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Messages - Troy Lundin

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Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 21, 2011, 01:39:32 am »
Oh man, the inefficiencies of this game are astounding.

Take Batmo Cave for example. Different scene ID for each time of day. I capture each scene and notice they look similar. I run them through my image comparison program (compares each pixel) and what do you know? They are exactly the same.

Anyway, I made some changes to my mapping program. I was chugging through scenes at 15 seconds each. I am just changing the scene ID now instead of walking around. This ensures I get every single one.
I am up to 245 captured scenes.

Time for bed. :D

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 20, 2011, 05:25:42 pm »
At least now it looks like the various sections do connect well with their neighbours, it's just that there's always a small section missing. The existing maps on the net made it seem as it everything *might* connect well but didn't when actually joining screenshots. Hopefully there's actual map data for the missing parts that you can somehow capture (using Visualboy Advance's Map Browser perhaps?). If the whole game ended up having a huge overworld map that connects almost perfectly everywhere like the original game's would be awesome!

I'm also surprised that the various times of day are actually separate maps in memory and not a simple palette swap.

I am sure that separating the times of day into individual maps was necessary since they are different NPCs and such on the map depending on the time of day. Let's be glad each day of the week doesn't have separate maps. :D

I checked out the Map Viewer theory you had. Turns out it shows an extra 8 pixels on each side. So, that's where the default 8 pixel buffer is at. That would still leave gaps for scenes like Topple. It would still have a 32 pixel gap on the north side. Imo, the 8 pixels isn't going to bother me much. Plus, the space shows where one scene ends and another begins.

What I am saying is those 8 pixels are ones that will never be seen in game even with a Freemove code. I will continue to capture the scenes like I have been. When I give them to you, you can add those pixels if you wish.

Btw, where are the existing maps on net you speak of? I found some here: They were nice but consistency was missing. Time of day was different on certain maps while others had missing corners. Certainly done using the old-fashioned SS method.

All in all, I just want to finish the scenes. There seems to be a ton of scenes (highest ID so far is 06DF (1695), which is Batmo Cave 4 - Night) so it may take awhile. For the moment, I am working on Morning time maps. I will complete the others after.

As a side note, I created another program that will facilitate the piecing together of scenes. I may just hand you areas like the one I attached in the previous post. Don't use that one, though. It has a mistake.

This turned out to be a bigger job than I expected. But, the way the maps fit together makes up for it. :D

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 20, 2011, 01:54:02 pm »
I found out something very interesting about area placement. Most scenes that I have captured have been offset by 8 pixels. This means the screen location at the very least is (8, 8). Some scenes have different locations. Topple, for example, sits at (8, 40). This tells me this is the buffer between the scene and the surrounding scenes. I assume each scene has a simple 8 pixel buffer on it's right and bottom sides. This gives me exact locations to place the scenes together to create a completely accurate whole picture.

I have attached two images as examples. The first is of Topple, where you can see it huge 40 pixel offset. The second is a complete map of the Topple area up to Batmo Cave. I took into account the offsets when placing the scenes. Double-checking pixels confirms this is the way the scenes are made. Btw, both images are taken in the morning.

As a side-note, some scenes don't have a Morning version. It just comes up as a black screen. This happens in Granz Castle, for example.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 20, 2011, 09:53:35 am »
Honestly, I really like the way these were done:

Also, I can send you the FF2 maps if you want to mark them up. There are some that aren't used in the game. They contain a simple square room with a single tree in it.
Even if they don't get used it was still fun doing it. :D

A question about Sword of Mana: Do you think all the screens could be stuck together as one huge map? or would some of them overlap? From what I have seen so far, it almost seems like a Zelda type map. Multiple screens to make up a huge world.

I am up to 88h on maps. Got a little behind from a dentist appointment yesterday but should get pretty far today. I have decided to do every fourth map (morning) so I can piece together everything.
I understand what you are saying, Trop, about the chests being on the sprite layer now. I just didn't know if they were randomly located. I still haven't been adding them but I can if it would make it easier for you.
I won't add any npcs. I'll leave that to your discretion.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 19, 2011, 02:12:03 pm »
Positively chests, as long as they are static and not random placement. It confused me that they share the sprite layer.
I only like NPCs if they are important. Ones that wander around are pretty pointless. I guess NPCs that are required for story progression? It's still not that important.
Mobs can be placed off the maps themselves. Maybe in the empty spaces. Putting them on the map is pointless since they are random anyway.

I can do a sample to give you an idea. Give me time to get some areas completed first. This game is driving me bonkers with it's different maps based on time of day. If anyone knows a code to stop the time of day from changing, I would love to have it.

Edit: I attached a sample image of Batmo Cave. I made it simple. There is a 4 pixel space between images and the borders. You could put treasure information in the empty spaces. Along with mob data and images. Or any pertinent information for the map. Honestly, I just want to capture the maps. That's what I enjoy. I'll let someone who enjoys putting the pieces together do that.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 19, 2011, 10:56:52 am »
Here is a video of my capturing a small map from Sword of Mana.
The video is one minute in length and has a screen resolution of 1920x1080.

Let me explain what is going on.

I start by showing I am only using a walk through walls code (I call it Freemove). The last five codes freeze flower, grass and water animations. Sword of Mana has an independently moving screen. This means when the screen reaches the edge it stops even though your character can keep moving. This means I have to find the address for the screen coordinates as well as the address for the character coordinates.

I start out in the upper-left corner of the map, as this is where I was when I entered the map. In this game, like most, the co-ordinates loop around. This means if I move my character to the left of zero on the x axis, it loop around to 65,535. I then enter the map menu (any menu works) to refresh the position of the screen. Since I am at X co-ordinate 65,000+ the screen tries to follow but will only go as far as the game allows. This shows me the right edge of the map.

I do the same procedure for the Y-axis. This gives me the bottom-right corner of the map. I can now resize the canvas to the exact size of the map, making things a bit easier to see.

All that is left is to fill in the empty spots. As you can see, I take six screenshots total making the entire process take ~40 seconds.
It's slower than usual but I was trying not to hit the screen transition points.

In the program window, you can see in the output image (the map I am creating) a filled red square and an empty red rectangle.
These represent the character and screen positions, respectively. This makes it easy to see where everything is at and where the captured image will land.

There are other features, such as stepping that I can show as well. Stepping allowed me to make a map of the FFV Advance world map in under five minutes.
Please note that my program requires at least character co-ordinates to work properly. It uses these to track where you are on a global scale.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 19, 2011, 09:41:35 am »
@Trop: When I create the maps I turn off the sprite layer and any animations for consistency.
Just so happens the chests in Sword of Mana are part of the sprite layer. No idea if they are randomly placed or if they have static locations.

If you were to help me out, I could just give you the maps I create (sans the sprite layer) and you could add any pertinent sprites to them.

@Grizzly: I tried to add auto-stitching to my program but failed miserably. Honestly, I seemed awfully complicated from the examples I found online. And those examples were for photographs.
I'll put together a video some time today if I have time.

Map Gab / Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 18, 2011, 11:58:39 pm »
I'm not ripping the maps out of the game. It's done with screenshots.
I made a nifty program that makes this process so ridiculously easy that I chuckle a bit just thinking about it.

I used to piece together screenshots by hand, but being a self-taught programmer makes me want to go the extra mile.
Maybe I'll make a short video of how I do it if people are interested. And, yes, I am using a walk through walls code of sorts.

Also, if you are super knowledgeable about the game you should help me out. I know next to nothing about the storyline or anything about the game for that matter.
All I really know is that it was Final Fantasy Adventure for the GB, I think. When I make maps I just follow an online walkthrough and capture the maps as I go.

To give you an idea of how fast I can map with my program: I did all 389 maps from Dawn of Souls (FF2) in about two hours yesterday. Then I saw someone already did maps for the game. :(
I made sure to check first this time.

Map Gab / Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 18, 2011, 10:28:52 pm »
I didn't see this game in the atlas yet. If it has already been done or reserved, let me know.

I have found the following offsets, which, in my opinion, are the only ones needed to make maps:

Character position
Screen position
Map ID

I have already done about 50 maps in the past hour or so. This game has a ton of maps.

The daytime feature isn't really a dynamic feature as you would think. Each map has a morning, afternoon, evening and night version.
This means there are four versions of each map. I'll give an example.

Map ID   Area
03D4     Topple Outskirts (Morning)
03D5     Topple Outskirts (Afternoon)
03D6     Topple Outskirts (Evening)
03D7     Topple Outskirts (Night)

Yes, you read that correctly. Topple Outskirts (Night) is map number 983.

The amount of maps isn't really an issue as it takes less than two minutes to complete a big map.
The above mentioned maps were completed in less than 30 seconds each.

Attached are the maps I mentioned above.

Map Requests / Request: Someone to compile my maps.
« on: October 14, 2011, 01:29:54 am »
I am new to this community but not to video game cartography.

I created a program that allows me to create maps literally in seconds.
I store the images based on the ID the game gives them. This is good enough for my purposes.

I want to contribute to this community, but I cannot submit my maps as they are. Since each map is saved individually and a town could consist of multiple maps.
What I want is someone to take my maps and organize them into a usable submission.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Let's take Final Fantasy IV Advance.

In this game, each town consists of several buildings (shops, inns, random homes). Each building is considered a different map as they are assigned different IDs.
You, as the compiler, would take all the maps that make up the town and organize them into a single image. This may or may not include labeling.

If you are interested in helping me, or if you would like further explanation, please post in this thread.
Thank you. :D

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