Whew, this has been a long year, hasn’t it?
Today I’m bringing you another modding interview, this time around with Kell, an interesting SADX and SA2 modder that had worked in some fascinating mods for both games that really give an insight to the modding potential for these: Have you ever thought about playing Sonic Heroes…but in Sonic Adventure DX?
Kell is the main developer of Heroes Mod, which is not only for Sonic Adventure DX but also for Sonic Adventure 2 (with the help of MainMemory porting the assets from SADX to SA2), and allows you to play several Sonic Heroes stages in either game, though it is still work-in-progress for the SA2 version. The SADX Heroes mod even includes some ported character models and Heroes enemies!
Kell also made some few other mods, like being able to take out your Chao from the Chao Garden and have them follow you in the Action Stages, and adding new moves for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy.
On top of all this, Kell is a co-developer (along with Sora) of the SA2 Conversion mod for SADX, which goes even further with importing levels that can be experienced in a new way through SADX physics and characters, and also went through the extra mile of adding sounds, HUD, models and cameras, making it resemble a lot the original game. This mod is also in development and currently has only 5 stages, but everything that’s already in shows the amount of effort that has been put by both modders.
So of course it was great to reach out to the developer of these mods that show the potential of adding completely new stages to SADX, and overall are amazing. So, without further ado, I hope that you enjoy this one!
This interview was conducted in August 03, 2020.
Thank you for this chance; I always find cool to learn more about talented modders like you, as well as that SA2 Conversion that is looking very good! I tested it some days ago and I have to admit that was fun to just outpace the City Escape truck with spindash spam, so hats off to you and Sora for that 🙂
Well thank you, we had a lot of fun making this mod :p
To begin this interview…what can you say about yourself for a start?
Well I’m a french guy that likes to mess with Sonic, Rayman and Detective Conan stuff when I find the time to. It’s three things I get from my childhood, they were rather popular in France back then. I guess I’m probably too attached to nostalgia or something lol.
What would you say that you are skilled with?
Oh uhm, not anything in particular. I’d say I’m good at being independent, at basic modding/coding stuff and at fansubbing.
What would you say or remember that was your first experience with Sonic?
It was around 2005, I was very enthusiastic every time Sonic X was on TV, and one day my mother got home with Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut (read that with a French accent, cause I definitely did.)
I also played Sonic 1 at my grandfather’s house, I couldn’t finish it but it was damn fun.
Since how long have you been part of the (online) Sonic community?
Very recently compared to others, it was when I started modding SADX 3 years ago: I posted screenshots of Seaside Hill in SADX and quickly got in contact with all the modders you’ve already interviewed. Good time to start modding that game because MainMemory’s Mod Loader was already made and the tools were already kicking so I was able to do cool things directly. The only drawback is that I didn’t get to witness the important steps of SADX modding.
This the very first tweet, and very first mod I made.
So you joined X-Hax around 3 years ago?
Well, not really. I was in contact with them mostly through Twitter. I only got to the IRC and then the Discord months later. I have no idea when it was, actually I never realized I was part of X-Hax lol.
What or who inspired you to start hacking Sonic Adventure DX?
It’s just so cool. When I noticed SADX had mods 3-4 years ago, and how cool they could be, I wanted to do that too. One day, I stumbled upon the git repository of PkR‘s Dreamcast Conversion and it did not seem that complicated with all the research that had already been done. I had no experience with C++ before that, or Visual Studio, but it wasn’t very difficult to learn and I got help when needed from x-hax.
So yeah, it’s the achievements of the x-hax regulars that inspired me to start hacking SADX.
What were the first mods you ever saw (and/or used) for SADX?
My first mods were the Super Sonic mod, Character Select, Fixed Edition and of course DreamCast Conversion which everyone should have, among many other small mods. I was very excited everytime I found a new mod, and I quickly started searching for new ones, or digging for updates anywhere I could.
I’m aware that, from that first Seaside Hill port you ended up working in the SADX Heroes mod (which ports more than Seaside Hill)
Yeah, I found an old tutorial by CorvidDude (JCorvinus) to import geometry into the game and followed it. Also found out that Heroes stages were easy to port thanks to Sewer56‘s and igorseabra‘s work, and it took me a few days to import it entirely.
Being my very first mod, and without any C++ knowledge, I had to manually merge all the chunks and edit the geometry a bit to look good enough, but I was rather proud. I posted it on twitter and the support it gave me made me continue. From then I learned more of C++ to make tools to help me convert Heroes assets (like paths, object layouts, etc), found out how to make a chunk system into SADX, and it’s how the current Heroes Conversion was born.
That’s my first mod release. Took me a lot of time, but I was very busy with real life back then.
How did you get to make the SADX Chao Gameplay and New Tricks mods?
Well with the great enthusiasm around heroes mod, it got me to learn more about modding. I found out how to use a disassembler to look at the game’s code, which was already well labeled by MainMemory and SonicFreak94, and how to modify it freely. I wanted to do other cool things than level ports. It led to research around the object and collision systems of SADX to make custom objects and New Tricks.
And for Chao Gameplay, it’s basically a thing that I always dreamed of when I was a kid: getting your chao out of its garden. I did some research on how chao creation worked, backed with help from Exant, and was able to do it. It’s the coolest thing I made in my mind lol.
Do you have any story about what led into the creation of SA2 Conversion?
I met Sora in early 2019, I have no idea why we started to talk but it happened. Watched some of his speedrunning streams, he’s entertaining lol. And just like me, seeing cool mods made him want to start and he asked me for help on how to start. After the last big release of the randomize we shared interest in porting SA2 stages: me City Escape, and him Final Rush. And it went overboard. 😉
It’s a very interesting experience because we have more or less the same level of modding, just in different fields, and we’re able to help each others, it’s pretty cool. And of course, it would not have been possible without the incredible work of the SA Tools programmers that made converting geometry between games a piece of cake. That’s MainMemory, Exant, TGE, Justin113D and Gamma.
Did each other specialize in specific areas of the porting process? Or both worked in everything in general?
Well we both work on everything in general, and in almost all cases we work on what the other did to improve it. What I meant by field is, for example, I know a lot of things regarding object definition, while he knows a lot of things about the game’s progression code and SA2, and we learn things from the other as we go along.
That’s why I really encourage people that want to start modding SADX to come talk in X-Hax, it’s very easy to learn and we help each others :p
What were your thoughts on the feedback of SA2 Conversion pre and post-release?
I like to mod SADX because I can see the reactions of people, it’s very cool to see someone having fun thanks to something you made. Being a beta there was some things that went wrong, but it’s necessary for us to improve. All in all the comments were very enthusiastic and it makes us want to continue!
Have any future plans regarding mods outside of increasing the amount of content in SA2 Conversion?
Regarding mods? Well I’m reaching a point where I want to do other things. I’ll obviously continue on improving Heroes Conversion, New Tricks (Tails’ spindash is obviously coming), and probably make some other small mods.
Nice! Now on a side note, what are your favorite Sonic games?
In order: SADX, Sonic Heroes, Sonic 2, Sonic 1 and Sonic Adventure 2 ^^
You had mentioned Rayman at the start of the interview; I wonder what could you say about your experience with those games 🙂
I’ve only ever played Rayman 2 out of all the Rayman games, and it’s my one of my favourite games. I want to learn more about programming and maybe try to do a Mod Loader for that game just like MainMemory did for SADX. That’s just a future goal I have yet to reach :p
I also loved playing Rayman 2; I still have to finish that one.
Did you know of Rayman Redemption? (fanmade improved remake of Rayman 1)
No but it could be a great way to get to play the first game in the series, because I never did. ^^
I’ve only tried to play Rayman 3 but I didn’t like it that much
I forgot to ask this early on, but what can you say about your experience during the early years of SADX modding? (or at least what you saw from that)
At the time I was still doing fansubbing (I’ve only replayed SADX because of nostalgia) so I missed all the fun. But I recommend anyone to read the Sonic Retro topic of Sonic Adventure 1/DX hacking, it is very interesting to see how the SADX modding community progressed.
I’d really like to be part of that progression you know. Working on some tools, be useful for other modders. Maybe I’ll do that one day, but I have yet to learn more about programming! 🙂
I’d say that there’s always a place for everybody in that progression; after all, you managed to implement both Heroes and SA2 objects in a different game, as well as backporting grinding. So I’d say there’s quite a feat there 🙂
Yeah. To be honest I was reluctant to do this interview because I don’t feel as important as the others, but I hope it can eventually motivate people without coding knowledge to mod SADX. If I was able to do it, so can they. But yeah grinding is pretty cool, I’m quite happy with the result 🙂
What did you think when I reached out to you for this interview?
Well the answer is above for that, I was a bit surprised because I didn’t feel very interesting for an interview.
Do you have any greetings or special thanks for someone?
Well MainMemory of course, she’s always been there to help me and she’s made the perfect tool ever, the SA Tools team altogether, and my modding buddies Sora and Benji 🙂
Oh and ItsEasyActually, haven’t mentionned him, but he’s always very supportive and always tries his best to help.
Got a message for the Sonic community (and everybody in X-Hax)?
Well nothing I haven’t already said: come mod SADX! :p
Thank you so much for both this chat and all of your mods 😀
No problem! See you next mod 🙂
If you enjoyed this, you can check out all the other interviews I have done with several other X-Hax members (as well as some few emudevs; more of these soon), and I also work on articles (one of which is the History of SADX Modding; which would connect these interviews too).
If you liked my content, sharing this with others helps me out; and you can lend me a hand through my Ko-fi page as well! Any feedback and ideas are appreciated, so don’t be afraid to drop a message either here or on my Twitter.
Also yeah, I took a bit of a time regarding what’s remaining of the History of SADX Modding article, but as you can notice from this new post, I’m intending in wrapping this up to cap off this crazy ass year, but until then…