Author Topic: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!  (Read 2003 times)

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Offline Electromax

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Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« on: March 17, 2021, 01:10:22 PM »
Hello all. Longtime lurker. My first submissions for Tomba and Vagrant Story on PSX went live yesterday.

https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#Tomba
https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#VagrantStory

I've always liked game visualizations/infographics and trying to summarize a game as succinctly as possible, in map form or videos or whatever. I have a full set of Silent Hill maps similar to VS I need to create upload-ready versions of, and am midway through the original Tomb Raider.

I've always loved the maps from the likes of FlyingArmor and StarFighters76 so would love to provide some high quality content for the PS1 section. I tend to post regular updates on Twitter - https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate and use the maps on my Youtube channel. Hope to have plenty more submissions!

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 12:25:09 AM »
Wow, 3D content. Very great that such games get maps now. Thank you very much.

I have been absent for some years. What kind of tools would I need to be able to fly around in the 3D geometry of a game? Is it game-specific or is there something that I could use for, e.g., every PS1 game because it depends on the emulator?

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2021, 06:01:31 AM »
In my case, I am using custom javascript tools to look at the level data outside of the game itself. For example, for VS someone has open-source tool to look at individual rooms if you have a copy of the game: https://github.com/morris/vstools

I loaded up each room one by one, got a good image of it, then composited the levels together in photoshop. It's imperfect but better than using screenshots or something in an emulator because it can render the assets and high resolution. Silent Hill was a similar process (https://www.moddb.com/downloads/silent-hill-level-viewer-202). A lot of these games have small projects like this devoted to unpacking them, and I have helped with some and leveraged others.

For Tomba, same thing - level geometry extraction, extracted objects, arranged objects (platforms, swing poles, etc) in Blender and exported that base layer, then added the sprite elements like items etc. in photoshop. I actualy tried using emulator screenshots for this before putting more work in, and it looked pretty awful.

For Tomb Raider, I've been working on a code submission to noclip.website that can extract the data from BIN files and render them there. Plan on TR2 and 3 also.

In terms of games that I don't currently have a good path forward, Metal Gear Solid and Mega Man Legends are high on my list but I haven't found good projects or documentation about their file formats yet, so TBD.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 11:41:38 AM »
Thank you for the thorough explanation. So it requires individual understanding of the level data format which a game uses.

Seeing the noclip.website, I really get interest to understanding what's going on there. The size of each individual game folder's program files in the noclip source repository still is immense at first sight but compared to starting from scratch with a complete viewer it might actually be feasible.

I will have a look at it, maybe first experimenting with a game for which the level data format is known.

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2021, 07:00:39 PM »
noclip has a discord where the main author Jasper is pretty active/helpful. You basically need to write the translation piece between raw data and something you can feed to his basic rendering components. Since it has everything from PS2 to N64, there isn't a ton of shared code across games. But I don't know how much easier learning all that is vs. standing up a simple ThreeJS viewer yourself or something - I've found it difficult and Tomb Raider is a well-documented game in terms of data formats. I have the geom rendering in the app but haven't figured out proper way to load textures and haven't had a good chance to dive into it again.

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2021, 07:07:52 AM »
I've been sharing classic Tomb Raider maps as I assemble them. Most are on my Twitter feed, a couple examples:
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1377198997740347393 - TR2 - 40 Fathoms
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1376192309650411523 - TR - Palace Midas
The isometric maps for TR1 are done but need cleanup pass and labels etc. Haven't finished topdown map for 2/3 yet but maybe ready in a week or two.

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 08:36:23 PM »
Finished and submitted TR maps to the site! I also used the base maps to make this Youtube video breaking down the parts of various levels + some infographics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiToc0SYkds

Offline TerraEsperZ

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2021, 08:51:53 PM »
I love seeing 3d maps rendered in an isometric perspective like this, even though they're not always easily "readable" because rooms will overlap with one another and ceiling geometry is sometimes visible.
Also, because of the primitive graphics of the game, it's not always easy to tell where edges are located. When older 3D games are rendered like this, I've always wondered how much better/worse it would look with a visible outline around edges.

Thank you for such an amazing video, and I'm glad that you'll be making maps for the next two games as well.
Can't wait to check out the maps by myself!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 09:06:05 PM by TerraEsperZ »
Current project that are on hold because job burnout :
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Offline JonLeung

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2021, 02:38:03 PM »
Tomb Raider maps are up now!  Always appreciate maps of 3D games.

As I told Electromax, I didn't really get into the Tomb Raider series until Tomb Raider: Legend (which to my understanding is the first reboot) so these OG Lara Croft adventures are definitely fascinating even without nostalgia, at least for me.  I have played Tomb Raider: Anniversary, which is a remake of this one, but that was a while ago.  One of the very few things I do remember about it is that there is a dinosaur, probably a T. Rex, which I see is here in the Lost Valley.  Can't go wrong with dinosaurs!

Anyway, thanks again, Electromax!

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2021, 03:29:57 PM »
I love seeing 3d maps rendered in an isometric perspective like this, even though they're not always easily "readable" because rooms will overlap with one another and ceiling geometry is sometimes visible.
Also, because of the primitive graphics of the game, it's not always easy to tell where edges are located. When older 3D games are rendered like this, I've always wondered how much better/worse it would look with a visible outline around edges.

Thank you for such an amazing video, and I'm glad that you'll be making maps for the next two games as well.
Can't wait to check out the maps by myself!

Thanks! Yeah, I often get confused by perspective when trying to find the best angle overall for each level, reminds me of that bit in Indiana Jones 3 when the perspective shifts and he realizes he's on a bridge. Peardian's Ocarina of Time iso maps are my favorite, but TR's levels fit together a bit differently and it's difficult to separate a single room so I wasn't able to achieve that level of clarity (partially why only the overhead map parts are labeled). For TR2 and 3 with a lot more verticality, I might try separating floors a bit more and trying more severe angles maybe.

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2021, 01:58:55 PM »
Resident Evil (2002) maps from going for platinum recently:
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1409615780250066945

Want to do a bit more error checking/cleanup before I submit though.

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2021, 11:34:40 AM »
Metal Gear Solid is up.
https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#MetalGearSolid

I made a short YouTube video explaining how I made it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PihXtAKtb2A

Among other things, a cleanup of Tomba and Vagrant Story along with maps for Mega Man Legends and MGS2 are in the plans. Want to revisit Tomb Raider as well.

Offline JonLeung

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2021, 12:22:42 PM »
Is the "Escape Route" legitimately equally as long as the whole island, as seen in the whole Shadow Moses maps?  I noticed the singular Escape Route map says "You must damage Liquid a certain amount in each looping section to advance", so I was wondering if there was some artistic license there on the full maps.

In any case, I think it's very neat that the game is actually very long (that is, "long" in the narrow sense, not gameplay time).

Offline Electromax

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Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2021, 12:34:21 PM »
I shortened it on the Escape Route map so it wasn't needlessly big, just a sample of each part, but the full game map I think is what the intention was. In reality it can last for a while if you have bad aim, but the cliff you end on is meant to be the same coast you originally swim up to I think.