VGMaps

General Boards => Maps In Progress => Topic started by: TerraEsperZ on November 09, 2010, 09:29:43 pm

Title: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 09, 2010, 09:29:43 pm
So yeah, I'm tackling this game; seemed fair to map the sequel of the game that lead to my best work so far.

Don't expect this to be finished anytime soon, since the mapping process is very slow and tedious on account of No$gba not being helpful in saving tilesets and VRAM contents and the game itself mostly not using the DS layers, relying instead on simply displaying tiles as needed (kinda like with Symphony Of The Night).

But I'm enjoying the challenge, and doubly so since I haven't played the game before. And to make sure I don't burn myself along the way, I'll take small pauses along the way to finish those maps that are close to completion that I've been neglecting lately (Bucky O'Hare and Solstice mainly).

Hopefully this will tide you in the mean time :)

The Lost Village:
(https://i.imgur.com/9Jct02cm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 29/12/10 *
Wizardry Lab:
(https://i.imgur.com/WAlnSBTm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 14/07/12 *
Demon Guest House:
(https://i.imgur.com/Ekau3wem.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 14/07/12 *
Garden of Madness:
(https://i.imgur.com/AT3I3cWm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 22/07/12 *
The Dark Chapel:
(https://i.imgur.com/ECQgtSRm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 27/07/12 *
Condemned Tower:
(http://imgur.com/v9O0CsGm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

* Added 10/08/12 *
Cursed Clock Tower:
(https://i.imgur.com/nRMcpEWm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)

Total Progression for Castle:
(https://i.imgur.com/ONveytMm.png) (http://imgur.com/a/Hbk7t)
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: Revned on November 10, 2010, 05:42:10 pm
Looks great so far. I have always wanted to give this or the other DS games a shot, but the 3D backgrounds in some of the first rooms were always too intimidating.

Have you considered shelling out the money for the developer version of No$GBA? If I were to map one of these games I think I would probably do that...
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 10, 2010, 06:36:21 pm
I actually emailed the author, Martin Korth, a year ago to do just that, but never got a reply. I then searched for the closest thing to an official no$gba forum, which is the no$gba discussion forum at NGEMU (http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/) and apparently he pretty much disappeared from the Internet a few years back and nobody has heard from him since. I was actually really ashamed of pirating the latest debug version (which took some work to find) since in recent years, I've done a lot of effort to buy the music and programs I use and enjoy and if he ever came back, I'd want to be legit and would pay him. But for the moment, that's not even possible :(

As for the debug features, the no$gba site is right in saying that it's mostly/only useful for developers and not gamers. Savestates don't work with DS emulation for one, and although you can access a lot of things about the game being emulated, you can't save any of the graphic stuff. Like Visualboy Advance, there's a Tile, OAM and a Palette Viewer as well as the ability to view the content of the BG0, 1, 2 and 3 Map layers; however, I practically can't use any of it since Dawn Of Sorrow almost exclusively uses 3D Rendering to display everything.

The 3D Rendering Viewer gives you a very long list of all the tiles visible on screen along with a whole bunch of incomprehensible information. For each tile, it shows you where it is on screen and a small window shows you the 128x128 pixels tileset being used for that tile. Only, that tileset is displayed much smaller than 128 x128 pixels and there's no save button. It also doesn't show you which part of the tileset is displayed on screen (which makes it difficult if it's a tile of a background layer that's not visible) and depending on the tile used, the palette of the tileset will change several time.

It's kinda hard to explain, but I've had to assemble/correct/complete almost every room using individual tiles which required me to save the various tilesets and simply getting the proper palette for all the individual tiles of a single one could take me a long time (especially if part of it hasn't been used in a room I've visited yet). Heck, just *saving* a tileset requires me to resize the VRAM window every time I start the emulator to a size reference image I've saved that ends up with the tilesets being displayed at its correct size, taking a screenshot of that and then only saving that portion in a separate file. I average a few hours per room so far :P.

As for the 3D background, I've managed to find a few tools (Tahaxan, Nsbmd and HijackGL) to extract, view and then capture the 3D models and the textures but I still have to combine the two. Peardian has been trying to guide me through Cinema 4D to do just that but I'm having a real hard time understanding anything about it (handling the 3D program that is, not the theory behind 3D models and UV Mapping). Like I said, there are a lot of challenge ahead but nothing I feel I can't overcome given time.

And seriously, if you or anyone else knows of a legitimate way to contact Martin Korth, don't hesitate to tell me. I feel really cheap stealing his program but there's no other choice right now.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: Peardian on November 10, 2010, 10:42:49 pm
Paying for an emulator called "no$gba"? That doesn't sound right. :P


If you're still having trouble with using C4D, you can find lots of tutorials on how to use it. Or, if you prefer, I can answer any questions you have and guide you through using the interface. If you have MSN, we could talk that way to speed things up.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 10, 2010, 11:19:39 pm
Well, as far as no$gba is concerned, the standard version is free but the debug one is not as it incorporates a great deal many more features that are really intended for developers. As for C4D, I'm putting that aside for the moment. There's still quite a bit of The Lost Village to capture, at least enough to last me over a week, so it can wait until I really have the time to sink my teeth into a tutorial. I've got one that's sitting on my desktop, just waiting for me to really take my time and get acquainted with the interface and the basics of 3D modelling. Hopefully I'll be free to peruse it this weekend.

I don't use MSN but even if I did, I'd probably be way too slow for you. And anyway, I'm *way* too visual a person to understand written instructions quickly. But thanks for offering :)
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: alucard on November 11, 2010, 02:13:32 pm
I was wondering if the DS Castlevania games were ever going to be mapped. I look forward to seeing Dawn of Sorrow.  Will you be making one huge map, or have them all in separate castle sections? Or both?
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 11, 2010, 02:29:49 pm
Since I know there's a demand for both, then both ;D.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: alucard on November 14, 2010, 02:17:17 am
yeah I liked how they did it both ways for SOTN with the huge map and individual areas. I wish they did it that way on Circle of the Moon, is that Sprays guy who made the COTM maps on this forum?
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 27, 2010, 08:53:20 pm
The Lost Village map is essentially finished, apart again from the 3D buildings in two rooms, so I updated the first post with it. Haven't made much progress on that front, but I haven't really worked on that yet.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: alucard on November 27, 2010, 10:42:29 pm
Looks good, I also like how you added the name for all the items, weapons, etc with the font directly from the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 12, 2010, 11:09:30 pm
Since I'm about a week away from completing the next area, allow me to state that The Wizardry Lab is one of the most *boring* area in a Castlevania game I've ever seen. It's so generic and dull and empty of anything interesting that I can't wait to be finished with it so I can move on to something not simply more interesting, but simply interesting period.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: ReyVGM on December 13, 2010, 11:02:05 pm
Why don't you just use DeSmuME?

It's free, it has save states, cheats, movie recording, all the other features no$gba has and tons more.

It's ridiculous to pay for an emulator, specially one where the author is so reluctant to listen to fan requests.
If you're going to charge people for your work, you might as well listen to your fans. But not Martin.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 14, 2010, 06:06:12 am
DeSmuME has two rather big problems at the moment:

1) No 3D viewer (at least, not yet)

Like I said earlier, the DS Castlevania games use a 3D engine instead of the DS built-in layers which means that if I want to separate the sprites and various graphical layers, I can't do it easily simply by turning them off individually (unlike in, say, VisualBoyAdvance). I need to reconstruct everything by hand and to do that, I need to be able to see and save the textures/tilesets used by the game and only no$gba Debug version allows me to do that (albeit with difficulty I'll admit).

2) Imperfect 3D rendering

DeSmuME has relatively good 3D rendering, but it's not accurate enough to render the graphics perfectly and that's rather important when your game appears to be 2D and sometimes part of the screen will be off by one pixel vertically. For a game that looks as good as Dawn of Sorrow, that's simply unacceptable.

I realize that my way is currently slow and complicated, but it still yields the best result at the present so I'm sticking to it until DeSmuME improves in those two critical areas.

On a side note, I've just finished the main part of the Wizardry Lab and let me tell you, capturing that Balore pixel-perfect was a bitch, but it was worth it! There's still another section left to do but it's not directly connected to this one, so it might take a few more days to do.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 28, 2010, 11:35:15 pm
Whew, the Wizardry Lab map is finally finished. You have no idea how much trouble those three flooded rooms at the bottom gave me; I must have spent over 10 hours on them alone. Time to switch to a more interesting area at last!
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 14, 2012, 06:54:19 pm
Updated first post with Demon Guest House and Garden of Madness.

I started feeling nostalgic for the "Metroidvania" games a few weeks back so I decided to try and advance this old project some more. The result after three weeks of work is two more castle areas that are practically complete (the Garden of Madness is only missing the final room where Celia kills a fake Mina to turn you to evil since I haven't reached that part yet).

Having to rebuild large portions of the rooms with parallax scrolling from the tilesets is, as always, slowing everything down but there's no way to avoid this aside from coding a level editor (everything displayed except for the HUD and item/soul labels are 3d textures displayed 'flat'). I've gotten better at it though which is why I've progressed faster that before. I also finally found a program (VicMan's Photo Editor) to help me with making sprite rotations that *don't* use color interpolation to try and imitate as best as I can some parts of the bosses I can't quite capture perfectly. I found a lot of code segments on the web to do just that but no one seems to have thought that ordinary folk might have needed a compiled version.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to/dreading the game's final boss, the huge Menace who's made entirely of enlarged/rotated sprites...
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: ummwat on July 16, 2012, 04:29:12 pm
Glad you're working on this again :P
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: ozzy88 on July 17, 2012, 06:01:30 am
Looking really good so far! Hope you're enjoying the game as well :)
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 18, 2012, 03:07:49 pm
It's alright but the castle is, for the most part, pretty unoriginal. The next two DS games apparently have much more variety in terms of location and setting.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: alucard on July 20, 2012, 04:54:44 pm
Great to hear that you are working on this game again. In a way DOS was a better version of Aria of Sorrow, made specifically because the DS was just being released. I still like the game a lot though.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 22, 2012, 12:18:31 pm
Updated first post with The Dark Chapel.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 26, 2012, 10:05:17 pm
Updated first post with Condemned Tower.

Well, that one didn't take long *except* for the background of the tower. The original one is a 3D model that I couldn't extract from the ROM, much less reproduce in Cinema4D, so I just did my best and spent about a few hours manually distorting the graphics, first by resizing the tiles horizontally by hand, and then vertically one pixel column at a time to achieve the final effect. Paint Shop Pro 8 unfortunately had nothing to achieve the desired distortion so I was kind of stuck. However, I might be able to get my hand on a recent version of Photoshop soon so maybe I won't have to suffer like that too much in the near future.

Please all note that the maps posted are nowhere near final, as they are missing several effects such as light halos around candles and in the case of the Condemned Tower map, clouds in the sky. I just have to find a way to reproduce the same effect as in the game which is pretty tough considering all the parameters 3D textures seem to have on the DS (going by the 3D Viewer for no$gba, there are several parameters named Spe, Dif, Amb, Emi, Light0 to Light3, Shin, Edge, Toon & Fog). And I haven't a clue what any of that means in practice.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: Revned on July 27, 2012, 04:14:45 pm
Looking good! You did a great job on the background. I did the background of SotN's Royal Chapel similarly, and it always nags at me that it's not perfect.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: Zeric on August 04, 2012, 03:00:10 pm
That's some very impressive work Terra, nice quality maps as usual :D
I haven't mapped any games in ages since my harddrive crashed and
lost a lot of my work.
I tried mapping Ecclesia but it never worked well cause of current emus
with disable layers and such, I might do the same way as I did with MM8
but it would take ages.
So anyway I look forward to your finished work :D

Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on August 04, 2012, 03:20:05 pm
Hey Zeric, it's nice to see you around since it's been a while :)

I haven't mapped any games in ages since my harddrive crashed and
lost a lot of my work.7

That sucks a lot and has become a constant fear of mine. Heck, I remember putting a project aside for several months after losing a map or two in a hard drive crash. Several months ago, I bought a USB hard drive and I've been doing backups of my data practically every day. Nothing takes the wind out your sails than having to repeat several hours of tedious work.

I tried mapping Ecclesia but it never worked well cause of current emus
with disable layers and such, I might do the same way as I did with MM8
but it would take ages.

Since I'm practically doing the same thing for Dawn of Sorrow, I can fully appreciate the incredible work you did on those Mega Man 8 maps. Unfortunately, even if future DS emulators have better layer support, they still won't make mapping the DS Castlevania games that much easier. Like Mega Man 8 on the PlayStation, all three games use a 3D engine to render the stages and sprites. Every 16 x 16 tile on screen is basically a flat texture so the only way an emulator could "remove" those layers would be to have some sort of checklist of all the textures being displayed at the moment and giving you the ability to turn off all those you require. Disabling layers would only be useful in removing the status bar since that's nearly the only thing that's on a separate layer. Hacking the ROM and finding out where and how all the rooms and their layers are stored would actually be much more efficient.

The annoying thing is that even if I wanted to map the other two games once I'm finished here, it would take way too long. Depending on how many layers and graphic effects are displayed at any given time, a single room can easily take me several hours to separate and reconstruct all the layers, remove the enemies and lighting effects and add in any transparency effect. I'm just glad there is very little actual 3D going on because I just don't have the skills right now to capture/reproduce those.

*Shudders at the thought of trying to capture that area in Order of Ecclesia with the 3D ship in the middle of a storm in the background*
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on August 10, 2012, 06:56:35 pm
Updated first post with Cursed Clock Tower.

Wow, that one was painful. There were *so* many rooms with multiple layers to recreate for perfect accuracy I often only managed 1 or 2 rooms per (week) day. Looks like I'm heading to the underground areas next.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: ozzy88 on August 12, 2012, 03:03:44 am
Looks kinda funny when there's four moons in the same picture. Other then that it looks awesome!

Hope you're feeling like all your work gets enough pay-off.

Also, it's really nice to see you do these status updates so we can sort of follow the development of this map.

Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on August 12, 2012, 08:23:22 am
A long time ago, I tried to "merge" the backgrounds when nearby rooms had the same one but in cases like this, it meant that I would have to remove background elements from rooms where they look really good. Specifically, the moon and the roofs seen in the distance in upper rooms of the tower would have to be removed from all but one room and that would leave the rest with a rather empty background. That's why I eventually decided to map each room individually in terms of background and live with the results. It just looks worse with Dawn of Sorrow because the map is built in such a way that unlike all the previous Metroidvanias, there are never any gaps between rooms so the whole things looks a lot more compact and aberrations like the multiple moons are made more obvious.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: Revned on August 12, 2012, 10:04:30 am
I didn't notice the lack of gaps initially. Now that you mention it, it does have a very different look. I've always been disappointed with the gaps in other games, but now that I know what it looks like without, I think they actually look better in many cases. It visually separates differently-styled rooms and reduces bad seams in the map. Interesting.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on August 12, 2012, 11:34:29 am
Also, unlike Symphony of the Night, rooms will use often use similar colors for the foreground and the background, making it a bit harder to understand the layout of a room at first glance. In Symphony, almost all the rooms in the Alchemy Lab for example use the same tilesets so the area pops out as being distinct from the rest of the castle. Also, the foreground is very light while the background is very dark which helps to make the map more "readable". I find the maps for Dawn of Sorrow so far to be really hard on the eyes, especially the Garden of Madness.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: VGCartography on January 16, 2022, 05:44:25 am
Reviving this ancient thread to share a link I found:
https://www.vg-resource.com/thread-37086-post-660862.html#pid660862
Rufaswan has some download links there for all 3 DS games that have probably 80% of the background stuff represented. Things aren't tiled or stretched or whatever and some bits are missing, but overall it would represent a nice starting point for those - I referenced it for some Castlevania maps I worked on recently that I'll submit soon. I know this is probably long since past, but for anyone feeling like mapping some beautiful 2D pixel art, OoE doesn't have much out there already.
Title: Re: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on January 16, 2022, 07:12:27 pm
Good work on all of those Castlevania maps by the way VGCartography!
I often wondered what it would look like to assemble the various maps of the older games together and I'm glad someone did it.

Looking back on this particular project, I'm actually surprised I managed to map so much of it considering how exhausting my method was, even though I now realize I never submitted finished versions of what I've completed so far. I'm pretty sure I'm never going to finish it so it's a good thing someone else is coming up with better tools to automate the process.