I tried in the past to hack the game in order to retrieve the TIMs files, I realized some kind of compression algorithms was involved and checked with a debugger (it was based on some emulator, I don't remember now), put some breakpoint in memory and try to track the algorithm.
I was a boy and I didn't achieve anything, plus there was the university and personal commitments and in the end I haven't touch the game for a long time.
Now I see someone has managed to uncompress the data, edit and even insert the changed data.
I know it involved many hours of work.
I'd like to make the life more easy for other people who want to translate the game in their language, alas it's hard to be a good translator and a rom hacker.
I am a web developer and an idea come in my mind:
I could write a small web app for help to translate the game, a system will shows a list of TIMs (converted in png because firefox/chrome cannot read the TIM format), you click on it and a form will pop up for inserting the translated text by reading the image.
We can keep track of every changes in every language and then the website creates the patch following some steps:
- extract the file from the original ISO, we could do this step only once
- convert the TIMs to PNGs and show them online
[...] translators use the forms to edit and translate the text by reading the images.
- the system creates the translated PNGs like this one
- a script convert them in TIM again
- create a xdelta/ppf patch
This is just a convert but is not hard to create the web part, many frameworks today can help with that (I would use django by the way)
Dashman and EsperKnight made a great work, I'd like to know more, guys could you share show your discoveries? I am not asking to tell me every detail of your work, I'd like to read the source code of your tools.
It would be give me many aha-moments and it would help me with the web project.
D.O.Eraven showed me their workflow for the first Italian translation and the process is so tedious, too much time consuming and I would make life easier.
For example; why the untouched ACE.BPB contains less TIMs that the english patched version? what did you done to that file?
what do you think?