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Author Topic: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking  (Read 9655 times)

puzzledude

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Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« on: July 25, 2015, 03:07:50 pm »
Are you one of those retro fans who are actually capable of hacking and modifying games for old consoles, or do you want to become one? Why bother at all!

First of all, no matter how good your game is, someone will most certainly not like it.

If you make the game too difficult, someone will most certainly not like, but! if you make the game too easy or normally difficult someone will most certainly again not like it, claiming it is too easy.

You will even come across such paradoxes, that a fairly easy game will be regarded as too difficult by some and yet too easy by others. So to conclude: no matter the actual difficulty, you'll always get the difficulty of your game wrong.

If your designed levels are based on exploration, someone will certainly call your game boring due to so called Backtracking. If you then decide to change that onto the better, don't bother, your edited levels, which will remove the backtracking, will certainly be called too Linear, which is apparently again no good. So to conclude: no matter the actual exploration factor, you'll always get the level design wrong.

If you decide to change the gfx, someone will certainly not like it, since they will claim the old gfx was better and the new one is too radical, custom made and thus no good. If you however decide to keep the original gfx, your game will be called "vanilla". So to conclude: no matter what you do with the gfx, you'll always get it wrong.

If you decide to implement special new music engine called MSU-1, don't bother, someone will definitely like SPC better. If you however keep the SPC, they will certainly tell you, that you are out of date, not switching to MSU.

If you mannaged to actually finish the project, you will come across painful testing. You will test and test and test, but why do you bother, you will certainly miss a bug or two, and when a player will come across such a minor problem, he will call your game (which you painfully tested for bugs) bugged. So why bother: no matter how much debugging you'll make, someone will still call your game bugged.

No matter how much you will check the grammar of the texts in the game, you'll surely miss out something. So why bother: no matter how much you will try to find spelling mistakes, someone will most surely find some and call your game a spelling horror and then add: this is common in those "custom made fake games".

If you designed your game to be used with save states, someone will call this a poor design, if you designed your game to be used without save states, they will use them anyway, making your game too easy - again. So why do you bother?

No matter how much TXT info files you will write, someone will surely patch your game to the false original rom, claiming you did a poor job with your game, since it doesn't load.

No matter how much TXT info files you will write, someone will surely patch your game to the false original rom, claiming you did a poor job with your game, since the game crashes in the middle of the playing. If you tell them to obviously check the CRC before playing they will tell you, that they've never heard of such a thing. So why do you bother?

If you tell them, to patch to a non headered rom, someone will definitely patch to a headered rom and claim your game to be bugged or not working, not knowing what went wrong.


If someone by somesort of a miracle likes your game, they will surely abuse it, by putting it onto the cart and sell it for money, making you look like the bad guy, who promotes piracy, since you are making "hacked" games. Your txt warning of "fair use" and "personal use" and "no rom or cart distribution" would be like an ant yelling at the supernova.

No matter how "just" your intentions are, in the eyes of the authors who made the original game, you are a thief, who just abused their intellectual property. In their eyes you are a pest, who is responsible for illegal cart distribution, since you made it happen. You can also be regarded as the person, who gave their game a bad name, since your game can never match the original one. In their eyes you are thus producing illegal derivated work of a poor/false quality and trying to benefit of it. So why do you bother?


That's what you get because you have programing/level designing talent/non talent and simply like an old game. Maybe being smart is not a good thing at all.

Make your life complete and quit romhacking to save your self a lot of trouble. Don't bother.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 04:06:10 pm »
You can't please everybody.

When I first decided to dive into this stuff a few months back I was intending to go the route of taking an old game and turning it into a new game. The farther I got into it, the less rewarding it seemed like it was going to be. It didn't quite feel like it was worth the trouble. Especially since the only editor for the game I eventually settled on was horribly bugged due to being abandoned and entombed (no shared source code). I'd still like to make a Zelda III hack, but I think I'm much better off doing translation work like I have just begun doing. It's more rewarding in that people will get to play a game in english when they never would have the chance to otherwise. With the other kind of ROM hack there's too much of what you have described above. At least with a translation I personally feel it's much easier to say "If you think you can do better, let's see you do it". With a regular ROM hack much of the time a single person could be expected to be good at everything: graphics, music, level design, script. I could be wrong, but it seems like when more than one person works on the regular kind of ROM hack it's because someone started it and didn't or couldn't finish it.

Anyway, as for the Zelda III hacks you've been involved with, for me there was too much of "here's what the player would expect, so let's find the most extreme opposite of that, which is so cryptic that they may never figure it out on their own". Or in some cases, a variant that was just too clever for it's own good.

And as for the back-tracking, the games you've been involved with require this on a much larger scale than the original game. Usually when you had to do much searching in the original game it was typically in a set of rooms, rather than having to run around half of a dungeon and some times be required to go all the way back to the beginning because you forgot to go in ONE room off to the side near the entrance of the dungeon. Or having to do this same sort of thing just as part of the dungeon flow. "I found something, now I can go all the way back across the dungeon and get this, then I can go all the way back and do this". I wouldn't call it bad design, but it's probably just not what people are expecting given how the original game functioned. Most people probably just expected something different and were therefore dissapointed when they didn't get that.

In the end, if you want to make games that people will enjoy and may be less likely to judge so harshly, just make an original game that isn't based off of an existing game. When you hack some old game that people played when they were kids they probably have expectations that are too high to meet or other similar problems that relate to their precious childhood memories.

NOW, having said that... I'm still eagerly awaiting your IQ hack. I don't mind an extreme challenge if I suspect that's what I'm getting into in the first place. :) Also, I don't know what to expect from Gates of Time, but I would like to see that one emerge as well.

EDIT: It may be worth mentioning that my opinions on your hacks may be skewed by the fact that I never finished one. Bruce Campbell vs Ganon was the only Z3 hack I enjoyed enough to to play at any length. Funny thing is I think it almost plays more like a Castlevania game. That may be why I liked it more, as I am a Castlevania junky.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 04:14:20 pm by SunGodPortal »
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justin3009

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2015, 04:10:41 pm »
What SunGodPortal said essentially to an extent.

I do ROM hacking because I find it enjoyable.  I find more joy in expanding on something that's already created and modifying it then creating something from scratch, which some may find a little wrong but nyeh.

Not everyone will be happy with your work, not everyone will dislike your work.  People will judge based on what they know from the original game regardless if it's good or bad.

I'd still do ROM hacking regardless what people say because I find it a great deal of fun and it's an extremely nice stress reliever and something creative, fun and enjoyable in spare time.  I'd never give it up no matter what people do or say.
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Isao Kronos

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 04:14:53 pm »
i wish i could replace the OP with an autoplay of baby mario crying

SunGodPortal

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 04:35:21 pm »
I don't blame him for needing to vent. Zelda III hacking is a nightmare because of Hyrule Magic. For as much trouble as it is, I'm sure he wishes there was a better pay off. If a good number of people didn't like his gameplay style I assume that would be much easier to take if the process of making hacks for this game weren't so torturous. You pretty much have to be an extreme sadomasochist to finish one.
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puzzledude

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 05:07:02 pm »
Quote
i wish i could replace the OP with an autoplay of baby mario crying
Then you misunderstood. This was a general oppinion and with the "you" above I wasn't directly talking of myself, but more of all the future modders. So essentially this is a warning for others and a preface what to expect, deliberately drawn into (false) escalated pessimism, which can actually be viewed as sarcasm, but with lots of "truth" in it.

Quote
NOW, having said that... I'm still eagerly awaiting your IQ hack. I don't mind an extreme challenge if I suspect that's what I'm getting into in the first place. Also, I don't know what to expect from Gates of Time, but I would like to see that one emerge as well.
I will finish those projects eventually regardless.

mrrichard999

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 05:40:53 pm »
For what its worth I am a fan of what you have done and appreciate the hacks you have made & also there are probably thousands who do as well that dpnt frequent these message boards. If you truly like doing what you are doing don't stop doing it.  :beer:

STARWIN

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 08:08:22 pm »
This is valid only for one obsessed with receiving positive feedback. I don't think that motivates many romhackers, especially not beginning ones. Most people simply have a vision of something that doesn't exist and they want to make it real.

Chpexo

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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 08:40:06 pm »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 07:59:02 am by Chpexo »

FAST6191

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 08:43:00 pm »
This is valid only for one obsessed with receiving positive feedback. I don't think that motivates many romhackers, especially not beginning ones.

Assuming that is not some not quite double negative type arrangement then I might have to argue otherwise. I am sure we have both seen the "I just started and want to translate [insert RPG equivalent of War and Peace]" thing several times at this point, upon probing them* a bit I do quite often find it is the allure of ROM hacker grade money and loose ladies that informs much of the desire. On the flip side I suppose the amount of those that then go on to actually learn hacking and establish themselves in some way is neither a high percentage nor a high number so eh.

*in this case it is more for the newer/active consoles when I see such things.

To get back towards the topic, not that I really left, I will join the "I hack for me" echo.

DougRPG

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2015, 10:27:13 pm »
The puzzledude's argument is only valid if you do romhacking for other people to enjoy.
If you do for yourself, as a way to learn new stuff and to have fun, then all these arguments are irrelevant.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 11:27:52 pm »
It's not a seminar so much as it is a treatise. :P

Either way, Puzz is a brilliant hacker (my time on Zeldix makes me certain of this) and I hope he doesn't make the mistake of leaving an open sore like this in the forums again. We all have these moments and they are better left kept to ourselves.
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Grimlock

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 02:16:46 am »
My main motivation for doing what I do is simply the enjoyment I get out of expressing my creativity.  Once I achieve a certain proficiency with the "tools" that are required for a particular creative outlet I find it to be very immersive.  I also enjoy working out the puzzle and design aspect of getting things to work properly.  I'm not overly concerned about the negative responses that are sure to come from a percentage of people that experience my work.  However I am delighted to hear from others that enjoy and appreciate my work.

Puzzledude, I would advise you to disregard all of the potential haters out there.  Like you pointed out, there will always be people who disagree with your choices.  Expecting 100% satisfaction is unrealistic, (basically 100% doesn't exist).  If you choose to measure your success based on feedback then I would recommend you not base it on a finite point such as 100% but instead view success based on a range.  Above 80% positive feedback  for example .


Seihen

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2015, 08:59:54 am »
I hate to speak where I really don't understand, especially among the incredibly more talented members of this board... but perhaps this would be better under the General discussion board? Labeling a thread as a "seminar" in the "Rom Hacking Discussion" board and having a wall of text of negativity just doesn't seem like the proper message for new people coming in to learn about rom hacking.

All of the points above are worth discussing and should be discussed, especially considering the rotten treatment people sometimes get after pouring their lives into these projects, but this just seems so utterly negative.

Just my opinion.

chillyfeez

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 09:12:53 am »
Important things to keep in mind:
1) this is the internet, where the haters go to hate
2) These are video games, and this is RHDN. It's like Gold's Gym for nerds. The people who just go to the gym just to work out do so and leave to get back to the rest of their lives. You don't pay attention to these people, because they do not demand your attention, but they are the majority. But there are also the lunks, for whom the gym gives life meaning. They are the people you notice when you walk in, and they are the people who make the gym an annoying place to go.

You should not expect a high amount of praise for your work, nor should you judge the quality of your work by the amount of praise you get. Even 80% is optimistic. If you got into this as a way to get praise, then you may have gotten into the wrong thing, regardless of how good you may be at it. If you enjoy the doing but are too put off by the negative commentary, then maybe your problem is the venue. If RHDN is Gold's Gym, go find your Curves. I'm a FFIV hacker, so my Curves is slickproductions.org. I've never looked, but I'm sure there are no less than twenty such sites for Zelda III, as it is generally a more popular game. If no such site exists, then create one
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Grimlock

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 02:53:09 pm »
Even 80% is optimistic.

I agree, any expectations (regarding feedback) really places a person on the wrong path.  The personal reward should really come from the work itself. 

standigz

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2015, 03:35:45 pm »
Have you thought about not trying to please anybody but yourself. You don't owe anybody anything. If they don't appreciate free hacks than that's their problem. Don't take the complaints to heart.

Seeeeph

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 12:17:15 am »
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« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 09:40:16 pm by Seeeeph »

SunGodPortal

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2015, 12:37:06 am »
Quote
What does that makes me if I finish two :D

Superhuman :D
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Seihen

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Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2015, 12:37:33 am »
What does that makes me if I finish two :D

A masochist.