Dreamcast mods for SADX

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

  1. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    1,460
    5
    18
    PkR, would it be possible to have a version of the "Dreamcast Branding" mod where at least the title screen looks better in wide-screen? I know that's not very "accurate", but I think this is kind of gross:

    [​IMG]

    So I made this:

    [​IMG]

    And with the way it has to be squashed down, I think it needs to look like this?

    [​IMG]

    If you're not up to it, that's fine. I haven't messed with PVM decompression or anything in many, many, many years (like 14+) so I figured I'd see if there was interest from someone who knows what they're doing
     
  2. Atendega

    Atendega

    Lesser Sea Sponge Member
    577
    0
    0
    Comfy couch
    Collecting insults
    That's freaking excellent and I totally want it.

    If it is added, it probably ought to be optional though, so you can have the original Dreamcast version if you want (even though this is basically 100% faithful to the Dreamcast version).

    Also, it would be nice to have a version that simply adds black bars at the sides, so you can have the original in the correct aspect ratio.
     
  3. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    1,460
    5
    18
    Actually, was the logo supposed to be using a different version of the lettering? The palm tree isn't visible in the N.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Is there any way to get it to adhere to whatever aspect ratio your resolution is set to? I'm on a 21:9 monitor so...
     
  5. McAleeCh

    McAleeCh

    Oldbie
    1,000
    22
    18
    Crossposting from the DC Lighting Mod topic, as the discussion veered into non-lighting-related stuff re: Sky Deck:

    Aside from the clouds issue being discussed, one other thing I've noticed from looking at the Sky Deck video above is that the metal struts along walls and walkways have lost their alpha transparency in the SADX DC levels mod - it's very noticeable at the timestamp linked to in the above post, as well as in the image in PkR's post (which I've spoilered for size reasons). Obviously it's a much more minor issue than the cloud layer stuff that's the main point of discussion, but I was just wondering - do we know if this is something that's fixable, or is there some limitation of SADX that's preventing the transparency from displaying properly?

    Also, one other thing I've noticed from the videos is some of the camera movements are different at various points (particularly noticable in Sonic's Final Egg and Amy's Hot Shelter). Does this seem to be a conscious change between the DC version and SADX, and if so, do we think it'd be technically possible to restore the original camera paths from the DC version?
     
  6. Turbohog

    Turbohog

    Member
    665
    15
    18
    Too bad the clouds look awful right now as Knuckles. Hopefully somebody is familiar with that code.

    I didn't even notice the metal struts though! I think that is probably fixable. Maybe they made that change due to stylistic reasons and not technical ones? The camera changes seem like a conscious change to me as well. I'm sure it would be possible to change the camera paths, but I don't know of anyone that has messed with the camera paths at all yet.
     
  7. PkR

    PkR

    Member
    186
    10
    18
    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    There's a solution for 16:9, but I'm not interested in integrating it into the mod. SADX title screen consists of 5x4 256x256 tiles, which become stretched at non-4:3 resolutions. The amount of stretching will be different on different setups, and without a code-based scaling solution the only thing we can do is "squeeze" the title screen into those tiles, so that the game stretches them to look normal at a particular aspect ratio. I think we need a better solution for this.
    It's different for each case. Some of the sounds (Final Egg hub) were disabled by code, which is totally intentional. Other sounds are missing an effect (Zero's chest thumping sound) or aren't looped properly. Some sounds are missing from the soundbanks, but the code to play them is still there. Chao sounds are completely different - SADX has more voice clips for the Chao, though I'm not sure if all of those are actually heard ingame. Some sounds are in stereo instead of mono, which messes with the positional audio system and makes them too loud or too quiet. And then there are cases when the game uses a wrong soundbank altogether.
    It turns out that the "empty" sounds are empty slots in the soundbank - the sound test skips over them in SA1. Also, apparently the order of sounds in SADX soundbanks doesn't matter, though it matters when you create a soundpack, as the Mod Loader generates the appropriate filenames for sounds based on their order.
    Anyway, I'm working on a sound overhaul for the entire game. It's doable, but it requires a lot of manual tweaking, such as removing silence at the end of some sounds and looping the sounds that are looped in SADX.
    I disabled that on purpose. Back when I was doing the main porting work for Sky Deck, there were issues with areas that use this texture, so I made it opaque across the entire stage. This texture is also opaque in Act 1, so I thought it was a good compromise. But back then I had no idea how transparency sorting works in SADX, so I chose the only option I knew to resolve it. I think the transparency can be restored at least partially. I'll take a look at it sometime soon.
    As for camera movements, it's trivial to restore them - basically you just have to use the CAM*.BIN files for each stage from the Dreamcast version. However, there's currently no way to change camera in cutscenes, and even with DC CAM files there may still be other differences, mainly FOV-related.

    EDIT:
    Nevermind, I got this :P I still need to figure out how to move the two layers at different speeds, but other than that it looks pretty faithful to the Dreamcast version now.
     
  8. Turbohog

    Turbohog

    Member
    665
    15
    18
    For anyone else that's curious, the metal struts in Sky Deck are also lacking transparency in vanilla SADX. Perhaps the porting team ran across the same issue.

    Those clouds look beautiful. Hopefully you can figure out how to make the layers move at different speeds, but great work in any case!
     
  9. PkR

    PkR

    Member
    186
    10
    18
    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Here's a Sky Deck update.
    I was able to restore cloud layers and I've also increased draw distance and implemented two different fog colors for different altitudes. The colors were taken from palette files, so it should work well with the PL mod.
    Unfortunately my solution to the clipping issue didn't help in the end, so you're gonna see some clouds pop-in in Knuckles' stage if you climb up really high.
    As a bonus, this update includes soundpacks for all Sky Deck soundbanks with background sounds, enemy and alarm sounds, as well as Eggman's announcements from the Dreamcast version. For some weird reason, some sounds in SA1 (such as the howling wind noise in Sky Deck) are still a bit different from what we extracted from the MLT files. My guess is that the sound driver applies some effect to make them louder or deeper, but not all sounds are affected. I tried normalizing the background sounds to achieve a similar effect, but it's still a little different.
    Original sound ripped from the MLT file
    A recording of the same sound in SA1
    I'll be happy to hear suggestions from anyone familiar with the way sound effects work.
    Also, I've tried fixing the metal struts. Sadly there's a lot of stuff going on - they're made of two transparent layers that are part of one mesh, and they have to overlap the clouds, which also consist of several transparent layers. There's little I can do to make them look good. Maybe someday, when SADX has order-independent transparency or something.
     
  10. PkR

    PkR

    Member
    186
    10
    18
    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I have released a test version of Sound Overhaul, a mod that replaces most ingame sound effects with higher quality sounds ripped from the Dreamcast version, as well as restores some missing sounds. It's more of a proof-of-concept than anything else at this stage, but I intend to update it with fixed sounds and better effects when we find a better way to rip them.

    This version includes sounds for the following:
    • General effects (jump, ringloss, spindash etc.)
    • All Action Stages, Adventure Fields and boss battles
    • All characters (English only)
    • Subgames except Sand Hill
    • 2 cutscenes (fight with Knuckles before Chaos 4 and Gamma's prison cutscene)
    The following sounds are not included in this release:
    • Japanese character sounds
    • Sand Hill effects
    • Snow/sandboard sound
    • Anything Chao-related
    • Cutscene sounds (except the 2 mentioned above)
    Known issues with this release:
    • Some sounds may be more quiet or loud than needed
    • Some effects (for example, Chaos 6 background sounds) are still missing. This is because the game doesn't seem to use them even though they are present. It is likely that the same happens in the Dreamcast version.
    • Some sounds may get cut off. In most cases this happens in both unmodded SADX and SA1 Dreamcast.
    • Some ripped sounds may have clicking or other defects. I fixed some of the most obvious cases, but there are still some left.
    • Some sounds are still different on the Dreamcast (Zero's chest-thumping sound, wind howling in Sky Deck). It is likely that the Dreamcast applied additional effects to original sounds, which need to be implemented separately.
    • The size of the mod can be reduced significantly if long "empty" sounds are replaced, but I didn't bother doing it for this release. It will be fixed in an update.
    • There MAY be cases when badniks use wrong sound effects. The enemy sound bank in unmodded SADX contains sounds that break Egg Keepers in Hot Shelter. I fixed that, but I don't know if it broke anything else.
     
  11. Fred

    Fred

    Formerly known as 'Neo' Oldbie
    1,529
    62
    28
    Portugal
    Sonic 3 Unlocked
    So, I finally got around to trying this, along with Morph's DC lighting mod. I don't even want the DC character models anymore; this is better than the original Dreamcast version as is. Thank you both for restoring color back to Station Square.

    I noticed that running up the base of the temple in the Mystic Ruins jungle area now kills Sonic, and the water texture in Emerald Coast is transparent to the point of looking black, so maybe those are things worth looking into. I would also look into removing Sonic's orange spray tan, and probably restoring the DC credits pictures, since now those are inconsistent with the rest of the game.

    But it bears repeating: this is already so good. Thank you so much.


    EDIT: On the subject of missing sounds, I noticed playing through Tails' story that the "fall off pinball table" sound that usually plays before Casinopolis starts is gone, leaving just a random black screen for a couple seconds. Classy.

    EDIT #2: You can't see emerald shards behind transparent windows in Speed Highway, probably kind of terrible.

    EDIT #3: Another one, a silo on the side of Tails' workshop now has invisible sides.
     
  12. I have worked before in the DC textures for character models (In fact, it was in SADX99), but I still gotta upload it as a separate mod yet, but I guess I will do it soon (Which means no tanned Sonic and the characters apart from Gamma will have fur). About the DC credits pictures, I was supposed to be working in that :P (I got Sonic's and part of Tails's done, I must finish it and then send it to PkR to integrate it in the DC Conversion since he is now including all the stuff in that single package, but anyways I could just put it in a update of the branding mod).

    And yes, it feels like a "Sonic Adventure HD", since it does actually look like the original one (in the good ways), runs in PC with higher resolutions (along with the player models), and overall feels like a huge update/upgrade (like the new HUD that PkR added in the mod, and SADX absolutely does not count like this for all the many reasons the DC conversion was done and more).
     
  13. Atendega

    Atendega

    Lesser Sea Sponge Member
    577
    0
    0
    Comfy couch
    Collecting insults
    Given the many SADX topics we have now, I'm not sure if this is the right place, but I think it fits here: Any chance of restoring the LSD glow to it's original Dreamcast glory?

    In SA1, it actually looks like a pulsating glow.

    In SADX, it looks like he's encased in solid crystal or something.
     
  14. PkR

    PkR

    Member
    186
    10
    18
    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    It's tricky to fix this without oversaturating the water, but I've just tried to improve it. Please let me know if it's better.
    This was fixed yesterday.
    Fixed! Thanks for the reports.
    Here's a link to the folder where I update the mods regularly inbetween full releases.
     
  15. That looks interesting. I don't know if it will be possible, but probably someone could look at the color values or whatever it uses (After all, there are some things similar to this case that are missing in DX, like the gradient of the DC Pause menu, while it's a solid color in DX). And I guess the "ice" Sonic in SADX is also because it clearly looks it still uses the "model" of the DC Sonic (you can visibly see that the glow in DX is polygonal...pretty much like the DC one, which was actually fitting in the latter case).
     
  16. Turbohog

    Turbohog

    Member
    665
    15
    18
    Before I clicked the links, I was thinking of an entirely different LSD and I was a bit confused.

    Anyway, I don't think I ever knew about this! I agree, the DC glow looks better. I don't know what would need to be done to change it, but it would be fantastic to see!
     
  17. I personally think that the old Emerald Coast water texture in the mod looked better. The newer one seems to make the ocean and the shores look a bit too bright.
     
  18. Cpaz

    Cpaz

    Member
    1
    0
    0
    I don't know how often the moddb page is checked, so i'll just leave the same comment of praise/bug report here :P

    Again, great work so far!

    EDIT: It was just a faulty SADX install... Somehow... Not a BetterSADX install. A bad install of the vanilla steam version. My best guess is that some audio/something got corrupted.
    (Apologies for possibly wasting anyones time. You may move on.)
     
  19. PkR

    PkR

    Member
    186
    10
    18
    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Hi there, thanks for the report!

    I think ADX Voices are not related to this, it's probably an issue with Sound Overhaul. Does this happen when you disable Sound Overhaul? If you can reproduce it consistently on your save, I'd appreciate it if you could upload your savegame somewhere so that I can test it on my PC.

    I check both the Retro forums and the ModDB page, so you can submit your reports to either, but the easiest way for me to track them is the issue tracker. Here's the issue dedicated specifically to Sound Overhaul stuff. You'll need a Github account to post there, though.
     
  20. Clownacy

    Clownacy

    Tech Member
    802
    36
    28
    PkR, I'm not sure how you feel about Mission Mode compatibility, but the DC Mystic Ruins port breaks one of Knuckles's missions, where he has to dig under a sign in the area where you fight the Egg Hornet. In the port, he can't dig there at all. I got through all of Sonic and Tails' missions just fine, I'm only having issues now.

    EDIT: Also, just figuring it out now, the article for the Sound Overhaul mod recommends setting the music volume to 60-70. Mine's at 70, but I noticed changing the volume had a much more apparent affect on the FMVs. They're almost mute. The actual music on the other hand is only slightly quieter.

    EDIT2: Amy's Mission 6 is broken too. The drowning man just falls through the pool's floor infinitely.