May as well tell my own tale.
The very first time I was contacted about the project was from brickblock369, who referred me to Blind Devil himself. This was very
early into my fork's existence... actually, on the day it was created, November 20, 2020! This was not too long before Blind Devil's resignation.
The problem was the infamous sample optimization problem that I was talked to about multiple times when the user decides to just pick random samples without referring to a sample group that causes major difference between ROM compilation and SPC compilation. I recommended for the song to just use #optimized at the time, as the other option was the -u command line option, which forces inclusion of all samples indicated, and I thought the optimization was by design (Tamaki finally gave me a use case that told me that there was a major inconsistency between ROM and SPC compilations, causing me to finally make things more consistent).
My fork debuted with a couple of arpeggio fixes and a readahead softlock bugfix, both SPC-side. I didn't send these over to the version you see here, but you'll find out later on that I brought out my fork, specifically the C++ side, due to dissatisfaction with the version they were using.
Blind Devil initially told me that it was 1.0.3 they were using (as I found out, that was incorrect on a technicality). I joined the Discord Server in early February 2021, shortly after debuting my fork on the SMWCentral forums. I ended up using my own self-compiled version of 1.0.8, as I determined they were using 1.0.5 and there were no significant C++-side differences between 1.0.5 and 1.0.8 that I could see.
The very first problem I ran into was outdated information on the git repositories, since this was shortly after Blind Devil's resignation. (I am so
glad that Disk Poppy maintained the git repo in the long run so I could keep up with the updates, because I was having major concerns about things getting scattered and possibly lost in the long run). This actually ended up affecting my design for three out of the four songs, because I was thinking of the death jingle and samples already being present, not realizing they had already been replaced and I was looking at outdated files. I decided to carry on for now, since I wasn't actually interested in playing the game for the most part (I eventually did briefly look around for contextual reasons for one of the levels, but I otherwise didn't really play the game).
My main contributions were the following:
- Providing a C++-side build of my 1.0.9 release candidate in order to resolve major problems.
- A few SPC-side fixes from my 1.0.9 release candidate: specifically, I added in my slowdown fix from 1.0.7 and up and I also added in a music bugfix for $DD interacting with $FA $02 (after making sure that nothing else was affected: I did end up catching one, so I corrected that one) and optimized the SFX data to get rid of that leftover data that plagued the original SFX collection.
- Four music revamps. Two of them were entirely my work on the remastering (Electrospire and Lucid), a third one was a hybrid of a port of someone else's revamp and original material (Iron Notes of Industry, where Magi was the original person that revamped the song) and the last one was me revamping the entire song after it had already been revamped and partially ported (Machine-Made Mayhem, where Magi was the original person that revamped the song, and Torchkas was the one that started on the porting prior to me giving it a second makeover in the sound design department).
Electrospire was my first revamp. Initially I used almost zero custom samples, but a lukewarm reception instead convinced me to do the opposite and go almost completely custom sample pack-wise (I didn't replace the bass and distorted guitar: the former because my replacement, a similarly small sample. didn't really work, and the latter because I never got around to doing so).
Lucid was my second revamp. Once again I went pretty much completely custom: the main obstacle was that in the process of porting the filter steps I ran into a hardware pitch overflow problem with the samples I was recycling from, so I had to create shrunk down versions to circumnavigate that problem.
Iron Notes of Industry was my third revamp, collaborating with Magi. This was a very interesting process: initially I was utilizing the original .mp3 file that covered the original song. Then a climax section was added on to give it a more proper loop... and then it was extended after some feedback, with Magi providing part of a second iteration, then I brought out my pitch modulation magic to bring it back to the beginning again. This one ran into the most serious memory constraints in the long run, though it was partially by accident caused by extending the song and going a bit too far.
After Iron Notes of Industry, I took a break of about a month (the first three were all completed in mid-March 2021, so this was in April 2021), then I asked Torchkas for a collaboration with Machine-Made Mayhem (well... it didn't quite turn out to be a collaboration in the long run, but for this one only, I was actively releasing betas with the source .txt files, expecting anyone else to possibly revise it: ultimately it never happened). I ended up abandoning my work in May-June after getting to around where Torchkas had left off on the original version because of dissatisfaction with AddmusicK (the last beta prior to the hiatus was released in September). I still provided my feedback, but I otherwise left to work on my AddmusicKFF fork.
My work on AddmusicKFF as far as the C++-side goes started to get incorporated in late September-early October 2021. I ended up returning to complete the Machine-Made Mayhem revamp in late February 2022 because of time constraints within the project itself (they made the right call to start finalizing the assets for an initial release) as well as my development of my fork not going as quickly as it could have. I did
give them an updated version of the C++ side for them to use... and they also caught a bug that I accidentally introduced in the process.
As far as Machine-Made Mayhem goes, this particular revamp ended up being the last one ever completed: the project was initially released May 2, 2022. I finalized the revamp of Machine-Made Mayhem on April 8, 2022, about a month prior to release: to put things simply, it ended up being a bit of a close shave.
I also discovered that the soundtrack was to be prepped for general release with AddmusicK 1.0.8. Well, in addition to having to undo my adaptations for $DD interacting with $F4 $02 (which saved memory for Machine-Made Mayhem in particular, but since I was cautious with my sample usage, I had room to spare to undo this optimization), I also discovered four instruments were modified from their original settings, three of them percussion instruments (one of them was found out to have been completely unused). So I catalogued them all and marked down which songs needed either custom instruments or an ADSR VCMD in order to be utilized for general use.
My tale ends there for now.