Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

So while I was waiting for the paint to dry on the second controller of the SNES-001 Advance, I got to going through some of my You Tube videos and really had a hard look at one of those situations where one expects a particular outcome and is completely surprised by a 180 turn of events.

The video in question is the one of “The Nimbus II”, my third and last N64p I’ve made to date. All things considered, this was probably the most complex and best portable system I’d ever constructed. Sleek, comfortable and truly a blast to create, it is also the least noticed mod I’ve ever done. My first mod even kicked it’s tale by almost 2X (in relation to You Tube views)!

The reasons don’t escape me though as by the time this was released, anything news worthy related to an N64p had been burnt to a crisp, but I still really expected a little more due to the quality of the system itself. However, it never happened and I had to watch other portables, some finished with duct tape and super glue, rocket past me in a flame pirated glory.

But, then I remind myself that this hobby isn’t about how much your project get’s noticed,(though this is a much added bonus that bares motive) but the self pride in knowing you’ve completed something worth while and stuck with to the end.

So, as I crack a Budweiser and think up lyrics to another “Real Men of Genius” riff, I salute you Mr. basement dweller modder man, who fearlessly creates in the face of an absent interest and continues to hone his practical, yet useless use of skill!

With that said, here’s the video that I was whining about.

In 1997, two unique things happened in my life. I started Junior High (which on it’s own was a dizzying nightmare) and shortly after that, I was introduced to a new Role Playing Game (RPG) called Final Fantasy VII. Now I had been a stranger to the previous 6 games before it, so I really did not know what I was getting myself into and being a Nintendo loyalist since the time I could crawl, I had little interest in anything but. Especially since the previous year my dream system The Nintendo 64, had been in my hands non-stop and I was content to keep it that way.

However, to make an exceedingly long story a short as possible, I like many others became hooked on the game by playing at a friends house and never more did I ever wished I owned a Sony PlayStation just for this one title.

But, a little less than a year later, Square Soft announced that a PC version was going to arrive on store shelves within the quarter! And not only that, it would be a mildly updated version of the game, fixing obvious translation errors from the original PSX version, as well as updated graphics based on the graphics capabilities of the PC it was loaded on. By this time I was well ready to make the game investment and play on our family PC.

Time passed and several FF series continued to awe and inspire millions, but none with the emotional power of FF VII. So much to the effect that for years now, millions have been demanding a remake of the game for modern PC and gaming consoles, but to no effect.  Hope seemed lost until about 2009, 13 years after the initial release, did some home-brew hackers decide they were tired of waiting.

Modern technology is awesome. So awesome to the point that technology that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to get in 97′ is now in a suite package from Adobe for $500 bucks. And shown with time and experience, you do not need to have a corporate bank account to make your dreams come to life.

Qhimm Forums. Probably the biggest fan run forum for the FF PC series of games (VII & VIII) brought many of my dreams of a FF VII remake to life! Though not supported by Square or Eidos, these highly intelligent hackers put together dozens upon dozens of mods to do a damn near total overhaul of the original PC interface, creating the most jaw dropping version of the game anyone has ever seen, and even on the level of Square Soft itself.


Hacker AZP’s Cloud Battle Model

With new 3D models (character bodies) and updated music, sound, graphic renderings and menu interfaces, my life has once again been thrown back into the obsession of 97′ and bringing me back to a time when life was simpler and living an others was the place I wanted to be, 15 years on.

Yes this would be the reason why I haven’t updated in over three weeks and yes I’ll be playing this more in the near future until I beat it. Though I love modding and honestly find it more rewarding and useful than playing these games, stepping back in time to an updated version of my childhoods greatest obsession (well second greatest obsession but we won’t go there) is something my time feels worth standing still for.

Mike’s CGI Tifa Model

So if you’re like me and love the game, have a copy of the PC version, check out Qhimm Forums and prepare to be wowed! However, I do warn you, these mods are not just plug and play and the sheer number of them out there will have you moving files and reinstalling the game countless times until you get just the right mix, but it is worth it! Back up though and if you don’t know what you’re doing, research until you do know.

Rainy days are great for progress! My new A/V cable with 3.5mm jacks & plugs works 100% with little to no interference unlike what I was getting before. Picture is clear and audio is crisp.  I started wiring up the buttons for the controller and only have a handful more to do. I’ve seen a lot of things I’ve could have done better so when I start the next one I’ll have a good idea as to what needs to be done to do it right the first time.

Current problem at the moment is the D-Pad as the way I have it mounted is making it not as responsive as I’d like. So I’ll be playing around with that a bit and hopefully I can get it fully functional. As mentioned on the forums, I will be selling this unit once complete, so I need to make sure the quality is there because if my name is going on this outside of my home, it damn well better hold up!

But, as always be sure to check out the forum for a more in-depth update as well as more pics!  Shooting to have this done by the end of April, but we’ll see how that goes. I will be in Holderness tomorrow evening working on the final design for the vacuum box of my vacuum former. This is going to be one hell of a machine when it’s done. Though it won’t be as grand as a $10,000 dollar system, this will be the highest end DIY vac-former out there. Keep you all informed about that one as well!

Well, audio and video through a controller wire works! My proof of concept is good. All that’s left to do now is wire up the controller and all the tact switches. As always please check out the forums for more info, but enjoy the video, though it’s a bit shaky and pretty short!

Other than the occasional doctors appointments, I made today a strict modding day that I took full advantage of.  Though regrettably it wasn’t as productive as I would have liked due to fighting with one part of the project for more time than it was worth. But, hopefully all is well now and within the week I should have a working controller to get this project functional. I’ll leave the details on the forums, but above is the extent of my accomplishments of the day. Hopefully soon you’ll see some action on the screen! Take that however you want!

Just got done with the pivotal test as to whether or not my idea of having a controller with built in video was going to work like I’d hoped. And it did! I’ve got the video signal line wired to the control ports I added to the base system, going to the SNES controller connector, through about 6 feet of shielded Play Station controller cable and into the screen!

Very happy that this worked as now I can start to build my first controller and get it functional. I’ll have most of tomorrow morning off so I’ll be using this time to get that rolling and hopefully have some more updates here shortly!