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A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

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A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Thu Sep 22 2016 11:24pm

I just wanted to let y'all know that I'm now confident that I actually *will* be able to accomplish every feature that I once said I would never be able to accomplish in regards to my Shining Force III: 16-bit project.

This includes things like blinking face graphics, mouths moving for face graphics, a *proper* font (as opposed to the squished one I'm using), an authentic dialogue printing system, voice beeps associated with dialogue prints, true SF-style saving/loading, the continued animation of sprites and other images during dialogue displays, and just absolutely everything. If I ever said "I won't be able to do that due to limitations of the engine", I officially retract any and all such statements in question.

In the last few years, a lot of new patches (and even plugins, more importantly!) have been released that did not exist at the time that I made those statements, and these will make those features possible.

*ALL OF THEM!*

<3 :thumbsup: <3

EDIT: Oh, but there are still limitations of *me*. lol. Like, if I can't draw a sprite, then I can't draw a sprite, for example. lol.

EDIT: Wait... No... Not "all of them". lol. I still can't do 24x24 tiles. Those are still gonna' have to be 16x16. My bad. :P
Last edited by Tor_Heyerdal on Fri Sep 23 2016 2:37am, edited 1 time in total.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Chaoswizard98 » Fri Sep 23 2016 2:08am

Well, it's been an exciting past few weeks for sure. I finished up work on a bunch of key features for my game, some new projects have revealed themselves, Sega said they wont shit on fan games anymore (hopefully), and now Tor's back.

Time to celebrate with a few 'potions' ...
ImageImageImage

Looking forward to your next demo!
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Fri Sep 23 2016 2:36am

Thanks, Chaos. :)

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to release a "Saraband Demo" and have it end when you exit Saraband, or if I should release a "Chapter 1 Demo" and have it end with the conclusion of Chapter 1.

But anyway, it occurs to me that there is still one limitation that I don't think I'll ever be able to get past... It still has to be in 16x16 tiles instead of 24x24 tiles. lol. So there's *one* limitation that we'll all still have to live with. But quite frankly, I see that as one of the least important limitations around, since no one seemed to complain about the 16x16 tiles in the Gaiden games. :P
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Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Chaoswizard98 » Fri Sep 23 2016 2:41am

Honestly, I think it helps to make your game look different spritewise as well. Since you aren't looking at the exact same tiles as we're used to in SF1-2, it makes it look different enough to have it's own fresh feel to it. Not quite sure how to explain it, but I personally think it might even be better this way.

Plus it's mostly unnoticeable anyways XD
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Fri Sep 23 2016 3:18am

I think it might become a little bit more noticeable when I shrink down some of the furniture sprites to fit into a 16x16 environment. They look good the way they are... as long as you're not walking next to them. :P You just end up walking through them on the side. But I'm trying very hard to make the transition into 16x16 as seemless as I can.

Also, thanks for the kind words. ^^
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby DiegoMM » Fri Sep 23 2016 1:34pm

Great news!

I really dont mind the 16x16 tiles, its shining 3 in 16 bits!!! Tile size will be a little detail of all epicness of this game.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby RedShine » Fri Sep 23 2016 9:53pm

As DiegoMM says. it is a 16-bit fan backporting, essentially, so there is nothing wrong with using the limits the earlier SF games impose.

I'm not sure if it's been asked, so if it is forgive me for repeating, but this will cover Synbios' scenario only, yes?
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Fri Sep 23 2016 10:01pm

As DiegoMM says. it is a 16-bit fan backporting, essentially, so there is nothing wrong with using the limits the earlier SF games impose.


Technically, "the earlier SF games" is a little misleading. It was only the Game Gear versions of the Gaiden games that had this limitation. The other earlier SF games (SF1/SF2/SFCD) did not.

I'm not sure if it's been asked, so if it is forgive me for repeating, but this will cover Synbios' scenario only, yes?


This has been asked, but it's been a very long time since it has been, so it's worth going over this detail once more, I suppose. It is starting with Synbios' Scenario, but I do have every intention of taking it beyond that and also doing Medion's scenario, Julian's scenario, and the Premium Disk. In fact, if someone were to look through the code I've done for the project already, they would find many variables that are already dedicated to Scenario 2 and Scenario 3 characters, so I'm laying the groundwork/planting the seeds to allow for the incorporation of the later Scenarios. After Scenario 1 is finished, Scenarios 2 and 3 will be produced significantly faster because all of the groundwork will already have been lain at that point.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby RedShine » Fri Sep 23 2016 11:39pm

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:Technically, "the earlier SF games" is a little misleading. It was only the Game Gear versions of the Gaiden games that had this limitation. The other earlier SF games (SF1/SF2/SFCD) did not.


I'm not entirely sure I understand the problem. Is it tile solidity?

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:I do have every intention of taking it beyond that and also doing Medion's scenario, Julian's scenario, and the Premium Disk. In fact, if someone were to look through the code I've done for the project already, they would find many variables that are already dedicated to Scenario 2 and Scenario 3 characters, so I'm laying the groundwork/planting the seeds to allow for the incorporation of the later Scenarios.


That's incredible. A huge undertaking, one I believe everyone here at SFC applauds.
When the time is right, and you feel like requesting help, I'll be certain to volunteer.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Sat Sep 24 2016 3:55am

RedShine wrote:I'm not entirely sure I understand the problem. Is it tile solidity?


I'm not sure what you mean by "solidity" here, exactly. But to try to address your question, it's not exactly a "problem", per se. It's just that it's not wholly "pure", so to speak. Because the whole idea behind this project is to make Shining Force 3 look like Shining Force 1, 2, and CD, aesthetically. Those games had tiles that were 24x24 pixels. The game can still function on 16x16 pixels, but it can be difficult to cram 24x24 tiles into a 16x16 area. Stretching them down would look like absolute ass, so one has to edit the tiles to fit into the altered dimensions. From that perspective, it's a bit of a pain in the ass, development-wise. Gameplay-wise, it just results in a slightly adjusted aesthetic for the game. Even if that's not an "important" difference, it is still an unintentional and unavoidable difference, which makes it worth mentioning as a limitation.

RedShine wrote:That's incredible. A huge undertaking, one I believe everyone here at SFC applauds.
When the time is right, and you feel like requesting help, I'll be certain to volunteer.


Thank you. :) And if you're interested in helping, what I really need is audio people who are familiar with Sega Genesis audio equipment who can translate the music from SF3 into a format which would be playable by a Genesis.
Another thing you could potentially do to help is simply play SF1, SF2, and/or SFCD on an emulator, and just take screenshots of anything and everything along the way. The only restrictions are that the emulator should be set to 320x240 resolution, and the picture should not be stretched to fit the window. Also, screenshots should be in either .png or .bmp format. I can rip the graphics from the raw screenshots for use in the project (or to be edited/spliced/whatever I need), but the less time that I have to spend just playing the old games on emulators to gather the raw screenshots which must be collected, the better.
In regard to screenshot collection, the things which would be highest on the priority list would be tiles and specifically the dodge frames of sprites in the cinematic battle sequences.
That might not sound like a big deal to you, but you don't know how big of a help that would be if someone did that.
Until further notice, these are the areas where I'm looking for assistance. The audio thing is top priority, since I outright cannot do that myself (I don't know the first thing about making songs; I can rip audio from an emulator, but that ain't shit). But on the flipside, if I can't find anyone to do either of these things, it won't "hurt" the project at all. If I'm stuck with just using the OST, then that's fine. It's not gonna' kill the game or anything. And if I can't get anyone to help with collecting raw screenshots for graphics ripping, then that's okay too, because I'll get around to compiling everything myself sooner or later.

EDIT: Oh, I also need sound effects from SF3. The SSF emulator doesn't let you turn off music without also turning off the sound effects, and I don't know how else to go about getting them. If anyone has any info in regard to that, it would be very much appreciated.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Chaoswizard98 » Sat Sep 24 2016 3:18pm

If it's tiles you're after, here are all the SF1 and 2 maps.
http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/Genesis/index.htm#S
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Sat Sep 24 2016 11:47pm

Omg! Are you fracking sheisting me right now?! Holy balls! I can't believe this exists! =O You have no idea how much time this is going to save me!!!! <3333333333

EDIT: Too bad they don't have Shining Force CD on here too, eh? Oh, well. Can't have *everything*. :P
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby RedShine » Sun Sep 25 2016 3:50am

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by "solidity" here, exactly. But to try to address your question, it's not exactly a "problem", per se. It's just that it's not wholly "pure", so to speak. Because the whole idea behind this project is to make Shining Force 3 look like Shining Force 1, 2, and CD, aesthetically. Those games had tiles that were 24x24 pixels. The game can still function on 16x16 pixels, but it can be difficult to cram 24x24 tiles into a 16x16 area. Stretching them down would look like absolute ass, so one has to edit the tiles to fit into the altered dimensions. From that perspective, it's a bit of a pain in the ass, development-wise. Gameplay-wise, it just results in a slightly adjusted aesthetic for the game. Even if that's not an "important" difference, it is still an unintentional and unavoidable difference, which makes it worth mentioning as a limitation.


By solidity I meant that some sprites had "hollow" areas because of the differences in dimensions (the character sprite would "pass through" a tile that was supposed to be solid, such as furniture. I may have misunderstood what you first said, however.

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:Thank you. :) And if you're interested in helping, what I really need is audio people who are familiar with Sega Genesis audio equipment who can translate the music from SF3 into a format which would be playable by a Genesis.


So if I'm understanding it correctly, you wish to put SF3's music within the confines of the MD/Genesis sound font (instrument table)?
I'm not sure how to do that, to be honest as I rarely dabble with audio, but I could conduct some research for the time being, at least.

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:Another thing you could potentially do to help is simply play SF1, SF2, and/or SFCD on an emulator, and just take screenshots of anything and everything along the way. The only restrictions are that the emulator should be set to 320x240 resolution, and the picture should not be stretched to fit the window. Also, screenshots should be in either .png or .bmp format. I can rip the graphics from the raw screenshots for use in the project (or to be edited/spliced/whatever I need), but the less time that I have to spend just playing the old games on emulators to gather the raw screenshots which must be collected, the better.
In regard to screenshot collection, the things which would be highest on the priority list would be tiles and specifically the dodge frames of sprites in the cinematic battle sequences.


As it happens, I've actually been playing through SFCD as of late, so I may be able to collect the graphics you require. That said, for the battle sprites, http://www.wolfgangarchive.com/sfcd-web/index.html should contain everything you require. You can right click save these and open in an editor and it should give you all the frames of that character in separate layers. In case you have problems, I'll be happy to separate only the dodges from everyone for you.

Do you still require general tiles from other games except SFCD or is the treasure trove Chaoswizard found enough to get your bases covered regarding the other games?

Also note that from this page http://www.wolfgangarchive.com/ you can reach every other SF game so you can cleanly rip every blocking frame of every character (although SF1 monsters seem to lack blocking sprites).

Tor_Heyerdal wrote:EDIT: Oh, I also need sound effects from SF3. The SSF emulator doesn't let you turn off music without also turning off the sound effects, and I don't know how else to go about getting them. If anyone has any info in regard to that, it would be very much appreciated.


I'm not sure if Yabause supports audio logging, but I'll check.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Stordarth » Sun Sep 25 2016 4:39am

Tor, which version of RPG Maker are you using again? I don't know if this would help, but I read that RPG Maker MV has a base tile size of 48x48. I did some quick digging and there may also be a script to edit it in MV to a larger or smaller amount. Either way, 48x48 would allow for the standard sized tiles and sprites. They'd just need to be blown up to 2x default size.

I looked for scripts for VX Ace too, but found none as of yet.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Sun Sep 25 2016 5:13am

Thanks for the thought, Stordarth.

But alas, this project is being done in RPG Maker 2003, which came out in... well... 2003. lol. RPG Maker MV is the latest RPG Maker; it hasn't really been around for all that long yet, I think. It's pretty cool, though. I've been checkin' it out since a buddy of mine has recently been trying to get into RPG Maker, and that's the platform he's chosen, so I've been trying to teach him how to get started. Although the particular version of RPG Maker 2003 that I'm using is a fan translation done by a guy named RPG Advocate (I used to argue with him back in 2003. lol). Enterbrain never released an English version of RPG Maker 2003, so this has been the only option for that particular platform for English-speaking users. However, Enterbrain actually released an official English version of RPG Maker 2003 in the recent past, and so now RPG Advocate's translated version is known as "RPG Tsukuru 2003" (which is the Japanese name for the series), while the term "RPG Maker 2003" now refers to the official English version that they've *finally* released. lol.

Anyway, RPG Maker 2003 (or "RPG Tsukuru 2003"; I'm never gonna' get used to that) has a lot of inherent limitations. One such limitation is that it can't even use scripts. Like, it has "scripts" but they're like... "proprietary". I don't even know what other word to use. Like, you can't employ the use of scripts from a real programming language like C++ or Java or anything like that. You can only do this proprietary "eventing" script which is constructed via point 'n click in an on-screen environment through the use of several windows.

However, there is now a patch thingy called "DynRPG" which allows you to bring in outside C++ scripts into your project in the form of plugins. These plugins are a large part of what I was referring to in the opening post that's going to allow me to overcome the bulk of RM2K3's inherent limitations.

EDIT: Although I should point out that these plugins only change the actual game exe. They do not affect the actual editor. And to change the tiles to 24x24, you would probably need to change the game exe (which a plugin could do), but I'm almost certain that you would also need to do significant changes to the editor itself (which a plugin cannot do).
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Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby RedShine » Wed Sep 28 2016 2:48am

As per our arrangement, Tor I'll begin to compile the SFCD maps and graphics to the best of my ability in the same format as the ones ChaosWizard found.

As for sound synthesis, I've seen a few midi tracks here on the site, but I don't think all of the SF3's songs are present. Still it might be a good idea to contact the midi authors to see how they feel about providing them for the project.

http://www.shiningforcecentral.com/?p=midis&id=sf3
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby Tor_Heyerdal » Wed Sep 28 2016 3:36am

RedShine wrote:As per our arrangement, Tor I'll begin to compile the SFCD maps and graphics to the best of my ability in the same format as the ones ChaosWizard found.


Excellent. <3 I appreciate the hell outta' that. :thumbsup:

RedShine wrote:As for sound synthesis, I've seen a few midi tracks here on the site, but I don't think all of the SF3's songs are present. Still it might be a good idea to contact the midi authors to see how they feel about providing them for the project.


This page is also missing some, but is much closer to complete than the page that you linked.

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/sega/saturn/
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Creator of Shining Force III: 16-bit (WIP).
Tjelladallak våriiikeõdõtsyk jeissõ'eilamnikinõhõn. Ii'tuntoimjähädälläjät, niin miietsy iimpa'tyõhõnja.
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Re: A quick word regarding SF3:16-bit

Postby RedShine » Wed Sep 28 2016 7:44am

I wonder if there is any program that can convert VGM sound format to midi. This may be worth investigating, as well.
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