[Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon RythusOmega » 19.12.2017, 01:02

Also a additional note about the pre-releases/beta versions of AC3.

DragonSpikeXIII hat geschrieben:to clear any lingering doubts, I don't have any clue about the Japanese press kit or pre-release versions of AC3E.

Krishty hat geschrieben:Thank you for the clarification! One more problem in finding leaks: Even if Namco or some employee stored pre-release AC3 data on CDs, they are likely to rot after 20 and more years. Hard drives start to demagnetize after such a long time. The arcade leaks RythusOmega mentioned have often been found on floppy disks and I doubt anyone used them for long-time storage in 1999.


reading Krishty last post made me remind of a story i have seen long time ago. which Namco unfortunately have lost all the AC3 files from their hard drives, i remember that in 2007/8/9 i was looking into internet, then i have found a post on twitter which a fan has asked to a namco dev about if a AC3 remake was possible, and his reply was it´s was not possible due by their lost all the data about it. the source about this i can´t find it anymore because that´s was very long time ago and for founding it´s gonna been a hard task along that i don´t know if is true or not. but one of the almost "proofs" that they lost AC3 data was on the Famitsu interview of the Update 2.07 of Ace Combat Infinity, which when they asked Kono and the Devs about of R-101, one of the Devs in the interview said that other dev of the team needed to brought his PS1 and his AC3 copy to using as a reference for the recreation.


https://www.reddit.com/r/acecombat/comm ... erdue_but/
Famitsu: I see. What was the most difficult update so far, dev-wise?

河野 デルフィナス(R-101 Delphinus。『エースコンバット3 エレクトロスフィア』が元ネタの架空機体)を導入するとき、HUD表示を原作風に作り直し始めたのを見て、「本当に大丈夫?」ってなりました。『インフィニティ』と『3』では仕組みが違うため、スケジュール通りに仕上げることが難しいだろうと。シリーズのファンに喜んでいただけるならと、現場を信用して任せましたが。

Kono: When we put the Delphinus (R-101 Delphinus from Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere is an original fictional aircraft) in, we wanted to recreate the HUD from the game it originated from. When work on it started, we all felt “Would this be alright?” Because the makeup of Infinity and 3 is quite different, it was really difficult to get it finished on schedule. We wanted the fans to be able to fly it, and so we had faith in the dev team.

小柳 デルフィナスのHUDは、プログラマーが自宅からPS oneを持ってきて、『3』のゲーム画面を見ながら作成していたんですよ。

Koyanagi: The dev responsible for the Delphinus’ HUD actually brought a PS One and played Ace Combat 3, and made the HUD while looking at the game.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 19.12.2017, 01:20

I read the interview differently – the dev looked at AC3, but he wasn’t forced to.
  1. HUDs move, switch modes, and have many symbols. You cannot re-create them from looking at their source textures, you really need to observe them in action to understand them.
  2. Actually, a few paragraphs later, they state that the developer started re-creating the R-101 without help from management:
    We were looking at production estimate costs when the dev already went ahead and making it. […] That particular dev was such a huge Ace Combat fanboy he really couldn’t be restrained (laugh).

However, I believe you when you say a staff member tweeted that the data is lost. I have an authorization from a major video game publisher here to write a patch for one of their abandoned games but work never started because they cannot find the source code any more. „Ask developer XYZ, maybe he knows someone who has a copy of the code.“
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 11.03.2018, 23:41

RythusOmega asked me for help regarding Ace Combat 5’s ULZ files. Specifically, he needed an ULZ unpacker.

I quickly wrote one:
unpack_ULZ.exe
unpack_ULZ <in file> <out file>
(4 KiB) 15-mal heruntergeladen


Here’s a recap on what I did:

  1. I downloaded Arthur Richard’s acanalysis (the entire bin folder).

  2. Sadly it doesn’t run well (hangs/crashes). I tried to build it myself, but it doesn’t compile well and I had no time fixing it. So I applied some compatibility settings to AC4Analysis.exe and retried a few times until it finally worked.

  3. I opened DATA.TBL from the Ace Combat 5 disk:
    step1.png


  4. I double-clicked the first data entry “00000000” (single-clicking doesn’t work) and exported the file:
    step2.png

    step3.png
    step3.png (3.28 KiB) 769-mal betrachtet


  5. These files are clearly ULZ-compressed:
    step4.png
    step4.png (9.28 KiB) 769-mal betrachtet


  6. After running unpack_ULZ 00000000 00000000.xtracted, I got a cleanly decompressed archive which starts with text in Japanese Shift-JIS encoding:
    step5.png

I suspect the archive format is similar to AC2’s or AC3’s, but someone else has to figure that out … my weekend is over :(
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 26.03.2018, 19:52

By the way, I uploaded all my snapshots to https://papas-best.com/acecombat_en … many of those were intended for use in this thread, but I didn’t have the time to write the explanations yet.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Infrid » 27.03.2018, 00:37

so much progress since my last visit, your work is astonishing. I am still working on translating the game, make it better, did you bump into subtitles timing by chance?

We know how to edit the text, but we cannot control yet how long a line of text is show. I think there is some file containing the timecodes a command for cleaning the screen.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 27.03.2018, 00:41

Interesting problem. No, I haven’t bumped into those yet – to be honest, I haven’t even understood yet how individual levels are connected to missions!
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Infrid » 27.03.2018, 11:01

thanks, I think I'll take a look to the BPB for a while and then check out ACE.SPB, they have the same structure more or less. Maybe in few years we could write a game editor :D
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 27.03.2018, 11:38

From my understanding, levels are in the first 60 or so subfolders. Then planes in the next 20. Finally, missions start somewhere at folder 100 or so … I always thought you & DragonSpike were the experts on this :)
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 27.03.2018, 22:44

I just want to note that the Open Horizon authors reversed the data formats of AC5, AC6, and AC Zero. Some pretty impressive stuff there. Rythus, if you want to search through AC5’s data, you better get in touch with them …

Bild
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon RythusOmega » 08.04.2018, 08:03

Oh, Open Horizon, i was following the project those times when it was active. the owner of the project "Razgriz" it´s making a nice job on him. i even already entered in contact with him long time ago on the comments section, even him has pointed out the compression list of each game´s containers(from AC4 to ACI, still incomplete yet).
https://github.com/undefined-darkness/o ... h-progress

Well i could even try to talk about this to him, ̶h̶o̶w̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶R̶a̶z̶g̶r̶i̶z̶ ̶p̶o̶i̶n̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶e̶b̶s̶i̶t̶e̶.̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶´̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶r̶e̶v̶e̶r̶s̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶g̶i̶n̶n̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶d̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶d̶e̶c̶o̶m̶p̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶c̶h̶i̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶p̶e̶c̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶P̶A̶/̶B̶a̶n̶d̶a̶i̶ ̶N̶a̶m̶c̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶p̶y̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ :

"As long as I will not provide original AH resources in my releases and will not use disassembly to get original algorithms, I hope it will not violate original game creator’s license."

http://zxstudio.org/blog/author/razgriz/page/4/


̶A̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶h̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶b̶a̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶c̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶A̶H̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶(̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶Q̶D̶F̶_̶t̶o̶o̶l̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶d̶e̶c̶o̶m̶p̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶n̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶A̶C̶A̶H̶ ̶P̶C̶ ̶v̶e̶r̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶a̶i̶n̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶s̶t̶,̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶s̶e̶l̶f̶)̶,̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶t̶.̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶f̶o̶c̶u̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶i̶t̶´̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶d̶e̶c̶o̶m̶p̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶,̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶t̶´̶s̶ ̶f̶o̶c̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶e̶x̶t̶e̶r̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶j̶e̶c̶t̶i̶n̶g̶/̶l̶o̶a̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶t̶a̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶g̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶´̶s̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶l̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶d̶i̶n̶g̶(̶N̶y̶a̶ ̶E̶n̶g̶i̶n̶e̶)̶.̶ but yeah, we have at least the code research of the files already reversed on the .h files, those can be useful soon.

EDIT : "yeah, i made a reading error, Razgriz had said that it would NOT include decompressed AH assets/code on the Open Horizon builds. thus why he made a separate tool(QDF_tool) for people decompressing the AH files by their own.

(PS : also about the GIM research, i gonna bring some details about here soon. unfortunately i had some problems with my computer those days with hard drive question, which the SSD i was using as the system partition has stopped working[glad that my main/important files are on separate HHD´s], yesterday i already had installed the new SSD i brought, so i will need to reinstall some programs and some drivers/API for getting everything back to work)

(PS² : also yeah i recently i had seen your blog for the AC3 research, as always nice work and nice idea of reuniting everything from ZFX into the website with some exclusive details too, and thanks for the mention too. glad that i helped too on making the image catalog of the AC3 models)
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 08.04.2018, 08:20

RythusOmega hat geschrieben:Oh, Open Horizon, i was following the project those times when it was active. the owner of the project "Razgriz" it´s making a nice job on him. i even already entered in contact with him long time ago on the comments section, even him has pointed out the compression list of each game´s containers(from AC4 to ACI, still incomplete yet).
https://github.com/undefined-darkness/o ... h-progress
Thanks for the explanation, and also thanks for that resource format list – this greatly helps me prioritize things!
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 14.06.2018, 23:17

(This had to be said last year already, but I forgot it.)

It occurred to me that some of Ace Combat 2’s levels are modelled with a much higher level of detail that Ace Combat 3’s, even though their polygon count is lower. This doesn’t apply to all of them, but some really stand out. Just look at the fractal geometric detail of Rising High (colors enhanced due to some technical problems here):

rising_high_notex_enh.png
rising_high_tex_enh.png


Here’s Cuckoo’s Nest:

cuckoos_nest_notex_enh.png
cuckoos_nest_tex_enh.png


For comparison, the same terrain in AC3:
ac3_jointmaneuvrs_tex_enc.png


Disappointing, isn’t it? It’s not that all of AC2’s levels would be better, just that a few of AC2’s levels exceed all levels of AC3. On the downside, there are lots of huge gaps in AC2’s terrain (seen as bright pixels in the screenshots).
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