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Reshaper256's Thread of Stuff Going

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Apr 10, 2008 at 7:38 PM
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#1
Being as updates have been in fairly short supply over the past few months, there has been a steep decline in the activity at this site, and especially on the forum. As an attempt to rectify this problem, I've decided to start posting my own progress here, in this thread. There will be no spoilers of course, even by GameMakr24's standards, but I still believe it's important to show that things have not come to a complete stand-still halt. So I'll give the typical warning -- entries may be dull, vague, or cryptic, but I'll try to post *something* here every so often to let you people know that we're still alive, and still working on Zelda3C.
 
Apr 10, 2008 at 8:00 PM
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#2
So, over the last few days I've gotten out and dusted off my old newsprites.asm file, reading back over it and becoming reaquainted with lines and lines of code that I had forgotten I'd written. I'll take a moment to say how completely grateful I am to my past self for being so anal about commenting everything, as annoying as it seemed at the time. Had I not, I'd be completely lost. After reorganizing my desktop, cleaning out my computer and defragmenting, and searching down all the necessary programs, documents, and utilities I need to be able to hack and code, I finally had it all together and ready to get back to work.

I got back on track, and caught myself back up with where I was when I last left off, months and months ago. What I found was that, while I still have a fairly powerful newsprite.asm file, capable of creating various different types of sprites in it's current form, it really doesn't yet offer me the degree of freedom that I really want. Many of the routines I'm using to handle sprite collision -- in particular, weapon vs. sprite, Link vs. sprite, and world vs. sprite, they're all still handled by the old original code, the code that handles all the old sprites. This is fine and well, and works fine for the "bot" sprite that I created before my long break from the project, but when it comes down to it, it's a pain in the @$$ to actually edit these routines when they're stuck right in the middle of the original game's code. There's only so much room, and moving things around is extremely hard.

So, my current task is this: Bring all the routines involved in newsprites.asm out into the "padding," which in layman's terms is the empty, expanded space at he back of the ROM, where there IS no original code to worry about overwriting or messing up. Basically, I'm currently making copies of the original game's collision handlers and other various routines, and bringing them out into the open where I can deal with them more easily. Once this is completed, I'll be able to extend them, rewrite them, and add exceptions and new code without having to worry about what I'm overwriting, or how much space I have. It'll allow more freedom and ease of access to the code.

So, I set about finding the best way to do this, and narrowed it down to 55 individual routines that I need to copy over to the padding. I currently have 11 of them done (2 were actually merged into one):

PLAY SOUND EFFECT IN REGISTER $12E
RETURN SOUND EFFECT TYPE IN STEREO
RETURN SOUND EFFECT POLARITY BY SPRITE POSITION
CREATE A 'SPARK' AT SWORD COORDINATES (WITH SOUND)
RETURN SOUND EFFECT POLARITY BY LINK'S POSITION
"SMALL POOF" ANIMATION AT SPRITE LOCATION
PLAY SOUND EFFECT IN REGISTER $12F
CANCEL DAMAGE BEING DEALT TO SPRITE
GIVE BREAKABLE SPRITE (EX. BUSH) ANIMATED DEATH
CREATE A SPARK AT SPRITE COODINATES (WITH SOUND)


So, as you can see, I'm approximately 20% there.

I'll keep you all posted as to what I'm up to, and as to what progress I'm making. Hopefully it'll revive some of our lost following, whether they've moved on, or are just keeping quiet like we have for the last few months. The winter months are long, and hit some of us harder than others, but I'm glad to say that I'm in the swing of things again, and am making progress.
 
Apr 10, 2008 at 11:44 PM
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#3
thanks, it's nice to see it didn't die.
 
Apr 12, 2008 at 4:41 AM
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#4
Well, today I went about trying to register for my classes for next semester. I only got into two of the five I need, due to hold ups. Frustrating. Anyway, hopefully that'll all be worked out on Monday, so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm sure things will fall into place.

As for the collision handlers, I've gotten about 2 1/2 more done:

RESET THE VARIABLES FOR THIS SPRITE SLOT
LOAD INITIAL VARIABLES FOR THE SPRITE

and about 1/2 of
"THE SPRITE HAS BEEN HIT, SO DEAL WITH IT"

The last routine is much longer than the last ones, and will take me more time. It's sort of an umbrella routine that calls on the ones I've got transferred so far, dealing with various gameplay scenarios, such as whether a sprite becomes a faerie or a 0-hp blob when you sprinkle it with magic powder, and how much damage a sprite takes when you hit it. All in all I love dealing with this kind of code, the kind that actually has a dramatic effect on the outcome in the game. This is why I'm moving all the routines over -- this very important routine was very difficult to edit when it was stuck in the old banks of code, where I couldn't freely add to it. There are many more like it, so that's why I'm spending my time this way. :)
 
Apr 15, 2008 at 2:42 AM
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#5
Well, I can't say I got too much done over the last couple of days. I'm still working on "SPRITE HAS BEEN HIT BY SOMETHING, SO DEAL WITH IT," which as I said before is a very long routine. Most of my time has gone into shortening it, actually, removing bits of code that are no longer needed, that only pertained to the old sprites. For example, there are several checks for what type of enemy we were dealing with. Many of these checks are needless anymore; if this routine isn't going to be used with the Armos Knights, why would I have a check for them?

This is certainly one of the more interesting routines to fiddle around with, as so many things can be altered from this point. How can you edit what sprite the enemy turns into when you sprinkle it with magic powder? By editing this routine, that's how. What about the sound an enemy makes when you hit it? This routine handles that too. Where can you change how long an enemy recoils/recovers after being struck by Link? Right here.

Among other things, I've realized a need to revamp and clean up a few things in general, to make things easier on myself in the future. I'm being more neat and tidy with the code this time around, but that also means it takes more work to get anything done. And like I said, I'm anal about commenting everything, because I know if I don't I'll be lost later when I come back to it. I also need to rewrite a certain very crucial part of my code; if I get it to work how I want, it'll make life much easier in the future.

I had a chat with GameMakr24 a while back, and from what I got from him, he's beginning to come out of the slump of the winter, much like I have recently. I don't know whether he'll post another diary entry soon, but rest assured that I'm not the only one working right now. :) As for the musicians, I heard from one of them a while back, but I still need to reply to him about some recent works he sent us.

I feel behind in that respect, but I'm just caught up in my own thing, I guess.
 
Apr 15, 2008 at 6:11 PM
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#6
Hey, don't let it get to you. It's really heartening that there's still some news filtering in. I've been following this project since the end of 2006, so I know what can happen and what gets in the way. As long as you guys don't let yourselves give up entirely, any kind of break is justified, any amount of waiting can be dealt with. This will be an epic project when it's done!
 
Apr 15, 2008 at 11:07 PM
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#7
Hey, been folowing your progress for years now :) and i still check almost every day. keep up the good work!
 
Apr 16, 2008 at 12:07 AM
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#8
Thankyou for keeping us updated. :)
 
Apr 17, 2008 at 2:18 AM
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#9
Ozone, The5thHerring, Starstryker and andwhyisit, thanks for the comments and encouragement. I really do hope this will be an "epic project" when done... It already feels like an epic undertaking, to me. :) It's encouraging to see that the project still has its loyal fans, and I'm glad to hear you all aren't daunted by the wait ahead. The project will be done right, valuing quality over speed. Take it from someone who was also just a fan of the project a few years back; I want to see this hack perfected in the end. :)

I also know the frustration of not getting regular updates. Is the project dead? Did GameMakr24 get hit by a car? :p Talking to him as much as I have, I understand that he's managing a tricky balance between "real life" and hacking time. He's a busier guy than me, and as he's said on occasion, he likes to spend his free time actually working on the project. I believe he wants to post "real news" in the diary entries, instead of just regular "check ins" like I'm doing here. Hopefully this helps fill that void, so GM24 can keep creating during his free time, and you don't think we've died.

So for my own recent progress, I've finally worked through the routine SPRITE HAS BEEN HIT BY SOMETHING, SO DEAL WITH IT! All in all I've streamlined it a bit, and added my own code here and there to suit the new sprites better. After completing that long, long, routine, I finished two more smaller ones, FIND DIRECTION/DISTANCE TO LINK HORIZONTALLY and FIND DIRECTION/DISTANCE TO LINK VERTICALLY. Currently I'm working on TARGET LINK WITH DESIRED TARGETING VELOCITY, another long one. It has a couple of subroutines I somehow missed when I was commenting them last year, so I'll have to comment them from scratch to complete this one. It's more work but I'm up for it. The replies in this thread are encouraging too, so thanks. ;)

As for school, I've still got another two classes to register for that holds are preventing me from signing up for. They're not filling up or anything, so I don't feel rushed, but I wish I could just get it over with. Besides that, I've got a Calculus I test Friday, and a Statistics test on Monday. I'll have to spend some time studying between now and then. Bah. Anyway, I don't feel like doing that yet... instead, I'm going to try to figure out these subroutines I missed last year...

...they don't look too complicated... :d
 
Apr 18, 2008 at 4:35 AM
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#10
Whew. Well, I made some good progress today. I've successfully ported:

TARGET LINK WITH DESIRED TARGETING VELOCITY
SPRITE BUMPS LINK AND DEALS HIM DAMAGE
WEAPON MADE CONTACT WITH SPRITE, SO DEAL WITH IT
WEAPON HITS SPRITE, HANDLE IT, LINK RECOILS
LINK RECOILS A LITTLE; NO DAMAGE TO SPRITE WITH SPARK


(I also managed to completely get rid of 3 other old routines).

That makes it a net progress of 8 routines, working toward my goal of 55. Oh, and another good thing, those routines I thought I hadn't commented from last time -- that was actually a mistake. I misread an address, which took me to the wrong routine, and made me think there was a whole set of routines I hadn't commented and would have to work through from scratch. Thankfully I caught the mistake before I spent too much time commenting them.

I'm becoming more organized; All my stuff is now on a flashdrive; documents, programs, I can pop them up in a second on any computer and get to work, now that I've rediscovered the wonder of PStart. :) I keep regular backups of my work in emails and on my computer, so don't worry about me losing my flashdrive and losing all the work. Another 4 routines and I'll have the "weapon vs sprite" part of the collision routines done. Then comes the frightening task of actually assembling the weapon vs sprite code, to see if I've made any mistakes or mistyped anything in this part. If so, I'll have to debug it to see where I went wrong, before I continue on with the other two handlers. It's just part of the process when working on something this complex.

Anyway, hopefully I can get that done over the weekend. *crosses fingers
 
Apr 21, 2008 at 12:54 AM
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#11
Reshaper256 said:
That makes it a net progress of 8 routines, working toward my goal of 55.
Which are the hardest of the lot?
I figure that like most things in life there are easy routines and difficult/time consuming routines.
 
Apr 22, 2008 at 3:27 AM
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#12
Let me just say this has been one of my longer days working on this. I've finally completed the first 30 of the 55 routines, and the weapon vs. sprite handler is now completely ported over to the padding. This day was spent mostly on debugging, fixing minor errors so that the assembly would compile, and then dealing with one major bug that was driving me crazy until just moments ago. Basically, due to a single mistyped address, vertical checks for collision between the sword and enemies were always returning true, as if collision was detected. This means I could stand at the bottom of the room and hit my bot sprites at the top of the room with the sword -- as long as I was aligned vertically, I would do damage. It took me a while to trace down the single mistyped opcode that was causing the bug, but it's fixed now, and my weapon vs. sprite handler works perfectly.

And to address the question from andwhyisit, in general the hardest of the lot are the routines that encompass a lot of lower level routines. It's the main reason I had to be methodical about working through this. If you don't work out the lower level subroutines first, you'll be going along fine, commenting the code, looking up the RAM addresses being referenced, and then you hit a jump. A jump to another entirely different subroutine with possibly another subroutine within it with another subroutine within it. And you don't know what the code is doing during that subroutine unless you go and comment it first. That's why it's important to start at the bottom and work your way up. Also, it's more difficult when I hit a routine referencing tables, as I'm trying to port everything over, and it takes time to write these tables out in a format that xkas (the assembler) can understand.

I'm very happy that this handler didn't give me more of a fuss than it did. I was prepared to spend a few days debugging, if I had to, but I got it done in a few hours. Next comes the Link vs. sprite handler, followed by the world vs. sprite handler. It's another 25 routines, but I'm getting faster and more confident as I go. I was saddened when I realized today that Byuu's new 0.10 version of xkas almost completely rejects any of my old code for version 0.06, but I'm okay sticking with the old version. It'd be way too much of a hassle to go back and rewrite and reorganize my code now.

Another happy note, I've finally registered for all my classes for next semester! It took forever to get the holds taken care of, but they finally went through today, and I was cleared to register for my last two classes. If that's not enough good news, I feel like I aced my statistics test too!

Go me! :p
 
Apr 23, 2008 at 6:51 AM
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#13
When you were talking about "padded" space at the end of the rom a while back, did you mean that GameMakr is actually going to use an expanded rom? I recall reading (last year? I'd have to check) that he was avoiding that in order to stay truer to the original game. There were all kinds of space issues as a result, iirc. I'd be interested to know how big the new rom is, if you're expanding.

By the way, high five on the statistics exam! -_- My girlfriend just got her last one back with high marks, too... I'm glad I quit taking math classes while I was ahead, though. Vector calc was just about enough.
 
Apr 23, 2008 at 3:11 PM
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#14
Hmm, that stuff about hitting an enemy vertically sort of made me consider the possibility of a new weapon, like a lightning rod a la agahnim or something. I know nothing of the coding process though, probably a thoroughly unfeasable thought.

Awesome to see that the project is making progress by the way.
 
Apr 27, 2008 at 4:16 PM
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#15
Well, I'm back. I wanted to check in, although I don't have much I can actually say. I've been working on something for the project, I can say that much, but I'm not sure if anything will come of it. I'm taking a short break from porting the collision handlers. I did get the other two -- Link vs. sprite collision and world vs. sprite collision -- prepped to be completed before I stopped, so I can delve back into it whenever I want.

The5thHerring: I'm not sure what GM's concerns were about expanding the ROM, but I can assure you that it won't be a problem. Euclid and SePH's hack, Parallel Worlds, was expanded to 1.5 MB. That's the minimum this hack will be as well. I need the extra space for code. :)

Ryan987: Ha, nice, interesting idea. I'm not sure if that's really feasible or not. If I say it is, you'll be disappointed if I can't pull it off, but I'm really not sure if I can do that. But I love new ideas like that, interesting.
 
Apr 29, 2008 at 12:04 AM
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#16
Reshaper256 said:
Well, I'm back. I wanted to check in, although I don't have much I can actually say. I've been working on something for the project, I can say that much, but I'm not sure if anything will come of it. I'm taking a short break from porting the collision handlers. I did get the other two -- Link vs. sprite collision and world vs. sprite collision -- prepped to be completed before I stopped, so I can delve back into it whenever I want.

The5thHerring: I'm not sure what GM's concerns were about expanding the ROM, but I can assure you that it won't be a problem. Euclid and SePH's hack, Parallel Worlds, was expanded to 1.5 MB. That's the minimum this hack will be as well. I need the extra space for code. :)
What is the maximum expanded size you can use while still being accepted by real snes hardware?

Reshaper256 said:
Ryan987: Ha, nice, interesting idea. I'm not sure if that's really feasible or not. If I say it is, you'll be disappointed if I can't pull it off, but I'm really not sure if I can do that. But I love new ideas like that, interesting.
On the subject of ideas, is Roc's Feather possible?
 
May 1, 2008 at 4:49 PM
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#17
Hey Reshaper. It's me. Josh. That guy that drew enemy graphics and talked to you awhile back.

If you are once again ready for my help, I can jump back on board. I do have a hockey tournament in Biloxi, MS this weekend. But, after I get done stopping all those pucks flying at me, I can be back on board next week. :)

Hit me up. I'm still using my same email address, joshnoullet at gmail.com

Really, I have some questions as to what exactly you would like to see me working on. I need to discuss what limits I will have and what limits will be removed. If you wanna send me an email, I'll hook you up with some other contact information this evening and maybe we can get this thing 100% back in gear again.
 
May 1, 2008 at 5:54 PM
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#18
andwhyisit: Lunar Expand will allow you to expand up to at most 8 MB, which is far more space than we'd ever need. Concerning a Roc's feather, I'll have to give the same response as before, that I'm not sure if it's feasible or not, and don't want to get anyone's hopes up. But yes, keep the ideas coming, I have more than one reason for not getting into deep discussions about such ideas, both to avoid getting people's hopes up about something that won't actually be in the game, or on the flipside ruining the surprise were it to actually become reality.

JoshNoullet: Yeah Josh, of course I remember you and our chats. I'll shoot you an email soon to let you know exactly what'll be needed. Very glad to hear from you again! :)

As for my own recent progress, I still haven't gotten back to the collision handlers. I've been hit with what's either a nasty case of allergies, or strep throat, and it's got me run down. That, and finals week is next week, so I'll be a little busy with that. I have discussed my other "side project" with another ROM hacker with more expertise in the subject, and I'll just say that things are working out well, so there's still progress being made, to some extent. Anyway, thanks for all the replies in this thread, it's encouraging. I'm sorry I don't have more to check in with, but that's the nature of having more frequent entries. :/
 
May 4, 2008 at 1:11 AM
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#19
ya id like to get back into graphics myself. i havent had any time or good ideas lately, so i havent done anything meaningful sprite-wise. email me if u wanna chat. its darkprince909@yahoo.com
 
May 4, 2008 at 11:41 PM
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#20
darkprince909: Hey, thanks for keeping in touch. I'll shoot you an email later as well.

Well, I'll just let you all know, I'm not making any progress for a few days. Right now I feel absolutely horrible. Allergies are really putting it to me right now, it's hard to breathe without my throat hurting. If that's not bad enough, I've got a Calculus final tomorrow, so I've gotta study for that, then a Statistics final on tuesday, which not only turns out to be my last day of school, but is also my birthday. Hopefully things will turn around for me by then. Whew, I feel like crap. :)
 
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