Author Topic: What do you think of the in-game ads?  (Read 4463 times)

Offline KawaseFan

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What do you think of the in-game ads?
« on: August 03, 2014, 02:27:10 PM »
Normally I hate the idea of in-game advertising, but in Umihara Kawase Shun, and I'm not entirely sure why, I don't really mind it.

And all the re-releases of Shun with the ads removed and replaced with artwork have given us more art of Kawase, which is always good.

Offline badlose

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 10:44:18 PM »
It was pretty cheesy, but not the end of the world. Glad it wasn't something that stayed though, haha.

Offline mfgreth

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 04:12:08 PM »
It always kind of annoyed me, personally, but it didn't ruin my experience. Like has been said, I'm glad they were replaced in re-releases.

Offline Nicole

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 09:56:04 PM »
I didn't mind so much. The alternative may well have been not getting Shun at all, so I'm fine with the ads. I'm glad they had the decency to re-release Shun without ads once it was possible for them, though.

Offline Nana

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 02:34:14 PM »
I actually personally like them. They're cute, you get artwork of Umi, and they're mellow. I believe it's the only implied instance of Umi's actual voice, too! Not to mention they're skippable anyway if you don't like them.

Offline texh

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What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 12:16:06 AM »
I was kinda sad to see them removed from the Kanzenban version, they really fitted in UK with the cheesy randomness

also it was only thanks to them that Shun had 2 vocal songs with full anime opening so you can't really hate on them

Offline gori.sh

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 01:37:58 PM »
shun and sfc timeattackborad is here.
http://eventer.jp/kawase/
This is the Board that I was referring to 
chirari/plus TimeAttack Board http://gori.sh/chirari/

Offline KawaseFan

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 11:20:56 AM »
shun and sfc timeattackborad is here.
http://eventer.jp/kawase/
This is the Board that I was referring to 
I like how it is structured.

Offline Alc

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 06:18:48 PM »
I'll be honest, I never felt particularly comfortable with the scrolling art pieces in Shun SE. They seemed kind of tacky.

I didn't see the original ads until I picked up an original copy of Shun, and by then they seemed amusingly incongruous. I get that it's supposedly a fishing rod, but the Mitchell branding seemed like a pretty absurd mismatch of demographics.

Offline EL

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 11:38:25 PM »
I kind of love them. Too bad the Steam version has neither them nor the art. : (

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 12:02:35 AM »
Hello there, Whendaleksattack’s my name (or username). I just noticed this topic about the in-game ads, and I have a very silly question to ask: does anyone know where the Jackpot ad is in the game (as in after what fields does the ad play)? I am in the process of recording them (so then I don’t have to go through the game to see them once). I got the first 2 (the drink and Mitchell ones), but I cannot find that last one, probably because I’m not that skilled at the game. Any ideas?

« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 11:25:21 AM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline KawaseFan

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2019, 12:13:32 PM »
Hi Whendaleksattack, welcome :)

I'm not currently able to play through Shun first edition to verify (sorry!) but according to the Shun Perfect Guide Book, 'Jackpot' shows after field 39, and 'Jackpot x2' after field 27 (exit to field 41 -- the super-hard exit in the lower-right section of the field...), field 38 (the upper exit to field 43), and field 48 (the upper-right exit to field 0).  I've attached a picture of the book's field map for reference.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2019, 04:18:28 PM »
Thanks, that's just what I needed! (Insert jakku-potto joke here as well.)

Also speaking of the ads, I am currently working on ripping the sprites and backgrounds from them through an emulator. I'm beginning with the Mitchell one (because I don't want to lose my mind over that tadpole) and I've gotten pretty far with ripping them. I'll attach my progress on it (still a WIP, sorry if it's a bit disorganized and in JPG format) in this post here.

EDIT: I am now uploading the ads in HD on my channel. Here's the Mitchell one: https://youtu.be/XJsxNTIcyu4

I'll be out with the others soon.

EDIT 2: All the ads are uploaded to be enjoyed (depending on your opinion).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 04:20:42 PM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline Alc

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 03:44:50 PM »
Great stuff! Thanks for your hard work. Looking forwards to seeing the backgrounds once you're done. What's your process? Have you looked to see if the Steam versions store the backgrounds as readily accessible bitmaps (or even the console versions, if data decompression tools exist)?

Also, are there any modern post-processing tools to make old digital video less pixelated? I heard that people were working on FFVII's cinematics using neural net-based tools now, seems like this would be basically the same target.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2019, 04:39:18 PM »
I myself don’t currently own the Steam version (yet), so sadly I can’t share much info on that.

On how I extract stuff from the ads, I simply use an emulator (ePSXe) and play until I reach a certain spot (let’s say the Mitchell ad, as they are not FMVs) and create a savestate. I then head to where my state is saved on my computer and usually copy it to another folder (recommended). Then I change the file type to a .7z file (you can name it whatever you’d like) and open it with WinRAR or any other program. There is a blank file that is inside it, so extract it from there onto wherever you’d want it on your computer. Then i drop the file into PSXVRAM and fiddle around with the palettes and sprites until I get what I need, then screenshot it and edit in Paint. A great tutorial on PSXVRAM is here is here: https://www.vg-resource.com/showthread.php?tid=23527

Also if anyone’s wondering, I usually record the ads through BizHawk (another emulator) and use VirtualDub to resize the raw video to an HD (or sometimes 4K) resolution, then export them with a bit of compression (as I don’t want a 5GB video taking up my hard drive). I might do a tutorial video later on.

I also don’t know about the backgrounds, I think they could be bitmaps on PS1, as I found them loaded into the PS1’s VRAM while ripping. I think they might.

I’ll keep you updated on how progress is coming.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 05:26:33 PM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2019, 09:39:03 PM »
Here's an update: I've finished ripping all the sprites for the drink ad. I'll add a JPG version to this post.

(Note: The steam's palette seems to be correct, but due to Paint being Paint, it is a bit weird. I think I might switch to Gimp later.)

Sorry for the rough organization too, I finished ripping it just now!

Now as for my opinions on the ads themselves... they’re cheesy and a bit out of place, but I think they’re cute.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 02:41:08 AM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline Alc

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2019, 05:47:46 AM »
Man, that's quite an involved process! Good work.

The backgrounds in the PSX game are surely bitmaps, in some form or other, unless I'm misunderstanding something?

What is Paint doing, exactly? Slightly messing with the palette or something? In any case, Paint.net might be a slightly happier middle ground. It's a lot easier to work with than GIMP, in any case.

Quote from: Whendaleksattack
they’re cheesy and a bit out of place, but I think they’re cute.
Yep, that's spot on, and concise too.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2019, 02:06:22 PM »
Oh silly me! I just remembered!

The backgrounds are indeed bitmaps, stored in .TIM files on the disc. It is likely that the BGs and sprites for the ads are located in the .BIN files on the disc as well. The problem is, no matter what program I throw at it to open the .BIN files, the thing won't work (even Game Extractor fails me). Oh well.

Also, the problem with Paint is that I use the bucket tool to get rid of all the black around the sprites. The thing is, it leaves some of it on the sprite itself. I'll take your advice for trying Paint.net though.

Also attached is my progress on the Jackpot ad (in PNG format, for a change), which I just barely started on. I'm still working on those backgrounds though, as they are giving me a tough time.   

Offline Alc

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2019, 08:42:26 PM »
Quote from: Whendaleksattack
The backgrounds are indeed bitmaps, stored in .TIM files on the disc. It is likely that the BGs and sprites for the ads are located in the .BIN files on the disc as well. The problem is, no matter what program I throw at it to open the .BIN files, the thing won't work (even Game Extractor fails me). Oh well.
Naulahauta would be the person to speak to about this. Let me see if I can raise him.

So anyway. Bored and sleepless this morning I had a little dig around re: neural net image upscaling, and it turns out that yes, there are now tools available that don't require installing a mess of Python packages, then compiling this over here, nobody got time for that nonsense. A bit of messing around later, I have to admit I was pretty blown away, just look at this:



That's bloody witchcraft, that is. Full image comparison here. The original I used is attached to this post, in all its 33Kb GIF glory. I did have a bit of a dig on Google to see if the backgrounds were available elsewhere, ideally in a lossless format, but I drew a blank (dead links), so keep plugging away if you can! If anyone else has these backgrounds, or the original file of the in-game ending anime video from Shun, please upload it somewhere. It's neat to see those photo backgrounds with a newfound clarity.

I also did some of the advert images you provided, but they are one seriously mixed bag using this technology... The cup and sweets came out lovely:



However, Kawase herself fared really badly. If you want a visage of a "4th degree burns to the face survivor" Kawase to haunt your nightmares, click here.

There are other neural net tools for video. The one I've tried was supposed to use my GPU but didn't, and thus was excruciatingly slow. I'm going to keep trying to get the GPU processing working, maybe it would be possible to tidy up that Shun video. There's also a VHS-ripped advert for Shun which might benefit.

Quote from: Whendaleksattack
Also, the problem with Paint is that I use the bucket tool to get rid of all the black around the sprites. The thing is, it leaves some of it on the sprite itself. I'll take your advice for trying Paint.net though.
Yeah, Paint.net has a simple brush tool called "Recolour" which will deal with those wrongly-coloured edges in seconds.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2019, 10:10:49 PM »
I am... honestly speechless by those results...

that kawase photo though will be revisiting me in my sleep however

Quick Side Note: I forgot to mention that Game Extractor did indeed find 2 files while searching through a bin file (though they were classified as unknown), so I thought I was getting somewhere. However, after exporting them, they came out as blank files.

As for the anime ending video, I have a few different versions of it. I have the original .STR file ripped to an AVI file, a rip from the PSP version (with no audio), and a random copy I found floating around Internet Archive (lookie here, though you'll probably need to download it). I'll try to upload these files later on IA.

I'll also try out those neural net image upscaling thing, sounds very interesting and I need it
 


Offline KawaseFan

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2019, 12:05:27 AM »
However, Kawase herself fared really badly. If you want a visage of a "4th degree burns to the face survivor" Kawase to haunt your nightmares, click here.

Why are her eyes melting. Make it stop.

Besides that... this is all pretty cool stuff, both of you!

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2019, 04:17:30 PM »
Alrighty, I've finished the Mitchell ad sprites just now, and a JPG version is attached (obviously) to this post.

I'm still working on the Jackpot ad, and I seem to have a bit of a problem here. While the sprites themselves are fine (Umihara, the alien, and the boy), the others are incredibly stingy, and I can't find their palettes at the moment. I think they might have to do with the resolution of the ad itself (it is at the game's usual 350x240 instead of the other's 280x240), but I’ll have to look more into it. Don't worry though, it's coming...

« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 04:55:13 PM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline Naulahauta

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2019, 08:06:49 AM »
Hey there, Whendaleksattack, and welcome! I've got lots of experience ripping/hacking the game (I ripped all these back in the day: https://www.spriters-resource.com/playstation/umiharakawaseshun/ ) so I thought I could chime in a bit. I'm at work right now so I can't go in-depth but I can drop a few pointers:

1. Never (ever!) use JPG with sprite rips. JPG is a lossy compression format so using it will always result in a loss of quality. Additionally it supports no transparency. Always use PNG.
2. The best method of getting the video files out from the game (well, any PSX game...) is with jPSXdec. It does STR to AVI conversion as well, and has excellent results. If you're a madman you could also use AviSynth or some new age neural network tool to try and upscale (and interpolate) the videos to 4K60fps or something but results vary.
3. Using PSicture or similar "TIM searcher" tools will not always work because many PSX developers omit the TIM header information altogether and this game is no exception. You will have much more luck using GGD and I guarantee you will get everything you need with that (with zero quality loss too!)
4. The Steam version has all its textures in the DDS file format so if you're more into that, check out this thread and use the tool to get the folders.
5. if you have any questions be sure to ask!

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2019, 11:54:23 AM »
Thanks for the pointers! I’ll get right to work with these programs soon. I am a bit busy this coming weekend but I’ll see what I can do with what free time I have.

EDIT: So I got GGD from the website and tried it out, but I seem to have some problems with even displaying the sprites themselves. No matter what file I throw at it (the rom file in .BIN format, the .BIN files located in the root of the disc, even the .TIM files for testing), I just can’t get it to display anything but a garbled mess. Am I missing something here?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 04:16:22 PM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline Alc

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2019, 01:53:24 PM »
Thanks for popping by, Naulahauta. Valuable input as always.

I've taken the backgrounds from the PSX game using jPSXdec and upscaled them with the neural net tool. They can be found here as .PNG if anyone's curious, though I'd say that the river image already posted shows the most impressive recovery.

The video file TV.STR is, perhaps unsurprisingly, skewed on the PSX release to represent a side view of a TV as depicted in the ending scene. However, we've all seen transcodes on Youtube etc that have the correct aspect ratio. Are these taken from the PC, Steam or DS version, does anyone know?

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2019, 02:04:23 PM »
I think the ones on YT are possibly from that Extra disc included with some releases of the UK Soundtrack, apparently it's the highest quality version out there. I remember seeing a page from a old UK fansite talking about fixing the geometry for the anime opening, I'll see if I can dig it up.

I looked at the new BGs right now, they look really good! Quick question: what program do you use to upscale these? Just curious...

Still working on GGD too btw, I've managed to load up some things with other PSX games (Puzzle Fighter, for example), but nothing much from Shun though. I'll persevere though, don't worry...

Offline Naulahauta

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2019, 03:36:45 PM »
Ah, that's right. jPSXdec can also dump many other files other than STR so if it finds a match you can dump that too. Apparently the backgrounds are legit TIMs after all so you get perfect output. Looked at the upscaled versions just now and hooooolyyy balls - VERY impressive!! Great job, Alc!!

Whendaleksattack; GGD has a very steep learning curve but once you get the ball rolling, you never want to go back. The link I gave you has a small tutorial that gives you some of the basics but here's a small youtube vid of me just dicking around. The basic idea of GGD is that it lets you visualise data in different ways. Essentially interpreting bytes as pixels. When you know what to look for you can find the address of graphics data, the address of palette data and set the width and height of the data window.
https://youtu.be/S0W1saX9DRI

Doesn't make much sense with no context of keypresses but uuuh I dunno maybe it helps a bit. Highly recommended to read ragey's tutorial.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2019, 04:19:48 PM »
Thanks, just watched your video and I've definitely got that ball rolling now. I've found some of Umi's sprites and some enemy in the .BIN files, just working on the palettes now. Still working on the .BIN files with the ad's contents though.

I also found that website (through Archive, and in Japanese) about fixing the geometry of the ending anime, see here. (Note: The results aren't too great though.)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 04:24:37 PM by Whendaleksattack »

Offline KawaseFan

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2019, 12:41:56 AM »
I think the ones on YT are possibly from that Extra disc included with some releases of the UK Soundtrack, apparently it's the highest quality version out there.

Confirming it's on that soundtrack's extra disc; also early sales of the Sayonara+ soundtrack came with an extra disc which has the same content.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2019, 09:18:29 PM »
I've tinkered around a bit more with GGD, and I've got some more results from it. Nothing really from the .BIN files for the ads (strange), though I am certain they're in there. Got some of the palettes working as well, though how are you able to cycle through the palettes horizontally? Just wondering.


Offline Naulahauta

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2019, 07:37:37 AM »
I've tinkered around a bit more with GGD, and I've got some more results from it. Nothing really from the .BIN files for the ads (strange), though I am certain they're in there. Got some of the palettes working as well, though how are you able to cycle through the palettes horizontally? Just wondering.
Pushing Page Up and Page Down will let you cycle through the data but you have to have your focus on either the Graphics Window or the Color Palette Window. The amount you skip is the value in DataShiftMode and/or PalShiftMode in the InformationWindow. You can change both, DataShiftMode and PalShiftMode (depending on your focused window) by pressing the 'S' key on your keyboard.

Offline Whendaleksattack

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2019, 12:15:17 AM »
And so after a day or two long break from the forums (mostly because of things and the enjoyment of purchasing the UK Trilogy on Steam, not really much of a break), I have returned. Found some interesting things within some of the .BIN files, like some odd banding lines in JACKPOT.BIN (could be evidence that something is definitely there, just can't to it myself), and I am still working on the palettes in GGD (looks like this might take a while to learn this stuff and master it).  Still working on the Jackpot ad, though PSX-VRAM can't seem to find the palettes for some of the objects (the background, the logo itself). I think the palettes might be encrypted (just a guess) on the PS1, but I'll have to see later on.

Also, I think we should create a separate topic for enhancing the bgs and ending FMV (just a suggestion, feel free to disagree). Anyone agree?

Offline KawaseFan

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Re: What do you think of the in-game ads?
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2019, 03:34:13 AM »
Also, I think we should create a separate topic for enhancing the bgs and ending FMV (just a suggestion, feel free to disagree). Anyone agree?

Yeah, I think having a dedicated thread for that would be good; it'd make it easier to keep that content and discussion organised.
(Though, if you decide not to create a new thread and to continue in this thread, that's fine, too.)