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Messages - flamepanther

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1
COOL, this hack is amazing looking. lol, funny on being pre-SMB Deluxe on GBC

that said. this hack http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=25849.0 has a few things i like better than yours and your hack has a few things i like better than it

mainly, the points build-up for starman (if there is a stand-alone patch it might be a good one to link in your readme)

and the font in that hack is just so LIT (looks like it fits in with later era Mario fonts)

good job though! now i have a new way to experience SMB1
Hey, thanks!

Yeah, it was weird for me when SMB Deluxe came out  :laugh:

That other patch sounds cool, and I'll have to check it out. However, since it adds a new frame to Mario's sprites, I suspect there's no easy way to make the two patches compatible. Either there's a mapper and bank switching going on, or he repurposed some tiles. If it's the former, then my patch probably won't apply properly. If it's the latter then the my remapped tiles are almost definitely going to conflict. I already had to fudge the patch creation a little bit to make my patch work with the SMB3 physics patch. Same goes for a lot of other hacks out there that would otherwise be interesting with these graphics.

However... I'm cool with it if other people want to manually mix and match elements of my graphics with other patches (or port them to other editions of Super Mario Bros.) I would of course want credit for my part of the work if the combined hack was released publicly, and I can't speak for the authors of other patches.

2
what is this exactly? i cant see any of the linked photos
Yeah, mostly thanks to Photobucket changing their policies.  :banghead:

This is a graphics enhancement for the original Super Mario Bros on NES. The early releases were based mostly on Super Mario Bros 3 and are among the oldest SMB1 graphics patches out there (1990s era). But I've been working on it occasionally since then, and it's now got a lot of original pixel art.

If you want screen shots, check out the patch's page on the site:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/144/

3
Well, I died for a long time again! :P

I finally got motivated to finish, package, and upload that last update I promised an eternity ago. It's been available for several days now.

I can't promise I'm "back" and I won't offer sprite work for any more projects because I just don't trust myself to make any commitments. But I do apologize for suddenly vanishing.

Also, it looks like someone is selling physical repro carts of this. I guess some of you have encountered this issue before, but it's a first for me! Definitely mixed feelings on that. On the one hand, I definitely don't approve. On the other, I didn't think anyone cared enough for there to be a market for it  ;D

4
Personal Projects / Re: Classic Mario (SMB hack): BETA TESTING!!!
« on: March 09, 2013, 12:30:19 am »
I just played through World 1-4, and it was rather pleasant. I can tell that a lot of work has gone into balancing the difficulty. Not too tough, but plenty of rewards for those with some extra skill. The layouts and scenery are varied, which is a nice change from the relative monotony of the original. It's fun to play, and that seems to be the consensus. Good work.

Graphically, I would recommend double-checking the colors in Nestopia, which has very accurate color emulation. Some of those color choices should probably be revised. There are also clouds in some areas that I could swear are supposed to be indoors or underground. Other than that though, it looks quite nice. It's a bit nostalgic for me to see some of the graphics I'd retired from SMB DX make a comeback, and I'm pleased with how they've been used.

I also recognize a few graphics from other facelift patches of a similarly ancient vintage. I'm confident I know those Mario sprites from a competing hack by... I can't remember. Toma or Sl1me, or Omniverse, or someone else from way, WAY back. It would probably be good to get some research done on this to make sure every one is cool with it...

Pretty cool graphics.
But makes me sad to see people STILL using graphics created by me for "Super Mario MCB" (1998) without asking for permission or crediting me.

...so that stuff like that doesn't happen.

Macbee, I know how you feel. But with graphics that have been reused numerous times over many years, he may not even have known for sure where they originated or that they weren't just up for grabs. I'm certain Segway would be willing to give credit where credit is due, supposing you don't ask him to remove them altogether. He credited me without any prompting after all.

5
Personal Projects / Re: Classic Mario (SMB hack): BETA TESTING!!!
« on: March 07, 2013, 04:22:13 am »
:beer: Thanks so much! One of my biggest goals was to make the game believable; Very glad you enjoy it. I definitely encourage everybody to use these graphics in their own hacks (in a while I'll produce a graphics-only patch)! And a good chunk of credit belongs to Flamepanther for nearly all of the enemy sprites and palettes.

I know this is a giant thread bump, but I have to protest. I deserve credit for almost none of the enemy graphics, since I stole them directly from SMB3. The troopas are partly mine. I copied the SMB3 sprites for them, chopped out 8 rows of pixels, and cleaned up the results. Bowser was a huge undertaking from scratch, but it looks like you haven't used it. The one in the screenshot looks great though.

6
Using the name of an officially released game could make your hack hard to find on google.

Thank you for your observation. This is true, however I do not think it is a particularly serious concern for the following reasons:

1. I'm not technically "using the name" of an official game. For one thing I consider "DX" in a title to be distinct from "Deluxe." More relevant in this case, I was using the name first. It is that old.

2. If I was going to address this, it should have been done about a decade ago. To leave it alone all this time only to change it now seems silly.

3. I don't foresee a lot of Google searches for this. If people don't already know about this hack they won't be searching for it. IF they do know about it, they probably don't need to search for it.

4. If someone for some reason knows this hack exists and wants to search Google for it, it's to my advantage if they are either savvy enough to use a boolean string or patient enough to dredge through all the irrelevant results. Such a person is unlikely to e-mail me asking me to explain how an IPS patch works. I used to get a lot of this.

5. Anyone searching Google for this would be looking for it under its original name. If I change it now, it would be even harder for them to find it.

6. I really don't want to ditch the shiny "DX" logo I made for this.

I hope this sufficiently addresses your concerns. It addresses mine.


With all of that said, if someone wants to work with me on a mapper-enhanced version of this, we can see about changing the name a bit.

March 09, 2013, 12:34:05 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I've just confirmed that the RC3 patch is in fact the one I want to release. Later I'll work on a revised readme and make an official release, but not tonight.

7
I wouldn't worry about the legality of the parody aspect. Parody poses far fewer legal problems than virtually every normal aspect of this hobby.

In any case, this looks fascinating as a concept. I like the aesthetic of it as well.

8
Aw crap. Did i seriously just flake out? For two years?? Yes I did. Sorry guys. Dang.

Basically, right after my last post, I got laid off from my job and put absolutely everything on hold to invest all my time and energy into finding a new one. By the time I found one and got settled in, I completely forgot what I had been doing before.

But now I'm back and ready to go! ...is what I want to say, but I honestly don't see that happening. I have the interest but not the time or energy to devote to this hobby. At the very least, this will be my last solo project. This update was completed before I disappeared, and I think the version on my drop box is current. What I will do in the next few days is ensure that the last patch I made is up to date and then make an official release. After that, maybe I'll have a fire sale (figuratively, no money involved) of all my unfinished projects for anyone who wants to take ownership of them. I will then join on as a sprite artist where needed.

Flamepanther! Long time no see.

Yeah, your Super Mario Bros. Dx was a great kick in the butt for me to get my hack up and going. Even though I did... highly deviate from your original designs, your fingerprint is still evident in 'Classic Mario', which I just posted up for beta testing. I'd be honored if you gave it a whirl!

Speaking of which, dang you do great work. I LOVE :D the new koopas, the lime green palette is pretty cool too, and the entire underwater scene really came together nicely (pair it with the night sky). My only suggestion would be to keep at it.  The SMB3 graphics are paling in comparison to your new designs; I would definitely recommend making a new mario to keep pace with his detailed environment.
No, the honor is mine. I'll try it out while I'm checking whether my last patch is up to date. From the screen shots it looks like exactly the kind of thing I was hoping people would do.

A new Mario sprite will have to be a negative, I'm afraid. When I first started this (1993? 94?), it was just an experiment to see how many SMB1 tiles I could clean up with slight alteration. Then I wanted to see how many SMB3 tiles I could cram into it. Several others had that idea before I even considered makinga release, so next I wanted to make it the best, most complete SMB3-skinned version. Somewhere in there, I noticed a sort of visual continuity between SMB2 USA and SMB3. I felt that I was extending that continuity to the original. It eventually dawned on me that I hadn't made it match the style of 2 and 3 so much as I had simply grafted 3 onto it. The background tiles didn't reflect the actual things that were in the first game. And that prompted my massive overhaul.

But what drew my attention to the visual similarities between SMB2 and SMB3 was that they used variations on the same basic Super Mario sprite. I think it needs to stay, and I honestly wouldn't change a thing about it anyway. No, this project is complete. Within the limitations of its single CHR table, I am happy with every pixel.

Here is what I would do . If someone wants to enhance it with fancy-pants mappers, I will eagerly start adding animation, or new tiles for each world. If someone wants to port my graphics to SMB Deluxe on the CGB or SMB2j on the FDS, I will draw new tiles as needed. I would also consider making supplemental graphics for other hacks derived from this one, case depending. I think I can do more for the community and waste less energy in these ways than by continuing 20 year old facelift project.

9
Hmm...fair enough.  I'm a bit surprised by that third screenshot -- it looks pretty terrible for a game as polished as SMB3.
I always thought so too.  At the same time, that sky tower sequence always struck me as one of the most dramatic parts of the game.

10
SMB3 got around the problem by not making large stacks of those bricks.  It had the luxury of having multiple types of brick patterns (like the rectangular spike thing used in the dungeons) to choose from, so they didn't have to make large stack of them like you do in SMB1.
The large stacks of these bricks were spread father apart, but they were there...





I'm pretty sure there are several more examples.  The tower in World 5 was an especially big offender.  Also, the "spike" or "X" blocks you mention also end up with a double-thick outline in the fortress stages.  I used them for the castles in older versions of my patch.  In their case, I think it's less obvious because the "outline" disappears into the black background.  I'm pretty sure that if I were capable of implementing a mapper to animate the backgrounds, the outlines around the bricks would be a lot less distracting.

Mind you, I'm not trying to get defensive here.  It bothers me sometimes as well.  However, it's just a side effect of borrowing that graphic from Super Mario Bros. 3, and I don't think I have a good way around it.  Anyway, thanks for the excuse to go play some SMB3  :beer:

11
Personal Projects / Re: Megaman and other NES hacks for PCE
« on: February 28, 2011, 02:18:38 am »
That should indeed make things much easier!

No pics from me tonight, unfortunately.  I can't get Photobucket to load tonight, for some reason.

Progess!




Once I start getting into extended colors, I expect it to start looking more like this...




I hope everyone will like something a little between the styles of MegaMan 7 and 8. :)

12
Just played through a couple of worlds.  Looks great.  Two negatives, though. 

One, the breakable brick blocks that are used throughout the levels don't really blend together very well, especially when stacked vertically.  When tiled horizontally, there is a thick black line separating the blocks.  That isn't too bad by itself, but having two or more columns next to each other makes that black line very obvious and hard to ignore.  This made the underground levels look a bit weird to me, and, moreso, made the castles at the end of each stage look very odd. 

Two, you shrank Blooper!  I'm assuming this was necessary to free up a couple of tiles, and the sprite still looks good.  Not a big deal, just seemed off to me the first time I saw them.

Like I said before, though, looks very nice overall :thumbsup:

Thanks!

The heavy outline around the bricks is indeed unfortunate.  It is a result of using the bricks from Super Mario Bros 3.  Unfortunately, modifying them to reduce the double-thick outline when tiled would also leave a hole in the outline when used individually, and I'm even less fond of that.  I suppose I could go back to the custom made brick tiles I was using prior to version 2.0, but I was quite pleased with myself when I managed to get the SMB3 bricks in there.  The current bricks were also a request from another user.  It didn't look nearly so bad in SMB3 even though the same issue was present.  I think the "shine" animation distracted from it, but I'm not able to implement this.  Expanding the ROM and implementing a mapper is way past my ability.

The Blooper shrank because it is the sprite from Super Mario Bros. 3 also.  When I first copied that sprite over (more than ten years ago!) I had no intention of using the extra tile it freed up, as I had not even considered changing which tiles the sprites used at that point.  In fact, that was before I was even considering whether to modify the palettes.  That it freed up a tile in the sprite table that I would want to use years later was a convenient coincidence.  It is also fortunate that the bottom third of the original Blooper sprite does no damage.  In any case, neither the credit nor the blame for that sprite is mine, since it came from Nintendo ;)

13
Alrighty then...  Release Candidate #3 is up for public testing!  :thumbsup:

14
Would more people test and provide feedback on this if I posted a URL for the IPS patch?

15
Personal Projects / Re: Megaman and other NES hacks for PCE
« on: February 27, 2011, 05:00:18 pm »
Sounds like it's time for me to un-shelve my MM1 sprite improvement project!  I'll begin by redrawing the sprites within the original constraints, then I'll see about using the enhanced color support.  I may need help understanding how to find and change what palette is used, or at worst someone else may need to actually implement them.  I'll start drawing when I get home tonight, and hopefully I can post pictures for you to see if you like the results.

16
At any one time, the NES can only have four background pallets in memory.  The text will have to use one of the four sets of background colors that are loaded with the current stage, and it will use the same slot every time, regardless of what colors are in it.  Even if you can get the HUD text to use a different slot, you won't be able to get the exact "thank you Mario" colors on every level without first sacrificing one background pallet for shades of gray on every level.

If I remember correctly, the ending text in the castle levels uses the same slot as the greenery and pipes in the normal levels.



Also, it's a good idea to turn off HQ filtering while editing and testing graphics of any sort  :thumbsup:

17
Personal Projects / Re: Megaman and other NES hacks for PCE
« on: February 21, 2011, 09:40:44 pm »
Yeah, this stuff is fairly advanced. I was looking at this rom today (the straight NES one) and I realized (or had forgotten) that the graphics are uncompressed. For some reason, I though they were compressed. Maybe it's just the tilemaps that are compressed.
More good news: Since I'm not a ROM hacker so much as I'm an artist who has dabbled in ROM hacking, poking around in NES CHR data is the area where I have the most experience... and I'm pretty confident that the games you've ported all use uncompressed tiles.  To my understanding, compressed tiles are pretty rare on the NES, outside of a few RPGs.  Guessing from what you've said, most other games should be no more difficult to deal with.  :thumbsup:

18
Personal Projects / Re: Megaman and other NES hacks for PCE
« on: February 21, 2011, 07:44:19 pm »
The PCE version is using 16x16 size sprite cells, you just can't see it because the emulation side it only updating an 8x8 area inside the 16x16 cell. It's wasting vram. If you can trap the routine that calls the vram(tiles) update request, you could use an identification process and load custom 4bit sprite data instead. You'd also have to hack the sprite matrix routine that's responsible for making the Meta sprites you see on the screen.
if somebody can hack that in there, I'd be eager to start working on enhanced sprites and pallets.  The coding to make it all possible would be quite beyond me though. I tried learning to program once, and failed to master even BASIC.  :-[

19
Personal Projects / Re: Super Parigo Kart - SMK Hack
« on: February 21, 2011, 02:02:23 am »
I have to say, i never tried, but i think that should actually work, but the driving wont be similar to a NTSC SMK but more like a faster PAL ... well, i guess...
That's what I'm guessing will happen.
Quote
Maybe someone allready tried to make work a PAL game on acopier for NTSC snes ? I remember the contrary is possible, some NTSC games worked on a PAL copier ...
Sure.  That's how I'm able to play Terranigma.  However, as far as I know, all the PAL/NTSC conversions do is defeat the region lock.

20
Personal Projects / Re: Megaman and other NES hacks for PCE
« on: February 20, 2011, 10:24:22 pm »
Tomaltheous, I had no idea this was possible.  You've officially blown my mind  :o


Listen, if anyone wants to make a serious attempt to upgrade Super Mario Bros or one of the Mega Man games with enhanced graphics and sound and whatnot, I volunteer to help with the graphics.  It's about all I'm really good at, but I'd like to think that I'm good enough at it.  My credentials:





...although that Mega Man sprite isn't quite finished to my satisfaction, as it's from a shelved project.  All of this is NES stuff, mostly from scratch.  I'm sure I could learn to do PCE/TG-16 sprite work pretty easily.  I also have occasional access to a friend's Turbo Duo for testing.

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