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SWAG Release Thread


Sonic With A Gun full release

Or play Sonic With a Gun in your web browser if you don't like downloading things/can't figure out the DOSBox emulator.
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That rolls off the tongue so much better than the previous name.
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Lark couldn't hold on to it forever.
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I'M HYPED

there, that's my part!
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I remember when I was a lurker and I first tried the SWAG demo... I really sucked at it. XD
Anyway, consider me hyped.
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Looking forward to the 23rd! It looks like it will have been well worth the wait.
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Also, if there's anyone out there who understands how music works, I'd love to use the actual Sonic songs in this, instead of whatever existing JJ1 songs I think match the best. Unfortunately I am not someone who understands how music works, and when I have found module versions of the Sonic soundtrack, feeding them into convert.exe has produced incoherent screeching messes. Or errors.
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As much as I understand how music works, I'm completely unfamiliar with the PSM format, so I can't be of any help. I'll ask around if someone else could do it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet CLM View Post
Also, if there's anyone out there who understands how music works, I'd love to use the actual Sonic songs in this, instead of whatever existing JJ1 songs I think match the best. Unfortunately I am not someone who understands how music works, and when I have found module versions of the Sonic soundtrack, feeding them into convert.exe has produced incoherent screeching messes. Or errors.
Which converter are you using and what format are these sanic songs? Screamtracker modules are most similar in it's structure to PSM's
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Originally Posted by Violet CLM View Post
Also, if there's anyone out there who understands how music works, I'd love to use the actual Sonic songs in this, instead of whatever existing JJ1 songs I think match the best. Unfortunately I am not someone who understands how music works, and when I have found module versions of the Sonic soundtrack, feeding them into convert.exe has produced incoherent screeching messes. Or errors.
I can safely volunteer to help with this, if you are talking about .s3m files I can edit them with Open Modplug Tracker.

Jazz Jackrabbit games tend to already use converted versions of .s3m files, so I agree that would be the easiest format to convert to for a JJ1 game.

The only thing special about certain songs that work for the JJ series is that you can implement an automatic loop in the composition of the song for longer levels. But that shouldn't be necessary for a particular piece in general

However, I want to denote that the premise of "Sonic with a gun" is kind of broken with a Jazz as the main character.

Well, here's a preview of the .s3m file I made. I guess that .s3m should be able to convert to JJ1 music.

Actually you can download it in .ogg format there. You might have an easier time implementing .ogg into JJ1 than you would have trying to use an Amiga-based format for a game for MS-DOS that can now only be run on Windows. :P

Plus overall the final version of my track is an .OGG file as opposed to an .S3M file. The .s3m of this song is ~24 MB and the .OGG file is only ~3 MB.

https://soundcloud.com/jordanjett/kr...reen-hill-zone

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Originally Posted by KRSplatinum View Post
However, I want to denote that the premise of "Sonic with a gun" is kind of broken with a Jazz as the main character.
"Sonic with a gun" was a preexisting, probably somewhat derogatory description for Jazz Jackrabbit which I am RECLAIMING. Also, there isn't a suitable sprite sheet of actual sonic that I could use, and I don't feel like drawing one myself.
That's definitely an interesting listening experience! Kind of trippy, as it were. I'm not at all sure JJ1 could handle it, though, at 24mb? I'm doing very little editing to the JJ1 .exe itself, so "implementing .ogg into JJ1" is out of the question.

Since the last time I looked, I found this tool for converting .mid to .s3m, which combined with this .mid database and convert.exe should give me enough possible options for each song that at least one will probably play semi-plausibly... genesis vgm to .mid (manual) to .s3m (automatic) to .psm (automatic) is not as direct a translation as one might hope, but it's faster than asking you to remix idk how many songs in a few weeks in such a way that a 1994 DOS program can play them correctly.
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Thanks for the links! So the correct file format actually is .psm?

I'd like to clarify the process...

- original Sonic music is for Genesis in VGM format
- Instead of that, Swag can use a MIDI version of those songs
- Those .MID files can be converted to .S3M directly
- Those .S3M files can be converted to .PSM

And jj1 uses PSM, so there must be a program for MS DOS that can convert between .s3m and .psm, since the soundtrack was unofficially released in .s3m format.

I see what you mean, from there it's just about making a list of the Sonic worlds you made levels for, and pick a good .MID song for each different world, and hopefully the music corresponds with the world it's from. ⌒.⌒

I haven't tried yet but overall, it seems like if convert.exe won't work, it might be easiest to convert from .s3m to .mod to .psm, in order to reduce errors. At that point, according to my sources JJ1MOD can convert .mod to .psm.

If the .s3m files won't work entirely, .mid files can be converted to .mod, in my opinion.

...EDIT:

By the way, Convert.exe doesn't run on Windows 8. It's obviously a program made to run in MS-DOS, not Windows, if Epic used it to make JJ1.

Furthermore, JJ1MOD doesn't work for 64-bit machines, which mine is... I might have to use DOS-Box.

Changelog:

Wow, I had no idea Epic actually made a full-fledged module conversion and cleanup program for MS-DOS back in the '90s... They should sell this software.

Too bad the file size of my .s3m file is too big to be made into a .MOD file, lol. I made a valid .PSM file out of a .MOD, but it is only like 5 seconds long XD

The sample I used is too big for .MOD file format. I used a single sample of the whole song from Green Hill Zone, a sample which I edited before putting into a module.

You're right, SwaG will need to use a different remix than the one I posted to Soundcloud, unless JJ1MOD can do better in terms of loading a large file. Right now I'm trying it, but it's taking a while to convert. I've had music file renders take literally about an hour just for ~5 minutes of audio output, so I don't expect it to be much different for this test.

****, if .s3m could only encode .ogg files instead of .wav files, this would be SOOOO much ****ing faster.

I can't say whether JJ1 would be able to use a music file that's bigger than its own filesize, but anyway, I'm just testing conversion with OpenMPT right now. I'm not going to worry about testing with JJ1 until there's actually a significance to choosing the right song for a given level.

Anyway, if there's a compilation of the Sonic soundtrack in MIDI format, which can easily be made into small .MOD files, then they can become .PSM files which should work in JJ1.

Update: As for a progress report, my conversion from .s3m to .psm in JJ1MOD totally failed. As expected, it said in the J2O page that it didn't work.

-> The next step of my process is to convert some of those MIDI files you posted into .MOD files, then convert them into .PSM files with Convert.exe.

By the way, JJ1 songs are only 4-channels as far as I know. It's nearly impossible to reduce the number of channels from any song without essentially fully remastering them. These MIDI files will need a complete overhaul before they're properly converted to a 4-channel .MOD. Instead, I'd sooner convert to 32-channel .MOD and check whether that's supported by JJ1 or not :d

mid2s3m can't convert more than 8 channels either.

I have made a .MOD file out of son1hill.mid, but it's SOO messed up right now, haha.

In order to ACTUALLY correct this, I would have to tune EVERY single one of these virtual instruments, and they would still sound like crap since MIDI playback by the Windows synthesizer is literally a joke, so it would be faster to just replace them all. And the filesize is already twice as big as any JJ1 song, so I can't guarantee these MIDI files can be converted to .PSM.

It's really more likely that I could just make new 4-track .MOD files for whatever levels you choose, convert them later to .PSM, and stick to a 150-kb limit for all JJ1-related music.

Otherwise, there's no use trying to convert a 12-channel .MID file into a 4-channel .PSM file. It just won't happen without a true upgrade to Windows' MIDI synthesizer.

However, if there are some 4-channel .MID files on the site you posted, in theory they could eventually be converted to .PSM. They just need to have every instrument re-tuned in the process, in order for them to not be broken in terms of pitch.

Look, in other words... For troubleshooting purposes:

- 12-channel MIDI songs can't be converted to 4-channel .PSM files.
The reason for this is that 12-channels allows (12 people playing 1 instrument each in 1 song) and 4-channels allows (4 people playing 1 instrument each in 1 song). It's like trying to make 4 groups of 3 people read 1 page of sheet music per group, lol.

- Converting .MID to .MOD in Open Modplug Tracker detunes all of the instruments. It's like virtually loading a bunch of guitars onto a rocketship, sending them to Mars and asking how much air pressure is on the guitar strings once a computer astronaut plays the guitar in a Martian atmosphere. They're obviously not going to immediately sound correct, haha.

For the purposes of SwaG:

- The limit for JJ1-based music is about 100-150 kb in a single .PSM file. (I haven't actually tested this in JJ1, but I have been able to make a 4-channel .PSM song that plays in OpenMPT.)
- So far, I haven't found any sheet music for Sonic songs that can be converted and opened in JJ1. JJ1 has a strict limit of 4 channels for a song, and only accepts .PSM files with a certain filename that determines what order the songs are in compared to each JJ1 world.

-> My plan right now is to just start from scratch, make a 4-channel .MOD file that covers a given Sonic level based on any Sonic world music, convert it to .PSM with convert.exe, check to see that its filesize is under ~150 kb to fit in with JJ1, then to apply it to a JJ1 world, rename it to, for example, song0.PSM in order to play, say, Green Hill Zone music in the Diamondus world.

- What this would require is a list of Sonic worlds that are levels that will be in SwaG, so that the music choice can be appropriate for the level, since it would be cool if the levels had the music from the old worlds in Sonic, just a new version of the same song.

...

While I'm at it, there's a strict limit to the file size of an appropriate .PSM file.
This limit is about ~100 kb.
A simplistic method of reducing the file size of a .PSM file would be:

1. Before you convert to .PSM, edit your file as a .MOD.
2. Change the samples your .MOD file uses. They have to be .WAV file format samples.
3. Reduce the bitrate of each of the .WAV files you're using in the song.
4. Reapply the .WAV samples to the .MOD file in OpenMPT.
5. Convert the .MOD again to .PSM.

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Woooo, that's a lot of words. And yeah, doing JJ1 stuff requires spending a lot of time in DOSBox.

Look... I really don't understand music files. Even if I took the time to learn, which isn't practical in this timeframe, I have barely any ear for music, so I wouldn't even know if I was doing the right things or not. If you think you can produce better results than automatically converting those .mid files to s3m and then to psm, and do so in a timely manner, and are willing to do so, I'd definitely be grateful and rep up your posts! But it sounds like a lot of fine-tuning and bother, and I don't want to force this on you (or anyone) unless you're sure. If you are, the six main zone songs (GHZ, MZ, SYZ, LZ, SLZ, SBZ) are the obvious contenders for where to start, and if those work out, we can talk about which other songs would be good to have too.
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OK, TY.
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Originally Posted by KRSplatinum View Post
JJ1 songs are only 4-channels as far as I know.
Myth busted.

(ENDSONG.PSM, pattern 16 -- technically, it doesn't actually use channels 7 and 8 in the song(At least, I couldn't see it using them), but it uses the first six, as you can see)

EDIT: All the CD songs also have eight tracks.
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New screenshots.
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that link refers to itself
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Also, there isn't a suitable sprite sheet of actual sonic that I could use, and I don't feel like drawing one myself.
Psst, don't tell the Sonic fandom, but I'm convinced that Jazz is a way cooler character to play with in the first place!
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Yeah, but I'd play a Zoonik game in a heartbeat...
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Nobody outside this community knows about Zoonik.

As a matter of fact, I'll safely bet that nobody outside this thread knows about Zoonik.
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As a matter of fact, I'll safely bet that nobody outside this thread knows about Zoonik.
you have just lost your bet to this abomination
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Who is sonic with a gun really? He would have to be a mascot for the Seattle Supersonics, since NBA mascots shoot tshirts at basketball games. However, that shouldn't affect your character development. Jazz could probably beat this game independently, and there aren't any other sprites available. Therefore it's up to him to make this game happen.
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you have just lost your bet to this abomination
They used to post here, so I'm not that far off.
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I would certainly prefer playing as Zoonik instead of Zool. At least he had a foxy tail.

While I never had an Amiga, I always thought of Zool as a Ninja Turtle in a Power Ranger suit.
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I'm excited!

But give it to me straight, doc. How badly broken is it in OpenJazz?
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Okay, I just downloaded the latest OJ version (no changelog?) and I'll do a runthrough...
  • Bullets move too fast.
  • The "Fall" and "Fall to ground" behaviors move much too fast.
  • Conversely, the "float back and forth" behavior moves too slow. (This may be a difference between single-x-pixel and quadruple-x-pixel movement.)
  • Offsets for the various weapon icons in PANEL.000 are read incorrectly. (this one surprises me)
  • The "launch pad" behavior... I dunno, I'm not sure if there are any properties it gets right.
  • Something about sprite attack positions doesn't seem to be working right, particularly the vertical offset.
  • OJ has no understanding of vertical movement for the (controllable) slide back and forth behaviors. (This is the main behavior I refer to when I mention things that the original JJ1 levels never used.)
  • Likewise, it massively overestimates the horizontal distance to be traveled by those behaviors.
  • The spring plants from Jungrock don't work. (I'm guessing this is because of differing interpretations of the size of null sprites.)
  • Swinging platforms don't draw their chain sprites. (Not a gameplay problem, and probably known, but I thought I'd mention it.)
  • The "flying snake" behavior bears no resemblance to its JJ1 equivalent.
  • Background effect #8 ("Grey sky") has more palette cycles than it should.
  • Events with the Stand On modifier don't obey the vertical positioning of the sprite when determining which pixels Jazz can't stand on, so the visible platform can end up quite a bit higher or lower than the physical one.
  • The "shot animation" anims appear to try to display an accessory animation even if their accessory animation is #0
  • The "Float up and down" behavior is checking for masks on the far right side of the sprite, instead of the column the event is placed, or... something? I'm not quite sure what's going on here. Also its collision detection with the player doesn't make any sense.
  • OJ freezes when the player comes near an event with an infinite number of accessory animations, instead of capping them at 7 (IIRC) like JJ1 does.
  • The ability of the "Repel Jazz foreground" behavior to set your XSpeed is much too powerful and lasts much too long.
  • Likewise, the "Spring up" modifier sends you too high.
  • The "Dive at Jazz" behavior doesn't have any mask detection at all, following you through walls and across pits.
  • OJ seems to have zero understanding of the use of Gravity=4 for bullets
  • Likewise, zero support for the "unknown weapon" (two modifiers after "Dispose airboard", third item in the "Accessory animations" window.
  • The "Float up" behavior is too weak on the X axis.
  • Passing over a 0-Strength event with modifier "Change water level" doesn't destroy it.
  • The "Float on water" behavior doesn't work.
  • The "Pezrock ball" behavior doesn't seem to respect the "Moving platform start" property.
  • An event with a >0 Strength property cannot be destroyed by shooting it unless it uses one of a subset of modifiers.
  • Bullets are moved the same gametick they are created, instead of waiting until the next one.
  • "Medivo ball" events don't move unless they have chain sprites... I think? Certainly some of them don't move, and that's my best guess for why.
  • Levels with offset Y camera positions (e.g. many Guardian levels) are misinterpreted as having sun tiles instead.
  • Only the first sun tile is read, instead of all four of them.
  • The background sky gradients scroll at the wrong speeds.
  • Given an attack whose "Hor. speed left #1" and "Hor. speed right #1" are both -1, OJ will manage to fire the bullet only to the right.
That's besides the basic engine stuff like not resetting ammo on death, or moving much too quickly (and not showing the airboard sprite) while flying, or bullets being active in memory while offscreen, or events loaded at different times than JJ1 would load them, or getting hurt not sending you flying backwards. There are probably more things I could have found, but the freezing from accessory animations problem prevented me from viewing three whole levels and I didn't feel like moving the start positions around or whatever to do more detailed testing. Basically, it's pretty, but it's not very playable.
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If I knew anything about composing with a tracker (I don't, I find the interface terribly unintuitive), I'd jump at the chance to do the soundtrack for this. I'd probably try to rearrange the Sonic 1 soundtrack in a very Jazz 1-like manner, maybe include some little references to other Sonic games like the levels do... but yeah, I've never really had the patience to sit down and learn such an obsolete form of making music.
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As unlikely as it is for Alister to fix Violet's mega list in two weeks, keep in mind that OpenJazz uses libmodplug, and can run
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669, amf, ams, dbm, dmf, dsm, far, it, mdl, med, mod, mt2, mtm, okt, psm, ptm, s3m, stm, ult, umx, wav and xm
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If I knew anything about composing with a tracker (I don't, I find the interface terribly unintuitive), I'd jump at the chance to do the soundtrack for this. I'd probably try to rearrange the Sonic 1 soundtrack in a very Jazz 1-like manner, maybe include some little references to other Sonic games like the levels do... but yeah, I've never really had the patience to sit down and learn such an obsolete form of making music.
Well, I have a lot of experience making module music with Windows trackers, but I can't really write sheet music right now.

If you do make an arrangement, and you have it in some form of sheet music, it would be faster for me to transcribe your arrangement into a module file than it would for me to make my own arrangement.

I guess the arrangement should be for ~4, ~8 or ~12 instruments, guesstimating from the number of channels JJ1 songs typically use.

I would just suggest a limit of only a few minutes per song, or else people who play the levels won't get to hear the whole song.

To reiterate, my plan for this project is to create a .mod file and convert it to .psm. AFAIK, That's solely dependent on the .mod file being ~100 kb.
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The Genesis' synth had 6 channels, JJ1 supports at least 6 channels as Robo4900 showed.

Original songs.
VGMTool can decompress those (.vgz to .vgm).

Then I used this to convert them to MIDI; probably there is a better converter floating around somewhere.

The resulting file has completely wacky tuning/timing, because that's what the Genesis had. At that point I recommend just re-tracking the whole song using the MIDI file as a guide - with the songs around 1 minute and with only 6 channels this really isn't too bad.
That said I don't volunteer for it quite yet, there's some other work I really need to finish.
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Feb 7, 2014, 08:27 AM
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I could work with the midi files by converting them to mod, then fixing all of the instruments manually. If there are only a few instruments, it's only a matter of finding in-tune samples with low file size.
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Feb 8, 2014, 02:23 AM
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Seems like Violet forgot to post: Gravis
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ModDB articles are screened for content, style, etc. by the site admins before being posted, so it's not so much that I forgot as the last time I'd checked it hadn't been approved yet. But now it is! Thanks!

(I've posted this picture before, or at least one very like it. The rest are new.)
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Feb 9, 2014, 08:27 AM
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That looks awesome. Can't wait to try it.

Stuff like this makes me want to go back doing JJ1 modding, but sadly I just don't have time for stuff like that anymore :-(.

Are you also modding the in game menus and episode images? I gave that a try once but as far as I could see it was all hardcoded. I expect that would be no problem for you though.
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Feb 9, 2014, 12:32 PM
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I have a lot of ideas for additional material to cram in, none of which I'm going to talk about prior to the release. Screenshots and text will focus on the main levels, and anything else will be a surprise. What will or will not make it in basically depends on how much time I have for it, and before any of that I need to finish the last part of the final level, and then do a sweep through all the levels fixing sound effects and sprite alignment.
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Not Labryn
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Feb 14, 2014, 05:58 AM
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At first sight, the enemy in image #3 reminded me of the Dopefish.



That got me thinking, wouldn't it be nostalgic to keep the old Dopefish fad alive by, for example, turning one of those enemies into one and placing it in a hidden room?
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It would be! I wonder if I have that much free sprite memory...
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Feb 14, 2014, 11:22 AM
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If you don't, you could add the Dopefish to a tileset and put that in a secret room?
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And on Feb 23, we'll see a message:

SWAG has been delayed. reason: the Dopefish ate all time that should've been spent on bug fixing.
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