thanks. I'll get to work.

    Edit:
    [​IMG]

    Here's how much screen space you're losing.
     
  6. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

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    I've been thinking about what you said about playing in 4:3 and it dawned on me that I never had a problem seeing anything with official Sonic Adventure levels. After playing it a little today, I think I know why:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The camera's always pretty high up, pointing ahead of Sonic, instead of looking down on him. You keep Sonic centered in the frame a lot, which I think contributes to the problem.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dude

    Dude

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    Yup. You're absolutely correct. There's a feature in Generations that does this that I know how to use and like I said in my previous post, I am 99% sure it is in SADX, I just don't know where it is. Basically what it does is it allows you to apply an offset to the entire camera-target-sonic system, moving sonic downwards in the frame. The main reason I put my cameras so low is, since I don't have access to this offset, I have to do something else to put the 'goal direction' at the visual start point of the screen (between the top and a quarter of the way down). If I didn't do this Sonic himself would obstruct your view of where you're going.

    Using widescreen zooms the camera in, compounding the problem. Do remember that I didn't play this mod at all in widescreen mode. I never do play sadx in widescreen mode. Just a personal habit.
     
  8. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    4:3 would just be a full shot (more height). Kind of reverse of watching a modern TV show or sports event, the 16:9 version is often the full shot (more width) (though sometimes it's the 4:3 version, more height). I never play Sonic Adventure Widescreen either unless you can work extended shots via more width in everything without breaking stuff (offering a wider view into the world of Sonic without zooming it in). Though pre-rendered cutscenes are just doomed without redoing those entirely.
     
  9. OKei

    OKei

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    I forgot to post this sooner, but...

    Nah...

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPXm6k5jO_E[/youtube]

    I'm fairly convinced Windy Valley's renovation (especially Act 3) was partly influenced to how closely reachable the first and last parts of the act were as you can see in my video in 0:07. Even with the collision, the fact that you see that platform and it almost seemingly misleads you to take that unintended path would've pissed off a lot of players and break the level's sequence. What were they thinking even?

    The time trial videos of this early version of the level serve to substantiate its revision.

    True. After all, characters like Amy are in some unofficial shots of WV where she never normally goes there.
     
  10. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

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    A few things that I haven't seen posted anywhere in the topic.

    First, the light speed dash (attack?) works differently in the AutoDemo. Instead of having the shoes automatically target enemies and rings when fully charged up, you were meant to confirm every target in your radius with the action button. A blue sphere (which I think was shown before?) circles around the next target that you can attack. It even uses a different animation for Sonic too:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmezF-0QP2s[/youtube]

    The voice data is all here in this build, so I'm curious if Tikal's instructions for the light speed shoes are completely different too. I would love to see the other character's attacks to see what might've changed...

    JmTsHaW ported some of the AutoDemo set files over to SADX to see what changed. Some significant changes here and there for Lost World and Egg Carrier:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqxo-ZS2tNs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-vLlCRtLa4
     
  11. Jen

    Jen

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    Oooh, good stuff!

    It's interesting that the light speed attack is so different in the AutoDemo; I, too, would like to see what else (if anything) changed with the other characters' attacks between the AutoDemo and the final.

    Lost World and Egg Carrier were absolutely fascinating to watch! They seem to be quite incomplete in parts, which I wasn't expecting to be the case.
     
  12. MainJp

    MainJp

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    Haha, you actually linked to my video, I was going to post it here as soon as my laptop got fixed! I guess now is as good a time as any to post this video.



    Sorry for the crap quality, I had to shoot it on my iPad since I can't use my laptop to do it. *Edit* Actually Morph, the object layout ports aren't mine, just the Light speed dash video, but I do know that there isn't a way to get them to load in the Autodemo simply because they're for an earlier version of the 1st_Read.bin.
     
  13. SF94

    SF94

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    Very interesting stuff. MainJp, have you tried loading those levels in the actual autodemo? Particularly in the Egg Carrier, I'm curious to know if that room is on the other side with that door. And on the note of that last section of Lost World (with the (lack of) mirrors), in SADX PC at least, Knuckles' item layout for this area has similar ring placement and has those same enemies as well. It uses the standard doors though.

    Also, I recall Arymond in #x-hax found those animations as well a while back. It's awesome seeing them ingame.
     
  14. Elston87

    Elston87

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    Interesting changes here; thanks for sharing those videos. Always interesting to see all the changes this game in particular went through.

    ...and on another note, the PC version of SADX had a demo/trial version? This I did not know.
     
  15. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    + - Guess I'll actually get to reply to something you've posted now. =P  

    Back in 2004 with the first PC release there were two Japanese demos that could be downloaded off the Sonic Team website (either that or just the SEGA JP website). I remember playing them all those years ago.

    Not actually sure if this answers your question though.
     
  16. Elston87

    Elston87

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    + - I didn't know you were here at Sonic Retro, and for a long time at that; hi there! =D  

    Yeah, it does answer my question. I did a quick Google search and found a demo off of FilePlanet. I'm gonna suppose that nothing different is present in any of the demo versions released for PC? They're just like the demo disc versions for consoles?

    I would test myself but I'm on Linux at the moment; that and Wine doesn't like me.
     
  17. SF94

    SF94

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    Coincidentally, I just downloaded the demo a few days ago. All of the assets are the same as the retail release, but that doesn't include the executable. Could have some interesting stuff in there =P
     
  18. Woofmute

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    Just as an update to something I said ages ago, the level select in this build doesn't load textures to ram properly. Don't know why. But loading the downtown section of Speed Highway from the section where you run down the building allows you to explore the downtown section with almost all the correct textures. Except for Sonic and the cars and enemies... It loads Knuckles' textures though.
     
  19. Woofmute

    Woofmute

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    Double posting because I've found the menu ID byte in the Autodemo. It works just like the TGS values in the initial Japanese release. Like in the final versions, I don't know how to get the game out of this demo mode.
    Loading levels this way enables controls and the HUD by default. You start with 96 lives and 50 rings
    The level select when loaded here seems to load levels with the correct textures.

    These are RAM addresses. Replace the 8C with 2C for Demul and Cheat Engine.
    If you're loading the character select, I recommend using 03 since this should load the textures.

    Code (Text):
    1. 8C794C90 Menu ID
    2. 8C794CAC Title Timeout Timer
    3.  
    4. 00 Dev Level Select
    5. 01 Autodemo Title
    6. 02 Fades, then Now Loading
    7. 03 White Loading to Character Select
    8. 04 White Loading to Title
    9. 05 White Loading to Tutorial 1
    10. 06 White Loading to Tutorial 2
    11. 07 Title fades to Tutorial 1
    12. 08 Now Loading (Speed Highway)
    13. 09 Character Select (Can be textureless if you don't set the byte to 03)
    14. 0A TGS Title (Can press Start, loads Speed Highway. Title only has one texture block, level select can be accessed with X and Y)
    15. 0B Now Loading (Speed Highway)
    16. 0C Now Loading (Chao Garden SS)
    17. 0D Goes to 00
    18. 0E Now Loading title demos
    19. 0F Tutorial 1
    20. 10 Tutorial 2
    21. 11 Goes to 00
    22. 12 Goes to 00
    23. FF Goes to 00
     
  20. MainJp

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    In light of Jakefords discovery of the menu ID byte in both the Autodemo and initial Japanese release; another discovery was made! Enabling the TGS mode in this version works more like it should, selecting a character takes you to the tutorial screens and drops you in a playable level with everything enabled, everything functions as they should ,however; one character is very interesting.

    Much earlier in the thread a friend of user ashthedragon, DaGuAr, made a discovery of playable tutorial textures for Knuckles. As it turns out, selecting Knuckles gives you this:



    An in-level tutorial! As the level begins an invisible barrier surrounds the starting area, the objective is to glide against the barrier until it disappears, clearing the tutorial.
    Looking through the stg00.bin there's apparently strings for a similar in-game tutorial for Sonic, this suggests that the characters each had an in-game tutorial that triggered in different stages, and considering that only textures for Knuckles's in-game tutorials still exist, there isn't a way to trigger anyone else's at this time.
    There's still more interesting things in this build, (as well as the final), that needs to be unearthed so Jakeford and I'll keep an eye on these addresses, we're really getting close to pulling every thing out of this game!

    *EDIT* Small thing to note, the pause menu still needs to be activated manually via the LoadThing cheat, but when in TGS mode the continue option actually works and uses the correct sound.​