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Old 11 March 2016, 14:19   #1
earok
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Wonderdog SE

The canon url for this project is http://earok.net/game/wonder-dog-se

Edit: This has been finished and zoned


I'll get back to Wonderboy in Monsterland someday!

Well anyway, this is for Cobe for a re-release of his unofficial CD32 conversion. The obvious enhancement to make was adding second button jump (done) but I figured I'd have a look at the palette too.

Each level in each zone has it's own 16 colour palette (29 in total I think), which is separate from the palette of the character (also 16 colours) and the UI bar at the bottom has it's own palette too, but also some worlds have rich gradient backgrounds (copper tricks etc). The game is crunched but I got some help extracting the program file out of the disk image, and putting it back again after hacking it.

The graphics are vastly better on the Mega CD version due to a larger palette, but I figured we could at least steal the nicer colours.



Original left, mine (based on Mega CD colours) right

As you can see I've done the first and fourth worlds, the second and third I couldn't work out how to do meaningful improvements to them. While with the first world I just had to make it more saturated there wasn't much I could do with level four other than make the moon surface look more cheese-like. I'll take a look at the fifth and sixth world over the weekend and then leave it there.

Last edited by earok; 21 October 2016 at 09:05.
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Old 11 March 2016, 14:37   #2
Predseda
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Well, to be honest - I like the brighter sprites, but the background palette is imo nicer in original Amiga game.
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Old 11 March 2016, 15:00   #3
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This is indeed a useful update. Ironically the Mega Drive had many games with a bad color palette. There are nice Rom hacks too.

http://www.romhacking.net/?page=hack...&hacksearch=Go
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Old 11 March 2016, 15:40   #4
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I don't know if the palette is "bad" or not, I feel like this depended greatly of whoever was working on it and their display settings. The palette on the Amiga for this game looks a bit duller in screenshots on our modern displays, but I remember it looking great on my 1084 back then. Also you can turn contrast up if you want more contrasted colors. I have a feeling the game artist had his contrast on his monitor turned the hell up and that's the result.

Don't you love modern displays and color profiles?

So in the case of Wonderdog, unlike in Wonderboy or those awful ST conversions, I think this is a matter or preference.
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Old 11 March 2016, 16:54   #5
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Nice improvement
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Old 11 March 2016, 19:39   #6
DanScott
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Cobe showed me one of these last night

I like the first level improvements a lot

But I think on the cheese moon level, the foreground looks a little flattened.. the original shading gave it more contrast, and more depth.. maybe still tweak the cheese yellow colours, but allow the brighter edges to still have some "whiteness"

other than that, I'm quite happy (as the original Amiga coder of this game) for you to make improvements like this
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Old 11 March 2016, 19:42   #7
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Also, you might want to check (but I am not 100% sure), that when the player is in a bonus room, you can use the amiga cursor keys to move him about. As I say, I am not 100% certain if this was in the final game, but certainly was in one of the original "cracks"...

This could do with removing too
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Old 11 March 2016, 20:11   #8
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GReat to have input from the man who coded this in the first place!
So did you have a hand at the color palette or was this a graphic artist you worked with? I'd like to know the reason behind changing it from the original.
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Old 11 March 2016, 20:27   #9
DanScott
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I don't know, I guess it looked alright on my monitor at work

If anything it was down to the gfx artist who converted it down to dual playfied colour resolution
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Old 11 March 2016, 21:04   #10
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That makes total sense, as I said, back then monitor standards weren't such a big thing at home, it was only important in design studios who needed to proof stuff as close to print as possible and things like that.

Factors like brightness and contrast, easily modifiable by the user, affect everything.
There's one more: Amiga monitors let you change vertical and horizontal scales, and most people made this suit their preference. I imagine a lot of graphics looked different to the artist's original intention having these factors in mind.
Also in the case of a conversion of this type, Sega graphics through Composite would look very different to sharp RGB Amiga monitor graphics, so if comparing, it could have been a factor too.
I'm sure the graphician who converted the graphics had his contrast level set to eleven while working on Wonder Dog.
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Old 11 March 2016, 21:41   #11
DanScott
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It is nice that someone can take the time now, to have a fiddle and fix some of these things up
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Old 11 March 2016, 22:02   #12
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@DanScott Hi! Thank you so much for giving your approval to Cobe's project

Yes you're right, the edge of the "cheese" isn't so great in my version. What happened was, in the Mega CD version there's two colours that have been downmixed to one on the Amiga, and I replaced it with the darker of the two from the Mega CD palette. I've done some further tweaks on it - how does this look to you?




Edit: I made only two colour changes to planet weird, replacing two shades of red with purple. While the Mega Drive version has the background faces in two different tones of purple (a nice effect), replicating on Amiga is problematic since enemies use those same colours (and so basically every enemy in the world would become one of those two tones of purple). Planet K-9 already looks pretty close to the Mega Drive version so nothing to do there.

I don't think I'll make any further palette changes. I kind of want to leave the cursor keys in the secret rooms because it's kind of a nifty secret

Just one technical question Dan - I presume you can't have SFX and music simutaneously because they both use up all the channels..?


Last edited by earok; 11 March 2016 at 23:12.
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Old 12 March 2016, 12:16   #13
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I like the purple on planet Weird, looks way better than the reds

Yes, music was 4 channel (unlike Chuck Rock 2, that was 2 channel)
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Old 12 March 2016, 12:35   #14
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I figure the artist may have used the reds to help preserve the palette.. my hack means that some enemies eg pigs are purple, but I figured it kinda suits the weirdness of the level anyway. The background looked real nice when I had the green faces as a different purple but it was just too much to see every enemy in the world as purple, as well as the background.

Cheers for the clarification regarding audio!
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Old 12 March 2016, 13:05   #15
DanScott
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On the second row of faces, the green face looking straight out or the screen is "man on the stairs"... a fictional character created by the MegaCD coder, that featured in several amusing drawings that were circulated at Core
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Old 12 March 2016, 13:18   #16
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@DanScott I love trivia like that.

Well, I'll upload two versions of this in the next few hours, both WHDLoad installs with the palette changes but one with two button mode, one in classic one button mode. I can't really think of anything else I can do with my limited hacking capabilities, unless you've got the source by chance Dan..?
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Old 12 March 2016, 14:00   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earok View Post
I can't really think of anything else I can do with my limited hacking capabilities, unless you've got the source by chance Dan..?

maybe you can add cd tracks to wonderdog for the cd32 version
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Old 13 March 2016, 00:26   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandro View Post
maybe you can add cd tracks to wonderdog for the cd32 version
That would be cool, but well beyond my capabilities (even if we had the source, I've never done anything beyond basic assembly, so someone else would need to do it).

In any case I'm done for now. The WHDLoad disk images have been zoned, you've got the choice of playing with 1 or 2 button editions with the new palettes. If you want full CD32 pad support (for pause, quit, toggle music/sfx etc) it works just fine with CD32Load instead of WHDLoad.


Edit: If someone wants the two button version without the new palette, let me know and I'll upload that too.

Last edited by earok; 13 March 2016 at 00:37.
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Old 13 March 2016, 19:07   #19
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Just out of curiosity is there anyway to have both SFX and Music on even with clashing?
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Old 14 March 2016, 00:24   #20
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We've started investigating - Cobe sent me a version of the first world's soundtrack that's two channels only (downmixed to only be Drums and Bass). So in theory - maybe? But we'd need to make a huge number of assumptions, first of all that SFX mode itself is only two channel.

Dan are you able to confirm how many channels the SFX only mode uses?


Edit: Boo Boo I misread your question, Dan would probably be better placed to answer that but maybe I could at least try it! I can only presume it'd sound bad to have the music and SFX constantly clashing over the channels.
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