Sonic MSU

Discussion of hardware and software development for Super NES and Super Famicom.

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Khaz
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Sonic MSU

Post by Khaz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:03 pm

The Sonic CD video finally finished processing. I've uploaded it to github along with the source code because why not. Only included manifest.bml and not the .xml file since I haven't been able to make a .xml file work for it yet. Please let me know if anyone has trouble playing it,I don't have the utmost confidence in the uploading that just happened (okay it worked). (I also don't know why github insisted on inconsistently double-spacing my code for me. Oh well.)

I'm disappointed with how much of it turned out. Consider this v1.0, I will be seeing if I can improve the results through some colour-merging, but I'm not terribly optimistic - it might cure the problems in the big solid colour regions, but then you also risk losing definition in the smoother more detailed areas.

I would like to point out that at least some of the problem is simply from scaling the video down to 15bpp SNES colour depth. The original was not a very clean video, but it was the best I could find. The little imperfections in the solid colours make it look like hell when they're all broken up though. It's far more noticeable on my monitor than on my TV, but I'd like it to look nice on both.

Now I just need somebody to port the game itself! (please?)

EDIT: Oh yeah I was going to mention. I think the sound is quieter than it should be on the SD2SNES. I know they had issues with how to blend the two audio signals. Considering I have to basically double the volume for it to sound right, might need looking into.

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Drew Sebastino
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Drew Sebastino » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:06 pm

Khaz wrote:Now I just need somebody to port the game itself! (please?)
It's really quite astounding that no one has even made a simple Sonic the Hedgehog demo yet.

tepples
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by tepples » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:14 pm

There is Speedy Gonzales, and there's a Sonic-themed ROM hack thereof. (And on the NES, there's Somari, but that doesn't count because there's also Sonic for Master System/Game Gear.) I wonder if the lack of an attempted serious port has something to do with Sega legal.

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Khaz
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Khaz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:18 pm

tepples wrote:There is Speedy Gonzales, and there's a Sonic-themed ROM hack thereof.
I hope we can all agree that that doesn't really... count as a "Sonic game"... It may have been inspired by it somehow but there's nothing even remotely similar in the gameplay.

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Drew Sebastino
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Drew Sebastino » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:41 pm

Khaz wrote:
tepples wrote:There is Speedy Gonzales, and there's a Sonic-themed ROM hack thereof.
I hope we can all agree that that doesn't really... count as a "Sonic game"... It may have been inspired by it somehow but there's nothing even remotely similar in the gameplay.
It's basically a pile of crap. I've even seen non Sega demos of a Sonic engine on the GBA before. One thing I've always wondered about the Sonic games is how they handle the loop-d-loops, but I know that whatever they do isn't perfect. (On Sonic 2, there's this one spot on Chemical Plant Zone, Act II where there's a bunch of the speed booster things and a loop-d-loop. It's fun having to wait for 10 minutes because you're stuck inside of a wall...)

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Khaz
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Khaz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:48 pm

Espozo wrote:One thing I've always wondered about the Sonic games is how they handle the loop-d-loops, but I know that whatever they do isn't perfect. (On Sonic 2, there's this one spot on Chemical Plant Zone, Act II where there's a bunch of the speed booster things and a loop-d-loop. It's fun having to wait for 10 minutes because you're stuck inside of a wall...)
I found this to be downright fascinating reading myself:

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Physics_Guide

My own game is moderately based on their way of doing things, what with the sensor bars and such. I haven't implemented the more advanced physics like loops and ground-speed, but only because I'm not sure if I want that yet. I'm not trying to rip Sonic off here, their method just made by far the most sense to me for pixel-accurate collision detection...

As for getting stuck inside walls... I have to say given just how much of my life I spent playing Sonic 2 it's amazing how rarely that happened to me.

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Drew Sebastino
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Drew Sebastino » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:59 pm

Khaz wrote:As for getting stuck inside walls... I have to say given just how much of my life I spent playing Sonic 2 it's amazing how rarely that happened to me.
It mostly just happens there. Anyway, if you look at the picture in the link, (it's really big) it's the loop at the bottom and near the middle of the picture. If you go one of the ways, you have a significant amount of speed when you get there.

This is the link to the picture: http://soniczone0.com/games/sonic2/down ... ct2map.png

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tokumaru
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by tokumaru » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:34 pm

Khaz wrote:I hope we can all agree that that doesn't really... count as a "Sonic game"... It may have been inspired by it somehow but there's nothing even remotely similar in the gameplay.
The Game Boy version is a much more obvious rip off, with many elements blatantly copied (spinning signs, deforming bridges, loops, springs, fans).

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MottZilla
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by MottZilla » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:43 pm

Khaz wrote: Now I just need somebody to port the game itself! (please?)
If I'm remembering things right, Sonic 1 has been completely disassembled so if someone wanted to their could possibly port that game to whatever system they wanted. The SNES ofcourse has a lower resolution, and a completely different flavor CPU that would require alot of reworking of the program code. But if someone was determined enough, it could be done. With the MSU-1, you could stream the recorded Genesis music and only have to deal with the sound effects on the SPC.

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Drew Sebastino
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Drew Sebastino » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:52 am

MottZilla wrote:The SNES ofcourse has a lower resolution,
That's not that bad. Just cut off 32 pixels on each side and when Sonic is going very fast in a particular direction, the camera moves to where you can see the 64 pixels in front of him but not behind him. The SNES of course offers it's own advantages over the Genesis, but if you want to make it a "pixel perfect" port, you're not going to.
MottZilla wrote:With the MSU-1, you could stream the recorded Genesis music
Do you think that maybe you could have FM sounding sound samples in audio ram (or whatever it's called) and use those?

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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by KungFuFurby » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:19 am

The SNES has a limited ability to reproduce the Sega Genesis sounds though its pitch modulation feature. There's a reason why I say limited, though...

- Four channel limit (or even fewer in some cases if you want more operators at once)
- Limited pitch control (you can't go beyond one octave without just sampling it)

There are probably some others, but these are a start.

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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by tepples » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:43 am

Or instead of attempting to slavishly imitate FM at a low level, you could just arrange the soundtrack for the Super NES in much the same way that the PC ports of Sonic games arrange the soundtrack for General MIDI. The steps that would have been done for a cross-platform game back in the day, had Sega not been exclusive to its own consoles, would have looked like this:
  1. Find another instrument that sounds like each instrument in the game. This can be done by matching patches to those that shipped with Yamaha synthesizers, by noting which General MIDI patches were used in official MIDI arrangements, or by identifying instruments in recordings of the soundtrack made with real instruments.
  2. Find samples to match these instruments.
  3. Translate the music sequence data to that of your preferred SPC700 sound driver.

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Drew Sebastino
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Drew Sebastino » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:17 am

What tepples said is what I had in mind. I imagine you wouldn't need that long of a sample to replicate the "FM style sound".

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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by Sik » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:59 pm

tokumaru wrote:
Khaz wrote:I hope we can all agree that that doesn't really... count as a "Sonic game"... It may have been inspired by it somehow but there's nothing even remotely similar in the gameplay.
The Game Boy version is a much more obvious rip off, with many elements blatantly copied (spinning signs, deforming bridges, loops, springs, fans).
Sadly it didn't copy the good physics.

And yes, bootleggers took notice of the similarities already.

93143
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Re: Sonic MSU

Post by 93143 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:55 pm

KungFuFurby wrote:The SNES has a limited ability to reproduce the Sega Genesis sounds though its pitch modulation feature. There's a reason why I say limited, though...

- Four channel limit (or even fewer in some cases if you want more operators at once)
- Limited pitch control (you can't go beyond one octave without just sampling it)

There are probably some others, but these are a start.
On the flip side, you don't need to use sine waves. Perhaps you could get good results by starting with halfway-FMed samples and going the rest of the way with pitchmod.

Alternately, you could use loop-rewriting and/or sample-switching tricks to decouple modulation speed from playback speed in a static sample, which has the additional advantage of only requiring one channel...

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