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My YouTube Sonic hacking tutorials

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Clownacy, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Clownacy


    Tech Member
    I'm not sure whether spamming multiple threads for each series is a good idea, so for now I'm just keeping them in a single thread:

    I've been making some Sonic hacking tutorials. They're painfully amateur (especially the earlier ones) but I figure the information might be useful to some people.

    The first one is a series about porting the Elemental Shields to Sonic 1. Because the process involves messing with everything from DMA transfers to SMPS SFX and the game's collision system, it spans 12 roughly one-hour videos. Not exactly for the faint of heart.

    The second series tries to dial things back and just port Sonic's sprites from Sonic & Knuckles to Sonic 1. It ended up being more complicated than I expected (hence the second video), but overall I think it's more manageable and serves as an introduction to how sprites and VRAM work. This one's only two videos long.

    The third series is one I've just started, where I'll be covering the subject of porting music. This first video showcases the most straightforward method: using SMPS2ASM to port a song to a game with all the required PSG envelopes, DAC samples, and coordination flags already present. Later videos will cover the more complex ports which require PSGs/DACs/coord. flags to be ported as well. I'm hoping for each video to stand on its own, so this first video is self-contained (and only half an hour long to boot).

    Hopefully videos will appeal more to people who don't completely learn at their best when reading guides.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  2. DeltaWooloo


    Previously EpsilionDubwool Member
    Crosspost message:

    I think these tutorial videos appeal to many audiences and help newbies into Sonic ROM hacking. I remember seeing hacking guides that Animemaster showed quite some while ago, and I was amazed to see many people learned through his videos. Seeing them now looks dated due to the tools he used to use, but they were worth using at the time. Now seeing someone else going further by porting elements from one Sonic game to another is amazing. Heck, the elemental shield videos, which lengthy, it taught me many things in comparing disassemblies and how to port elements from Sonic 3 & Knuckles to Sonic 1, which bear in mind, can get tricky on what you want to port from there.

    I do have a couple of concerns, in any case. Firstly, the videos are pretty long; in fact, 12 1 hour videos to port the elemental shields to Sonic 1 are too much to handle. Secondly, I saw that you used SonMapEd, which is starting to get dated; perhaps you could teach others how to play around with Flex2 instead as that is more user friendly and has many valuable features.

    On the other hand, I don't think a handful of people mind (I being one of them) though as at the end of the day, the longer the video, the more info you gain. But it's just something to mention as I'm sure a few people would argue about.

    To conclude, I'm glad that we have more hacking videos to advance newcomers into Sonic hacking with that out of the way. I see your video series having much potential in the future, and I do hope you continue making more videos. If you are open to suggestions regarding your hacking skills, please do let me know. In any case, good job, and I wish you luck in future videos.
  3. Spicy Bread SSR

    Spicy Bread SSR

    You can call me Mal if you like Member
    I remember someone else did something like this around 5 years ago, I think his name was Animemaster? Though we definitely need more modern tutorials. Yours reach a goal that teaches people how to do other things as well, and personally, that's a lot more interesting then just learning how to port animations and sounds. I'm still sort of a newcomer to this stuff (especially regarding music and sounds), so these videos are gonna help me a lot
  4. Clownacy


    Tech Member

    Here are the other music-porting videos. They both focus on porting songs from Sonic 3D Blast to Sonic 1, though the technique applies to Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles songs as well. The first half of the first video covers the 'lazy' way of porting songs by substituting missing DACs/PSGs, while the rest explains how to actually port them. I also cover solving FM instrument incompatibility, as well as porting songs that use S3K's Universal Voice Bank.