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Messages - Troy Lundin

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Maps In Progress / Re: Golden Sun II: The Lost Age
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:18:06 am »
Up to 143 scenes finished. I modified my mapping program to make the process go a bit faster. I also figured out a more efficient way to freeze NPCs.

I did find something strange while working on Mars Lighthouse. If I freeze the timer for the lava animation, it shows numbers. As if the very first sprite in the sequence is a number. It's quite odd and I don't know what the numbers mean yet. I have attached an image of it.

Maps In Progress / Golden Sun II: The Lost Age
« on: February 05, 2012, 03:05:28 pm »
Progress: 143 / 324 scenes captured.

The prospect of mapping this game has intrigued me for quite a while and I am
always looking for a way to challenge my mapping program as well as myself.

As I started mapping this game, I noticed a few things that made it quite
different than other RPGs I have mapped for the GBA.


 - Character position and screen position are stored independently.

 - There is another address that stores an additional Y-axis location value.
   This address is used when you go up stairs, for example. The game doesn't
   modify your actually Y-axis position. Instead, it modifies this additional
   value and adds the two together. Fun stuff.

 - Animations in most games are easy to find. All animations are controlled by
   a timer. When the timer reaches zero, the next sprite in the animation
   sequence is displayed and the timer resets. If you pause the emulator then
   step it frame by frame, you can use the cheat search function to search for
   a gradually decreasing value. If you freeze these values, the timer can never
   reach zero and the animation will never switch to the next sprite in the

 - Background animations are stored separately from NPC animations. BG anims are
   stored in a neat little group in the WRAM. NPC animations are stored in two
   different locations. One is in the WRAM and the other is in the IRAM. Fun.

 - Freezing NPC timers, including the ones that indicate when they should move
   to their next position, makes it easy keep the NPCs in their originally
   loaded positions. This adds another aspect of perfection to the maps.

 - Some of the maps have layers that move at a different speed than the screen.
   These can be layers 2, 3 or 4. The position of these layers are easily found
   and the layers can be captured separately. Sometimes, the layers are in the
   foreground and move on their own. In this case, simply freezing their
   starting position fixes this.

 - There is another type of animation. This can be seen in one of the first
   areas. It looks like steam coming out of the wall. This steam will push you
   if you are in front of it. At first, I tried all the previous methods of
   freezing in. It didn't count as a BG anim and it didn't count as an NPC.
   It turns out it counts as multiple NPCs. Each 'cloud' of the steam counted
   as a separate NPC. If I tried to freeze the NPCs, the game would just make
   new ones and throw them out. This was quite a problem and this type of
   animation started showing up in later parts of the game. After exhausting
   almost all my options I finally tried the method noted below. This didn't
   freeze the NPCs but it stopped them from spawning. So, I could just freeze
   the timer where I knew they were going to be, stop the spawn timer then just
   reload the area. Simple. :D

 - There are certain animations that aren't connected to the layers, BGs or
   NPCs. These animations provided me with quite the headache. Thinking outside
   the box allowed me to figure out that all these types of animation are
   controlled by a single timer that counts up! Figures.

All in all, these maps are ridiculously easy to capture and the fact that I can
include exact NPC starting positions and exact BG / NPC starting animations is
really exciting.

I am capturing all the scenes first without NPCs. I will go back later and
include all the NPCs.

Map Gab / Re: Sonic Advance (GBA)
« on: February 01, 2012, 07:09:03 pm »
For the very pink one: have you thought about having just the top border of the background then instead of repeating the pink area just leave it black? how would that look?

What an honor!

If you really want to do some teamwork stuff again, I have some more raw scenes collecting dust on my HDD. I have FFIVa and FFIIa scenes completed if someone wants to put them together.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: December 20, 2011, 08:22:06 pm »
Paco sent me a sneak-peek of the maps today. I must say I am amazed. I thought I put a lot of work in capturing the scenes but I see that was just a drop in the bucket. I had never played the game before and walking around with sprites disabled really left me in the dark. The amount of work put into these map is truly grand. I had imagined simply chest contents but you two went way beyond that. I have never seen maps so detailed. It was truly an honor to work with you guys.

As an aside, I really want to capture another game, but I think it would be better to capture a game that someone actually want to populate. I want to push my capturing program to it's limits so I can improve it. If you have a game you want to map I can make it easier for you. :D

Maps In Progress / Re: Speedy Eggbert (PC)
« on: November 29, 2011, 02:10:21 am »
What do the numbered squares represent?

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: November 15, 2011, 02:35:17 am »
Here is the Freemove code if you need it:
Code: [Select]
74000130 03DD
E2001660 FFFE
74000130 03ED
E2001660 0002
74000130 037D
E2001662 FFFE
74000130 037D
E2001662 0002

Map Gab / Re: The Final Fantasy Legend (GB)
« on: November 08, 2011, 12:23:40 pm »
Seems like we share some OCD issues. You are using the same solution for your first issue as I did for my FFVIa maps. Also, I tend to over-think things and it really gets to me. For my FFVIa maps, the bordered, 16x16 pixel image I use has to be in the exact location that the event occurs, as well. My program tells me exactly where ports happen and I have to put the icons there or I will explode.

Glad I'm not the only one that's insane. :D

Maps In Progress / Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
« on: November 05, 2011, 06:22:57 pm »
After much procrastination, I finished my first full prototype, Zozo.

I initially tried to use just letters to mark everything. This didn't work out how I hoped. The font in this game is much to small and is pretty hard to distinguish from most backgrounds. I chose to surround it with a colored square. This allows the letters to actually be seen and recognized. I chose to mark entrances with purple and items with blue. This allows the items to be seen and distinguished from the entrances quickly and easily. I placed the colored tiles directly on top of the entrances or the containers that hold items. So, instead of seeing a chest or pot or whatever, you will just see the colored tile.

I feel the layout works nicely.

Maps In Progress / Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
« on: November 03, 2011, 11:50:59 pm »
I was messing around in the VBA Memory Viewer and found a neat way to access any map I wanted. Though, when entering the map, I couldn't move my character which made capturing impossible.

Poked around for another 15 minutes or so and I got it to work perfectly. Tried a couple random IDs and one happened to be Lete River. Yes, the abhorred Lete River.

There were four animations I had to freeze (two waterfalls, the river and the splashing) and luckily they were easy to find. Took just a couple minutes to capture it after freezing the animations and I present it here.

Note that it wraps horizontally and vertically. It is not tagged.

Maps In Progress / Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
« on: November 03, 2011, 04:10:33 am »
Man, been so busy today haven't had time to work on anything.

I did a quick mockup of the first room in Dragon's Den (Earth Labyrinth). It's not complete but shows the basic layout I am trying to accomplish.

Maps In Progress / Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
« on: November 02, 2011, 11:33:12 am »
After taking a break (teeth pulled) and a bit more investigation last night, I found out what the garbage is in the two scenes I posted before.

Apparently, the tile set changes based on the exact location of your character. The tiles used are based on the map ID. So, the jumbled mess is actually just shown with the wrong tiles. Also, after looking through FlyingArmor's maps of FFVI for the SNES, I can say the maps seem to be the same. I have decided to capture the Dragon's Den and put those up. I will continue to capture the other scenes and may put those up later.

Mapping Tips/Guides / Re: Numbering things on your maps - A question...
« on: November 01, 2011, 12:35:49 pm »
What do you guys think about (tasteful) lines connecting doors to each other? As long as each scene is placed semi close to it's corresponding scene it wouldn't look bad.

I don't wish to derail this topic anymore than I have. This will be my last reply on the subject in this thread.

I got a copy of Mario Party Advance. Not sure what map you are talking about with this game. I played it for about 10 minutes and the only real map I saw was the main map that you move your character around on.
If this is what you meant, here you go:

I made a program that makes VBA-based cartography so simple anyone can do it. It doesn't require separate screen captures or anything. Everything is handled by the program.
I can create entire maps in, literally, seconds.

If I can get it out of it's perpetual alpha stage of development, I'd be willing to share it. If people are interested, I can put some extra work into it and get it into a release stage faster.

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