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Author Topic: Money and Romhacks  (Read 4844 times)

PresidentLeever

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Money and Romhacks
« on: May 12, 2014, 09:20:55 am »
Has anyone ever been paid to do a romhack, and what's everyone's stance on it?

I'm a bit surprised there's been no fund raising topic for the most wanted stuff. Well, no I'm not but I'm thinking it could work for some projects.

Mini-reviews, retro sound chip tribute, romhacks and general listage at my site: Mini-Revver.

FAST6191

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 09:52:36 am »
There have been some odd things in the pokemon/fire emblem world, mainly donations and tool donations. Likewise for PC modding there has been some stuff over the years, more in the form of job offers and "let us take this game to a legit/full one" though.

A handful of hackers (though usually more for their homebrew dev/emulator dev skills) have spun hacking into some paid work.

Generally though ROM hacking is a very grey area as far as the law goes. Taking money for such things then is when lawyers start to perk up.

Also as a hacker you tend to have what are otherwise considered top skills in an area -- some company phones me up tomorrow and says "we really need your ARM/z80/68K/.... assembly skills* to reverse engineer this protocol/device" and $100 or so would be what I might charge for the initial phone consultation (or would be if I took doing such things seriously and not just as boredom prevention).

*any number of embedded devices use processors common in ROM hacking, said devices also often being business critical in multimillion operations. Equally such skills are not the most common and certainly not taught all that often.

VicVergil

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 12:25:53 pm »
I think D- and some other romhackers set up a company that released translations for a cancelled SNES game and three Japan-only Megadrive games (Super Fighter Team company or something). They even went so far to buy a prototype of the cancelled official English version for Blue Almanac specifically to prevent its release since they were working on their own separate translation in the mean time.

Besides that, many companies hire what amount to romhackers to do their stuff.
Most known are Sega (hired devs of Genesis on PC, Saturn on PC, Genesis on DS emulators, among others... also Monster World IV for the English Wii VC was a dual-language rom actually -not unlike many Megadrive translation patches ;) )
and to a lesser extent Xseed (they tend to "romhack" only PC versions... they are still open to buying scripts from other parties).
Almost happened with Namco Bandai and a Spanish fan-translation group but the latter seemingly botched up the deal.

And companies often hire people with "romhacker" skills when they are doing ports based on a game they lost all assets for except for the final released game (Hudson with their Tengai Makyou/Galaxy Frau Yuna stuff, Square Enix with Kingdom Hearts 1 of all things, and MANY other things) so that they recover their stuff from the iso and all of the game logic.
In fact, I think Nintendo does it very frequently with the VC releases.

Also: People who ask for money for translating a work done by someone else are not very respected.

Gideon Zhi

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 02:22:49 pm »
I would be all for dealing with corporations or buying up the rights to some of the stuff I'm working on. That sort of legitimization would be incredibly exciting. But I'm not going to charge for or hold for ransom anything that I don't legally have the rights to sell.

creeperton

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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 10:08:15 pm »
.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 01:41:21 am by creeperton »

FAST6191

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 04:27:54 am »
[recovering assets where there is no source code, either because it was lost of it was ASM all the way down]
No way!  Details?

Quite a few homebrew devs, many of which have crossed over into hacking, have been hired to develop emulators and continue their own for a given game, especially in the handheld world. Several more have had it as good CV fodder and have been asked to speak about it in interviews with game devs.

Actual hacking as it were. Sega has done a bit of this over the years, thanks in part to it losing an awful lot of source code to many great games and more besides (do a search for Sega lost source code). Most recently probably in some of the Sonic stuff for IOS, http://tcrf.net/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_%28iOS,_2013%29 has a bit more there.

There are more examples but I can not bring them to mind right now, mainly as such things do not get terribly highly publicised, especially not compared to the emulator stuff which tends to see emulator development drop off (and that tends to mean the best emulator for a system). There have been a few other ones where a game might need to be touched up for a different resolution (again handhelds and emulators) or TV style (CRT blending and what have you).

If Sony's trophments and DLC in games without them thing comes to pass I imagine there might be a few more. If you missed that Sony were seen to file for two patents. One was to add trophies ( http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/03/21/are-trophies-coming-for-psone-and-ps2-classics ) which for all I saw was just cheats turned about face (find the location of the say kill combo counter in memory, fire off trophy thing if counter reaches say 200), the other just read like savestates but "done over a network" ( http://uk.ign.com/articles/2014/01/02/new-sony-patent-deals-with-adding-new-content-to-emulated-games ). In the both cases they talked up a bit about not needing source code/hackery things but I do not believe that will the case for a moment.

KingMike

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 01:11:13 am »
I think D- and some other romhackers set up a company that released translations for a cancelled SNES game and three Japan-only Megadrive games (Super Fighter Team company or something). They even went so far to buy a prototype of the cancelled official English version for Blue Almanac specifically to prevent its release since they were working on their own separate translation in the mean time.
I don't think D was involved in the creation of Super Fighter, though he has worked with them.
And the thing is that Super Fighter licenses their translations from the copyright owners.
As to the Star Odyssey prototype, D said the original canceled was a pretty crappy translation and had some major bugs anyways.
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Pokeytax

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 10:02:24 pm »
Seems like an SD Snatcher [MSX] patch is being sold, at the least: http://www.project-melancholia.org/order.html.

Dr. Floppy

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 07:11:38 pm »
Didn't Team Fortress 2 start out as a Quake-hack/mod in the late 1990's?

Lilinda

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 08:27:05 pm »
Team Fortress did. Then, Valve bought it, redid it in the GoldSrc engine and called it Team Fortress Classic. TF2 itself was not a mod.
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zstandig

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Re: Money and Romhacks
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 02:56:08 pm »
There was that one time a male model wanted to pay someone to modify Legendary Wings for the NES.