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Messages - tomaitheous

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania 3j Long Version with SRAM Support
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:00:22 pm »
The fact remains that he'd be making money off of copyrighted material.  :police: It would be different if he was making an NES homebrew totally from scratch using characters of his own design. I couldn't care less if he releases his romhack for free, or at all.

 Not if he's selling the patch itself. If the patch contains nothing but his original work, regardless of how it's applied to the application, it's still his work. He can't sell the rom, but he could sell the patch. Or go about it a different way; release it to the public once enough people have 'donated' or the amount donated meets his goal/whatever. Not so much different when people hold beta carts and such - private, until enough people 'purchase' his decision to make it public (dump the game).

 I don't personally do this, but I also don't attempt to dictate what other people do with their time/work. Just because I, and other people, give away their hard work - doesn't mean everyone else should have to as well. To each their own.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania 3j Long Version with SRAM Support
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:32:19 pm »
What would be really cool, if you hacked Rondo on PC-Engine to have all the levels and boss from CV3. Surprised no one has attempted hacking that game. It's not like 6280 is much different than 6502, and a lot of romhackers have cut their teeth on 65x.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: NES ROM Compression Help
« on: February 13, 2014, 04:51:53 pm »
So I have a Castlevania hack I been working on and I have managed to edit some of the graphics using Tile layer Pro. However I've reached a point where there is stuff I'd like to edit but it is compressed and I can't really tell what m looking at. Is there a program that can decompress the sprites or make it a tab bit more easy when viewing the sprites so I can edit/replace them. Any help would be great.

 Maybe check to see if there's an expansion hack, as well as a chr-rom hack of the game. Chr-rom stuff is uncompressed. Even if you did decompress the graphics for chr-ram, there's no guarantee that it will compress and fit back into the original space. Usually best to ASM hack the game, expand the rom, and have it point to uncompressed tiles instead. Of course, this isn't easy (and requires of processor specific assembly), but like I said - you might get lucky and find that someone already did this, and build on top of that instead of the original rom.

Personal Projects / Re: Megaman 1 and 2 for PC-Engine upgrade/hack
« on: February 12, 2014, 02:34:58 pm »
So I was able to simulate the hack with mednafen and medgui. Some comments so far :
1) The music doesn't stop when it's supposed to when you die
For that short period, for the megaman dieing sound? I didn't bother muting the CD track, 'cause I didn't think it was such a big deal. But I'll put that on the list. That, and all system bios calls (for handling CD audio) pause the emulation. That would be very annoying. I'll have to see how I can replicate that specific bios function, inside the game code.

2) Similarly, the music doesn't stop when it's supposed to when a boss dies
Same as above. I'll put it on the list of things to do.

3) This is purely a matter of opinion, but I think it'd be nice if some of the short songs, such as "boss selected", "game over" and "victory" were still chiptune.

 I can add that function to the options menu; pick which is played for song # - cdda or psg. Though one could just easily make PSG tracks for that in wave format.

4) Is this based on the PAL version ? There is a low pitched noise after the shooting sound effect.
No. It's NTSC. Sweep emulation isn't.. emulated yet. From what I've read, even though MM doesn't setup those regs, it doesn't initialize them either. I suspect it's from that, because from everything else I've checked - all period values fall exactly inline with what they're supposed to be.

 I'll be converting the sound FX into a VGM style format (time based period/reg updates) pretty soon, and get rid of ~all~ APU emulation (replaced with custom PCE sound driver). That'll be the first thing I'll clip (that trailing sound from the weapon fire). 
5) The "stage select" music was SOOOO much better in the old version. Why change it ? This one is VERY lame, and is wrong
6) Even though the Wily stage music got replaced, Wily stage 2 music is wrong (it's from Mega Man 3), and anyways both sounds way too much heavy metal to me. So my comments about Teck's versions still apply.

I personally think MM music as rock/metal sounds good to me. It fits for me, but there aren't enough cover tracks to fit. The game is distributed into two separate parts; CUE/ISO and Music pack. I was never happy with all the tracks, rock/metal or not, so it's up to the individual to replace the tracks with whatever they want. They're wave files; easy enough to do.

7) Is there a way to make the music loop more elegantly than fading out, stop, and fade in again ?
Edit the wave files. All the fading and space between looping is in the wave file itself. If you use absolute start/end of the wave file, you'll get tight looping.

8 ) I really hate hate Ice man's stage. Oops this is not related to this hack, sorry ^^ This'd be the easiest game of the series if this weren't for Ice Man's stage.

 The flying platform part? Just get the beam/platform item from Elecman's stage; it makes Iceman's stage a breeze. The only hard parts in the game, IMO, are the Blob boss and the MM clone boss (relative to the rest of the game).

 MM update: Cutman's enemy sprites are now all converted over - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i48xMQX7NI
Still tweaking the MM animation (running frames need more tweaking).

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Asm hacking
« on: February 06, 2014, 10:32:54 pm »
I mostly work with the GB(C) using bgb and wla-dx. wla-dx allows me to put my code on top of a base ROM, so it takes care of the code injection for me.

I couldn't imagine doing a large-scale ASM hacking project without an assembler. Memorizing the opcodes would be tedious, but that's not the main problem... the assembler is simply much more flexible. I can move code around, define labels, insert comments, easily. This is all stuff I consider necessary for big assembly hacks.

 I feel the same way. The flexibility of an assembler is a must. Changing even a one or two instructions, or such, can change source code and code alignment. I can't imaging doing that by hand, unless the replacement code was nothing more than a few bytes.

I hack completely via a hex editor. I like to be able to view everything with the Code Data Logger within FCEUX.

Everyone has they're own method of writing 6502. I happened to learn mostly from kuja killer, and that was how he wrote/modified 6502 asm.

I can look at hex values and know just about all of the opcodes for them from memory.

I've gotten so much flack from people saying I don't know how to do asm if I do it via a hex editor. It doesn't matter how you write it or what method you use, as long as it works.

I'm sure if I learned from someone else, and they actualy 'wrote' it out, then probably today that would be the way I write asm.

 Well, that's not ASM or Assembly. That's "machine language". I mean, if you're writing code directly in a hex editor. Assembly has a syntax, even if it's nothing more than bare bones mnemonics (although almost all assemblers have a higher level functionality to them as well). There's nothing wrong with that though, if you're completely comfortable with that approach.

 Being an assembly programmer and being an assembly hacker, aren't mutually exclusive. Being one, doesn't equate to being the other. Well, IMO. Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to criticize anybody. Hackers (that hack code) are a strange and special lot. The patience and time it takes to unravel someone else's code and understand it; not every programmer is cut out for that kind of stuff. And so I was curious, how many people moved onto using an assembler for their replacement code in hacks. Of course, I'm assuming most here don't have a background in assembly programming.   

 Anyway, for asm hacking - I always include the base rom or binary (extracted from CD) into the assembler and simply assemble new code directly over it. Same with data. Here's just one small file, of many, for my Megaman hack:

ROM Hacking Discussion / Asm hacking
« on: February 05, 2014, 04:43:40 pm »
Curious, how do you guys handle your ASM hacking projects?

 Do you use a hex editor to do all your asm hacking, or do you use an assembler? If you use an assembler, do you assembly directly into the rom or do copy the assembled code into the rom?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania 3j Long Version with SRAM Support
« on: February 04, 2014, 12:33:22 pm »
Nice! Very nice! I hope you keep at the ASM hacking. So many doors and possibilities open up when you ASM hack.

Personal Projects / Re: Capcom Games Editor (NES)
« on: January 31, 2014, 10:40:34 pm »
How about support for Bonk 1 and 2, for PC-Engine?

Newcomer's Board / Re: Reverse engineering MegaMan's controls?
« on: January 28, 2014, 06:03:51 pm »
There's Megaman 1 disassembly in the doc's section. It's commented too. Should be able to find out everything you need from there.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Need a sound effect for my title screen
« on: January 28, 2014, 05:50:23 pm »
I just ended up timing some music to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfDA8BcXsLw

Someone made a repro of my Megaman port to PCE. It was sold in Japan with Yahoo auctions. They claimed it was an unreleased build (thus the CD-R), yet strangely enough - the case and manual appeared to be 'gold' - ready to ship. Some one from east EU bought this for like $1000 or some such. They redid the manual and art, and reproduced it on a real pressed CD. Now, the guy from EU didn't claim it was his - but he did claim it was a finished prototype (or whatever you want to call it) and sold these for $50 a pop.

 Some one purchased a copy, dumped the CD, and sent me a copy. Sure enough, it was an earlier build that I released for CD. Did a lot of work to get Megaman up and running on the PCE. A ~lot~ of hours went into that. Of course, I never intended to sell any of them; I don't own the rights to the material that is Capcom's. But it did suck, knowing someone else was making money off my work. I was offered money (share) or if I wanted it removed. I declined the money; there's no way I could take it even if I wanted to. And secondly, because people in the PCE community were stoked to get a version on a pressed CD - with a nice art and manual, I didn't tell him to stop (not that it would make a difference. He'd still sell them). I did ask in return that he make his manual and CD inserts available for free to download for the community. He never did and I never heard back from him. I thought it was a fair trade. Apparently he didn't. I guess his time and effort is worth money, where as mine is not.

 When a community gets together and wants to make nice looking repro, only offering the cost to have it done (split amongst the community members that pre-order) - then I have no problem with this. But when a person specifically makes repros to make money/profit, then I do have a problem. One could easily make a case/manual/cart - but leave the cart shell empty. Let the people that want the translated game, in a nice fancy case, but a flash card and put it in the new cart themselves. 

Personal Projects / Re: Megaman 1 and 2 for PC-Engine upgrade/hack
« on: January 26, 2014, 04:16:41 pm »
Yeah the problem is : I don't have any PCE, so all I can do is watch the video and say this is an amazing hack ^^

 Mednafen should run it fine (I used it to debug and do all my coding with). Bizhawk is a fork of medanfen, with a gui for windows. It should run in that, though I haven't tested it.

 I have a few other stuff that I'm going to add to the game. 6 button support for quick weapon changing without having to pause the game. Slide move from the later MM games. And charge shot (not sure how many charge 'stages' to make).

 I'm also looking for a chiptune artist to redo the MM1 PSG sound track in PCE format. Not just copy it, but remix/upgrade it/etc. I'll provide the sound engine and format, just need the musician.

January 26, 2014, 04:25:02 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

EDIT : I don't know if you fixed the music in Wily's stage since the Youtube video posted by Drakon. If you did ignore this remark, but if you didn't, Teck from vgmusic.com made two amazing arrangements of Wily stage 1 and 2 that would perfectly suit. (he actually did wonderful arrangement of most songs of the entiere Mega Man franchise, but only did the two Wily stages from MM1, which just happens to be what is missing in the hack).

 Got a link? I couldn't find those two on vgmusic.com, from him.

Personal Projects / Re: Megaman 1 and 2 for PC-Engine upgrade/hack
« on: January 26, 2014, 01:55:30 am »
New CD build of MM1 out. Has an options screen and a few new tricks. You can download it at my blog. It's cue/iso/wave format, so replace the wave tracker with whatever you want.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: YouTube/Google Video thread
« on: January 26, 2014, 12:38:25 am »

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Need a sound effect for my title screen
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:11:23 pm »
That's not that far off, just needs to be more metallic sounding/ringing at the end ;)

ROM Hacking Discussion / Need a sound effect for my title screen
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:30:40 am »
For when the title bar scrolls/snaps in over the background. Like a 'schwuuaaiiinnggg' type of noise. Something with a nice higher pitch metallic ring at the end. Maybe a few others for selection sounds (moving the cursor). They can be wave files or such, since they'll be ADPCM in for the game. Got any ideas/suggestions?

They might be tile based systems, but you can setup the tiles in such an arrangement - that you make a pseudo bitmap. Depending on how many unique tiles/cells the systems can show, is how large your bitmap/pixelmap can be.

 The usual method (because most older systems don't have full access to vram during active display), is have a buffer of the bitmap in local ram. Once you draw what you need to that buffer, you then upload it to vram. If the bitmap size/window is large, it might need to be updated across a few frames. If this is the case, then you usually want to have two spots in vram to 'double buffer' the image. I.e. So you don't get tearing or partial screen update artifacts.

 That aside, you still need to deal with the logic of the bitmap itself. Most older systems are planar format (with the exception of the Genesis, which are linear pixels), which can make it a pain to do certain things (types of drawing/plotting/compositing). The 16bit era systems have 4bit pixel graphics, so the tendency is to leave the whole bitmap in 4bit pixel format (else you get attribute clashing). SNES has two 8bit pixel modes available, but really limits the size of the bitmap window due to using double the vram space (and the option to do double buffering). Then there's the issue of bitmap in local ram has to be in 'tile' format. That slows things down. Some Genesis games optimize the bitmap in local ram as 'columns' of 8 pixels wide. That works well rendering stuff on a vertical level (like a raycaster engine).

 That's the basic idea of it.

I can use the 'megaman' part. That works out:

 I managed to find a clean source of what I was working with, so I'll just go with that:

 So I'm good. Now to work on the animated intro...

ROM Hacking Discussion / Need a menu and title/boot screen for Megaman
« on: January 14, 2014, 04:30:31 pm »
For this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LmPO_3dBFQ

 I need to make a menu for when the game first boots. It allows setting the channel's (for PSG sound FX) stereo separation and as well as global PSG volume level. And difficulty mode setting.

 Anyone interested? The title/boot screen is shown before the game begins and doesn't replace the original title screen.

 I can put something generic there, but I figured why not add something custom/nice for a change. Looking to do this fairly soon.

 I'll give a few details: Title/boot screen image is 256x224. Tiles are 8x8. Each tile is 15 colors.  The color format is RGB, 9bit. To do it in something like Photoshop, use RGB steps of 36 (0,36,72,etc). For example R of RGB has 8 steps: 0, 36,72,108, 144, 180, 216, 252. Same for G and B. There are 16 subpalettes. Each subpalette holds 15 colors. A tile can be assigned to any of those 16 subpalettes; but only 1 subpalette per tile (doesn't matter where that tile is, in the pic). For photoshop, I usually just have a transparent overlay that's in a 8x8 grid - so that I can keep track of which tile uses which subpalette. Sound complicated? It's not. I can give a PSD example file of how it works.

 So, that's that. If you're interested, post some mock-ups here.

Edit: I was actually gonna use this:

But the I need a 'megaman' title, not a rockman one. And I need that 'megaman' title bar on a separate layer, so I can scroll it in. And since there's no detail underneath it, I can't (I'm not a good enough pixel artist to replace the BG detail).

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: PC Engine/Turbo Grafx assistance needed
« on: January 14, 2014, 03:56:35 pm »
There's a document I made, a number of years back, here: http://www.romhacking.net/documents/357/

 Describes the tile compression and tilemap format. But yeah, get familiar with mednafen's debugger. Bizhawk also has a trace logger.

 The compression is pretty simple. What are you trying to do with the game?

 Tilemolester will view pce tiles and sprites. But for sprites, you need to set TM to 2D mode and the width to 16 pixels - since PCE sprite cells are 16x16. PCE sprites and tile cells are also in two different planar format. It's a pain. I just use TMOD2, with the PCE decode pack, and run it in DOSBOX emulator. It's fast/simple and has a few nice features. The only downside to tmod2, is that the PCE pack doesn't support 2bpp and 3bpp sprite viewing for PCE. Not too big of a deal, though. One of these days, I'll need to write a new tmod2 clone app for windows. And add a few missing features.

 If there was enough demand for it, I could give Bonk the 'nes mapper' treatment. I.e. Decompress the graphics and expand the rom, so hacking/editing would be easier.

 Edit: Also, the PCE 'tile' format is the same as the SNES. It's composite of 2bpp tiles.  It's the sprite format that's different/unique.

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