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Author Topic: Ways to distribute romhacks  (Read 4248 times)

Roger Pepitone

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Ways to distribute romhacks
« on: October 27, 2011, 03:51:40 pm »
Is there any discussion of ways to distribute romhacks?

The commonest way seems to be:  Make a diff file; end user must rip or dl the rom, then use that rom with the diff to produce a new rom file, then play that rom with a flash cart or emulator.

Has there been any discussions of alternate ways?

Ryusui

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 04:17:19 pm »
The only other way is to simply distribute the hacked ROM, WHICH WE DO NOT DO. Seriously. The only reason the hacking community exists at all is because we don't actually distribute ROMs; we distribute patches, which contain no copyrighted content.

How else would you suggest we do it? Because seriously, it's not hard to make/apply a patch, and newer patch formats get around the whole "patching the wrong ROM" problem.
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Roger Pepitone

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 09:02:54 am »
More along the lines of "Can one distribute a patch that can be used with an intact cartridge / CD?", if that makes sense; for example, a patch for a DS game that worked by putting the patch onto an object in slot 2.

If not, what is the recommended patch format?

henke37

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 11:39:45 am »
Of course that's not possible, you need to make the game actually access the modified data. And that is kinda hard without modifying the game to begin with.

Also, regarding the claim that patches contain no copyrighted data, that is only the ideal situation. Reality says that patches sometimes contains copyrighted data of the same game that needs to be moved and/or slightly changed.

And that's not counting when you take copyrighted data from somewhere else.

Auryn

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 11:46:41 am »
You are clearly talking about NDS/NDSL, how you would do that with the NDSi / NDSi XL or all other consoles??
Would you build that device??
Apart that if I remember well, the NDS can't access the GBA port when started on NDS mode and that's why you needed the passme keycard in slot 1 with the older flashcards.

There is no actual ideal format for the patch but there are more or less "silent" installed standards for each console.
For the NDS it seems to be xdelta format.


henke37

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2011, 08:59:59 am »
It can access the GBA port just fine. It's just that there is no approved code that will load additional code from it. And there will never be.

Jorpho

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 11:21:29 am »
The commonest way seems to be:  Make a diff file; end user must rip or dl the rom, then use that rom with the diff to produce a new rom file, then play that rom with a flash cart or emulator.

Has there been any discussions of alternate ways?
There are a few patches (such as Radical Dreamers, if I'm not mistaken) which include their own custom patching programs.  The advantage is that such a program is ideally more capable of accommodating whatever subtle version variations there may be in the available ROMs; the disadvantage is that any pre-compiled program will only be able to run under certain operating systems and might not be possible to easily run at all if operating systems advance sufficiently.  One can of course provide the source code to circumvent that problem, but getting old source code to compile isn't always easy either.
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Auryn

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 12:36:15 pm »
It can access the GBA port just fine. It's just that there is no approved code that will load additional code from it. And there will never be.

This means that a device in slot 2 will not work exactly like I said.

Spooniest

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2011, 12:37:56 pm »
What about a pass-through cart?

The Game Genie, for example, was a basic romhacking tool that operated as a pass-through cartridge, i.e., you would plug your cartridge into the Game Genie, then plug the whole assembly into your system.

What about having a pass-through cart that could be loaded up with an .ips file, and then a cartridge, and use an auto-patching program (like the one ZSNES has) to apply the patch on the go? Seems simple enough, though I must offer a caveat that I wouldn't have any idea how to build such a thing.
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Auryn

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 01:48:46 pm »
Everything is fine in a NDS if it boots in GBA mode and you can use the full GBA port.

But if the NDS boots on the NDS mode, there is no way to access (or use) the full GBA port.

It could be made by a slot1 pass-through card but he will surely not be the one who will created that and I believe that if it would be easy, it would be already created by someone.

KingMike

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 05:35:03 pm »
If the NDS can't use the GBA port, then how do DS games that read the GBA port work (like Pokemon games that can eventually import from the GBA games, or FFTA2, which gives you the Libra skill if you start a new game with FFTA1 in the GBA slot)?
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Auryn

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 09:01:27 pm »
Like I said..."no full access".


henke37

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 09:02:14 pm »
What Auryn is trying to say is that the firmware will not load code in NDS mode from slot 2. It will only load code in GBA compatibility mode.

The actual NDS games are free to load anything they want from slot 2. It is just that Nintendo simply wont ever allow authorized software to load code from that slot.

Zoinkity

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 03:43:01 pm »
What about a pass-through cart?
What about having a pass-through cart that could be loaded up with an .ips file, and then a cartridge, and use an auto-patching program (like the one ZSNES has) to apply the patch on the go?

Well, the X-Band worked in a very similiar way and did apply their own patches in such a manner.  Don't know if anybody reversed the patch format; the project I heard of was some years ago, and who knows what progress was made.  Snazzy device that.  Even has its own built-in hex editor.

Can't say much about SNES, but you could also patch smaller amounts of data to an N64 cart with either a modified GameShark/Action Replay BIOS (completely automated) or via upload at runtime (partially automated), presuming all the modified data will fit within rdram.  Also, you could, although it wasn't done as far as I know, use a backup device with a copy/autopatch method built into the ROM which applies a patch to itself as it copies the original bootcart into the normal hardware space.  Again the you'd need assurance you don't accidentally overwrite the patch in ROM with the copied data.

Mauron

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Re: Ways to distribute romhacks
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2011, 05:28:09 pm »
If the NDS can't use the GBA port, then how do DS games that read the GBA port work (like Pokemon games that can eventually import from the GBA games, or FFTA2, which gives you the Libra skill if you start a new game with FFTA1 in the GBA slot)?

That's it, if I ever play FFTA2, I'm borrowing my roommate's DS.
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