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Messages - tomaitheous

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Those are quite harsh words so I went back over the thread. Questions were asked, they were then answered if they were sensible questions and if not the reasons why they might not have been the right path either in general or because a lack of experience would make it pointlessly hard were given. There were no insults and aside from a side still fairly relevant side conversations it was all pretty much on point.

I guess this is one of those "if you can't see the problem then you are it" situations. Though I am  quite content to call this a good thread and a good example of the forum doing what it does, if that is bad then meh I will stick around as long as it continues.

Anyway to the person who is starting out with hex editing, stop as it is not a skill or at least not a great way to frame things. You can learn to use a hex editor well and know the features of one, much like you can learn to use a word processor to do text formatting and layout, but if you lack a foundation in other aspects, or language if we are continuing the word processor analogy, then you are at best going to be able to hex edit at the direction of someone else, dictation being the word processor equivalent.
By all means learn what hex is (it is a numbering system, as computers tend to work in binary it is just 4 binary digits stuck together and as that means 16 combinations A through F get stuck on the end to represent 10 through 15 decimal) but there is a reason everything else is framed by what you might want to do (edit text, edit levels, edit graphics, edit music...).

 I kind of agree with this view point. As some point, a hex editor without knowledge of the system's processor or debugger (as in how to properly step through code and understand what it's doing), is going to be beyond inefficient. It amazes me to the lengths a lot of hackers go to in avoiding using something with soo much more efficiency like an emulator debugger, but instead limit themselves to dabbling around in hex editors. The fact that hackers also tend to avoid using an assembler, is also right up there. Then again, most hackers here aren't programmers. I'm not baggin on anyone in particular, it's just that hacking takes such dedication and figuring stuff out (self learning), and a whole range of intellectual skill and effort, that it makes me cringe when I see more than not - "backyard" approaches every where; bad habits learned early on.

What's the name of the game?

Because my problem IS solved.  I got the game to do 2K switches.  The reason why it wasn't working is because there was a conflict with the CHR modes, which was causing the CHR problems.  $5130 wasn't needed at all.
It's not really a conflict at all, when you think about it. Rather, it makes perfect sense. If you're in 4k mode, why would the mapper care about values in the regs of the lesser 2k sub segments, etc? I mean, you're in 4k mode because you want to swap in/out 4k at a time. The value in $5121 is irrelevant in 4k mode, so it's ignored and $5123 is read from instead (and as a 4k bank number) - etc. So when you switch modes, everything gets re-initialized for the correct mapping. Though, 're-initialize' is probably the wrong description for how it actually works on a low level, because those memory mapped regs are probably thee very same regs (not copies) that are used for the full address calculation in real time (no need to over engineer things).

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Help with hacking Dracula X (Rondo)
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:36:58 pm »
For the extra stage? I dunno. But this guy, and all his assets, are in the first stage.

 Yeah, I wasn't specifically asking for PCE hacking help (though hey, that would be great). I just mean in general hacking terms. Maybe it's something simple that I'm over looking.

 That, and I figured Konami probably reuses game engines and such, so maybe from the 16bit games they did have a similar engine (and by some luck someone has documented this). I have a few ideas, but it looks like this is going to be a major task trying to figure this out. Well, if it gets tedious or such, then I can concentrate on documenting the tilemap data at least. Maybe someone could implement that into an editor. 

ROM Hacking Discussion / Help with hacking Dracula X (Rondo)
« on: February 09, 2015, 10:07:23 pm »
I've had this info/knowledge for a bit: I found what appears to be a hidden super large monster in Dracula X for the PC-Engine CD.
Here's a few pics:

And some pics for what it might look like assembled:

I've messed around with the game and found the 'map' screen layout. This mini boss-ish character, is located right after the stage exit room: 01,02,03,04,05,06,05 ... with the first 05 entry being the sub-stage exit, and 06 being this boss character. Unfortunately changing this order does not effect any 'objects', AI, or any other attributes normally associated with that screen number.

 I can't seem to figure out the level engine/format. And to make matters worse, the game takes segments of ram in between code - so there is no specific section dedicated for 'ram' that I can spy on.. per se.

 Anyway, just trying to get some ideas. I spent quite a bit of time corrupting the ram areas that I know about, and found some related variables (but I haven't fully figured them all out; there are a lot of 'jump' table mechanisms for relative stage behavior). This being Konami, I figured that maybe they shared some design stuffs - that maybe someone could clue me in on? Or just different ideas to approach this. I've already spent a good amount of time tracing through asm, but my time is pretty minimal for this sort of thing at the moment.

February 11, 2015, 01:37:12 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
No one, huh? Hmm.

General Discussion / Re: Whatever happened to fan translations?
« on: January 12, 2015, 07:34:29 pm »
Outside NES/SNES there's a huge body of work left, especially on Sega consoles (except the SMS, that's close to 100% translated except for Korean games). The Genesis has hundreds of untranslated games, both Japanese and Chinese. Sega CD has dozens of RPGs and adventure games that haven't been localized. The 3DO has close to 150 Japanese exclusives, and while many of those are garbage, quite a few are very interesting games.

 Or the PC-Engine CD? Thee top rated RPG series for it, Tengai Makyou, still left untranslated.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: NES to Sega MD
« on: January 12, 2015, 07:25:14 pm »
Opps. Misread.

General Discussion / Re: NEW Super Mario Bros. 3 Returns
« on: January 06, 2015, 02:32:14 pm »

Gaming Discussion / Re: Donkey Kong Country Retrospective?
« on: January 06, 2015, 02:26:27 pm »
I was pretty excited when I got DKC the week that it came it out. But not far into the game, I found the gameplay and stage layout.. and everything - just kinda boring/repetitive and off putting - hollow? Something was seriously missing. The graphics and music were great, for the time, but it never felt even close to a 'Nintendo' brand game. It was more flash than anything else. It wasn't until years later, that I realized this wasn't a traditional Japanese Nintendo developed game, but game with it's roots from the Euro style of the time (which I can't stand, even to this day. Those games feel soulless to me, and so does the DKC series). SMW, a release game for the system at that, is far superior of a game to the whole DKC series on the SNES.

 Sorry for being a Debbie Downer, but DKC for me particularly represents a point in 16bit gaming era (SNES and Genesis), where I just lost faith in game developers and gamers/consumers in general. Where flash/style was far out weighing substance, becoming more predominate, and western developers seemly ever behind this push onto the masses. /Bows out...

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: NES to Sega MD
« on: January 06, 2015, 01:48:52 pm »
Did you see the Video? So far I was Able to Run Metroid and Mario Bros on My Gopher using the Method above. Does it lag and Flash like crazy? Yes, but I am sure that it can be done. BTW I am willing to Reprogram Metroid (Nes) to work on the MD. I dont care How long it Takes. I just need the Instructions. OR willing to Perfect the Program above to Make it Work.

 I'm going to assume this isn't a troll post, and that you're actually serious about this endeavor. Here's what you need to do: 1) Learn how to program for the Genesis pretty much inside and out. 2) Then learn how to program for the NES inside and inside, or at least have a very solid understanding of how it works. Only then, can you attempt to formulate a realistic approach to this problem. Yes, there is more than one approach. If you want playable speed, it's not going to be emulation unless you can somehow seriously overclock the 68k cpu emulation on this handheld device. So with that in mind, you need to look at replacing pieces of original game code with native 68k code. You'll need to do this as well for graphic and sound functions - be it real time or replacement, or something in between.

 I doubt you'll do this, because unless it's solely for the sake of challenge - you could easily use a fraction of the amount of time it takes to do this, and just work/earn money to purchase a device that could emulate a lot more platforms on a handheld setup. But feel free to prove me wrong (I rather you would, to be honest. Because things like this are super cool).

 You're also in the completely wrong kind of forum for this sort of thing, because this out completely out of the scope of 'romhacking'. You need to be asking these kind of questions at retro based development forums (such as spritesmind and nesdev).

Personal Projects / Re: Game-2014 (homebrew game for PC-Engine/TG16)
« on: August 24, 2014, 06:40:23 pm »
232 pixels for height, because some emulators clip the screen (and some older TVs too). Same for status bar, 56 pixels in height instead of 64.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Homebrew related stuffs
« on: August 24, 2014, 12:25:43 pm »
Thanks, man. I've gone real in depth on the graphics end, but I actually meant as an artist only. Once Pyron wraps up, and a few of my side projects, I hope to find some homebrew developers to work with.

 Ohh, so you're looking more towards the pixel art side and game design, rather than the coding part? If so, keep me in mind. I have other game engines that I plan to mature into releases as well (side view action similar to megaman-vania, one that's smb-ish platformer, and a shmup).

Personal Projects / Re: Game-2014 (homebrew game for PC-Engine/TG16)
« on: August 24, 2014, 12:05:45 pm »
What should appear on each of these?

Status bar: I'm thinking player health (bar, segments, etc), player magic bar, Enemy health bar (for the one you just attacked), enemy name (above it?), current gold, XP (number or bar), weapon/item for each hand, regular item to use (press select). If you can think of anything else. Something along those lines.

 The game has items, weapons/armor (that you can change out), EXP, gold, special items, etc. Toying with the idea of doing 'stamina' or and charge systems for special attacks. So that could go on the status bar.
 Item screen could show a list of armor/weapons to equip (maybe Ys style?), items for use, special items for story events, stats (hp/mp/str/def/mag-attk/etc), save/load. The item screen would be more of a mockup, since I haven't implemented items and different weapons yet.

 Also forgot: the game is using PCE low res - so 256 pixels wide on the item screen (for now, unless I find a need for higher res on that screen later on).

 Bonk series for for the TG16. It's the system mascot (for the US release, anyway). SMBs for NES and SNES got level editors. Sonics got level editors. 

Personal Projects / Re: Game-2014 (homebrew game for PC-Engine/TG16)
« on: August 24, 2014, 04:11:25 am »
the sprites look good, but the background looks like dragon warrior, ie, not bad per say but super simple. Is that a limitation or just not having put in anything that uses shading yet?

 They're just place holder graphics that I ripped from Arkista's Ring (NES). They're actually not even the correct ratio for some stuffs (trees. mountain/mounds, etc). I have some Secret of Mana graphics that I ripped (cave, forest, waterfall, town, etc). I was planning on using them, but been busy with coding. Except for Adol (which I just recolored from the NES game), the sprites I got from some open source pixel art site. Again, all are just place holders.

 A quick and dirty conversion of some Mana tiles..

to replace my existing dungeon/cave set:

 The restrictions on the BG stuff is (for now): 16x16 tiles, 15 colors each, 16 subpalettes of 15 colors (though more like 12-ish since I need some for the item screen/status bar), no more than 300 tiles per 'area', and 9bit color. So yeah, that image is no where near representative of what would be in the game. Which is why I made this post  :thumbsup:


Also, counter questions:
How big should the items be?
No bigger than than 16x16

What types of enemies? Do you have themes in this game?
Theme is fantasy. So anything that fits that.

For the projectiles, yet again, how big?
the object itself shouldn't be bigger than 16x16.

When you hit the attack button, will there be an attack animation?
Ideally. For right now, since I don't have any time - I was just gonna do a slash animation in the direction the player is facing (like strider)

I really like this idea though. I would like to help if I can.

 For now, this is all just place holder stuff that I'm looking for (original, ripped, or modified-ripped). I don't even have game story/writer for this yet (among the list of people that I'm looking for). I put out a few wanted ads for a bunch of positions for the final project of the game, on a few forums, but I haven't received any inquiries yet. My plan is to show it off a bit, to gain some more attention/excitement.

Personal Projects / Game-2014 (homebrew game for PC-Engine/TG16)
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:35:22 pm »
Hey guys, I'm making an action-RPG game for the PCE/TG16. Old school style (over head/top-down).

 While I'm looking for some artists and people to help with the final project, I want to show off the game engine too. I have some lame-ish place holder stuffs/graphics.

 Anyone interested in making some place holder graphics for this 'demoing' of the game engine? Rip/modify whatever you want.
 I'll post requests of what kind of stuff I'm looking for here (and update the main thread). You'll get cred (end game credits for the finished one) for development if I end up using your stuffs in demoing/showing the game engine. These graphic assets are not final in game graphics. So you can rip and modify anything else for any other game.

 Here's an example of what I have so far for player and enemy sprites:

 Some specs: the game uses classic nes zelda style scrolling (screen to screen). The screen tiles are 16x16, and the screen size is 16x11. The player and regular enemies are 16x16 sized sprites. Larger enemies can be made.

 What I'm looking for so far:
 - items (money, crystals, etc)
 - different enemies
 - player sprites (different ones are fine). I was toying with the idea of having an second player option too.
 - enemy projectiles (whether they fly across the screen or not; could just be spears or sword swipes)
 - player projectiles (same as above)
 - enemy AI ideas/designs
 - player weapon/item ideas/designs. Falcom games are the influence of this homebrew, but there will be an attack button
 - dungeon/cave/town/house/outside tiles as well as maps designs.

 Immediate things that I need:
 - status bar design
 - item screen

 Are you border or looking for practice, or just wanna help out? Try your hand at any of the above. Any other ideas are welcome as well.

 Here's a screen shot of in game action:

^- the tiles aren't actually representative of what I want. The scale is wrong (i.e. those mountains, etc). I'm looking for something more proportional (Look at Zelda Alttp, or Legend of xanadu I, or Legend of Xanadu 2); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQDUwDX2ysU

 Here's some specs to abide by:
 The master palette is 9bit. That means 8 shades for R/G/B elements. For editing (photoshop and such), I use RGB steps of 36. You can use the posterize function and set the levels to 8 to get the same effect/etc.
 Colors per sprite (16x16) are 15 colors. The PCE has 16 subpalettes just for sprites (separate from the BG).
 Colors per tile (8x8 hardware, but 16x16 for this game) is 15 colors (I'm reserving base color #0). There are 16 subpalettes for BG tiles.
 There is no tile flipping on this hardware. Only sprite cells can be flipped. That means you have to manually draw any flipped tiles.
 Sprites don't have to be limited to 16x16, but unless the enemy is tall or large - I'd like to keep most enemies at 16x16. I like that old school look.
 For now, only 8 enemies can be defined per screen (each screen has its own set).

Gaming Discussion / Re: Homebrew related stuffs
« on: August 23, 2014, 11:12:54 am »
There's a lot of talent and info here, and it's not specific to one console. That, and I think there's a cross over between demos/homebrew coding and hacking. It'd be nice to have something like that for homebrew/demo coders. Hackers could benefit from their pool of knowledge as well.

 Cool. I'll make a personal projects thread :)

But I've got at least a year's worth of stuff backed up before I can make that move.

 Depending on your hacking skill and experience, you can learn from what games you've taken apart - about their engines, and replicate that on the homebrew side. Or at least get some ideas/starting points. I've done that myself.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Homebrew related stuffs
« on: August 22, 2014, 06:15:56 pm »
Action RPG. Old Falcom style, mixed with a little bit of Zelda/Neutopia (screen section scrolling, you swing your sword).

A copy/paste for spritesmind:
See here: http://pcedev.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/game-2014/

Basically, I'm looking for pixels artists for sprites, BG tiles, map/area layout artists, portait/cinema artists, and chiptune musicians. So that's four different graphic artist positions (doesn't need to be filled all by the same person).

I'm also looking for someone to write the game story creation and design (and dialog as well). I have a game engine that's maturing, and I rather spend my time/resource as the coder and project overseer, not the designer/creator. I had an idea of setting, direction, and style (fantasy, action RPG, old school Falcom style) - but rest is up the writer/creator.

I've haven't worked on a game project like this, so the plan is to do a small single 'chapter' in an old school Falcom style action-rpg setting. Small characters (16x16-ish), high color, NPCs, dialog, some questing, a couple of minor bosses and one final boss, ...equipment, items, EXP, and money systems, etc. I'm not sure I need another coder, but if anyone is interested in contributing code/logic/AI/etc wise - I'd be open to the idea as well. It's all assembly - no libs (all custom code - 65x based). The target platform is PC-Engine/TG16 hucard (cart) 8megabit.

I have some place holder graphics and will be showing off some of the game engine soon. If you're interested or know someone that might be interested - post on the link (or my email), or PM here.

Gaming Discussion / Homebrew related stuffs
« on: August 22, 2014, 04:44:01 pm »
I was wondering.. what about a sub-forum homebrew?

Also, I have a PCE/TG16 homebrew that I'm working on and looking for people (artists, musicians, writers, etc). Is there a specific place in the forums that I should post such a thread? Or is here pretty much the safe bet?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: YouTube/Google Video thread
« on: April 13, 2014, 12:03:09 pm »
The subs are just for the video. I was gonna subtitle the cinemas in game, but the game is getting an English dub.

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