I'm known for having bone-headed ideas that no one agrees with so you may be right m.z.
, but my thinking is thus:
Even if someone is a great programmer, they don't know WHAT
to program unless they can understand assembly enough to reverse engineer the game. Translating a game might
require programming skills; it will
almost certainly require assembly reading/writing skills.
Writing a re-compressor would likely take programming knowledge, but of all the games on the market, a relatively small percentage use compression. And, there are workarounds. My current project has some compressed images. The game has the decompression routine in nice tidy assembly package so I don't have to program my own. If I decide to translate the text on those images (background screens), I won't bother coding a re-compression tool. I'll just hack a few values in the game to bypass the compression altogether. As is, the game loads the compressed graphic, runs it through the decompression routine which creates an uncompressed copy in RAM, then forwards that location to a rendering routine. Why bother coding a compression tool when I can just load the decompressed image and send that directly to the rendering routine? If space is such an issue that you can't fit uncompressed data, why not replace the game's compression routine with a format that already has existing tools? Programming skill isn't needed for any of those procedures, but assembly is.
I don't mean to devalue programming skills at all. It's just that in translating, I've found them to be less useful than knowledge of assembly. Anyways, just my opinion.