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New Sprites Discussion

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Sep 30, 2007 at 11:37 PM
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#1
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5300BD3F5A097A19

I figured you all would want a place to discuss the new "Blue Bot" sprite, and to talk about the concept of new sprites in general.

This thread's the place to do it. But you could leave comments on the videos too, if you want :)
 
Oct 1, 2007 at 9:53 PM
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#2
WAY TO GO RESHAPER AND GM!!!!!!!!!!!! :D this opens up soooooooo many more doors for josh and me to create new monsters. ive been struggling to create a tree spirit to overwrite the armos, :confused: and i have not been able to come up with anything that looks even halfway good. josh prolly wouldnt have as much trouble as me, ;) but now i might be able to create a sprite that actually looks GOOD! :D once again, GOOD JOB!!!
 
Oct 1, 2007 at 10:33 PM
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#3
Very impressive work, Mr. Reshaper. The blue bot does look good here. I wonder if they will be a red version that doesn't hop...? :)

While watching the third video, I did notice (nitpicky) that the shadows seem to cover the other bots up when they jump. Might be something for you to mess around with.

All in all, though, very impressive in how the bot is working. We'll have to get together and discuss ideas soon.
 
Oct 2, 2007 at 12:30 AM
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#4
Yes, I'd like to get together and chat again soon. :)

As for the shadows, I agree and plan on fixing them. I think they should always appear below the other bots (or any other sprites). Currently school (Botany, English 300, and Geology in particular) are keeping me too busy to hack, so these fixes will have to wait. But I do plan on fixing it.

edit: One thing I'd like to note is that the youtube clips distort the images, (a.k.a. the bots look fatter than they really do in game) so to see them as they really look you should go to the videos on youtube and click the "minimize" button to the bottom right of the video. This will give you the proper aspect ratio.
 
Oct 2, 2007 at 6:30 PM
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#5
Did not expect to see that :eek: .So you can now actually change the ai behavior and make anemies freeze to blocks , burn with fire ect to alter gameplay. It would be interesting to hear how you were able to make this kind of stuff possible.

By the way is it possible to change the ai code completely to make new enemies from scratch. Byond just altering the values of current AI?. What about bosses, how much room this gives when designing new bosses and their behaviour and different attributes?.
 
Oct 2, 2007 at 8:12 PM
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#6
Have you read GM's latest diary entry?

The bots do, in fact, have completely new AI, and are not merely altered monsters. They *are* made from scratch, and are just a sample, hopefully the first of many new sprites. You mention wanting to know about the process involved, so I will say it was very slow and tedious, and involves a great deal of ASM knowledge and patience. Like GM said, getting even this far has taken me over a year.

At this point, what originally looked like a twisted, knotted, horrible mess of code now is commented, alterable, (copyable), and reusable in various situations. For the most part, I know what code I need to change/write/remove to achieve a desired effect. I'm also able to add new code (new AI routines, for example) to the existing code safely, without worrying about crashing the game.

I have to thank MathOnNapkins for sharing his RAM map, disassembly of the game, and other various documents with me. Although I commented and mapped out the vast majority of uncommented sprite routines for myself, by myself, I wouldn't have had the resources to do so in the first place (at least this quickly) without MON's documents to work off of.

But it's still a work in progress -- newsprites.asm is constantly evolving and becoming easier to use, when I actually have time to work on it. This weekend is fall break, maybe I'll do some more hacking, after I catch up on sleep and schoolwork. Maybe... :)
 
Oct 8, 2007 at 9:03 PM
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#7
Reshaper256 said:
Have you read GM's latest diary entry?

The bots do, in fact, have completely new AI, and are not merely altered monsters. They *are* made from scratch, and are just a sample, hopefully the first of many new sprites. You mention wanting to know about the process involved, so I will say it was very slow and tedious, and involves a great deal of ASM knowledge and patience. Like GM said, getting even this far has taken me over a year.

At this point, what originally looked like a twisted, knotted, horrible mess of code now is commented, alterable, (copyable), and reusable in various situations. For the most part, I know what code I need to change/write/remove to achieve a desired effect. I'm also able to add new code (new AI routines, for example) to the existing code safely, without worrying about crashing the game.

I have to thank MathOnNapkins for sharing his RAM map, disassembly of the game, and other various documents with me. Although I commented and mapped out the vast majority of uncommented sprite routines for myself, by myself, I wouldn't have had the resources to do so in the first place (at least this quickly) without MON's documents to work off of.

But it's still a work in progress -- newsprites.asm is constantly evolving and becoming easier to use, when I actually have time to work on it. This weekend is fall break, maybe I'll do some more hacking, after I catch up on sleep and schoolwork. Maybe... :)
Hello back again.
Yeah i read it. It really sounds like a pig step forward from the descriptions.

Notes/questions

-By the way how complicated AI is possible without going beyond the snes cpu spec.
Did i see 8 enemies on screen without slowdown on the last video, how is that possible. Is it because they are one layer sprites?.

-Could you guys request a Zsnes/snes9x emu guys to make a snes cpu overclock hack. Which would make the virtual snes emulated faster to allow more enemies at once?.

-Is it possible to increase the amount of animation frames a sprite can have, to make example a new attack/block moves to current enemies or more varied enemy movement/attack patterns?

GameMakr24 mentioned a pipe dream of designing new bosses. Are there technically limiting fators coming from hack flexibility. That is limiting you guys from making completely new bosses (Ai,Sprite Animation, Sounds) and are those making in to this project?.

Concrats for the breakthrough you definitely deserve your holiday from hacks awhile ;)
 
Oct 9, 2007 at 2:28 AM
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#8
-By the way how complicated AI is possible without going beyond the snes cpu spec.
Did i see 8 enemies on screen without slowdown on the last video, how is that possible. Is it because they are one layer sprites?.


The game will allow up to 16 individual enemy/NPC sprites at a time. With smaller sprites, this shouldn't be a problem. That many very large (boss sized) enemies, and you'd probably have problems.

-Could you guys request a Zsnes/snes9x emu guys to make a snes cpu overclock hack. Which would make the virtual snes emulated faster to allow more enemies at once?.

Meh, no. That's breaking the very definition of what a ROM hack is. It must work on the real system. If it won't work on the real system, it's not even a ROM hack anymore. So no, the hack will only support the number of enemies that the original SNES could handle. Sorry, but it should be plenty.

-Is it possible to increase the amount of animation frames a sprite can have, to make example a new attack/block moves to current enemies or more varied enemy movement/attack patterns?

Yes animation can be altered/customized, but only so many graphics can be loaded at a time, still.

GameMakr24 mentioned a pipe dream of designing new bosses. Are there technically limiting fators coming from hack flexibility. That is limiting you guys from making completely new bosses (Ai,Sprite Animation, Sounds) and are those making in to this project?.

Not sure what you mean by "limiting factors". I'll just say that bosses are, as you can imagine, more complicated in general. Other than that I'm not going to say one way or the other.
 
Oct 9, 2007 at 5:47 PM
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#9
Here are some additional thoughts to go with Reshaper256's great response:

"-By the way how complicated AI is possible without going beyond the snes cpu spec.
Did i see 8 enemies on screen without slowdown on the last video, how is that possible. Is it because they are one layer sprites?."

The AI can definitely be complex when we want it to be. Monsters can respond to a variety of triggers, including taking damage, seeing other monsters take damage, seeing another monster's movement, etc. Also, certain behaviors can be randomized, so you won't know for sure what a creature will do.

"-Could you guys request a Zsnes/snes9x emu guys to make a snes cpu overclock hack. Which would make the virtual snes emulated faster to allow more enemies at once?."

Like Reshaper256 said, we want this game to be playable by a normal SNES. This means that any standard emulator should be able to support it, not to mention the real consoles that will be playing burned cartridges, as I'm told is possible. If we wanted to go above and beyond the powers of SNES, we'd create a game from scratch instead.

"-Is it possible to increase the amount of animation frames a sprite can have, to make example a new attack/block moves to current enemies or more varied enemy movement/attack patterns?"

Yes. Even though it might limit the existence or animation of other on-screen monsters, we could definitely use more tiles when giving an enemy new moves.

"GameMakr24 mentioned a pipe dream of designing new bosses. Are there technically limiting fators coming from hack flexibility. That is limiting you guys from making completely new bosses (Ai,Sprite Animation, Sounds) and are those making in to this project?."

We haven't studied the bosses nor their parameters, but I'm guessing that if we toss out all the old boss code, we can create new bosses from scratch. Key word here is *guessing* ... If creating new monsters is like flying to the moon, creating bosses is like landing a guy on Pluto. We have no idea if or when we'll be able to take on such a task.

We speculate all the time, but Reshaper256 won't be ready to attempt new bosses until he's created lots and lots of monsters. On a parting note -- if you think Zelda3C's secrecy is bad, imagine all you won't hear about boss development. I would eventually confirm the existence of new bosses, but their nature and behavior would become some of the game's best-guarded secrets.
 
Oct 11, 2007 at 9:59 AM
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#10
Aaaaargh! Im to excited, I cant eat, sleep or work anymore. This is to good to be true! I wanna take a nap and wake up when the game is released.

Good work guys and congrats on the latest progress. Now for my question:

Would it be possible for link to have followers, characters that follow him around and help him fight. Im thinking hiering mercenaries in the village to help you on you quest, etc etc?
 
Oct 11, 2007 at 6:18 PM
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#11
I'm glad you're excited -- now you know how we've been feeling lately. ;)

I believe that it's possible to have sprites assisting Link -- after all, look how bees behave when you release one from a bottle... We need to learn more about the sprites that already follow Link around, such as Zelda, the old man on Death Mtn, Kiki the Monkey, etc. Though it would take a lot of work & research, I can imagine a sprite that follows Link except when monsters are near. When fighting, such a character would have his/her own HP and would chase monsters the way soldiers chase Link.

On the downside, there are several problems with having a sprite follow Link around.

First, it would need to have its graphics constantly loaded, no matter where Link travels, outdoors and indoors. Many sprites that follow Link refuse to go indoors, partly for this reason.

Second, such 'people' will DIE after they're hit too often. Even if Link is carrying around red potions, he won't be able to prevent their inevitable deaths. Something about disposable mercenaries doesn't sit well with the realm of Zelda.

Third, where's the joy in letting someone else kill the monsters for you? The difficulty level would be thrown way off by negating roughly half the enemies in an area. It would be fun to watch, sure, but it might be even more effective than using a medallion. Should you be able to "buy" success with rupees..?

Fourth, the AI would have to be reallly sharp to navigate such things as stairs, clifftops, deep water, etc... These are areas that soldiers aren't even programmed to cross. I can see people calling a sprite "retarded" when it gets stuck behind some bushes...

As you can tell, I don't like this idea, even though it sounds great on the surface. We've talked about other, related ideas that might make more sense. For example, what if you could sprinkle magic dust on an enemy and cause it to attack other monsters instead of you? What if, in general, there were friendly creatures out there that would help you while you're in their area? I think the gameplay would be much easier to implement and control, in these cases.

Keep the ideas coming! You never know what awesome concepts we may use!
 
Oct 12, 2007 at 9:43 AM
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#12
I agree, you should not be able to "buy success with rupees". But what about this then:

Maybe link meets someone on his adventure, someone that rescues Link early in the game, when he is in a tight spot. This mysterious character then disapears and leaves link wondering who he is. He then reapears from time to time to help Link. Maybe this character can help link with some puzzles, like standing och a switch on the other side of the room etc.

Links emotions towards this character are divided. Who is he? Why is he helping? Is he just a good guy or does he have a hidden agenda of his own? This could be a intriguing side story and would be realy cool to see game mechanic wise.
 
Oct 12, 2007 at 4:47 PM
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#13
Thanks for the replies. The going to the pluto analogy for bosses sounds like how i imagined it to be. If reshaper pulls the bosses off, i will spend a whole working day in link rpg clothes and video it (im kidding :D). I can understand not wanting to go beyond the snes spec to stay in the limits of what snes hack is. Many times the increasing hardware power makes designing coherent balanced gameplay all way through, complicated. Many produce games with long amazing sounding feature lists that came at the idea stage, but not as balanced core mechanics because they have so much stuff clued on top. And ultimately end up admitting that they dont work together as one coherent experience.

I suggested because i imagined that maybe the game could brake out of the mold of the amount/size of enemies or moving objects in the past. Im not saying that im thinking that stuff like this is the only way to make it as good as possible. But i confess that ideas like these tend to sound like that they obviously make the game better at first.
 
Oct 12, 2007 at 7:05 PM
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#14
Eggz -- I like the idea of having a cameo sprite that shows up throughout the game. It reminds me of Sheik in OoT, which could've been used as a gameplay mechanic. Further, I have the perfect character for this role; I think if I plan it right, the story will be more rich as a result. I don't know the likelyhood of implementation; no promises...

Hylian -- we do want to escape constraints whenever possible. There's a lot the SNES can handle; if I can have giant peahats floating across the plains, or hundreds more placements of dungeon sprites, I'll happily work with expanded capabilities. :)

By the way, while I'm thinking of it... There are hundreds more 'hits' on the first YouTube video than on the others. Either this means people are getting bored after the first clip (???), or they aren't realizing that three other movies are available in the side menu. Does this mean people are only viewing my diary entries for screenshots, etc? They're not reading much? Gasp..!
 
Oct 15, 2007 at 2:45 AM
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#15
What about if there was two main characters with different abilities and you can switch between them in certain places like how you could only do special actions in Minish Cap and Oracle of Ages/Seasons only on the log.
 
Oct 19, 2007 at 10:07 AM
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#16
Very nice monster AI. Keep it up!

That sprites asm was too much for me, all i did was tweaked ganon a bit (and that took a few weeks).
 
Nov 14, 2007 at 2:04 AM
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#17
hey gm. it's great to hear you got ur computer up and running again. now that you can work on zelda3c and we have the new sprite options, do you have any requests for monsters? i dont have any idea of what to draw right now, so i need a couple things to get my creative juices flowing. any ideas would be much appreciated. :)

also, i have no idea how to make that dern armos tree look. maybe that's something you can take a whack at, josh. :)
 
Dec 13, 2007 at 11:53 PM
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#18
how about this idea for a living tree... instead of moving like the armos, it stays still. it looks like a normal pine tree but when u get close it gets mad and shoots pine needles in all directions. that would be an interesting trap in the forest, eh?
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 7:38 PM
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#19
Sorry for the slow reply. Of course, keep your monster ideas coming! Thanks a lot darkprince, any more ideas you have will be appreciated, the best monster ideas usually just come out of nowhere. :)
 
Dec 18, 2007 at 10:47 PM
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#20
all right, how about this... an eye that sits on top of pillars and lamps and stuff that goes after link when he gets close. itll circle around link and shoot lasers at him and the only way to kill it is to hit it with the fire or ice rod or somthin. i think i sent gamemakr some graphics for it a while back. what do ya think?
 
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