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Romhacking => Newcomer's Board => Topic started by: fillercount on November 27, 2021, 10:51:59 am

Title: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: fillercount on November 27, 2021, 10:51:59 am
First, I'm not dropping the name because it's bad juju but I had I couldn't quite keep these questions to myself if I want to get this done right or at all for that matter.
The game in question has it's rom dropped as a big-ass .bin file with a .cue to run it.
My predecessor in this project extracted a lot from said .bin file, but everything is far and beyond a clusterf*** that finding an actual easily accessible way to edit the text or game without doing it out of the giant .bin is near impossible.

So, some info on what I'm dealing with
>Game primarily uses text in a 16x16 format which means direct changes to English would be D I S P L A Y E D  L I K E  T H I S and make it impossible to articulate in English
>My predecessor created a system of 16x16 character pairings like Eu, eu, ag, Ga, B_, _B, or f! to circumvent the 16x16 issue, but it requires nearly every possible pair to be defined in the font file and replace a Japanese character.
>Game has an in-built 8x16 font file but finding what string of hex calls for it is like finding a drop of water in an ocean. But it DOES call for it to be used somewhere and hopefully can be used to call for it all the time.
>Every Japanese character, kanji included, has it's own unique identifier that does not comply with UTF-8 and each must be found as well as read from a tiny 16x16 version of it

As it stands, I can brute force the translation with my predecessor's system, but that would leave a few things like the naming screen permanently borked. Which is why I'm looking to see if any others have experience or wisdom they'd be willing to part with to make this translation more tolerable.

November 27, 2021, 11:41:04 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention.
The extracted files contain many more .bin files, .cpk files, .chr files, .MAP files, "file" files, .exb files, .dat files, .md8 files, .mdt files, .evc files, .ecd files, .cg files, .cof files, and .eve files. They're about as organized as a laundry hamper to boot. Not sure how to open any of these files besides the .bin ones or even what to really do with them.
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: Bonesy on November 27, 2021, 01:31:20 pm
"bad juju" is a load of horse shit
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: Pennywise on November 27, 2021, 09:39:16 pm
Although probably not the advice you're looking for, the best way to approach the hacking/translation of a game is to learn the technicals of the system in question and learn how to use a debugger. The good news is that the Sega Saturn has a decent emulation platform and Yabause has a pretty solid suite of debugging tools. The same can't be said for other systems.

Anyhow, there is the Sega Xtreme forums where other Saturn hackers hang out, but I suspect you're going to get similar advice from them. You'll likely find no quick solution and is something that will take months/years to learn or master.
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: fillercount on November 27, 2021, 10:20:11 pm
Exactly the person I was hoping to hear from, but not with any good news.

Still, as long as they have a general arrow to point me in, that's better than what I have now. I spent most of the day trying to pick the code apart to at least get a basic understanding of how it's all coming together. If the Sega Xtreme lads know the ins and outs of the system, then they'll likely at least be able to tell me what I'm looking at. Thanks for the pointer.
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: Bonesy on December 01, 2021, 01:53:07 pm
The reason I said what I said is because it does someone who knows Saturn no good if they don't know what game they need to give advice on.


Don't exactly see why that's a problem.
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: fillercount on December 02, 2021, 02:22:32 am
I suppose you're right, but I also have a bad history of running my mouth and getting slapped by life for it.
Game in question is SMT: Devil Summoner.

Small update: I've found an old programmer's manual for the Saturn that's taking some time to pick apart considering it's sheer bulk of 4,000+ pages. I do have an idea for swapping out the font files, but it still would take some time to figure out what the code is trying to say when I'm reading it in the professional version of wingdings.
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: FAST6191 on December 02, 2021, 01:58:23 pm
Other than a chance of it sticking around aspect I can't say such an approach won't yield results (without looking at it to see if it is all lies and half truths then if you learn it you will necessarily have learned at least how Saturn professionals* might have done it) but it might also be a lot of work when you could get away with a lot less, especially for the Saturn which is a notoriously complicated beast. Most people I have ever seen in hacking tend to learn consoles almost from a bottom up approach, and combine it with more of a coding problem approach (how would I do a font to formulate an approach rather than looking at code first).

*how many times have emulators, homebrew authors and to a lesser extent ROM hackers discovered new functionality or means of working a system?

For fonts then you could contemplate the nature of the graphics system but first look at the iso to see if you can find it (names, extensions, sizes, directory names, elimination based on that), maybe some corruption to see what changes if you subtly alter a few things in a file you suspect as being something you want (or brute force eliminated it as), bust out the tile editor and press down a lot, maybe look at the VRAM and try to loop a search back and finally then doing tracing, or maybe not finally but at a point when time to effort required tips in your particular favour (I would rather trace then stare at a tile editor but others will take the tile editor, brute force corruption of iso/ROM I would definitely stop and go tracing for but corruption will solve it eventually).
Title: Re: Questions regarding low-level editing and translation for a Sega Saturn game
Post by: cccmar on December 03, 2021, 01:49:49 am
Someone else is working on it I think? You should ask around. I remember seeing mentions of a new project at the beginning of the year, by CJ_iwakura. He might be looking for some additional help, but last time I checked the project was in full swing (unless you've been involved in his efforts too).