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Messages - lirmont

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Spam / Re: WHY?!
« on: December 09, 2014, 08:14:56 PM »
Here's a hypothetical situation. Imagine that the original game is represented in a ball form. Now, the ball can bounce around, roll, be still, entertain, etc, but, no matter what you do, the ball stays together because the ball is cohesive. Now, as time goes on, the ball may be seen to be less fun to play with because it lacks things other newer forms of entertainment possess. Reasonably speaking, releasing the next version of this ball should probably just bring the ball up to date so that it can compete for attention well against other entertainment products: new packaging, refurbishing old parts so that they thrive in modern environments, and re-advertising the product (harkening back to what made it great at what it did previously).

Enter War of the Lions. Instead of (just) bringing the old game up to date, they made something akin to a lava lamp, tossing an old game in to drift aimlessly around for the rest of forever amidst the newer, brightly-colored lava lamp goop and to bang into the smaller representations of other games also dumped into said goop. Can lava lamps be entertaining? Sure, but are they a cohesive mixture anymore? No, and so my personal dislike comes from the fact that I don't see FFT:WotL as a cohesive game. I see it as "game-ish"; there's a cohesive game somewhere in there (sometimes it even rises to the forefront) but it's lost amongst other things.

If you were to order a smoothie and that "smoothie" was just unblended fruit in an attractive cup, would you like the product as a smoothie?

The Lounge / Re: FF7 - PS4 Port
« on: December 08, 2014, 12:12:29 AM »
Rejected titles:
  • "FF7 - Coming to an Emulator Near You",
  • "FF7 - The Promo Video Was a Significant Portion of the Budget",
  • "FF7 - The Promo Video is More Computationally Intensive Than the Game",
  • "FF7 - This is What You Wanted, Right? #tooSoon", and
  • "FF7 - #sorryNotSorry".

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: December 02, 2014, 08:55:53 PM »
Tethical Music Engine

Special thanks to everyone in this thread; the video's idea came from your suggestions. The video runs through back-to-back 15-second previews of some of the stuff you've already heard, but it adds something new by providing audio waveforms that use the game logo of the music.


Help! / Re: Battle Sound Mod
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:09:37 PM »
FFT uses MIDI-quality music, which basically means you need to know what the notes in the song are and for how long they play. You cannot currently put modern audio files in (like MP3s).

The easiest place to start is here: MIDI to SMD v0.5: FFT Music Converter.

You may also need to consult:

Final Fantasy Tactics / Re: Final Fantasy Fractics
« on: October 30, 2014, 04:37:15 AM »
Besides The Neverending Story, there's the Myst series, where book writing and book travel are entrenched mechanics. They also have copious amounts of odd-sounding names (like Atrus).

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 15, 2014, 07:22:14 AM »

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Dream a Little Dream of Me (Normal) and Dream a Little Dream of Me (Intense).



Jeff the Killer

Jeff the Killer (Normal) and Jeff the Killer (Intense).



If you're interested in a close alternative in FFT to the pizzicato strings used in the intense versions, 33-37 and 26 are all close.

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 14, 2014, 04:36:57 PM »
Final Fantasy X

Battle Theme

Battle Theme (Normal).


Too much stuff going on with this track to FFT-ize it. Had to rewrite a large part of my playback/sequencing code to deal with the 8 different tempo changes this MIDI used, but that's done now. Also, had to go out and find a different soundfont (collection of instrument audio) to make it sound right-ish. Auto-panning for notes got added in the process of trying to get the music to sound right under reverb plus the usual instruments I use for the FFT style.


Final Fantasy 6

Celes' Theme

Celes' Theme (Normal) and Celes' Theme (Intense).

Couldn't get this one to sound anything other than sad. Will have to study this piece later.

Final Fantasy 4

Red Wings

Red Wings (Normal) and Red Wings (Intense).

Golden Sun 2

Isaac Battle

Isaac Battle (Normal) and Isaac Battle (Intense).

Final Fantasy Tactics A2

Painful Battle

Painful Battle (Normal) and Painful Battle (Intense).

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:59:44 AM »
Chrono Trigger

Frog's Theme (Normal) and Frog's Theme (Intense).


I will get to the rest of that list sometime later this week. Thanks.

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 06, 2014, 02:09:06 AM »
I used the one by "Feathers" on this page: VGMusic - Sony Playstation 2 Music.

I think the process for converting to a MIDI is too involved for this/me (i.e. requires actually knowing the piece's instruments, would require retouching vocal notes in the Persona Q track, etc; you cannot trust me with music or flying airship designs).

Also, if it is of interest, I have 49 musical scales (i.e. modes) that you can call in 12 different notes (i.e. keys; A, A#, B, etc), and that's 588 different variations in 1 octave. And there are of course 100+ instruments that you can swap in and out.

An example is the "Normal" one is written in "C Ionian", which is just: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Whereas, the "Bad News" one moves it into the "C Chromatic" scale, which is: C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B. Epic is "C Insen": C, C#, F, G, A#. Sinister (Edgy) is "C Istrian": C, C#, D#, E, F#, G. Rebellious is "C Gypsy": C, D, D#, F#, G, G#, A#.

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 05, 2014, 11:14:50 PM »
@Vaan - I could only find MIDI files for the two FF5 songs. Coincidentally, there are songs available for Disgaea (the first one) and Grandia (the first one). Couldn't find much of anything for Persona. If you'd like to pick other songs, that's fine by me. Thanks.


Guilty Gear XX

Blue Water, Blue Sky (Normal) and Blue Water, Blue Sky (Bad News).


Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: October 05, 2014, 07:01:39 AM »
Okay, so the changes you guys have noted have been used, and that's how they'll play out in the demos. Thank you. In other news, I have written an importer for MIDI files into this format, and I'd like to give you guys the opportunity to suggest a song you might want to hear in some other emotion. The test subject I used to write the importer needed a complicated song, and, well, it's Frozen's "Let it Go". Don't close the thread in disgust! I generated a Halloween-esque version that I think is worth listening to: Let it Go (Imported) and Let it Go (Sinister).

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: September 30, 2014, 09:02:53 PM »
@Vaan - There is an optional battle in need of such music, and I may well use your suggestion. The unreleated: Neo-Geo Boot.


At some point, there will be an interface where all the configurations can be changed/visualized. Thinking about dropping the sprites into that interface with musical instrument sprites (similar to the channel promo video).

Settings from last time were 125% percussion velocity/strength.

Settings from last time were reverb level at 13%, with chorus, and 89% percussion velocity.

As always, thanks for helping out with this.

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: September 30, 2014, 02:12:50 PM »
Reconfigured Variations

"Sleeping": Intense and Conclusive (2nd attempt)

"Dreaming": Intense

Internal Changes
  • Each configuration can set its own reverb, chorus, gain (before: composition-wide).
  • Instruments can be swapped in configurations (before: set only on composition).
  • Option to scale against how many notes were in the scale the composition was written in (before: loop around). Effectively, this is part of the smoothing that was suggested.
  • Sequence can be controlled in configuration (not used here; before: set on composition).
I think I'm going to run with this level of completion, since I should be able to adapt the handful of pieces I have.

Something unrelated from the Jingles collection.

Tethical / Re: FFT-Like Music
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:55:07 PM »
@Vaan, thanks for listening!


Source Compositions

Here are two more pieces (this time composed by my father rather than me): Sleeping and Dreaming.

Programmatic Variations on Source Compositions

Follow-up Questions

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I think I've found something that's effectively the palette swap for music. As I don't have an ear for music, it's important to have other people's opinion on these questions:
  • Do you think it would fit with a game using old-school graphics (i.e. sprites)?
  • Does it sound similar to FFT's music (or even just that era of games, i.e. early 90's)?
  • Do you find this programmatically altered music too similar to itself (i.e. like you're just hearing the same thing over again)?


Tethical / FFT-Like Music
« on: September 10, 2014, 09:03:47 AM »
Main composition: Heat of the Moment (1:20).
Background music for this thread: Heat of the Moment (16:24).

So, some of you may be aware that I sunk a month into investigating FFT's music, including being able to replace the waveforms (essentially *.WAV files). I did this because I got to a point in developing the demos for the Kickstarter relaunch where I realized the music just didn't match with the quality of the graphics. A high-quality digital sound, in fact, is not what FFT used. They used pretty low quality (22040Hz) recordings, pumped them through a very heavy (but controllable) reverb, and obviously had very talented musicians write music for that system. While I can't provide the 3rd element, over that month I found free alternatives to the first ~100 of the nearly 200 instruments they used (see: Instruments Wiki), and I began writing code to make use of a software MIDI synthesizer. Sadly, all of this stuff completely lacks the ability to be shown on youtube (some for copyright reasons, mostly for lack of visual nature of music and programming code).

Following the initial investigation, I worked the replacement instruments I found into a replacement table for the purposes of playback and composition. Since I've had the question asked already in-person: "Why does that even matter?" It matters because there are TONS of instruments in the world. If you don't start with just the ones FFT used, it's probably unlikely that you'll use anything like them unless you're skilled at writing music in the style of someone else in the first place. Furthermore, FFT instruments are synthesized, which means you couldn't even hope to find some of them without finding the source material (i.e. reverse-engineering the game) and programming a similar synthesized instrument yourself. So, this is a feature that attempts to offer you a pool of FFT-sounding instruments (without crippling you into only using them) for the purpose of writing songs/music/sound effects that mimic FFT's signature sound (re: low quality audio, massive reverb).

Did you listen to the music I linked yet? As you likely realized, it's all one piece. What changes is the musical theory foundation of: (1) tempo, (2) key (i.e. note like "C"), (3) octave, and (4) scale. These changes have the added benefit of providing an emotional characteristic, like "fear". So, "fear" becomes one configuration for the piece. Meaning, you can ask the engine to play a song like this (i.e. MIDI) in its "fear" configuration. Obviously, you'd have to set this stuff up ahead of time to make sure it sounds good, but the point is that you no longer have to think in terms of music after the initial composition is written; you can think in terms of what it lends itself to emotionally! That's a feature triple-A games have (ex. PSO2), and now so do you -- and it's orchestral-sounding (rather than electronic)!

Thanks for listening and staying interested in Tethical.


Since I don't want to make another post (information is over on twitter anyway), I rewrote gamepad support to use SDL2 (what Steam's Big Picture uses) since someone wrote a Python wrapper for it.

Alright, here it is (same link): download.

It's not 100%, but I believe it will suit your purposes: (1) combo box drop downs use available space (sometimes less options are shown on purpose, though), (2) no controls overlap, and (3) the "Patch ISO" screens are sizable now. Things I know are still wrong: (1) doesn't handle big fonts, (2) controls near edges of parents sometimes get cut off (change to smaller font), and (3) animation tab takes a long time to load (but it looks nice).

Here is a screenshot:

The setting for how many drop down items to show can be overridden easily enough in the code. I'll start working on the rest of the layouts now.

Spam / Re: Purses as weapons
« on: July 17, 2014, 05:07:59 AM »
Little Ol' Lady, Lv. 99
Master Bag Lady (Lv. 8)

  • Accumulate Sweets
  • Squint
  • Pinch
  • Head Shake

  • Ignore Speed Limit
  • Equip EZ-Reacher
  • Cooking +3
  • Kitsch +5
  • Thrift

Okay, then please check the "Items" tab for me of this version: download. It takes a lot of work to reorganize the layout into this format, but, if that tab is laid out how you expect (undo any changes you've done to the XP theme), I don't mind doing it for the rest of them. This version also benefits from the whole form's size, meaning you can see more options at any given time. Again, the "Items" tab is the only one I've done it for, and that took over an hour.

This is what it looks like:

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