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Sonic Advance Trilogy Modding

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Rhythm Raccoon, Aug 10, 2023.

  1. You only get one try per act, unfortunately. Whether you succeed or fail, using one spring locks all the others until you die or progress to the next act.
     
  2. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    Aw, barnacles. I still applaud the effort of making them easier to find at least!

    I prefer playing the advance trilogy on original hardware, but if I ever find a way to mod my GBA your hack will definitely become my main version of the game :)
     
  3. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

    bobs over baghdad Member
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    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Do you live in a part of the world where shipping costs are unfeasible or something? GBA modding parts and flash carts are pretty ubiquitous and easy to deal with at this point, might be a good time to look into it. Feels like every week there's something new happening in that field.

    As for me, I've got a Miyoo Mini Plus on the way and I'm gonna be giving this a spin on there when it arrives. Looking forward to it
     
  4. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    Well it's mainly that I have my 3ds as my main modded handled, so I never felt the need to look into gba cfw.
    But this hack and a couple of very interesting fire emblem mods have me really looking into it to play these hack on original hardware. Not to mention good things may be coming soon for advance 2 and 3 too :p
     
  5. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

    bobs over baghdad Member
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    Oh yeah, that totally makes sense. I'm kinda curious about modding a GBA for myself too but I've always had enough other things to play those games on (and now one more thing) that it's always been a bit of a lower priority for me. I guess the big pro over the 3DS would be having a proper sized screen so you don't have to deal with letterboxing or filtering.

    Anyway, getting off topic here. For this mod, I'm guessing the physics are untouched. Is making Advance play somewhat more fluid a priority for anyone else or am I just crazy? I always get this sense of relief in Advance when I find the speed shoes because it makes things feel correct for a few seconds lol
     
  6. Unfortunately we can't edit that yet.
    Good things indeed...
     
  7. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    AdvanceTools now features a dedicated background editor, based on SonPLN. This enables art and palette editing and importing that Tiled is not capable of.
     
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  8. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    Here's a test of a new program:

    Note that I have since fixed the platforms not letting you jump up through them, but the tunnels are still an issue for some unknown reason.
     
  9. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    Damn, that is so cool. I'd really love to play through Sonic 2's levels adapted for Advance 2 some day, seems like it would be a good fit.
     
  10. The decomp guys have already begun documenting stuff for Advance 1 and 3, but it's a hell of a lot of work and is going to take ages. If anyone sees what's being done here and wants to help facilitate the growth of Advance modding, any and all help is appreciated!
     
  11. Snowbound

    Snowbound

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    This may be a dumb question (as I have no coding/programing ability) but is sonic rush and/or sonic 4 built off the engine from the advance games? I’m curious if the knowledge gained from the Advance 2 decomp could be applied to dimps’ non-GBA sonic games.

    Note: edited my post in an attempt to make my question coherent
     
  12. Not sure tbh
     
  13. freshollie

    freshollie

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    We've not looked at the internals of these games, but I would guess as no. The "engine" in sonic advance is not really as such. They built a Task system and some helpful utils for rendering sprites from an animation script, probably exported by another tool they had internally. Levels are just built from a camera position which helps to render the background in the correct place. Every other object controls its own physics by checking its position relative to ground. The same with the player.

    Sonic rush uses 3d sprites and maybe there are some better APIs in the DS which made this easier. It probably wouldn't make sense to use the engine for those.
     
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  14. Schmooven

    Schmooven

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    Not sure if this is the place to post this but this is my attempt at converting Neo Green Hill Zone act 1 into Sonic Advance 2 using the level converter in Advance Tools.

    It is certainly a little rough around the edges (I manually placed the enemies and interactables myself, so some things look off place sprite wise) but this was more of a proof of concept to get my feet wet editing levels. I personally love advance 2's movement/controls and would want to potentially continue importing other levels/making new ones since I've already time attacked the base game's zones an unhealthy amount of times. Yes, despite the questionable level design. Crazy, I know.

    Anyway for those interested I have the patch here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ikNAO0fZjf3_0Kis3YXpo3l6e69PZbAx/view?usp=sharing

    Let me know what you think. I mean in all honesty I didn't do much aside from using the applications in advance tools and figuring out how to actually make this work (which took a real long time as someone with absolutely no experience modding) but if you have any thoughts feel free to share!
     
  15. How'd you fix the background to not have the leftover red part from the original Leaf Forest background?

    Also, hope it's no problem that I've been helping R&D to basically do the same thing lol. Still radical to see nonetheless!
     
  16. Schmooven

    Schmooven

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    No problem at all! This was basically just to see if I could figure out how to edit levels without it completely breaking lol, somehow I managed. As for fixing the background, I just used the AdvanceBG exe. After changing the mapping to leaf forest BG2 and setting the tab to plane, I just clicked the clear option. Seemed to work for me. Thanks for the feedback!

    Glad I posted here as I have immediately run into another problem, maybe I could get some help
    (sonicadvance2) - Tiled 10_8_2023 3_31_50 PM.png
    I am attempting to use the MDGBALevelConverter exe to replace Leaf Forest Act 2 with Green Hill Act 1. I'm using the Sonic 1 (Split and Text by Hivebrain) (ASM68K) disassembly and SonLVL's updater for my INI (I think what I just said makes sense. Maybe. Basically I used MainMemory's Set Up SonLVL guide). It seems to have converted the level properly like it did when I converted Neo Green Hill, but when I open the file in Tiled it gives me this error message. I honestly have no idea what it could mean by an "Invalid color value." It also points to the common.js:55, common.js:97 and salv.js:64 files in the Stack Traceback as being the reason for the error, don't know if that helps in any way. Any ideas?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2023
  17. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_px3lTLeuYQtgeOb0CIJDpGDdUyBRTP1/view?usp=sharing

    I need as many people as possible to playtest LFZ1 and tell me how fair getting to the special stages is. Special rings are everywhere, and you start with 10 seconds left on the clock. Collecting a ring adds 5 seconds, but for every 5 seconds spent, one ring is lost. This aims to fix the biggest problem with the special stages in Advance 2 and make the game finally be about what it was always marketed as: go as fast as you possibly can. I need to know before I develop anything more if this new challenge is considered unfair to any degree by the general public.

    To anyone who sees this: please help me out!
     
  18. Schmooven

    Schmooven

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    Just played the level a few times, and I really like the concept! I'd like to think I know my way around the zones in advance 2, and trying to shoot for a higher time at the end of the level through collecting special rings as opposed to trying to get as low a time as possible is actually pretty fun (My pb from like the 5 compete runs I did was around 44 seconds). Reminds me of those modern mairo levels where you also start at a low time and get clocks before you time out, good stuff. Only thing I will say is that every five seconds resulting in loosing a special ring is pretty strict: It's been a while since I got the chaos emeralds in this game (for obvious reasons) but if I remember correctly you need 5 at the end of the stage. Sure going on the route I've done like 100 times netted me 9 rings at the end (totally not bragging or anything) but doing a more casual run of the level while still trying to go fast left me with exactly 5, or in other words just enough. Admittedly I may not be the best judge of this as I am kind of a try hard, but if I had to guess the timer going down every 5 seconds might be a little too tough, especially for those playing the game for the first time/have only played it like once before. SA2 is also kinda known for being BS at times which doesn't help. Maybe increasing the time by just a little more? Would be the only critique I have so far.
     
  19. The requirement is actually 7 rings, but it's good to hear with a bit of practice you were able to net 9.

    Yeah, it's intended to be strict- you have to actually play fairly competently to have a shot at an emerald. I don't think it's fun or engaging for anyone to just have the key mcguffins handed to them- from my understanding, people generally like the challenge behind obtaining the emeralds (a la Sonic Mania). The problem with the official versions of the Advance games is that what Dimps called "challenge" was just unfair balancing and object placement. There's no actual skill involved with getting the 7 special rings in vanilla Advance 2- it all boils down to just memorizing where the rings are and then tip-toeing across a bed of nails to make sure you don't die and lose them all. You mention a casual run got you 5 rings- that's actually perfect! A casual run of each act should only buy you enough time to cross the goal before the clock runs out. To actually earn a chaos emerald- you've really gotta get good and learn the lay of the land. It's like time attacks or speedruns of the Genesis games, which is what Sonic was built for, except that's actually how you get the chaos emeralds now.

    In general this is good feedback, believe it or not. "Strict" is what I want to hear. It's not impossible to do, but it is tough- and hopefully actually rewarding and gratifying to pull off, unlike the base game.
     
  20. Schmooven

    Schmooven

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    Glad to help! I get what you mean though, getting the chaos emeralds should be really hard and rewarding and the base game's version of doing it is... not that. I like the idea of forcing the player to get really good at the levels as opposed to looking up a level map like I did for where the rings are. I think advance 2 in general requires more exertion from the player (If they want to have a good time that is) so having a system that requires the player to effectively learn how to route out a level and do a pseudo speedrun is great; it's basically the only thing I do with the game anymore. I think playing like that is generally the most fun in advance 2 (and in most sonic games IMO) and was likely the developers intention when making the game.