News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary  (Read 17502 times)

RHDNBot

  • Guest
ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« on: February 14, 2009, 04:17:38 am »

Update By: Lenophis

We're back, and we have news! Pandora's Box is now in its third year of development. During the past two years, there have been many features implemented. The list includes restoration of the game's button configuration screen, a music box, Strago learning magic the way he should have, and then some.

We've also dabbled into many engine tweaks, the first and most prominent of them being a complete overhaul of the physical damage formula. This change is part of the massive balance overhaul we are still doing. Other engine tweaks include some additions to the battle and engine cores, as well. To get an idea of those changes, you can view the playlist set up at Youtube.

With a balance overhaul also comes many bug fixes, and in fact many bug fixes. To keep some sanity, a complete list of bug fixes was put together at Mnrogar's Den. These bugs are being fixed to level the playing field on both sides. This will no doubt cause some gripes, but the only thing I can say to that is “if you want to play the broken system, play the broken game.”

But, enough about the past. We're here to stay positive, and talk about the future. And that future is now. So, what's new? To mark the occasion, we are proud to show another new feature recently implemented, a Doom Gaze radar (this is 60 megs!). This radar works like how you would expect a radar to work. If you get close to Doom Gaze, he will show up on the minimap. It will make finding him to be much easier than it ever was. Note, a Youtube version of this movie was made, but the quality of it turned out to be bad enough that the minimap was far too grainy to show off what this did. It has since been removed. Various and numerous attempts were also made to get the filesize of this movie down to a respectable level, but all attempts also made the minimap too grainy to show off this new feature.

“Use a screenshot, fool!”

That won't show you how or when it works, despite anybody's best efforts to do so. Either bite the bullet and download or simply ignore it. And yes, as a dialup user, this is a very hard thing for me to say, but I'm at wit's end about this.

Anyway, another new feature, though not nearly as flashy or even as fancy, is one that will make dialogue nice. For whatever reason, Final Fantasy 6 never had a center tag, it instead used a tab tag. Well, we decided that the tab tag needed to go. In its place, a center tag. Ok, crappy job of building that one up.

Those that have been in RHDN's IRC channel may have noticed me continuously bugging everybody for possible ideas that we could implement into the hack. Gemini did step forward with one, an item that will increase encounter rates. Specifically, this will double the encounter rate. A perfect gift for all of the masochistic grinders out there.

Finally, there's something we've been wanting to show off for a while now. Earlier in development we toyed with changing some of the character spritesheets. One such example was a revision to Mog. We have since expanded on that, giving some alterations to Celes and Edgar.

On a sad note, I am reluctant to announce that I do not believe we'll be able to get anymore new music into the hack. Those that have assisted in the past seemed to have moved on to bigger and better things. To counter this, some have suggested that we learn the inner workings of the SPC700 to get more songs in. However, we feel that delaying the project for another many months to learn the chip just to get a few more songs in is not worth it.

To wrap this up, I'll say that we hope that 2009 will be the final year of development. I won't put a date on when we'll be done, because adding pressure will not ensure quality. We thank those that have been patient with us during this project's development.

Relevant Link: (http://slickproductions.org/forum/index.php?board=4.0)

creaothceann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • SPINESHARK
    • View Profile
    • creaothceann's website
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 07:05:02 am »
a Youtube version of this movie was made, but the quality of it turned out to be bad

Even at 480x360 ("high quality")?

Kiyoshi Aman

  • RHDN Patreon Supporter!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
  • Browncoat Captain
    • View Profile
    • Aerdan's Blog
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 07:27:02 am »
Grainy-ass video that eats the indicators is grainy and eats the indicators.

I've seen the YouTube video myself; it was impossible to see the Deathgaze radar (or the airship indicator, for that matter).

Zeality

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 09:32:55 am »
Cool. At Dark Thirty in the morning on Valentine's day, Pandora's Box gives a big status update, and Crimson Echoes announces that it's entered beta testing at the Compendium.

Wait, I need to announce that in the Personal Projects forum.

liquidocelot201

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 12:42:28 pm »
A wonderful Valentine's Day present.

Best of luck to the hack. Hope it gets released soon.  :)

Panzer88

  • RHDN Patreon Supporter!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5009
  • GENO means ♥♪!?
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 03:46:14 pm »
thanks for the update Lenophis. I started posting at RHDN when this project started. Kudos to the whole team, it's a helluva lot of work, and it's well appreciated.
Donate now until 24 April, from the makers of shotwell Geary: a new open-source email client

Lenophis

  • IRC Staff
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • The return of the sombrero!
    • View Profile
    • Slick Productions
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 03:58:58 pm »
Even at 480x360 ("high quality")?
Believe me, I've tried everything. That avi is (according to Zsnes anyway) encoded in "H.264 lossless," which is probably why it's 60 megs for the 57 seconds.

Cool. At Dark Thirty in the morning on Valentine's day, Pandora's Box gives a big status update, and Crimson Echoes announces that it's entered beta testing at the Compendium.
Who says there isn't hacking anymore? ;D

Quote
Wait, I need to announce that in the Personal Projects forum.
:crazy:



https://ff6randomizer.codeplex.com/ - Randomize your FF6 experience!

Deathlike2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 04:02:45 pm »
Even at 480x360 ("high quality")?
Believe me, I've tried everything. That avi is (according to Zsnes anyway) encoded in "H.264 lossless," which is probably why it's 60 megs for the 57 seconds.

Here's a hint... making the movie larger only increases the size of the movie. Using the default res would most likely cut the size at least half of what you have....

Also, the XVID option isn't that bad either. Unless you're some graphics vampire or something, it's not going to be significant a difference and may cut sizes further.
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack

Lenophis

  • IRC Staff
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • The return of the sombrero!
    • View Profile
    • Slick Productions
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 04:22:19 pm »
Here's a hint... making the movie larger only increases the size of the movie. Using the default res would most likely cut the size at least half of what you have....
The movie was dumped at 256x224. Also, I was wrong, it's 69 seconds, not 57 seconds.

Quote
Also, the XVID option isn't that bad either.
Filesizes:
H.264 lossless: 62,334,662 bytes
Xvid lossless: 40,333,622 bytes...



I guarantee that was not the filesize when I dumped that 3 times initially. :banghead:

Quote
Unless you're some graphics vampire or something, it's not going to be significant a difference and may cut sizes further.
I am anything but a graphics whore.

Also note, though I did not mention it in the initial post, I did try to edit the movie after Zsnes dumped it. However, every program (VirtualDub, VirtualDubMod) I used did not like the audio stream.


https://ff6randomizer.codeplex.com/ - Randomize your FF6 experience!

Deathlike2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2009, 04:31:51 pm »
Also note, though I did not mention it in the initial post, I did try to edit the movie after Zsnes dumped it. However, every program (VirtualDub, VirtualDubMod) I used did not like the audio stream.

It has to do with the incorrect info that is written into the audio stream... I'll have to dig this up.

Edit: http://board.zsnes.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10664
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 04:40:59 pm by Deathlike2 »
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack

realworksuks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1031
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/realworksuks
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2009, 04:42:32 pm »
awesome... what else can I say?
Check out my gaming Youtube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/realworksuks

creaothceann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • SPINESHARK
    • View Profile
    • creaothceann's website
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2009, 07:57:21 pm »
Here's a hint... making the movie larger only increases the size of the movie. Using the default res would most likely cut the size at least half of what you have....
The movie was dumped at 256x224. Also, I was wrong, it's 69 seconds, not 57 seconds.

Quote
Also, the XVID option isn't that bad either.
Filesizes:
H.264 lossless: 62,334,662 bytes
Xvid lossless: 40,333,622 bytes...



I guarantee that was not the filesize when I dumped that 3 times initially. :banghead:

Quote
Unless you're some graphics vampire or something, it's not going to be significant a difference and may cut sizes further.
I am anything but a graphics whore.

Also note, though I did not mention it in the initial post, I did try to edit the movie after Zsnes dumped it. However, every program (VirtualDub, VirtualDubMod) I used did not like the audio stream.

I usually encode in DivX at the highest setting (7800 kbps) these days when I'm done with editing and the filesize doesn't really matter; it looks almost the same as lossless.

Btw. with movies of SNES, Genesis, Gameboy etc. you can also blend 2 frames into one, using AviSynth (AssumeFPS(60); AssumeFieldBased; Weave; VerticalReduceBy2).

Lenophis

  • IRC Staff
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • The return of the sombrero!
    • View Profile
    • Slick Productions
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2009, 11:42:51 pm »
It has to do with the incorrect info that is written into the audio stream... I'll have to dig this up.

Edit: http://board.zsnes.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10664
Oh, wonderful. I have to fix their mistake just so I can edit it? >:( So much for relying on Zsnes...

I usually encode in DivX at the highest setting (7800 kbps) these days when I'm done with editing and the filesize doesn't really matter; it looks almost the same as lossless.
Filesize does matter for a few reasons:
1: Not everyone has (or has access to) unlimited bandwidth (this includes the servers stuff goes on).
2: Not everyone has crazy-fast bandwidth.

Ok, that's only two reasons, but still. If n/either/both of those were false, nobody would move on from BMP, raw dumps, or WAV sound. But, that any kind of constraint is present is why I try to make sure everybody has access to anything I show off. If I can't get everything available to everybody, I do my damndest to make sure it's available to the most people.


https://ff6randomizer.codeplex.com/ - Randomize your FF6 experience!

Deathlike2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 12:25:25 am »
It has to do with the incorrect info that is written into the audio stream... I'll have to dig this up.

Edit: http://board.zsnes.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10664
Oh, wonderful. I have to fix their mistake just so I can edit it? >:( So much for relying on Zsnes...

If you need a build with that fix applied, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Edit: Awesome, this is my 666th post!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 12:33:32 am by Deathlike2 »
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack

creaothceann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • SPINESHARK
    • View Profile
    • creaothceann's website
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2009, 07:02:12 am »
I usually encode in DivX at the highest setting (7800 kbps) these days when I'm done with editing and the filesize doesn't really matter; it looks almost the same as lossless.
Filesize does matter for a few reasons:
1: Not everyone has (or has access to) unlimited bandwidth (this includes the servers stuff goes on).
2: Not everyone has crazy-fast bandwidth.

Ok, that's only two reasons, but still. If n/either/both of those were false, nobody would move on from BMP, raw dumps, or WAV sound. But, that any kind of constraint is present is why I try to make sure everybody has access to anything I show off. If I can't get everything available to everybody, I do my damndest to make sure it's available to the most people.

I understand that, but my point was that you don't necessarily need to use a lossless encoding to keep the same visible quality. For example, my Giants gameplay videos are stored as DivX @ 7800 kbps on my harddrive. It looks close enough.

(For uploading I used a filesize-based encoding, since I have only a 10 KB upload line.)

Lenophis

  • IRC Staff
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • The return of the sombrero!
    • View Profile
    • Slick Productions
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2009, 07:07:55 pm »
I understand that, but my point was that you don't necessarily need to use a lossless encoding to keep the same visible quality.
Really? My options with Zsnes were rather limited:
no video dump
raw video
FFV1
H264 lossless
Xvid lossless
custom (with no options other than "compress audio")

In fact, I see no way to configure any of those, with the exceptions of if you want to include audio or not.

Quote
For example, my Giants gameplay videos are stored as DivX @ 7800 kbps on my harddrive. It looks close enough.
* Lenophis will look at it later when he has more time

Quote
(For uploading I used a filesize-based encoding, since I have only a 10 KB upload line.)
What do you use to encode?


https://ff6randomizer.codeplex.com/ - Randomize your FF6 experience!

KingMike

  • Forum Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6958
  • *sigh* A changed avatar. Big deal.
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2009, 07:53:51 pm »
Am I the only one who can't actually play the video?
Tried Divx player, Windows Media Player, QuickTime.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018

Deathlike2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
    • View Profile
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2009, 08:37:03 pm »
I understand that, but my point was that you don't necessarily need to use a lossless encoding to keep the same visible quality.
Really? My options with Zsnes were rather limited:
no video dump
raw video
FFV1
H264 lossless
Xvid lossless
custom (with no options other than "compress audio")

In fact, I see no way to configure any of those, with the exceptions of if you want to include audio or not.

Custom allows for "multipass", where by default it is used for H264 lossless and the movie is run through 3 times to create a smaller movie... (see zmovie.cfg)


Am I the only one who can't actually play the video?
Tried Divx player, Windows Media Player, QuickTime.

Use MPlayer.
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack

creaothceann

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2619
  • SPINESHARK
    • View Profile
    • creaothceann's website
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2009, 09:03:30 pm »
My options with Zsnes were rather limited

I'm using SNES9x, see this link. Don't know if sound differences to ZSNES/bsnes might be a problem for you?


Quote
(For uploading I used a filesize-based encoding, since I have only a 10 KB upload line.)

What do you use to encode?

K-Lite codec pack, which includes DivX. For video editing: VirtualDubMod, AviSynth and sometimes Mencoder (for converting videos to AVI, if AviSynth can't open it).
Lately I've also installed Avidemux; it's similar to VirtualDubMod, but newer.

During editing: lossless (raw video dump, Lagarith codec or Camstudio codec); final encoding: DivX in 2 passes, maximum quality or based on filesize. At some point YT seemed to have problems with XviD, so I switched.

Killa B

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1153
  • Fallen Angel
    • View Profile
    • Killa B
Re: ROM Hacks: Pandora's Box 3rd Anniversary
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2009, 10:00:13 pm »
Use MPlayer.
Seconded, but use SMPlayer, an MPlayer frontend.
I always dreamed of doing a Pokemon hack