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Author Topic: Utilities: Has the ROM hacking community finally found a patching format to call their own?  (Read 32458 times)

Tater Bear

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There is no point to continue, since seems that you like only trolling people. These were my arguments, go in peace.

Sorry, if I upset you. If it helps you feel better, I plan to continue using ISP. It is a strong standard and has been around for decades and works for all files (that I would use it on) and it has many user friendly patchers ;D. When the time comes to switch patching formats, internet connections will be fast enough that I will just download pre-patched games with a torrent. In fact, I can do that right now, patches are already obsolete :o.

At any rate, I'll probably be using it for N64 hacks nowadays.  It's more suited to what I do and there isn't an issue with automation.

Congrats on having an adventurous spirit. Let us know your thoughts on the format and how it has worked out for your projects.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:08:12 pm by Tater Bear »

Lilinda

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Poor MD, SMS, GBA, GB. No love for them  :'(  ;)

I want to point out that there are GBA games are 32 megs or larger, thus incompatible with IPS. They're not all that common, but they do exist.
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FAST6191

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I want to point out that there are GBA games are 32 megs or larger, thus incompatible with IPS. They're not all that common, but they do exist.

Furthermore the full 32 megabyte window is available to all games without exception or issue (even pointer maths should continue to work) and we have already seen a handful of hacks go into this space (Polish Kingdom Hearts, a couple of the fire emblem hacks and several prototype/alpha patches) even if they would not otherwise classify as a 256Mbit title (it is a free 16 megs of space after all and there are also many ROM images that go right up to the 16 meg line).

DaMarsMan

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I see a lot of arguing going on in this thread and it sucks because this is an important step towards something better than IPS.

I doubt Nightcrawler would go for this but what if we had some sort of web interface where a user could upload a file, a patched file and the server would run the necessary commands to generate xdelta, bps and ninja style formats so that everyone could be happy. This would work for small files under 30MB and there could be exceptions for custom formats for extremely large files. The uploaded files could be deleted after generation. I'm not sure about the legal aspects of this and it would probably require more server load but I would be willing to bet that some of the RHDN previous donors would pitch in to make some sort of thing like this possible. Just a thought.

Garoth Moulinoski

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creeperton

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« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2012, 07:38:17 pm »
.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 01:21:19 am by creeperton »

Garoth Moulinoski

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It's always a good idea to make code as modular as you possibly can.
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Recca

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I honestly don't know why people these days keep trying to create pointlessly diffcult to use things. IPS patches are small, easy to use/create and are the most widely used. They work just well and I see absolutely no point in trying to replace it. Alright, I understand doing so for games over 32 MB, but it makes no sense to use other patch formats other than IPS for Snes/Gens games and other older platforms. I was pretty annoyed when UPS patches started appearing for Snes translations and now this new patch format appears... Whatever, I'm going to continue using IPS patches and hopefully others will as well for Snes/Gens translations.

And not to mention that average gamers who aren't romhackers/translators will have a hard time trying to use these newer patch formats...

Edit: Also in response to an earlier post in this thread, most GBA games are 16 MB like the three Fire Emblem games, so IPS patches can be used on them as well. In matter in fact, the translation patch for Fire Emblem - Fuuin no Tsurugi is in IPS format and works just fine.
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FAST6191

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I honestly don't know why people these days keep trying to create pointlessly diffcult to use things. IPS patches are small, easy to use/create and are the most widely used. They work just well and I see absolutely no point in trying to replace it. Alright, I understand doing so for games over 32 MB, but it makes no sense to use other patch formats other than IPS for Snes/Gens games and other older platforms. I was pretty annoyed when UPS patches started appearing for Snes translations and now this new patch format appears... Whatever, I'm going to continue using IPS patches and hopefully others will as well for Snes/Gens translations.

And not to mention that average gamers who aren't romhackers/translators will have a hard time trying to use these newer patch formats...

Edit: Also in response to an earlier post in this thread, most GBA games are 16 MB like the three Fire Emblem games, so IPS patches can be used on them as well. In matter in fact, the translation patch for Fire Emblem - Fuuin no Tsurugi is in IPS format and works just fine.

As you yourself hint at there is something to be said for having a broadly used/universal format and IPS (even with all the various extensions) can never be it should hacking wish to continue on more modern systems. Likewise some aspects of delta patching can work around basic headers (interleaved is a different matter) and if we are going ultra theoretical if you are shifting code around a game (rarely done I know unless you have a file system) or for a more practical/reasonable example dealing with compressed data (one is advised to decompress the entire file rather than edit in place when it comes to compression) the IPS version of the patch would just see a change and thus carry copyrighted data (the dodging of which is half the reason for using patches in the first place).

Re: Hard time to use. I am sure we have all seen some cases of what can only be described as wilful ignorance but there are a few nice GUI programs (which amount to select original file, select patch file and select output) and I have long seen very specific readme files and batch files (with appropriate command line tool) bundled with things- the Wii pretty much mandates batch file use. Now I can get behind some of the patching programs for flash carts and emulators carrying built in support being rendered slightly less useful by things like this though it not an argument I will hold to for very long.

If the fire emblem comment was directed at an earlier post of mine technically the EU version of sacred stones was 256Mbit and I did deliberately say some of the non English translations* when discussing those (several of the GBA flash carts can not fit them in fast memory and for once in life bigger filesize can mean better when it comes to games), not to mention several of the game/map and sound hacks (and Fire Emblem is set to be up there with pokemon, advance wars and golden sun in the nice premade tools stakes) rather than translations are heading that way. To that end I can get behind a call in those circles to require non IPS formats as standard, that said spinning off an IPS patch for legacy program/emulator reasons where possible couldn't hurt. Whether this format is the best candidate for this task seems like something we should be debating in this thread.

I sense I am just adding to the repetition of ideas from http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,14949.0.html (which I believe was already linked in this thread) so I will end for the moment.

*Whether it was a technical requirement or just a dislike for remapping data over the original data I am unsure of at this point, either way it does not change anything.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Okay.

Here's the problem with these new formats:

They suck at the same things IPS sucks at, for no good reason.

Any proper replacement needs to:

  • Support multiple ROMs without requiring multiple patches.
  • Support a range of game sizes, from 16k NES ROMs to multi-gigabyte PS3 titles.
  • Require little to no effort for end-users to use.
  • Provide for soft-patching, at least on older/smaller games.
  • Produce reasonable patch sizes for most cases.

Tater Bear

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    Here's the problem with these new formats:

    They suck at the same things IPS sucks at, for no good reason.

    xdelta, UPS, BPS, and NINJA are all improvements over IPS. Only things IPS has over them is its simplicity and wide spread use.

    Any proper replacement needs to:

    • Support multiple ROMs without requiring multiple patches.
    Part of the BPS spec, it is blind to file type. I misunderstood, the point. You can simply just not use the file verification option and your BPS patch will work fine on multiple ROMS.
    • Support a range of game sizes, from 16k NES ROMs to multi-gigabyte PS3 titles.
    Part of the BPS spec, there are no file size limits (Unlike IPS), meaning large files ARE supported
    • Require little to no effort for end-users to use.
    Simplicity is part of the BPS design goal
    • Provide for soft-patching, at least on older/smaller games.
    BPS was designed so this could be done.
    • Produce reasonable patch sizes for most cases.
    BPS allows for extremely small sized patches (especially when compared to IPS) and has been demonstrated to be capable of beating xdelta patches
    [/list]

    Since you specifically are talking about formats, I guess you will support the BPS format, as it can do all those things in your list and it doesn't suck at all the things IPS does. Just look at the specification.

    I recently discovered BPS can do patch-stacking just fine, only difference is its files are smaller than IPS files  ;). If you don't know how to program and want to try it for yourself, I recommend you use V03 of beat as it has a check box to ignore checksums.

    People here seem to be stumbling over the difference between a format vs implementation. That is why in my previous post I brought up h.264. As a video format, its spec allowed for many things and it was featured packed with options. Its primary purpose was to allow the playback of HD content from smaller files. Its reference encoder sucked horribly and many computers could not even playback the files at full speed. Was this a problem with the spec? Not really, it was a problem of the implementations. There were people that argued that the format was unnecessary and that a ASP MPEG-4 (h.263v3) could playback HD content and at full speed just fine. In fact, some went as far to say a MPEG2 (h.262), was good enough for HD playback. Some people even said that playback and use of h.264 files would only be possible if there was hardware support, as software was not practical. The X264 team wrote their own implementation of an encoder, even though reasonable HD playback was not possible on most computers (Which is not an issue with BPS), and it has now become possibly the best video encoder on the planet. Several groups have written codecs that allowed for full speed playback of h.264 through software (Core was the first and divx and ffmpeg soon followed) on slower computers.  Keep in mind that the naysayers were people against change and not technical minded, fortunately the video encoder community is not filled with narrow minded people, but people that look to the future.

    Lets compare formats at launch

    H.264BPS
    Reference Encoder speedSlow on small and large filesFast on common file sizes, slow on large files.
    Reference Encoder quality Horrible. Loses in image quality to encoders for other formats and is not user friendly.Excellent. Beats ISP files in size and can even beat xdelta on several files. It is simple to use and has a help menu.
    SpecificationComplex.(when compared to ALL its competitors)Simple. (When compared to xdelta)
    licensingFee must be paid.Free.


    I am amazed at the differences between communities.  Is it that the video encoding community is more progressive than this one? We have a format that is light years ahead of h.264 when it was released, yet all we can do is discuss how we should stick to older formats. Thanks to the video encoding community moving ahead and using/supporting h.264, I can now download and watch HD movies in excellent quality at fraction of the size it would have taken for one of the previous formats. A format like BPS can grow with the community. It can work for the small hacks we do now and it will work for the large patches we do in the future. BPS can work with large files, beats implementation is what is slow for creating patches of large files. In fact, you can make a patch for a large file with the current version of beat if you are simply willing to wait a loooong time for it to finish (I know people that leave their video encoder encoding a file for days). That file that took awhile to make will work just fine for the end user (patch application is not slow for large files). There are at least two individuals I know of that are working on faster encoders for BPS (One of them is byuu).

    Edit: Fixed my misunderstanding of Kiyoshi Aman's first list point, and corrected a few more ISP vs IPS typos.
    « Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 02:19:06 pm by Tater Bear »

    Lilinda

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    IPS, not ISP
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    Tater Bear

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    IPS, not ISP

    Thanks, I accidentally posted my post while I was still typing it up. Zero checking was done. I finished my post, so it should be slightly more legible.

    KaioShin

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    Pro salesmen tip: Calling your customers stupid and backwards will certainly help sales.
    All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

    Tater Bear

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    Pro salesmen tip: Calling your customers stupid and backwards will certainly help sales.

    Rebuke accepted... Although it was not my intention to sound like I was questioning intelligence.

    Nec5

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    IPS, not ISP
    If we add any more variations, we'll be in acronym hell.  IPS,ISP,UPS,USPS,PSP, SOS...
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    BRPXQZME

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    and we shall implement those which we may in the Universal ROM Multi-Omni-Mangler
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    Garoth Moulinoski

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    and we shall implement those which we may in the Universal ROM Multi-Omni-Mangler

    I guess I now found out what the answer to the question "What comes after the Omniverse" is. The Multi-Omniverse.
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    Kiyoshi Aman

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    I said nothing about file type.

    Let's say I have a hack which works on the Japanese and English versions of a particular game. IPS supports this just fine (for older games). Can BPS?

    Tater Bear

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    Let's say I have a hack which works on the Japanese and English versions of a particular game. IPS supports this just fine (for older games). Can BPS?

    Yes, it can do it just fine. Try this older version of beat and uncheck verify data.