Hi everyone! I have been into emulation for 15 years now, since 2003, I think, and into ROM hacking just as long, the first one I ever used was the RPGe translation (NOT the final version, I accidentally was using a buggy earlier version off some ROM site) of Final Fantasy V to play it in English. Then I found this site which had the latest version of that patch which worked MUCH better. And had a lot of other great patches too!
I am really into translation patches to play Japanese games in English, and even retranslation patches for games that were released in English where people try to do a better translation. I am also into bugfix patches, I really like those. A ton of people have made individual bugfix patches for Final Fantasy VI, ridiculous numbers of individual ones. I used to have my own project to try to combine them together into a mega-bugfix patch which I hosted on my own website. Some other people posting on a website called Slick Productions started working on mega-bugfix patches too collaboratively, the FF6 Improvement Project by ShadedMagus and some of them even noticed my patch after they had been independently working on theirs for a couple months, theirs ended up being a lot better than mine so I discontinued my project since theirs is better, theirs included all the bugfixes mine had plus more. Now some other people have done even better work than that in the years since then, there are some really excellent patches from the last few years that I have recently noticed, some of which are actively being developed. I would like to give feedback on some of those so that is one of the main reasons I am joining.
I really am obsessed a bit with fonts. I came up with my own 8x8 pixel font over a decade ago which I like better than any other 8x8 pixel font, it was based on various other 8x8 pixel fonts but I carefully edited each letter until it looked perfect. It was originally based on an alternate serif font used in a version prior to the final one of the J2E translation patch for Final Fantasy IV. At one point I hacked a whole bunch of different games to all use my font, NES games, SNES games, all sorts of games, from Super Mario Brothers to you name it. It was rather excessive, but a lot of old NES games use ugly fonts, I got too obsessed with that for awhile. Not sure if I still have those files around anywhere. My font includes all the uppercase and lowercase letters as well as all the symbols used commonly in retro console games, but I would like to complete it, to make it at the very least include all the characters in the DOS code page 437 and the Windows code page 1252, and have it both as a real font file as well as something that can be used in tile editors to replace tiles for the characters of a fixed-width 8x8 font in a ROM.
Although I have some programming ability in higher level languages and at one point studied x86 assembly and wrote some simple DOS programs in assembly I mostly just know higher-level languages, so programming in the assembly code used by the processors of consoles, the code that is in ROMs, would be super difficult for me to learn. I can use a tile editor though and I am good at using ucon64 and other utilities. I don’t know any other language besides English fluently enough to translate things accurately, I do know varying amounts of Spanish, German, Latin, Hungarian, and Japanese, but my primary language is English and I am pretty terrible at all other languages. And I am illiterate at non-Latin scripts such as the 3 scripts used in Japanese, or Cyrillic, or Hebrew, or Arabic, or even the Greek alphabet despite using a few of the Greek letters such as pi in math class.
About the only truly original ROM hack or patch I have done that I think I should post here is one to patch Final Fantasy V for the SNES to have different graphics for the Mute/Silence spell. Existing translations of that game do not patch the graphic for that spell, which is also sometimes automatically cast by various weapons such as the Mage Masher. The original graphic displays a gigantic Japanese character that means Mute or Silence, inside a circle, but English speakers cannot read this. So I made a new graphic using a tile editor, with the word “MUTE” inside a circle of the same size and shape, for English speakers to be able to understand that. I will see if I can find it, it is on an old hard drive from a computer I don’t use anymore, but it ought to work. I’ll see if I can recover my work and test it and maybe post it on here as a ROM hack. Oh right, and I did all my tile editing using Tile Molester by Snowbro although nowadays I would at the very least upgrade to the latest Tile Molester Mod by Mewster. And also ucon64 is a super useful ROM utility I used too. I wonder what other software is good to use for ROM hacking. I have not researched that in quite some time. My skills are maybe a little rusty but I think I might be able to start patching together various patches for games one of these days. But without ASM hacking skills or Japanese language skills about all I can do is tile editing and combing together other patches, probably. Oh wait some games have script or level editors or things like that, I guess there are other things I could do without ASM hacking skills. Yes, I will hack some stuff, hopefully. This is going to be fun! If I get any ROM hack done that is ready for prime time and worth sharing with other people I will share it and upload it here.
And yes, I have even made silly hacks for my own amusement, like ones where I made naked sprites for characters so they went around naked all the time. Never released those publicly, mostly because I suck at drawing tiny pixellated naked people and it is nowhere near as good as the original graphics. The main way it is not as good is, it uses less colors and I did not figure out how to edit palettes. When someone has clothing on the clothing has different colors from the skin but naked, with the skin all the same color, not as colorful unless I edit the palette so I can add some kind of gradient or dithering or shadow effect or something because having an entire sprite be pretty much all the same exact color looks boring. My artistic abilities are not that good although maybe I could improve them. Plus it is a ridiculous idea that I only did because I thought it would be funny. Definitely not ready for prime time, in fact I deleted all that sort of thing years ago, if I make something really awful like that I delete it. I would only ever upload quality work to a site like this. I am just mentioning this as an example of the kind of stuff I have experimented with in ROM hacking myself. The real reason I was doing that was just to learn how to edit character sprites in a ROM as a beginner, of course. A skill which I could put to use in actual good hacks in the future (a good hack would make things look better, not worse, obviously).
Thanks for reading!