Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition - Source Code and Sonic 3 A.I.R port

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by D.A. Garden, May 31, 2020.

  1. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    [​IMG]
    Remember this? So, it's been 4 years and 7 months since I released Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition to the world. It won the Green Hill Trophy and the Lava Reef trophies in the Sonic Hacking Contest 2013, and both the Lava Reef trophy and the Lava Reef Community trophy in the Sonic Hacking Contest 2015 on its release. And while it completed the goal of being a fully fledged ROM hack of Sonic 3 and Knuckles, it is now but a previous project of mine that comes up from time to time. I look back on it fondly, but I've moved on, and so have many people in the community...

    Until recently, that is. With the release of Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited, I've been swamped with requests to create a mod for the project that would see Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition re-imagined in wide screen and with all the bells and whistles that come with it. Now, I have no interest in sitting down and learning a new coding language and converting things across to this new format, and I certainly don't have the time either.

    And so, I've come up with the only thing I think that will satisfy those who have asked, and also be an interesting development for some: I'm going to release the source code to Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition. If you want to create a mod yourself using this as a basis, go ahead. If you want to build on top of this and make something new, I'm all for it. Basically, use this as you see fit, so long as you mention that you've used it. That's all I ask. Have fun.

    Technical Note: This is the source of Version 1.02a, which fixed quite a few initial issues on release.
    Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i7fmywc75ne4zrd/Version 1.02a - 05-2016.zip?dl=0
     
  2. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    Very cool of you. I've played your hack a ton and think about it often, especially in the context of it getting ported to AIR some day, so this is exciting to see.
     
  3. RetroKoH

    RetroKoH

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    I really missed the boat on this hack back in the day. I know I checked it out when you first released it, but never truly dived into it all the way. I'll be doing so in the immediate future. Awesome to see this.
     
  4. Thorn

    Thorn

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    I have made that mod! Grab it here and enjoy.

    I am not the first person to port D.A. Garden Edition—there's one on GameBanana already that merely ports the layouts/objects/rings over and makes sure they work—but I'm hoping I have the best port. I've taken the time to adapt boss areas and object placements for widescreen, update the credits, get the hack name in the title cards, get the Carnival Night Zone Act 1 level transition to reflect the ending of the previous act, clean up Knuckles path splits that were done by making walls non-climbable without other indications, and generally fix bugs along the way. The only thing I couldn't port was a singular breakable ice wall that D.A. Garden himself said was buggy.

    To install the mod, make sure you are using the latest preview version of A.I.R. (currently v20.07.04.0). Open the game, right-click the game window, and select "Open saved data folder". Open the mods folder here and extract the ZIP file into the folder before restarting the game. You can also toggle it using the Mod Manager if you are familiar with that.

    D.A. Garden, thank you for releasing your source. It was an absolute delight to re-experience to this hack, and it was a great experience to get back into hacking for the week it took to port this to Sonic 3 A.I.R. and to polish it. I hope this mod gives you and others a modernized way to experience your creation. Let me know if you would prefer I not post in this topic with this.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  5. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    Oh wow. That really didn't take too long, did it? I am impressed with how fast this took, and to the extent it's been added in. Even the little extra things to fix existing issues made me smile, such as the correct water palette at the start of Hydrocity Act 1 with Knuckles, the new intros at the start of Carnival Night Act 1 with all characters, and Icecap Act 1 with Knuckles.

    I have no issue with the release of this mod here. In fact, I applaud you for doing so. It just increases the options and possibilities for others to experience the project, and I'm all for it.

    EDIT: I'll probably be making a video of this in the future. Do you mind if I do so, and credit you in the process?
     
  6. Thorn

    Thorn

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    By all means, make the video; I'd be flattered and it's your project! Do let me know when you make it so that I can see the author experience his own project.

    I did make some minor updates after last night, so please re-download it even if just for the Death Egg Zone Act 1 fix. I see that even after all these years without ROM hacking, the fastest way for me to locate those last pesky bugs is simply to release the project to the public and then play it once. :)
     
  7. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    Hey, that's fantastic. Thanks for your speedy work, I'm looking forward to playing this again once I'm done moving. :')
     
  8. Thorn

    Thorn

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    D.A. Garden did a stream of a Knuckles playthrough of the mod today, and I've addressed many of the issues he's found in an update available at the same link as before. It can simply overwrite the previous version if you are updating.

    UPDATE 2: Mod updated 08 June 2020 11:14 PM EDT to v1.0.0.2 with the following changes:
    • Title screen: "D.A. Garden Edition" logo added in place of "Angel Island Revisited" logo
    • Angel Island Zone Act 2: dying at Knuckles' boss and respawning from the final star post no longer causes water to rise to the height it uses on Sonic's path
    • Hydrocity Zone Act 2: using debug mode or Knuckles + Tails mode to take Knuckles to Sonic's boss no longer causes a softlock
    • Marble Garden Zone Act 1: Knuckles' start propels him upward in the falling animation without using a buried spring, creating a better transition with the previous act
    • Marble Garden Zone Act 2: lowered final set of switch-activated platforms slightly to avoid collision conflicts with the ground before they are triggered
    • Launch Base Zone Act 2: created custom ceiling chunk to use just before Knuckles' boss
    • Sandopolis Zone Act 2: allowed a previously unclimbale wall in the rising sand sequence to be climbed and adjusted the breakable blockade on the Knuckles path to accommodate
    • Credits: "D.A. Garden Edition" logos added in place of "& Knuckles" logos
    D.A., to address two other things you found in your stream, I have no clue where to even begin on the "bumpy" Sandopolis 2 rising sand collision and the graphical corruption with the boss in that act happens even in Sonic 3 AIR unmodded. It was awesome seeing your playthrough and hearing some insight into your designs; thank you for the stream!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  9. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    Thanks for the update, Thorn. I didn't encounter anything game-breaking and had a good run through as Knuckles. And thanks for joining me in the stream chat. Much appreciated.

    I'm not too worried about the rising sand's collision. It doesn't break anything, and it works with the art, so I'm fine with it as-is. The broken art on the boss' laser is a weird one. Should probably screenshot that, or record it, and send it to Eukaryot.

    I'll probably play through as Sonic today from about the same time (18:00 BST), and so if anyone else wants to join, feel free.

    EDIT: Thorn, you can still take damage from the side spikes in an unintended way:
    [​IMG]
    I have no issue with you doing something else here, if possible. As long as Knuckles alone cannot take the path to the right. I know it's fixed with Knuckles and Tails now, so you won't get stuck, but it's not intentional. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  10. Thorn

    Thorn

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    Alright, D.A. Garden did one final stream of the mod. It was a Sonic playthrough this time, and thankfully most issues found were quite minor. There was one issue in Death Egg that was definitely worth one last update, again available at the same link as before. It can simply overwrite the previous version if you are updating.

    UPDATE 3: Mod updated 10 June 2020 9:50 PM EDT to v1.0.1.1 with the following changes:
    • Lava Reef Zone Act 2: wheel animations on each end of the chained platforms set to turn in the correct direction
    • Lava Reef Zone Act 2 Boss: platform that A.I.R. was already creating on its own removed from object layout to avoid duplicate platform appearing
    • Death Egg Zone Act 2: platforms that used to have 256-pixel vertical movement ranges had those ranges decreased to 192 pixels, as A.I.R. did not support the original movement span
    • Special Stages: Restored compatibility with Blue Sphere game and with randomly generated special stages
    UPDATE 4: Mod updated 11 June 2020 2:20 PM EDT to v1.0.1.2 with the following changes:
    • Hydrocity Zone Act 1: Knuckles' start location is moved to match Sonic's start location if Knuckles takes Sonic's path through Angel Island Zone Act 2 (e.g., with Tails' assistance)
    • Mushroom Hill Zone Act 2: removed a wall that only Knuckles could break to prevent a softlock that could occur if Sonic fell through an earlier windy area and down to Knuckles' route
    UPDATE 5: Mod updated 16 June 2020 8:15 PM EDT to v1.0.2.0 with the following changes:
    • Angel Island Zone Act 1: added foreground foliage objects and additional clouds
    • Hydrocity Zone Act 2: altered level layout to avoid art misalignment during transition from Act 1 to Act 2
    • Hydrocity Zone Act 2: adjusted water height settings when Knuckles enters Sonic's boss area
    • IceCap Zone Act 1: repurposed teleporter room
    • IceCap Zone: adjusted level layout to remove unneeded walls and ceilings from boss areas
    • Death Egg Zone Act 2: adjusted warp elevator object positions to prevent player from floating during spinning animation
    Hopefully that's everything major! I'm hoping that A.I.R. supports mods for Time Attack mode in the future so that people can really tear these layouts open (and inevitably find bugs I've missed) and see them in a new light.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  11. Thorn

    Thorn

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    Sonic 3 A.I.R.'s preview version received a major update today, adding some simple functionality for loading and unloading mods from within the program itself alongside other fixes. If you haven't grabbed it yet, go do so!

    To that end, now's as good a day as any to publish an update to this mod. You can grab it at the same GameBanana link as before. It will work with the previous preview, but I suggest grabbing the latest preview to stay current.

    The changelog for this mod update, v1.1.0, is pretty massive, so I won't post it here and will leave it on GameBanana. Any future mod updates will start revamping things to create a new or smoother experience, as the original D.A. Garden Edition hack is now 100% implemented or altered to fit A.I.R. as well as possible. I'm hoping to see A.I.R. support Time Attack mode for mods in the future, and I'd love to add more visual flourishes to text and overlays to make the game distinct from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. We'll see how that goes in the long run!
     
  12. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden

    & Knuckles Member
    I just want to thanks again, Thorn, for continuing to do this. The level of which this has been implemented is quite staggering, and many issues I would have loved to have fixed back in the day are resolved.

    I do have a few points to make, though:
    • The new layout section in Flying Battery Zone Act 2 between the bosses is very tight, and also a bit glitchy at times. The rumbling doesn't fully restart when you die, and I can never seem to hit the red spring to go round the 'loop'. It looks cool, but I cannot seem to get it to function correctly
    • The changes to make progression more clear in Marble Garden Zone Act 2 are fine, if a little over the top (I mean, it is blatantly obvious now, but maybe 2 arrows is enough?). I was actually considering making it so the blocks come out after the first loop anyway, as so many people complained about it
    • The rings into the pathway in Launch Base Zone Act 1 seem a tad off to me. I know it's supposed to be a visual nod, but I would have just re-purposed that entire right wall a bit, and made it so you could see everything clearly (different chunks, etc.)
    • I like the changed title card. It's different enough, and is obvious something has changed
    • I've seen the adjustments made to Carnival Night's teleporters in some places, and while it works that way in the original, I used it differently to block off certain paths. As it currently stands, you can skip through to different paths with the changes. Not that this is much of a problem, but it does mean you now have invisible solid objects that are pointless on the sides of some of them. Not seen any adjustments to anything else, though (and your point suggests there were others).
    • The layout changes in IceCap Zone Act 1 have 2 misplaced chunks (the art doesn't match up), and you also get hit by the first icicle every time when riding the block, as the block isn't moving fast enough. It's frustrating to play, and to progress.
    • The teleporter room re-purpose in Icecap Zone Act 1 is fine, but I think 1 monitor would suffice
    • I like the changes to the layout in Mushroom Hill Zone 2. It works well, and helps break up the original repetition
    • Allowing Knuckles and Tails to fight both Hydrocity Zone Act 2 bosses is a nice compromise and I like that it works seamlessly
    • Launch Base Zone Act 1 now has support pillars for the spiked crushers, but this has also broken an 'exit' outside, towards the end of the level. The wrong red girder is used (wrong priority/sub type) and it's not aligned correctly
    If you have any questions/queries regarding my comments, let me know (either here or PM me).
    Everything else I am fully onboard with. In fact, bar a few minor adjustments based on the above, I would consider this 100% completed, but that's just me. From this point on though, anything else you want to do with the project going forward is entirely up to you.

    EDIT: Removed a previous false edit about an error. It was my fault, and isn't important. Also updated comments on Carnival Night Zone adjustments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020