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Messages - Nightcrawler

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Programming / Re: Snes division
« on: August 21, 2016, 11:35:20 am »
I think Yoshi's docs are some of the oldest on the Internet, so they may not be the best reference. :)

Definitely not the best reference today. I think I mentioned that to you before, jonk.

You guys should be using the following. The information on the division registers and their use is correct in both.

1. Anomie's docs (Anomie’s Register Doc specifically for this case)
2. nocash's documentation (Original source in case there has been any unreported updates).

You can of course poke around in the BSNES/higan source code, but that's only of any value to those well versed in C++ and structure presented.

Rereading, you didn't say that putting the games in the improvement category was a policy, just listed those as examples. In which case I think Banana Prince 2 should be a Complete category, and a Source Translation field could still be useful.

Correct. The revised translation guidelines merely makes sure such hacks don't belong in the Translation section. In the hacks section, they would go in whichever category is most appropriate there. Bananna Prince 2 indeed probably does better belong in the 'Complete' category.

It's clear few people are interested in any detailed solution discussion, so I'm not going to spend much time on this. I want to keep bug fixes and improvements to translations, intended to be translations, in the translation section. It makes no sense to me to go looking in the hacks section for updates to translations.

I propose the following translation guideline amendments. I think this will address the main concerns brought up here.

RHDN accepts translations that fall into four categories.

Fully Playable: This is for completed projects where the patch is fully playable in the target language.
Unfinished: This is for incomplete projects where the patch is not fully playable in the target language.
Announced: This is for announced projects with no released patches yet.
AddendumImprovement: This is for cases where new person/s improve or fix old patches released from other people while promoting good community ethics. Archives should contain a patch that patches an originally patched work. This is for translation projects that fix bugs, or improve upon an existing translation project released from another author/s. The resulting patch is intended to also be a translation. Significant improvements that convert an unfinished translation to a fully playable translation are exempt and may be submitted under the 'Fully Playable' category.

Special Note Addition:
General game hacks that may incorporate a translation, but are not intended to be translation hacks themselves, belong in the Hacks section.

With these changes, the following classification would occur for those items mentioned in this thread:

These would be categorized in the 'Improvement' category of the Translations section.
These hacks fix bugs or improve upon an existing translation project and are intended to be translations.


This would be categorized in the 'Fully Playable' category of the Translations section.
This hack improves upon an existing translation project and are intended to be translations. However, this one has the significant improvements that convert an unfinished translation to a fully playable translation exemption.


These would be categorized in the 'Improvement' category of the Hacks section.
These hacks, while incorporating a translation, do not intend to be translations themselves. Per the special note, they should go in the Hacks section.


How's that? If you disagree (other than minor point), please propose the new guidelines, new resulting classifications, and reasoning.

Site Talk / Re: 3DS Utilities
« on: July 30, 2016, 11:23:08 am »
OK, thanks. We've added 3DS with:

Original DS resolutions:

Single Screen images:

Dual screen images:

Perhaps we should get rid of the original DS resolutions. Are they accessible in any way by 3DS software? My understanding is DS games are either scaled to the native resolution, or displayed with black bars in their original DS resolution. It doesn't seem like the 3DS actually has support for the DS resolutions and it's just a matter of how it is scaled to native 3DS. Comments?

Programming / Re: VRAM question...
« on: July 30, 2016, 10:57:30 am »
You've found the location of the graphics in VRAM. There is no direct correlation to where those graphics came from in the ROM. All graphics are loaded into VRAM through the VRAM registers $2118/9. These registers could be written to via DMA (most likely), or manual copy routines. The source data may not have even come from the ROM at all if the data was decompressed or buffered. In those cases, they would have come from RAM (and you'd have game code you would need to reverse engineer).

In summary, if you can't find the graphics in the ROM by looking in a tile editor, you're going to have to spend much time learning about the hardware registers on the SNES, and how to use a debugger to back trace how the data you're interested in got there. That's well beyond what I can explain to you in this post. It's simply not quick and easy.

Site Talk / Re: 3DS Utilities
« on: July 28, 2016, 06:07:14 pm »
We need to know all of the valid resolutions of the 3DS before we can add it. I assume to start it has the DS resolutions which are '256x384', '384x256', '256x192', '384x128'.

1. What does "G source" mean?

2. You didn't provide what category they would go under for the section you call out for them. I really don't understand what categories they'd all be going in.

3. Earlier, it was advocated that there would be no requirement for the patch. If a patch is not required to be cumulative or not-cumulative, and that is critical for determining which section is belongs in, that is not information that is going to be able to be quickly surmised by a submission reviewer.
4. It seems you want any translation addendum patch that fixed repacked, or updated any previous patch appear equal in status as the originating patch as 'Fully Playable' or 'Unfinished'? For example, if I fix an Aeon Genesis patch like Orden did, then my patch should simply in equal standing to the original patch and appear as another 'Fully Playable' translation for Shin Megami Tensei? I'm not sure Gideon or other authors would like something like that to occur. They should chime in if they read this.

This does not seem very clear and simple categorization to me. Do you understand what's going on Zynk?

Could the option to ADD CREDITS be included within the Submission Form?
I find it quite odd that we have to add the Credits AFTER the submission has been aproved.

This could help out greatly for the overall submission form.

See this topic. Unfortunately, we can't do that any time in the near future.


Let me get this clear.  We'd still keep the 'Addendum' categories in both the Hacks and Translations sections, right? Then, the only real change is making it so that all hacks that modify a fan translation (that are not themselves intended to be translations) should be added to the Hacks section under the  'Improvement' category? Can you just run down the list of hacks brought up in this thread below and quickly categorize them?

These should be changed to the 'Improvement' category of the Hacks section?

These are in the 'Addendum' category for translations?

These are in the 'Addendum' category for hacks?

Personal Projects / Re: Oracle of Ages VWF Edition
« on: July 14, 2016, 05:53:54 pm »
The system only cares if the screenshot's link ends in a .jpg extension. It doesn't check the resolution.

Complete fabrication. Don't take any advice from this guy. He has no idea what he's talking about. He's so far off base, he's not even playing in the same ballpark. ::)

The REAL Answer

The system checks for all known valid resolutions for all consoles in the database. Turns out there was bug introduced the last time the console lists was re-organized to official names. Some consoles weren't being processed correctly. It should be fixed now. And of course 'JPEG is not recommended as it reduces the image quality'.

I don't like the rule that addendum patches can only work on a pre-patched ROM. Why make the end-user jump through hoops to get a game they want to play? As long as proper credit is given, who cares? Has anybody complained? It's ridiculous. Besides, some of the addenda I've made recently don't apply to this rule, because they're intended for different ROMs than the original translation (Famicom Wars, Tales of Phantasia).

I'm fine with that. I think people did complain back in the day, and it was thought of as better ethics at the time. However, we didn't have the credit system that we do now back then. So, that's probably an obsolete point now. Also, there is the case for having addendums not being tied to a particular version of the base hack. That was brought up somewhat recently actually (can't recall where).

We can probably make new topic and take a vote on this. No objection from me.

And I'm sure there will always be edge cases, but I think a distinction should be made between "a hack of a game translation" and "a hack of a game that happens to be translated".

Sure. What are your proposed revised guidelines? Make them black and white enough for Zynk or he'll explode and quit after all the headaches this classification has given him! :laugh: This may be a more difficult task than it first appears. There has been numerous discussions and disagreements on this topic.

Really, if we take this rule through its natural course, any ROM hack of a translated game, ever, would be considered a "translation". Are we never going to have any FF5 hacks, unless they can be applied to the Japanese ROM? I'm really not sure why this rule change was made in the first place.

I think it was made because it was equally ridiculous to look in the Hacks section for third-party updates to older translation patches. Then there were the retranslation patches submitted in the Hacks section. Then there were translations of hacks trying to be put in the translation section. There was a whole cart load of stuff in the Hacks section that belonged in the Translation section. Zynk can probably add more here. So, it ended up at something that was pretty cut and dry on where something goes with Addendum's in both sections. It's just not necessarily as ideal or logical as we'd like.

I'd say be very careful about trying to put that cart load BACK in the Hacks section. Some scrutiny and care on any exceptions made is definitely needed. There is no direct conversion between hacks and translation either because nobody wanted me to combine the Hacks and Translations section to best fix these problems. I always thought translations were just a specialized category for Hacks...

I don't know why every entry doesn't have a list of addendum hacks below it (if applicable), making it really easy to tell what's out there. As it is, people don't know about these addenda unless they're specifically looking for them. Plus, on each addendum page, you could have a big section that reads "Requires [such and such hack]" that links back to the original.

I'd like that too, but that information doesn't exist. One time I was going to add some more fields for this, but then I found people added Addendums to the site for base hacks that weren't even on the site! Then, some refused to add it when asked. People are so lazy... I know there were also some Addendum entries where you don't even know what it's for because it's not even linked in the description (have no idea how such stuff got approved...).

I had no way to even get the data to link many of them together so I quit on that! As it stands it's sadly not possible to do what you suggest. :'(

Site Talk / Re: What's up with all the noncompliants right now?
« on: July 11, 2016, 06:23:43 pm »
Why couldn't you just let them all be on the site?

I was perfectly fine with them being here. I don't actively seek to remove anything. It was popehentai who explicitly removed them. I was just explaining the historical context of the guidelines when they were originally written, and how based on them, there wasn't much ground to reject popehentai's non-compliant submissions.

It was never anyone's intention to encourage you to remove as many hacks as possible, this was about illustrating an unreasonable rule that was not being enforced fairly.

popehentai's submissions have just shown that they are fairly enforced. Anything flagged as non-compliant with reasonable reasoning would be upheld. Again, I don't remove any hacks. All non-compliant flagging comes from the community. The only ones I ever submitted were duplicates or other such strictly maintenance based items. It's all public record.

That. I dont want anyone to get the wrong idea here. I was not intending for removal, i was trying to make a point for reinstatement.

You explicitly flagged and requested removal of all of those hacks. There's no other reason to flag non-compliant material. It seems your 'point' was entirely misdirected. Reinstatement certainly would never be the outcome of using the non-compliant submission maintenance tools. I hope you will rethink how to approach such things in the future that won't affect your peers in the manner this topic has. Perhaps raising a discussion on guideline clarification or proposed changes might be a more productive and peer friendly avenue.  :thumbsup:

Remember Zophars Domains hack section? All those hacks that were never completed and just were teasers.

ZD was definitely in mind when the guidelines were written. There are countless incomplete, bugged, or broken hacks out there far outnumbering completed ones. You definitely want to exclude becoming an archive for those in my opinion. Even with the restrictions at RHDN, I've been told a number of times that the bar is set too low here, and there are too many junk hacks already.

Site Talk / Re: What's up with all the noncompliants right now?
« on: July 10, 2016, 06:43:52 pm »
also there are several .01% complete translation patches from the 90s archived here  -- including some of my own.  it's kind of a different argument but IN GENERAL shows how arbitrary "complete" and "compliant" are.

The translation section has its own set of guidelines entirely and has no 'complete' component whatsoever...  :huh:

The guidelines are, in all seriousness, a little vague, but seem to be geared towards discouraging the submission of low-value and/or incomplete ROM hacks.  They can unfortunately be a little subjective, and the definition of "complete" can vary widely across different types of hacks, as well.  The hack of mine you reported for noncompliance, for example, cannot get much more complete than it already is; the purpose of the hack is to correct text errors in the NES version of the game based on the text of the versions from which it was derived, and there are not many of these.  (I actually have found a few more since submitting it, and will at some point update it once I'm confident I've caught everything; however, I have very limited time for ROM editing these days.)  Some of the FF6 bugfix hacks we have on the site literally change exactly one byte in the ROM, but this does not make them incomplete hacks; they accomplish exactly what they are designed to do, without any feature creep. 

You got it. :cookie: That was exactly the intention. It's deliberately vague for the reasons you've described. Unfortunately, the ratio of poor or unfinished hacks is extremely high and we do not want every hack ever made. You've also got it right with the established scope of the project. 'Bug Fixes' by definition have no minimum. They are completely functional even at the smallest level. 'Improvements' also generally also have no minimum. However 'Improvement' hacks MUST be in the spirit of an extension or enhancement to the original game. A new power-up, a new set of enemies, additional feature etc. Again, fully functional at the smallest level. If it's not in the spirit of an extension or enhancement the original game, it must be in the 'Complete' category and that is where subjectivity is most needed. You can start by using scope again as a judging factor. Does the hack's premise of change accomplish everything it set out to do throughout the entire game? If it does, that's great, but you still have to evaluate if the scope itself is enough to warrant adding. A 'Complete' hack really should have its own identity and shouldn't be a simple sprite hack, a 5 word text hack, or a gender neutral knock-off of the original game. It shouldn't be something that you did in 15 minutes. Those types of things are a dime a dozen and really increase the noise ratio.

I hope that clears up the intentions of the original guidelines. It's not an exact science and nobody is going to rule lawyer out every little thing, but I think what I've described above is fairly coherent baseline! :)

If the removal of my hack was in "good faith" so are these submissions. these hacks, the ones i and others listed (out of nowhere honestly, i know at least one of those guys i CERTAINLY didnt expect to be agreeing here) are not "in compliance". They are even less that the work i did that was removed. A precedent was set, for the amount of work required and those hacks do not meet that level of work. Replacing five instances of a pronoun, or swapping a palette, I am fully willing to take my lump. My hack was not "in compliance". Thats fine. All i'm asking for, in the "noncompliance" submissions, is that everyone else be held to the same standard i am being held to on this site.

You're correct, but don't confuse the different categories. See my response to Reiska above. Bug Fixes, Improvements, and Complete categories really aren't on the same judgement plane. The bigger problem for me with the gender neutral hacks are that they were submitted as 'Improvements'. However, they are not an enhancement or extension to the original game, and rather they go against what has been established already by the game with characterization of the main character. They should have been categorized as 'Complete' type hacks instead. However, then they are judged by scope and effort. Simply put, the scope is very low in effort along the lines of the sprite-only hacks. In the end, I don't think they, nor the helicopter hack belong here.

Nonetheless, I think both the helicopter and gender neutral hacks are sound base ideas to use for a larger hack and building something that establishes its own identity. Something like that would surely have a home here. :thumbsup:

Site Talk / Re: New/updated threads not marked as unread
« on: June 27, 2016, 06:18:24 pm »
Looks like Chrome's having a hard time finding one of the CSS files for the theme. Here's a screenshot of Chrome's debugger. I can confirm that the 404 on webkit.css shows up on pretty much every forum page.

Interesting find. I'm not sure why the forum is looking there for that. We didn't modify that file for any themes, and typically the forum falls back to the default SMF base theme files located elsewhere.

Nonetheless, I added what it is looking for. Any difference?

Site Talk / Re: New/updated threads not marked as unread
« on: June 25, 2016, 03:41:17 pm »
Good catch. That was the next thing I was going to ask. Is the HTML present on the page for the new icon? New topics are merely have that icon image in a link. It imagine it is there, but just not showing the image. If so, maybe a browser image cache thing, or perhaps just a bug in Chrome that needs to be fixed still.

I am able to do the same process described by you Gid, and I see no problems.

I think it might have something to do with the fact the ZIP file contains not only IPS patches, but a C executable file and matching C source code file...

Right. It's picking up the embedded exe file. Binary patching executables are often detected as false positives because of the heuristics used by many scanning engines for potential threats. As the readme file describes, the exe should be the compiled version of the included source code.

It seems others have gotten this to work. Only one person tried to compile the source themselves, but did not succeed using Visual Studio Community Edition (no reason why given).

As Zynk pointed out, an original archive exists at the tripod link too.

It's doubtful that the exe is harmful and does anything beyond what it says it does. Based on the scan results and the fact that others have used it, it seems legit to me and nothing more than a false positive. :)

Scan Results:

I don't know what's up with the one on this site tho. The contents might be the same for both here & that link  :huh:

The .exe is byte for byte the same in both versions, so that should have no bearing on this topic. I've seen similar cases often through the years where people update archives several times on release day to fix mistakes, and they give no indication or notation on the changes or things fixed.

Site Talk / Re: New/updated threads not marked as unread
« on: June 24, 2016, 01:33:36 pm »
I have not had any such issues on Firefox and I use the forum in the manner you describe regularly.

Do you have you login set to always remember you? I normally use this and wonder if it makes a difference.

Do you have cookies enabled? Have you tried deleting your cookies if you do? Browsers can do some crazy things sometimes when their sessions/cookies get upset for some reason.

It likely got added when somebody claimed to have some Hebrew material to submit, requested it be added in order to do so, but then never actually did so. It does not look as though any entries using that language were ever made.

Programming / Re: Bank as define in xkas or Asar
« on: June 12, 2016, 10:44:17 am »
The best would be an assembler that support something like this:

Code: [Select]
!BK = $F30000
$off = !BK + $0100

xkas DOES support that... I've done things like that often. I do it via the following:

Code: [Select]
BK = $F30000
off = BK + $0100

lda BK,x   ;This will be lda $F30100,x

I somewhat agree with you, but here is a counter question. As someone who probably has to work from morning to evening (nowadays sometimes more), for how many hobbies do you even have time? There are more and more people in this age who between work and maybe raising their kids really don't have time to engage in any hobbies anymore. Even having just one hobby seems like a luxury to me.
So while it would be awesome to game, do two different sports, go traveling, play an instrument, romhack and read high literature and go to the theater, who the hell has time for all of that? Realistically, it's pick one or maybe two if you are lucky.

Of course it's a different story if we are talking teenagers who have half the day any day and do nothing but game. But hey, they are teenagers, they do pointless stuff by default. I nowadays wonder what the hell I did with all my time back in the day.

Amen brother. Such is the story of my adult life and the reason it takes years to get anything done these days. I have so many ambitions, but no time to pursue them. What's even more frustrating is free time is often divided into ridiculous intervals like 30 minutes here, or an hour there. That's terrible for hobbies that need mental concentration and longer, focused periods such as ROM hacking. :'(

I wish I could trade with other people squandering their free time away, bored with no ambitions, and complaining about having nothing to do. Time is the most valuable thing of all...

However, from my understanding, a lot of (but not all) of the eShop levels were already technically in the game's memory, and a card needed to be scanned in order to access that content.

Well in the case of the original SMA4 game, the extra content was already in the ROM, you just needed to unlock it.

To both, this is incorrect. All of the level data is stored on the e-card itself. The cards actually hold 1.2K and 2.2K of data on the short and long strips.

I haven't looked at Nintendo's virtual console ROM, but I believe it took all released extra levels (which was more than the 32 the e-reader could even hold), hacked them into the ROM, and made them all accessible. I think ShadowOne333's 'hack' just turns the GBA ROM into the virtual console ROM and doesn't actually add/do anything that Nintendo didn't already! He extracted the virtual console ROM and made a patch of the difference between it and the GBA ROM probably. It's basically distributing a Nintendo made hack. If this is correct, it should definitely not be here.

Perhaps ShadowOne333 would like to chime in.

Personally I think a patch should not include any data not made by its author.

To merge data from multiple games, the patch should require memory dumps of all the games as the input/target file of the patch, not just one of them. This way these patches could be shared without an issue.

Agreed. ROMs shouldn't be allowed, even if you hide them in your patch! You can easily accomplish the same thing without issue. Although you can surely find some copyrighted data in our regular archives, it's usually due to technicality such as shifted data and/or limitations of IPS (difficult to police). It's usually not intentional. Anything that is intentional really shouldn't be here and I think that would be in violation (and likely also removed if flagged).

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