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tutorial How to optimize OpenBOR games for DreamBOR


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Tools:

BORTools - Paxplode, PalApply, Wav2Bor and DreamBOR 7 plain files in one zip:

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BootDreams:

This is the hidden content, please

 

PVR Viewer:

This is the hidden content, please

 

Gimp:

Please login or register to see this link.    -  I actually use 2.8 because they changed the layout with later versions and I prefer 2.8

 

IrfanView:

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Notepad++:

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ChronoCrash BOR pak download center:

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Preamble:

Howdy all. I'm quite annoyed with work not going so well for me. So, I'm gonna take a break from it and explain what it is I am doing. This is a basic tutorial for basic optimizations. We're not getting into code editing in this, you do not need to know how to code or understand BOR scripts for this optimization. Most games will run with a basic opt, like 90% of them.

 

First you'll need to pick a game. Just about any BOR pak will work but keep in mind the Dreamcast is loading everything to ram straight away. So if it's a massive BOR it will either be too much for DC or it'll take forever to load. Those are the games that would require some level of scripting knowledge to complete....and real proper pain in the butt too. The easiest ones are the smallest games.

 

First step:

Separate the BOR-Tools folder from the DreamBOR 7 folder.

 

Visuals:

Once you have the BOR you need to drop the .pak into paxplode. Just drag-n-drop 

This will give you a data folder.

Now you need to make a master palette. You do this by taking every image in the data folder and her sub-folders with different colors and making a collage out of them. It takes a long ass time. It is as grueling as it sounds. Open GIMP or whatever image program you use and create a new image that has enough space to fill with the images in the game. The only images you don't need are images with the same exact colors, so usually just need a few frames for each character but sometimes you have to use every single pic in the game. This is usually over 2,000 images. Drop them all into your image editor and space them out so that everything can sit flat on one layer.

It sucks donkey to do and if anyone knows any easier way to get through it I would love to know.

Once you have your master image collage created you need to have it with a palette no more than 256 colors. 8-bit in terms of colors. Does not mean you're downscaling the game to 8-bit graphics, just 8-bit color palette. In Gimp you click image then mode then indexed. I actually use 250 because sometimes I get errors with the full 256 and never do with 250.

Save your collage someplace easy to find as a png.

Now that you have your collage saved in 8-bit colors it is time to apply that palette to the game images.

You need PalApply for this. 

In PalApply go to "Batch" 

Input directory is the folder you're applying the new 8-bit pal to. Pay attention to the extensions, if you have png selected and everything is gifs you won't do anything. Select extensions as you apply. This too can be a huge pain in the butt but you have to watch it.

Output is where the new images will be saved. Another painassin' part of this. If you do not update your output folder while you change input folders you're going to save images in the wrong folders and have to manually fix it later.

Palette is where you load your collage image.

click convert

Great, now everything has the same palette. This won't make your reds greens or anything of that sort, it just makes the game share reds where reds come up. Like roms and for the same reason; to save data space.

Every single directory with images gets this treatment.

Make sure to delete the old images, they're bit crap to you now and only make the game larger and harder to load.

Unfortunately PalApply only saves in png and you need all gifs. I don't know why to be honest, all I know is gifs work better in DreamBOR.

I use IrfanView. You can use whatever program you like. IrfanView will do batch conversions similar to the PalApply process.

Once every single image is converted from png to gif delete all the leftover png files, they're bit crap now.

Great, you're done with the image portion of this. Took forever yeah? Trust, I know all about it. Would love any advice on how to quicken this. I got the tools from my brother and just started figuring it out so there may be a better way but I have looked and didn't see anything other than the DCT guys explaining to him to do it this way. This is how Dubcity and Ian Michael do theirs so I think we're boned with the long process. Look at it this way, takes a lot more time to make the original game than to optimize them for DC....so there is that, I guess :lol:

 

Audio:

Okay, now that you have the images converted to DreamBOR it is time to do the audio.

Go to Bor to Wav to Bor folder

Drag all your wav files from every folder under data into files folder and hit wavtobor.bat.

Get the .bor's from files folder and put them back where you got the wavs.

delete any leftover .wav's, they're bit crap now.

 

Text:

Now you need to go through the text documents and replace ever instance of .png with .gif and .wav with .bor. I use notepad++

Almost there.

 

DreamBOR 7 Pain Files:

Now take your finished data folder and plop it into DreamBOR plain files

Once the data folder is paired with the DreamBOR plain files you can bootdreams it all together to a cdi.

 

BootDreams:

If Padus is not selected, select it. (far left green snake icon). Don't want Nero or Alcohol for this.

Just drag-n-drop your DreamBOR 7 folder into BootDreams and hit process.

 

Recap:

Make a collage of all images with different colors

Save collage with 256 or less colors

apply the 256- palette to all images

convert all images to gif

convert all wavs to bors

open all text docs and replace anything that says .png with .gif and replace anything that says .wav with .bor

Place data folder in a folder with DreamBOR plain files

Bootdreams the folder with data and plain files in it into a cdi

Test your new cdi in redream or some such.

Got issues? Sure you do man, it's hard to keep thousands of files in the right place. Check your directories, move stuff to folders they should be in, convert anything you missed, try, try again, keep at her until you get her. Don't get discouraged.

 

 

Optional PVR:

I suggest getting a working game before you PVR it. There's not much point in creating a PVR for something that is not working.

Create a 256X256 image in png, bmp, or jpg. 256 in dimensions not colors.

Drag it to PVRViewer's folder.

Launch PVRViewer

Select filetype on the left hand side

Find your 256X256 image

Upper left, hit file then save. Some other windows will open, hit save again.

Take your new pvr and move it to the main directory of DreamBOR, not in data folder, right there with 1st_read.bin and such.

rename it to 0GDTEX.PVR

 

 

That's about it. Like I said at the start, most games will play if you convert the pal to 256-, pngs to gif, wavs to bors, and edit the text so the proper extensions are being called for by the scripts.

Cheers, enjoy the ball busting work :lol:

 

 

Now I'm going to beat the ever living #$*& out of Cell and Frieza thatcher's dbz game in windows because my dumb ass dumb asshole self did this out of order and converted the pngs to gifs before running palapply.
 

 

Edited by GatorCountry
For to improve the tutorial
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