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Thread: Anyone capable of making MD+ games for the Mega SD?

  1. #16
    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    I have heard that the Sonic 1 Mode 1 is playable on Mega SD as a CD game. MD+ games work differently as they are NOT CD games. I have also heard that the music in the Sonic hack is very loud and not well mixed. I haven't tried it yet myself. But I know a lot of people don't put much effort into the audio side of things. I am making sure the music mixes with the Genesis sound effects well at the standard setting of 80% in the Mega SD menus. Ys 3 is getting a special treatment as the real game fades out its music between scenes (like entering a door, etc) and the WAV music will do the same. Can't do that on Mode 1 CD! There are still 3 issues to fix with the IPS patch and once those are done it should be good to go. But it won't be until the next firmware comes out that the fade-outs can happen so I may wait.

    Another thing that Mode 1 CAN'T do is have arbitrary looping points. So we can have the beginning of the music file, gets to the end of the track (the track would not have a built-in fade out or anything like that, it would end at a specific point set by the sound editor) then loops not to the very beginning, but to a time set in the CUE sheet. This feature is also coming in the future (and is not present on Ys 3 but it shouldn't matter much).

    Mode 7 is better than Mode 1.

  2. #17
    Now with 33% more @$$! Master of Shinobi Assman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesker View Post
    Yeah, Turrican II on the Mega Drive is Universal Soldier and so, but even that way, it would benefit a lot of this type of hack. In fact, I have been some time trying to restore the Mega Drive version into Turrican II but couldn't fully achieve it due to the graphics compression used, so I would also be glad to get some help with this.
    You're my hero for even getting as far as you have with this. I was briefly toying around with trying to something similar but I don't have the skills for it and it never went anywhere. It would be a solid port without that stupid license.

  3. #18
    Outrunner Wesker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    You're my hero for even getting as far as you have with this. I was briefly toying around with trying to something similar but I don't have the skills for it and it never went anywhere. It would be a solid port without that stupid license.
    I also lack skills, but what I did wasn't that difficult. Replacing uncompressed graphics on games is not that hard once you have a basic notion of handling a graphic editor (I use GIMP) to recolor the sprites according to the Mega Drive palette and Tile Layer Pro to implement them in the game. You just have to get the set of sprites, modify the colors which are more restricted compared to the Amiga, and that's it. It's a somewhat repetitive process, especially with all the animation frames the Turrican sprite has, but it's achievable with patience.

    The real problem comes with compression, since you can't find those graphics at all browsing with just Tile Layer Pro. In this game, absolutely all the enemy/boss graphics are compressed. Most of the enemies are still the Turrican II ones and don't need to be altered at all, but some of them (and most of the bosses) were modified, and so I hit a wall and can't go any further without help. It woul also be great to replace the title, password and ending screens since those were changed too.

    If I don't find the way to edit the rest of the compressed graphics, then I'll probably give up and end releasing the hack like this. At least the full Turrican/Bren Mc Guire sprite is in with all his animation frames restored (no more Van Damme there), though those soldier enemies and Dolph Lundgren boss introduced by Accolade now look even more weird because they shared the palette with the main character and I had to change that to adjust to the Bren Mc Guire colors.
    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=154&dateline=15683853  53

  4. #19
    Now with 33% more @$$! Master of Shinobi Assman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesker View Post
    I also lack skills, but what I did wasn't that difficult. Replacing uncompressed graphics on games is not that hard once you have a basic notion of handling a graphic editor (I use GIMP) to recolor the sprites according to the Mega Drive palette and Tile Layer Pro to implement them in the game. You just have to get the set of sprites, modify the colors which are more restricted compared to the Amiga, and that's it. It's a somewhat repetitive process, especially with all the animation frames the Turrican sprite has, but it's achievable with patience.

    The real problem comes with compression, since you can't find those graphics at all browsing with just Tile Layer Pro. In this game, absolutely all the enemy/boss graphics are compressed. Most of the enemies are still the Turrican II ones and don't need to be altered at all, but some of them (and most of the bosses) were modified, and so I hit a wall and can't go any further without help. It woul also be great to replace the title, password and ending screens since those were changed too.

    If I don't find the way to edit the rest of the compressed graphics, then I'll probably give up and end releasing the hack like this. At least the full Turrican/Bren Mc Guire sprite is in with all his animation frames restored (no more Van Damme there), though those soldier enemies and Dolph Lundgren boss introduced by Accolade now look even more weird because they shared the palette with the main character and I had to change that to adjust to the Bren Mc Guire colors.
    Have you seen the Retro Graphics Toolkit before? It doesn't say anything about doing decompression, but I just thought I'd toss it out there as it looked like an interesting tool when I bookmarked that page years ago. I'm assuming you've already looked into some of the known compression formats (there are some compression tools on Sonic Retro) and it seems unlikely these guys would've been using the same algorithms as Sega. It looks like there's some stuff for 3rd party compression on Romhacking.net, but again, I'm assuming you already know about that.

    Back when I was toying with the idea, it seemed like even just being able to replace the main character sprite would have made a pretty big difference, so it's awesome that you took the time to finish that (especially realizing how many frames they used to make the animation so smooth), and from what I can see in those screenshots, what you did is already a massive improvement. That Van Damme sprite is just hideous to look at.

    Maybe you should start a new thread for this here. It seems like there are (or were) a number of Turrican fans here and a small handful of those with some technical ability on top of it (Kamahl comes to mind), so it's worth a shot. Maybe one of the Turrican fan sites could help, but it seems like they're too Amiga-focused to really help with the MD end of it. I really do wish you the best on this project as it's been near the top of my most wanted list for years.

  5. #20
    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Here's Ys 3 with the Oath in Felghana soundtrack - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1D7...QkuBrR9_nfIdEM

    Please note: This game makes extensive use of music fade-outs during scene changes, switching to another track, etc. Right now the music abruptly stops. However the next update of the Mega SD firmware will incorporate the fades, and the music will automagically fade out once you update to that firmware, but it might be a few weeks until that firmware is ready to go.
    Last edited by Joe Redifer; 09-16-2019 at 06:32 PM.

  6. #21
    Outrunner Wesker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    Have you seen the Retro Graphics Toolkit before? It doesn't say anything about doing decompression, but I just thought I'd toss it out there as it looked like an interesting tool when I bookmarked that page years ago. I'm assuming you've already looked into some of the known compression formats (there are some compression tools on Sonic Retro) and it seems unlikely these guys would've been using the same algorithms as Sega. It looks like there's some stuff for 3rd party compression on Romhacking.net, but again, I'm assuming you already know about that.
    I tried some tools, to no avail. Keep in mind I'm no programmer/hacker so I have some difficulty handling these unless I learn the "know how", but I tried some compression tools and none of them worked with this game. Of course this is not using the same algorithms as Sega. This was developed as an unlicensed Accolade game after all, so the people from The Code Monkeys obviously were forced to create their own tools and schemes in order to develop this game. It seems this is the problem, a rare compression method being a pain in the ass and hence the need of a really good programmer/hacker in order to figure it out

    Maybe that's one of the reasons nobody has been reallly keen in doing this so far. Having a working Turrican II Mega Drive port without a lousy film license looks like a good hacking candidate to me at least, but this may have been a wall to many interested people to achieve it, especially those without the necessary skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    Back when I was toying with the idea, it seemed like even just being able to replace the main character sprite would have made a pretty big difference, so it's awesome that you took the time to finish that (especially realizing how many frames they used to make the animation so smooth), and from what I can see in those screenshots, what you did is already a massive improvement. That Van Damme sprite is just hideous to look at.
    I'll probably record a short gameplay video where you can see the full Turrican/Bren Mc Guire sprite with all the animations, because two or three screenshots don't do enough justice to it. The worst part was restoring the lightning whip, given that it has so many animations to make it fluid as you guessed, but the result was worth it. I'm sad this may be doomed to not being fully achieved because of the stupid compression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Assman View Post
    Maybe you should start a new thread for this here. It seems like there are (or were) a number of Turrican fans here and a small handful of those with some technical ability on top of it (Kamahl comes to mind), so it's worth a shot. Maybe one of the Turrican fan sites could help, but it seems like they're too Amiga-focused to really help with the MD end of it. I really do wish you the best on this project as it's been near the top of my most wanted list for years.
    Aside from that thread I posted in the Romhacking forums and which resulted in nobody being interested in giving a hand so far (and that's a good site in order to look for help, so the interest in a project like this maybe is not that high), I also mentioned the matter in the Turrican SETA community and even linked the thread, and some of them answered but they don't have the skills to help. I'll probably do what you say. I was also waiting for the possibility of the Mega SD music hack to arise so maybe that would awake some interest, given that the music rendition of the Mega Drive port seems to be a "no go" to many people and that could be solved now by adding either the Amiga music tracks or even better, the Turrican Soundtrack Anthology remixes. Maybe now it's the perfect moment for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Here's Ys 3 with the Oath in Felghana soundtrack - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gR...VfQyoMyM332H69

    Please note: This game makes extensive use of music fade-outs during scene changes, switching to another track, etc. Right now the music abruptly stops. However the next update of the Mega SD firmware will incorporate the fades, and the music will automagically fade out once you update to that firmware, but it might be a few weeks until that firmware is ready to go.
    That's great. Have you considered doing an alternative version with the PC Engine CD version soundtrack?
    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=154&dateline=15683853  53

  7. #22
    Nameless One
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    This feature could work really well with some of the Amiga ports especially Bitmap Brothers games perhaps can put the digitised intros back into Gods, Xenon 2, etc.
    Out Run would be cool as well with remixed tracks from Out Run 2 perhaps.

  8. #23
    Outrunner Greg2600's Avatar
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    Joe, would love to get some YouTube videos of these! (Don't have the Mega SD yet)

    PS: I personally liked the MSU-1 capabilities; however, it was the choice of music that often rubbed me wrong.

  9. #24
    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesker View Post


    That's great. Have you considered doing an alternative version with the PC Engine CD version soundtrack?
    The PC Engine CD does not have the complete soundtrack. Some of it is PSG, and other tracks are covered with voice.

  10. #25
    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Has anyone mentioned the possibility of Comix Zone mixed with Howard Drossin's OST? That would be superb.

  11. #26
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    I have heard that the Sonic 1 Mode 1 is playable on Mega SD as a CD game. MD+ games work differently as they are NOT CD games. I have also heard that the music in the Sonic hack is very loud and not well mixed. I haven't tried it yet myself. But I know a lot of people don't put much effort into the audio side of things. I am making sure the music mixes with the Genesis sound effects well at the standard setting of 80% in the Mega SD menus. Ys 3 is getting a special treatment as the real game fades out its music between scenes (like entering a door, etc) and the WAV music will do the same. Can't do that on Mode 1 CD! There are still 3 issues to fix with the IPS patch and once those are done it should be good to go. But it won't be until the next firmware comes out that the fade-outs can happen so I may wait.

    Another thing that Mode 1 CAN'T do is have arbitrary looping points. So we can have the beginning of the music file, gets to the end of the track (the track would not have a built-in fade out or anything like that, it would end at a specific point set by the sound editor) then loops not to the very beginning, but to a time set in the CUE sheet. This feature is also coming in the future (and is not present on Ys 3 but it shouldn't matter much).

    Mode 7 is better than Mode 1.
    After scouring the net I thought I should share that Sonic 1 actually has 3 or 4 different mode 1 hacks made for it. The first one I found had its source available, but is not the best one, even if it has some different additions like sega cd style bram saving. I believe this is the one you're refering to having badly mixed tracks since that is quite true. I dare you to listen to its continue sound. It can remind you of a certain "The Yoshi Clan" track... Still, you can always change the soundtrack, which I did when I was testing. If you decide to try it, I recommend compiling it with the source, which is basically just double-clicking on two .bat files. There is a precompiled version on the site, but it is older and has more bugs, not that the other one is bugfree.

    The best mode 1 hack for Sonic 1 is this one that is also on the sonicretro pages.. It works great and I didn't notice any bugs. Funny how this one also seems to be the oldest one of them...

    In addition to this I found a page where some genesis/mega drive hacking is taking place actually, which sonicresearch.org. Don't let the name fool you since they do seem to do hacking for other games too, like Rocket Knight Adventures, though, that is the last game I would think benefits from an MD+ patch. BTW there's another mode1 hack for sonic 1 here too. It works but is more as a proof of concept right now, imo. It's from 2018.
    Last edited by Zense; 09-27-2019 at 08:27 PM.

  12. #27
    Nameless One sjorspion's Avatar
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    This is Awesome! Would be nice to use Saturn soundtracks for games that are released for the Megadrive. Let's see Spot goes to Hollywood, Mortal Kombat 2/ultimate etc.
    SEEEEEGGGGAAAA!!!

  13. #28
    Nameless One vexatious's Avatar
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    Probably not what you want to hear but I'm planning to crossover some Nintendo 8 and 16 bit catalogs to Mars CD while making a new version of the same game all together. I still need to assemble 74ls612 extension RAM cartridge since there never was one marketed and it's completely mandatory. Don't count on me following through with it either... My goal is to do something like OCremix.org music but with games.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    Has anyone mentioned the possibility of Comix Zone mixed with Howard Drossin's OST? That would be superb.
    It wouldn't be that great since the CD only includes 6 tunes while the game has over a dozen.

  15. #30
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    I really love the idee of using CD ti enhance the music! And SFX too?

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