Dreamcast mods for SADX

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

  1. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    Generations modding as it is now is much less flexible, but way easier to work with (AFAIK). It is completely possible to make Generations mods with the same types of edits as SADX mods, but it would require someone making a system for loading custom code (which would probably be simple to add to cpkredir if it was open source), and reverse engineering the game's code to find what needs to be edited to achieve a desired result, which would be more difficult in Generations, as it uses C++ instead of just C.
     
  2. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Update for DC Branding/title screen.

    The ripple effect is now enabled by default, you can disable it by editing config.ini in the DC_Branding folder. The separate mod is no longer supported and has been removed via a Mod Loader update.

    I made it slightly less awful since I last posted it and it shouldn't lag on low-end systems anymore, but the way it works is still the same - it uses texture animation to imitate the background ripple effect. It kinda sucks, but the separation of different background layers I did in this mod will come in handy later when (if ever) the ripples are implemented properly using shaders. The good thing about this mod is that it's 100% faithful to the original effect since I ripped it from SA1.
     
  3. Turbohog

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    That link seems to be broken.
     
  4. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Yeah, I literally just pushed an update. The ripple effect is now enabled by default, you can disable it by editing config.ini in the DC_Branding folder. The separate mod is no longer supported and has been removed via a Mod Loader update.
    The config file also has other settings like the position/scale of the background and logo (separate options for 4:3 and widescreen), as well as an option to disable the SA1 title screen entirely.
     
  5. Turbohog

    Turbohog

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    Ah okay. Thanks. I've always liked the ripple effect on the DC title screen!
     
  6. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Hm. Anyone else getting the rhinotank textures in the background of windy valley?
     
  7. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Sounds like another mod is overriding WINDY01.PVM, or WINDY01.PVM is missing in the DC_WindyValley mod. If you're using the Autodemo Windy Valley mod, DC_WindyValley should be disabled, and vice versa.
     
  8. muteKi

    muteKi

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    It might have been that I just copied the new files over the old one so there was still some cruft from a previous version instead of doing a delete and total re-copy sort of thing. Now that I cleared out the old version the problem is solved. Go figure!
     
  9. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Update 7 release on ModDB
    I'm going to take a break from Sonic and SADX modding, so here's one more update before I wrap up the DC Conversion project.
    This update restores the interactive Chao Race lobby from SA1, edits a couple of cutscene cameras, introduces a lot of minor tweaks and adds back a few missing effects, but I think the main highlight is sound restorations in the Sound Overhaul mod:
    • Fixed a bug in SADX that prevented Sonic from saying "Whoah!" when attacked by Knuckles in a cutscene
    • Fixed (hopefully) a bug in SADX that sometimes prevented the snowboard sound from playing properly
    • Fixed the sound of the Tornado 2 landing on the Egg Carrier that played too early in Sonic and Tails' cutscenes
    • Fixed a bug in SADX that cut off the sound of Tails' plane crashing in Sonic's pool cutscene
    • Fixed a bug in SADX that prevented the Egg Hornet engine sound from looping properly at 60 FPS
    • Fixed a bug in SADX that cut off Eggman's announcements in Sky Deck 2
    • Fixed a bug in SADX that cut off the spindash sound with the Light Speed Dash upgrade
    • Added a delay to the plane crashing sound in Tails' first cutscene to prevent it from playing too early (it still cuts off though)
    • Restored bomb sounds in Ice Cap 3
    • Restored the sound that is supposed to play when Sonic goes through rings in NiGHTS' pinball stage
    • Fixed and normalized Metal Sonic's sound effects to match their volume with other character soundbanks
    • Updated Egg Hornet sounds
    • Updated the ticking clock sound in Speed Highway 3
    • Updated all Japanese character voice soundbanks
    Some more info on this update from the ModDB post:
    • Several SADX cutscene camera angles were updated to resolve issues with SA1 assets or make the cutscenes look more like the original game. This makes Dreamcast Conversion the first SADX mod to edit cutscenes. This has been made possible thanks to ItsEasyActually, who identified cutscene data in the disassembly.
    • SADX engine has a feature called alpha rejection, which is used on textures with an alpha channel to make some of the transparency issues look slightly less awful. While it helps in some cases, often it isn't necessary and breaks more than it fixes. Disabling alpha rejection in all except some areas made it possible to bring back Perfect Chaos effects (the waterfalls and the mist around Chaos' location). It also improved the quality of special effects that use sprites (fire, explosions, smog, dust etc.). As a result, the game looks a bit better overall and the effects no longer appear as low-res as they did before.
    • A major highlight of this update is sound restorations in the Sound Overhaul mod. I've fixed quite a few of SADX-specific sound bugs that have been plaguing the game for years, from the spindash sound being cut off with the Light Speed Dash upgrade to missing sound effects when Sonic goes through rings in NiGHTS' pinball stage. I've also fixed timing issues in some cutscenes where certain sound effects played too early or too late. More details in the changelog.
    • The interactive Chao Race Entry room from the Dreamcast version has been restored, complete with animations and objects! You can walk around the room like in the original game, and the SADX menu for Chao Race will be loaded when you push the button in the center of the room.
    • Some minor effect tweaks/restorations: for example, the "goal" emeralds now have glow like in the original game, and the glow of the Master Emerald is now a bit more green.
    • Final Egg 1-2 and Ice Cap 3 now have dynamic fog that makes those levels look closer to the original game and improves visuals.
    • The HD GUI 2 mod has been updated with contributions from Jmtshaw and now includes the Mission Mode stat screen and even the Mission Mode tutorial backgrounds that use SA1 levels and character models!
    • As always, there were some lighting, transparency and material color fixes for various levels.
    As usual, you can get the latest update 1) through the Mod Loader, 2) by downloading the mod package from ModDB, or 3) by using my installer, which can work in online and offline modes.
    So this marks the end of my year-long struggle to make SADX look and sound like the Dreamcast original. I'm glad to have been part of the effort to restore the original game's atmosphere in the PC version. Although there are still a few things missing, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Bug report - The Dreamcast Branding mod causes the second section of Red Mountain to display incorrect textures when not using the Dreamcast Red Mountain mod:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Not a big deal though, as enabling the DC Red Mountain mod solves the issue.
     
  11. PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I'm not sure it's DC Branding causing that, anyway I can't seem to reproduce it so I suggest reinstalling DC Branding and/or the full mod package from scratch so that there are no leftover PVMs/texture packs from older (especially pre-Update 4) versions. To find out what's causing it I'd need more details on how to reproduce it.
     
  12. Miles3298

    Miles3298

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    I'm playing through the game using exclusively the stuff that comes with the latest Conversion installer thing. Loving it, was especially surprised by the Emerald Coast water change.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow I imagine this is not quite correct :v: (The dress thing, not the wonky looking pixels - that was from windowed mode + higher full screen resolution.)

    Also this Egg Carrier center door is a bit wonky but I think it's been said somewhere before; can't for the life of me find where, though. My bad if this is a known issue problem.
     
  13. Speeps

    Speeps

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    Amy's dress does that in the Dreamcast version too. It only happens in Gamma's version though.

    [​IMG]

    The Egg Carrier door thing is something that was added to Gamma's story to point out which doors are supposed to be locked. It's not there in the original Japanese version of the game.
     
  14. Miles3298

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    Ah, okay then. I swear I don't remember the door thing being a thing before (and I've played through them all at least 4 times), but my memory is pretty trash at times. Thanks for the correction.
     
  15. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    An interesting read on NeoGAF by Guess Who.

    I agree with most of the points made by the author, especially the part about SA1/SADX differences. Without the colorful and charming atmosphere of the original I would rate SA1 maybe 5 out of 10 (would be even less if not for the wonderful soundtrack), but with the Dreamcast aesthetics it easily becomes an 8/10 game for me. Really, if you take out all the charm of the Dreamcast original, all you're left with is a bunch of design/control problems and bugs.

    Anyway, some of you might be interested to know that I'm working on a blog that documents the downgrades introduced in SA1 ports, with detailed descriptions and screenshot/video comparisons between SA1, SADX Gamecube and SADX PC. It's going to be different in tone from TCRF articles as it will focus specifically on things that can be considered downgrades, and it will also have some technical information (e.g. how the lighting system works), as well as discussion of the possible reasons those downgrades were introduced, based on what I've learned during my work on Dreamcast mods.

    Right now there are three people working on the blog. I need help with screenshot/video comparisons (we're using Demul, Dolphin and the PC version). If anyone is interested in contributing, please send me a PM or contact me on Twitter and I'll give you a Discord invite.
     
  16. PkR

    PkR

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    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!
     
  17. itsstillthinking

    itsstillthinking

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    Very nice! i myself will always prefer the original Dreamcast release but this is really cool
     
  18. Blue Spikeball

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    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.
     
  19. Strife

    Strife

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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?
     
  20. Blue Spikeball

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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.