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Sonic Classic Heroes

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by flamewing, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. null1024

    null1024

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    1, as has been said, it doesn't feel like it's blocking your view.

    If it wasn't so huge, putting it somewhere else might work.
     
  2. Endgame

    Endgame

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    I haven't read through all 50 pages so I'm not sure if it's been mentioned, but would letting the 'shards'/spikes bounce off the elemental shields make the Mystic Cave boss too easy?
     
  3. flamewing

    flamewing

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    It would, yes. And it would not fit with they way S3&K does it -- larger projectiles such as those do not bounce on shields.

    Anyway: sometime ago, I asked about a mockup of a brand new options screen. I have a new mock-up with a different layout, and I wanted to ask opinions. I am showing the relevant one on the left, the new one on the right:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    In either case the number of saves can be easily increased: the top row (left image) or leftmost column (right image) rotates. I may use the bottom rows in the right image to add commands, or I may have button images to show what does what.

    And please note I am talking about layouts, not specifics -- please ignore the fact that the box with lives, continues and emeralds do not have these evenly distributed, or the fact that layouts for emeralds (or that the continue icon) differ between images.

    (full disclosure: the one on the right is better for me when teams are added, as it becomes easier to have different palettes for each team on their save boxes)
     
  4. Elektro-Omega

    Elektro-Omega

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    Personally I prefer number the right image. It seems a lot better contained and better ordered.

    In the left image it says to use up and down to change zones, in the right image do you control the zones in the same way or do you select the zone box and change it from within?

    Either way, I definitely prefer the right image.
     
  5. flamewing

    flamewing

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    I will probably be adding Retro-inspired buttons, such as these:
    [​IMG]
    telling what to do; but the idea is indeed selecting the level select box and changing from there. I am thinking of something like this: select save on left column with up/down (top bar shows as needed giving game information); pressing right shows the middle column and selects it. In the middle column, pressing left moves back to left column, up/down changes the row in middle column, and right selects and shows the desired option. The desired option (here, level select) then can be changed with up/down/A/B/C, and left goes back to the previous menu. When a save is selected, pressing start will begin it as appropriate, as long as a level can be inferred. I will be using the S3&K-style saves, where you can select the level you play if you have finished the game; otherwise, the level box will not be selectable, and will show the next level instead. Level select code will also be done in this single screen. Creating a new game will allow selection of team -- when I finish coding the screen, Team Sonic and Team Super will be selectable, with Team Mini following (and maybe Team Hyper, if I decide to implement 'super+invincibility monitor = hyper'). I will possibly require finishing the game (maybe with all emeralds) or entering the all emeralds code to unlock Team Super/Hyper.
     
  6. Elektro-Omega

    Elektro-Omega

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    That sounds awesome and well thought through and I love those Retro buttons.

    I remember a discussion but I'm not completely sure if I'm correct in my facts here, is team mini the physics and sprites from Sonic 3 2-player mode or is it something different?
     
  7. flamewing

    flamewing

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    I plan on using the sprites from Sonic 3 2-player mode; I am not so sure about the physics (or, more specifically, their acceleration/deceleration/top speed -- as the physics is otherwise unchanged).
     
  8. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I just had a random thought. While it wouldn't make much sense to use the Sonic Heroes emblem for the life icon, what if you used something like this, only you know better and with different colors?

    [​IMG]

    Those little flame icons from the Sonic 3 result screen look kind of like the Sonic heroes logo. Also maybe find a way to move the camera up when you finish the act so the screen doesn't look as ugly.

    As for the file select screen, personally I'd say go for something like the Sonic 3 data select screen, but if you're going for originality I say the right one
     
  9. flamewing

    flamewing

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    Next build will have that (I have already coded, I just haven't released it yet).

    Along with some things that will blow people's minds :-)
     
  10. The Shad

    The Shad

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    I definitely prefer the left image. The one on the right looks.. Jumbled. It took me a moment of staring at it to figure out what everything was. The one on the left was immediately identifiable.

    Honestly, with every update, I love this hack more and more. The only other thing I could ever want from this has been beaten into the ground in this topic already :P
     
  11. flamewing

    flamewing

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    Another new version for the new game/save manager/options screen. I am keeping the last two for easy reference:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I went for a more radical redesign here; I had decided to break with a design principle of no extra screens when I made the middle image, so I went a step further. The 'tabs' are subject to change in color. Level select (which requires either the level select code or finishing the game as S3&K) will begin a subscreen where you can use up/down to select zone and left/right to select act (if appropriate); 'start' begins play, 'a' returns to the save selection (but with level chosen), 'c' goes to change player order. Something similar will be done for player order. A new game will also allow team selection when I have other teams.
     
  12. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I like this third option best. It says everything without feeling cluttered or confusing.
     
  13. Covarr

    Covarr

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    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    The new one is easily the best. It's much cleaner than either of the other two, the tabbed design makes it immediately apparent what you're looking at, and the rounded edges are more aesthetically pleasing.

    On an unrelated note, why brown? It looks nice enough, but it's not very Sonic-y, and certainly not reminiscent of Sonic Heroes.
     
  14. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    This is a good point. Like the Sonic Heroes menu is very colorful and sonic-y. Why not use that as a basis?

    http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110725042950/sonic/images/d/d4/Sonic_Heroes_Main_Menu.png
     
  15. null1024

    null1024

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    I love that third one. Looks sleeker and cleaner.
     
  16. flamewing

    flamewing

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    The brown was a homage to the older Rusted Copper theme of the forum; it was originally more sepia-ish, but I darkened it for contrast. The amount of color in the mock-ups is already dangerously high (57), and I still have to account for multiple teams! This is the main reason for not using the colorful menus is the palette limitations; or at least, that was the reason before I started writing this post and thinking it up.

    The more vertical design was motivated by palette constraints -- I will be rewriting H-Int (probably taking a page from S3&K and having it point to a location in RAM which I can dynamically adjust) to shift palettes as you move down the screen (think water palettes, but on steroids). Each "tab" will have its own palette line for the image so I can have multiple teams showing up with their correct colors (and note that the second tab's image shows up just below the bottom edge of the 'player order' faces). This ties up line 0 throughout the whole screen (or almost).

    The emeralds all fit into one palette line; the level select picture too, but I specifically put them on different heights so that they can use another palette line -- say, line 1. I suppose that it is freed up about halfway down, so I could use it for the background if needed.

    The tabs, text, controller buttons, red arrows, level select emblem, and background, when combined, fit neatly into a palette line -- 16 colors, including the background color which will be the backdrop color. Lets call it line 2.

    That leaves me with one palette line free; I had no idea I had managed to free it! Of course I still need to find a way to do the background in a way that does not interfere with the options screen; that Sonic Heroes background is probably too busy for my needs.

    A tidbit of history which I never shared online: I actually had never heard of Sonic Heroes until after my hack was well under way -- before I started hacking, the latest Sonic I had ever heard of were the Sonic Advance games... and even that only because Nitsuja had TASed them both.

    The real root of the idea for this hack was ColinC10's 'Sonic 1 and 2' hack: specifically, how you could play as Sonic + Tails in Sonic 1. I then had the stray thought that it would be cool if someone did the same with Knuckles (originally I thought of S3&K) so he would follow Sonic and Tails like that. There is also the S3&K challenges (also by ColinC10) where Tails and Knuckles could team up, showing their palettes were compatible.

    Quick searches revealed no one had thought of that, and then -- after a couple sleepless nights where I could see the hack dancing in front eyes, and during which my brain worked feverishly on the coding details* and refused to let me sleep -- I started working on it. My initial thought was on using Deebs' Modern Genesis Sonic, Tails and Knuckles; but since only Sonic is reasonably complete, I went with the S3&K sprites instead.

    I also decided early on to use S2 instead of S3&K because the disassembly was (and still is) more noob-friendly for someone (almost) literally working on his first hack*. The first thing I did was duplicate the Tails object and have it load, so I had Sonic being followed by "regular Tails" and "badly glitched tailless Tails". Terrain interaction followed from cloning the Tails object; object interaction was a lot harder, and I had to go hunting objects around and testing if they worked and modifying them to work.

    I debugged lots of object interaction issues this way -- in fact, I had originally added player switching so I could debug object interaction without having to hope the CPU would do what I wanted. But it felt so natural that I decided to keep it int he release version. I only actually ported the Knuckles object from S3&K (with graphics) when most objects were working (I had already found the necessary VRAM by then, and the second Tails was not as badly glitched). It was at about this point when I found out about Sonic Heroes. It was not until after Xenowhirl posted his screenshot of just such a hack that I actually put 'Heroes' in the name of the ROM, and I didn't yet have a title for the hack -- which was kindly supplied by Nineko, though he didn't know that he was naming the hack back then :-)

    * I had actually made a trial hack before I had the idea of Sonic 2: Heroes. This hack basically had added a peelout to S2 (using the S2 beta running sprites), a ported insta-shield (with glitched graphics because I didn't know shit about VRAM then), and started swapping Tails' sprites for Cylent Nite's adult Tails (which quickly ran into VRAM issues). After a lot of learning about VRAM to handle this, I realized how important it was; I then wrote several bash scripts to automate finding and modifying the S2 disassembly so all places I could find which had raw VRAM addresses or pattern names would instead use symbolic VRAM constants.

    This hack never went anywhere, but this work of identifying VRAM addresses was invaluable for Sonic 2: Heroes -- I daresay that it would have been almost impossible without it. I later backported these symbolic constants to the SVN disassembly.
     
  17. The Shad

    The Shad

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    It's hard as hell to believe this is your first hack. Unbelievable!

    Also, definitely go with 3. It's perfect.
     
  18. It's his Second, This is his first publicly released hack.
    On topic; Third, I have a thing for tabs.
     
  19. flamewing

    flamewing

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    Time for another vote; I have a few background options:
    1. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    2. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    3. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    4. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    5. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    In rows 1-3, the right image has a less saturated background than the left image; I generally made this by lightening the colors to reduce contrast. These 3 rows are mere palette shifts from row 1 left (the original background), and use only 6 colors for the entire background. Row 4 is the colorful version of the background, with two backdrop options. Row 5 has the desaturated colorful background; the left image keeps the backdrop, the right one also lightens the backdrop. Rows 4 and 5 are palette shifts of the image 4 left, and use 16 colors (including the backdrop).

    Row 4, and the left images in general, detract too much from the foreground in my opinion; hence I prefer the right images in all but row 4, and row 5 in full.
     
  20. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    My favorites are the left one in row 2 and the right one in row 4 (although perhaps that could be faded out a bit more as well). I feel like the solid color in the background though just looks kinda plain. Perhaps you could throw in some of the more traditional Sonic shapes like those zig zag bars on the top and bottom of the screen? Or something modeled after the Sonic Generations title screen, which uses very few colors but adds some variety to an otherwise white background.

    Maybe you could make a theme that follows the colors used in the Sonic Retro Blue theme (My favorite forum skin personally)