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Author Topic: Sonic Battle (GBA)  (Read 3775 times)
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TerraEsperZ
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« on: August 12, 2014, 01:10:46 PM »

This is just a little something I've been distracting myself with for the last few days. The idea of trying to map the "3D" battle arenas using an isometric format was tempting, and thanks to DarkWolf's Texture Skew utility for the vertical surfaces and a method using MS Paint found online for the floors, I've been able to assemble 99.95% pixel-perfect maps for this game. The 0.05% discrepancy is due to the fact that a few maps have objects with diagonal tops which, when seen at a standard 26.565 degrees angle, become jagged which forced me to double a small number of pixels to fill in the gaps (we're talking 64 additional pixels per maps for two maps, so not a big deal at all).

The presentation is rough but the maps look great. I only have two more to assemble plus a few traditional maps for the overworld and this is finished. Terrible game however, requiring hundreds of matches and rematches to get to the end of the game, and a whole lot more to get all the skill cards. The only reason I mapped this was for the technical challenge and to satisfy my curiosity.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 01:11:43 PM »

Some more...
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 01:12:09 PM »

And the last one so far.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Grizzly
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 12:29:43 PM »

I like them very much. Isometric maps capture 3D games in the best way possible on a 2D image. This game has the advantage that is was kind of isometric to begin with, but nonetheless I assume a lot of work needed to be done. Smiley
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Peardian
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 04:24:52 PM »

They're neat to look at, but the pure magenta kinda hurts my eyes and distracts me from looking at them for too long. Tongue
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 05:28:36 PM »

That magenta (#FF00FF) will obviously not be present on the final map. It's just a colour that, in my experience, works best as a "transparency" colour that's removed whenever I paste layers and sprites together. Remember, I work mostly with MS Paint and alpha transparency is *not* something the Vista version supports.

The final layout, once I've made up my mind, will feature all four orientations of each map closer together (hopefully with a tiny custom compass sprite to indicate the "north") and most likely using the background colour for the whole image. Later this evening, I'd like to post more details about how exactly I assembled them in case anyone is curious.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 07:57:27 PM »

Here's my best attempt at explaining how I did most of the work on these maps. Note that for visibility reasons, everything is shown at 200% magnification.

The first attachment shows how I transformed and assembled everything using a simplified example.

The second attachment shows why I didn't use DarkWolf's Texture Skew utility for the Floor and Top. Although it results in a slightly better shape (all sides of a transformed square are skewed in steps of 2 pixels with 2 pixels in the middle on top and bottom, instead of 3 on top and 1 on bottom) and thus would not require to skew the walls on both directions slightly differently, it results in a lot more artifacts on the texture itself. Note that both methods are technically pixel perfect, yet one looks better than the other.

I really want to stress that I'm not saying this to bash or ridicule DarkWolf who made a very useful utility nonetheless. It's what allowed him to do all those amazing Wolfenstein 3D/Spear of Destiny/Blake Stone maps after all. With bigger textures with more "fuzzy" details like a high resolution texture or a photo, these artifacts would no doubt be much less visible.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 08:22:54 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 07:45:53 PM »

Finally, after a few days weeks wow, a whole month already? after a while, here are the rest of the battle arenas.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 07:48:43 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 07:04:30 PM »

I'm finally done with the battle arena maps. I spent a lot more time than usual on them and went overboard with alpha transparencies, fancy backgrounds and decorations. I'll freely admit that this particular game wouldn't normally deserve such a treatment but if you read the dedication on any of them, you'll understand why I felt the need to put more effort than usual. So...

Battle Arenas, Part 1.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 07:05:18 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 07:05:06 PM »

Battle Arenas, Part 2
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 07:06:23 PM »

Battle Arenas, Part 3.

Now, only the Overworld remains, but I haven't decided how to tackle that one yet...
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 09:12:57 PM »

Two and a half years later, I finally finished the Overworld map. This game is now finally fully mapped!
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
JonLeung
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 11:20:22 AM »

I love your dedication to figuring out the technical aspects of this polygonal GBA game!  And also at your success!

And that we have another Sonic game fully mapped out.  I really feel that VGMaps is missing much from some franchises, and Sonic is one of the biggest ones that currently doesn't have much representation here.  Not snubbing the great maps we DO have, but numbers-wise it isn't as close to completion as, say, Mario, and the two of them are supposed to be rivals!  Certainly the ball was dropped along the way, but in the 1990s, come on!  I know there's more to be mapped in Sonic The Hedgehog 2/3/& Knuckles, and I'm pretty sure that was Sonic's peak.

Anyway, thanks again for the Sonic Battle maps; so what is your next project, Terra?
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 08:02:08 PM »

And that we have another Sonic game fully mapped out.  I really feel that VGMaps is missing much from some franchises, and Sonic is one of the biggest ones that currently doesn't have much representation here.  Not snubbing the great maps we DO have, but numbers-wise it isn't as close to completion as, say, Mario, and the two of them are supposed to be rivals!  Certainly the ball was dropped along the way, but in the 1990s, come on!  I know there's more to be mapped in Sonic The Hedgehog 2/3/& Knuckles, and I'm pretty sure that was Sonic's peak.

In my opinion, it seems only the mappers on this site really care about mapping the Sonic games in all their glory. There are already full maps out there but they're either straight rips using a map editor or technical maps more interested in noting obstacles for speedrunners, lacking backgrounds or any attempt at being aesthetically pleasing. If I had the time and *especially* the mental energy, I'd love to go back and try doing the Genesis games again but that ain't happening anytime soon. Maybe once I start getting some restful sleep over the next few months...

Anyway, thanks again for the Sonic Battle maps; so what is your next project, Terra?

Just take a look at my signature, it's still current. Finishing Lilly Looking Through would be nice, since it's all mapped but I again stumbled while trying to assemble everything in a pleasing way.

Shantae (the Game Boy Color one) would be nice to go back to since a few months back, I finally found out why I had so many problems with inconsistent colors back in 2013. The game uses a lot of fade out/in between areas and rooms that leave most colors in the palette a tiny bit too dark (it messed up a ton of screenshots). That's something that can be fixed by going in/out the subscreen but I just lost all motivation while trying to correct the colors of the few maps I had done up until then.

I'd also like to continue mapping Sonic 3D Blast, if only because I love 2D isometric games. But I remember finding a problem with the way I filled the empty spaces in Spring Stadium (I used 8x8 tiles instead of the game's 16x16, so some tiles are not aligned with the grid) which means I have to fix that before I can actually progress further.

I'd love to continue Naya's Quest, a freeware puzzle game with isometric graphics where the perspective is deliberately making it hard to understand how rooms are laid out. This was actually one of the most stimulating project I'd started in a long time aside from Antichamber. I'd found a great way to communicate how the rooms were actually structured using animated GIFs but doing a single room (out of 30+, plus a bunch more for the New Game+) took forever to capture/clean/disassemble/reassemble everything so I got frustrated with that too. I should at least make a thread to share the few rooms I've assembled so far...

And that's not even going into all the other projects that haven't been abandoned, but are still in need of time and polish. Honestly, in my present state, I'm happy for whatever map I manage to drag out of limbo for submission. There's no shortage of work to be done, that's for sure.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 08:07:34 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
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