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21
Maps In Progress / Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Last post by Electromax 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.
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VGMaps Social Board / Re: YouTube channel! (JonLeung1)
« Last post by JonLeung on March 28, 2021, 08:12:49 PM »

Just got to 500 subscribers!  Meant to do this idea I'd had since at least as far back as last summer: a video taking Daft Punk's "Technologic" and replacing some verbs with more common video game actions.  Would have been a good fit to release around Daft Punk's split last month if I knew it was coming...  How many video games can you recognize, and can you spot the five "alternate takes" that appear only once?
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Map Requests / GHOSTS 'N GOBLINS! full series maps
« Last post by catacombs on March 22, 2021, 10:58:27 AM »

on february 25 capcom released a new "ghosts 'n goblins" game for the first time in 15 years.  i thought it would be neat for vgmaps to have all the maps available.  below are the titles with no or missing maps

ghouls 'n ghosts - sega genesis
super ghouls 'n ghosts (arrange mode) - nintendo gameboy advance
makaimura for wonderswan - bandai wonderswan
ultimate ghosts 'n goblins - sony playstation portable
ghosts 'n goblins resurrection - nintendo switch

ultimate ghosts 'n goblins on the psp is a beautiful game with many secret paths and hidden items.
if anyone is willing to map this great game, i have a colorful pdf guide that i have made detailing the location of hidden items
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Message Board Announcements / Re: 2021-02-03: Major user purge
« Last post by JonLeung on March 22, 2021, 08:42:38 AM »
I deleted a bunch more zero-post accounts this morning.

I will probably seriously enforce the "post a meaningful reply after you've registered" so that it's easy to just constantly wipe out the no-post accounts, which very often turn out to eventually be spammers.
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Maps In Progress / Re: FlyingArmor's Map Projects Present and Future
« Last post by FlyingArmor on March 21, 2021, 02:18:50 PM »
Yeah, some games don't allow for clean, aesthetically pleasing representations as two-dimensional maps, so one has to tweak things and get creative to get them looking as close to the authentic article as one can. It can be really tough at times, can't it?

It's wonderful to hear you were inspired to take up mapping from seeing my humble maps! When I can find some time, I'll be sure to peruse your maps for Tomba and Vagrant Story. The cursory glance I've taken of both map sets thus far leaves me very impressed!
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Maps In Progress / Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Last post by Electromax 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.
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Maps In Progress / Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Last post by Grizzly 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.
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Maps In Progress / Re: FlyingArmor's Map Projects Present and Future
« Last post by Electromax on March 18, 2021, 06:20:25 AM »
Enjoy reading about the layering challenges upthread! I didn't notice until reading your comments what was "faked" for the map like that, which is always the goal  :)

Tomba on PS1 mixed sprite billboards with 3D level geometry and parallax scrolling, so I had to do some goofy tricks to try and stretch/tile/recreate gradients over larger areas to simulate the effects as best as possible.

https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/Tomba!-VillageOfAllBeginnings.png
They swap out BGs as you move across the level, so here the clouds are used in the first part but when you climb up they secretly swap it out for a "forest canopy in distance" BG. No great way to blend them nicely so I just left a big artificial crop on it where it appears.

https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/Tomba!-LavaCaves.png
This one had a cool graphical effect on PS1 I couldn't duplicate in Blender to make the caves recede into the darkness, so I just cropped the main red outer wall shell I had and duplicated it, shrinking and making it darker each time. It actually is fairly different to in-game (which also has pulsing lights) but at a glance I got it close enough to be happy.

Your FF7 maps are one of the biggest influences that made me decide to try my hand at some of my own, btw.
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Maps In Progress / Re: Jackster's Map Projects
« Last post by Electromax on March 18, 2021, 06:08:32 AM »
Just dropping in to say I appreciate a lot of these - the Zelda CD-I ones were amazing to see since I've never played or watched the game, it looks gorgeous if you only knew the backgrounds lol. Also the 16-bit Toy Story was a fun trip down memory lane.
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Maps In Progress / Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Last post by Electromax 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.
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