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Messages - aweigh

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21
i went back to 010 and i must be going crazy for having missed the highlighting options. however so far windhex is STILL the only hex editor i've seent hat will highlight sub-strings, i.e. any character that is referenced by a pointer. it is EXTREMELY useful for me anyway, not implying it's something essential.

however 010 highlights control chars and lets me add new ones, which is very nice, same with linebreaks and non-ASCII (although why anyone would need constant highlighting of non-ASCII i dunno). it only has one quirk that makes it unusable: if you copy something from the text field (using 010 with shift-jis encoding, obviously) and then paste it outside of 010, say, onto ANOTHER hex editor for example then the pasted output will be garbage :(

since CT2 highlights control chars as well by default allows copy/pasting outside of itself i guess it'll still be the best one for me for now. 010 has some good functionality though, basically it's the same as hex workshop for the tools (shifting bytes, operations, replacing, comparing, etc) but with shift-jis support. so i guess now there's no need to ever use hex workshop again.

22
A guide dedicated to explaining all of the hundreds of ways to go about extracting textures-with-text from games, how to edit them and with what software; how to convert them and back again into all of the different file types and finally how to re-insert them back into the game.

There really are NOT many good guides/FAQs that i've seen that really detail how to go about this and there are tons of ppl like me who have never edited an image in their entire life and more than that, have never extracted something from files that are not meant to be extracted from: bins and the like, and stuff that is compressed. Of course I know how to do this stuff now but I still know only maybe 10% of the subject.

I had to give up for the time being on the NDS rpg Wizardry: Asterisk because I just couldn't find any good guides on GBATemp that detailed how to deal with that games specific images. Sure, there are guides there on GBATemp about hacking and graphical hacking and the answer to everything is: LOL USE CT2. the problem is no one really explains how.

23
Well, i absolutely agree with that. I never meant to state that using a hex editor is the best tool; i think what i've been trying to communicate is that i think it's the most comprehensive one, and the one the most versatile, and the one most likely to engender curiosity for hexadecimal.

i find it odd that klath keeps referring to hex editors as "crude", and other demeaning adjectives. it's just a piece of software after all... and in any case, it would be the opposite of crude if you use logic. it can do anything.

i think more than lack of guidance on proper methodology and project planning what really might cause someone or a group of people to give up on a project is lack of flat-out explicit answers. i can count the amount of times i've been told to "WELL YOU NEED TO LEARN ASM GOOGLE IT" instead of any sort of real answer in probably the hundreds of times.

maybe someone else would get discouraged but that just forced me to keep trying, every day, googling new documents, reading forum posts, experimenting non-stop via trial and error, trying to understand little by little more about how "this stuff works".

hell look at my thread i posted about asking for suggestions on the best way to achieve VRW font on the game I'm working on on the side... 0 replies. Obviously everyone here has seen a thread topic similar to that one millions of times but the post has about 50 views, and i was extremely detailed in explaining everything and included screenshots and even offered 4 approaches that I think might work but need advice on how to go about them, i.e. it's not just random HOW DO I REPLACE FONT PLZ HLP post.

i post one thread with a slightly dramatic title and boom, immediate replies... make of that what you will.

24
Basically is there any editor that has the highlighting of windhex (i find it invaluable) but, unlike windhex, actually allows copy/paste and scrolling with the mouse-wheel?

I can live without wheel-scrolling as that's not important, just grown used to it. I've tried hex workshop, 010 hex editor, and mad edit and neither of the three have these things.

- hex workshop doesn't support shift-jis, therefore it is unsable.
- 010 hex editor and mad edit don't feature string/dte/mte highlight.

i tend to resort to using windhex + crystaltile in conjunction most of the time but i would love to be able to just use one editor.

Oh, and if the editors i mentioned do actually have these features and I missed them out of idiocy please tell me!

25
i had been searching for the correct way to express my enjoyment of romhacking but you hit it right on the head!

that's exactly right: i look at hacking/translating a game as puzzle-solving! that is why i enjoy using the hex editor so much.

i differ with you about the relationship with tools and rate of project completion: i believe it depends entirely on the dedication and willingness to learn on the part of the people working on the project.

if you want to finish something... you finish it. if you don't... you don't. it is as simple as that friend :)

26
I DUNno i've only ever used a hex editor to translate stuff. i've never used anything else and it has been a great learning experience; i've only started editing/translating for a few months. I have 1 game waiting for the script tog et translated and then i'm going to hex-edit it in manually just like i've done the entire game, and currently doing "everything-but-npc-dialog" hex editing/translation on two other games until i can get those two games' npc dialog translated by someone and then i'm going to hex edit that in as well using good ole windhex or crystaltile.

neither of the three games i've put work on required any graphical hacking whatsoever, entire games were translate-able via text editing.

anyway sorry about that my real point is simply to emphasize the fact that by starting with just a hex editor and knowing _absolutely NOTHING_ about coding whatsoever these past few months have been great and i feel lucky that i started brute-forcing the game translations using nothing but windhex and CT2.

it forced me to learn a lot of stuff i never dreamed i'd be learning and it has been like learning a new language. man, the amount of times i had to start over work i'd done because even my backsup going back to two weeks all had the same hex editing mistakes and thus were unsuable... well it just forced me to learn more. right now i've just made the first tentative steps on starting a translation on elminage 2 and 3 for psp and these two games are the first ones that required image editing so... now i need to learn about image editing.

another psp game i'm doing a "everything-but-npc-dialog" translation on, also for psp, i'm struggling with learning how to hack its font into variable width or at least reduce its pixels as it doesn't support latin. it has taken me weeks but every day i make a little bit more progress and learn a little bit more of what i can do and what can't be done.

i guess my point is really that i disagree that newcomers should not start using only hex editors. instead i think it should be the opposite i tihnk everyone should start and do an entire game with nothing but text editing and then they will naturally be curious about all the other stuff they need to learn when they start running into obstacles (like what's happened to me).

now of course the thing is the 3 games i'm working on are all Wizardry-style dungeon crawlers that feature very little npc dialog. So i've never needed or even thought about needing to use anything else than a hex editor to do the script/dialog because while yes, there is SOME: i mena there ARE npcs after all, it's nothing that i can't bang out in 1 week or so. and also it forced me to get curious on learning about things like pointer tables, line breaks, etc. i've basically been going on trial-and-error.

i've gotten very curious about encoding and hexadecimal values and basically it's become very fulfilling learning about this stuff and i wouldn't feel this way if the person who first got me started on this stuff had told me what you guys are saying and shied me away from hex editing everytihng. you should tell them the opposite.

27
yeah, all that sounds about right. obviously translating a 12mb .bin file that contains nothing but dialog via hex editor will be time consuming: but if you want something done RIGHT you have to do it with a personal touch.

best way to get a better translation in the end is if you do every single letter.

of course i have nothing against extraction tools just yesterday i had spent like a week looking for tools to rip the menu tiles from elminage 1 psp so i could replace the menus from the (japanese language) elminage 2 psp with the english ones from the 1st game. They didn't change or add any new spells or skills so all of the tiles worked out perfectly. been very happy with that.

just thinking of having to spend all those hours, days probably, grinding away with some image editing software hacking the elminage 2 menu tiles... UGH. i'd rather die. i find editing images 1000x more tedious and unsatisfying than hex editing.

i've never used the two programs you mention for ripping text but i have seen them bandied about on forums like this one for a while now. i've never bothered checking them out as i stick to Wizardry-style dungeon crawlers which are extremely light on NPC dialog... but my pipe dream is to eventually someday translate elminage 2 and 3 and those have huge, huge scripts.

28
aw but then you miss out on counting each letter you type as you reach the limit for that window box and then erasing what you just typed as you re-write on the fly until you notice later you wrote over an invisible @ and it won't display... that's the best part!

29
I noticed this while reading a post:

"You don't want to use a Hex Editor for translations. That's like opening a bottle of wine with a jackhammer. Use Hex Editor for investigating the formats, then you can approach a possible way of turning your results into a translation."

I don't understand. It gives you the most access and the most freedom over the game data (and obviously the script).

I'm frankly confused now: what should one be doing then instead of using a hex-editor, looking up the japanese text and translating it by typing on your keyboard? I don't mean that in a sarcastic manner... seriously, tell me. If I'm missing out I wanna know.

30
Game is Wizardry Empire 3 for the PSP (also released on the PS2 but both versions use the same non-Latin font. I checked just to make sure the PSP version was "easier").

I have extracted ALL of the game's important textures using Ninja Ripper and uMOD in conjunction with PPSSPP. However I have not been able to extract the actual internal font it utilizes for the "game text / dialog" as it never shows up during debugging: instead all of the text, and i mena EVERY PIECE; it comes out canned and all-at-once. It also comes out in seperate, and disparate textures. The game uses a second font which DOES support latin characters however the game only utilizes it for stuff like the player's party characters and their names, and other misc. stuff. I've even succesfully REPLACED that secondary mini-font map several times and it goes just fine: but it doesn't change any of the game dialog. Obviously. That is when I realized it used another font.

First I thought: must be using internal PSP font. A friend however clued me in while he dug around that it was using a supa-secret font that was not PSP system. Sure enough... I'm looking at its header and it's matrices and whatnot right now, boy oh boy, except I don't know how to proceed now.

Things that could help:

- Reduce font pixels by half. Cannot do this; have not done any ASM functions studying. Have never coded. Hex-editing is the closest.

- Reduce the BUFWIDTH's horizontal dimensions. The main problem is that since the letters are so large they go on and on and on and on right off the right side of the screen. The font HEIGHT is not a problem though. I have seen in PPSSPP's debugger the different BUFWIDTH's for the SEPERATE canned textures it spits out during dialog/scenes/anything, but have never been able to catch the source of those canned textures during the debugging even running a tracer and using the memory breaks. Had to learn how to do that.

- Extract the font (it is a tim file LOLOLOL) and... you guys tell me. This is the first time in my life I've ever had to or wanted to edit graphical images or edit them. All I have is my free version of Photoshop and a no idea how to begin editing an image. I know something like a font map/tile (?) has certain properties, dimensions i think, that correspond to specific vertices/matrices from the game and breaking those via editing would render the attempt moot.

- Finally, Is it possible to edit something like the font file's WIDTH or even its pixels just through my hex editor? If it means going through every single point of its matrices/vertices, which are like 200, and changing some hex value or whatever on each one then I am willing to do that. No prob.

Alternatively what about inserting hex/data of a NEW font right where the game's font file is stored in the umddata.bin of the game? i don't know and i apologize if that sounds incredibly dumb.

When I was translating the prequel, Wizardry Empire 1, I was shown how to make that game's font incredibly skinnier and less "bolded" by finding where the value that dictated the FW_WIDTH of the game's font (the game had it at 83 04 which is "500" and a ridiculous amount of FW_WIDTH. I set it to 2C 01 and it looked amazing: and it also fixed all of the text-is-too-big problems I had been having! Can't that be done with this PSP game too?

Pics:
(Here you can see I tried simply reducing by 50% the texture's dimensions and then reinserting. LOL i used paint)


(this is the word KEEP which I translated into english via normal hex editing. However the game spits it not letter by letter but all at once in one super-long HORIZONTAL texture)


(This is the game's second font that it only uses for stuff like the status screen, misc. stuff really; mostly for the player's party names. I already tried flat-out replacing it with many other fonts and it worked fine: no dice on affecting the actual game text though)


(a basic example of the crazy font wrapping. if i move a 0x00 to the left of the word CASTLE then the word goes to the right and breaks apart; if i remove the 0x00 from the right and place it on the left and move the word CASTLE a few spaces to the right then it shows up fine in game. I can't even...)


(here you can see very plainly what the second mini-font is used for)


(here I include this one so that you can take notice of that big white circle. I forgot the game doesn't support latin and I included a normal question mark, 0x21, instead of a FW question mark, 8148. whenever anything latin shows up that is how the game displays the character: a big white circle. no exceptions.)


(finally this last one is simply a screengrab of the PPSSPP debugger doing it's thing. you can see there the way the game spits out the texture for the text)

31
...and thus remove completely the need for me to spend days and days trying to extract the gim and tga files from Elminage 2 and 3 for the PSP so I can somehow, magically, edit them in Photoshop or the like and slap on some english letters on those textures and then spend more days and days trying to re-insert the images correctly and rebuild the ISO?

ex. Elminage 2 and 3, like almost all games, have several big ole tiles of textures for the "menus" and the like; you know what i mean the stuff you select such as FIGHT! and RUN! during a random encounter. Normally this is no never mind to me as the games i've worked on previously all have such crucial game elements squarely in text-strings and not in a texture or anything similar so I've never learned to edit images. But that's not even the problem: extracting that stuff from the PSP games is... well, it's hard. And it gets double hard when you want to re-insert and rebuild.

so i was thinking: why can't we just hex edit fu those textures and black 'em out, you know what i'm saying; and SOMEHOW, (key word here, "SOMEHOW", this being the reason for the post and all since I dunno how); SOMEHOW then just write english letters on the blacked out menu commands?

am i sleep deprived and posting a retarded post or is there something here? obviously aesthetics of the end result is 0% a concern for me.

basically use this...


to black out and insert english letters on these lil fellas...

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