Basic Questions and Answers Thread

Discussion in 'Discussion & Q&A' started by Malevolence, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    Twinleaf Town
    Thanks for cleaning it up! It works just fine now. There was only one minor problem I found but it was an easy fix. The value in d1 was different then what your touch_chkvalue optimization was expecting, so it'd use incorrect routines for lower values, and used garbage pointers past the end of the list on higher ones. It was a simple fix though, I just added this line before it:
    Code:
        asr.w    #1,d1    ;shift back to get the list pointer
        move.l    TouchRoutines-4(pc,d1.w),-(sp)    ; load routine
        rts                    ; run routine
    
    It does make the code ever so slightly slower, I suppose, but I'd much rather it happen here then in the collision detection code. Thanks for taking the time, it really helps.
     
    MarkeyJester likes this.
  2. RuthlessTheDemon

    RuthlessTheDemon Doot Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Chaos Angel Zone
    I've been dipping my toes in hacking Sonic 2, and one thing that I want to know better is how to do music.

    What I'm asking is, what's the best way to make music for Sonic 2? I've never successfully put original music in it so I want to know how to do so.
    I've tried adding new sound drivers (S1, Clone Driver V2) but it's never worked.

    Also, can mid2smps make music for Sonic 2?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    Twinleaf Town
    I've only ever used the Clone Driver v2, but from what I've seen, I'd recommend starting with just SMPS2ASM. It allows you to easily swap music between games (especially from the Sonic 1 format, I use them with SMPS2ASM all the time), and doesn't require tearing the entire sound driver out and setting up a new one. It even gives more performance for your hack, since you'd be using the Vanilla S2 driver, which runs on the Z80 and leaves the 68k more time to process game play.

    I likely would have switched myself if I wasn't so found of having higher quality PCM samples that are simple to add. I wouldn't recommend messing with that stuff as a beginner, and it isn't worth the potential performance drop if you don't use it.
     
  4. MainMemory

    MainMemory Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    818
    All you need to do to add music to Sonic 2 is set the 'uncompressed' flag for the slot in the playlist in the Z80 sound driver ASM file. Then just include the song you want as ASM with the rest of the music.
     
  5. RuthlessTheDemon

    RuthlessTheDemon Doot Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Chaos Angel Zone
    Alright, I'm going to sound like a total noob, but I'm using Xenowhirl. (The SSRG splash version.) The driver is a .bin file. The reason I don't use Git is that the code is all compacted.

    I'm going to give the Clone driver (V2) another chance, but could I ask where some free ram is? (Also, sorry if any info is wrong as I'm in a car and can't use my laptop.)


    Edit: I found the asm file I needed, problem solved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  6. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    Twinleaf Town
    I think you might have missed the point I was trying to get across; I do not recommend starting out with the Clone Driver v2. Installing it is difficult, it slows down your hack, and wastes useful RAM. Although SMPS2ASM is included with the Clone Driver v2, it is also its' own stand alone utility, and is compatible with the sound driver that your Sonic 2 project already has preinstalled. Either way, you'd need to figure out how to use SMPS2ASM, but using it without the Clone Driver v2 gives you almost all of it's benefits, without any of the problems the Clone Driver v2 might cause. The few benefits the Clone Driver v2 brings likely aren't things you care about, anyways.
     
  7. Samey

    Samey Newcomer Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Hallo again, I've decided to try and add extra frames to the rings in Sonic 1. I've gotten the art all done, I had the mappings all set up.
    The problem is, the animation looks like this:
    https://i.imgur.com/qkMGWiS.gif

    I think this is something to do with the vram but I have no clue on where in the code I'd fix this issue...
    Edit: I'm using the Hivebrain 2005 disassembly if it helps.
    Edit 2: Just realized I massively screwed up the Special stage ring... Changed it so it uses the unused timer
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  8. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    Twinleaf Town
    The game stores all the graphics that can be rendered in a space called "VRAM" (short for Video RAM, if that helps you remember). It stores all the data that the Genesis can use to display artwork on the screen. Like any other form of RAM, it is limited, and it does have an end to it. Furthermore, since we're hacking what was intended to be a complete standalone game, most if not all of that VRAM will be in use or reserved by the original game.

    In this case, your trying to added extra graphics to the rings. While your graphics editor will do this just fine, and the game will attempt to load and display them like normal, there is a problem. The Sonic games use of VRAM assumes that the rings artwork will always be it's original size, so making it larger cause it to spread into VRAM that is actually used by Sonic 1s' graphics engine.

    Here's a picture showing what is in VRAM around the rings artwork in Vanilla Sonic 1:
    [​IMG]
    First, you can see some weird junk, which is actually used; when you see junk like that, it's the game doing important graphics stuff, so don't touch it. After that is some of Sonics' artwork, followed by the artwork for the points graphics. As you can see, it's carefully setup so that everything just barely fits together; adding even 1 or 2 extra tiles to Sonics' art could make the points art appear instead.

    Fast forwarding to the rings art (it's red here, but it is the real rings art), you can see that it fits very snugly next to some weird junk that's immediately after it. Your extra frames extend the artwork forward, causing the sparkle artwork at the end to conflict with the weird junk that comes after. Since the game is constantly changing the weird junk during gameplay, it overwrites the sparkle graphics, causing them to render the weird junk instead.

    Fixing this type of thing is a real hassle; I've been struggling with it myself. The best way to do it would be to find more free space, and move the ring graphics. Sadly, this is a painful and annoying procedure, especially in the Hivebrain disassembly, but it's not impossible. Like I said earlier, Sonic 1 already uses virtually all of the VRAM available, and any that isn't used in one case might be used in another, like in another zone. You do have some options, though. SuperEgg made a very helpful guide that makes the Shield and Invincibility stars take up less space in VRAM, freeing up a huge space that you can do whatever you want with.

    To move the rings art, you'll have to change some numbers in two places; where the art is loaded, and where the art is used. In this case, the art is loaded when starting a new level, and it is used by the ring object. Since the guide I mentioned earlier frees up lots of VRAM past tile $560, I'll move the rings art to tile $560 in this example. Keep in mind, you could attempt to use or load art from any location in VRAM like this, although it will most likely already be used.

    First, the ring object. Under "Obj25_MakeRings:", you should find this:
    Code:
            move.b    #$25,0(a1)    ; load ring object
            addq.b    #2,$24(a1)
            move.w    d2,8(a1)    ; set x-axis position based on d2
            move.w    8(a0),$32(a1)
            move.w    d3,$C(a1)    ; set y-axis position based on d3
            move.l    #Map_obj25,4(a1)
            move.w    #$27B2,2(a1)
            move.b    #4,1(a1)
            move.b    #2,$18(a1)
            move.b    #$47,$20(a1)
            move.b    #8,$19(a1)
            move.b    $23(a0),$23(a1)
            move.b    d1,$34(a1)
    
    A lot of important stuff is happening here, although sadly, the Hivebrain disassembly does not explain it very well. What we want to worry about right now, however, is the line "move.w #$27B2,2(a1)". An object can store lots of information about itself, and it does this using a number followed by "(a0)" or "(a1)". The value typically stored in 2(a0) or 2(a1) is the location of the art it should display in VRAM, plus some other weirdness involving colors and sprite priority.

    Conveniently, the first hex digit (2 in this case) holds all that extra weirdness, so as long as we don't touch it, we shouldn't have to worry about it. The lower 3 digits, however, are the location of the old rings art in VRAM! Since we're moving the rings to tile $560, just replace the "7B2" with "560" and the rings should now attempt to use the art there instead. Now we just need to load the rings art in the new location, so the rings actually render what we want them too, instead of whatever is left in that unused space (provided you followed SuperEggs guide).

    The Hivebrain disassembly split this part away from the main asm file, for some reason. It's in "_inc/Pattern load cues.asm". This file holds a bunch of data that the game uses to know what artwork to load at the start of a level and where. All sorts of neat stuff is in here, like the art locations for badniks, and level hazards in each zone, and much more! What we're looking for though, is in "PLC_Main:", which holds the artwork that is shared by all stages:
    Code:
    PLC_Main:    dc.w 4
            dc.l Nem_Lamp        ; lamppost
            dc.w $D800
            dc.l Nem_Hud        ; HUD
            dc.w $D940
            dc.l Nem_Lives        ; lives    counter
            dc.w $FA80
            dc.l Nem_Ring        ; rings
            dc.w $F640
            dc.l Nem_Points        ; points from enemy
            dc.w $F2E0
    
    As you can see, the rings art is in here! The way it's stored here, however, is in a different format, that doesn't use tiles. Since $560 is the tile we want to move to, and this doesn't use tiles, it looks pretty confusing. It can be fixed by just adding "<<5" after the VRAM tile address we want to use though, which converts it for us! Just replace the "$F640" that comes after the Nem_Ring reference with "$560<<5", and it should load the new ring art at the correct location!

    It should work just fine after that. Whew, that was quite the text dump, I've been meaning to write something like this for a while. Keep in mind, I haven't tested all of it myself, so there may be some problems that slipped in. If your curious about anything else VRAM related, I highly recommend getting a copy of the Regen emulator with debugging tools. It has a very helpful VRAM viewer that clearly shows what is loaded where (I used it to get the screenshot example near the start of this post).
     
  9. Samey

    Samey Newcomer Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Thanks! I'll see if I can get it to work. :)
    Edit: So, I got the shield and invincibility stars optimized, but theres a few bugs...
    Bugs are, some of the invincibility art is overwritten by some of the rings. :confused:
    And also, the trail for the invincibility, no longer actually flips around if you flip around, and it just looks off.
    I'm honestly thinking I shouldn't of bothered messing with the rings rn.

    I've also went ahead and tried seeing if it was just a problem with my hack or if it was the guide, or how I followed it.

    So I went and redid SuperEgg's guide in a completely clean disassembly, and the exact same thing happened. I messed around a bit with moving where the shield and invincibility stars art is loaded but nothing seemed to really change.
    And the sign posts sparkles are screwed too, I'ma see if I can fix this first.

    On the bright side, the rings are perfectly normal now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  10. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Location:
    Twinleaf Town
    Hm, I'm not sure what went off with the SuperEgg guide, but I can see what happened with the signpost sparkles. The signpost sparkles reuse the rings artwork, and since we moved it, and didn't update the sparkles, it's trying to use the old VRAM location for the rings. Take a look underneath "Obj0D_Sparkle:", it should be an easy fix given what I wrote before ;)
     
  11. Samey

    Samey Newcomer Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Yeah, I fixed it easily shortly after making the edit, the rings that Sonic spews out when it were messed up too (fixed em aswell) :p
    As for the invincibility, I've been trying to see what to do with fixing at least the visual bug. Looks like I might need to move the rings a tiny bit, and afterwards I'm going to compare the new and old routines for the trails to see if I can fix whats up with the trails.

    Edit: found a new bug... When you complete a special stage and start up a new level, the rings, instead of loading in the ring tiles, instead keep the continue icons tiles. This is probably why it looked like Sonic was overriding part of the invincibility because it also overrides part of the invincibility tiles... And also the rings inside the special stage appear to have ceased to exist, and it doesn't look like I can remedy it...:(
    Edit#200: Alright! I fixed the invincibility stars being overwritten!

    In SuperEgg's guide theres this code:

    Code:
    Obj38:                                  ; XREF: Obj_Index
            move.l  #UnC_Shield,d1                            ; Call for Regular Shield Art
            move.w  #$A820,d2                                ; Load Art from this location (VRAM location*20)
                                                            ; In this case, VRAM = $541*20
            move.w  #$200,d3
            jsr     (QueueDMATransfer).l
    And

    Code:
    Obj4A:                                  ; XREF: Obj_Index
            move.l  #UnC_Stars,d1
            move.w  #$A820,d2
            move.w  #$200,d3
            jsr     (QueueDMATransfer).l
    If you just change
    move.w #$200,d3
    to
    move.w #$240,d3
    The Invincibility stars won't be overwritten. :D

    So, the only problems I seem to have, at the moment are:
    the rings fail to reload when the level reloads (this is especially apparent after exiting a special stage)
    And the rings fail to appear in the special stage (and they are gonna majorly mess up the special stage if they are loaded where the rest of the game is going to load them...)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    Pacca likes this.
  12. AkumaYin

    AkumaYin Stranger in the Ice Caps Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Dunkirk, MD
    Earlier today I went through the process of porting Sonic 1's sound driver to Sonic 2, and while I've cleaned up the code to resolve build errors and hopefully make it at least operable, AS continues to spit "error: symbol undefined" complaints in regards to the music and sound indexes (and several other pointers). For instance:
    Code:
    > > >sounddriver.asm(59): error: symbol undefined
    > > > Music81
    > > > ptr_mus81:    dc.l Music81
    I've tried several different solutions all to no avail; which is odd, because I don't see any difference in the functionality of this code versus that of Sonic 1 disassemblies that use AS. Any ideas as to what's causing this?
     
  13. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester !%#@ Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,645
    It's saying that you are missing a "Music81:" label, or that if it does exist, it's not being treated as one .

    Are you by chance missing something like this in your sound driver:

    Code:
    Music81:	binclude	"sound\music81.bin"
    If not exact directory or include method, then certainly similar?
     
    AkumaYin likes this.
  14. AkumaYin

    AkumaYin Stranger in the Ice Caps Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Dunkirk, MD
    I was using the same code structure for including the binary files. Not quite sure what was causing it, but I was able to resolve the errors by moving the pointer indexes closer to the file list.

    Thanks anyway, though.
     
  15. LackofTrack

    LackofTrack Newcomer Trialist

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Hey everyone! Do any of you guys know how to use the AMS and FMS settings in mid2smps?
    It seems the like it doesn't have any effect on the instruments even at max settings.

    Is there something I'm missing?
     
  16. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    137
    AMS (tremolo) and FMS (vibrato) don't work in mid2smps, because Sonic 1 SMPS doesn't support anything LFO related and LFO stuff works differently with SMPS where it's supported.
    They are part of the instrument editor and the .gyb format, because they are useable in midi2vgm YM2612.

    Also, there are some preconditions for AMS/FMS in general:
    1. the LFO must be enabled (i.e. the LFO speed must be set to a value > 0 Hz)
    2. for AMS, you also need to enable "Amplitude Modulation" for all operators you want to apply it to
     
  17. LackofTrack

    LackofTrack Newcomer Trialist

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Thank you ValleyBell. I was unaware Sonic 1 didn't support LFO related settings.
     
  18. nineko

    nineko I am the Holy Cat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,740
    Location:
    italy
    For all we know, only Sonic & Knuckles supports the LFO to some extent (not sure about Sonic 3 alone). Unfortunately, it appears that the Sonic Retro Wiki hasn't been updated after Flamewing's comprehensive research in 2011, many coordination flags are still wrong or incomplete.
     
    AkumaYin likes this.
  19. Pineapple Arse

    Pineapple Arse I ironically hate cold temperatures. Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    A cold place.
    Firstly, is there a way to extend the chunk limit within Sonic 1? Secondly, how can one import a new sprite over Robotnik without it glitching out? When I import over it and add new tiles spaces in SonMapED via the "import sprite sheet", the sprite imports fine, but in game, uses Robotnik's art in a garbled mess. Is there a way to fix this?
     
  20. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester !%#@ Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,645
    I assume you mean the 52 chunk limit (technically 53).

    The actual limit of Sonic 1's chunks is 80, 00 counts as an auto-blank chunk, 01 accesses chunk 00 in data, 02 accesses chunk 01 in data, and so on... (Side note; 80 will access 7F in data successfully for display, however, the MSB being set is a contradiction as it is normally used to signify the chunk is a loop and the chunk should swap with the next ID (likely 01), but this is another story). Back to the chunk limit, the chunks are decompressed into RAM and accessed there, RAM 0000 - A3FF is reserved for the chunk data with every 200 bytes being a single chunk, the imposed limit is 53 (RAM A200 - A3FF being the last chunk) however, the draw code and engine are not restricted to this, you can still access chunks 54 on-wards, but you will be accessing RAM A400 on-wards which is not used for chunk data.

    You can have the chunks uncompressed and stored in the ROM and accessed directly from there, here is a guide by FraGag on how to do that:

    http://info.sonicretro.org/SCHG_How-to:Load_chunks_from_ROM_in_Sonic_1

    Be warned, this will cost you ROM space, remember, they compressed the data for a reason.

    If you are in need of extending the limit further and using the full 00 - FF range, then you can look into remaking/porting/whatever a pathswapping system similar to Sonic 2 on-wards, this would remove the need for the MSB required for chunk swapping and would allow you to access chunks 80 - FF flawlessly. Code changes will need to be made to allow the draw code to access these additional chunks, a removal of an "AND 7F" will help, and a change in the chunk format to support two paths of collision.

    An alternative would be to use the 128x128 chunk system which Sonic 2 uses. The upside is the chunk sizes being smaller allow for better flexibility in laying out, and the work is pretty much done for you, you can download the Project Sonic 1 Two-Eight, created by myself, then later alternate assembler versions were made by others:

    http://info.sonicretro.org/Project_Sonic_1:_Two-Eight

    The downside to this is that you will have reduced your overall chunk space availability by a factor of 4, meaning you have 4 x less space to place blocks on. Your layout space will be 4 x larger to place the chunks to make up the same pixel space that Sonic 1's original chunks would handle.

    The choice is entirely yours, though most people would encourage you to use 128x128 chunks, but it's entirely dependent on your project and what you need this for.

    As for the SonMapEd thing, the import sprite sheet mechanism in SonMapEd is incomplete from what I remember (in fact, I might be wrong, but doesn't it say that in brackets in the menu?), the game using Robotnik's graphics seems like a sign of VRAM space limitations or a lack of loading your new art into VRAM and the sprites using Robotnik's, or the objects/mappings themselves are not set to the correct VRAM address of your art. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons why it's not working, you may have to give us more information before we can help you at that level.
     
    AkumaYin, Natsumi, Pacca and 2 others like this.