Dreamcast mods for SADX

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by TheArcadeStriker, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. TheArcadeStriker

    TheArcadeStriker

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    Dreamcast mods for SADX (Formerly SADX99)
    Welcome everybody in Sonic Retro! This topic originally used to be a project that I called "SADX 99'Edition", which used to first add textures and sounds from the Dreamcast, and later it would have landtables from the DC and other things. However, since this has grew on a bigger scale, and with PkR collaborations, MainMemory, Morph and ItsEasyActually help, along with PkR stage mods, the topic is now named "Dreamcast mods for SADX", since the original project will be split in separate mods (What wasn't done by PkR as of this time in the mod will be in separate mods, like Dreamcast Branding, Sub Games, Chao Garden, Character sounds and textures), and it now seems that it will be a matter of many mods that SADX will be converted/restored/will resemble to the Dreamcast version.

    I must still upload the Chao Gardens and Characters mod, and meanwhile here is for now the download for the latest version of SADX99 mod. Note that it may have some things that could interfere with the latest mods, and it basically won't be "supported" anymore after this.
    EDIT: Deleted outdated mod, look below for the good stuff

    Here are the current links for all the relevant mods and tools in this:
    SADX Dreamcast conversion (PkR)

    PLEdit (PkR)
    It's function is to edit the palette/PL BIN files in the Dreamcast/Gamecube proto version.

    Dreamcast/Palette lightning mod (Morph/SF94)

    The Dreamcast Sub Games mod was integrated in the Dreamcast conversion (and PkR added some fixes and things to it), as well as the DC Branding mod (and he did add some things too to it, it should have credit screens in the 25/01/17 update *wink wink*). The Sub Games mod integration is in the latest public version in Dropbox, while the DC Branding AFAIK it should be in the latest official version in ModDB (or in the latest Dropbox version, there is where the latest updates to it are).

    There could also be updated stuff at the latest pages of this topic, so you can also go check there for more information (Specifically in SADX Dreamcast conversion).

    HUGE thanks to PkR for the collaborations, help, and the many things he has done currently, MainMemory for all the awesome mods and hacking done for SADX, as well as the help it gave to me, ItsEasyActually and Morph for all the awesome stuff they have done (and the DC lightning mod), and JeffCharizardFlame & CheatFreak for the intro movie and the code to disable the Sonic Team logo in the DC Branding mod.
     
  2. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I definitely like this idea. When I feel assed enough to play SADX again I'll be giving this a go. Good work.
     
  3. Speeps

    Speeps

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    Personally, I'd love to see a faithful recreation of the Dreamcast version on the PC. I feel that so much quality was lost after this game got ported so many times that the version we're stuck with now is barely holding itself together anymore.
    Although, I get the feeling that there's a lot of aspects from the original game that can't be replicated without having to manually rebuild them from the ground up, so a total recreation would probably be a pretty large task to undertake if not nearly impossible.

    I like what you've made so far though. It's a lot better than the crappy attempt I made a few years ago anyway. :v:
     
  4. I remember seeing somebody made a mod that removes the shine from Sonic and the other characters. Do you think that this mod would work well with that mod at the same time, or if you could possibly ask whoever made that mod if you can incorporate it into yours?
     
  5. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    Assuming you're referring to my No Gloss Mod, texture edits are completely irrelevant, and it's specifically designed to work with model edits.
     
  6. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    This sounds like a great idea if it can be expanded far enough. I'd love a mod that recreated the dynamic lighting and added back all the deleted sounds (seriously look at how much ambience is lost at times, especially at the start of Gamma's story).
     
  7. TheArcadeStriker

    TheArcadeStriker

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    Dreamcast mods for SADX (Formerly SADX99)
    I know MainMemory has done one, and I have tried it with the characters...and I admit the nogloss looks somewhat odd for Sonic (Though Knuckles looked well) with the textures used. A thing that would be more similar to the Dreamcast is that something that tones down a bit the gloss without removing it (After all, that was how it looked in DC), but sadly I don't have any skill in that kind of hacking.

    While I don't know anyway about how to modify the lightning (What I done at most is texture swapping), I'm not sure if there could be that the "missing" sounds could still be a leftover or something in the .dat file of DX, and could get to add the sounds. Otherwise I don't know if just adding the sounds to the pack could cause anything at all, or if the "missing" sounds thing is right, since I haven't checked yet those sound banks.

    I appreciate all the feedback here, and by the way someone here knows how to extract the Station Square DC textures? PVMEditSharp doesn't open the .PRS files (I know that that is a error), and when I decompress the .PRS files there seem to be a lot of textures missing (In the way that there are too little textures extracted). What I could have got to do right now was opening the level in SALVL, using the material editor/viewer and kinda taking screenshots of the texture list and then ripping and saving one-by-one with Paint.NET. If there is someone who knows a better way to extract all the textures, I would be happy to include it in the credits. (For now I'm working in the Main Area/Plaza)
     
  8. Atendega

    Atendega

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    I'm a big fan of this. + - Now if only we could finally get a faithful port of the Dreamcast player models  
     
  9. Strife

    Strife

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    SADX Fixed Edition by SonicFreak94 does a great job of restoring many of the objects and scenery that were lost in the transition to the GC port. I think if this mod focuses solely on textures and sounds, combining it with SADXFE and No Gloss should result in a pretty faithful recreation of the Dreamcast version.
     
  10. Lanzer

    Lanzer

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    Yeah after this '99 edition is done I'd love to see all 3 together into 1 mod.

    (I wonder how Fixed Edition is doing btw? been awhile since I saw anything of it).
     
  11. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    You'd have to literally combine SADXFE and NoGloss at the source level, since the mod loader only allows one DLL to be loaded per mod.
     
  12. Speeps

    Speeps

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    I don't really think outright removing the gloss is a good way of reproducing the lighting from the Dreamcast version. I'm not saying that the gloss in SADX actually looks good, but the gloss problems in SADX aren't due to the amount of it there but rather the way it was applied in comparison to how it was in the Dreamcast version.

    Take how Sonic looks on the character select screen for example, which doesn't seem to have been changed that much at all:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Then compare that to how Sonic looks in Speed Highway:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    SADX changed the way that the lighting in the game works almost entirely. In the Dreamcast version, the gloss is used in a subtle way that helps Sonic blend with the stage around him and although it does still do this in SADX to an extent it's nowhere near how it looked in the Dreamcast version - It feels more like they were aiming for something more similar to Heroes.
    Of course, it also doesn't help that a large chunk of the lighting from the Gamecube version was lost when it was ported to the PC, which makes the gloss look even worse.

    I mean, you could reduce or remove the gloss as a work-around for everything, but I wouldn't exactly consider it a faithful recreation of the Dreamcast version.
     
  13. SF94

    SF94

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    The lighting works largely the same as far as I'm aware, it's just that it's poorly configured in DX. The lighting parameters could theoretically be ported, and it's something I've been meaning to look into. The reason the characters and enemies are so shiny in DX is because they crank the specular color way beyond the 0.0 to 1.0 range, all the way to 255.0. Interestingly, Heroes took the less questionable approach: just use a shiny texture :v:

    The only major lighting difference between GC and PC is character/enemy models, which they effectively used a shader for. They used the method I described above to get something that looked close to the shader version. The garbage Steam version of SADX has a D3D9 implementation of this shader which could also theoretically be backported to the good original PC release. Then there's also the difference in vertex colors. Vertex colors are generally more vibrant on the GameCube, and the PC version could definitely be tweaked to match.
     
  14. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    The lighting in the Dreamcast version looks more dynamic. Notice how there is shade to one side of Sonic and the interior, and not in the DX screenshot (not even in the one above using the Dreamcast textures). There seemed to be a more vivid use of coloured lights. Look at clips of the Dreamcast version in the Final Egg base. Everything has a green tint, even the characters:

    [​IMG]

    Not so much the DX version:

    [​IMG]

    Kinda bogs down the atmosphere I admit.

    To break topic a bit, anyone notice Gamma's eyes don't illuminate in DX?
     
  15. SF94

    SF94

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    The lighting is definitely different in appearance, but the underlying system is the same--it's no more or less dynamic. There can be up to 4 active lights at a time, but DX typically only uses one, and at most two from what I've seen. Like I said, it's just a matter of poor lighting configuration on DX's part.
     
  16. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    How complicated would it be to reverse, if possible at all?
     
  17. SF94

    SF94

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    As I mentioned, it's something I've been meaning to look into. It should just be a matter of finding the stage and character light data and slotting it into place in the PC version. The problem is finding that data, which is the part that needs "looking into" :v:
     
  18. TheArcadeStriker

    TheArcadeStriker

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    Dreamcast mods for SADX (Formerly SADX99)
    Well, what I got to do at most is only changing textures, but I don't know if I should basically change the texture adding some color, simulating as if it had DC lightning (Like JmStHaW did with Twinkle Park DC apparently).
    By the way, I'm curious by how JmStHaW done that Dreamcast landtable ports to DX (Red Mountain and Twinkle Park). I tried it many times and all failing to varying degrees, none working properly enough.

    I wonder how to place invisible walls in levels with either SADXLVL2 or SALVL, because only to fix the lack of invisible wall at the start of Final Egg 2. I would do this if I knew how to do it, or if someone isn't going to do it yet (Who knows if that ends up in the next version of SADXFE).
    Thanks for all the replies and feedback! I done Twinkle Park Act 1 & 2 and its objects, along with Twinkle Circuit with DC textures (The closest I could get for it to look like DC, in Act 1 at least). I also done the Lost World Act 1 and its objects, and done some work with SS Chao Garden. This is all coming for the next version, which will be soon.

    And by the way, I was going to ask about the possible "lightning fix", then noticed E-122 asked and Morph replied while I was writing this in the topic summary :V
     
  19. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Several years ago I did a little experiment and ported Dreamcast landtables to SADX PC with the help of Morph and MainMemory. It involved extracting Dreamcast landtables using Level Extractor, editing the texture list address in the landtable file to make it compatible with the PC version, updating the .EXE with the correct texture count for the level and rebuilding the .EXE with the edited landtable. After this the game would work with Dreamcast levels using original Dreamcast PVMs. However, lighting was completely missing in the levels ported this way. Back then I assumed it was because the lighting system was rewritten for the PC port, and the data for it was relocated, so the Dreamcast levels had it stored somewhere else. This is as far as I could get:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Speeps

    Speeps

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    I honestly consider what I did with those landtable ports back then to be a bit shoddy because there were a lot of things that didn't work and I ended up breaking some of the levels entirely, haha. I think it was due to the textures but I'm not an expert on it.

    Also, ah well. I guess I was wrong about the lighting working totally different between the two games. It makes me happy that reproducing the lighting from the original game is theoretically possible though.

    I'm curious about how the collision was changed between the two games now though seeing as how not far from where that wall you're talking about is you can also do this in DX, whereas in all the Dreamcast versions there's a more solid barrier there to stop you.