Dreamcast mods for SADX

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

  1. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I'm interested in fixing those. Thanks for the report! Please let me know if you run into anything else.

    I'm getting an update ready that will add even more Dreamcast objects (Final Egg cylinders with a plasma effect and rotating stationary lights! Yay!), some effects (like the cloud layers in Red Mountain), an optional HD update to all ingame UI that can be scaled, and a few other things. I hope to fix the missions in that update too.

    As for the Sound Overhaul mod, I feel at this point that it's a failed experiment. The method I used to get the sounds ripped from the Dreamcast version just isn't good enough, and I can tell that some sounds are produced with defects that weren't there in SA1, or are just completely broken. It's almost like the only viable solution to rip them properly is through the sound test, which is super inefficient and will take ages, not to mention some sounds won't have the necessary effect applied to them in the sound test. I'm also starting to suspect that the game has trouble handling sounds with a sampling rate other than 22050 Hz.

    The audio has suffered in this game just as badly as the graphics/lighting in the ports, and making it sound like the Dreamcast version is a project of a magnitude similar to, if not bigger than, all the DC mods combined. It will take months of work, and it will require many code-based fixes and imitation of postprocessing for many sounds. And even if you do that, it still won't be the same. The only way to make it sound exactly like SA1 is to implement native Dreamcast audio so that the game actually uses the MLT sound banks. Sadly this is way outside my area of expertise (though not impossible for other people perhaps), so I'll look into redoing the sounds manually. Maybe just a few of them, in cases where the difference is very evident, like when a sound is missing, or the character voice clips.
     
  2. Clownacy

    Clownacy

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    Since I made the post, I've done all 60 missions, and the others seem to be working.
     
  3. Turbohog

    Turbohog

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    Shame about the sound overhaul. You were using the Python scripts to convert them to some other format, right?
     
  4. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I got the .miinidsf files using the python script (which was modified by Morph to batch process all sound banks in all MLT files at once), and the results I converted to .wav using a Winamp plugin based on Audio Overload SDK. I also did a bit of processing, like removing some of the most audible clipping, trimmed the silence at the end of some sounds and looped all the looping sounds manually. I also had to downmix them to mono, because otherwise they would interfere with SADX's positional audio system and sound too loud or too quiet. I also applied normalization to some background sounds that were too quiet.

    Even with all those measures there are many issues and differences from the Dreamcast version. For example, I can't extract the snow/sandboard sound because it comes out distorted and with lots of clipping no matter which settings I use. Another problem is that the majority of ripped sound effects have reverb, which adds echo to character voices and other sounds. There is a plugin for foobar2000 where you can disable the reverb, but then it fails to extract many sounds properly when it's off. Finally, there's an issue with how the game handles some sounds in general. For example, if you watch the first cutscene in Sonic's story with Sound Overhaul installed, you may notice that the jump sound in that cutscene is slowed down. However, the same exact sound plays fine elsewhere in the game. At first I thought the game had trouble playing the sounds with a higher sampling rate (the sounds in unmodded SADX are 22050 hz), but the issue persisted even when I downsampled my sound to 22050 hz. I have no idea what's going on there.
    I do want to do something about it, though. After playing for a few days with Sound Overhaul, it feels jarring to play SADX with default sound effects again - I can clearly hear the difference in quality.

    Anyway, here's a fun little mod for SA1 fans:
    [​IMG]
    This mod restores Sky Chase Tornado models from SA1, including the cutscenes with transformation and getting hit. I realize not everyone would like to have those by default, so I made it a separate mod.
    Download (folder)
    Interestingly they use mostly the same textures as their SADX counterparts, so you don't need a texture pack for them.
     
  5. Atendega

    Atendega

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    Comfy couch
    Collecting insults
    That low-poly sexiness :specialed:
     
  6. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I have released a full Update 2 package on ModDB.

    Highlights of this version:
    • Restores many more Dreamcast objects in various stages, including Twinkle Park, Lost World and Final Egg - check out the electric cylinders in Final Egg 1 (Amy), 2 (Sonic) and pits in Final Egg 3!
    • Restores the Egg Carrier model in Sky Chase. An optional mini-mod to restore Tornado models is also included.
    • Restores cloud layers in Sky Deck and Red Mountain
    • Includes an optional HD GUI pack for almost all ingame GUI elements except the main menu: pause menu, timer/ring counter, life icons (thanks Dark Sonic!), scoreboards, life gauges, boss font (thanks SteG!) etc. Make sure you load the HD GUI mod AFTER DC Branding if you intend to use them together!
    • An optional "Flipped environment maps" code for the Mod Loader (thanks SonicFreak94!) that flips the reflections like on the Dreamcast (you must have the DC Final Egg mod enabled to be able to toggle this code).
    • Update for the DC Branding mod, which now includes DC level titlecards, an animated VMU icon in options, a different color for Pause menu buttons and SA1 credit screens (thanks TheArcadeStriker!). An optional experimental mod to disable Cream (lol) is also included.
    • Mission Mode compatibility - you can now beat all 60 SADX missions with Dreamcast landtables!
    • Accuracy improvements: the reflections on the Twinkle Park walkway in Station Square are now the same as on the Dreamcast, some objects in Twinkle Park are now lit up correctly etc. The ocean in Emerald Coast is now properly aligned with the horizon like on the Dreamcast. I also undid many of my old transparency fixes and reintroduced them with better accuracy.
    • More fog and draw distance enhancements for various levels
    • LOTS of bug fixes!
    ...and lots more. Check the changelog in the archive for more details. I hope you like the update, and any feedback is much appreciated.

    Download
     
  7. Clutch

    Clutch

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    Thanks to Blaze's very comprehensive and helpful vid I finally gave this a try. What an amazing difference.

    Since I hadn't played the Dreamcast version as extensively as DX, certainly not at such a resolution before, I hadn't even noticed this change before (first is modded/Dreamcast version, second is vanilla SADX):

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Wow, it's a lot more apparent in the original version that the cliff on the left is supposed to be Angel Island having crashed into the Mystic Ruins landmass. The difference in the rock texture is more pronounced, and the texture with disturbed dirt and a solid outline where the ground has cracked makes it look a lot more deliberate. Making those elements more pronounced in the transition to DX rather than downplaying them might've helped curb the common misconception that Angel Island is just the tiny bit of land containing the Master Emerald Shrine.
     
  8. IndyTheGreat

    IndyTheGreat

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    Holy crap! This may sound dumb but I'm really impressed with a lot of the restoration of the water animation, including the ocean water in Station Square and the waterfall/pond in the Mystic Ruins. I didn't even think it was possible.

    Will we see the same kinds of fixes to the chao gardens anytime soon? The Egg Carrier garden's water is still completely stationary (how they overlooked this when making the original PC port is beyond me). I released fixes a few years ago for the other 2 gardens (link in signature) which work fine for now until someone eventually ports the actual gardens from the DC version.
     
  9. PkR made a fix for the Egg Carrier garden's water and posted it in the SADX/SA1 Hacking/Modding thread. It can be downloaded from here.

    I wouldn't mind if the Dreamcast Egg Carrier garden wasn't ported, though. An issue with the DC version's Egg Carrier Garden is that it can be difficult to pick up the Chao from the water if they swim too far. That's probably why it was changed.
     
  10. IndyTheGreat

    IndyTheGreat

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    True. While I think the gardens were better in the DC version of SA2, I actually think DX's gardens were better than SA's.
     
  11. I saw this awesome video and it lead me here.
    I thought I'd comment and say how wonderful it is people have made such awesome progress making a TRUE Sonic Adventure Director's Cut.

    [​IMG]
    In the video however, I can't seem to make out if the character textures were changed to the old Dreamcast ones.
    I don't personally care about the models so much, as it says in the video or video comments that the old Dreamcast models can't be used yet. I'm just really excited at the prospect of getting to play with the original Dreamcast textures.

    I had the "no gloss" mod a while back, and can't find the download for that now to confirm this; but I believe it basically just did a Spill Bucket over the gloss part of the DX texture, and characters got no additional detail that the Dreamcast textures had.
     
  12. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Have no fear...Amy Rose is here! Tech Member
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    My NoGloss mod only edits the specular color in the models' materials, it doesn't touch textures at all.
     
  13. https://mega.nz/#!vspm0A4J!u-jPsVwqGavWTJ9PyTm3W1pO0hk5f3j24iOjaLmHm7k
    Here are the DC textures for the Characters in a mod for SADX (And also DC voices for some characters). I had it done like 3 or 4 months ago, but I remember that I didn't upload it because when I tried in that time, it refused to upload :p
     
  14. Wow they didn't even stick with the Dreamcast voices? :o
    I admit I only ever noticed the graphical downgrades. Is Tails' voice different? Looking at file names; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy...huh...
    And Big The Cat had the same texture between games?
     
     
  15. IDK between SA/SADX and SA2, but Big did have different textures in DX from DC, namely that instead of being a fur like texture, they just made it solid colors (And the model was nearly the same, so it was a bit of a waste). And about Tails, I think if Tails does have different voices, I didn't do those yet :p
     
  16. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    Sound Overhaul has all character voices from SA1. They were ripped with a reverb effect which shouldn't be there, but you probably won't hear it during normal gameplay anyway. Would be nice to have them ripped without it, though.
     
  17. IndyTheGreat

    IndyTheGreat

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    Tails DOES have some different voices, such as when he starts flying. He doesn't go "YAH!" in the Dreamcast version.
     
  18. PkR

    PkR

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    SADX Dreamcast Conversion, The Emeralds' Awakening
    I was able to restore SA1 water textures in all levels except Emerald Coast.
    Screenshots
    I decided to enable them by default in the next release, but I know there are people who prefer the previous textures, so I made an optional "SADX Style Water" mod. If that mod is enabled, the DC mods will revert to the water textures used prior to this update.

    As for the ocean in Emerald Coast, it's a lot more complicated because the water object is not static in this stage. There is also a really cool wave effect that I wish I knew how to restore.

    EDIT: I have updated Station Square, Mystic Ruins, Past, Bosses and Egg Carrier mods. You no longer have to load SADXStyleWater before these mods - now just having it enabled is enough to revert to SADX style water.
     
  19. I'd be interested in that wave effect. It always bothered me how SADX's waves just look cheap, as if the water mesh just goes up and down vs actually rippling like it does in the original. Can anyone confirm this is what's happening or is this just a texture thing?
     
  20. S0LV0

    S0LV0

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    Anywhere else the conversion mod can be hosted than Dropbox? It won't let me download the latest version/s in a zip file because "it's too large" no doubt to entice people to pay for their pro service.