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The Chaos Layer (Alpha)

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by MarkeyJester, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. MarkeyJester


    Original, No substitute Resident Jester
    I wasn't sure where to put this, but I felt it belonged here, it's engineering after all...

    I have spent the past eight years of my life; researching, programming, and understanding my most favoured childhood games console, the SEGA Mega Drive, and in all that time I can say without a doubt, it has been one hell of an interesting experience. I have learnt to do so much with the hardware via Sonic ROMS, homebrews, tools, the lot. It has also opened me up to the world of programming in a general sense, hell, I know how to program in C now.

    I have great satisfaction in knowing the true striving efforts, that game programmers went through to achieve what they needed to achieve, and that has intensely risen my respects for them. You know, you really start to realise that... ...they were chosen for the job for a good reason, and maybe they deserve more merit than people give them credit for. It has also made me realise how talented you guys are too, the stuff I see (Mega Drive related or not) just blows my mind completely. We have a fare few brilliant artistic people around here, and some musically talented individuals too, and lest we not forget those experienced programming robo-members out there! It is just so awesome to not only see, but work with most of you doing things that just seem surreal to a normal everyday individual.

    I won't drag it on any further, I'll just get to the point...

    I'm tired...

    ...As in REALLY tired, I'm starting to find myself getting rather bored with the Mega Drive stuff I do. It's at a point where, I'll start up something cool, but can't be bothered to finish it because I know I'll succeed in the end. It's almost as if there's nothing I cannot do, no challenge I cannot fulfil, and I just quit it halfway because there's no point in going to the trouble of proving something, that doesn't need proving... I'm not sure I can explain it better than that, but there you go.

    So, given that fact there, I'm deciding to release this homebrew I've been working on. It is not complete mind, but the last homebrew game I did, I never ended up releasing and simply swept it under the rug. I wouldn't consider this playable, but it has a few nice touches here and there, so this disclosure some might find inspiring enough to further their own ideas if any.


    Having said the above, I'm not going to be listening to feedback, opinions, merits or criticism, under the assumption that everything is considered subject to change (if it were to have continued, it would probably have turned out different in many ways), thus, renders feedback useless. I'm gonna be drifting away from Mega Drive related stuff and take a more relaxed position on the board, you know, hang around and post in places I normally wouldn't post, stuff like that...

    For what the ROM is worth, enjoy.
  2. Selbi


    The Euphonic Mess Member
    Northern Germany
    Sonic ERaZor
    Regardless of how unfinished this game is—I can't lie when I say it's a shame this one is getting shot down—I can still say from the old builds that you have come a long way and I applaud your efforts one way or another. I really dig your art style in combination with the clever exploitation of the Mega Drive. If nothing else goes I hope that you will at least use those in some way, as it's a shame to see all this awesome stuff getting thrown away.

    Also these voices are really cute. I don't know who of the two listed voice actors is responsible for the start menu sounds, but another round of applause goes to them.
  3. Felik


    Maybe you could explain the story of the game, main concept, characters, what levels was it going to have? That would very interesting to read.
  4. Ravenfreak


    2 Edgy 4 U Tech Member
    O'Fallon Mo
    Sonic 1 Game Gear Disassembly
    My girlfriend, Oathsan is the person who's responsible for the start menu. ^_^ It's a shame to see the project coming to an end, but this is truly impressive work MJ. I'm glad both my girlfriend and I have helped. Also the music is awesome! :D
  5. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

    Tech Member
    It's sad for me to see you drift away from this stuff, but I understand it completely. I always wanted to see a completed game from you, as all your work on everything you have done has been so impressive.
  6. amphobius


    doing more important things with my life Member
    I'm still really proud of that piece for the title screen and I'm still flattered that you wanted it :p

    I also have to say, this is some of the most visually pleasing stuff I've seen. The animation is fantastic, as is the music, as is everything else!!

    It's a shame to see that you're not going to continue it, but I look forward to whatever you release next. :)

    Also, I put the HQ version of the title music on my SoundCloud now that this public.
  7. You could always move up the food chain...Look at Sega CD stuff, or 32X stuff...Or maybe some Xbox/PC games?

    In any case this is fantastic, I love the small attention to detail you've put in here.
  8. AkumaYin


    Wow, this is great. I guess this is what happens when you put eight years (?) of experience into something like this.

    It's kind of sad that you're not going to be doing as much of this stuff anymore. I'm glad that you shared this with the public, though!
  9. Devon


    A̸ ̴S̴ ̵C̵ ̷E̶ ̸N̸ ̴D̶ ̵E̶ ̸D̶ Tech Member
    your mom
    This is great! I love just about everything in this game! It's a shame you won't be doing this any longer, but it's your choice, and I respect that.
  10. Markey,

    I won't go into details as far as the quality of the game goes, but let me just say, personal differences aside, the Mega Drive scene lost one of its most brilliant and technically blessed people today. It's a shame.

    Good luck on everything else you've got cooking.
  11. Nibble


    Awesome work.

    It's obvious that you know how to make the Genesis bend to your will. And I know that you're not accepting feedback on the game, so I won't give any, but I'll just say that finishing a project is, in and of itself, a valuable skill that you can develop. This applies to anyone; there are so many different levels of talent just on this board alone, but seeing something to the end is a feat that very, very few people can accomplish. If you just like tinkering around with things, there's absolutely no problem with this. Finishing something, though, puts you in a different league IMO.

    Sorry for the unsolicited advice. :P It's all up to you, of course.
  12. RetroKoH


    Project Sonic 8x16
    A shame that you are stepping away... you've done a great deal and certainly left a lasting impact. I certainly hope that someday something will give you the itch to hack again.

    Would it still be ok to ask you for help from time to time? Or would you rather just be completely away from it all for now?
  13. 360


    Light Vision Overdrive Oldbie
    United Kingdom
    Sonic Neon
    Even in this embryonic state this is fantastic, masterful work. The title screen is colourful, beautiful and pushes the hardware. The soundtrack to the title screen is engrossing and absorbing. It's just all so compelling and wonderful. If I was a teenager again and bought this for the Megadrive and it was fully realised and complete I'd probably love the game. Seriously it takes advantage of the hardware so well I wouldn't say it's hyperbole to say that is on par with a late generation Megadrive title like Vectorman or Vectorman 2. Those eight years you applied to learning the hardware are visibly and audibly evident here. Your experience shines through with the quality of this Alpha. The only criticism I have (which I'm going to put forward on the off chance you change your mind and continue this project) is that the in-game character sprite could use some work. I'd make it more in line with Sonic's proportions and potentially make her smaller. That however is only a slight criticism on something that even though early is just fucking fantastic.

    Seriously if this was on Kickstarter (I know that's not entirely possible given this is a ROM) I'd back it in a heartbeat. It's wonderful. Don't give up!
  14. MarkeyJester


    Original, No substitute Resident Jester
    Sorry for the lack of reply, I've been rather busy with a few things.

    I did speak to a few people in the past about story ideas, and some came in, then went away again. The one I think I ended up settling on at the current time, was that she got sucked into her computer, quite mediocre I know, but I was going to have some sort of twist in the end whereby, the player would lose the game anyway, and Taya would wake up as if it were some sort of a dream. This would open up the disorientation that, it may or may not have been a dream, thus opening up a chance for a sequel if it ever got that far.

    I can honestly say though, I never did settle on anything 100%, not even level design concepts.

    There is actually Mega CD support in the game, if you boot it with a Mega CD on. Doesn't do much mind, only forces the character's voice to be played on the Mega CD PCM, leaving the DAC free for music. But that's all.

    I'll probably look towards PC games if I were to ever go make a game though.

    Well of course! I'll still answer the odd question here and there in the BQ&A for instance...
  15. SpaceyBat


    United States
    Freedom Planet 2
    Folks here have said most of the praises that I would have. Overall it feels like the beginnings of a lost Genesis cartridge, and I like the melancholy feel of the soundtrack. It's almost as if the alpha knows its own fate and is embracing it.

    Once you've had a chance to relax and take a break from this kind of stuff, I would love to see you migrate your talents into indie game development. I honestly could see you making a living off of it if you wanted to. Heck, even if you don't start your own project, you could easily jump into an existing one with the programming knowledge you have. Good, reliable coders are a rare commodity.

    Anyhoo, thanks for all of the fun hacks over the years!
  16. Dude


    Tech Member
    Southbridge, MA
    Random VR/AR trash
    Strife is absolutely right. You've got the technical skills to work just about anywhere in gamedev. It's all a matter of finding a new frontier to explore.
  17. TmEE


    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    Sad to see this not being finished, at least not by you.

    I hope you find the challenges you look for ~~~~
  18. Techokami


    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
    Sonic Worlds Next
    Aw man, you're binning this? That's a shame, this could have been something you could have sold, man.
  19. Ritz


    Subhedgehog Member

    Somber thread. The Mega Drive dies with you, Markey! I'm glad we got one last prodigy willing to push the envelope on this dinosaur. Pack it up guys, we're done here. My thanks to everyone whose cultural and technological contributions helped to bring about the Overman, who may now colonize the stars (without us; we're doomed)

    I think you've made the right choice though, and I'm super excited to see you move on to bigger and better things. I hope you don't drown in the higher languages like basically every assembler in the games industry post-90s who either took up boring managerial roles or vanished to run coffee shops in Ireland or some shit. Keep us informed! Strife is trying to seduce you but you should work with me instead someday