Re: Sonic Megamix

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Stealth, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Stealth

    Stealth

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    Sonic Mania, HCGE, Sonic Megamix, SonED2, [...]
    Who said anything about "2 levels"?

    Also, the game was broken enough in "4.0" state; there are even worse problems right now after some of the overhauls. The major point of another release is for it to be fixed and better-playable, which I don't have time to do right now
     
  2. MathUser

    MathUser

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    He said it.
     
  3. Stealth

    Stealth

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    Sonic Mania, HCGE, Sonic Megamix, SonED2, [...]
    Oh. Well, as I mentioned to him in private later, he was incorrect about that, for one. Second, though, even the ones with complete or nearly-complete graphic design are still pretty incomplete in several other aspects, not to mention any part of the game that's not a primary gameplay level in regular gameplay mode. We're not talking about the same Megamix from 2007 and earlier; it was supposed to go beyond a rearranged Sonic 1. Either way, it's overall too incomplete, ugly, and bugged to just whip up a release that I'd rather have people play than "4.0" or any such build. I'm working exclusively on my current contract job with a strict schedule
     
  4. Spanner

    Spanner

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    I honestly do not feel that releasing the character moves as part of the source code is the right move.

    Indeed, I feel that a lot of the source code being released is simply going to amount to more spoon feeding where most people will be lazy and just insert things without looking at modifying things. In return it makes these hacks a lot more uninteresting and certainly would just end up becoming more of a chore.

    That's just my opinion, I know there's people out there that are happy to see more source code released to the public but it just seems like it's going to promote laziness if everyone can have Tails flying and the homing attack moves for example.
     
  5. Ritz

    Ritz

    Subhedgehog Member
    Solution: Don't play those hacks.

    It's about time we learned that accessibility and an overabundance of free content never ruined any community. Say some teenager recycles Stealth's code wholesale: Worst case, his hack is ignored, he gets to have some fun tinkering with code on a superficial level, and he might even learn something in the process. Best case, he takes these character abilities and puts them to use in a way that's novel and fun, providing the same appeal as any basic mod of a larger game. Anyone who thinks ROM hacking has ever had anything to do with innovation or prestige really ought to get over themselves. We've mostly been reinventing the wheel from day one, and anything novel we've accomplished in that time was still probably only made possible through copyright infringement.
     
  6. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    If it were packaged and advertised as some kind of "beginner Sonic hack pack" I might be against it.
    If it's being released generally as part of the collective of rom hacking info, I'm all for it.
    Otherwise you could argue that anything anyone makes or figures out should not be shared due to potential abuse or misuse in poor works.
     
  7. Clownacy

    Clownacy

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    I think the problem with hacking is finding a balance between technical expertise and game designing talent. All these handouts certainly add to a game designer's array of tools, but atrophies their technical skills to create those tools. Someone technical enough can cook up whatever feature they want, but one without depends on someone else to provide it for them, and if that someone isn't around, the person's forced to either improve themselves enough to become independent, or compromise. You know what I'm talking about, the kind of person that wants custom music in their hack, but settles for porting S3's driver, and giving GHZ AIZ's music, like so many hacks before it. If that option wasn't there, maybe they'd have taken the opportunity to learn how to do what they really wanted. That's how things worked for me, when I stopped being a copy/paste noob: A guide didn't tell me how to create a branch instruction, so I had to figure out how to make one. There's wasn't a guide for fixing the HUD bug in S1, so I figured out how to do it myself. The SCHG guides were split between Hivebrain and SVN/Hg/Git, so I had to learn how to port code. And now, because I released the uber-hand-holder sound driver, fewer people feel the need to learn how SMPS works, because of the opportunity to compromise.

    Of course, this all varies depending on the person, so it's not right to say this will only harm everyone. Likewise, you can't claim this will only benefit everyone, either.

    I may be defending Spanner, but I don't share the same stance as him: After ReadySonic, Sonic BOOM, and Sonic 1 CD, this feels like a drop in the ocean. These things tend to fade into obscurity anyway, as people continue to use their disassemblies from 2005. Who knows, having the code out there may coax people into learning how to port it to their disasm.
     
  8. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I don't see the problem here, if I'm honest. Code being out there means more examples for people to learn off. Lazy people will be lazy regardless.
     
  9. Billy

    Billy

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    I'd just like to say that not everyone's forte is writing code. Some people excel at making art, music, or doing level design. By releasing "hand holdy" code, you're allowing people that are less technically inclined a leg-up. Emphasis on less; Sonic hacking is still very technical, so there's still a barrier to entry. But yes, therel will always be un-creative lazies, but speaking as biased proponent of open source software, I think the pros outweigh the cons.

    That said, we're not entitled to Stealth's code. Nor are we entitled to not have his code, as odd as that may sound.
     
  10. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    Exactly. If someone is inclined to learn on their own they will. If someone is lazy they're just gonna be lazy.
    And having ready made content available does not automatically mean lousy results. The availability of these things could just as well mean a great piece of work made from them, by a talented hand, and may not have happened if they didn't have the time or inclination to do it all from scratch which may have ended up worse anyway, or nonexistent. Someone may be good at everything but programming, so having the code available could be the final link to a great piece of work. And anyone interested in learning will have examples to analyze. Ultimately it's for the better. To condemn the sharing of content and knowledge out of worry that more lousy things will exist does nothing but hold back potential and leave us more without than with. I'd rather have good and bad works than nothing at all, which altogether are just more things to learn from. One could even argue that requiring everyone to do things from scratch will just leave us with poor works anyway, due to the time and uncertainty that goes with it, and with lazy folks you get even worse than that. What it all boils down to is, the more the merrier. I do not understand this mentality that everyone should be required to do everything from scratch or else it doesn't count. It's some misplaced ideal of integrity or self importance that will ironically fail to achieve the implied benefit as it only makes sense on paper and as far as I'm concerned is just an egotistical affair, and probably part of why Retro has a reputation of "elitism". It's important to encourage doing things for oneself and independence, but the deliberate withholding of knowledge and content for this reason is only a negative and is not in the best interest of others.
     
  11. Selbi

    Selbi

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    Releasing source code in this community has always been a thorn in many people's eyes, myself included. To this day we can hear faint claims of homing attacks getting stolen or redistributed, dating all the way back from 2009 and beyond (at least from my humble memories). It's just something that doesn't work as the simple black/white case many people think it is (looking at you, Overlord). Stuff like respect to the original creators or having a shiny feature just ripped out from a source code will make a formerly high-class desert look like a bag of potato chips.

    Granted, that bag has your favorite flavor, but still.

    I mean, look at ASMToSegaGenesis. An entire website dedicated for free source code exchange of Sonic hacks. Nobody, without a doubt here, took any of those with good intention. It's as perfect of a "give a man a fish" example as I could think of.

    However, nobody can really oppose Stealth in his decisions anyway, and I've long surpassed questioning ethics in source code within this community. I still dislike it, but it's nothing to lose heads over anymore.
     
  12. Ravenfreak

    Ravenfreak

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    Thing is, ASMToSegaGenesis stole the code without even asking in the first place. (And of course if they were to ask... the answer would have been no anyways.) Stolen content isn't the same as a hacker freely releasing the source code to their project for others to do whatever the heck they want with.
     
  13. Selbi

    Selbi

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    Yet both will lead to the same result. It doesn't matter if the code is "legally" available or not.
     
  14. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    I'd say a better analogy is giving a man a selection of fishing rods and tools, instead of expecting him to build his own fishing rod from scratch. Even with a fishing rod you still have to understand how to fish and catch your own, just as with hacking you still have to have a decent understanding of what you're working with and applying it yourself.
    Giving him the fish would be straight up making his hack for him.

    Besides that, this goes back to again, having good and bad vs having nothing. Of course people are going to abuse available resources. I'd even argue that's part of the point. You want people to go nuts, make good and bad things, and in doing so this is learning in a grander scheme, as it shows what to do, what not to do, and seeing poor works will inversely encourage better works, which leads to more learning, and getting into details. That's part of what makes the scene alive.
     
  15. MarkeyJester

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    A society free to borrow, and build upon the past, is culturally richter, than a controlled one. Overprotecting interlectural property is as harmful as underprotecting it, and a culture is impossible without a rich, public, domain.

    There have been several instances where the question of "is hacking dying" have occurred, I would say that it's appeal is strongly related to a lack of available hacking resources, and while we may have more resource and control than other ROM modification fan bases, our limits are still determined by our personal knowledge, rather than shared knowledge.

    My personal verdict on this is dependent on "what" content is being release, when it comes to game engine functions (level rendering/control/etc), then I am on full support of this. It's if it steps into the realms of using the games "deep" assets, you know, the things that give Megamix "identity", such as level specific object/gimmicks, music, art, etc, that I would consider it a bit of a problem, though there is no garentee this will have a negative effect. If the source were supplied with some "stock" data to work with, it'd be an acceptable approach in my opinion.
     
  16. DarkVDee

    DarkVDee

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    I'm just putting what my dear friend say to me (I won't reveal who) and I think I should put this here to hopefully open everyone eyes and mind but hey I'm just a pixel artist.

    People have to remember that these are hack games. I see a lot of the opinions thrown around in the Sonic community regarding hacks (especially fan games) and most of them are asking the devs to be overreaching in their approach to their games, "Original gimmicks" can only go as far as the human mind can develop. When it comes to human development in all things, nothing new is under the sun. Trite but true.

    Hacking and coding takes a while to work on and by a while, I mean, years even. People have to remember that devs that make these hack games and codes are not making their original game. It's a game based off of their favorite characters. It's basically a fanfiction made into video game form but a lot more attractive as it's not centered around fanfiction basics, such as ships and things of that nature.

    There's always bugs. If we're relying on an engine, the technicians of that engine left bugs behind. The devs using the engine might make some bugs, too. It's natural. We always try to fix them later on (well, most of us). It's not like we're making or original games here. We're not getting paid to them- they're not our main careers and/or jobs. We have other things we have to focus primarily on. I'm not trying to make an excuse for people not finishing fan games. Life tends to get in the way and things happen.

    A little volunteer team (no payment) will work several years into coding and hacks. Someone else's ideas they're working with and they work with them so selflessly and when it's finally completed, a sense of proudness is felt. I haven't been there yet but I can only imagine. You, as the director of the fan game see it in fruition, completed, and people are playing it! Then, people turn around and say to you, "oh it's only this and that but it really sucks." How dare them! It's perfectly welcome to criticize but when one does, they have to remember to list the strengths and compliment those strengths. Then, if there are any weaknesses, let the artist(s) know what they need to improve on for the future but they have to say it in a professional manner. Not just "it sucks so far. You need to work on that."

    Then afterward, to encourage them and congratulate them on their effort. Some say "harsh words can encourage at times". Yeah, but depending on the individual, it can seriously injure as well. I mean, you're looking at said individual. Yeah, I can take criticisms. I mean, I'm an artist, I'm criticized all the time but I'm a rabid perfectionist which is caused by a minor anxiety issue I'm currently suffering with so when someone says such a thing and think it's them giving the perfect criticism, it actually shoots a powerful low-blow. And, I'm not just saying all of this because this is what I believe in, my public speaking professor in community mentioned all of these things.


    Ps. Please don't kill me...
     
  17. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    I really hate the laziness argument.

    Like, shit, if I were to want to focus more on art and music (areas in which I feel confident) and copy-paste a character move in there instead of learning to code it from scratch (an area which makes me want to panic and throw myself out of high windows) then that being an option would be better overall.

    Yeah, yeah, I know not everyone's going to have that down and will just copy-paste from all areas and be all DERP I MAKED THING. But have a little hope, yeah? An extended palette for the non-technical modders would IMO be a good thing. Sure, you're going to get more low-quality shit in terms of volume; but also there's the possibility of a lowered barrier to entry attracting skilled folk who wouldn't normally dabble.

    And I know both of those will happen, seen it in the Doom community. For every five shit-tier "my house lol" or equivalent wads there's something definitely worth playing, and everything inbetween.
     
  18. Ell678

    Ell678

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    I don't know, Sonic 1 Alt seemed to be fairly well received, and I am atrocious with code. Say I had access to another character, completely ready to insert into my hack. My strength is level layouts - I would now take into account the second character and do some interesting stuff with routes and hidden goodies.

    If people use it wisely, I see no issue in using premade content. There will always be idiots who don't, but honestly, there will always be shit hacks, no matter what.
     
  19. Herm the Germ

    Herm the Germ

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    I think it's like saying RPG Maker games are all bad on account of RPG Maker having taken care of most of the actual programming for you. Yet, I think it's the results that should speak for themselves. There's always gonna be duds, in hacks, RPG Maker titles, anything where a thing is being created, but then, that's Sturgeon's Revelation for you.
     
  20. TimmiT

    TimmiT

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    I'm really glad that the people behind Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion or even Super Mario Maker didn't stop development of their tools becuase of this "people are going to use this to make shitty stuff" logic some people use. I mean, those easy to use tools have made it possible for people to make a lot of shitty games or levels. But then Game Maker was also used to make Undertale, Hyper Light Drifter and Nuclear Throne. And MMF2 was used to make some of the best Sonic fangames, Freedom Planet and Noitu Love 2. And as terrible as many of the levels made with Mario Maker are, the great levels that do come out of it are still worth playing.

    Point is: even if a lot of what will made with the tools will be garbage, that doesn't stop the good stuff that can come out of it from being good. There's also that it can be the starting point for people who will later go on to make something good. And if it's misused, whatever, whoever misuses would have to deal with a lot of people calling them out on it.