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Fan Game Sonic 3 A.I.R.

Discussion in 'Projects' started by Eukaryot, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

    • Messages: 83
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    Hey guys,
    Thank you very much for the positive feedback!
    To answer your questions:

    Tails Assist:
    I'm working on it already, but it does not look like it's finished before SAGE 2018.

    S&K Collection Music:
    There are no concrete plans to add the Sonic & Knuckles Collection music right now. Would be nice some day, it's just not high priority at the moment.

    But there's a workaround: You can actually "mod" the game's music tracks and include your own recordings.
    Here's an example:
    Extract the ZIP's content into your S3AIR installation and it will replace the music of Mushroom Hill Act 1 with the Doomsday Zone music (for more epicness when jumping around the mushrooms!).
    If you're familiar with JSON file, have a look at the file "data/audio/audio_replacements.json" to make your own changes. I hope the documentation there is good enough to make clear how things work.

    Project timeline:
    Only a few days left until the S3K code port's first birthday! The project started earlier already, around end of 2016, with preparations of the engine and the tools I'm using to do the porting. Yeah, it took a while to get to this point...
    The good thing is, with less and less basics left to work on, the actual S3K game development got a lot faster over time. Now I hope for a complete game at some point in 2019.

    The following is only a rough plan for now, and could change completely over time:
    Right now, I'd say the title screen and level select will be included in some way, but not the data select - I'd replace it with a similar custom menu. And the competition mode will be left out altogether, so no menus there. Did I miss anything?
  2. francis247uk

    francis247uk E Rank Member

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    Whoa 2016, so a lot of work already then, you've done really well to keep at it and get this far without giving up!

    I couldn't find any mention of this project on the Sonic Retro website forums other then in the Sage 2018 submission video - it may be worth posting on there too as I'm sure there would be plenty of interest and feedback (if not done so already)
  3. Adam Kareem

    Adam Kareem E Rank Member

    • Messages: 9
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    This is a really exciting project! Can't wait to see the SAGE2018 build :). I miss Sonic 3&K
  4. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Here we go with what will most likely be the final version for SAGE 2018:

    I chose to delay the larger sound system rework actually planned, which turned out be rather tricky - so some effects will still sound weird (like the HCZ boss propeller).

    Instead focused on some control improvements like Tails Assist and Flight Cancel:

    Enjoy and have a happy SAGE 2018!
  5. Vampirate

    Vampirate E Rank Member

    • Messages: 2
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    Hi again!

    Controlling Tails' fly w Sonic was a bit weird first time but i quickly got used to it.
    No button smashing :)

    It is also a fun when sonic freezes from icecap's boss and tails just jumping on it freeing Sonic when im pressing up+jump.

    Thank You for the update! Still cant wait for the Final! ;)
  6. Knight

    Knight E Rank Member

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    I am sorry if you are busy/don't like this type of questions, but will you make the music high quality like Taxman versions of Sonic 1 and 2 for mobile?
    Yes, it's a weird question.
  7. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    The problem with remastered sound is, I have no artistic talent of any kind, especially not when it comes to (re-)making music.
    So there won't be this kind of sound improvements from my side, sorry.
  8. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Hey everyone!
    I very recently started to try out Twitter to post project news and development screenshots like the one below.
    For now, this is more of an experiment, as I'm quite unexperienced with Twitter. Let's see if this works well.

    Of course, all important news and new version releases still get posted here in the forums as well!

  9. francis247uk

    francis247uk E Rank Member

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    Nice, looking forward to Sandopolis and the other updates.
  10. GalacticG

    GalacticG E Rank Member

    • Messages: 12
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    Hi, first post, loving the work so far! Fans do what Sega don't once again.

    Former DJ, current audiophile here. Coincidentally, I'm actually working on a remastered version of the entire soundtrack for my own use.
    It includes all tracks from 'Sonic 3' and 'Sonic & Knuckles' (including the Megadrive/Genesis versions of the PC tracks from 'Sonic 3 Complete' by Valleybell).

    The upgrades won't go quite as far as the S1/S2 remasters at the moment (some sounds were replaced entirely).
    For now, they will at least have cleaner versions of the drums/samples used in the original S3&K. Also subtle remixing/rebalancing and reverb as used in the S1/S2 remasters. I may take things further if I can find the original samples used, which is proving difficult at the moment.

    I've uploaded a couple of work in progress MP3 examples here, chosen specifically to highlight the clarity of the drums/samples compared to the original. (Angel Island contains a direct comparison between the original & the new version)
    Happy to provide you with full quality versions of these files for use in this project, when they're finished (or looped OGG files if it's easier). Including the PC tracks if can get the relevant permission. Any feedback/suggestions anyone has also greatly appreciated.

    Let me know if you're interested! :emoji_grin:


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  11. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Hi and welcome to the forums!
    I'd suggest you make an audio mod for the game, as described in this post here:
    Once it's complete enough to cover the zones already there, I will happily add a download link to your music pack next to the main game download. :)
  12. GalacticG

    GalacticG E Rank Member

    • Messages: 12
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    Cheers Eukarot!

    Should hopefully have an audio mod pack ready over the next couple of weeks. Will also attempt to contact Valleybell regarding his PC tracks.

    I've been doing a couple of tests with the music replacement, looping works flawlessly. I've noticed that writing the OGG file at 44.1KHz rather than 48KHz (as advised in the JSON file) seems to remove the high frequency distortion present in the game when using 48KHz music.

    I'm no programmer and have no idea how your sound engine works, but was wondering if it's possible to change the general sound output from 48000 to 44100, that very well might eliminate the same distortion currently present in the SFX.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  13. Ronald Rose

    Ronald Rose E Rank Member

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    I'm Interested! Valleybell Would Be So Proud of You.
    Plus, I Love the PC Soundtrack, I Hope You Remaster 'em for Me (Don't Forget, I Need a Remastered Version of the Entire Soundtrack (For Example: "Battle Theme - Crazy Kings") From Ristar).
  14. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Not sure if we're talking about the same distortion, but the S3AIR sound system has indeed a bug that make all music and effects sound a bit muffled. I'm working on getting rid of this, and am quite sure that it's not related to the sampling rate of 48 kHz.
    Do you get really a difference between your own music at 44.1 or 48 kHz?
    If so - switching the engine to use 44.1 kHz as default should not be a problem.
  15. GalacticG

    GalacticG E Rank Member

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    Always meant to give Ristar a full playthrough one of these days, I do like what I've seen & heard though. Might give the music a whirl at some point. :emoji_slight_smile:

    Sorry, should have worded that better. Yeah I'm talking about the same muffling effect on the sound, the effect also happened on my own tracks when I used 48kHz, but sounded fine @ 44.1 kHz.

    Quick question regarding sound speed-up. What happens to replacement tracks when you pick up speed shoes? This would also apply to Doomsday (when running low on rings). Just asking because I have no idea how/if your sound engine handles tempo changes without affecting the pitch. There are workarounds if not.

    (I didn't find any speed shoes while playing through the demo, maybe I need to look harder.) :emoji_yum:
  16. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Mushroom Hill Act 1 with Sonic, just follow the lower path :emoji_wink:

    The speed-up is one of the things I have no clear answer to. For the original music, I'm currently trying to get the sound emulation to the point where I can just speed it up like the Mega Drive does.
    For sampled music, there's some options on the table:

    a) Do the Sonic 3 CD trick and avoid the problem altogether. There could be a new music track that plays when speed shoes are active. Blue Spheres music speed-up could be part of the music file itself, afaik it's at fixed points of time. Only for Doomsday I have no idea how to get around doing a speed-up when needed. Maybe having two music tracks - normal and fast - that the game quickly blends between or so, but that's probably going to sound strange.

    b) Speeding everything up while maintaining the pitch, calculated during runtime by a software algorithm. I never tried something like this before, maybe it works, maybe it's awful, maybe it simply puts too much stress on CPU performance.

    c) Instead of having a completely sampled music track, maybe use a different file format. Something like XM, IT, MOD. That should be relatively easy to speed up. I honestly don't know if people are still using these kinds of formats, and if it would even be an option for you.
  17. GalacticG

    GalacticG E Rank Member

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    For the Blue Sphere stages, it's a fixed abount of time between the stage starting and the speed-ups, I can bake that into the music (as Sonic Mania does). No problem! Just have a separate track for the sound test, without the tempo changes, if you're including such a feature. :emoji_yum:

    From what I can gather from extracting the music from Sonic 1 & 2 Andriod/IOS. Like option a) They have 2 tracks running together at the same time, one normal, one up-tempo version (running silently, and slowly, to maintain sync with the main track). When you hit some speed shoes, the tracks switch places, the up-tempo version playing normally, with the normal version running faster (silently) in the background, again, to maintain sync. Switching back when the speed-shoes effect runs out. (Hope this isn't too confusing)

    This is all speculation of course, it may be simpler than this, but since there are 2 separate versions of the zones & invincibility music present in the music files for both games, this probably isn't too far from their technique.

    Option b) may well tax the CPU a bit much, but not impossible. In my experience, the sound quality will always take a hit when doing this in real time.

    Will need to get back to you on XM, IT & MOD formats. Will do some testing.

    One workaround, (as Sonic 4 & Sonic Generations use) is to have a completely separate track kick in with a higher tempo for its first 15 seconds (20 for S3K I think), before switching back to it's normal speed, keeping its loop point after the tempo changes. All of this baked into the music track itself, requiring minimal work from the sound engine, bar switching to a separate track when you hit the speed shoes.

    Doomsday of course, is a special case. I'm happy to accomodate for all scenarios and will keep all project files for maximum flexibility. Just let me know what you need as the project progresses.

    A little explanation on my process...

    Remixing the FM instruments is the easy part.

    The multitracks I used for my demo files were generated from tools provided by Valleybell across various forums, which allow playing what's already in the S3K ROM, minus (Z80 interrupt) distortion on the DAC samples, hence cleaner drums. I fully intend to replace all drum samples from their original full quality source eventually, IF I can locate them. Alot more work involved, but worth it in the end methinks.

    It seems the S3K sound team sourced the originals from a few different places. The kicks & snares (from what I've read) come from an Akai MPC 3000 drum machine. I've got (what I assume is) a full sample pack from this, but am having trouble matching any of those 1500+ samples to those used in game. They may have been slowed down or sped up for the game. I'll also replace the PSG noise generated "hi-hats & cymbals" with high quality versions from appropriate drum machines (as S1&2 did), again, IF I can.

    Other sounds, such as the "Woo!" and "C'Mon!" sounds from the S3 miniboss theme or the "GO!" from Launch Base, seem to come from somewhere in "Zero G - Datafile" Volumes. 1, 2 & 3. Popular sample packs from the early 90s.

    If anyone out there has any of these packs in full (wav,flac or CD) quality, please hit me up.

    I will go ahead with what I have for now, updating with better quality if it becomes available. :emoji_relaxed:

  18. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    Wow, that sounds quite impressive so far! And like a lot of work to dig out all the instrument samples in full quality. Good luck with your quest! :emoji_grinning:

    Adding a sound test is actually a neat idea. It would only a bit embarrasing right now, as some sound IDs (that are not used in the current 3 zones) do not work correctly, but this is going to change anyway sooner or later.

    It's interesting that the CW remasters use two different track speeds, I didn't know that yet. An implementation of the same approach should not be too hard with S3AIR's sound engine, I guess. Probably the easiest of all of the options.
    I'll try this out. But to be honest, it could take a while - I'm currently focusing on getting the next demo ready.

    For option b), I'd say this is more of a last resort.

    And when you have some information if option c) could work for you, let me know. If it does, I'll still have to get my hands on an open source library that can be integrated into the game's sound engine.
  19. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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    That sound issue kept bugging me a while, and when digging through the sound engine code, I actually just found a bug that should explain the muffling at 48 kHz. In fact, 48 kHz wasn't properly supported, so a fallback to 44.1 kHz got used. Thank you for drawing my attention to that bug! @GalacticG
    The next game build will have that bug fixed, and allow for changing of the internal sample rate via the config.json file (with 48000 as default, and optional rates 44100, 22050 or even 11025 :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: ).
  20. Eukaryot

    Eukaryot Heading for Angel Island

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