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Romhacking => Personal Projects => Topic started by: nesrocks on April 24, 2016, 01:53:23 pm

Title: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 24, 2016, 01:53:23 pm
Minor edit (disclaimer):
This project has escalated into something way bigger than I initially wanted to do. It has moved from an improvements hack to a complete overhaul of the graphics, game design, songs and bug fixes. I won't update this first post with a lot of content, but instead will give a few images to give an idea of what this hack does (check the whole thread to see all of the changes done, or go straight to http://nesrocks.com/blog/superpitfall30th/ and get the hack!).
(http://i.imgur.com/9ESIKTt.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/5KlL4Pi.png)

Please note that a lot has changed since I started on this project, so many of the ideas posted here were not how the project turned out to be. It is cool to keep it though to see how it really progressed. Original post following (/edit end):

--------------------------------

Hey guys! I've been using my interest to hack super pitfall to improve my hacking skills. I've been studying all the tools and trying to understand 6502 asm for the past month. It's been a blast. Special thansk to dougeff, Disch, snarfblam and macbee  :crazy:

I've managed to make a lot of progress and even come up with new stuff. Here's what I've got:

- change the amount of starting lives (independent for each quest)
- change the amount of bullets a gun gives
- change the amount of gold required for perfect ending (default 100)
- always invincible (makes testing easier)
- invincible mode without blinking sprite (makes testing easier)
- change in-game hud position
- flip the gun in Harry's hand. For some reason it points towards him
- full map editting for static tiles and partially for the other objects, including warps
- change where each warp leads to from the default list of 8 possible destinations
- make these items always visible: guns, extra lives, lion key, invincibility star, medicine, ring 1, ring 2 and cross (everything except the suit keys)
- change the title screen
- a hack that gets rid of 2 player mode and lets you choose which quest to start on! It's working but I haven't finished the game on either option yet so I can't tell that it's 100% finished
(http://i.imgur.com/tEKJgTH.png)

I have also found one unused test room, that is to my knowledge, unknown so far.
(http://i.imgur.com/VJJ0Y9o.jpg)

And I've also found, weirdly enough, that the ROM contains older versions of almost all the rooms of the main map (except for 3 of the bottom ones). It's a lot of unused data. There are lots of minor differences in these rooms compared to the main map. There's isn't though a "map" that assembles these rooms as a full map like every other used map in the game, but they are similar enough to the main map that the main map's reference is probably the right one for these. I've then tried to compile a full image of this "beta" map but I lack the skills to automate it. I've tried contacting kingkuros of vgmaps because he mapped the used ones but he's hard to reach.

I've mapped quite a few addresses. And I have listed the hex ID for every object. It includes some possibly unused items and enemies that lack graphics but have a simple behavior I haven't seen or don't remember being in the game.

So I plan to release my work in the following ways:

- a hack for quest select mode (done)
- a hack for making items always visible (might need help with the suit keys, it's driving me nuts, otherwise it's done)
- a graphics hack, including new title screen and new font
- a map hack containing a completely new adventure (might need help with fully understanding how dynamic object data is stored). This hack will possibly require the graphics hack as I plan to make much better use of background tiles

So, is anyone interested in taking a look at the suits and dynamic objects problems? I have the addresses figured out, so it only probably takes a better understanding of asm.

Also, I have a question. What does the unrom to mmc3 patch does? Is it useful to me? http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2665/
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KingMike on April 24, 2016, 10:24:35 pm
Also, I have a question. What does the unrom to mmc3 patch does? Is it useful to me? http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2665/
The thing about mapper hacks: if you don't know why a mapper hack would be helpful to you,
then it probably wouldn't be helpful to you. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 24, 2016, 10:47:32 pm
I have figured that much, but since I'm also learning here, and if it would give me empty space so I could add more stuff, then perhaps I'd like to know that. For example, it would be cool if quest 2 used the unused map instead of both using the same map. The way I've figured is that the way the ROM works right now it isn't an easy (or possible) task because of bank switching and all. Maybe it is possible but I just don't know how to do it yet.

edit: I'm reading some docs about mapper changing.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on April 24, 2016, 10:52:49 pm
Hopefully this fixes all of the glitches that plagued the game, and made everyone call this port "one of the worst NES games ever made."
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 24, 2016, 11:05:49 pm
Hopefully this fixes all of the glitches that plagued the game, and made everyone call this port "one of the worst NES games ever made."

I hope so too! There are two particular bugs I would like to fix:
1 -The controls sometimes locking with the d-pad (I've already mapped exactly when these occur)
2- Sometimes Harry will simply slip from ladders for no reason. This may sound like in super smash bros brawl with the tripping, but I'll consider it a bug and try to fix it.

Some of the more complex graphical glitches like screen sometimes flashing garbage sprites are probably too hard for me to fix.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on April 24, 2016, 11:20:45 pm
According to the Super Pitfall Wikipedia page, the Tandy Color Computer 3 version of this game was a "hundred times" better than the NES version.

Quote from: Wikipedia, in the last paragraph of the "Reception" section
The Tandy Color Computer 3 version, however, eliminated most of the glitches, included flashing notations as to where the hidden items were, and removed the requirement of having to return to the start point. This version was pointed to as the best of the Super Pitfall versions released.

Hopefully you (or someone) would do the same for this version.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 25, 2016, 01:11:41 am
the Tandy Color Computer 3 version of this game was a "hundred times" better than the NES version.
Videos of it are rare. I've only found a very short one. So I have spent the last 2 hours trying to figure out how to run the coco3 emulator with the super pitfall cartridge ROM. It finally worked. Get the vcc emulator, get the ccc rom, rename the rom to .ROM extension, load it in cartridge slot, configure the right joystick as a keyboard and play it.

That said, I'd like to end this myth here. The NES version is better. It has bugs, but it is way more complete and way more playable. You may try it yourself and be the judge of that. I don't know why the NES gets such a bad rep anyway. Sure the AVGN episode was funny, but there are truly horrendous NES games out there. It's unfair to place this game in the same level of xmen or action 52. I guess it's the price of being named after such a famous game. Much like how people hate street fighter 2010 despite it being an excellent game. Super pitfall may not be excellent, great, or even good, but it is average. It is definitely better than 50% of the NES library, and that's saying something. So, imo, not "one of the worst games".

Well, I guess it's natural that I try to defend it, as I deemed it worthy of my time to hack it. But after playing the coco3 version, I just gotta say stick to the NES version. Or preferably stick to my hacked version when I'm done :laugh:.

About the things that ARE better on the coco3 version: I'm already removing the need to jump mindlessly around. About not having to return to the start I guess it's a matter of making it clear that escaping is the last thing that has to be done to complete the game. Making it so it auto-ends when the three objectives are done may be out of my skillset and I'm not sure I agree with it, but I'll look into that.

edit: I've just seen a video of the other game with the same name for the PC-88. It's quite a different game, but I can see it being the better one. Also it seems to have some things that were supposed to be on the NES version but were left out.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on April 25, 2016, 04:29:37 pm
Epaaa!
Wonderful work you are doing!

Super Pitfall was one of the most loved games in my Phantom System era (a Brazilian NES clone). I did complete the game several times and it was, besides the glitches, amazing. This game, imo, is miles away from many other awful NES games.

Looking forward for more news!

Regards,
Cospefogo.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Jorpho on April 25, 2016, 05:07:25 pm
AGDQ did this speedrun last year that made the whole thing seem like a lost cause.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlFY3_55Il8
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on April 25, 2016, 05:19:23 pm
I remember climbing the walls using that dirty trick!
It is the only way to complete the game and not get crazy!
=)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 25, 2016, 06:03:53 pm
Hey cospefogo, thanks! I'll keep working on it. I did finish the game in 1991 without going inside the walls hehe. But I guess in the end I became crazy so you're right.  ;D I remember doing the waterfall skip though.

AGDQ did this speedrun last year that made the whole thing seem like a lost cause.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlFY3_55Il8
Thanks for the video! Coincidentally I had just watched it yesterday. There are some things he says that are kind of a stretch. For example, if a 11 year old kid can notice the vulture flies differently than how vultures normally fly in the game, and know that the game has lots of hidden stuff and then add 1 + 2 and jump on the vulture (lots of kids did exactly just that, including yours truly), then it looks bad for him for saying what he said about it. I can see why he did it though. He was either just making a joke or feeding a meme. And the internet loves memes.
About quick claw not looking like a lion I blame that on localization. He looks like a cat. Why would someone own a pet lion anyway? They have probably put "lion" on the manual so the game looks a little more badass, a pretty standard move when localizing to the west. Or maybe it's a lioness?
About having to escape after completing the objectives being "bs", he's partly right. I'm sure there are other superpitfallmetroidvania games where you need to escape after completing it. The thing is, in the NES version it was admitedly not well implemented. If you watch the PC-88 version's last sections you will see what I mean. It looks more complete as it all comes full circle.

All in all, the NES version is really rushed, I'm not denying it. But people love to skip being fair and go straight to feeding memes.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on April 25, 2016, 06:05:58 pm
Respect, nesrocks!
Keep up the good work!

Cospefogo.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on April 25, 2016, 07:49:49 pm
One thing that I'll never understand is that why was this game called Super Pitfall in the first place, instead of just Pitfall (for the NES).

Super Pitfall sounds like an original Pitfall game made for the Super NES.

I don't know if anybody has noticed that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on April 25, 2016, 07:57:59 pm
For me it is Super because it is a super version of a traditional Pitfall.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 25, 2016, 08:52:16 pm
Because super is a word that means... Super. And the snes still didn't exist. So they named it super for the same reason nintendo named the snes super. Because it was better. Or perhaps you should be asking yourself why did nintendo name their console after super pitfall, not the other way around. Or why did they name it all after super man. My super nes doesn't have x-ray vision. What's up with that?  :laugh: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 25, 2016, 09:01:13 pm
Quote
My super nes doesn't have x-ray vision.

It doesn't? Man, you got jipped. I thought they all had it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: macbee on April 25, 2016, 09:07:33 pm
One thing that I'll never understand is that why was this game called Super Pitfall in the first place, instead of just Pitfall (for the NES).

Probably to make people think that Super Pitfall was to the original Pitfall what Super Mario Bros. was compared to the old Mario Bros. arcade game.

And it worked - at least for me. Super Pitfall was one of my guilty pleasures back in the early 1990s. :D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on April 25, 2016, 09:25:06 pm
Probably to make people think that Super Pitfall was to the original Pitfall what Super Mario Bros. was compared to the old Mario Bros. arcade game.
I'm gonna go ahead and choose this statement, despite the fact Mario Bros, which started as an Nintendo arcade game cabinet, got a NES port later on.

Although, I'm surprised that a lot of old-school Brazilian gamers played this game, like a lot American gamers played Super Mario Bros.

EDIT: At least this game is not called Super Duper Pitfall. :P
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 25, 2016, 10:12:52 pm
Well it could have been called this
(http://i.imgur.com/uCNrZtr.png)

Joke screenshots aside, I've modified the menu to add another functionality. Whenever you game over you will see and can simply select continue. No need to use a secret button sequence to select an invisible option anymore! It works with the quest menu patch too.
(http://i.imgur.com/1pLk0oB.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on April 26, 2016, 05:46:27 am
I have several questions:

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on April 26, 2016, 12:46:09 pm
I have several questions
1. Probably out of my league. I realized now that making this possible may be one of the avantages of the mmc3 mapper patch.
2. I wish it had a compass showing where important items were. Probably also out of my league.
3. I have thought about doing this. I might release it as a level design improvement separate patch.
4. Yes, I plan to do a complete graphics overhaul once I'm done with the other modifications.

edit 1: I believe I have fixed the problems with getting through walls, falling through the floor and slipping from ladders. Further testing is needed, but it seems fine now.

edit 2: I have been working on the graphics as I've given up making the suits visible for now. Just posting some of the results, although it's not final, especially the background ones. I have found a lot of unused metatiles and tiles, so I plan to make it richer.
(http://i.imgur.com/RBsfwFW.png) (http://i.imgur.com/qqLn0FZ.png)

I also have an idea to change completely what the hud does. I want it to show progress on collected items and gold units instead of points and bullets. Preferably bullets should be infinite but you start without a gun (I would remove all the gun items from the game except for one carefully placed gun). Gold unit count would be useful for those going for the perfect ending.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 03, 2016, 02:51:01 pm
Update: This is what the new hud currently looks like (that screenshot shows what it looks like when you have all items).

(http://i.imgur.com/DsinqHs.png)

I have made it so when you get the lion its icon replaces the key icon, and when you get the niece it replaces the medicine icon.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 03, 2016, 10:56:53 pm
^I'll never understand why the protagonist's feet phase through the floor.

Is this some kind of glitch or something?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on May 04, 2016, 12:59:07 am
One thing that I'll never understand is that why was this game called Super Pitfall in the first place, instead of just Pitfall (for the NES).

Super Pitfall sounds like an original Pitfall game made for the Super NES.

I don't know if anybody has noticed that.

For the same reasons a certain other game was named Super Mario Bros., I guess.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 04, 2016, 01:12:45 am
^I'll never understand why the protagonist's feet phase through the floor.

Is this some kind of glitch or something?
Yeah, it's funny that I've only noticed that yesterday. It's just its normal position. Maybe it can be changed.

More graphics (not final):

(http://i.imgur.com/Ql56Cin.png)
I can make this door work as a warp. I'll probably draw portals like this and replace the warp condors with these. I might even know how to make it work only when pressing UP, but I can't guarantee that.  :laugh: As of this writing it warps instantly when you walk in front of it.

(http://i.imgur.com/ZQBknb3.png)

I am looking for the best way to streamline map editing. I have regular character tiles (00 to FF) but also metatiles (each made of 2 x 2 tiles with a color attribute), rooms (each room made of 16 x 15 metatiles), and maps which is just a series or rooms in sequence (16 rooms wide). It's a real pain to edit it all. I thought that maybe tiled would be a good tool but I'm not sure. I need to edit / create metatiles, edit attribute tables, edit rooms and edit maps. Probably the best way to go would be to write a tool...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 04, 2016, 03:58:31 am
This is looking great so far. Great work!
I always wanted a *fixed* version of this game.
I'm thinking it would be nice if Harry looked a bit more like the other versions of him from the other games, maybe even with a palette reminiscent of the original Atari Pitfall.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 04, 2016, 12:54:17 pm
Thanks!

I like the idea for the character and I can try it, but the outline will have to be dark green instead of black. I guess it can work.

I'm thinking the biggest 2 low points with the hack will be the framerate still hard coded to 15 hz and the main theme song's short loop. I have no idea how to change that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 04, 2016, 03:25:51 pm
How much free space do you have to work with?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 04, 2016, 03:36:48 pm
How much free space do you have to work with?
There is like A LOT of free space. I'm just not sure how it works with bank switching. Like, I've added a few lines of code on free space on the same loaded bank. But there is an entire unused map in an area of the rom for example.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 04, 2016, 03:54:23 pm
That's good. At least it should theoretically be possible to expand the music track.
I have no idea where to even begin with removing the frame rate cap.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 07, 2016, 01:55:02 pm
- I have just discovered that in two days (09 may 2016) on September 5th it is Super Pitfall's 30th aniversary. It is the first time it is going to be celebrated, I guess. It will be the year of Pitfall Harry, like nintendo made the year of Luigi in 2013 :laugh:

I have planned 4 patches:
1 - Bug Fixes and minor improvements
2 - Game Design Update
3 - Graphics
4 - New Adventure

I will release patch 1 soon. It contains the following:
- Less laggy
- Doesn't get into walls
- Doesn't fall through the floor
- Doesn't slip from ladders
- Gun correctly positioned in Harry's hand
- Harry's position is correct when standing instead of 2 pixels into the ground
- Title screen: Minor fixes to the Game Title's tiles
- Title screen: Harry's position fixed to point to the options correctly
- Title screen: "Continue" visible when applicable and selectable without the need to press A A A
- Restores the "x" in the hud between the gun and bullet count. This is an unused sprite found in the ROM
- Better font

I will release the other ones as they get done.  ;D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 07, 2016, 02:12:51 pm
- I have just discovered that in two days (09 may 2016) it is Super Pitfall's 30th aniversary.
Wow. This year is the year that there are so many video game anniversaries. Even from video games we have never heard of. :laugh:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 07, 2016, 02:50:59 pm
Wow. This year is the year that there are so many video game anniversaries. Even from video games we have never heard of. :laugh:
I was mistaken, it's the 5th of september, not 9th of may. Damn the inverted date system these people use!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 07, 2016, 02:59:10 pm
I was mistaken, it's the 5th of september, not 9th of may. Damn the inverted date system these people use!
Are you still gonna release the patch? Because if you will, (noticing that you want four separate patches, and not knowing which is the main one, and which are the addendum ones) I suggest that you combine all patches in one. If you have trouble, omit this.

That is, again, if you still want to release the patch(es) this Monday.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 07, 2016, 03:05:38 pm
The new adventure patch will include all patches on it.
The graphics patch will include the fixes patch.
The game design patch will include the fixes patch.
And there's the standalone fixes patch.

I figure that some people may not want to change the game so much. I might merge the graphics and game design into a single patch but I'm not sure yet.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 07, 2016, 06:25:15 pm
Good Call.
This being the 30th anniversary kinda makes me want to do a hack for it too. Hmmm...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 07, 2016, 06:44:49 pm
Good Call.
This being the 30th anniversary kinda makes me want to do a hack for it too. Hmmm...
I have a lot of the game mapped out. If you think of an idea for a hack contact me and I can share it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 07, 2016, 07:45:02 pm
Good Call.
This being the 30th anniversary kinda makes me want to do a hack for it too. Hmmm...
I'm interested to hear what your hack is about. If you want to, you can tell me via PM.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 07, 2016, 07:49:28 pm
Aren't you a funny guy, that's not what I meant XD
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 07, 2016, 08:04:08 pm
^ What? What did I say?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 07, 2016, 10:30:17 pm
Actually I was thinking of a Pitfall 2 themed version of SMB1.
And maybe an even simpler one as a hack of Dr. Mario.
Dr. Harry: Beyond the Jungle if you will.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 08, 2016, 12:57:04 am
The new adventure patch will include all patches on it.
The graphics patch will include the fixes patch.
The game design patch will include the fixes patch.
And there's the standalone fixes patch.

I figure that some people may not want to change the game so much. I might merge the graphics and game design into a single patch but I'm not sure yet.
But my question is, when are you planning on releasing it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 08, 2016, 01:55:22 am
2- Sometimes Harry will simply slip from ladders for no reason. This may sound like in super smash bros brawl with the tripping, but I'll consider it a bug and try to fix it.
I have a random guess to offer, given some of the code I've recently read (for example, code that calls a multiplication routine to multiply by 10, then calls a division routine to divide by 20, when a simple instruction would have done the same work -- what a waste.) It may have to do with polling (clocking/strobing) the serialized controller, with widely varying times between polling, and how that relates to the timers being used elsewhere. Just a wild guess, though. But "slip for no reason" may be about what you perceive vs what the software perceives.

Glad to hear you are digging into code writing. Misery loves company.  ;)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 08, 2016, 09:32:08 am
Great stuff, you sure do know your way around. Are you using fceux's debugger or did you disassemble it somehow?

Here are tasvideos Alyosha's notes on the matter:

"So far what I found is that the glitch appears to be a bit of poor programming combined with a bit of lucky interrupt timing.

Here is the code where everything goes wrong:


$FEA4:85 D5 STA $00D5 = #$94 A:06 X:02 Y:05 S:EC P:nvUBdIZC
.
.
.
$C298:40 RTI A:01 X:00 Y:3D S:7A P:nvUBdIzC
.
.
.

$FD6D:A5 D5 LDA $00D5 = #$06 A:3D X:00 Y:3D S:7D P:nvUbdIzc
$FD6F:60 RTS (from $FDD3) --------------------------- A:06 X:00 Y:3D S:7D P:nvUbdIzc
$EAE9:C9 72 CMP #$72 A:06 X:00 Y:3D S:7F P:nvUbdIzc
$EAEB:B0 21 BCS $EB0E A:06 X:00 Y:3D S:7F P:NvUbdIzc


The problem is that normally, $00D5 is $#94 and the CMP #$72 fails. However, the interrupt call set $00D5 to #$06, so it passes. From there it goes on to increase the players x position. The code seems to reuse a lot of these addresses several times per frame, so its not really surprising something like this comes up. "

So what I did to fix it is use another address instead of D5. Temporarily it works but I need to find an address that is never used for sure throughout the whole game. Or maybe a better solution.
edit: I think that simply removing that STA to D5 on FEA4 fixes it. It seems to be a deliberate feature and they knew it would sometimes pass so he falls. The problem is that he also falls through floors sometimes and goes through walls because of this. So it's better without.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 08, 2016, 10:13:39 am
Are you using fceux's debugger or did you disassemble it somehow?
Were you referring to me? Or someone else? I can't tell.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 08, 2016, 11:40:07 am
Were you referring to me? Or someone else? I can't tell.
Sorry, yes, you. That was quick how you noticed those things. I wonder how much could be optimized in this game. It took me a long time but even a newbie to assembly like me could notice some stuff arent great in the code.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 08, 2016, 12:34:44 pm
Sorry, yes, you. That was quick how you noticed those things. I wonder how much could be optimized in this game. It took me a long time but even a newbie to assembly like me could notice some stuff arent great in the code.
Hehe. I was just making a random guess based upon decades of experience and ZERO knowledge about hacking and/or writing games. It's just where I'd go look if I saw the behavior you mentioned.

Given what little I've learned from a few hours of reading code (that's the total sum of my experience on this subject), it just popped to mind. The code generation is horrible, from what tiny experience I've had reading code so far.

It is pretty clear that a C compiler was involved. (That's easy to spot, if you've ever written a C compiler yourself. It's easy to spot even if you haven't.) And it was clearly a very terrible quality C compiler. Truly and unbelievably bad. I didn't know anyone wrote C compilers that primitive, except perhaps as a class final in college. It did nothing at all more than simply do a direct conversion, without any optimizing analysis I can find. Zero peep-hole analysis, and not even the simplest of constant folding? I'm still kind of amazed at how little it did. Shocked, actually. Even the open-source and freely available SDCC for the 8051 does so much more, including odd-ball things like call-frame static overlaying to save on stack usage. The compiler clearly did support all the C features, though. I did see place where an array of function pointers was accessed, and because the 65c816/6502 doesn't have any instructions that can be used to call a function via a register value, they had to do some interesting stack manipulation together with an RTS in order to make the calls work out. So the C compiler wasn't entirely brain-dead. But just about.

What parly annoys me about that is that I'm also getting the sense (from responses here and elsewhere) that there is insufficient interest and/or pressure from compiler consumers. So I'm curious what the current spate of compilers actually handle, today. CC65 and snes-sdk have both been mentioned to me and I need to look them over. (Though someone said that CC65 generates 6502, not 65c816, code.) Back when game development was active, when professional teams were writing SNES game code, when they were paying a decent price for access and compiler tools, and when getting good code generation might really make a difference as to whether or not the resulting product was competitive enough to survive, .... well, I just can't explain what I'm seeing in this ROM! If all that wasn't enough to get a decent C compiler back then, what possible hope is there today? A hope is that good people used gcc's source and did a yeoman's job of shoveling in 65c816 knowledge into the code generation. But then, they'd need to add call branch analysis, which so far as I'm aware no one has added to gcc for any reason, to get really good code generation. (Call stack analysis is more useful where recursion isn't an issue.) There are a lot of specialized techniques, available in quality free and professional compilers for other microcontroller cores, that would need to be worked out in gcc. I wonder if anyone would go there. Another hope is that someone wrote one from scratch and applied themselves well to the task.

I'm just not yet sufficiently motivated to go look, just yet. I'm spending what time I have on assembly and helping my son (where he wants to accept it) with his current project. I will go look, someday, though. But for now, what I see in the game code is terrible and I just cannot explain it with any reasonable logic. No sane development team would ACCEPT this crap I see. Not unless they had NO OTHER CHOICE, at all. And even then? I might simply refuse to use my capital to develop a game, if Nintendo forced me to use C compilers this badly done. I would feel that Nintendo might be putting me and my team "at risk" in competing with other developers who may be using assembly-only for their development. The problems you've identified are an example of how my product might fail in the market and do so partly because Nintendo forced a crappy C compiler onto their developers wanting to use C. I don't like it when they don't care enough to deal with the basics, like that. It's not as though Nintendo didn't have enough time. The SNES didn't arrive in a vacuum. There was the NES before it. So they had plenty of time and reason to do up a decent C compiler.

Anyway, I've a lot yet to observe here. A few hours' effort in no way makes me any kind of expert. But the little bit I've seen looks scary. And I also know just how low the skill levels are for many embedded developers who'd be using the C compiler as a tool to generate code. I've met such folks, worked with them, been able to measure how few are truly good at their work and care about it deeply, and have seen how barely most of them manage to "scrape by" and how often they don't and, as a result, seen how it is that companies not infrequently lose huge investments in new product development because they hired people who had very thin levels of skills and background. (It's one of the ways I market myself, in fact.)

But it seemed pretty obvious from your description where I'd start looking. I gather from your post that others have thought similarly, too. I guess that suggests my instinct formed out of a few hours of looking around here might have been close to the mark.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KingMike on May 08, 2016, 01:09:41 pm
Is it really the compiler, or was it the developers? :P
(turns out a LOT of NES developed was contracted out to unnamed ghost developers like TOSE and Micronics. Not sure of the developer competency, but they probably also had so much on their plate to really care to do better. Didn't they probably alone count for like 10% of the NES/FC's massive library?)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 08, 2016, 02:58:49 pm
Is it really the compiler, or was it the developers? :P
(turns out a LOT of NES developed was contracted out to unnamed ghost developers like TOSE and Micronics. Not sure of the developer competency, but they probably also had so much on their plate to really care to do better. Didn't they probably alone count for like 10% of the NES/FC's massive library?)
I have a lot of experience with C compilers, having written one and having been involved in working with other compiler writers on their commercial products, and I can recognize the difference between hand-coded assembly and C generated code. I'm sure I've also come across bad assembly coding, but I see that all the time anyway and so it didn't catch my eye at the time. What I've recently seen, and was discussing before, is clearly the result of a uniquely lousy C compiler. The rest you suggest I cannot address well, except to say that it doesn't change my earlier comments, so far as I can tell right now.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skyrunner14 on May 08, 2016, 07:33:33 pm
Dang, this is all really nice! As bad as it is, I've always had a soft spot for Super Pitfall, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this get finished. Do you intend on compiling all the unused stuff you've found onto The Cutting Room Floor?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 08, 2016, 08:47:37 pm
^I don't think The Cutting Room Floor even has a Super Pitfall entry.

Hopefully that'll be changed.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 09, 2016, 12:22:49 am
jonk: Just some clarification, it seems that your comments were regarding the super pitfalll rom, correct? That game was made for the NES. I got the feeling you had the impression it was for the SNES. Also, it is funny that you said the compiler looks like something made by college students because there's a rumor that micronics was in fact comprised of fresh graduates or something similar. Finally, I believe nintendo didn't have anything to do with this game other than authorizing its publication (but they didn't care a lot about the code and more about the content being on par with their "kids friendly" policies). Nintendo's own games had well written code, but they didn't care how other developers made their games, it seems.

I think the sound engine in super pitfall may be very, very badly optimized (or more probably not at all). I have kind of turned it off by changing a loop to 2 cycles instead of $2F and the game runs a lot faster with no side effects besides having no sound, so I feel like a great deal of perfomance boost would be possible to achieve by hacking this game. My skills are just not there yet.

skyrunner14: yes, sure. I'd like to compile a full map of the unused rooms that are obviously older versions of the used rooms in the main map but I lack the skills. It may be possible in the future if we move forward with the map editor (or painstakingly do it by hand, which I can't do right now, I'll focus on the hack for now). There are also older versions of the normal enemies' sprites that have less cartoony eyes, graphics of spiders moving vertically up walls, unused hud icons, and code for enemies and items that I couldn't exactly determine what they were, except for an object that goes up and down that is clearly a spider hanging from the ceiling like in the PC-88 version. I will certainly not cover everything because I'm not that proficient with assembly, but I'll be able to cover a good amount of content right off the bat.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 09, 2016, 03:00:38 am
jonk: Just some clarification, it seems that your comments were regarding the super pitfalll rom, correct?
No. Not correct. I'm looking at SNES ROMs and talking about those observations. The rest therefore doesn't follow, I think. (I intend to look at super pitfall, but haven't done so yet.)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 09, 2016, 07:08:12 am
^The only Pitfall game for the Super NES that exists, is the sequel Pitfall: The Mayan Adventures (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfall:_The_Mayan_Adventure), and that game has less bugs compared to Super Pitfall.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 09, 2016, 12:35:44 pm
No. Not correct. I'm looking at SNES ROMs and talking about those observations. The rest therefore doesn't follow, I think. (I intend to look at super pitfall, but haven't done so yet.)
My mistake then. Was the game Dragon Quest 3 for the SNES?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 09, 2016, 01:35:27 pm
^The only Pitfall game for the Super NES that exists, is the sequel Pitfall: The Mayan Adventures (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfall:_The_Mayan_Adventure), and that game has less bugs compared to Super Pitfall.
That's also not what I was talking about.

I understand the source of the confusion, since I've been discussing the possibility of helping write hopefully useful code with nesrocks in a different thread and, as a consequence of my asking for input there, nesrocks brought up an idea that involved super pitfall for the NES. To me, that is an entirely different discussion and has little or nothing (so far as I'm aware) to do with my comment here in this thread where I made a completely random guess, trying to offer a thought of help when nesrocks was also discussing some issues on his current project, NES super pitfall. I said it was random and a guess, because I wanted to be completely clear about the fact that I had NO facts at all to support it except for long experience doing embedded programming work (itself also completely independent of super pitfall and any NES code.) I guess I could have made my later, longer response to nesrocks still longer in order to add what I'm writing here.. but it just didn't seem necessary or appropriate at the time I wrote it. I either need to learn to write more, or less, I suppose.

I haven't looked at super pitfall OR the mayan adventures follow-on for the SNES. In fact, I didn't even know there was one. I based my comments upon reading other, as yet unnamed SNES games over this last week. I didn't intent to state what they were, either. It doesn't matter. I have had some experience reading SNES code over the last week or so. That experience has taught me that a really poor quality C compiler was in use by significant game companies. But also, that experience had nothing whatever to do with the NES or any discussion here. It was only that, given what I saw there for the SNES recently, and assuming that I could "generalize" (or perhaps better, "project") a little bit towards the NES, then I simply hoped I may have had a small thought to offer nesrocks. It was a long-shot and I had no idea if nesrocks would understand it, or care about it, or agree or disagree with it, or anything else really. It was just a thought and I offered it to see if it might jog something in his head. His response was interesting to me and I decided to offer another thought about my very modest experiences looking at SNES code generation.

I'm not even sure what my expectations should be, if I someday decide to look at some NES ROMs (such as super pitfall.) It's possible that a similarly terrible C compiler was used there, too. But part of me also thinks that fewer game companies would have used C, at all, preferring instead to stay with assembly coders writing assembly code at that time. I have no reason to believe that the NES game system development world, coming out of a different time and place, would look exactly like the SNES game system development world. Again, I'm really ignorant about all this, so I have to remain cautious about projecting a week of experience too far. Again, this is why I said I have a random guess and nothing more than that, trying to offer a thought to nesrocks here.

I hope the above clarifies where I'm coming from and what I meant earlier.

May 09, 2016, 01:41:42 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
My mistake then. Was the game Dragon Quest 3 for the SNES?
Assuming you are talking about my comments regarding the code I've seen recently and the comments I made in this thread about C compilers for the SNES, then that would be "'Romance of the Three Kingdoms III,' to name a truly bad case I recall." Also SNES, from Koei Co, Ltd.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: AWJ on May 09, 2016, 03:19:01 pm
Interrupt-related bugs like the described Super Pitfall one are pretty common in console games, even highly-regarded ones created by experienced developers. Mega Man 2 (NES) has a bug that can trigger when enough objects are onscreen to cause slowdown, that allows you to advance by falling into pits (instead of dying) or to warp out of a boss room into a different stage. Dragon Quest 6 (SNES) has a bug that destroys the state of the game's pseudorandom number generator if the NMI triggers at exactly the right time when the PRNG is in exactly the right state; the most obvious visible consequence of the bug is that all attacks by player characters become critical hits until you reset the SNES.

(If you're curious, compare the PRNG and NMI code in DQ6 and DQ3 SNES; DQ3 was based on DQ6's codebase but contains a fix for the PRNG-trashing bug)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 09, 2016, 04:19:49 pm
Interrupt-related bugs like the described Super Pitfall one are pretty common in console games, even highly-regarded ones created by experienced developers. <snip of interesting notes about some games>
I can't speak to that, as I was (1) merely trying to suggest a random guess (I am largely ignorant about NES) to nesrocks; and, (2) expanding later upon a part of my reasoning.

Now, if you are excusing the creation (by 'I don't know who') of very poor C compilers for SNES development, or are excusing the use of such tools without proper evaluation by so-called 'experienced developers,' or are excusing experienced game developers when creating interrupt vs polling timing behavior issues in embedded game development, then that is a different story. I'd have additional comments to add. But since I can't tell if any of those excuses of outcomes happen to be your intent, I won't add them. I'll just assume we are talking at cross-purposes and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: AWJ on May 09, 2016, 07:24:02 pm
I think we are talking at cross-purposes. My point was that non-interrupt-safe code isn't at all limited to games written in compiled languages (DQ6 and Mega Man are both pretty definitely hand-written assembly language) and it isn't just outsourced shovelware games that have bugs.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 09, 2016, 08:29:39 pm
I think we are talking at cross-purposes. My point was that non-interrupt-safe code isn't at all limited to games written in compiled languages (DQ6 and Mega Man are both pretty definitely hand-written assembly language) and it isn't just outsourced shovelware games that have bugs.
On that point, I agree with you.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 13, 2016, 12:46:47 am
The new title screen

(http://i.imgur.com/0qfKwf6.png)

Yes, I didn't want to admit it because I already had made a title screen with egyptian theme, but a friend of mine told me that the game is set in the Andes mountains and I have to accept that it is. Everything points to that, except that egyptian pyramid they have put in the game. I guess they just didn't know what a mayan pyramid looked like.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skawo on May 13, 2016, 08:35:26 am
That looks excellent; why the apostrophe, though?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 13, 2016, 08:44:58 am
^Yeah. That's what I want to know as well: why the apostrophe after Pitfall?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skyrunner14 on May 13, 2016, 09:00:14 am
It's a reference to Street Fighter. Y'know, the dash in the later versions of that game. That's also where that particular Super comes from in that logo. I like it!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 13, 2016, 09:30:02 am
^Okay, but it still looks weird. Like it was some kind typo.

But that's just my opinion.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 13, 2016, 11:12:27 am
Thanks guys!  ;D

Yes the apostrophe is an old school kind of thing, I guess you need to have lived that era when you were playing street fighter 2 everyday and that new modified street fighter came out it was the bomb. It is all about nostalgia.

The style I used in the "super" is not from street fighter though. It's from Super Star Wars (snes). And the style used in "PITFALL" is from the snes and ps1 games.

I have already made a few more minor modifications to it.

I am now looking to make a proper ending screen to the game (and so it doesn't start over after that).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: macbee on May 13, 2016, 05:14:25 pm
The reference to Street Fighter is very clear to me.
For an entire generation of gamers that dash means expanded/revised/enhanced.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skawo on May 13, 2016, 07:38:06 pm
I suppose it makes sense, as mathematical notation sometimes uses apostrophes like that to denote a similar variable (i.e x, x').
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 13, 2016, 08:08:17 pm
Maybe my grammar OCD was getting the better of me when it came to that apostrophe...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 13, 2016, 08:11:19 pm
I suppose it makes sense, as mathematical notation sometimes uses apostrophes like that to denote a similar variable (i.e x, x').
You know what, that makes perfect sense and it is probably the reason they used it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on May 13, 2016, 09:22:55 pm
Eh, pass. I'll wait for Ultimate Ultra Super Pitfall': Third Strike.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 13, 2016, 09:41:54 pm
Eh, pass. I'll wait for Ultimate Ultra Super Pitfall': Third Strike.
With Dante from the Devil May Cry series? :D :P
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 13, 2016, 10:18:41 pm
That's a pretty damn nice title screen!
I really like the use of the scorpion as the cursor, too.
The colors seem a little dull, though.
Overall great job!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Proveaux on May 13, 2016, 10:44:52 pm
Title screen looks great. Looking forward to seeing this one complete.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 14, 2016, 04:30:29 am
Will you make Pitfall Harry look like how he looks in the GameCube and Wii games and less like Mario?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 14, 2016, 09:32:52 am
^I would second this. I would love for Pitfall Harry to not have the Mario-like image in this game.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 16, 2016, 01:55:26 am
I am not sure about changing Harry's appearance too much. It is difficult to find a good new design and he is pretty iconic as he is for what super pitfall is. Not to mention that the 3D ones are not great either...

I have made some modifications to the title screen (old one added for comparison):

(http://i.imgur.com/0qfKwf6.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/WxmB5pn.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on May 16, 2016, 03:13:07 am
Nice changes to the title. It's 'brighter', the added mountains with lighting effects are nice, and the changes in the pyramids are a definite improvement (the top cap is truer to the perspective and the new stair lighting effects replaces the lack of same, earlier.) The plain that moves from background to foreground is also nicely done. (Yes, I also noticed the clouds, as well, and the added "PLAY" text.)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 16, 2016, 01:52:34 pm
I am not sure about changing Harry's appearance too much. It is difficult to find a good new design and he is pretty iconic as he is for what super pitfall is. Not to mention that the 3D ones are not great either...

I have made some modifications to the title screen (old one added for comparison):

(http://i.imgur.com/0qfKwf6.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/WxmB5pn.png)
I love the second version even more. More detailed and more colorful. Btw, have you opened my latest PM, man?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 17, 2016, 01:13:44 am
So, I have toyed around with changing Harry's design. I think I like this one. I tried to give him an identity by providing some rad mullets.

(http://i.imgur.com/GQHSfXJ.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/d1QLJOT.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/mPSFXBX.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 17, 2016, 10:10:44 pm
So, I have toyed around with changing Harry's design. I think I like this one. I tried to give him an identity by providing some rad mullets.

(http://i.imgur.com/GQHSfXJ.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/d1QLJOT.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/mPSFXBX.png)
Nice. You finally got rid of his Mario-like look, and gave him a younger look. He almost looks like the Pitfall Harry from the US cover of Super Pitfall: (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/20/Superpitfall.JPG/250px-Superpitfall.JPG)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 18, 2016, 07:05:12 am
That new look for Pitfall Harry looks a lot better then "Pitfall Mario". All I say would make it perfect would to try to make his shirt look like the short sleeved, possibly buttoned down shirt he has on the game box. You dont need to do that though, if you dont want to or something.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skyrunner14 on May 18, 2016, 08:58:43 am
Ooh, I love it! I especially love how he looks like he's blushing all the time. He's simply adorable!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 18, 2016, 02:09:56 pm
Fantastic job on both the title screen and Harry's new sprite!
I agree about the sleeves. Maybe try making the whole shirt a single color, too?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 18, 2016, 05:06:56 pm
I agree too that having the in-game character more closely resemble the official art is better. But I think a compromise has to be made, because changing the shirt style may introduce some readability problems. It's pretty funcional as it is because having a separate color for the hand, arm and torso is a clear way to define shapes and separate these important sections of the character without having to resort to the use of outlines. This is something of which importance becomes most apparent during animations. Having clear "points of interest" in the image helps the brain to more rapidly identify what has moved where between frames. This is one point where the original game has flaws in. The canteen in Harry's belt sometimes gets in the way of keeping the hand animation clear to the eye because it looks like his hand in some frames.
That being said, I will explore more and see if the advantages in improving his concept overshadow the animation problems.

By the way, I have decided to release only two patches: the bugfixes and the complete hack. It really is better like this.

I will not address the following issues because they are out of my skillset, but it would be great if someone could:
- buggy d-pad controls: when harry is ducking, if you spin the d-pad around he will not get up even if you are no longer pressing "down". He will only get up if no directions are pressed for at least one frame. To solve this, he should only ever be ducking if only "down" is being pressed. If any other direction is being pressed, that other direction should have priority. The same goes for when you're walking and "right + up" is pressed ("left + up" does not cause a problem for some reason). He will stop walking but this should not be the case as "right" and "left" should always have priority over "up" and "down".
- buggy sprite system. I think that the game reuses too many RAM addresses for everything and that generates artifacts. It would be good if someone could clean this up.
- unnecessarily processor intensive sound routines. I believe the game adds extra useless delays just to wait for the sound to come out. I have changed this amount of loops for testing and as I lower it, more channels are muted or get their sounds cropped. Maybe this artificial waiting can be skipped without affecting the sounds. The game runs A LOT smoother when I set the loop to $01 instead of its original $2F.
- repetitive main theme song.

Good news though, I've managed to understand a bit more of the crystal balls routine and have finally made the last piece of missing hidden items always visible! Now I can have all items remain visible in the entire game, which I intend to do for the full hack. I have also tested patching my hack with the mmc3 hack and it does not seem to have caused any side effects.

Also, current and new look:
(http://i.imgur.com/GQHSfXJ.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/1tdo72z.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/mPSFXBX.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/z9UvG4S.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 19, 2016, 02:34:18 am
Also, current and new look:
(http://i.imgur.com/GQHSfXJ.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/1tdo72z.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/mPSFXBX.png)  (http://i.imgur.com/z9UvG4S.png)

Wow! That Pitfall Harry sprite is awesome! Great job! :thumbsup: By the way, is the music being changed or at least worked on a little? The original song sounds like one note being badly raised and lowered over and over again. It could use some extra notes, better background music, and more instruments playing the theme, that is, if you plan on keeping the same song.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 19, 2016, 03:01:23 am
Wow! That Pitfall Harry sprite is awesome! Great job! :thumbsup: By the way, is the music being changed or at least worked on a little? The original song sounds like one note being badly raised and lowered over and over again. It could use some extra notes, better background music, and more instruments playing the theme, that is, if you plan on keeping the same song.
Thanks! About the song, I wish. Its programming is too complicated for me. I'm just an artist who likes to code from time to time. If someone did it I'd be happy to include and give credit.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 19, 2016, 05:46:29 am
The new sprite looks great! Very well done so far. It really gives him his own character.

On the subject of the sound and music, it sounds to me like the best thing to do is just rewrite the sound engine completely.
If you don't think you can handle it yourself, then at least try to make sure to document everything you have discovered about the ROM so it'll be more likely for someone else to come in and try tackling it. The same goes for the other bits and pieces you noted. The more notes the better.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Arjak on May 19, 2016, 03:12:58 pm
This project has my full support! Super Pitfall (as it was released) is one of those games that really bothers me as a prime example of a great idea ruined by abysmal execution. I played it for a few hours last night to get a feel for it and felt really depressed because I knew that, under the awful programming, irritating music, and bad design decisions, that there is a good game struggling to get out. I would love to see that good game realized!

I'm really liking the new Harry sprites and title screen! Far superior to the original. I will be watching this project with great interest! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 26, 2016, 09:16:40 pm
I have been working non-stop on the hack. There were a few bugs (some caused by myself) that I was fixing. But since then, I've done so much I can't even tell what I've posted here and what I haven't. I've done fixes and tweaks, I've mapped even more of the game and I've done more graphics.

So, here are some images: (yes I have retouched the title screen again)

(http://i.imgur.com/7KiLg1I.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Q66zTDN.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/Ah48N4z.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/TFygfuB.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/TcAhG32.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/jxENOzA.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/2sg5HQm.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/HFWsEe7.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/LuGBlEU.png)

The niece happily jumps in place when she's cured.
Vines are now nice lines instead of blob chains.

There is a lot to be improved still in terms of graphics. I have rearranged all background tiles so I can work more easily (as shown on the screenshots bellow). You can see there's lots of free space there. Some graphics I haven't touched yet / are experimental.

Left: original
Right: new graphics and rearranged tiles (unused/duplicate tiles removed)

(http://i.imgur.com/wlBVzZ9.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/tZP10mh.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 27, 2016, 12:23:15 am
Dude, this looks a million times better than the original. I've never played the original because it didn't look very appealing but I will def give this a try once you're done.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 27, 2016, 01:57:23 am
Thanks! That's what I'm doing this for, under this ugly shell there's a good game. Since I'm removing the unfair game design choices I recommend first timers to play without FAQs. And for veterans I will make a fun new adventure.

Something I'm working on right now:

(http://i.imgur.com/xoywSKd.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on May 27, 2016, 02:31:08 am
You're not going to fix how the water surface changes color when it goes through a dirt tile? (That's probably not possible under NES limitations so I'd just remove the water surface tiles from that area and replace them with the dirt around them.)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 27, 2016, 02:36:23 am
I always thought that gave a nice "transparency" effect, but by popular opinion I can adjust the map so water doesn't have to go over non-water tiles.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 27, 2016, 09:42:43 am
Aww! You took off the scorpion from the title screen! I like the scorpion it's a nice throwback to the originals.
Anyway, the title screen itself looks even nicer! Well done.

I agree about the overlapping water tiles. Without having them be a sprite that can actually overlap the ground tiles, you might as well avoid using them how the original did. Doesn't look "clean".
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 27, 2016, 10:46:06 am
I'm not sure I'm done with that sprite on the title screen. I mean, I'm not using a menu anymore, so there's no need for a cursor. It could be used to make the title screen richer by adding a graphic with a different palette on top of it, but I couldn't think of anything so far. Also, It's the only sprite I have there as I don't know how to add more.

How about this for the water?
(http://i.imgur.com/XZZ19OE.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on May 28, 2016, 03:41:01 am
That looks a lot better, actually.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on May 28, 2016, 07:18:55 pm
I agree. That's not a bad compromise. I hadn't thought of that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 28, 2016, 08:11:11 pm
To nesrocks: The underwater rocks looks good, but it also looks a little transparent. Maybe filling in the blue part may help a little. By the way, I love the car and the new sprite for the niece. What about Quickclaw the lion?

To Vanya: I dont remember the title screen having a scorpion on it. Are you sure your thinking of the right game?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 28, 2016, 08:15:40 pm
I had changed Harry's sprite to the scorpion and he had liked it, which is why he said that when I changed it back to Harry hehe. But it's not final anyway.

About the water: I can't do that because what I did there was simply assign an existing palette to an existing tile. What can be done is keep it like that or just make the rocks shorter so they don't touch the water. I don't think there's enough room in the objects list for that room to split that water surface into two objects (it's originally one long water surface).

I'm still going to make the new graphics for quickclaw.

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 28, 2016, 09:24:39 pm
I just realized how accurate the sprites you made are to the old Saturday Supercade show of Pitfall. They are almost spot on!

Heres a video of the title screen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaB0K__xma4

And to show the characters better, I found a pic of them too!
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1b/c0/b4/1bc0b49982e635983d0a999dd0a1c769.jpg
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 28, 2016, 09:28:10 pm
You got me, I looked that up :). Macbee told me about the existence of that cartoon.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 28, 2016, 09:48:55 pm
I grew up in the 80s and watched that show as well as the others when I was little. I just thought of looking up info on it out of curiosity and noticed the similarities. I love that you are using it as a base for your sprites. Maybe you can make the sprites look just like the cartoon ones, if possible.

EDIT: Maybe we should call this the Saturday Supercade version of Super Pitfall.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on May 28, 2016, 10:05:44 pm
I played this game a ton when I was a kid. I thought the goal was to get gold and I thought the bugs were intentional to make it harder. lol
I had a totally rosy nostalgic feeling toward it and was shocked to find out it was put in the same room with Hydlide and Action 52. I'm pretty excited for these patches!

also, bring back the scorpion on the title screen!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 29, 2016, 03:17:46 am
Now, before I say anything more, I should mention that I have no skills in programming or creating NES games or even able to make music and was just tinkering around. Anyways, I went and downloaded both the original and NSF version of FamiTracker and a NSF of the music for Super Pitfall. After converting the NSF to a FTM so FamiTracker can use it, I looked at two songs on there. One was the main theme you hear over and over again while playing and the other was the balloon song. I noticed that the main theme didnt use the second music track at all while the balloon did. I decided to add notes to the second track on the main theme and play it. It played the notes along with the original song. I think that you dont need a new music program in the game, you just need someone to edit the song to add more notes and use the second track to fill in the empty space to make the song sound better. If my guessing is correct, you may be able to do that by using FamiTracker to edit the song, save it back as a NSF, and then find the location its at in the ROM and paste it in. Remember, Im not someone who knows this stuff and just guessing and stuff, but if it works, then youll be able to have better music in the game.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on May 29, 2016, 04:42:18 am
I have no problems with the original water overlapping the rocks. The new palette looks better, but having the waterline cut across the rocks is unique and looks good.

Also, that jeep looks amazing. Is that original or did you pull it from something?

Everything's looking great so far. My only complaint would be the lava? It's really busy with all the horizontal black lines.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: mrrichard999 on May 29, 2016, 05:51:51 am
This has progressed real nice! Good work!  :thumbsup:


You thought about giving it a new font also?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 29, 2016, 06:58:30 am
The jeep is 100% original. I have improved it a bit:
(http://i.imgur.com/Y7TQrbz.png)
The jeep is background like everything else, so I had to do some tricks to get it working. Like, its lower half is kind of a block while the upper isn't, but the upper half has the same palette as the lake.

Yeah, the lava still has graphics from when I was testing editting the graphics. I'll revisit it sometime.

About the music hopefully that works, but I think the main problem is how short it is. There is a lot of free space in the ROM, but if bank switching is a problem I'd even settle with killing the balloon music and using that space to extend the main song's length. Do you want to help me do some tests? I have no music skills at all. Ultimately I'd like to include whatever song you create in the final patch, if you're up to it.

I think I have a solution for the water. I'll create some new graphics for it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dougeff on May 29, 2016, 08:55:50 am
Quote
using FamiTracker to edit the song, save it back as a NSF, and then find the location its at in the ROM and paste it in.

So...I know that some homebrewers have used NSF files for music in their games, but that's because they have very simple games with tons of blank space.

Just to be clear, the game has its own music programming, and data set. Every game does this differently.
NSF is a sound format that is unrelated to the game's programming. It is an uncompressed format, that will not easily be 'pasted' into a game.

If you are able to locate the music data, try corrupting it in FCEUXs Hex Editor. Even without understanding the programming, you might be able to identify the pattern of it, and decode it like a puzzle.

See my YouTube page on using FCEUXs debug tools.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 29, 2016, 07:52:22 pm
The jeep is 100% original. I have improved it a bit:
(http://i.imgur.com/Y7TQrbz.png)
The jeep is background like everything else, so I had to do some tricks to get it working. Like, its lower half is kind of a block while the upper isn't, but the upper half has the same palette as the lake.

Yeah, the lava still has graphics from when I was testing editting the graphics. I'll revisit it sometime.

About the music hopefully that works, but I think the main problem is how short it is. There is a lot of free space in the ROM, but if bank switching is a problem I'd even settle with killing the balloon music and using that space to extend the main song's length. Do you want to help me do some tests? I have no music skills at all. Ultimately I'd like to include whatever song you create in the final patch, if you're up to it.

I think I have a solution for the water. I'll create some new graphics for it.

I dont know how to make music. I cant even play a real instrument, though I would love to learn to play an ocarina. Zelda jokes aside, I can try to see if I can hopefully create something that may sound like a song and send you it, if your willing to accept having blood pour out of your ears.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on May 30, 2016, 12:00:49 pm
Nesrocks!

The progress so far is fantastic!
Absolutely amazing!
Woow!

C.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 30, 2016, 02:16:43 pm
What happened? Did I miss something cool?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on May 30, 2016, 02:17:45 pm
What happened? Did I miss something cool?

I don't know...
But I did.
I was away from the topic for so many days!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on May 30, 2016, 02:19:32 pm
I don't know...
But I did.
I was away from the topic for so many days!
Me too!

And I don't see a summary of ALL the things Nesrocks has done with this hack in a post.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 30, 2016, 02:34:35 pm
I'll compile a list of everything that was changed when I release it. Here's the new lava. It uses the same amount of tiles as old lava:
(http://i.imgur.com/XeoGe18.png)

And about the font I forgot to mention that I'm using the font from arkanoid on it.

About the music nevermind then, we'll have to wait for someone with a better understanding of asm and music than me. I have managed to change a few notes but I have no idea exactly how. Reverse engineering it by tinkering with the values is difficult for me because I don't know much about music theory.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 30, 2016, 05:05:37 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on May 30, 2016, 05:40:10 pm
Hello, I signed up to give you this song. Press the blue download button and nothing else: http://www.file-upload.net/download-11629881/SuperPitfallMusic.zip.html

The song is very simple so it should be easy to insert without making a new music engine. In addition, it's short (30 seconds) and small in size.

Tell me if you like it.

Plays nicely in my NSF player. I like it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 30, 2016, 05:54:32 pm
I really like it too! It is amazing, thanks! I think it fits the new style nicely.

I'll see what I can do myself, but I doubt I can put it in the game. As dougeff said it is not trivial. Can someone with experience on this help?

Also, the lion (using the cartoon concept)
(http://i.imgur.com/qdM7FZO.png)(http://i.imgur.com/17ySoDt.png)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 30, 2016, 06:38:38 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 30, 2016, 06:53:02 pm
I think the main song is in 0x19CBD-0x19D8A. This:

Code: [Select]
03 28 FF 52 42 0C 0F 18 42 0C 0F 0C B1 0C 12 0C 42 0C 0F 18 42 0C 42 0C 42 0C F6 8F B1 18 0F 0C F6 28 91 0C 12 0C 0F 0C 91 0C A1 0C 22 0C 0F 0C A1 0C B1 0C 32 0C 0F 0C 32 0C 0F 0C 62 0C B1 18 42 0C 0F 18 42 0C 0F 0C B1 0C 12 0C 42 0C 0F 18 42 0C 42 0C 42 0C F6 8F B1 18 0F 0C F6 28 91 0C 12 0C 0F 0C 91 0C A1 0C 22 0C 0F 0C A1 0C 42 0C B1 0C 32 0C F6 8F 42 18 0F 0C F6 28 0F 18 F0 04 80 FF FF 42 0C E0 0C 72 0C 42 0C E0 0C 42 0C 72 0C 42 0C 42 0C E0 0C 72 0C 42 0C 72 0C F6 04 53 0C F6 40 78 06 78 06 F6 80 E0 0C 42 0C E0 0C 72 0C 42 0C E0 18 72 0C 42 0C 42 0C 72 0C E0 0C 72 0C 53 0C 43 0C F6 40 53 0C F6 80 E0 0C F0
Some sound fx:
$19B1C-$19B26   extra life
$19B50-$19B5A   grab item
$19B74-$19B7E   shot sound
$19B9C-$19BA6   jump sound

Luckly the balloon music is immediately before it at 0x19BF4 - 0x19CBC.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 30, 2016, 08:45:57 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 30, 2016, 09:17:00 pm
"0x19CA0 - 0x19CBC = Unknown"

As far as I could tell this section belongs to the balloon music. You sure it relates to the main theme?

Great dissection so far, thanks for that!

edit: for adding a longer song I think there's 3 options:
bank 6 (where songs are stored currently): I'm almost 100% positive there isn't unused space here. So, for this bank, I think the best option is to remove one song to make room for the longer main theme. One option is to kill the balloon music. Another option is to kill the alternate theme (the one that plays when the invincibilty star is grabbed and when on the alternate overworld). A third option is to kill both and have an even longer song.
bank 7: there may be room here, and this bank is always loaded which is great. I'll investigate the unused space more carefully later. My stripped rom from fceux's code/data logger is innacurate because I haven't taken into account spawn point lists from getting killed.
bank 5: there is a lot of room on this bank, but it isn't loaded when music plays so I don't know if it's usable for this. I have no idea how to bank switch (is it as simple as calling a routine that changes the address offset?) or if it's possible for music in this game.

You say there's no need to rewrite the music engine and that may be true for the purposes of adding a new song, but I suspect the current sound engine causes extreme lag in the game. The game plays a lot smoother when 0x1FB17 is set to $01. Barely any sound comes out when this is done and that is the only side effect I noticed, so there's that. It almost feels like the game was rewritten from scratch given how smoothly it runs.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on May 31, 2016, 01:03:43 am
I made a thing.
Traced logo from title screen in illustrator
found goofy picture of Harry

cover still in progress
(http://i.imgur.com/FibGbWa.png)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 31, 2016, 01:08:02 am
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on May 31, 2016, 02:36:32 am
Excellent job on the lava and Quickclaw. As for the song, I do like it. It has a nice beat to it. Almost tropical. If you say that a new music engine is the best way to go, maybe you can suggest to nesrocks of someone who can help in that department. I do think better music would help a lot. It be a shame if he made the game look and play better but didnt change the music. That be like making a cake but not putting frosting on it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on May 31, 2016, 12:35:00 pm
That's a funny cover hehe. I had the idea to make some original art like that but I guess I have scrapped it.

Sound engine: unfortunatelly I have no idea how to do that. I'm not much of a coder, so I can't do something of that caliber. What I can do is provide info on free space on the rom and where things are. I can't even tell the difference between D-4 and D#4. Music notation being different in Brazil doesn't help either, so the very little I know (almost nothing really) servers no purpose in understanding what you pointed out. If anyone wants to do it I will give full credit. Probably by increasing the disclaimer on the title screen. If your song gets included your name will be there too. Something along these lines:

30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
2016 BY NESROCKS
MUSIC ENGINE BY _______
NEW SONG BY FCANDCHILL

(or however you want to be credited)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 31, 2016, 06:07:29 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 31, 2016, 06:48:29 pm
Quote
All what you need to take away from that is that the sound engine is lazily and confusingly constructed from a composers point of view.

Could it perhaps be programmed to work similiarly to standard notation? If that were the case then a key that included both D and D# might just be standard values whereas notes that lie outside of the established key (for example, in C major the actual sharps/flats may be the only ones with special values preceeding or following them) may be the only ones that have a sharp or flat marker (just like standard notation). I haven't listened to the soundtrack but there could also be the possibility that the engine was laziliy programmed for ONLY C major (CDEFGAB) and could therefore only play 8 different notes in a few octaves.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on May 31, 2016, 08:32:18 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on May 31, 2016, 09:16:46 pm
found goofy picture of Harry

"goofy picture" is an illustration from the 8-Bit Dreams (http://www.campbellwhyte.com/projects/8-bit-dreams/) series by Australian illustrator, Campbell Whyte.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 31, 2016, 11:44:16 pm
From what I am gathering, you increase a note by a halfstep by adding 15 to the hexidecimal value. To raise it by an octave, you increase the hexidecimal value by one. So...
Code: [Select]
32 C-4
42 C#4
52 D-4

But I'll investigate further.

So would that mean that C-5 is 33 and C-3 is 31? That's really strange but in a weird way it would kinda make sense. It would be organized more by tone rather than pitch. Makes me think that the person who programmed the music engine itself wasn't a musician because that's a rather abstracted way to approach it. There probably isn't a single musical instrument in existence that organizes the notes in such a manner. It's unnatural. That would be like a digital volume knob that goes to 40 organizing itself like 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 1, 11, 21, 31, 2, 12, etc. LOL
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: mrrichard999 on May 31, 2016, 11:44:58 pm
In regards to music, you might be interested in this post here. :)

http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,21907.0.html (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,21907.0.html)

Making some good process in making the music sound better.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 06, 2016, 08:19:26 pm
Any new news on this?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on June 06, 2016, 08:37:28 pm
It's only been a week, you know...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 07, 2016, 01:59:14 am
A lot can happen in a week, ya know.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on June 07, 2016, 02:09:08 am
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 07, 2016, 07:22:45 am
It'll be a while untill the next update. Maybe the next update will be the hack's release. I'm now in the long tedious process of planning/preparing/organizing/creating/adding background graphics. I knew this task would be a lot of work but it's more than I expected. And then there will be the same work for the darkworld.
It involves creating the tiles graphics, changing the metatiles in the rom, updating my metatiles image for map editting using PRG editor (it's my precarious map editor but it's what I've got), updating my document so I can keep track of metatiles, changing dynamic depth graphics algorhythms (tiles change graphics automatically depending on how deep the room is in the map, but I'm changing exactly where and how many times that happens), reorganizing some rooms so I can have graphics for the portals, reorganizing gold positions so they don't end up the wrong color by being positioned on top of a green background, and then the usual fine tuning and bug fixing and final adjustments.

Left: PRG editor hex editting section viewed using my custom "table" image
mid: my custom table image. each tile is a pixel art I did to represent that metatile. creating this image is a lot of work but now I can edit rooms visually.
right: the result
(http://i.imgur.com/V0bxMjc.png)

So, don't worry, I'm working on it and I plan to release it on the 30th anniversary (sept 05). Without any new song unless someone does it. I don't know how to do that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on June 07, 2016, 06:58:03 pm
Your work here looks amazing. Truly an achievement to have turned this game into something worth playing from the pile of crap it was before.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on June 07, 2016, 07:41:22 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on June 07, 2016, 08:11:53 pm
right: the result
(http://gif-finder.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Leonardo-DiCaprio-Clap.gif)
AMAZING!!!!
Can't wait to play it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 09, 2016, 04:57:32 am
This game's remaking is a masterpiece. It makes the old look seem like a 2 year old made it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 09, 2016, 04:23:26 pm
Thanks for the motivation guys, it wouldn't be the same without it!  :thumbsup:

I just discovered this tool, and I got it to work. This will improve my workflow a lot. http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7111&p=173142#p173142
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Asaki on June 11, 2016, 11:50:39 am
Wow, I would never have believed it if you told me someone was making Super Pitfall look like a good game.

I always wanted to like it...it seems like a cool game, until you pop it in and turn on the NES. We rented it long ago, and I think the only real fun we had with it was we put the TV on mute, played some cassette tapes, and made Harry dance to the music.

Incidentally, Harry's redesign makes him look more like the character from Atlantis no Nazo, which was almost localized as Super Pitfall II.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 12, 2016, 05:01:10 pm
^You're not that far away. The prototype (http://dreamandfriends.com/2010/08/09/super-pitfall-ii/) still circulates the Internet (https://www.google.com.pr/search?q=super+pitfall+II+proto&oq=super+pitfall+II+proto&aqs=chrome..69i57.8301j0j4&client=ms-unknown&sourceid=chrome-mobile&espv=1&ie=UTF-8).

That reminds me...

Hey @nesrocks. Once you're done with Super Pitfall, do you plan on doing anything with the Super Pitfall II proto game?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on June 12, 2016, 07:03:35 pm
It's nice that you have all these great ideas for others to do - then YOU can focus on getting your hack ready. By the way Enigma, how is YOUR hack coming along?

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 12, 2016, 07:58:50 pm
Hack? What hack? I don't do hacks.

I don't have the knowledge. :'(
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: mz on June 12, 2016, 08:04:49 pm
I'm afraid he's telling you to please stop posting already, go elsewhere with your endless passive requests and --removed by moderator--.

At least that's what I think he said.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 12, 2016, 10:47:51 pm
No need to be rude. I'm still not sure if john enigma's posts are sarcastic or not, but they are generally relevant and give me a down to earth perspective to the subject, even if (sarcastically) by contrast.

About my next project, all I can say is that it will be a 2D pixel art platformer/cave exploration comercial game for PC. You heard it here first. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Jeville on June 12, 2016, 11:32:11 pm
It's a genius idea to bring much improvement to this game. Looking forward to it. :cookie:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Grimlock on June 13, 2016, 01:48:43 am
You should consider updating your first post with the latest screenshots and general status.  Great looking project, I'll be looking forward to it as well!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 13, 2016, 02:54:18 am
No need to be rude. I'm still not sure if john enigma's posts are sarcastic or not, but they are generally relevant and give me a down to earth perspective to the subject, even if (sarcastically) by contrast.

About my next project, all I can say is that it will be a 2D pixel art platformer/cave exploration comercial game for PC. You heard it here first. :thumbsup:

Is it Spelunker?

Cave Story?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Asaki on June 13, 2016, 08:20:11 am
^You're not that far away. The prototype (http://dreamandfriends.com/2010/08/09/super-pitfall-ii/) still circulates the Internet (https://www.google.com.pr/search?q=super+pitfall+II+proto&oq=super+pitfall+II+proto&aqs=chrome..69i57.8301j0j4&client=ms-unknown&sourceid=chrome-mobile&espv=1&ie=UTF-8).

Right, but I meant it never got released ;)

Probably a wise decision.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 13, 2016, 11:25:26 am
No need to be rude. I'm still not sure if john enigma's posts are sarcastic or not, but they are generally relevant and give me a down to earth perspective to the subject, even if (sarcastically) by contrast.

About my next project, all I can say is that it will be a 2D pixel art platformer/cave exploration comercial game for PC. You heard it here first. :thumbsup:
I was never been sarcastic at all, even though my comment sounded like it. I just don't know how to hack.

I wish could hack like all of you.

As for your next project, the only game I can think of is Cave Story, or You Must Win The Game.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on June 13, 2016, 12:57:17 pm
If you had worked on a hack, you would know the amount of comitment and time it takes to do something of this magnitude. Then you might think twice before suggesting another huge undertaking well BEFORE the current one is finished.

Good Work NesRocks - I'm looking forward to play your hack, whenever it gets finished.

/dACE

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 13, 2016, 03:35:53 pm
Good Work NesRocks - I'm looking forward to play your hack, whenever it gets finished.

/dACE
@Nesrocks said that he wants to release it on September 2016, since that marks the 30th Anniversary of when Super Pitfall came for the first time in Japan (which was on September 5, 1986).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 18, 2016, 05:12:25 pm
I think I'm done with overworld 1. Now there's overworld 2 and the darkworld.

Some comparisons:
(http://i.imgur.com/9ESIKTt.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on June 18, 2016, 05:53:17 pm
It looks like a completely different game almost. Too bad you won't be redoing the sound engine too.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 18, 2016, 06:06:45 pm
That looks so cool. Like @Midna said, the amount of detail you've put into the game's overworlds make it look like a different game than the original one.

Also, @Nesrocks, did you got my last PM that I sent you?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 18, 2016, 06:09:12 pm
Funny thing is that graphics-wise I didn't have to add any functionality. I just had to edit the existing graphics using the game's graphics engine. All those black backgrounds are simply the same black metatile repeated forever, for example, so I created new metatiles and assigned them to those areas.

Also, @Nesrocks, did you got my last PM that I sent you?
Yes, and I was fairly certain I replied in two sepparate messages. Didn't it go through?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 18, 2016, 06:25:56 pm
Got 'em. Weird that I didn't get an email notification.

Also, from the looks of the graphics, you seem to be doing almost the same thing @Grimlock is doing with his "Metroid - Rogue Dawn" hack.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 18, 2016, 07:44:48 pm
I think I'm done with overworld 1. Now there's overworld 2 and the darkworld.

Some comparisons:
(http://i.imgur.com/9ESIKTt.png)

OMG! This game keeps looking so awesome. Please, someone, work on the music part so it can be complete.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: SunGodPortal on June 18, 2016, 07:50:56 pm
Yeah, this is awesome. The "before" is what Nintendo games usually look like and the "after" is what they should have looked like.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: tvtoon on June 18, 2016, 07:58:35 pm
I really appreciate this work, it is just like how Game Boy Color games looked like. The proof that you don't need to make spectacular ASM hacks to do great things! :)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 18, 2016, 08:10:57 pm
I decided to help nesrocks a little by making a post on Board 2 asking if anyone can help with the music part and showing off the hard work he has done to the game as well. Here is the post, if your interested in seeing it.

http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=8579
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on June 19, 2016, 07:13:57 am
That's great help, asking someone else to help.

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 19, 2016, 07:20:01 am
That's great help, asking someone else to help.

/dACE

Its about the best I can do since I dont know how to program and have no skills in making music or art. I am just trying to bring awareness to the project and hopefully someone will be nice enough to lend a hand to the project.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on June 19, 2016, 07:32:05 am
?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 19, 2016, 10:43:21 am
That makes no sense, I asked for help, why can't he? I appreciated his topic on board 2, thanks Da_GPer.
If you want to excell at something you can't do everything yourself. I do graphics, that's what I do, that's what I invest my time to excell at.
For this project nobody offered help on the programming so I learned a bit of asm and debugging to do a lot of modifications, but I do a limited job on that area because programming experience takes years. It's why game making is a multi man job. Redoing the music engine or adding more music is no trivial task.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Grimlock on June 19, 2016, 03:46:49 pm
Exactly right nesrocks, I can tell you the project I'm working on has benefited immeasurably form the collaborative efforts of myself, Snarfblam, and Optomon, not to mention the feedback from everyone contributing through play testing.  Group efforts allow everyone to shine in their own area of expertise.  Also we all tend to be more passionate about one aspect or another, focusing our efforts there really allows us to further push the boundaries of what we believe is possible or what has already been achieved. 
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 19, 2016, 08:03:30 pm
Thank you nesrocks and Grimlock for your kind words. I know I cant do much in the creation of the project, but if I can at least do something, may it be giving advice, beta testing, comments, or even spreading the word around or asking for others to help, I can at least feel like I am doing my part to help. Trust me, if I was able to do more, I would. I consider this project to be as good as projects like Metroid: Rogue Dawn. The quality shows and a lot of love and hard work was put into it.

EDIT:  Woohoo! 100th post! Yay!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on June 20, 2016, 06:10:54 pm
It's why game making is a multi man job.

Tell that to Howard Scott Warshaw  ;)
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Post by: FCandChill on June 20, 2016, 07:25:09 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on June 20, 2016, 09:45:14 pm
...That was in the day where "graphics" were squares and blobs and music was basically nonexistent.
fair enough, they are still games though.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on June 20, 2016, 10:21:15 pm
But I said "is". Not "was"  :laugh:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Synnae on June 26, 2016, 11:38:52 pm
I only noticed this topic now. I'm not really familiar with the game, but judging by the screenshot comparisons, your version is like infinitely better than the original thing. The original doesn't look attractive at all, but yours look good enough to the point where now I want to play it. I will probably still play the original version first just to see how bad it is, then your remake. I'm pretty sure it will feel like night and day. :)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: bte on June 28, 2016, 04:51:19 pm
Hey,

I registered to make this post. I'm a C programmer (although I have done some assembly before), I'd be willing to tackle the sound engine rewrite for this project.

Do you want the sound engine rewritten as someone mentioned earlier, with a different note representation or optimize the current one?

By the way, this "fix up" is looking incredibly impressive. Who would have thought that you transform this game like you have! Great work. Hope I can be of some help.

Thanks,
Brian
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on June 28, 2016, 08:46:54 pm
^Nice. The more people contribute on this hack, the better.

Which that reminds me...

Hey @Nesrocks, if you need some early QA/Beta testers, I'll be happy to volunteer.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on June 28, 2016, 09:11:49 pm
Do you want the sound engine rewritten as someone mentioned earlier, with a different note representation or optimize the current one?

Awesome! Awesome!
Welcome, BTE!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on June 29, 2016, 03:55:16 am
Hey,

I registered to make this post. I'm a C programmer (although I have done some assembly before), I'd be willing to tackle the sound engine rewrite for this project.

Do you want the sound engine rewritten as someone mentioned earlier, with a different note representation or optimize the current one?

By the way, this "fix up" is looking incredibly impressive. Who would have thought that you transform this game like you have! Great work. Hope I can be of some help.

Thanks,
Brian

Yay! I helped! ;D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: bte on June 29, 2016, 10:16:55 pm
Took me a bit to get up to speed on the NES architecture and all that, but it looks doable. I'm dissecting the code portion of the ROM and looking for unused space. Are there standard tools for splitting the iNES file into the ROM banks? I wrote a quick hack of a tool to get the raw data (bank data) out, what tools are common in this field?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KyleRXZero on June 29, 2016, 11:38:42 pm
Those screenshots are beautiful! Can't wait to play this.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 03, 2016, 10:28:58 pm
Oh boy, the very day I decide to take a 5 day vacation someone volunteers to help  :laugh: I'm back now! Great news, bte, thanks for the interest!

Here's the deal: there are big chunks of unused space on some banks, but I don't know if pulling music data from other banks is something that can be done. If it can, we can expand the area for the music engine my removing all that music data from bank 6 and putting it on those empty areas.

I'll get back to work on the hack first thing tomorrow and we can look into that. Right now I'm beat from the bus trip.
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Post by: FCandChill on July 04, 2016, 02:27:41 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 04, 2016, 03:20:43 pm
There's also a good amount of unused level data...
Yes, yes, but not much on bank 6.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: bte on July 04, 2016, 03:21:37 pm
My current approach is analyzing the code and copying the code/data used into a clean ROM. I have all the banks extracted and know how the UNROM mapper works now after some head scratching.

Ill continue my disassembly of the code.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 04, 2016, 03:24:47 pm
I have a lot of stuff mapped. I'll send you a pm.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 12, 2016, 08:42:14 pm
Is there any new progress that has happened lately?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 12, 2016, 11:00:24 pm
Is there any new progress that has happened lately?
Yes, although it isn't finished, I have a screenshot of the darkworld:
(http://i.imgur.com/xixkqnW.png)

I have also contacted james rolfe and mike through e-mail to tell them about the hack but I have no idea if they will even see the e-mail. It would be great if they reviewed it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 13, 2016, 02:14:24 am
Yes, although it isn't finished, I have a screenshot of the darkworld:
(http://i.imgur.com/xixkqnW.png)

I have also contacted james rolfe and mike through e-mail to tell them about the hack but I have no idea if they will even see the e-mail. It would be great if they reviewed it.

If you did contact AVGN, they would need it to be on a real cartridge. They dont do emulation.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 13, 2016, 07:58:52 am
Yeah I kind of knew that, but I thought maybe they might also use a powerpak thing. You're right though. Maybe in the future I get it in a cartridge :)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: zstandig on July 13, 2016, 11:03:29 am
I have often pondered that it would be interesting if AVGN revisited some games that have had "fix" type hacks.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on July 13, 2016, 11:53:19 am
^Like the Back to the Future (Enhanced) hack (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2638/) that fixes everything, and makes it into a playable game?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 13, 2016, 07:36:42 pm
Yeah I kind of knew that, but I thought maybe they might also use a powerpak thing. You're right though. Maybe in the future I get it in a cartridge :)

Ya know, I never thought about the Powerpak. It could be a suggestion you could mention to him, to help him save cost, though he is a game collector too.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: BadChad on July 13, 2016, 08:01:13 pm
I have also contacted james rolfe and mike through e-mail to tell them about the hack but I have no idea if they will even see the e-mail. It would be great if they reviewed it.

Yeah, you might have to send them a copy of the game on cartridge. I don't know that they would do an AVGN episode, but I can definitely see them doing a "James & Mike Monday's" for it. They've played rom hacks a few times and I'm pretty sure those carts are usually sent to them.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 13, 2016, 08:37:41 pm
Yeah, you might have to send them a copy of the game on cartridge. I don't know that they would do an AVGN episode, but I can definitely see them doing a "James & Mike Monday's" for it. They've played rom hacks a few times and I'm pretty sure those carts are usually sent to them.

I actually enjoy watching James & Mike Mondays. Its like having your friends over to play video games and talk about all sorts of stuff, like how gamers used to be back in the 80s and early 90s before online.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 13, 2016, 09:48:07 pm
Oh yeah, I never thought he'd do an AVGN episode. I think he only does those for old official releases, not hacks.
About sending him a cartridge maybe I will in the future. Living in Brazil the costs are kind of prohibitive, but I might get there hehe
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Post by: FCandChill on July 13, 2016, 10:11:24 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 13, 2016, 10:29:20 pm
It's not a legal issue, they want to play physical games, not virtual ones. It's a personal policy they have.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on July 14, 2016, 12:56:11 pm
I had to come here and comment on this hack.
I had Super Pitfall, actually a clone as my console and almost anything was here in Brazil at the time. It made me mad because of the bugs and illogical hidden items, and for a while I actually even had forgot I had the game, until a friend of mine said he loved it, I went and looked into my old game list, and there it was.
Talking about the game with this friend yesterday, I decided to look if anyone had fixed the physics or items in this game, and, oh my, oh my, what a big surprise!

Your graphics look amazing and I am dying to test it on my NES (yes, today I own original console and carts, heheheh). You have my total support and admiration. This looks really amazing, having lots of fixes, improvements and fantastic graphics in on package is a dream, the game looks like a indie game made today for steam. Great work.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on July 14, 2016, 01:16:30 pm
I had to come here and comment on this hack.

Até tu, Lure?
(Even you, Protomank?)

Protomank is a old friend of mine.
We used to play Addam's Family Values together.

Welcome, Lure!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on July 14, 2016, 01:19:57 pm
I had to come here and comment on this hack.
I had Super Pitfall, actually a clone as my console and almost anything was here in Brazil at the time. It made me mad because of the bugs and illogical hidden items, and for a while I actually even had forgot I had the game, until a friend of mine said he loved it, I went and looked into my old game list, and there it was.
Talking about the game with this friend yesterday, I decided to look if anyone had fixed the physics or items in this game, and, oh my, oh my, what a big surprise!

Your graphics look amazing and I am dying to test it on my NES (yes, today I own original console and carts, heheheh). You have my total support and admiration. This looks really amazing, having lots of fixes, improvements and fantastic graphics in on package is a dream, the game looks like a indie game made today for steam. Great work.
Wow!

I can see a lot of Brazilians played Super Pitfall a lot on a Famiclone console, just like many Americans played Super Mario Bros. on the NES.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on July 14, 2016, 01:22:08 pm
Key akira/cospefogo, I noticed you there in the comments ;)

@John Enigma: yeah, Super Pitfall was a bundle in Phantom System, a popular clone over here. While it was not the clone I had (mine was called Turbo Game), it was an easy to find cartridge due to that fact.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 14, 2016, 01:23:41 pm
protomank: Thanks for the inspiration! That's good to hear, as I plan to make a game for steam right after this. I think I'll also release a portuguese translated version of the hack when I'm done, as there isn't a lot of text (macbee's idea). :thumbsup:

John Enigma: I think that super pitfall was easier to find here than super mario bros, at first. So we had a chance to try this game before being able to judge that it was so badly programmed. Our only references were atari 2600 games.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on July 14, 2016, 01:57:23 pm
John Enigma: I think that super pitfall was easier to find here than super mario bros, at first. So we had a chance to try this game before being able to judge that it was so badly programmed. Our only references were atari 2600 games.

And hell yeah... Everybody at the time knew Pitfall on Atari 2600. It was everywhere... Being able to play something called "S U P E R" Pitfall always was a thrill!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 17, 2016, 11:22:34 pm
Just a small update. I'm working on the darkworld's sprites and I noticed some room for improvement. Here's old and new:
(http://i.imgur.com/JBdsi0N.gif)

I think I'll make a small modification to the masked caveman's head as the small white dot doesn't move in my new animation, as it should. (I'm still not sure if this white dot was intentional by the original artist or not)
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 18, 2016, 03:15:42 am
The changes you did on both the dark world and the enemies are amazing. I do agree that the "dot" needs to be removed, but I also will agree that the enemies dont look threatening enough. Maybe adding a little something to them to make them more scary or show that they are dangerous or a threat would be a good idea. Sort of like what you did for Pitfall Harry and the gang.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on July 18, 2016, 07:32:28 am
While the pixel art looks amazing and the animation is superb, there is a little detail I want to point out.
The original characters looked like African (or descendants) people wearing ritual masks, much like in the old 80's movies that showed African cannibals, and your new art made them look like zombies. Of course, there are some tribes in Africa that paint their skins as white, but it is hard to tell just by looking at the sprites.

While we could argue that the original game was racist, I kind of liked this aspect of the game, that reminded me of old Tarzan movies, when he faced some unknown tribes with different cultures and their masks and rituals. I don't mind the change, was wanted to share this point of view  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: MathUser2929 on July 18, 2016, 07:54:16 am
Yet another example of whitewashing.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KingMike on July 18, 2016, 08:44:23 am
Oh yeah, I never thought he'd do an AVGN episode. I think he only does those for old official releases, not hacks.
About sending him a cartridge maybe I will in the future. Living in Brazil the costs are kind of prohibite, but I might get there hehe
He did Hong Kong '97. The origin of the game seems like a mystery, though I've assumed it was some random demo-scene homebrew. I've seen a discussion, of something complete else, on Tomato's Legends of Localization divert into HK97 and who "HappySoft" was. (they've assumed it was either a Japanese or Chinese "company" but couldn't decide which)
And he also did a series of short reviews one Christmas (wasn't it 2014?), which I guess he each counts as an episode. That included Crazy Bus, a homebrew ripoff of Desert Bus for the Genesis. I've heard it was originally just some kind of compiler test demo. Someone still reproed it and mailed it to him.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on July 18, 2016, 09:21:39 am
Those sprites look great and the transition to more zombie-inspired designs is a swell way to handle the questionable content of the original.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 18, 2016, 09:35:07 am
FCandChill: Nice observations. Those are quick fixes. I don't mind the animation being different (the head wobble), but on the masked man it is indeed strange because his neck bounces up and down and the head doesn't. I'll make his head move up and down too.

Da_GPer: I think I might review the concept.

protomank: I never thought of them that way, specially because the big one looks like he's dead instead of wearing a skull mask and they both seem to be wearing long sleeves.

At least now I have reorganized the tiles in the rom (reassigning tiles was like hell) so making conceptual changes is easier. Here's old and new tiles:
(http://i.imgur.com/zMsZ53U.png)

In my opinion making them clearly cannibals is an interesting concept. I never knew what they were supposed to be, but maybe that + their lack of animation (life) made them so uneasy and disturbing to look at. That uneasiness is lacking in the new sprites. I'll wait and see if there's more feedback about this here and then come back to these.

Just a reminder: their in-game behavior is a lot zombie-like, except for the occasional projectile shooting. I can already adjust their move speed, their shot speed, and how often they shoot.

edit: the US manual mentions them as cavemen, while the japanese one seems to say they are simply underground people (confirmation needed. If anyone has the japanese manual please share. I couldn't find it anywhere on the internet).

edit2: There is one unused enemy in the rom that gave me a real scare when I tested it. I think I'll add it somewhere with original graphics.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on July 18, 2016, 12:46:02 pm
Your new designs definitely have a creepiness to them that's working for them. Always excited to see what gets posted in this thread.
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Post by: FCandChill on July 18, 2016, 02:55:33 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Googie on July 22, 2016, 07:07:58 pm
I've been watching the progress of this hack for a while, cool changes you've been making, I can't wait to play it when it's done... :)   
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 23, 2016, 06:26:47 pm
So, if I wanted to put the hack on a cart would it be possible with the MMC3 patch? I've converted the hack to MMC3 using infidelity's patch at some point and now it's MMC3. It's not really using anything mapper specific so I can convert it back to UNROM, I would just need to redo a bit of the hud logic as it is using an area on the rom that was made empty by his patch.

As a side note, bte lamented that he won't have time to redo the sound engine or change the songs as he originally intended, so those tasks are up for grabs again.
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 23, 2016, 07:53:24 pm
Well, the good news is MMC3 can actually help you as it seems everyone now days is using that to make there ROM hacks. They might be able to help you better. It is sad hearing about the sound guy leaving. I hope you can find a replacement.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 24, 2016, 02:00:04 pm
Alright, I'll leave it on mmc3 then.

Here's how I've been using MapEd Pro to edit the rooms. I have opened a second window with the original rooms on the right to make it clearer.

(http://i.imgur.com/HqLDoIQ.png)

http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7111&p=176023#p176023

I'm really greateful for the map editor, but it'd be so helpful if it was open source so I could make some improvements:
image export, load rooms in a different order, zoom, metatile attribute editting, bigger editable area for full hd screens, load rom directly instead of sepparate files, just to name a few.
Maybe the original idea of making an open source editor wasn't so bad after all.
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Post by: FCandChill on July 24, 2016, 02:25:19 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 24, 2016, 02:43:02 pm
Thanks!
The mountain issue is a limitation indeed. That palette is used for the car, the top of the ruin columns, the water surface, the background columns, the stone walls, etc... The thing about super pitfall background is that it is a huuuuge map that shares one single chr table and four palettes. But I see what you mean that the mountains could have more volume by having some metatiles with more light and some more shadowy. I'll take a look at that some time.

About the brown rocks, I'd like to note that I'm only using that brown (color 08) on the editor. I think it is a nes color that gets too dark on some tvs, so I'm using a dark cyan (0C) in its place in the actual game.

The editor isn't mine, I wish! It's here http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7111
The open source idea was something I asked jonk help with making, but then I found maped pro and we gave up on that as that new tool was good enough. It could be so much more though if the author released the source.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on July 24, 2016, 08:12:52 pm
I see the Atari 2600 Pitfall Harry hiding in the wall in that pic.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Grimlock on July 24, 2016, 11:06:06 pm
The thing about super pitfall background is that it is a huuuuge map that shares one single chr table and four palettes.

One of the perks of MMC3 is the ability to swap 1/4 portions of the CHR all the way up to the whole table/bank.  I don't know the specifics on how to achieve it but I can tell you I have used this feature (thoroughly abusing it) in my current project Metroid Rogue Dawn (thanks to the work of Snarfblam).  The tiles swap out multiple times in each area creating a rich diverse environment.  MMC3 also allows you to swap the tiles rapidly creating the ability to animate the environment.  I couldn't tell you how to do X,Y, or Z with the MMC3 mapper but I can tell you some of the possibilities based on my experience.  You'll have to do some homework if you would like to take advantage of any of these features.

There's probably a way to add in Palette swaps also which would allow you to take full advantage of the CHR abilities.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 24, 2016, 11:22:32 pm
I thought of that. I wasn't sure it wasn't possible on unrom or not. But the thing is, chr table loading is bizarrely slow on super pitfall (and other micronics games too). You can check it out by opening the ppu viewer in fceux and playing the game. Programmers have a tendency to avoid this game  ;D
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on July 24, 2016, 11:36:03 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 25, 2016, 12:49:47 am
The chr loading being instanteneous on ghostbusters is why I don't think that micronics programmed it, contrary to popular belief.

By the way ... nesrocks, could you share some documentation you have on the game? I'd like to post it on datacrystal so others can learn from it without repeat research. Is that okay?
Do you want it right away? I was planning on organizing it later and doing it myself but if you want to do it that's great too hehe. Once you see how much I've documented you're going to share my sadness of not doing this on a disassembly of the game (I could be hacking and commenting it at the same time). But my disassembly attempts failed miserably.
Some of these notes may be related only to my hack instead of the original game. This is usually when dealing with the new hud routines, not data. The only data I moved was the title screen nametable to a bigger area, but on the notes it tells both addresses. Also, some "high / low" byte notations may be switched. I've sent you a pm with a link to the notes.

So, am I missing something? I don't see any rom or ram address information for any game on datacrystal, even super mario bros. http://datacrystal.romhacking.net/wiki/Super_Mario_Bros._3
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Post by: FCandChill on July 25, 2016, 03:17:29 am
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on July 26, 2016, 05:02:58 pm
Great work, thanks! I have cleaned it up a bit. There were still some hack specific stuff and some things that didn't have a clear description. How useful is the rom map as it is now to people in the future looking to make a disassembly of the game?

In other news, I have submitted a complete portuguese language translation of super pitfall so I could get used to the submission system, but macbee already found a bug so I need to update it somehow. Not sure if I should wait for the process to complete or open a ticket. The bug is that the music in the game over screen is messed up. I have managed to fix it but the submitted file has the bug.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 04, 2016, 01:09:46 am
1 month to go!

So, I'm nearing completion of a personal milestone here with the release of beta testing. Anyone interested please send an e-mail to nesrocks@gmail.com with subject "beta testing" and I'll send a beta version of the hack for testing as soon as it's ready (should be within 24 hours from this posting).
I'm looking for any kind of feedback really. Please note that there are known problems I don't know how to fix:
- controls get stuck sometimes with diagonals
- annoying main theme song
- when pitfall harry shoots the animation is buggy

All of these are problems present in the original game.

Also, I have made a blog/site that I plan to use for my next game, but so far I've only updated it with info for this hack. http://nesrocks.com

Info that I posted on the site but not here (hopefully images will show):
Updated cavemen designs, ditching the whole pigmy idea and downright going for zombies:
(http://nesrocks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/newsprites3.gif)

Unused tiles (I have assembled this image from various sections of the rom). The bat is used, but in the game it only has one frame of animation, so one of the eyes isn't used. I've added the full bat for comparison. Some of these enemies have the same pixel art as the pc-88 version.
(http://nesrocks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/unused.png)

Something I've made for fun:
(http://nesrocks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/beads1.jpg)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 04, 2016, 01:38:19 am
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 04, 2016, 02:51:57 am
I love the zombie look. They look a lot better then before and less racist. I would suggest though bringing back the arm movements and the frown on the masked one. I thought that added touch you had made your work stand out more.

EDIT: Maybe we can find a use for some or most of the unused enemies somehow.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on August 04, 2016, 08:58:49 am
The zombie ow looks much better. Only wish they moved the arms a little bit (one or two px). I hope I can get my hands on the beta version for testing :)
Great site BTW, looks good both on mobile and desktop.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 04, 2016, 09:23:26 am
I wanted to keep the creepyness of their lifeless animation, but I guess the simple fact that they move up and down already kills that, doesn't it?

There are a few ready to use unused enemy code in the game. I am going to use it for the hanging spider and then another special one. The thing is that I don't want to use the beta graphics since I'm redoing all graphics. So the fact that there are unused tiles should only be a hint to what the unused code could be for.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 05, 2016, 11:26:53 am
Sad to see the head animations and frowns removed from the zombies. Those really made them stand out.
Site looks great though.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on August 05, 2016, 05:17:38 pm
Sad to see the head animations and frowns removed from the zombies. Those really made them stand out.

agreed.
The bottom guy should have a frown and you should make his face look more zombie like.
he looks too much like a reject pokemon right now. make him intimidating.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 05, 2016, 05:26:21 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 05, 2016, 05:29:38 pm
About those enemy concepts, I don't think anything I do can match the creepyness of the original's empty souls. Look at those things, they are so dead inside, and yet, they move. They are trapped in this mindless quest to walk and shoot like they are hipnotised and have no free will. And yet, they are confident. Like unstoppable minions of the occult.

edit: I have detected a problem with the pause function in the game. It was too sensitive, like, you had to press start really quickly or else it would pause and unpause with a single press. I checked the clean ROM and it didn't have this problem. So I investigated and identified that it is a problem with the MMC3 patch. I have reconverted my hack back to unrom and fixed the programming of the hud that was mapper patch dependant. With this I have now a hack that doesn't change the mapper, but I also kept it compatible with infidelity's MMC3 patch. The pause bug will still be added if it is used, the same way that it adds the bug if it is used on the original ROM. Since I'm not using any MMC3 specific feature I prefer to leave it on the original mapper than to try to fix the pause bug for nothing.

So, should I try to contact infidelity to tell him about it or something? Are side effects normal in mapper conversions?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 06, 2016, 02:23:23 am
It be a good idea to tell him about any bugs you may find. It help improve the mapper.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on August 06, 2016, 08:03:44 am
Sent you an email about the pause bug right before reading your post here, hehehe. Sorry about that.
I am testing it by playing a bit, then playing the original and comparing both. It takes a good amount of time, but that way I can see the improvements and look for glitches. So far, very good.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KingMike on August 07, 2016, 11:15:45 am
It was too sensitive, like, you had to press start really quickly or else it would pause and unpause with a single press.
Could call it a tribute to another other Pony Canyon game, Winter Games. :D (yes, it's pointed out it was the hack's fault)
(kinda surprised the AVGN didn't notice that to add to his many other complaints)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 11:11:01 am
Wow... So I have listed every sound and music channel in the game and their rom offsets. Here it is:

ID (hex)         
00   19926-1992A         mute sound
01   1992F-19933         mute sound
02   19938-1993C         mute sound
03   19941-19955   sfx      pause
04   1995A-199D6   music   baloon theme square
05   199D7-10A0D   music   main theme square
06    19A0E-19A2B   music   cutscene theme square
07   19A2D-19A79   music   darkworld theme square
08   19A7A-19A92   music   invincibilty square
09   19A93-19ABF   music   game over theme square
0A   19AC0-19AEA   music   game over theme square 2
0B   19AEB-19B15   music   game over theme triangle
0C   19B1C-19B26   sfx      extra life
0D   19B27-19B31   sfx      death
0E   19B32-19B42   sfx      kill an enemy
0F   19B43-19B4F   sfx      take a warp
10   19B50-19B5A   sfx      get an item
11   19B50-19B5A   sfx      get an item
12   19B5B-19B61   sfx      get an item higher pitch (gold I think)
13   19B62-19B6A   sfx      enemy shoots
14   19B6B-19B73   sfx      damage an enemy (without killing it)
15   19B74-19B7E   sfx      firing a bullet
16   19B7F-19B87   sfx      object hitting the ground
17   19B88-19B92   sfx      falling ceiling
18   19B93-19B9B   sfx      jump low pitch (it is used, I don't know what for)
19   19B9C-19BA6   sfx      jump
1A   19BA7-19BB5   sfx      imp / big cavemen shooting
1B   19BB6-19BC0   sfx      elevator and spikes
1C   19BC1-19BCD   sfx      lava ball launched (music totally overshadows this very bad sound effect)
1D   19BCE-19BD8   sfx      waterfall
1E   19BD9-19BDF   sfx      harry landing on the ground
1F   19BE0-19BEC   sfx      unused sound
20   19BE0-19BEC   sfx      it may be related to the falling ceiling
21   19BED-19BF3   sfx      I think it's when the balloon pops
22   19BF4-19C98   music   ballon theme triangle
23   19CA4-19CBC   music   ballon theme noise
24   19CBD-19D3B   music   main theme triangle
25   19D3C-19D8A   music   main theme noise
26   19D8B-19DA8   music   cutscene theme triangle
27   19DAA-19DB0   music   cutscene theme noise
28   19DB1-19DC3   music   darkworld theme triangle
29   19DC4-19DE8   music   darkworld theme noise
2A   19DE9-19E7D   music   invincibilty theme square 2
2B   19E7E-19EB8   music   invincibility theme noise
2C   19EB9-19F1D   music   ending theme square
2D   19F1E-19F7C   music   ending theme square 2
2E   19F7D-19FCF   music   ending theme triangle

These sound IDs simply indicate the offset on the list of pointers to the actual sounds. Each pointer is 2 bytes long, so this list of pointers is $2E times 2 bytes long. Okay.

So, why on earth would that value at 0x1FB17 (originally set to $2F) that completely kills the game's performance be directly related to which sounds can be played? If I set it to $1C then every sound with ID bigger than $1C will get muted. If I set it to $01 the game gets muted (but runs incredibly smooth). This limitation should be removed and the game should run with 0x1FB17 as $01. Not sure if it's an easy fix (it will be if this is just a bug, not a core feature of the sound engine).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on August 10, 2016, 01:02:10 pm
I don't recall a separate conversation about address 0x1FB17. But I gather that this is a byte value that sets a limit that is somehow elsewhere applied when indexing into the sounds you listed out -- if there are N sounds/themes, then the value is set to N+1?

Then you say that setting it to limit pretty much all the sounds leads to an incredibly smooth operation and that setting it to allow all the sounds leads to almost killing the performance. I think I also read you saying that the original ROM doesn't have this problem, but that a patched ROM does. (If so, have you tested the original ROM by varying this particular value between $01 and $2F to make sure that its performance remains _good_ regardless?)

If the original ROM works good regardless of this setting and the patched ROM you are working with has the behavior you are describing, then it is likely that there is a significant assembly source code difference that was applied to some interrupt events and that is sucking away valuable processor time without any good purpose. It's not uncommon that people add code to interrupt events and attempt to perform work there that they REALLY SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE. If they aren't careful, all they wind up doing is sucking away time on every interrupt reducing the available processor time for other tasks. This sounds a LOT like that to me.

The weird thing to explain, perhaps, is why a simple difference in the allowed range might take away time that it didn't take away before in the earlier ROM. What could they have possibly done in the patch that would suck away processor time regarding this value that was done _better_ in the earlier ROM and done lots more stupidly in the patch? Honestly, I've no clue because I don't know what all they took on to change in the patch from which you are working. But if perhaps the old ROM code didn't use a mapper capability that the new, patched ROM now requires? Then perhaps they felt they had to add code into some interrupt in order to make sure certain things were "mapped" in when other code expected it. Or it could be something totally different.

Regardless, this sounds an awful lot as though an interrupt event that used to take a fixed amount of X time each interval is now taking Y(v) time, where Y(v) is variable and depends in some obscure way on that limit value. So I'd be looking at interrupt code differences between the two: the original ROM and the patched ROM (before your own changes are applied to it.)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 01:14:51 pm
Thanks for the insights, I'm looking further into the issue. That value is read from a compare routine. When I delete that compare line the game gets perfectly muted and perfectly smooth. That means It doesn't enter that loop $2F times, only once and proceeds.

 06:964B:60        RTS -----------------------------------------
 06:964C:A9 00     LDA #$00
 06:964E:85 F8     STA $00F8 = #$00
 06:9650:85 F9     STA $00F9 = #$00
 06:9652:85 FA     STA $00FA = #$00
 06:9654:85 FB     STA $00FB = #$00
 06:9656:85 FD     STA $00FD = #$30
 06:9658:85 FF     STA $00FF = #$00
 06:965A:A9 F8     LDA #$F8
 06:965C:85 FE     STA $00FE = #$F8
 06:965E:A9 00     LDA #$00
 06:9660:85 33     STA $0033 = #$00
 06:9662:85 32     STA $0032 = #$00

 06:9664:A5 33     LDA $0033 = #$00
 06:9666:CD 07 FB  CMP $FB07 = #$2F     // delete this line and...
 06:9669:F0 71     BEQ $96DC                    // it will always break to 96DC, otherwise it continues until $33 is equal to FB07
 06:966B:A5 32     LDA $0032 = #$00     
 06:966D:C9 06     CMP #$06
 06:966F:F0 12     BEQ $9683
 06:9671:A4 32     LDY $0032 = #$00
 06:9673:B9 CB 06  LDA $06CB,Y @ $06CB = #$01
 06:9676:C9 FF     CMP #$FF
 06:9678:F0 04     BEQ $967E
 06:967A:C5 33     CMP $0033 = #$00
 06:967C:F0 0E     BEQ $968C
 06:967E:E6 32     INC $0032 = #$00
 06:9680:4C 64 96  JMP $9664
 06:9683:A9 00     LDA #$00
 06:9685:85 32     STA $0032 = #$00
 06:9687:E6 33     INC $0033 = #$00
 06:9689:4C 64 96  JMP $9664

You are mistaken about the bug not being present on the original game though. It is. The bug that was added from the mmc3 patch is related to the pause button (I have fixed that one now by removing the patch, so my hack is the same mapper as the original game).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on August 10, 2016, 01:59:40 pm
What happens if you load 2F into a - instead of 33?
Is the game still muted? Did it crash?

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on August 10, 2016, 02:02:53 pm
Thanks for the insights, I'm looking further into the issue. That value is read from a compare routine. When I delete that compare line the game gets perfectly muted and perfectly smooth. That means It doesn't enter that loop $2F times, only once and proceeds.
The problem really does sound [sorry about the pun] to me like an interrupt handler issue where the code spends too much time in the interrupt. I'm gathering now that you are also saying this problem exists in the original ROM (my mistake.) So that just means bad coding, in all likelihood. I rather doubt that the hardware itself is so fatally flawed that it makes smooth operation nearly impossible. So it's almost certainly bad choices made in the design and coding. The way to fix that is to do some re-design and re-coding.

You are mistaken about the bug not being present on the original game though. It is. The bug that was added from the mmc3 patch is related to the pause button (I have fixed that one now by removing the patch, so my hack is the same mapper as the original game).

Yeah. It's probably me misreading your writing. I got confused by the following thing you wrote a ways back:

edit: I have detected a problem with the pause function in the game. It was too sensitive, like, you had to press start really quickly or else it would pause and unpause with a single press. I checked the clean ROM and it didn't have this problem. So I investigated and identified that it is a problem with the MMC3 patch. I have reconverted my hack back to unrom and fixed the programming of the hud that was mapper patch dependant.

So it's just me.

EDIT: That means there probably is a design issue to resolve. And my first place to go would be to the interrupt routine that gets called the most often. I don't know if the horizontal retrace is supported -- that would be pretty fast if it is present. But I'm pretty sure the vertical retrace interrupt is supported -- though that is almost so slow I don't know why that would be a problem. There are timers too, I suppose? Do you know all of the interrupting events and their frequencies? I'd go first to the fastest ones and see what exactly they are doing there. But of course there's no point if the routines don't access that value in some way. So I may be completely off the beam here. It's just that the resulting behavior seems like value-dependent, wasted time in an interrupt. (For example, suppose the interrupt _examines_ a different table you are NOT looking at right now that has the same number of entries so as to hold the "next" byte of music to play.... and that the code has to examine ALL of these locations to figure out how to "mix" the music together if more than one is playing or else has to at least "look" at all of them, even if it doesn't mix them.) It just feels like that, to me.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 02:11:12 pm
What happens if you load 2F into a - instead of 33?
Is the game still muted? Did it crash?
Humm... #2F is never loaded into $33. It is a fixed value (stored on $FB07) that is read once during the loop to see if $33 has reached that value (when it has, it breaks from the loop). Notice how at the end of the loop it increases $33 by one and returns to the start.

That means there probably is a design issue to resolve. And my first place to go would be to the interrupt routine that gets called the most often. I don't know if the horizontal retrace is supported -- that would be pretty fast if it is present. But I'm pretty sure the vertical retrace interrupt is supported -- though that is almost so slow I don't know why that would be a problem. There are timers too, I suppose? Do you know all of the interrupting events and their frequencies?
I know absolutely nothing about interrupts.  :-\  Let alone this game's interrupts. I will try to edit that section of code and see what it does and then move on.

edit: I have read your edit, and yes, that may be the case. I will see what the $32 does for example.
edit2: that is the only place that reads for $FB07
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: jonk on August 10, 2016, 02:12:51 pm
I know absolutely nothing about interrupts.  :-\  Let alone this game's interrupts. I will try to edit that section of code and see what it does and then move on.
Okay. So that's it, then.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 02:43:21 pm
okay, I can change

 06:9666:CD 07 FB  CMP $FB07 = #$2F

to

 06:9666:C9 2F     CMP #$2F     

And the game works just the same. The value on 0x1FB17 is never read again (as confirmed by fceux's debugging tools). So the problem lies here. ($33 is never read outside of this loop either)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on August 10, 2016, 02:46:32 pm
I changed it to read from FB06 - but I didn't notice any difference..

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 02:52:58 pm
I changed it to read from FB06 - but I didn't notice any difference..

/dACE
That's because $FB06 stores a #2E. Try FB05 and you will see the game plays in slow mo because $FB05 stores an #82. Try FB1D and the performance will be boosted at the expense of sounds because that one stores a #03.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on August 10, 2016, 03:13:56 pm
Try FB36 - that address contains 26, which still plays all channels (I think).
The address FB73 - that contains 24, made it loose one channel.

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 10, 2016, 03:15:44 pm
Take a look at the list of sounds and look at the leftmost number. Sounds with a higher number than the one at FB07 will not play. So, when you set it to 26 these stopped working:
27   19DAA-19DB0   music   cutscene theme noise
28   19DB1-19DC3   music   darkworld theme triangle
29   19DC4-19DE8   music   darkworld theme noise
2A   19DE9-19E7D   music   invincibilty theme square 2
2B   19E7E-19EB8   music   invincibility theme noise
2C   19EB9-19F1D   music   ending theme square
2D   19F1E-19F7C   music   ending theme square 2
2E   19F7D-19FCF   music   ending theme triangle

Also, you don't need to compare to other addresses, you can change the value at FB07 to anything you like. Better yet, compare to a value directly instead of a value stored somewhere else (same effects, but cleaner code).

For example:
replace CD 07 FB on 0x19676 (06:9666:CD 07 FB  CMP $FB07 = #$2F)
with
EA (no operation) C9 2F
You need the EA to fill in because it has to be 3 bytes long. So now you can change 2F there without scrolling to other sections of code.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: dACE on August 10, 2016, 08:18:53 pm
Yeah - I should have read your posts more carefully, sorry for that.

I didn't know the NOP instruction for NES (in ASM for GB it's 00) so at least I learned something.

/dACE
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 11, 2016, 12:14:26 am
No problem, dACE!

So, after some thinking and a lot of testing (or vice-versa?) I have discovered that sounds/music with lower ID have priority to play. So the order they are listed in is not by chance. The programmer chose the main themes' (main theme, underworld theme and invincibility theme) square channels to have priority over everything else, but the rest of the songs (triangle and noise) are on the bottom of the list so sfx can play muting those music channels temporarily.

Which got me thinking (unrelated, but it just popped). The whole problem is that the game performs slowly because of the amount of sounds. So, instead of having a big list of sounds couldn't I divide them by groups? So I can have smaller lists and use a smaller compare value from 0x1FB17, effectively increasing the game's performance despite the sound engine's bad programming. Nice! But how?

Here's maybe how: I could make a sound manager to retrieve the correct sound list based on some condition, which is how the sounds would be grouped together. Such conditions could be "sounds that play during the overworld 1", or "sounds that play on cutscene, game over, ending and title screen". So I'd just need to have a ram address keeping track of which sound list is to be used and make sure it's updated on scene transitions, and I'm good to go.

So this may be a good course of action:
- make the lists on a txt to get a practical preview of how fast the game will run afterwards (it's easy to test the performance knowing the bigger list's length)
- find an unused RAM address and use it to make the condition. Test the condition by playing the game and observing the value
- program the manager that redirects the list

Why am I going through all this trouble? Well, it's because just two days ago I have managed to insert FCandChill's song into the game :D I was keeping it a secret. He sent me a few more notes (huge help, thanks dude!) and his song in famitracker and I bashed my head on the keyboard real hard and it worked (just kidding, it was actually magic). I even got it to play on the title screen. Yes, I can choose any song to play anywhere now. I have that power.

So... Spoiler again, I have decided to do this:
- play the original main theme on the title screen.
- play FCandChill's song on all three of the overworld 2 areas (those areas that you play on when you warp, except for the darkworld).
- and I'm going to arrange the atari 2600's pitfall II three songs into one to be played on the overworld 1 (yes, I believe there is still enough free space for even that on bank 7). I have found a thread over at the famitracker forums where user rockmanx2002 made a ftm of that game's ost already (it sounds awesome), so I can use that as a base to convert just as I did with FCandChill's song. Nice. I'll credit both him and FCandChill for their songs. So good.

The songs in Super Pitfall only have three channels, and I have already adapted FCandChill's song to use 3 channels instead of his original 4, but now I realize that it really can have all 4 channels. All is needed is the the sound list to be correctly arranged for priorities (and an extra instruction to load that extra channel). So, I plan to make both his song and the new main theme 4 channels.

Phew! I hope the new manager works. If it doesn't, we will still have the new songs, just with the same bad old performance. If I can get it to work though all that will be missing for me to be really happy is to fix the controls.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 11, 2016, 05:16:55 am
Yay! It be great to hear the main theme to Pitfall II in Super Pitfall. Its like the game is begging to play that song but since the graphics and bugs was killing it, it could only spit out the horrible mess that we all know so well. Now that you gave it better graphics and fixed those bugs, it will finally be able to play the theme song it should rightly play.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 11, 2016, 07:33:55 am
NesRocks!

You do deserve a monument of yourself on a public plaza. Awesome, man, you are turning one of my favorite games (back in its time) to a marvelous master piece!

OFF:
In the future, let's insert Ultima Exodus music INTO Ultima Quest of Avatar?
Do you think you can take a look into that?
=P

Regards,
Cospefogo.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on August 11, 2016, 09:10:08 am
As a fan of Pitfall II Lost Caverns, that would be amazing :D
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 11, 2016, 03:15:28 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 11, 2016, 09:56:11 pm
@Nesrocks Sent you the file. Famitacker tip ... you can export songs as TXT files. You can use the "replace all" function in notepad to replace notes to their corresponding hex value!
Humm... Yeah, I had seen the txt export but I didn't think it'd be useful. I guess you're right, I'll try that later!

So, I have created smaller sound lists. Three of them. One for title screen+lives screen+game over screen+ending screen, one for overworld 1 and 2, and one for the darkworld. I have programmed the manager that redirects to these lists. I have replaced every single sound call in the game to the new sound IDs. And I have reduced the $2F compare to a $18 now.

After testing:
The good:
- The game is running a lot of smoother!
- Sounds are playing correctly.
- I have more flexibility to add sounds/music channels (pointers-wise. rom space is still to be considered).

The bad:
- The pause bug is back. Gotta tap the start button fast so it stays paused.
- If I tried to pause during invincibility the game would freeze. For now I've removed that item.
- I've tested, and this is directly related only to lowering the 0x1FB17 value (has no relation with my sound manager), but now there are a little bit more temporary graphical glitches when moving the screen vertically on the newly revealed metatiles.

These empty metatiles appear for 2 frames during fast vertical scrolling before they are replaced with the correct ones. This is the worst case of the problem I have spotted. This problem happened before too, but they never got that much inside the screen. Maybe there's a way to amp up the metatile refresh rate... What it is doing is that it displays the correct metatile but the attribute is not updated yet.
(http://i.imgur.com/zmSwLak.png)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 11, 2016, 11:04:47 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: macbee on August 11, 2016, 11:07:39 pm
The game has many loading issues... When you press start at the title screen ... the screen goes black and takes a long time to load new CHR banks ... it's bad...
Welcome to the world of Micronics!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FreightMan71 on August 12, 2016, 04:12:42 pm
@nesrocks

Really, really good stuff man.

I remember Super Pitfall being a favorite of mine back in the day....bugs, glitches and all...the whole idea of Pitfall being expanded to cover tons of screens on the superior NES (compared to the 2600 and Colecovision anyways) just blew me away.

I even put up with the "finding the items in weird places" thing, I enjoyed the game so much.

The graphical and animation work you have put into this is second to none and the game just looks simply fantastic.
If the sound can get redone, ok, but if not, no big deal....however, (and I didn't read every single post in this thread, so please forgive if I am posting a redundancy), if the bugs n glitches (falling through platforms, collision detection) can be fixed, you will have made this game damn near an ultimate version of Pitfall.

Keep up the good work and am very much looking forward to this.
In fact, I'm gonna go play through the original game a bit over the next couple weeks so that when I FINALLY play yours, I will feel like a kid who just got a new game under the Christmas tree all over again!!   :laugh:

Cheers!
FM71
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 16, 2016, 10:42:56 am
So, not much of an update (I have been fixing some bugs and adjusting some stuff), but I've discovered something interesting:

The original game duplicates every frame. I've noticed this on day one but I never had an idea why it did that. So today I was debugging it and I got to a compare that loops to itself. This one:

 07:C3C5:A5 49     LDA $0049 = #$00
 07:C3C7:C9 02     CMP #$02
 07:C3C9:90 FA     BCC $C3C5

I turned it off and the game started running on every frame with no problem at all (aside from some things moving too fast, but that's adjustable). Then I lost a life and it went to the lives screen normally. Then when it went back to the game the graphics were all messed up. Even the palettes didn't load correctly.

(http://i.imgur.com/S79PaTW.png)

Turns out they made that hack solution to give time for the graphics to load, but they didn't care that the whole game would be running at half fps. Maybe I can give it a condition that it only does that during loads and then goes back to running normally (instead of fixing the graphics loading). Would still need to adjust every object's speed in the game because they'd be moving too fast, so it isn't a trivial modification. If there's enough time left before release I might try that (would also need further testing to see if no other problems appear). I still think trying to fix the d-pad is a priority.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Satoshi_Matrix on August 17, 2016, 03:29:04 am
I'm eager to play this. You're doing fantastic work here.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 18, 2016, 06:20:32 am
NesRocks,

This one is for you!

(http://67.media.tumblr.com/77814c3a5a027327f690affd4e5389ff/tumblr_oc2lnb03oi1ulp8mfo1_1280.jpg)

More here:

http://videogamesdensetsu.tumblr.com/post/149092824100/the-sega-digitizer-system-a-tool-used-by-graphic (http://videogamesdensetsu.tumblr.com/post/149092824100/the-sega-digitizer-system-a-tool-used-by-graphic)

Cosme.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 19, 2016, 12:36:46 am
I wish I was there, cospefogo!

So, I've managed to change a few things:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 19, 2016, 02:36:42 am
Ya know, I dont ever remember ducking to even be useful in this game at all, so nothing of value was lost.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 19, 2016, 07:00:13 am
I wish I was there, cospefogo!

So, I've managed to change a few things:
  • I killed the ability to duck. This is the compromise I could do to avoid half the problem with the d-pad bug. The uglier half, at that. The one that even if you're holding right or left (no diagonals), Harry would stay locked on the ducking position until the d-pad was let go for at least 1 frame. This change drastically improved the gameplay, imo. The not so ugly bug still exists that 2 of the 4 diagonals stops movement, but as soon as left or right (no diagonal) is pressed, Harry starts moving normally.
  • Now whenever falling from a ledge you will fall as if you had jumped, so you can still control Harry in mid air (this is not the case when caught by a waterfall, when spawning in midair or when the balloon pops). This also drastically improved the gameplay, imo.
  • I changed the sprite used for Harry when riding the balloon to one of his swimming frames. It looks fitting. And I made it so when the balloon pops he changes his pose while falling.
  • The camera more closely follows Harry when going up or down ladders. Another gameplay improvement as he doesn't get so close to the edge of the screen as before.

Fantastic!
Nice job on killing the duck.
We can roast it now.
 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on August 19, 2016, 07:35:13 am
Removing ducking but fixing Harry stopping when you press some diagonals is a very nice trade  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 19, 2016, 10:37:35 pm
Another update:

- I have managed to break my limits again in loading sounds/songs from bank 5! I learned how to switch banks in this game and I used that to store all sounds and songs on bank 5 instead of 6 and 7. Bank 5 is originally 60% empty, so it is a lot of space. This also freed a big void in empty space on bank 7 (where the sounds were originally stored),  so that can be used in the future for fresh code to be inserted if need be. The good thing is that bank 7 is always loaded, so it's really convenient for new code.
- I have also inserted the new pitfall 2 theme that FCandChill arranged based on rockmanx2002's ftm.
- Songs now can use 4 channels (the original game only had 3 channels on songs, square 2 was missing). Songs that will benefit from this: Pitfall 2 theme (already working), Overworld 2 theme (FCandChill's "island" song), the new Balloon theme (based on rockmanx2002 ftm version) and a new DarkWorld theme by FCandChill.

Thanks for all the help FCandChill, it is greatly improving the quality of the hack!

- Separatelly, I decided that every 5 treasure collected = 1 extra life. This completely changed the value of collecting treasure, and it is now a good idea to get them even if not going for the 100 treasure ending.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 20, 2016, 03:36:45 am
Yay! I really am glad to know that the new music is in the game and the horrible ear bleeder has been removed. Is there a way we could hear the Pitfall II theme song? Is it better sounding then the awesome Atari 2600 version?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on August 20, 2016, 10:33:33 am
One question about the changes you mentioned above, @NESRocks: ducking in the game was never important right?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 20, 2016, 10:41:02 am
I'm sure that if it had ever been important, he'd take care of that and compensate for it.

However, for a game of this caliber, I wouldn't at all be surprised if it had just been added (because SMB did it, so it was expected) without it being a gameplay-specific requirement.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 20, 2016, 11:49:17 am
Is there a way we could hear the Pitfall II theme song?

Here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKlvTCSFU04

Ducking was nearly useless. It could be used sometimes to dodge a flying bat, but on the other hand it made you think you could duck and shoot. Very deceiving. The game plays a lot more fluidly now.

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 20, 2016, 09:25:19 pm
Here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKlvTCSFU04

Ducking was nearly useless. It could be used sometimes to dodge a flying bat, but on the other hand it made you think you could duck and shoot. Very deceiving. The game plays a lot more fluidly now.

OMG! That was awesome! Its like a combo of both the Atari 2600 version of Pitfall II and the Tandy CoCo version of Super Pitfall mixed in one! I love it! Whoever made that song is a genius and should be recommended for other projects in the future.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 20, 2016, 09:58:19 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 20, 2016, 10:42:17 pm
The new Balloon theme (already added to the game, tested and working):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNYLEuj3sx4

FCandChill: I've changed it a bit, I hope you don't mind! I've set the speed to be somewhat inbetween the atari version and the nes version.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 20, 2016, 11:35:56 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 20, 2016, 11:50:19 pm
It took me some time to understand what you meant (I'm bad at reading). So, whenever both square 1 and square 2 play the same note at the same time? You're right, that happens twice on this version. I'll change it.

edit: removed old balloon video, re-uploaded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da9SSxRnEkI
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: TCgamerboy2002 on August 21, 2016, 02:24:44 am
Man, you're making this game so much better than the original version. And I mean MUCH better! ;D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 21, 2016, 03:09:49 am
Did you change the "Sesame Street" song you hear when you win the game? Also, does the game now have a real ending?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 21, 2016, 10:14:59 am
It is still the same ending song. But sesame street? I'm not familiar with that show. Is it because it sounds silly or is it similar to something from sesame street?

I have managed to cram an ending image and modify the text, but it is still far from what I wanted to do. There is a bug when I load a big nametable and I have no idea what causes it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on August 21, 2016, 12:35:48 pm
It is still the same ending song. But sesame street? I'm not familiar with that show. Is it because it sounds silly or is it similar to something from sesame street?

Sesame Street is a long-running (almost 50 years) kid's show created by Jim Henson featuring Muppet characters.

So I guess I'm not the only one who thought the ending theme sounded like the Sesame Street theme, heheh...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 21, 2016, 01:05:38 pm
I'll have to check that out later!

Also, the original darkworld theme sounds a LOT like the first seconds of the song I Believe from tears for fears.

I Believe, from 0:03 to 0:10 (the song was released in 1985)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOONxWuD52c&t=3s

Super Pitfall, from 4:15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1akfclKATRQ&t=4m15s
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: KingMike on August 21, 2016, 01:16:54 pm
It is still the same ending song. But sesame street? I'm not familiar with that show. Is it because it sounds silly or is it similar to something from sesame street?

I have managed to cram an ending image and modify the text, but it is still far from what I wanted to do. There is a bug when I load a big nametable and I have no idea what causes it.

Super Pitfall ending music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY8iqzeAwmw

As to the Sesame Street song, well it's been remixed many times in its run, but here's about the closest contemporary version I can find on a quick youtube search.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv6cQKUU8YY
(a more late '80s clip would be nostalgic for me)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 21, 2016, 01:20:24 pm
Okay, that can't be a coincidence, it really is the theme from sesame street. And how fitting that it sounds like the 83 version, so close to the making of the game.

Judging how every song in Super Pitfall came from some other place, I would think they took the invincibility theme from somewhere. We only need to find out where from.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 21, 2016, 03:00:26 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 21, 2016, 04:19:44 pm
Nesrocks!

You nver heard about Sesame Street? Muppet's Show, man. We did have it in Brazil too. Any ideas when the new version will be ready?

Also, about the ending screen: I can't remember how it was. Something like a black screen with text? I did finish the game once, back on the Phantom System age.

Are you able to fit a nice pixelart scene on the new ending? It could be a simple static one...

Regards,
C.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 21, 2016, 04:26:09 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 21, 2016, 04:28:26 pm
That david wise version: wow.

cospefogo: I heard about sesame street, but I don't remember ever seeing it on tv. It only aired in Brazil from 72 to 77 and I wasn't here yet. So hearing about it is all I know about it.
I have put some graphics on the ending screen, but there is very limited space there due to a bug.

FCandChill: Perfect! XD

I've added the Warp Areas theme to the game. FCandChill's composition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_7IVSRsPMU
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on August 21, 2016, 06:31:35 pm
Ya know, I dont ever remember ducking to even be useful in this game at all, so nothing of value was lost.

you duck to avoid the giant moai head.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 21, 2016, 06:41:15 pm
you duck to avoid the giant moai head.
There is actually no need to duck there. You can stand inside the hole and the moai won't kill you. Which makes me think that ducking to avoid the bats probably does nothing either. The hitbox is probably just his lower body.
Anyway, I have modified that section so there isn't even a hole on the ground to get in.

Update: here is the new dark world theme by FCandChill. I love it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVzN0clVouQ
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 21, 2016, 06:44:31 pm
Update: here is the new dark world theme by FCandChill. I love it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVzN0clVouQ

I have not listened to *any* of the new songs yet. (And will not...)
I don't want to spoil the surprise factor on the first play of this amazing new version!
C.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 21, 2016, 07:43:27 pm
I love the new Darkworld music. It gives a feeling of dread and fear and unlike the original, it doesnt have that annoying, high pitch, loud beep being played over and over again. Bravo to FCandChill and nesrocks!

New suggested ending.

(http://www.bwass.org/bucket/super pitfall - ending screen new.png)

OMG! LOL! Thats the perfect ending to this game!

I do wonder though, FCandChill, will there be a new ending song?
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 21, 2016, 07:57:19 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 25, 2016, 11:03:56 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/edl6g56.png)

(http://i.imgur.com/7w85JAa.png)

Aaaaand now the game saves automatically while playing. Tested and working on a real NES using a powerpak (thanks protomank!). It works on nintendulator, fceux and nestopia. Resetting the game freezes on virtuanes (need to hardware reset), otherwise it's also playable there. It also works on wii's homebrew fceultra.

What happened is that I readapted infidelity's mmc3 patch and now the rom is mmc3 again. One thing that wasn't clear while trying to change mappers is that the header must also be editted. I used NESHEAD tool for this.

The thing about this is that someone can reset after finishing and can continue on the same save to try and go for the perfect ending (or erase and start over).

I have also fixed Harry's shooting animation. Turns out it was not a bug, it was an intentional animation. Now that I know asm a bit better I could see clearly the intent in the code.

It was:
shoot frame with gun > jump frame > shoot frame with gun

I changed to:
shoot frame without gun, eyes closed > shoot frame with gun, eyes opened > shoot frame without gun, eyes closed

The pause was also fixed, now it isn't too sensitive.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 25, 2016, 11:48:37 pm
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Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on August 26, 2016, 12:55:53 am
Did you ever consider a new font?

edit: thanks for bringing back the scorpion on the title screen.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 26, 2016, 02:08:03 am
Cool! A save feature! Im also glad that it works on the Wii version of FCEU. Its the one I use when I am not using my PC. If he was the change the font, he should find something that would match both the title screen's letters as well as look like something ancient, A good example would be how the game Aladdin has fonts that looks like the letters for the title screen and also fits the Arabian theme.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on August 26, 2016, 02:37:58 am
I was thinking something along the lines of Kirby's Adventure Ability Help, willow or even Thermin
(http://pics.pineight.com/nes/8x8s.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 26, 2016, 03:05:54 am
I think Sir Ababol would look good, but I wouldnt know for sure until I see it in use in the game.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: MathUser2929 on August 26, 2016, 08:10:17 am
I really like that title screen. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on August 26, 2016, 08:23:36 am
Just a note, I didn't had the time to really test the save feature in the NES, just not got the freeze. It was a very quick test.
I will test it tonight, trying to save in different points with different items obtained and let you know how it was :)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 26, 2016, 10:43:15 am
FYI, changing the font is about one of the first things I did on this hack. The original font is hideous. I didn't search far though, I chose a similar one that didn't have design problems. The font you've been seeing on the screenshots is from arkanoid.
That being said, taking a quick glance at that font image I think ababol looks like a good candidate. I'll test it later.

protomank: I was only worried about the reset. I'd be surprised if the save doesn't work, but it's a good test nonetheless! Tell me how it goes.

edit: not a big fan of taking the original font from a homebrew game. How do they feel about it? A simple credit on the readme would suffice? (haven't tested the font yet)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 26, 2016, 10:58:15 am
It's really cool that you're considerate about that.

Just message one of the devs about it, I've seen you post on NesDev, unless I'm mistaken, one of the developers is active on NesDev, username, na_th_an (http://forums.nesdev.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=6012).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 29, 2016, 01:17:39 pm
After testing, I've settled on the classic namco font with a few minor modifications to look a bit more like the "PITFALL" on the logo. I didn't want to hurt readability and using fonts with anti-alias was not an option due to palette limitations.

Anyway, I've made something that I think added another dimension to the game (it meant dozens of hours of coding):

(http://i.imgur.com/D29tVvd.png)

Not only you get a clue of what to do even without a manual, I've added a way to see your progress and added a save delete protection (can only delete if pressing A + start).

The save is now also working on punes (thanks for the bug fix, Disch!). Once protomank does some tests of this version on his everdrive I'll update here with the results.
The only emulator that I've tested that has a problem with the hack is virtualnes. Soft resetting freezes the game (so on that emulator just hw reset and it works normally).

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 29, 2016, 01:28:58 pm
I hope it works on NES.EMU on OUYA as well.
Eager to play this version!

Cosme.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: John Enigma on August 29, 2016, 02:03:15 pm
Hopefully and eventually, it'll work in a NES version of this. (https://www.gamnesia.com/news/this-super-nintendo-emulator-lets-you-play-your-original-snes-carts-on-the)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 29, 2016, 02:12:55 pm
Hopefully and eventually, it'll work in a NES version of this. (https://www.gamnesia.com/news/this-super-nintendo-emulator-lets-you-play-your-original-snes-carts-on-the)
I don't see much of a point on that. You mean make a dedicated cartridge of the hack and then read its ROM and play it on an emulator on the PC? You can do that more easily by opening the ROM file on a PC folder.

What I'm curious to know is if it works on a dedicated repro cart. It should, but there's only one way to be sure.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 29, 2016, 02:21:45 pm
Hopefully and eventually, it'll work in a NES version of this. (https://www.gamnesia.com/news/this-super-nintendo-emulator-lets-you-play-your-original-snes-carts-on-the)

Interesting device, but seems pretty useless in my humble opinion.
 :beer:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 29, 2016, 04:28:56 pm
As for font advice, if you plan to have horizontal rows of characters immediately adjacent to each other (single spaced instead of double spaced) it might improve readability to reduce character height to 6 pixels instead of 7. Right now, the text on those two screens looks very dense. Otherwise, looking great as always.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 29, 2016, 05:40:30 pm
As for font advice, if you plan to have horizontal rows of characters immediately adjacent to each other (single spaced instead of double spaced) it might improve readability to reduce character height to 6 pixels instead of 7. Right now, the text on those two screens looks very dense. Otherwise, looking great as always.
You are absolutely right. I want to have it as tall as possible to make it close to the logo's tipography but I guess a square monospace font can't do well in the readability department when going for tall letters. Unless I used double tiles for them but that'd be a nightmare. So I modified it a bit more and made everything 6 px tall as you suggested and yeah, that's better. Here:
(http://i.imgur.com/8nimMT9.png)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 29, 2016, 07:54:41 pm
Looks better. Generally, I go with 6px tall if single spacing, 7 if double spacing (to still allow a pixel for a comma to drop down.) If including lowercase, usually 6px tall with two pixel tails and double spacing.

Anyway, don't forget to alter the punctuation too. Now, your exclamation point is dropping below the baseline. You might want to get trim the stray pixel off the S as well. That's the most problematic letter at 6px high, I believe.

(http://i68.tinypic.com/15xnw4i.gif)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 30, 2016, 05:07:18 am
I absolutely LOVE the SMALL CAPS Dragon Warrior type face...
But of course, for nostalgic reasons.

(Image removed due to anti-hotlinking image.)

Th italic/oblique exclamation point is... FANCY!
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on August 30, 2016, 04:49:57 pm
Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 31, 2016, 12:53:57 am
Hey guys, Super Pitfall turns 30 in 5 days!

I have added a very special feature. Didn't get much sleep last night. It took a lot of coding, but I'm putting the last bits of free space on banks 7 and 6 to good use. Today was testing which meant a lot of coding again.
The music player can be accessed by a third option on the main menu and it lets you listen to any of the new songs and also any of the old ones. There are song names (most were named by fcandchill) and song credits. Songs will keep playing as you navigate to the main menu and the progress screen, which I thought was pretty neat.

(http://i.imgur.com/EU3qUSd.png)

How far has this hack come in the last 5 months... It went from "maybe the game would be good if all items were visible, but I don't really know how" to this. I wanna thank everyone here for their invaluable feedback and support. Disch, snarfblam, jonk, Da_GPer, protomank, M-Tee, dougeff... and countless others, really. The community rocks. But I wanna thank specially macbee for the daily talks about romhacking. It was actually most of the time about my hack though, and I thought that'd be annoying, so I'm sorry about the times I talked too much! I was just very happy to be learning more about the NES everyday, and to have someone so experienced to talk to about it meant a huge deal.

Also, thanks to FCandChill for the help with the new songs and for breaking the initial barrier figuring out the sound format. It completely changed the face of the hack.

After I release the hack I'm going to move on to my PC game (wish me luck!). I plan to develop it for about 6 months, and I'm one to honor a schedule, so expect it to be released and I hope people are interested in it once it's done. I don't know exactly what it'll be, but it will use my original assets from this hack, at least initially, so that gives an idea of what kind of game it'll be.

This doesn't mean I won't make more hacks later. This is like a drug. I feel like I want to make a full disassembly of whatever game I pick to hack next though, because changing super pitfall this much by typing on fceux's hex editor was not exactly my idea of fun. At the last couple of weeks I was typing the asm on txt and only then retyping it directly into the rom (so I was basically a compiler). Somehow it all worked. But on another hacking project I can definitely see the benefits of preparing everything first.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 31, 2016, 05:39:09 am
Im glad I can be of help to you. I also hope I can help you in your next project too. By the way, I love the music test you added.

Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 31, 2016, 05:56:40 am
Gold! Gold! Gold!
Eager to play!

Next ROM hack?
Let's just get me music fom Ultima Exodus and "inject it" into Ultima Quest of Avatar?
 :woot!: :woot!: :woot!: :woot!:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on August 31, 2016, 06:06:12 am
Gold! Gold! Gold!
Eager to play!

Next ROM hack?
Let's just get me music fom Ultima Exodus and "inject it" into Ultima Quest of Avatar?
 :woot!: :woot!: :woot!: :woot!:

There are PC hacks that give the older Ultima games music, EGA colors, improvements, and other cool things. If you want, I can look for the links.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on August 31, 2016, 06:18:40 am
There are PC hacks that give the older Ultima games music, EGA colors, improvements, and other cool things. If you want, I can look for the links.

Thanks, man, but no, thanks.

I have some sort of a special passion about Ultima Exodus on NES.
The RPG I played most in my life. And the BGM is so wonderful!

Next to it I love Ultima Quest of Avatar...
But man, why — oh why — the BGM is so lifeless on a so priceless game?
 :huh:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: macbee on August 31, 2016, 08:39:21 am
My pleasure!

Once again it's nice to see justice being done to Super Pitfall. It's a very good game trashed by poor execution of the original team.
Now that it's fixed I'm sure that many people will give it a second chance.

And it's impressive indeed to realize how far this project went - especially because it's Nesrocks' first hack.
He's an excellent artist, designer and programmer. Super Pitfall was the second NES cart I ever had (and I played it for countless hours when I was a kid) - so I'm familiar enough with this game to assure this hack is a work of affection and respect to the original (despite all flaws made by Micronics) and to the Pitfall franchise itself.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on August 31, 2016, 09:15:47 am
Nothing excites me more than when a talent in the RH community announces the move to entirely original work. I anxiously await your PC game as well.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on August 31, 2016, 10:12:18 am
Thanks guys! Making this hack was a lot of fun.

cospefogo: Sorry, I have never played any ultima. My next hack (if I do one) will probably be for a game that I have played a lot.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 01, 2016, 07:52:03 am
Wow, I just feel honored I could help out testing this game. It is a masterpiece that should be studied int he future as an example on how (well) a rom hack can be done. I still can't believe it saves, and saves much like a modern-day game.

Now, about Ultima, I never played it, even if my friend cospefogo told me it is a great game, just because of the graphics. I know, I know, I should not judge by only graphics, but could not avoid comparing it to Final Fantasy on the NES (people nowadays take for granted nice graphics in JRPGs, but when FF1 was released, it was really amazing).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on September 01, 2016, 11:48:56 am
Wow, I just feel honored I could help out testing this game. It is a masterpiece that should be studied int he future as an example on how (well) a rom hack can be done. I still can't believe it saves, and saves much like a modern-day game.

Now, about Ultima, I never played it, even if my friend cospefogo told me it is a great game, just because of the graphics. I know, I know, I should not judge by only graphics, but could not avoid comparing it to Final Fantasy on the NES (people nowadays take for granted nice graphics in JRPGs, but when FF1 was released, it was really amazing).

The Ultima games are one of the best RPGs out there. Yes, the graphics on the early ones arent the best, but if you look past them, youll find a rich storyline and awesome game play that even today's games cant truly beat. They are real masterpieces.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 01, 2016, 11:56:25 am
The Ultima games are one of the best RPGs out there. Yes, the graphics on the early ones arent the best, but if you look past them, youll find a rich storyline and awesome game play that even today's games cant truly beat. They are real masterpieces.

Specially Ultima IV.
The best, ever.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 01, 2016, 12:22:54 pm
I've played Pagan, a masterpiece. Tried 7 and 6, but could not get into it, never wanted to look back ;)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 04, 2016, 02:57:47 pm
I'll release the hack tomorrow, guys, everything seems to be finished and I've fixed the bugs that I wanted to fix.
The hack is confirmed to work on pc emulators fceux, nintendulator, nestopia and punes. Also on wii emulator fceux. And also on hardware everdrive on a real NES.

I've managed to redo the ending properly. Won't post screenshots here though.  :crazy:

The zip will include both english and portuguese versions. Just choose which ips to use when patching.
I'll submit the hack today here at RHDN, but since it is a delayed process, please go to my site to get it in the mean time (tomorrow!).

Also, look what arrived in the mail just in time:
(http://i.imgur.com/kC5uiAV.jpg)

If I scan the whole manual would someone please do a full literal translation to english? I couldn't find the manual anywhere on the net, even on japanese sites, which is why I bought this. I know a bit of japanese, but someone who's really fluent could translate it much faster and more accurately.

As you can see on the famicom version's back boxart, it seems like the darkworld enemies are undead with long sleeves, as I've always pictured them:
(http://i.imgur.com/m8gnbxM.jpg)
The manual calls them "underground people gaia" and "underground people gnome" though.
So, some of you won't like it, but I've changed them one last time. Opinion was diverse anyway, so I went with what I felt that worked: I've reinserted the richer animation and I've changed the masked man to a zombie type to avoid any confusion with gnomes.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Googie on September 04, 2016, 03:34:32 pm
Looking forward to playing this, it'll have to be when I come back from New York tomorrow. :beer:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on September 04, 2016, 07:39:45 pm
Look what I found!

http://www.gamesdatabase.org//Media/SYSTEM/Nintendo_NES/manual/Formated/Super_Pitfall_-_1987_-_Activision.pdf
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 04, 2016, 07:41:16 pm
Look what I found!

http://www.gamesdatabase.org//Media/SYSTEM/Nintendo_NES/manual/Formated/Super_Pitfall_-_1987_-_Activision.pdf
Well, yeah, but I figure there are translation differences between both manuals, and maybe even different content.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on September 04, 2016, 08:48:02 pm
Congratulations. Can't wait to dig into it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 05, 2016, 01:06:46 am
Hey, it was already approved! Happy 30 years!

http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3060/
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: maseter on September 05, 2016, 02:31:48 am
What a morning surprise, wakey wakey hands on Pitfall snakey, great work!

One question, was crouching down removed on purpose?

And with improved game controls you mean when you are facing left, hold up, and press jump, the player turns left, or if you are facing right, hold down and press jump, the player turn left?

(REMOVED)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Gamerhenky on September 05, 2016, 03:21:50 am
What a morning surprise, wakey wakey hands on Pitfall snakey, great work!

One question, was crouching down removed on purpose?

And with improved game controls you mean when you are facing left, hold up, and press jump, the player turns left, or if you are facing right, hold down and press jump, the player turn left?

maseter, you cannot discuss about repro and also remove the link.  Read the Rules. :police:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 05, 2016, 06:52:06 am
Nesrocks and all guys involved!

Thank you SO MUCH for this.
Absolutely.

Protomank, I wish we were living in the same city again, this way we could get some burgers, soda and spend a whole weekend hunting treasures on this new classic, just as we did back the end of '90s!

Regards,
Cospefogo.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on September 05, 2016, 07:00:00 am
All I can say is just three words. I LOVE IT! Yes, I did see a few bugs that were also in the original, but the vast amount of improvements and everything made those tiny bugs irrelevant. You are a video game making god! Its a shame that David Crane himself isnt playing this, as he really should.

EDIT: Does Harry have unlimited bullets? If he does, bravo!

EDIT2: I found David Crane's E-Mail address from his web site. Its david<at>dcrane<dot>com. Maybe someone can write to him and send him a copy of the game for him to play and give us his opinion.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skyrunner14 on September 05, 2016, 08:15:37 am
I've just beaten the game! Amazing work from everyone involved. You guys really stayed true to the original while still improving what didn't work originally. I feel like this is what the original devs might've wished the game to be like before it all went wrong. In any case, will you still be compiling your findings on the game's unused data and graphics on The Cutting Room Floor? I'm sure if you post it all on the forum there someone would be willing to help you compile it into a page proper.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on September 05, 2016, 09:04:03 am
One question, was crouching down removed on purpose?

Yes it was. It was deemed too situationally useful to justify keeping.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 05, 2016, 09:15:20 am
Protomank, I wish we were living in the same city again, this way we could get some burgers, soda and spend a whole weekend hunting treasures on this new classic, just as we did back the end of '90s!

Regards,
Cospefogo.

I will always remember we playing Super Puzzle Fighter II X during night :D
I am lucky my wife likes videogames like Lego Batman, but I lack having friends to play classic with.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: tvtoon on September 05, 2016, 09:34:37 am
EDIT: Does Harry have unlimited bullets? If he does, bravo!
Yes, he does.

Great hack, good job! :D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: MagusLOGS on September 05, 2016, 10:23:18 am
I am very impressed with the work and effort you have put into this hack. The new updated graphics look like it could have been from a newer system. Easily 10/10.  :thumbsup:
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 05, 2016, 10:46:39 am
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Disch on September 05, 2016, 11:21:37 am
*Looks at readme*

Quote
DO NOT modify this hack in any way.

A ROM hacker telling other ROM hackers not to hack the ROM he just hacked.

Why wouldn't you want other people building off your hack?  What do you have to lose?

I never understood this mentality.


Regardless, I'm going to try this out.  I never played the original for more than 2 minutes because it was so awful, but this looks pretty good.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: M-Tee on September 05, 2016, 11:40:37 am
On the contrary, I never understood the opposing mentality and am glad to see others acknowledge creators' rights.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 05, 2016, 11:51:47 am
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 05, 2016, 11:56:38 am
The site policy regarding submission of new hacks explicitly says:
"For current generation platforms including Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One; only news, documents, and utilities may be submitted. No hacks or translations are permitted at this time."

I believe it is a similar subject when someone has just released his hack and is promoting it. It is a current game and intelectual property should be respected. In the future, if someone wants to further improve the hack, feel free to contact me, but in the meantime, please don't. While the hack is fresh, everyone is free to modify the original ROM released 30 years ago. Me and FCandChill have set up a nice datacrystal page with a lot of information for such a task.

edit: David Crane has replied to my e-mail. Here's what he had to say:

"Mario,

Truly an amazing and impressive effort! And to learn assembly language programming in order to pull it off is equally impressive.

I run into Super Pitfall haters all the time and I am quick to point out I had nothing to do with it. Now I can point them to your improved version.

Congratulations!

DC"

So awesome!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 05, 2016, 12:52:51 pm
About this policy, let me explain a bit as I've already talked about it with a few guys...
If you create a hack that infriges a company's copyright, you are responsible for it, you made the decision to do so, you chose the distributiuon method and added notes about your patch. If the company sues, it is on you and you know what you made.

Now, if someone takes your hack, and, let's say for example, made a X-rated game from it, or worse, added child abuse, you could be sued because the second patch includes yours! You could go to jail on pedophilia because your work is on that second hack. (I am using an extreme example for you to understand the basis of the problem).
That is the reason, and one I perfectly understand. That is why people are making separate patches, in some cases, ones that do not change the copyrighted material at all, like adding save or map to the game, and other that can be mixed with this one.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Disch on September 05, 2016, 01:07:45 pm
Now, if someone takes your hack, and, let's say for example, made a X-rated game from it, or worse, added child abuse, you could be sued because the second patch includes yours! You could go to jail on pedophilia because your work is on that second hack. (I am using an extreme example for you to understand the basis of the problem).

Your casual misunderstanding of law could not be more incorrect.  You are not responsible for content other people create.

At worst, the pedo hack could draw undesired attention to your original hack -- but you would be in no way responsible for the pedophilia part of it.



This would be like saying a paper manufacturer could get in trouble because someone printed child pornography on their paper.  It doesn't work that way.



Regardless, whatever nesrocks wants to do with his hack is his business.  This hack is quite an accomplishment and is certainly a big improvement on the original game.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 05, 2016, 01:08:24 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 05, 2016, 01:29:46 pm
Your casual misunderstanding of law could not be more incorrect.  You are not responsible for content other people create.
At worst, the pedo hack could draw undesired attention to your original hack -- but you would be in no way responsible for the pedophilia part of it.
This would be like saying a paper manufacturer could get in trouble because someone printed child pornography on their paper.  It doesn't work that way.

Never said you would be considered GUILTY, I am saying that yes, you can be SUED for that, even if without reason. Anyone that was sued can tell you that, even if you are 100% correct, it is a big problem.
Also, the point that I wanted to make, is that the fact is that the copyright owner can decide sue you and your hack, because the second one is somehow offensive.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 05, 2016, 02:05:26 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 05, 2016, 02:19:27 pm
If they still hold copyright in Brazil, they can sue here too. I was actually thinking about brazilian legal system when saying "sued can be a problem" :-P
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: WhiteHat94 on September 05, 2016, 10:07:15 pm
Just wanted to say that your hack is incredible, it's really fantastic. Everything about it is so well done. I don't have enough nice things to say about it. It's one of the best hacks of any game I've come across. Just wanted to say thanks for making this, your hard work is very much appreciated.

We actually have already started speedrunning it and it's a lot of fun, check it out if you're interested. I'm working on the route for the Perfect ending as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD8jSKbqBSg
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cross_bearer_02 on September 05, 2016, 10:16:25 pm
Hi!  My first time posting on these forums.  I'm rockman_X_2002 over on the Famitracker forums, as well as Atariage, and a few other places, and cross_bearer_02 in other places, and I'm the rockman_x_2002 who did the original NES version of the Pitfall II theme song and version of "Over the Waves" that was adapted and used in this ROM hack.

I just wanted to say congratulations to nesrocks and the rest of the team that made this ROM hack possible.  When nesrocks contacted me about using some of the tunes I had worked on to fun in his project, I was extremely honored to be a small part of this little project, and was excited to hear about it.  I've had an opportunity to download and play it today, and I'm extremely impressed at how the game has turned out.  I played Super Pitfall many years ago as a kid, and found it very difficult to enjoy, and felt that it paled in comparison to the original Atari 2600 games I knew and loved so much.

I am very pleased to say that the improvements made here make this game a worthy installment in the Pitfall! series, and so glad to see the amount of love and attention given to making this game so much better than it originally was.  I can happily say this is a game that I will enjoy diving into and playing through extensively!

Again, congratulations on an excellent ROM hack, and for vastly improving a game that so badly needed it!  Really enjoying this one!

Cheers!     ;D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 05, 2016, 10:23:56 pm
Just wanted to say that your hack is incredible, it's really fantastic. Everything about it is so well done. I don't have enough nice things to say about it. It's one of the best hacks of any game I've come across. Just wanted to say thanks for making this, your hard work is very much appreciated.

We actually have already started speedrunning it and it's a lot of fun, check it out if you're interested. I'm working on the route for the Perfect ending as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD8jSKbqBSg
I just watched it! I made a comment there.

I'm very impressed, you're very good at super pitfall!

cross_bearer_02: nice to see you here! Fortune smiled upon us when I found your ftm file. It was really awesome. It gave me the motivation to work A LOT on the hack the last month before release.
Without it and without FCandChill's work it would have been a completely different and inferior hack. Thank you!
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 05, 2016, 10:45:23 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Sephirous on September 06, 2016, 12:04:35 am
Wow!

This project is awesome.  :thumbsup:

Getting rid of the black backgrounds is genius. I can only imagine what other games that were like this would be like if the black backgrounds were replaced.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 06, 2016, 07:17:35 am
Looking at the speedrun, I've noticed how much the game changed. Amazing.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 07, 2016, 02:58:30 am
The site policy regarding submission of new hacks explicitly says:
"For current generation platforms including Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One; only news, documents, and utilities may be submitted. No hacks or translations are permitted at this time."

I believe it is a similar subject when someone has just released his hack and is promoting it. It is a current game and intellectual property should be respected. In the future, if someone wants to further improve the hack, feel free to contact me, but in the meantime, please don't. While the hack is fresh, everyone is free to modify the original ROM released 30 years ago. Me and FCandChill have set up a nice datacrystal page with a lot of information for such a task.

Gonna play devil's advocate for a moment and with a purpose. To qualify, I have worked in the legal field in the area of copyright law. I am one of the few people who have gone up against Microsoft and won.

Nesrocks, your request that others not modify your modification to someones else's copyrighted work is nonsense and more than a bit hypocritical. What you have done falls into a gray legal area. On one hand, it is a violation of the original copyright holder's rights to have a say in how it is used and you have denied them the right of first refusal. On the other hand, what you have done falls into the creative fair-use areas of the law. This subject has been beaten to death before and we will not go into to much detail here. The flat reality is that your work is allowed under the law so long as you do not benefit from it in any way and do not deprive the copyright holders of any benefit in any way. But you also have no right to limit how it is used in future either. Respect does not enter into it, because, copyright.

This work you and others have done seems real cool, no doubts there. However, you don't and can't own it. You don't have legal right to claim copyright ownership of the modifications you have done because you did not get and do not have the permission of the original copyright holder of the base work, IE the makers of the original game itself. They can't stop you from doing it, but they can stop you from claiming ownership of it.

Your request is just that, a request. One that does NOT have to be honored. But, at least for a time, it likely will be honored. But no one has to.. That having been said, if someone doesn't honor your request, oh well. It's not the end of the world. It would be childish and silly to make a big deal of it. So what if someone makes a mod of your mod? Why do you care? Do you really need to? [FYI, those are rhetorical questions that do not require an answer]

Edit; The legal points I have made above apply to United States copyright and case law. Brazilian law[where Nesrocks is based] likely differs somewhat, but I imagine the general ideas expressed still apply.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on September 07, 2016, 03:34:45 am
Was the homage to the original Pitfall in the upper part of the "zombie village" area in the original game? I thought it was a clever touch.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 07, 2016, 08:59:03 am
Random people already creating videos about the hack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJoCdE_fFU8

Not trying to dwelve more on this, but about the copyright legal stuff, there is a huge difference between distribuing a rom and a patch, legally, lets not forget ;)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 07, 2016, 09:16:06 am
Random people already creating videos about the hack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJoCdE_fFU8

Yeah, but it is a pity that people love to COMPLAIN.
Complain, complain and complain, is all what most of the people do.

Instead of seeing the huge accomplishment of this project,
instead of spreading the wonder and the gem that the final product became,
people prefer to highlight negativity.

Human race, rat race.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 07, 2016, 09:20:45 am
For my turn, I didn't even got the final patch.
I'm saving it to play the whole game in detail with all time needed to get all items and enjoy it fully, because, this one, it deserver my full attention and love! :)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 07, 2016, 09:24:22 am
For my turn, I didn't even got the final patch.
I'm saving it to play the whole game in detail with all time needed to get all items and enjoy it fully, because, this one, it deserver my full attention and love! :)

I already started!
Yesterday.

Loving the game, specially the new save feature.
Perfectly implemented!

Cheers!
C.
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 07, 2016, 09:38:21 am
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 07, 2016, 10:21:06 am
Gonna play devil's advocate for a moment and with a purpose.
Those points are correct, but there's one technicality: I did not request people to not hack the original game, which I don't own rights to. I requested people not to edit my hack, which is my work and is what I'm distributing. The hack is my pixel art and my code, so I should have the rights to those.

If they take the original game, hack it, and then apply my hack to it, that's their right to do so. But editting my hack isn't. I expect people to wait the same time before someone can edit my hack as they wait to edit recently released games, as stated by the site rules as I've quoted before in this thread.
"For current generation platforms including Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One; only news, documents, and utilities may be submitted. No hacks or translations are permitted at this time."

Doesn't it seem to be the same? I don't see why both new hacks and full new games shouldn't be treated the same. A console's life cycle is tipically 5 years, so there's a number.

Of course, I'm probably not going to enter any legal battles about people editting my hack. It is a request, as you've said.

Regarding that video he was clearly going for something there with that tone. I think he just missed the spot, but it was a nice try.

Midna: no, that section is entirely new :)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 07, 2016, 05:43:10 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: tvtoon on September 07, 2016, 07:54:19 pm
I don't even understand why beginning this drama beyond scope. The documentation is on the Data Crystal (another reason it is a great job, guys), anyone can hack the game by themselves, discussing this here is a waste of legality flavors. ;)
Title: ###
Post by: FCandChill on September 07, 2016, 08:47:45 pm
 Comment removed because reasons...
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 08, 2016, 07:15:55 am
Thank you M-Tee! If anyone doesn't like this rule ... bring any complaints to the Site Talk board ... not here.

Yes... Let's keep the focus on the great mission accomplished here — the Super Pitfall 30!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Da_GPer on September 08, 2016, 07:30:20 pm
Random people already creating videos about the hack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJoCdE_fFU8

Not trying to dwelve more on this, but about the copyright legal stuff, there is a huge difference between distribuing a rom and a patch, legally, lets not forget ;)

Wow.... That guy in that video was quick to complain and bash on the game, even before playing it. Some people just dont know a quality remake and fix now days. :(
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 09, 2016, 08:28:56 am
Wow.... That guy in that video was quick to complain and bash on the game, even before playing it. Some people just dont know a quality remake and fix now days. :(

I didn't see his comments as bashing the patch itself, but rather the game's original problems. But yeah, he should had to play the original before playing the patched one, and also read the changelist, so he could focus in the things improved, like the nice HUD, no anmo and such.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: cospefogo on September 09, 2016, 08:38:46 am
I didn't see his comments as bashing the patch itself, but rather the game's original problems. But yeah, he should had to play the original before playing the patched one, and also read the changelist, so he could focus in the things improved, like the nice HUD, no anmo and such.

It could be ANY game. Could be a comic book. A song. A object.
What is the purpose of making videos BASHING things?
To get "views"? To be popular?

Begone, bashing people!
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 09, 2016, 08:46:15 am
The thing is, I didn't saw the video as bashing, I tough it was not the case. On the contrary!
Looks we have very different views on the tone of the comments on the video.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 09, 2016, 08:52:47 am
Producing a video takes time. He doesn't make those comments in real time. This means he had his opinion on the hack before making the video because he had tested it before.
So, if he starts the video pointing out flaws, but by the end of the video he says "oh so it isn't bad afterall" that means he had a little story going. The story was to continue the intertia of calling super pitfall a horrible game.

The thing is that it misses the point because anyone viewing it for the first time knows that the little problems he points out simply don't stand out as much as the improvements. Which is why we as viewers feel the video misses the spot.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 09, 2016, 09:27:23 am
Sorry for posting this video in first place. Didin't ever wanted to start such a thread nor hurt anyone feelings. I saw it as funny thing only.  :'(

But anyway, there are already tons of others video reviews of the hack out there, please pick a better one instead.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skawo on September 11, 2016, 09:49:27 am
Sorry if my video seemed like bashing of the mod, but it really wasn't supposed to be.

That said, I think pointing out flaws that weren't fixed in the overhaul is fair. The mod was supposed to make Super Pitfall playable, and while it does achieve that, there's still a multitude of issues that stop the game from being actually fun to play. I did point out the important things that were obviously improved; new menus, the ammo being infinite, the graphics being far improved, the levels made more fair and items and warps no longer being invisible.

But if I just pointed those out, and didn't mention any of the inherited issues that were left from the original, it would seem I was implying the mod made the game into a gem or something, which it, sadly, didn't.

tldr; The mod is excellent, but the original game's flaws still manage to shine through.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 11, 2016, 09:56:42 am
Since you came here to comment, I'll address the issues you pointed out, but I'd like to say this again: in the video it feels off that the first things you had to say were minor nitpicks instead of talking about the screaming improvements. Okay, let's go:

The jeep text: the text says "save everyone, find the diamond and then escape in the jeep". You said in the video "can I escape already?". No, first find everyone, as it says in the text. Saving your cursed niece is not a triviality. Okay I'm already tired of talking about your points.  ;D
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: skawo on September 11, 2016, 09:59:58 am
...that... wasn't a complaint at all. It was a joke. There's seriously no issue with the story text or anything, other than it being slightly amusing at the end, because it's a hidden way to fix an issue in the original game, which didn't tell you to return to the start.

Look, if you feel the video offends you or negatively affects your publicity in any way, I'll happily take it down. Once again, it was not supposed to bash your mod at all.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Bahamut ZERO on September 11, 2016, 03:17:56 pm
Just noticed something I figured I should point out: When you shoot your gun, only part of the character's sprite changes to the shooting pose (the right side). Not a BIG issue or anything, it just looks like Harry's lifting his leg to shoot bullets from his knee like the Bionic Leg guy from Ehrgeiz.

Quote
Look, if you feel the video offends you or negatively affects your publicity in any way, I'll happily take it down. Once again, it was not supposed to bash your mod at all.

If it's more talking about the remaining flaws in the original game, I'd say leave it up, or redub the audio at the beginning to point that out. As an outsider looking in it looks more like you hurt the author's feelings than the legitimacy of his patch's improvements.

Point out what things the patch improved on, then point out what of the original mechanics you felt brought down the experience from there. If you make your criticism clear and constructive, I'm sure the author would be more likely to listen and talk back and forth, rather then brush you off after a point about some text you were joking about.

If people are still butt hurt at that point, oh well. As much as the patch improves the game, it's not the single-greatest-patch-in-history.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 11, 2016, 04:12:51 pm
Just noticed something I figured I should point out: When you shoot your gun, only part of the character's sprite changes to the shooting pose (the right side). Not a BIG issue or anything, it just looks like Harry's lifting his leg to shoot bullets from his knee like the Bionic Leg guy from Ehrgeiz.

That has to do with the game's system on "sprite types". That sprite type has no tile where the left leg should be. For a big part of the project I hadn't mapped out all sprite types as there wasn't a big reason to do so.

Now, at the end of the project I had totally figured out how to fix that because I was creating new sprites for the progress and the ending screens, but there was a deadline so I chose to leave it and focus on creating the sound manager, the sound tester, inserting the remaining songs that FCandChill sent, and implementing the save feature. The last couple of weeks were like an unpaid full time job.

There's also the issue that I don't know if that sprite type was dedicated to Harry shooting or if something else uses it. There are many sprite types that are reused for different things and it's hard to map it all.

That's just one of the remaining issues though. For a future revisit (if I ever do one), there are many issues to address, some of which may or may not be possible due to my programming abilities or free space on the rom:

1 - Redo the entire map. I find the way the crystal balls and the wall locks are positioned in the map sometimes completely random and sometimes simply put there to annoy the player. They should be used to unlock entire areas, but they are used instead to make the player backtrack after finding out a crystal ball is missing. This is very bad level design and it should be addressed. A complete map redesign would remove the need to go back to the starting area and give it a proper final area with one final objective, so the game would have a more natural way to end.
2 - The hidden warp area is completely subutilized. It could make for really interesting paths, but it is used as three separate dead-ends. This is poor level design.
3 - Try to fix the metatile attribute loading. This would fix the wrong metatile colors being shown at the edges of the screen.
4 - Likewise fix the way the sprites are loaded when they enter the screen, because right now they show a garbage sprite type for a few frames before showing the correct one.
5 - Add a way to duck and shoot (would require fully fixing the diagonal bugs).
6 - Add an options screen.
7 - Add a life bar system, like in the coco3 version.
8 - Make it so the snail enemy can actually be shot when he stops, like it says in the manual but never worked in the actual game.
9 - Nobody noticed or mentioned it yet, but the crystal balls collision is 8 pixels horizontally off. Every other item has correct collision, but not that one (not that it is worse than the original game, but that bit wasn't improved).
10 - A better shooting pose.
11 - Make it so dropping from ladders or getting caught by a waterfall takes you to a controlled falling like when now walking off a ledge.
12 - Stop accepting up/down commands when on a vine and when on a moving platform.
13 - Fix the CHR loading.
14 - Fix the map loading.
15 - Add diagonal swimming.
16 - Redo the sound engine to use more complex effects and remove the horrible lag it causes.
17 - Add water decorative metatiles. There is only one swimmable metatile in the game and it is the reason all water is a flat blue in my hack.
18 - Reduce the range for the waterfall sound effect to activate so it really only activates when it is on screen.
19 - Fix the way the Balloon allows Harry to get into walls.
20 - Fix the camera so it moves faster than Harry when it's too close to the edge until it hits a certain threshold.
21 - Make it so vines don't disappear when their hinge is above the top of the screen to a certain point.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 01:09:03 am
Nesrocks, or anyone else;

Would like to point out that the comments I made were not intended to start drama or be insulting. Only to bring up an interesting perspective from a legal vantage point. Now to be clear, your artwork and anything you created from scratch would indeed be yours IF you had not applied such to the copyrighted work of another person/entity, in this case Activision. Because you applied such work to a copyrighted work without the consent or agreement of the copyright owner, you effectively surrender the rights to those works and they become public access/domain. The upside is that no one can take credit from you. The downside is that you have no effective way to control how it is used. Thing is, you shouldn't care. You made this mod for the love of doing it and sharing it with everyone. If someone takes it and mods it a little[or a lot] more and posts their mod, as long as you are given where it is due, why do you care?

For example, there have been a few things mentioned that could be done differently, or improved upon such as the shooting while crouched point. If someone posts a mod that adds that action ability and changes the graphic used, this is an improvement and a positive addition to the mod. In that situation, would you not welcome it so long as credit was not taken away from you?

This mod you've CLEARLY worked very hard on is something to be truly proud of! And no modification of that work, with or without your consent, will take away from that achievement.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 13, 2016, 01:34:20 am
This site distributes patches to the roms because that's how you can distribute only the work of the hacker, and not distribute copywritten things. How is this confusing?
My hack for example: it just so happens that my patch works with a specific super pitfall rom, but my patch alone can be applied to an empty file and there you will find my pixel art. I don't see how the way the user uses my patch nullifies the ownership of my artwork. The only practical reason my work isn't fully protected by law is that I didn't register it, but it has nothing to do with activision. As a game per se, it's foggy because my patch doesn't work on its own as a game (unless the user applies it to super pitfall or writes his own game which would work with my patch). But my brand new code routines and my brand new original pixel art and FCandChill's brand new original music is what I am distributing. There should be no confusion here.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 02:43:58 am
This site distributes patches to the roms because that's how you can distribute only the work of the hacker, and not distribute copywritten things. How is this confusing?

It's not at all confusing once you take into account simple facts which will be touched on below.

My hack for example: it just so happens that my patch works with a specific super pitfall rom, but my patch alone can be applied to an empty file and there you will find my pixel art. I don't see how the way the user uses my patch nullifies the ownership of my artwork.

Because you specifically designed your artwork to be exclusively applied to a copyrighted work that you do not own/control. Your artwork on it's own would, of course, be yours. But because it is applied to, and requires the presence of a copyrighted work in order to function properly that you don't own/control and did not acquire permission to modify, releasing such work in such a manner nullifies your exclusive rights and ownership of it. Activision is limited in any recourse they can levy because you are not trying to benefit from, or deny them any benefit of the work in question. You are both in what is effectively a "gray" area of the law. 

The only practical reason my work isn't fully protected by law is that I didn't register it, but it has nothing to do with activision.

Registering does not matter for the above-mentioned reasons.

As a game per se, it's foggy because my patch doesn't work on its own as a game (unless the user applies it to super pitfall or writes his own game which would work with my patch). But my brand new code routines and my brand new original pixel art and FCandChill's brand new original music is what I am distributing. There should be no confusion here.

Had you released your artwork, code routines and sound routines on their own, but with instructions on how they are to be applied to the Super Pitfall game code, then your copyright claim would then be valid and you would be lawfully entitled to control how and when it may or may not be used. But because you have released it as a patch deliberately designed to be applied to specific copyrighted work that do not own, you have forfeited ownership claims to it all. That is the law in most of the civilized world.

Brazilian law might have addendums and statutes which allow you the controls and rights you speak of, but such would be the exception rather than the rule. Additionally, because you designed the patch to be applied to a game available to much of the world outside of Brazil, such statutes almost certainly do not apply outside of that country.

Does that make sense?


September 13, 2016, 03:04:44 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
That quote is more of a rule for the website of thumb than a portrayal of the actual law. But this whole issue really falls under the addenum clause of this website's rules: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,22166.0.html

Are you allowed to tell users not to make addenum patches of your hack on the website? I don't know ... I would assume yes. But I would reccomend everyone to take it up with a moderator instead of arguing. ;)

Topic you referenced basically states that you need to properly submit a patch to the correct section of the site, giving all credit where it is due. It does not spell out limitations for "hacks of hacks" beyond giving proper credit as limiting such would be grievously hypocritical and ultimately self-defeating.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 13, 2016, 11:10:31 am
Your artwork on it's own would, of course, be yours. But because it is applied to, and requires the presence of a copyrighted work in order to function properly
Then we agree, like I said earlier, that a part of my work isn't mine (the part that requires the game to function properly), while the other part that doesn't require it (graphics, new algorhythms and music) belong to their respective owners (me, me and infidelity, and FCandChill, respectively).

Had you released your artwork, code routines and sound routines on their own, but with instructions on how they are to be applied to the Super Pitfall game code
It's called a patch.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: macbee on September 13, 2016, 11:51:10 am
Because you applied such work to a copyrighted work without the consent or agreement of the copyright owner, you effectively surrender the rights to those works and they become public access/domain.
Romhacks are a legal mess, everyone agrees. But you're saying that mixing original content with copyrighted work will turn (the original content) public domain. Please, show me WHERE I can read this in the North American Copyright Law.

Roy Lichtenstein's "Look Mickey" was made from a copyrighted image and uses two worldwide famous, trademarked characters without permission of their owners. Is "Look Mickey" public domain? No.

The same to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby". This song was released with samples of classic "Under Pressure" song used without authorization. Money was paid later to Queen+Bowie - but was "Ice Ice Baby" public domain? No.

Copyright violation won't make anything become public domain. It doesn't make any sense.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 12:32:55 pm
Then we agree, like I said earlier, that a part of my work isn't mine (the part that requires the game to function properly), while the other part that doesn't require it (graphics, new algorithms and music) belong to their respective owners (me, me and infidelity, and FCandChill, respectively).
It's called a patch.

You're not following along here. Before you publicly applied your works to the game, they were your exclusive works. Once you released them publicly in a format designed specifically to be applied the game[a copyrighted work you do not own, do not have rights to, nor had permission to modify] you immediately and permanently surrendered your exclusive rights to those works. No one can take credit away from you all for the work you've done. But you don't own it anymore because you applied it to someone else's work without their consent. The flip-side is that no one else owns it either. Activision can not take your mod, slap their name on it and sell it as an updated release, even if they give you credit. Furthermore, even if you all and Activision made an agreement to do such a release, the publicly released mod can not be retracted because it started out as an unauthorized, but not illegal, work.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 13, 2016, 12:34:18 pm
It seems that you are the one not following. I didn't apply it. It's distributed as a separate file. The user can apply it anywhere. Will the user get more out of my patch by applying it to Super Pitfall (USA)? Yes. Will the user get something by applying it to any file ever? Yes, my artwork, my code, infidelity's code and FCandChill's music will be there on that any file.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Disch on September 13, 2016, 03:28:47 pm
I figure since we live in the age of the internet, there's no point in guessing as to what copyright rules are.  So I looked some stuff up.

Here's what I found (with sources)

- ROM hacks would fall under "derivative works".  Specifically, derivative works explicitly include "A new version of an existing computer program" [1] -- which is quite clearly what a ROM hack is.

- The copyright holder of the original work is the only one with the ability to legally create derivative work -- or allow derivative work to be created [2].  Additionally, derivative work that was created without authorization of the copyright holder is not protected by copyright [3].

- Failure of the copyright holder to crack down on infringement does not mean the copyright holder has any less rights to their copyright.  You can ignore infringement for decades and suddenly snap and crack down on one poor sucker -- and you'd have full legal ability to do so -- though amount of money you'd get in damages will probably be less [4].



[1] http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf   page 1

[2] http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#change

[3] http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf   page 2, "Right to Prepare Derivative Works"

[4] https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/stopping-internet-plagiarism/your-copyrights-online/3-copyright-myths/    "If you don't protect your copyright, you lose it" myth section.





So.... it sounds like lexluthermiester is right, he's just not explaining it the best way.  If this was original material, nesrocks, FCandChill, etc would have copyright, but because it's derivative material... they don't.


This being distributed as a patch and not a full ROM is an extremely flimsy point and not much to protect you here.  I couldn't find anything about the format of distributed material impacting copyright ownership -- but I can't imagine such a defense fooling even the most technologically naive judge.  "But your honor, I didn't make a program, I made a zip file!"



EDIT:

Though lexluthermiester's claim of your work falling back to public domain is probably not correct.  It's more likely the original copyright holder (Activision?) would obtain the copyright on all derivative works.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 13, 2016, 03:41:40 pm
Don't trying to get into some technical war here but... it depends on how you create the patch.
If the patch does not contain ANY notations to the original code, but rather only line numbers and such, it is not considered derivative work, simply because it can be applied anywhere, even on a text file consisting of only empty lines and the result and the result is only your work.

Now, I have no clue how IPS patches are created, that if those contain notations or not, but simply creating a patch is not a copyright derivation. You can take Apache as an example, it was born as a patch (therefore its name) and the patch was always considered Apache Group's property, never NCSA one. Surely, this didn't get in courts, but when you look at how Google won fair use on Java's API, it is very hard that a court would consider a patch without notations as derivative work, much less likely a non-fair-use of the copyright material.

But, shouldn't we discuss this kind of stuff in another thread instead of the Super Pitfall 30th anniversary patch?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 03:48:01 pm
Romhacks are a legal mess, everyone agrees. But you're saying that mixing original content with copyrighted work will turn (the original content) public domain. Please, show me WHERE I can read this in the North American Copyright Law.

Roy Lichtenstein's "Look Mickey" was made from a copyrighted image and uses two worldwide famous, trademarked characters without permission of their owners. Is "Look Mickey" public domain? No.

The same to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby". This song was released with samples of classic "Under Pressure" song used without authorization. Money was paid later to Queen+Bowie - but was "Ice Ice Baby" public domain? No.

Copyright violation won't make anything become public domain. It doesn't make any sense.

Your reference of Roy Lichtenstein's "Look Mickey" does not apply here as that was a completely new work which used the original as a reference material only. None of the original work was actually included. Additionally, the painting was deliberately meant to be an artistic impression and reinterpretation type piece, something which can lawfully be done. But that is not what Nesrocks & crew have done here. Instead of creating a new game built from scratch, using the original as inspiration, they have taken an existing work and modified it to work in a new way. That's the difference. Next, Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby' took a from Queen's "Under Pressure" with the deliberate intention of making a profit and benefit from it. But had Vanilla Ice released it without any intention to benefit from it and Queen failed to enforce their right of not being denied benefit[and there is a statue of limitations for such], then yes at that point it would have become public access/domain.

And lets clarify what the terms "Public Access" and "Public Domain" actually mean. Generally speaking, "Public Access" is used to define that a work is accessible to the entire public with the limitations being that no profit or direct benefit may be attained from use and that no new work based on the work in question may be made. "Public Domain" is a term that has several uses and definitions. In the context of this discussion, and because of the way the work was released to the public, then yes it is "Public Domain" because the work may now be used by anyone in any way they wish so long as no direct benefit or profit is derived from it.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Disch on September 13, 2016, 03:49:06 pm
Now, I have no clue how IPS patches are created, that if those contain notations or not, but simply creating a patch is not a copyright derivation.

It's not the patch that is the problem, it's the work itself.  That's where the confusion here is.

You're basically saying "if you distribute your work as a patch, you retain copyright on it".  Which may be true, but that's beside the point.... because if your work was created as a derivative of other works, you never had the copyright on it in the first place.

It's quite clear to anyone that this hack was created using the original Super Pitfall as a base.  Therefore it is derivative.  And therefore nesrocks and friends do not have a copyright on it.  Whether or not they distribute it as a patch doesn't really matter.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: protomank on September 13, 2016, 03:58:17 pm
Your definition of derivative work is too broad. If that was the case, every single patch would be derivative work, no matter what, and the copyright would be of the original code owner.
This is not how it works, I worked on large companies that have patches for other people's code/work, the patches are generated from the original code (therefore, by your definition, derivative) but still are copyright of the big companies that created the patch, not the original produce/code owner. This is largely accepted and used by the industry.

The thing is that if you, lets say, draw a new art OVER the old one, your work is derivative, but still it is not an automatic copyright infringement, as it cal still be considered fair used or even can be considerate non-derivative work on courts. It is the copyright owner of the original work that needs to prove that your work is based on a copy. (several cases got away that way already, in USA).
If they can't prove that you draw everything from zero, they have no claim of copyright, even if your work is meant to be applied over theirs.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Bahamut ZERO on September 13, 2016, 04:05:33 pm
Not picking any sides here, but:

Quote
Once you released them publicly in a format designed specifically to be applied to the game


Quote
I didn't apply it. It's distributed as a separate file.

Kind of looks like you're both using the same logic as the base of your debates at this point.


I get that you don't want full-scale hacks being made with your hack as a base, but I don't think you need to be too worried of swaths of people making hacks of your hack of Super Pitfall. It's Super Pitfall.

I could maybe picture someone coming along wanting to tackle some of the tasks on your to-do list if you decided to cease work on it waaaaaay down the line, but that'd be more in the ballpark of wanting to contribute to your work than hijacking it.

So how about we all go back to discussing what the hack does to make the base game not-suck-balls, while discussing possible things that'll make the base game more epic should the hack progress further? Talking about the do's and don'ts and legality of hack-of-hacks here is about as annoying as the EX-HIROM back n' forth in the "Puzzledude's Quest" thread months back.

Let's just enjoy a Super Pitfall that doesn't suck in terms of, well, everything.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 04:32:18 pm
- ROM hacks would fall under "derivative works".  Specifically, derivative works explicitly include "A new version of an existing computer program" [1] -- which is quite clearly what a ROM hack is.

This would be a correct interpretation, except that modifying code does fall under fair-use so long as it is done without profit or benefit to the person modifying the code AND it does not deprive the copyright holder of profit or benefit, as has been ruled in multiple pieces of case law

- The copyright holder of the original work is the only one with the ability to legally create derivative work -- or allow derivative work to be created [2].  Additionally, derivative work that was created without authorization of the copyright holder is not protected by copyright [3].

True, in a for-profit situation. In the context of THIS situation, the original copyright holder can not prohibit such a modification.

- Failure of the copyright holder to crack down on infringement does not mean the copyright holder has any less rights to their copyright.  You can ignore infringement for decades and suddenly snap and crack down on one poor sucker -- and you'd have full legal ability to do so -- though amount of money you'd get in damages will probably be less [4].

This is false. All laws, civil or criminal, which carry a penalty have statue of limitations. A copyright holder DOES have a time limit to make claim.


[1] http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf   page 1

[2] http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#change

[3] http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf   page 2, "Right to Prepare Derivative Works"

[4] https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/stopping-internet-plagiarism/your-copyrights-online/3-copyright-myths/    "If you don't protect your copyright, you lose it" myth section.

These citations quote the law itself and not case law by judges who have interpreted the law and decided how it may be applied. Prime example, which make modding games like this not unlawful, is Nintendo VS Galoob re: Game Genie. In that case a judge ruled that a user modifying code to suit his/her own needs is lawful as long as copyright holder is not deprived of benefit or profit. That ruling also defined that a utility that provide a mechanism to apply or create modifications are not unlawful either. Thus the Game Genie and devices and/or software utilities like it and modifying code within software became legal.



So.... it sounds like lexluthermiester is right, he's just not explaining it the best way.  If this was original material, nesrocks, FCandChill, etc would have copyright, but because it's derivative material... they don't.


This being distributed as a patch and not a full ROM is an extremely flimsy point and not much to protect you here.  I couldn't find anything about the format of distributed material impacting copyright ownership -- but I can't imagine such a defense fooling even the most technologically naive judge.  "But your honor, I didn't make a program, I made a zip file!"



EDIT:

Though lexluthermiester's claim of your work falling back to public domain is probably not correct.  It's more likely the original copyright holder (Activision?) would obtain the copyright on all derivative works.

I could quote case law all day long. There is no need. What I've said IS correct.

Nesrocks and crew; Here are your rights as the law and court rulings define:
1. You have the right to claim credit and recognition for your work without limitation. Which means that anyone who uses your work must give you credit and you have the right to demand that they do.
2. You do NOT have a claim of copyright to the work you've done because it was applied to a copyright work you were NOT authorized to modify.
3. You have no claim of ownership to the modification you have made, even if such includes new material as you did not have authorization from the copyright holder to make said modifications.
4. You are protected from prosecution by the copyright holder so long as you make no attempts to profit or benefit from the modifications you have created.
5. Any request made to limit use of or limit further modifications of your unauthorized modifications do NOT have to be honored and are NOT legally enforceable.

I didn't mean to start a fight at all, only to bring perspective to a statement that seemed more than a bit out of touch.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are going to make a hack/mod of a game don't try to claim rights you do not legally have. Do it for the love of it, for the love of being creative and sharing with the world.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 13, 2016, 05:01:15 pm
I still don't agree. In short:
My hack isn't all derivative work. Some of it is, and I agreed earlier that the bits that are derivative are not mine. They are activision's, or juventino rosa's, or nintendo's, etc (some of the credits are even inside the hack, visible on the sound test for example!). There are many copywright holders when it comes to an NES ROM.
The other bits that are not derivative, that are 100% original, are mine, are FCandChill's etc. A hack (specially this one) isn't one thing, it's many things packed together. How are FCandChill's entirely new songs derivative? They are his songs and they were put into the patch. So were most of my new pixel arts. Some of the pixel art was derivative, like the title logo, the reimagined enemies, the new quickclaw (based on the cartoon), etc. What I will never agree is that EVERYTHING is derivative. No. A lot of it is completely original.

So, to be clear, as I said before, again: I don't own the rights to the hack. But parts of it, yes I do.

For example, FCandChill's songs are on youtube, on famitracker. And they were later on put into the hack. So was a lot of the pixel art. I posted them here, I posted them on my site. They work there, they are images. And then, later, they were also put into the hack. That doesn't change what those things are, get it? If I take Mickey mouse and insert it into the hack does disney lose the rights to mickey mouse? Of course not.

So stop treating the hack as an indivisible thing, because it isn't that.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 06:53:36 pm
I still don't agree. In short:
My hack isn't all derivative work. Some of it is, and I agreed earlier that the bits that are derivative are not mine. They are activision's, or juventino rosa's, or nintendo's, etc (some of the credits are even inside the hack, visible on the sound test for example!). There are many copywright holders when it comes to an NES ROM.
The other bits that are not derivative, that are 100% original, are mine, are FCandChill's etc. A hack (specially this one) isn't one thing, it's many things packed together. How are FCandChill's entirely new songs derivative? They are his songs and they were put into the patch. So were most of my new pixel arts. Some of the pixel art was derivative, like the title logo, the reimagined enemies, the new quickclaw (based on the cartoon), etc. What I will never agree is that EVERYTHING is derivative. No. A lot of it is completely original.

So, to be clear, as I said before, again: I don't own the rights to the hack. But parts of it, yes I do.

For example, FCandChill's songs are on youtube, on famitracker. And they were later on put into the hack. So was a lot of the pixel art. I posted them here, I posted them on my site. They work there, they are images. And then, later, they were also put into the hack. That doesn't change what those things are, get it? If I take Mickey mouse and insert it into the hack does disney lose the rights to mickey mouse? Of course not.

Disney owns "Mickey Mouse" so if you hand drew an image of Mickey, digitized it and put it in a game, Disney doesn't lose any rights. But you do. Just like Activision doesn't lose any rights over Super Pitfall. But you do.

So stop treating the hack as an indivisible thing, because it isn't that.

But in the eyes of the law and the courts, it is.

You can disagree all you want. It doesn't change the fact that your perspective isn't supported by law. I've been in your place and learned the hard way. Back in 2003 I made a mod for a PC game and did the exact same thing you did. Even though MY work was included in the mod, the law did not support my claim of ownership or rights of control. We don't have to like it, and I'm not telling you that you have to. All I'm saying is that because of the way the work was done and released, you can not claim ownership or rights of control over it in any way.

Let's look at it another way, because of the way things are in the law, you, me and everyone else can make mod/hacks like this one without fear of penalty. Because of the rulings judges have made we are allowed to do what we do. Otherwise we could not without risk of fines and even jail. It's a double edged sword for sure..
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on September 13, 2016, 06:57:25 pm
You're failing to understand simple english, so let's just stop this pointless discussion (it's like you never read my posts). Anyway, since you're not a judge, and this isn't a lawsuit, it's going to be one side saying blue and the other saying green to the end of time. But mostly because I'm talking to the walls here, while you're saying random words unrelated to the issue. If you want a serious discussion please go back to my post and read it without a "I must win this argument" mentality.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: lexluthermiester on September 13, 2016, 07:19:57 pm
Ok, shutting up..
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Bahamut ZERO on September 13, 2016, 07:48:19 pm
Thank goodness, I was about to to start a hack of this hack to prove the point that no one else cares about this debate.  ;)

Now I can go back to playing it!  :D

Doo, doo, doo doo doooo~
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Fisher on November 28, 2016, 07:39:50 pm
Great work man!!
This patch really rocks!!

Not trying to annoy you, but... would be possible to achieve the same thing with the original game's mapper?
I ask this because it would make it easy to just get the original game and change it's ROM with the patched one.
AFAIK, the original game is UNROM and it should be possible to add battery backup RAM to it, but it's unnoficial, and is documented here: https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/PRG_RAM_circuit

Thanks in advance!! 
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on November 29, 2016, 03:47:56 am
Hey there, I'm glad you liked it!
That's a really interesting topic, but I don't understand much of the information on that page. It seems to require hardware modification to the cartridge circuit board that goes beyond the addition of the battery wiring, so it wouldn't be as simple as replacing the ROM. Alternatives for accessibility are always welcome though, so that'd be good.

To answer your question, yes, the hack was all made on the original mapper and the conversion was done only because of the save feature, so it is probably possible to revert it and follow through with the instructions on those pages to get the hack to work with battery save on a modification of the original board. I'm super focused on the production of my next game now, so I can't go back to hack work for the moment. I may revisit this game in the future, and that'd be a perfect time to take a look at this, among other things. I guess if an experienced hacker wanted to do it himself I could help with some guidance.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: TheCardiganKing on November 29, 2016, 06:32:14 pm
nesrocks, thanks for the amazing overhaul. You took (in my opinion) an otherwise unplayable/extremely dated game and made it into something I couldn't put down. Even my girlfriend became obsessed with it! The hacks of this decade are on another level than ever before. People like you are really pushing the limits of the old NES and you're actually putting art into these games that were largely made just by programmers. People like you want me to get into hacking. I have a fine art background in painting and drawing, but you guys make me want delve into pixel art and revamp a game.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: kpe on November 30, 2016, 11:31:14 pm
Great work man!!
This patch really rocks!!

Not trying to annoy you, but... would be possible to achieve the same thing with the original game's mapper?
I ask this because it would make it easy to just get the original game and change it's ROM with the patched one.
AFAIK, the original game is UNROM and it should be possible to add battery backup RAM to it, but it's unnoficial, and is documented here: https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/PRG_RAM_circuit

Thanks in advance!!
Just easier stick them on new board ...an since i see couple these online can i stick game on cart  nesrocks?   games are on me no charge these ass hats prolly didt even ask
[ Removed link ]
  (https://scontent.fdet1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15202571_353230821705581_8324031476452652105_n.jpg?oh=f3f06f12c974fdcad45d0367b0ab8482&oe=58BD0EFE) 
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: releasethedogs on December 01, 2016, 05:32:13 am
Let's report these assholes.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on December 01, 2016, 07:51:42 am
That ebay one is using the label that I made for John Riggs, who was the only person to ask me if he could sell repros and how. That seller does not seem to be him.
I don't want this to turn into another discussion, I'm just going to say what I think about my hack: if you want to sell a repro cart do not modify the rom. And give full credit to the people involved in the making of the hack. Those guidelines are for my hack, and I know most people hate the idea of someone selling hacks, so to anyone reading this, PLEASE contact the author to get permission, and if the author denies it please respect that.

TheCardiganKing: Your comment made my day! I recommend you hack a NES game once, it's quite an experience.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on December 04, 2016, 11:19:20 am
I'll just leave this NSF here...

http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v14.nsf

I can send the famitracker file if nesrocks ever gets around to getting a new sound engine.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: kpe on December 05, 2016, 05:05:20 pm
--nuked--

Mod note: Even with permission, we really don't want people discussing / offering / soliciting reproduction carts publicly on the forums. If you must, stick to private messages or use another communication platform.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on December 30, 2016, 01:29:32 am
I'll just leave this NSF here...

http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v14.nsf

I can send the famitracker file if nesrocks ever gets around to getting a new sound engine.

Here's a fixed URL (http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v14.nsf) ... Still waiting on whether NesRocks has the time to make a new music engine for it though
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: nesrocks on December 31, 2016, 12:49:26 pm
What can I say... I'm really digging some of your improved tunes. I'm usually not a fan of effects, but you used them to add to the songs, so that's great. In some tunes it is my personal taste that it was overused, but I don't think that was the rule. For example, I'm as much a fan of Capcom's NES tunes as Tim Follin's. Regardless, I think you have total liberty to do the songs however you like to. I'm very grateful for all the work you did on this project.

About the sound engine, I would love to redo it. It would be one hell of a fun thing to learn. It is one thing to write game logic, but writing a sound engine is a much more complex task. Right now I need to focus on my PC game, but as I stated before, if opportunity arises I definitely want to go back to hacking a NES game. If such game is Super Pitfall or another one, that will depend entirely on my interest then.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on December 31, 2016, 06:09:43 pm
I agree. The arp on a couple of the tracks is a bit overpowering and loud, but it is cool over all.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on January 04, 2017, 12:30:20 am
The arps on the main theme completely ruin the song, I'm sorry to say. Way too loud, almost never in key... they just sound awful. The point of arpeggios is to make it sound like more than one note is being played at a time, not to make silly warbling noises for the sake of it. Games like... just about any 8-bit game the Follin brothers did the soundtrack for and and the GBC Shantae are good examples of what arpeggios should sound like.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on January 05, 2017, 01:58:34 pm
The arps on the main theme completely ruin the song, [...] they just sound awful.
Thank you.

I agree. The arp on a couple of the tracks is a bit overpowering and loud, but it is cool over all.
Newer version (http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v15nsf.zip)
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Kosayn on January 05, 2017, 02:48:02 pm
Just want to say thanks for an awesome hack. 

I rented this game as a kid, many times.  It's fun to play it again in this form.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Vanya on January 07, 2017, 01:55:29 am
Newer version (http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v15nsf.zip)
[/quote]

Much improved. Track 7 still feels overpowered, though.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on January 07, 2017, 09:23:59 am
You didn't fix the core problem with the arps. They're not as loud as they were before, but they're still horribly out-of-key with the rest of the song.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on January 07, 2017, 02:14:17 pm
You didn't fix the core problem with the arps. They're not as loud as they were before, but they're still horribly out-of-key with the rest of the song.

I don't usually use arps, and I'm not a fan of covers, guess it shows... Could I PM you a download link to the original famitracker file so you can make modification to your hearts content? I do appreciate your feedback.

EDIT: i see what you mean now... I should make the arps have a progression instead of just having them be there for the sake of it.

January 07, 2017, 04:16:33 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
You didn't fix the core problem with the arps. They're not as loud as they were before, but they're still horribly out-of-key with the rest of the song.
Apparently ... I did this on purpose because the instruments are set to be off-key...

Anyway ... here's a newer version, one version with the arps on pitch, the other not. (http://www.bwass.org/bucket/Super Pitfall II v17.zip) The title theme was changed to a new in-progress song that sounds like heavy metal song. The main theme's arps were changed and the ending song's arp volume was adjusted.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on January 08, 2017, 09:17:55 am
You could give me the nsf, yes, or I could compose an original cover of the theme to show you what I mean.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on January 08, 2017, 12:12:22 pm
You could give me the nsf, yes, or I could compose an original cover of the theme to show you what I mean.

Don't you mean ftm? Anyway ... whichever you prefer.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on January 10, 2017, 11:21:18 am
All right, I took a crack at it, and here's what I came up with (https://www.solidfiles.com/v/dmwBnMNGNxYz6). It's an original arrangement and not 100% directly based on the theme in the hack, but it should give you an idea of what "good arps" sound like.
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on January 10, 2017, 02:34:00 pm
All right, I took a crack at it, and here's what I came up with (https://www.solidfiles.com/v/dmwBnMNGNxYz6). It's an original arrangement and not 100% directly based on the theme in the hack, but it should give you an idea of what "good arps" sound like.

Hey, that sounds nice. Could you provide the original FTM?
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: Midna on January 10, 2017, 03:25:47 pm
Hey, that sounds nice. Could you provide the original FTM?

Sure, here you go (https://www.solidfiles.com/v/ZawYnRLM72p3m).
Title: Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
Post by: FCandChill on January 10, 2017, 05:26:30 pm
Sure, here you go (https://www.solidfiles.com/v/ZawYnRLM72p3m).
And here you go. (https://www.solidfiles.com/v/X2RKwXVn6Ra5q)