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1  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Feedback, Critique, Standards on: April 24, 2013, 07:27:07 PM
This is a subject matter that has been on my mind for a little while now.  It mainly affects move set mods but can be applied somewhat to other forms of modding.  Simply put how we critique mods and modders and the standards of the various users.

Oh and let me get this out the way now, I fully expect people to disagree with and/or dislike what I've to say.  Admittedly I'll probably read back on it and think it sounds rather elitist of me but nonetheless it should be said.

Move set modding is very complex.  Even the people that do it I feel didn't quite understand what it takes to be a good move set modder and designer.  Heck I don't even think I'm a particularly amazing designer despite the fact that I've learnt a lot about it from being in the PMBR.  You can shower your move set with all the fancy gimmicks in the world but unless there's a solid general design direction and all the little decisions you make surrounding said design direction are coherent your move set is going to be bad.  You'll catch the short term attention of people, but after the cluster begins to wear the anyone with taste can see the move set becomes dull.  Which brings me onto my second point.

I've noticed the standards of the general community associated with mods and this site can be rather sketchy.  People are often too nice with their 'feedback' and as a result leave completely unconstructive comments.  This happens less with regards to model imports I find and its why imports and importers have almost all steadily gotten better.  Most of the imports now are way better than imports from a year or so ago but the same can't really be said for move sets.

I hate to isolate an example but calikingz Crash PSA is a recent one that comes to mind.

SSBB MODZ: Crash Officially Joins Brawl!!


I'm seeing comments all over the video saying how awesome it is yet I'm there looking at it and not getting that impression at all.  Presentation wise its mainly a bunch of animation swaps using largely Luigi's animations with a handful of Crash's actual moves done but it a rather stiff, unintuitive way.  Ironically the final smash was really the only thing that caught my attention.  And this is coming from a user who was nominated twice for the KC-MM award of best all rounder.  I'm not trying to offend calikingz and he's not the worst example or the only one, merely felt this needed to be stated.

This overall prevents a lot of move set modders from actually progressing as designers and artists because they don't actually know, understand of appreciate where they're going wrong.  They may learn some new fangled nifty trick in Brawlbox or PSA but nothing that makes them better move sets.

In addition to design presentation is often important, namely in the animation department.  Honestly I could probably count the number of active good animators here on one hand (myself not included).  The ones striving to improve and consequently are since they're steadily understanding where they're making mistakes (and before you ask no I'm not naming anyone).  Good animations more than anything craft the identity of your mod.  Yeah I know another animator rant I just wish there were more really good ones.

I guess what I'm saying is that I've noticed in the 3 years I've been here that the community is pretty tame when it comes to expressing feedback for mods (namely move sets).  Scared to insult people maybe?  Well I feel some people need to be levelled with a little more.  Being a little more frank so they have the opportunity to truly improve.
2  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Hardest Form of Modding? on: September 30, 2012, 02:11:39 PM
A simple topic posing a simple question.  Which is the most difficult?

As somebody that does it probably more than almost anyone else on this site, I'd have to say animation.  The concept of it isn't hard to grasp at all.  Or you're doing is moving a ragdoll in a space and time frame.  Anyone can do it (much like texturing) but few can do it well and it's hard to get good at.  I've been making animations for around two years now and I've still a lot to learn. 

Learning and appreciating what makes a good animation is hard.  Then of course is the fact that it's rather unrewarding for how time consuming it is.  Fun fact, I spend the vast majority of my time making the animations for my movesets, despite the fact that the PSA stuff is what I find more drawn out and tedious.  However, it's the one form of modding you literally cannot do on its own for two reasons:

1) You can't release one animation for one character no matter how long or impressive it is.  For example, the Deadpool MC Hammer dance I did took me 2 and a half weeks to make (working EVERYDAY).  Longer than the vast majority of textures, vertexes, imports heck even a good few movessets), but it's no where near substantial enough to release on its own.

2) If you make a set of animations for a moveset, you have to (or have to have someone) edit all the frame data of the attacks in PSA or an equivalent moveset editor so that the mod actually works well. 

So yeah, that's my view.
3  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / Model Imports / The Epic Zero Collab - We gots our importer! - Model coming very soon on: October 24, 2011, 12:28:47 PM


PROJECT ZERO

I've finally decided to set up the topic for Project Zero.  Unlike my other PSAs, I want this one to be a big collaborated project between a load of people.

Zero will need:

- An new imported model (preferably from MvC3, but if that isn't plausible then TvC or even a custom made model would be good)
- A good rig to Link's bone structure
- A revamped texture to better suit Brawl
- Retextures based upon UMvC3 primarily (retexturers if they want can make other ones, and I will choose the ones I think are the best)
- Custom animations
- PSA work
- Interface mods


The Team

If you want to be a part of the team, just ask.  However, we need people that are both dedicated and skilled at their field.  Be honest with yourself.

SDo0m - Team Leader, PSAer and Animator
MarioKing64DS - Animator
ItalianStallion - Retexturer
Beyond - Importer and Texturer
SmashClash - Animator and Texturer
Dot - Interface Modder and Texturer
Nanobuds - Interface Modder and Texturer
Spex130 - Animator
StarWaffle - Animator and Texturer
MarioDK - PSAer


(?) = Pending (everyone is pending for the moment).



The Moveset

Here is the moveset I have constructed for Zero.  It may require tweaks here and there, so feel free to offer up ideas.  However, make sure you have sufficient reasoning behind your ideas.  Don't just say "because it would be cool".  Think about it from multiple sides.

STATS

Character Over - Link
Size - 6/10 Medium height.  His general stance is slightly lower than Link's.
Running Speed - 6/10 He's average speed on the ground.  Running speed similar to Falco
Air Speed - 5/10 Kinda average.  Think similar to Mario's air speed
Combo Speed - 8/10 Quick at dealing the combos thanks to his overall superior mobility
Priority - 8/10 Multi hit attacks as well as large range help him out a lot
Jump Height - 6/10 Rather regular height jumps. Nothing special but he's fairly light so that makes up for it.
Power - 2/10 His damage and knockback outputs are terrible, but his combo ability makes up for it
Weight - 80 (Featherweight)


MOVESET

AAA combo - His standing light to standing medium to standing heavy attack from both TvC and MvC3.  A simple triple slash with good reach and decent damage, but punishing end lag on the last hit (so it's less of a combo tool and more a defensive tool).  10%

F Tilt - A two hit combo.  He does his two different slashes (Light/Medium followed by Heavy) that he would normally do when doing his Hadangeki slash projectile (except there's no slash projectile).  The two slashes are quick and only require one button press.  9%

U Tilt - His launcher from TvC and MvC3.  Very fast start up and decent knockback but a bit of end lag.  7%

D Tilt - His low Light attack from TvC and MvC3 (a fast kick).  Again has a very fast start up but pitiful damage.  You can use this repeatedly, or if you press A+B you can follow up with a ground slash (his low Medium attack) which does more damage and knockback but has a longer end lag.  2% first hit, 4% follow up

Dash Attack - His forward Heavy Shippuga from TvC and MvC3.  Deals 3 hits of damage whilst rushing forward and is a good well rounded dash attack. 8%

F Smash - His low Heavy attack from TvC and MvC3 which is a powerful overhead slice.  Most well rounded of his smashes.  Decent speed, power and knockback.  13-17%

U Smash - A half moon slash upwards with great vertical reach and speed.  His fastest, but weakest smash.  More useful for comboing if anything (combos nicely into Up B).  10-14%

D Smash - Zero punches the ground, creating a field of energy that surrounds him.  His most powerful smash with wide horizontal range but it comes out slowly and the main power hitbox lasts for not very long.  Has weaker hitboxes afterwards (it has sex kick like properties), the final one having almost no kill potential.  15-19%, 12-16%, 9-12%

N Air - His aerial Heavy in TvC and MvC3. Medium initiation time and pretty long landing lag but has massive range and fairly low end lag so it is fairly easy to combo with.  8%

F Air - His aerial Special in MvC3.  Very similar in animation to his forward smash, but it's a tad faster to initiate, slower to end and has a weak/medium 45 degree spike.  9%

B Air - A back kick similar to Fox's except a tad faster and with a longer lasting hitbox, but with significantly less power.  9%

U Air - An upward spinning slash.  Somewhat similar to his N Air, except it only does one slash and it is a tad slower.  Knocks the foe straight up.  9%

D Air - His Sentsuizan from TvC and MvC3.  Zero shoots downwards at sort of a 155 degree angle.  Has a weak spike and can bounce off of foes when it connects.  One of Zero's faster aerials with good follow up ability, however it can cause an SD if you aren't careful.  8%

Pummel - Zero knees the foe in the stomach.  He can do this pretty quickly.  2%

F Throw - Zero does an energy blaster punch in the foe's face.  Same as his forward throw from TvC and MvC3.  9%

B Throw - Zero zips behind the enemy and blasts them in the back of the head, sending them away from him.  Same as his backward throw from TvC and MvC3. 9%

U Throw - Zero throws the foe up, then extends his sword out to stab them and zap the foe whilst they're on the sword.  Knocks foes up but can be heavily DIed.  7%

D Throw - Zero chucks his foe onto the ground, then jumps up and stabs them down with his sword.  9%

Neutral B - Hyper Zero Blaster: Over time this projectile will charge up.  The interesting thing about this projectile is the fact that Zero is actually able to move whilst charging it.  His blaster arm will glow to indicate the different levels of charge his blaster is at.  3% weak, 6% medium and 12% strong

Side B - Hienyaku: Zero's signature teleport dash.  He rushes in a chosen direction at high speed.  On the ground he can go forward, back or diagonally up/forward.  In the air, it can go forward, diagonally up/forward or straight down.  This can also cancel into the Up B or Down B (air only) if you press B and the set direction.  0%

Up B - Ryuenjin: Zero's fiery uppercut.  The height isn't amazing, but it's pretty damaging, has super armour on the first few frames of initiation and the final hit deals great knockback.  12%

Down B (Ground) - Rekkoha: Zero punches the ground, causing lasers to rain down from the sky in a pillar of light.  A contrast to the rest of Zero's moveset.  It's extremely slow on start up and end lag and has a very minimal knockback growth, but does very impressive damage and sends the opponent upwards.  Zero is susceptible to hits from behind when you use this move.  20%

Down B (Air) - Raikousen: Zero rockets downwards diagonally at high speeds, leaving behind a trail of electricity in his wake.  Zero himself does no damage, but the lingering electric trail does (it deals a weak stun and a very weak spike).  8%

Final Smash - Genmurei Hold: Basically, he does the Dark Hold (a quick upward slash to initiate), captures his foe in his negative sphere then he backflips backwards a good distance (or he could telepot/dash etc). Then, he throws out the Genmurei whilst time is stopped which slices through anything in his way.  Whilst the Genmurei is moving, Zero will teleport dash forward and catch up with the Genmurei.  Both he and the Genmurei will then reach the opponent in the Dark Hold at the same time and Zero will do the final slash through (so the stab and the Genmurei hit the foe at the same time).  Then time unfreezes and the opponent will most likely die.

Other Tidbits

- Zero will be able to wall cling and wall jump in the same fashion as my Cloud PSA can
- To reflect how Zero is a has low HP in the fighting games, he will be a lightweight character (80 weight which is the same as Fox)
- Zero's Hyper Zero Blaster will be a real projectile (hexing Link's arrow ftw)!


4  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / The Art and Intricacies of Moveset Making on: October 07, 2011, 02:58:22 PM
As quite a few of you may know, I'm part of the Project M team as an animator.  Because of this, I've also been able to frequently use the closed alpha build that we members have, and have had access to the PMBR and been observing a lot of the playtester feedback and comments and idea correlation and something occurred to me...

There are SOOOOO many factors in making properly good movesets, as well as many things one needs to do to be a good moveset hacker

Most people on the forums don't realise this (even moveset makers themselves).  You may think you do (I thought I did too), but until you experience something like what I've seen as regards to P:M you won't really.  There are just so many little things, so many intricacies that really help to lift movesets.  Ones that most of you wouldn't even notice unless you properly went in depth with a character and properly knew how to play as them.  One thing I notice about the vast majority of PSAs is that people will play them for about a week and give feedback on them during that time.  After that though, people stop giving feedback at all.

Unlike a vertex or a stage, a PSA takes time to properly utilize.  With a vertex, you see it, maybe use it in game and then your feedback on it is pretty set.  Sure there may be a glitch or something when used ingame, but that's not quite the same.  With a PSA, it's not the same.  Something that may initially seem OPed or just really good, may turn out to have fundamental weaknesses that prevent this (see Pit and Wolf, two characters that were initially thought to be two of the best in the game only to end up as middle tier characters) or even vice versa. 

For example, I remember the first couple of people that gave me feedback on my Kid Buu PSA claimed the Down B to be useless.  However, later on people actually found that it was extremely useful when used properly.  That's a more short term example, but looking at the stuff on P:M, it's amazing to see how feedback of things develop.  I won't go into too much detail, or I may accidentally leak something I shouldn't and not realise XD   

Another thing is moveset variety.  A good moveset maker can make movesets with a variety of different playstyles or approaches.  One of the main reasons I like to pick and mix my planned PSA projects and why I just choose stuff kinda randomly is to experiment with different playstyles.  A PSAer should NOT stick to one kind of way in which they make PSAs.  This doesn't mean they shouldn't adapt their own style.  That's not what I mean at all.  A PSAer's style allows them to define their own PSAs.  It allows them to make a PSA and for people to think "yep, this is a PSA by 'x'".  What it does mean is that one shouldn't make all their characters play in a similar fashion. 

A good PSAer needs to be able to show off their diversity as a hacker and an artist since imo, moveset making is in itself an art form.  Not only that, but they have to cleverly work around the restrictions that Brawl gives.  There's a certain way to play Brawl, and all kinds of hackers should try to not only try to make hacks that fit with the general style, but also try to evolve them with some creative ideas.  People who look at these hacks need to have an open enough mind to accept this.

Then of course, we have the whole thing of giving your PSAs movesets "character", but still having a good balance of utility and overall moveset usefulness.  This is an animation thing to be honest though.  A fantastic example of this would be the Waluigi moveset.  It reflects his character beautifully.  Humorous, light-hearted and comical.  But the moves still work and felt like they were carefully picked.  A character that just has a mess of "canon" moves can a lot of the time be very dull.  There isn't a single moveset in Brawl that is entirely constructed of exactly replicated canon moves.  They all have some sort of twist to them.  One that helps to represent something from the series, but also function decently in Smash. 

Striking this balance is very difficult sometimes, especially when a lot of feedback generally only focuses on one of these aspects, sometimes it's even just used as a way to complain about something.  To point out some tiny insignificant animation flaw about a moveset because it's not "perfect".  Newsflash.  No original moveset ever created by anyone will be perfect.  Sure, I'm all up for well presented PSAs.  Heck, I think it's one of the most important aspects of PSA making which is why despite the fact that a lot of people have been saying my Kid Buu public test demo could have functioned as a V1, I don't even think it classifies as a beta. 

Would you make a drawing or a sketch that you want to release and say "Yeah the outline is there, but no where near enough for it to feel 'complete'.  But I'll release it anyway." ?  Of course you wouldn't.  So why do people release PSAs that are clearly incomplete to the level where there's little point in giving constructive advice because so little is done.  I've never understood why moveset makers decide to release v0.1 versions of movesets.  It's totally pointless.  If all you've done are some incomplete special moves, then the whole fundamental basis of the actual moveset and playstyle (i.e. the normals) isn't there, and as a result any critique or feedback isn't worthwhile because you haven't done close to enough.  Though what I said about Kid Buu was a more slightly more extreme example due to an attitude I more adopted from seeing the stuff at P:M, but even then I'm a perfectionist and I want it done right.


---------

I've ranted a lot already, but I've barely scratched the surface.  It's hard to properly convey what I'm saying, but hopefully (if you bothered to read this wall of text) you should get the general gist of it.  This is merely something that I wanted to express, as well as maybe help some moveset hackers into thinking about their hacks more. 

Deuces peepz.  Feel free to have a discussion...
5  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Project M KC-MM Discussion Thread: Demo 2.5 Announcement on: August 10, 2011, 09:44:56 AM
To read my little rant from about a year ago regarding P:M, open this spoiler.  Otherwise, just read on:  

Okay so as quite a few of you know I fairly recently got accepted into the Project M team, and I've been making animations for them.  Because of this, I've been able to properly learn more about Project M, and have been able to play the closed alpha (the current release build for the ordinary peepz to test is waaaaaay outdated compared to the current builds in the closed alpha).  Not only this, but I've been able to be a part of some of the discussion topics and back room chat.  

The purpose of this thread is not to convince you guys to use Project M.  I know that no matter what I say, some of you will refuse to actually use it which is absolutely fine, since I know that P:M isn't for everyone.  This topic is more to enlighten people on what P:M actually is, since some of you have built off views on it based off almost nothing and as a result seem very misinformed.  So without further ado, let's begin the essay XD


1)  Let me first start off by saying that I have always preferred Brawl to Melee.  This is for a number of reasons.  First is that Brawl is just more accessible, easier to get into and has more content and characters.  Whenever I wanted to play with friends, I always just found Brawl to be a more favourable choice.  It just seemed so much "grander" and inviting.  

Furthermore, I've never really been a competitive player.  Sure, I love a bit of friendly competition between my mates, but I don't got to tournaments or anything.  However, I thoroughly enjoy playing P:M probably as much as I enjoy Brawl- (i.e. more than vBrawl and WAY more than Melee).  So don't think for a second that P:M can only be liked by Melee loving tourney players.


2) The most common misconception about P:M is that it's just a Melee clone and as a result people just go "Why would I want to play a worse version of Melee?".  I'm just going to flat out say it.

YOU ARE WRONG

Project M's entire concept is for it to feel more like a sequel to Melee.  Whilst Brawl went in a completely different direction as far as its game engine goes, appealing more to a casual audience whilst still having a decent level of competitive gameplay, P:M follows a closer goal to Melee BUT NOT AN IDENTICAL ONE.  It's goal is to create a more technical and competitive fighting engine similar to Melee's (and as a result its physics engine is very similar), whilst still having the relative accessibility of Brawl.  Jumping into P:M is a lot easier than jumping into Melee in my opinion.  As well as this, it's trying to create a more balanced roster so that every character has a good fighting chance whilst giving each character a good level of depth to their playstyle.  EVERY character feels rewarding in some shape or form, which is something neither vBrawl nor Melee achieved very well.  


3) Another common misconception is that the characters are all going to be made to play exactly like they did in Melee.  This again, isn't necessarily true.  The main characters that this holds true to are the Melee top tiers like Fox, and even they don't feel exactly the same.  This is because of the simple fact that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Every character has been designed so that they fit into this faster paced, more competitive environment.  This is the main reason why they recloned Falco.  Whilst Brawl Falco does extremely will in Brawl's environment, he doesn't do well that well in Melee.

However, the main thing that the P:M team is going for is balance.  They wouldn't replicate each character as they were in Melee, because it just wouldn't be balanced (since Melee isn't balanced and neither is Brawl).  They're doing certain things to each character to make them not only feel slightly different, but to make them overall feel more well rounded, balanced, rewarding and fun.  Here are a few examples:

- Mario is not just his Melee incarnation.  There are quite a few aspects of him that are from Dr. Mario too.  Mario has always been either a Middle or Low Tier character, but infusing both the slightly increased speed of regular Mario, with the increased power of Dr. Mario makes him and overall more powerful jack-of-all-trades character.
- Ganondorf has a mixture of moves from both Melee and Brawl.  Whilst the majority of his moveset is more like it was in Melee (since anyone with half a brain can tell you that Ganon was MUCH better in Melee than he is in Brawl), but some of the better aspects of his Brawl moveset were kept too.  He kept his Brawl tilts (except they're a tad faster now), his Brawl Neutral B and most importantly his Brawl Side B.
- Bowser is now monstrous.  In both Melee and Brawl, he is undeniably quite a bad character and always stuck at Bottom Tier.  In P:M, he is a complete powerhouse.  He is the perfect representation now of what a heavyweight character should be in Smash.  Slow and powerful.  Though rather than giving more explanations, I think I'll just leave you with this video:

#Invalid YouTube Link#  

And don't even get me started on the treatment that some of the newcomers are getting (i.e. the characters that are only in Brawl).  If there was one reason that could sway someone into playing P:M, I'd have to just say Project M Lucario.  Either that, or Charizard's Seismic Toss U Throw.  But seriously, the amount of creativity and depth that shines from Lucario is amazing.  Here's a video with the most recent build of P:M Lucario in a video (it's constantly changing).  He's in the 2nd match which starts at 3:33 :

#Invalid YouTube Link#


4) Some people think that they are recreating even the Melee models and stuff blah blah blah.  If you think this, you are again wrong.  They aren't.  Simple as.  Project M is just a codeset with PSAs and stages.  No models are included except for a few recolours for team packs etc (i.e. for Sonic for example, it's a pure red Sonic with green shoes rather than having that reddish hue he has in Brawl).  The people doing Melee models (i.e. Gamewatching, KTH etc), aren't doing it for Project M.


5) Which actually brings me onto probably my final point.  Characters are not the only things that are getting revamped.  Stages are as well.  They aren't necessarily taking all the stages in Melee and putting them into Brawl because to be honest half of Melee's stages suck for competitive play.  Some stages have been replaced completely with different ones (e.g. Luigi's Mansion is now Dracula's Castle, Green Greens is now Dreamland 64, Bridge of Eldin is now Hyrule Castle 64 etc) and others are getting edited to be more playable (Norfair now consists of one good sized platform with 3 smaller ones, rather than 5 baby sized platforms all spread out.  The most drastically changed is probably Temple.  See this video here):

#Invalid YouTube Link#


I'll just finish off by saying when it comes down to it, it's all about how much fun you can have.  This is main reason why I enjoy Brawl Minus as well.  However, this kind of genuine fun comes out of quite a few things.  The first being whether or not it feels rewarding or satisfying, the second being whether it's unique and the third being whether or not it has enough depth.  Project M, in my opinion, fills all three of these and with a higher level of professionalism than any other Brawl modset, and as a result it's fun to play.


Now I'll say it again, I'm NOT forcing anyone to use or even get hyped about Project M.  When it comes down to it, I (or anyone else for that matter) cannot control your decisions.  You are all free people XD  I am merely enlightening people to what Project M actually is, rather than what people seem to think it is.  It isn't the "soulless Melee clone" that some of you are making it out to be.  

Peace out ^^



I've decided to turn this into a thread for all the latest Project:M updates and such.  For more information about the project and to download the current version, see this site here:  http://projectm.dantarion.com/

Most Recent Update

Quote
9th October 2012

We are pleased to announce Project M Demo 2.5, our next public release!

You do not want to miss what we have hiding behind the curtains. Through constant refinement, and the completion of new content,  we are again prepared for another public release.

We have a ton of balance updates, aesthetic surprises, and even a few new characters for you to soon enjoy! Stay tuned for more exciting announcements, character pages, and live-streams showcasing our progress with demo 2.5 in the upcoming weeks.

Demo 2.5 Teaser Video

 

Past Updates  
6  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / SDo0m's Brawl Hack Reviews - It's been a while! 7th Brawl Hack Review - Scizor on: July 04, 2011, 06:50:02 AM
SDO0M'S HACK REVIEWS

These are my reviews for hacks that others have done.  I'll mainly be reviewing vertexes and PSAs as well as stages from time to time.  I'll normally choose which hacks to review, but from time to time I'll let you guys vote on what you want to see.

Feel free to leave comments and feedback on what you think of the reviews, as well as requests as of what you would like to see.




(the audio in this video only comes out one channel)


(audio gets fixed in this review)





7  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Why are there not enough animators? on: June 27, 2011, 02:06:33 PM
No poll, mainly because unlike the PSA one, I honestly don't know why people don't animate (or at least attempt it).  The only reason that I can think of is that in order to bring out an animation's full potential, you need to do some PSA work, but even then you can do stuff like Tormod and his MJ dance, or Kit and her Caramellbrawl. 

Honestly, animating is not hard to learn at all.  It only requires one or two tutorials and the ability to move a ball around with the mouse.  Not to mention it's the only form of hacking that only requires ONE PROGRAM.  Sure making good animations takes an innate skill, but so does every form of hacking.  Not to mention that animating is definitely something that you get better at as you do more of it.  Like many forms of art, you learn tricks as you go along.  This doesn't just apply to Brawlbox animating, but EVERY kind of animating.

There should be more animators Tongue  It's fun and not hard to get into.
8  Help & Tutorials / A/A Tutorials / SDo0m's Fundamentals to PSA - Let's Begin with the Top Tips ;) on: June 17, 2011, 05:13:23 PM
SDo0m's PSA Fundamentals

Wazzup people SDo0m here to give you some of the fundamentals of being a good PSAer.  Before I get into the proper tutorials, let me start with just tips and reasons as to why you should consider PSAs.


Why Make PSAs?

Making PSAs is quite difficult to ease into at first.  Unlike other kinds of hacking, it requires you to take quite a bit of time asking questions and watching tutorials.  Once you get the fundamentals down, then you can start to go for stuff that's a little more ambitious.  However, I must say that making PSAs is rather rewarding.  The satisfaction of seeing those moves on that character, knowing that you've developed a new way to play is really satisfying imo.  It makes you feel empowered over the game, like you can do whatever you want despite the restrictions.

The Helpful Links

There are a number of really, REALLY useful links to help you guys out with PSA.  I shall post a number of them here:

Download to PSA 2.1:
http://www.mediafire.com/?nztttqt1zux

Download to PSA 2.65/1.85:
http://forums.kc-mm.com/Gallery/BrawlView.php?Number=17599

Download to Brawlbox (contains both older and newer versions):
http://www.mediafire.com/?fcdu0u85i1xpab4

Guide to Hitbox Flags (contains all the info on hitbox flags): http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=286748

Velen's Guide to Animation Principles:
http://forums.kc-mm.com/index.php?topic=7064.0

The PSA Help Thread (contains LOADS of links to lots of other helpful places):
http://forums.kc-mm.com/index.php?topic=5321.0


...Now you may be wondering why I put download links to both 2.1 and 2.65.  The reason is the fact that there are some events and parameters in 2.65 that aren't in 2.1 and vice versa.  I like to use both.  Not to mention using both allows you to have two PSA windows open at a time.


My Tips and Tricks

Note that these tips don't really tell you how to specifically do things in PSA, but rather they are a guide on how to approach about learning how to pick up and apply aspects of making PSAs.

1. Start out small

As tempting as it is to dive straight into a big complex character for some project, don't.  Firstly, you most likely won't finish it.  The challenge and the prospect will be a bit too difficult.  Instead, start quite small.  Maybe just make a simple character upgrade.  Not something too basic, since no one will care.  But something that isn't too hard to make and grabs people's attention.  A good example is the Drako Yoshi mod I made a while ago.  

However, you may find that the expectations of PSAs nowadays have changed and that people won't really pay attention to your mod.  If you feel this is the case, then PM me your hack.  If I can find the time, I will try my best to do some playtesting of it and give you feedback so that you know you've received some kind of response ^^


2. Learn from feedback

One of the most important things a PSAer can receive is feedback.  Without it, one can never truly get better.  If you find that you aren't really receiving any/any useful feedback on your PSA, again feel free to PM it to me and I'll try my best to help you out.  Some of the best ways to attain feedback are to:

1) Make a topic
2) Make videos of your hack (or ask people to make videos of it)
3) PM some people you think would give you some nice feedback


3. Learn from others

One of the ways that I learned how to do a lot of things in PSA was not by tutorials, but by looking at the coding in other people's PSAs and seeing what they do.  Honestly, this way of learning is SOOOOO useful (I bet almost all of the better PSAers on this forum will agree with me here).  This requires you to also use your logic too.  But playing and taking a good look at other PSAs will really help you get to grips with things.


4. Style and Substance

If you're making a PSA of an actual character, whether it be from another game or anime or something, prioritise the playstyle of the character.  Think carefully of how you want them to function.  This is one of the more difficult things to do.  Despite what people may think, making a character that feels well thought out and have a lot of depth is difficult.  Characters that have a learning curve, but are still fairly accessible even to newer players (i.e. ones that are easy to pick up, harder to master) are the best kinds of characters.  These have the most lastability and are not only the most rewarding to make, but are also the most rewarding to those who play as them because they actually feel like they are getting something out of using the character.  Here's my advice on how to give characters substance and make them feel as though they belong.

- Always try to not abuse graphic effects too much.  Unless you want to create an over the top and super flashy character, I would recommend using them discretely.  No character in Brawl has graphics that flashy (barring Final Smashes), and abusing generic graphics (especially elemental ones) makes the moveset seem rather generic and uninspired.  However, it is possible to make moves flashy whilst remaining balanced.  Sephiroth by DivineOverlord, Hollow and BigBadBooya is a good example of this.  However, that took A LOT of criticism and feedback to get the state of the moves correct.  Despite having a lot of flashy moves, they are balanced by being slow, and they clearly had thought put into them.

- When making a PSA based upon another character (whether it be from another game or anime etc), it is more important to make the character feel unique and have their own playstyle rather than trying to take a load of moves that the character would be able to use and chuck them around in any old fashion.  This may sound strange at first, but think about it like this.  If you take the time to think about how the character would play in Brawl, and construct a moveset that will fit both the character and Brawl then you will heed good results.


5. Presentational values

This, in my opinion, is one of the most important things about making a good PSA (this even applies to overpowered PSAs).  There are multiple things to take into account with the presentation of a hack.  Are the hitboxes in the right places?  Do the graphics suit the move?  Are the amounts of damage realistic and relative to the rest of the hack (for example, fast aerials are doing more damage than fully charged smashes then something is wrong)?  Are the hitbox flags suitable?  And many other things. This requires you to be quite strict with yourself.  You have to say to yourself "actually, this doesn't really work, let me try something else".  It takes a level of discipline, but it will be worthwhile in the end.


6. Animation Customs

Due to how standards of hacking have changed and how much easier it has gotten to animate stuff, it pretty much now is a custom to start creating your own animations for movesets.  Using custom animations is what makes the character you're making actually feel like the character, rather than a mess of animation swaps that are attempting to seem like another character.  

However, this does NOT mean that you shouldn't do animation swaps.  Even I do them from time to time.  However, be clever with your animation swaps.  Use slightly unique animations.  If you're making a sword wielding character for example, try to avoid using stuff like Ike's F Air and U Smash because they are abused beyond belief.  Instead, have a look at the beam sword attatcks for some characters.  If you want to make a flashy and graceful sword wielding character, Peach's and Sheik's beam sword attacks work nicely.

Animation isn't really something that can be taught, and it's definitely something that you get better at as you do more of it.  Furthermore, different people have their own ways of doing it.  Here's how I used to go about doing it (I do it slightly differently now):



Finally, when making animations, always make sure that you make them suit properly to the anatomy of the character you are making them for (my Viewtiful Joe PSA is a good example).  Animations shouldn't be too stiff, unless the character's moves are quite stiff in how they move.  Always make sure to balance out the right number of key frames Too few makes the animation look lazy and stiff.  Too many will increase the file size by too much.  The key is getting the right balance.


7. Normals over Specials

Some people may tend to disagree with me here, but I find that making the normals is a lot more important than making the specials and it's why I always do them first.   If you only do the specials, it just makes it seem like "oh it's just *insert Brawl character here* with new character changes*.  The fact of the matter is, in Brawl you will use a character's normal attacks much more than their specials.  Not to mention that there are more of them and they are much easier to make.

Of course, good special moves are important too but I feel that when starting off any PSA, you should go for the normal attacks first since they build up a foundation and ease you into PSA much more easily.


8. Compremise and think outside the box

PSA is probably the most restrictive kind of hacking.  There are LOADS of things that we can't do.  Instead, you have to be creative.  If you find that one of your move ideas isn't working, then try a different approach.  You have to use your initiative here.  There's not too much else I can say.


9. Find your own niche!

It's all well and good listening to all the stuff I say, but the most important thing about PSA hacking is to find your own style and way of doing things.  All of the good PSAers on this site have their own way of doing things.  For example, I do things completely differently to DivineOverlord, KingJigglypuff, Hollow, Cpt CeeGee and other PSAers, but we each have our own way of doing things.


And remember, this first section isn't about telling you guys how to do certain stuff in PSA, but rather a sort of general guide to how to go about approaching it.  Specific tutorials are far more situational and they don't really help you too much in the long run.  When if comes down to it, you have to be able to think for yourself.

Peace out...
9  Help & Tutorials / Help / Quick GCT Favour on: June 16, 2011, 04:07:45 AM
Yo can anyone tell me where I can get a GCT with the File Patch Code and that code that means that player 1 controls all four players?  I can't be asked to make one myself XD

Oh yeah and the unrestricted pause camera code will be needed too.
10  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Something that occurred to me/slightly bothered me... on: June 02, 2011, 10:29:51 AM
None of my usual tomfoolery with the poll this time.  The question is straight and simple. 

Why don't very many people persist at making PSAs?

Seriously, the number of times I've seen somebody fairly new come, start working on a PSA project and then just give up half way through is quite sad.  I question what exactly the reasons are for people not wanting to carry it on and at least complete a project.  The questions are basically in the poll.

Another thing I'd like to know is what exactly people like me (who have a decent amount of PSA knowledge) can do to help these people.  Obvious answer is tutorials, but be more specific.  Vertexers only need one or two tutorials and they're set.  Stage hackers need a few, and their all clearly explained by Mewtwo2000.  However, with PSA, you can't set all of it into tutorials, because there is far FAR too much to summarise into tutorials.

Furthermore, it seems that they receive less feedback comments.  I do however know why this is.  Let's take compare it to a vertex.  With a vertex, the only thing you really have to properly critique on is how it looks, and the story of how it looks is told by a picture.  You don't even have to play or test it to tell whether it's good or not.  Furthermore, it matters less if the character is known or not.  If it looks good, people are likely to download it.

However, with PSA, the person has to actually play with the thing.  Even a series of videos isn't enough sometimes.  Not to mention that people are far less likely to be interested in it if they don't know the character.  A perfect example is my Viewtiful Joe PSA.  If you've played all my PSAs, and set aside all bias for a character, one could easily say that he was my best PSA.  Animations, presentation, balance and variety exceeded any of my other PSAs.  Heck there are even recolours and a sound pack and everything.  A total of 6 months of work went into that PSA.  Yet he's my least downloaded PSA.  Even my freaking Burst Sonic PSA has more downloads.

What I'm trying to say is that vertexes, stage hacks and almost every other kind of hack are rated/downloaded by how they should be rated.  How they look, how they resemble the character and how much effort was put into them.  However, PSAs seem to be rated/downloaded largely because of who the character is.  If they're from a major franchise (Sonic, DBZ, Final Fantasy, etc) then they get downloads.  If not, well, unless you've previously earned a reputation for making good PSAs it probably won't get the appreciation it deserves. 

tl;dr?

So how come making PSAs/Animations is less appealing than other hacks to people?
Why do some PSAs not get the downloads, constructive feedback and appreciation they deserve?
What can people like me do to help more people get into PSAs?

11  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Your Favourite Brawl Codeset on: May 26, 2011, 03:31:42 AM
A simple poll, but a slightly more serious one (sorry guys, no Filler Option™  this time Wink)

Which codeset is your favourite and why?  I've also added the option for vBrawl if you don't particularly care for any of them.  My favourite is Brawl- because it's fun, offers a new twist to Brawl, has loads of cool Easter eggs and is actually pretty dang balanced.  I could probably write an essay on why Brawl- rocks (hence why I made the topic before), but I'll just keep it to the point.

Here's also what I think about the other mods:

Brawl+: It, to be perfectly honest, never interested me and the popularity of it seems to have dipped considerably.  I have full regards to the people who worked on it, because it's basically the mother of all complex Brawl codesets but to me it just doesn't truly exceed in any area (except for maybe professionalism, which both vBrawl and, in the future anyways, Project M exceed/will exceed it in).

Project M: Speaking of such, this is a sort of mixed bag for me.  On one hand, it's fantastic that they're bringing back loads of the mechanics from Melee, as well as giving some really nice new tweaks to the newcomers.  On the other hand, I really dislike how they are recloning characters to back how they were in Melee.  One of the things that Brawl undeniably succeeded in over Melee was decloning characters to make them feel different.  However, for Project M, it's pretty early days.  It hasn't quite had enough development yet to give it a full critique.

Balanced Brawl: Ah good ol' Balanced Brawl.  How I am thankful for you.  Your beauty in your simplicity.  A simple objective of merely trying to balance the cast.  They didn't change any of vBrawl's mechanics, just refined character and stage balance and to an EXTENT they succeeded.  It's extremely difficult to do perfectly balance a character cast.  In fact I'd go as far as to say it's impossible.  But they did a good job.  Understandably though, it's been rather overshadowed by other codesets because it doesn't offer anything very new.

vBrawl: And of course we have regular Brawl.  You will always have a place in my heart.  You stole many hours of my life away.  There's not much point in talking about this, since we all know what it is.
12  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Why Brawl- Kicks Ass! on: May 15, 2011, 08:58:35 AM

For those of you who don't know, the point behind the Brawl- codeset is that if everyone is overpowered, no one will be (in fact, the exact slogan is "if it's broken, break it until it's fixed".  What this means is that every character is overpowered to the point where they could all easily take on vBrawl Metaknight without much of a problem, but as a result of this the roster is balanced (think Marvel vs Capcom 3).  However, the thing that sets Brawl- apart are the unique additions given to each character.  Each character has gained a new "gimmick".  One that makes the character feel fresh to play, but still retains the best aspects of the character, allowing vBrawl players to quite easily adjust to the new playstyle aspects.   Here are some videos that I made showing of the majority (not all though) of the characters in Brawl-:










Now for a quick Pros and Cons summary:

Pros

- The pace is almost identical to vBrawl, allowing for easy adjustment.  However, it never feels slow.
- Increased hitstun means that now combos have never been easier and more satisfying to pull off.
- Each character feels deep and varied.  Even the clones (such as Mario and Luigi) have plenty of unique touches to make them feel new
- There is a universal wall jump
- There are a load of cool easter eggs (e.g. some taunts deal damage, some moves have new and interesting effects etc)
- Includes a custom "fixed" CSPs, Battle Portraits and other cool stuff.


Cons

- Some character changes may be jarring at first.
- Whilst increased hitstun is generally a good thing, it means that you can no longer momentum cancel as effectively as before, removing one of the most effective forms of DI
- There aren't very many PSAs that cater to Brawl- at the moment (if I ever go back to doing PSA, I will change that I can assure you).
- No PAL release at the moment (though apparently they are working on one)

For more info and the download link to Brawl- v2.0, check out Smashboards here:

http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=300774
13  Help & Tutorials / Help / FD Music Numbers + Battlefield Problems on: May 09, 2011, 12:20:40 PM
Ok, I have two things:

1) Just a quick question as to what the names are for each of the BRSTMs that go with Final Destination (for example, W25.brstm I believe is the Melee version of FD or something like that)

2) I have a problem with Battlefield.  When I select Battlefield in the My Music section, the game does a BEEEEEEEEEP freeze.  Furthermore, if I play on Battlefield there is no music whatsoever (even if I play on normal Battlefield with no changed BRSTMs) and there is a silent freeze when I finish the game mode.  Anyone know what the problem is?  Could it have to do with my common5.pac?
14  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / What attracts you to a hack? (MOVED) on: May 01, 2011, 11:22:16 AM
EDIT:Okay so this was originally Off Topic Discussion but I moved it here instead and locked the one there.  Hopefully this'll get a greater response here since I'd really like to know why you guys download hacks.

This is actually something I've been wondering for a while.  What makes you want to download a hack?

Now this may seem like an obvious question but actually think about it for a second.  It's definitely tempting to post a generic response, but you should really give a little thought to it.

Here's my response:

When I browse the Brawlvault, here is what I look for as far as each kind of hack goes:

Textures/Vertexes - As far as these go I either try to look for something unique, something that holds true to what it's trying to replicate or something that simply looks good.  I try to avoid simple vertexes now (i.e. something that's basically been imagined off the top of somebody's head by adding a load of spikes to something already existing) and I very very rarely download fan characters unless they're actually noteworthy in how they've been made (something like Wave's persona is something I would download, because he's clearly put time and effort into creating his character.  That and I like Wave :3).

Preference of character is also quite important to me, however if it doesn't look good I simply won't download it and take something else over it.  For example, I'll refrain from downloading any Vegeta hacks over Falcon.  Partly because V.Joe takes up all my slots but even if he didn't I wouldn't put him there.  Because there are other Falcon hacks that I like more.


Stages - The layout must be something simple.  The basic construction of the stage has to be nice and playable.  I never to stage retextures unless it's FD, Smashville or Yoshi's Island.  But probably most importantly, I like stages with a cool or unique gimmick that doesn't mess up the gameplay (this is the reason why LenSho is my favourite stage hacker).  Stuff like Mewtwo2k's Ganon Tower, LenSho's Mt Pyre etc are stages that I really enjoy using.

The other thing that sways me with stages is really how they present themselves aesthetically.  Stuff like ItalianStallion's Water Temple is awesome.  The stage is just nice and simple, but it's beautiful.


PSAs - And now we come to PSAs.  Being my personal field of hacking, I look for a lot when it comes to a PSA, and as a result it's rather difficult for me to say what the absolute most important thing I look for in a PSA is.  However, one of the things that I always look for is the presentation of a PSA.  If a PSA just has an over-abundance of graphic effects (i.e. one that is purely style of substance) it doesn't really interest me (one thing that you may notice about my PSAs, particularly my more recent ones, is that I tend not to abuse graphic effects too much).  But on the other hand, graphic effects need to be there.  If the character jumps off the ground, smoke should come from beneath their feet.  SFX should be in the right place, there should be a suitable use of rumble and movements shouldn't be overly passive or overly exaggerated.  It should never feel choppy in aspects unless it's deliberately choppy.  

Another thing that I think is important about PSAs is that they should feel unique and fresh.  The days of "elemental" and "omega godly" PSAs should've gone.  Changing a few flags and altering a few hitboxes and attributes is hardly what I'd call original or interesting.  Now this may be rather ironic coming from the guy who made Shadow and Cloud, two uber unoriginal characters, but I can argue against that because in both cases I made sure to make the movesets feel new and different.  I made my own animations, gave them new moves and made them play much differently to their previous versions.

These are the two main things, and to be honest (unlike a lot of people seemingly) I couldn't give a flying f*** about who the character is.  When I started my Cloud PSA, I barely knew anything about him.  I've never played any Final Fantasy games and I hadn't watched Advent Children.  But look at how he turned out thanks to a load of time and research that I did.  It's easy to slap a name onto a character and claim it's them, but to actually make the character feel like it should and blend nicely in with the cast of SSBB is something else, and as a result it's what I look for in PSAs.  Here's an excellent example.  Let's take these two PSAs here:

Athena Asamiya (by drsusredfish): http://forums.kc-mm.com/Gallery/BrawlView.php?Number=14039

Sephiroth (by TheCloudPSAisGodly): http://forums.kc-mm.com/Gallery/BrawlView.php?Number=13479

As you can see, the latter has about 4 times as many downloads as the former, solely because the name "Sephiroth" has been slapped on there.  I've played as both and I can confidently say that the Athena hack is 100 times better than that Sephiroth.  It's clear that a lot of time has been taken into making that hack.  The animations, the combo system, the general balance of it.  It's all been carefully tweaked and balanced nicely and honestly it deserves way more than the 500 odd downloads it has.  That Sephiroth on the other hand is Marth.  That's all it is .  Marth with a couple of basic animation swaps, pointless graphic effects, a pointless air mobility tweak that just makes him move pointlessly and unnaturally fast in the air and a Final Smash (i.e. the best part of the whole PSA) which wasn't even made by him (it was made by BigBadBooya).  Does it deserve anything near 2000 downloads?  Not in the slightest.  It deserves 200 maximum.  Hollow's and DO's definitely deserve more.


Music - Simple one really.  The main thing I look for is perfect looping.  Doesn't everyone?  And of course whether it sounds good and I like the piece.  But music is such an objective subject that I won't really go into detail here.

Now it's your turn Tongue
15  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Hacking / General Hacking Discussion / Dantarion's done it again! on: April 13, 2011, 05:20:16 AM
Additional character costumes!



Discuss...
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