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Messages - Meru

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Late reply but hey.
I think I've mentioned before, or maybe I wasn't very clear. Processing masks wasn't in my plans. The only processing that is worth doing is by hand, but that's not reasonable. With automated processing it is possible to make mask edges smooth, but they will still not line up with artwork properly. Unless it lines up perfectly, for me it doesn't make a difference.

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-04-19 16:01:35 »
Couple questions guys:

1: To install Memoria do I just extract the files to the FF9 root folder?

2: I'm using Meru's background mod. Will Memoria interfere?

Thanks dudes!

1: no, you extract it to any non-ff9 folder then run the patcher, then delete the folder you extracted. it will modify your original game and will replace the launcher

2: I have not tested it myself, but my mod keeps 100% of the original game files untouched so theoretically they can run in parallel without affecting each other.
Edit: except if Memoria also applies audio fix - that will work in my mod too.

Mkay thanks. For now, this will be the way it will work. Also there is a new version with Disc2 backgrounds added.

Here is another attempt with the patch. No new backgrounds was added yet. Want to mess with it a bit more before it became too huge.

It must work without the need to rename anything. (But it may not work at all as well  :evil:)

I just tried your ffix_test.exe. All it did was open the folder where Steam is actually installed.
Ouch. You mean you started "FFIX_Field_Patch.exe" and it opened folder? Holy strawberries... I hate Steam.
You can delete that exe and don't run it again cause it can mess up the game.
Anyway, thanks for trying it out. Guess for now I will simply replace the original launcher. And later, if there is no good way to trick it into opening my launcher instead, maybe I'll emulate steam...

would be cool if someone on 64bit windows can test this (i have not made it working for x86):

-download ffix_test.exe
-Run it once pointing to the right directory
-try to launch FFIX_Field_Patch.exe and see if Steam still kicks-in
-regardless of the outcome, run ffix_test.exe again to undo any changes

Also if someone have any ideas about how to stop Steam from kicking in without messing with registry entries - drop me a note. Generally I am looking for a more lightweight solution compared to, lets say emulating steam completely.

I reinstalled your new patch and was getting the same errors, minus the messed up backgrounds. Then I tried the other patch you linked, that didn't work right away. I moved the original launcher out, moved in the new one you provided and renamed it. Steam once again reopened your launcher, but when I got in game it was working.
Yea. For some reason Steam restarts the game. I am not sure what I can do about that.
I mean, I can rename the launcher myself during patch install, but I don't really want to. As for how to prevent Steam from messing with the game so much...

Generally even if you'll keep the launcher renamed, patch should not break during any possible game update. As long as they won't touch the launcher.

There may be two issues actually. I uploaded a new version that should fix the thing on your last screenshot. Can be installed on top of the old one.
As for Steam re-starting the wrong launcher, if i understand the problem correctly - I am not yet sure what to do cause this is not a patch problem per se.

Edit: you can try this launcher (without renaming it), which will be included in the next version anyway. But in general I have no idea how Steam figures out that this launcher is for FFIX and not for some other software and why it restarts the launcher at all.

Fresh install meaning I just installed the game. I tried renaming your launcher and steam still asked permission, then re-opened your launcher. When I got in game it looked like this:

Yeah there seem to be a problem. I'll investigate. I guess I forgot something.

I'm still getting the old scenes after installing. On a fresh install of FF9 to FF9_Launcher.exe After I use your launcher steam asks me if I want to continue, then opens the original launcher. Is that normal?
Uh, no this is not normal. Not sure what is going on.

What do you mean by (marked with bold):
On a fresh install of FF9 to FF9_Launcher.exe

Also, I just want to clarify, after you press PLAY in my launcher Steam starts original launcher where you can click Play again? This is totally weird Oo

Try one of these and see if it makes any difference:
- temporarily remove original "FF9_Launcher.exe" and try to start the game
- rename my launcher into "FF9_Launcher.exe" and try to start the game

Technically launcher is almost the same. Except different artwork.

Don't have much time lately but I pulled my strawberries together and finally made a (hopefully) working patch that contains Disc1 backgrounds.

Most of these backgrounds need more work, but I want to add other discs 1st. Then I'll see what can be done about it.

Theoretically patch will work if the game will be updated on steam (unless the update will be very huge). But it is made in a very hacky way so it will definitely not work on XP and Linux/Wine.

It is barely tested. I have no idea what will happen if you'll reach backgrounds that are not yet added. Maybe black screen.

In case someone is curious, things are going a bit slower. Most of the backgrounds on disc3 require more manual work than before.
Also I planned to make a release when main backgrounds are done, but due to various reasons this will likely not happen. Will think about releasing something after I'll do 2nd pass of edits for 1st disc Alexandria backgrounds. Plus I need to do some testing. I'm sure there are some backgrounds that will be broken in-game.

If you think the average player stays 10 seconds there, yes I find it okay.
Hand drawn is better but that's not what I opt for now. At least it's better as with the standard seams.
Haha, you right. Now I remember saying something similar about zone titles  :-X
In my case there is a one problem though. I aim to please a one special person (me), and he is no average player  :mrgreen:
So it's kinda hard to prioritize these things sometimes.

Do you like the results in case of Summit? Many of these white spots should be transparent.  :|
I just had a similar case in Cleyra. Ended up drawing it all

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-03-11 14:29:58 »
okay, you know what, shut yo  f*ckin' ass up right now. This f*cker on my kill list now.
This international  f*cker want's the audio to remain the same, then so be it. Enjoy the disgusting sandstorm sfx and dwell you're f*cking backgrounds mod.
I'm NOT the one!

I do not care if there will be such mod or no. But you are not asking for help, you are asking to teach you from scratch. If someone will do all the hard work for you, it will no longer be your project.

Also I tried to be as polite as I could an even provided some information even though I saw you through from the start. So no need to call me a "strawberry" :D

Looks cool. Good luck!

What a coincidence haha. In my case things that I do not want to verify with eyes are also done with python or javascript.

I have to redo some older images too. Not sure how much. Sometimes I just skipped something, sometimes it was pretty hard to figure out what part comes from where (because image was exported "by depth") and I probably made some mistakes there. Some gears in Lindblum is a one example of that.

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-03-11 09:50:51 »
How can audio length not matter, yet size does?
I don't understand the question. The two are totally unrelated things. And I already said why it matters.

1. It still won't play in game.
2. It plays in game, but random crashes will occur. --causing other sfxs to not play resulting in crash.
I dunno. Exact same symptoms commonly occur if you just deleted the old bytes and pasted new bytes. Also could be that audio stream can not be decoded by the engine.
So if FFIX sound effects don't need a 1:1 match what is meru tryin' to say?!
Not at all. I played FFIX long ago and already forgot how things sound. So I only discovered that magic sounds differently after youtube videos were posted in this thread. If the difference comes from audio files then I find it reasonable to try to replace them (But personally I am fine with sound as is).

Okay, you got me, I summarized that description
These code sections are useless. That's not a brightest idea to post bytes as text. But as I said above you must modify AKB header to do a correct replacement and it is very obvious how it must be changed (it must be done for every file). If you feel like modifying the engine to remove the header, please feel free to do so. No one is going to do it for you cause it is way harder than changing the headers (and have a high chance of making this mod incompatible with other mods). If you are interested in what my audio stream looks like, I provided that info already. But I think that any vorbis stream with similar characteristics will work.

And what I say is not BS. You started the project and now you want someone else to do it for you. There is nothing wrong in admitting that it turned out to be not something you can handle, but pretending that you know what are you doing and posting various info that clearly shows you don't is BS. You are writing a poem without knowing the words.

 - You don't know the difference between length and size of an encoded stream. Most likely you use some newbie-oriented audio encoding solution that does not distinguish between the two.
 - You are deleting and pasting, replacing bytes without taking necessary precautions or making modifications and ask why it does not work.
 - You ask questions that already have an answer.
 - You post bytes as text to demonstrate something.

Excuse me, but this level of knowledge is below "newbie".

Here is one case from Cleyra. Thing where arrow points is way to off. It may be possible to make it look better by tweaking the settings, but then other parts will be bad. (This is based on PSX mask too.)

So yeah. While that sand looked okay to me at 1st, it was really an overkill. Static parts are still fine, but animations ended up being ugly. Less extreme version would probably look something like that.

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-03-10 11:50:09 »
Fixing size value in header works wonderfully too. And it is super obvious which value is that. As I said if you don't know what are you doing, better leave it to someone else (or at least keep it out of this thread)

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-03-10 11:00:26 »
Audio LENGTH does not matter (edit: bitrate too, as long as you are within the size limits). I just replaced an effect with duration of 11760 samples with random tone of 20000 samples and there are no issues. There have to be a size value in the AKB header.

I used this one. Original was 267ms
Code: [Select]
Format                                   : Vorbis
Format settings, Floor                   : 1
Duration                                 : 454 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 40.0 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 1 channel
Sampling rate                            : 44.1 kHz
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 2.22 KiB (41%)
Writing library                          : aoTuV 20110424 (UTC 2011-04-24)

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Re: [FF9]2016 release
« on: 2017-03-10 09:01:38 »

There is no unknown info about audio in FFIX PC (except maybe values in AKB header, but they are very few and not necessarily all of them are relevant).
What are you trying to say? You said you already replaced sandstorm effect and it works. And now you are saying you saw the details of the format. To replace the effect you should have know that info already.

Except for the AKB header, the format is very common that people use every day and hundreads or thousands of the games use to store audio. Some files have different bitrate. There are stereo and mono files 128 and 86 kbps respectively. I have not noticed other variants. But it does not matter really.

The thing is that I don't want to draw the mask and automate as much as I can or else this Mod will never be released.
Like we say here in Germany: One death you have to die. Or "You will have to opt for the lesser evil."

The PC seams are ugly, let's trashcan them ASAP.
PSX is too blocky but at least way better then the PC ones.

I'll give it some further testing with leaves and fine detail and see how it goes.
Yea I agree with that. This is exactly why I decided to do these masks, transparent objects and text as a 2nd pass, how good they will be done will depend on how much motivation I have left. It could be that I'll end up using some more automated thing too. I can't say for sure. But at least like 5% will be hand-drawn anyway.

Edit: Try Mountain/Summit background for testing mask stuff

What do you think, Meru?

It's not perfect, yeah but still better then PSX as well as Steam seams (at least for my taste).
I've to test them in game but at least from the picture the masks seems very fitting.
I think this looks something like 4x nearest neighbor + Smooth 3px + Expand 2px applied to the PSX mask or something close to that.
It may work in some cases, but will not work for other cases. Most likely it will have to be tweaked for every other image. For some images it won't work at all. Like the ones with some trees/leaves or other high-detail stuff. So this may result in too much tinkering to produce sub-optimal results. I better just draw it by hand...
I can say that photoshop itself, unfortunately, does not have anything that is capable to produce mask that will satisfy me. There is other software that _sometimes_ can, but only sometimes.

I meant the steamfiles. Like p0data5.bin or something.

I think you misunderstood. I do not use them I said they are bad.

They can not be processed with waifu. They need a totally different approach. But they will still suck. Very rarely they can be made into something useful. Like here

Most of the time I keep PC masks. The plan was to do the masks as a 2nd pass.

Edit: but PC masks are beyond help. I wouldn't want to even touch them. The only place for them is a trash bin.

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