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Author Topic: Is rom-hacking on the decline?  (Read 3789 times)

chillyfeez

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2019, 07:48:17 pm »
Sure, but the first sentence says it all.
Who among us thinks anybody with any internet presence has a shred of privacy left?
It's not sad. It's the way things are.
What's sad to me is that you just became the first person ever to address me as a "middle aged" man.
 :huh:
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Special

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2019, 08:01:21 pm »
I've been around long enough on these boards, and I'm sure I've seen somewhere you mentioning you were your 30's, are you not? 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, what is your age range? I'd say most long-timers here on these boards are in this age 30-40 range, sounds pretty "middle aged" to me. Not sure how you find that sad.

Isao Kronos

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2019, 10:09:12 pm »
all you kids get off our lawn?

chillyfeez

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2019, 10:39:24 pm »
I think you missed my sort-of joke. I'll be 40 in a month and a half. That much is completely public by clicking my name and viewing my profile. I had assumed you'd done so. Anywho, I'm kinda struggling with the notion on its own, and I have never had anybody call me "middle aged" before. It's not that it's not true, it just kind of brings it all home.
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Special

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2019, 11:33:22 pm »
We're all middle aged here, hope that helps you deal with it. :beer:
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 11:39:06 pm by Special »

Kallisto

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2019, 03:52:07 am »
If I may I believe that CD-Based Hacking is on the decline, and while Cartridge Based Hacking has risen up a lot. Nobody really messes with the Sega and Turbo CDs game anymore as a few examples.

FAST6191

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2019, 12:00:45 pm »
If I may I believe that CD-Based Hacking is on the decline, and while Cartridge Based Hacking has risen up a lot. Nobody really messes with the Sega and Turbo CDs game anymore as a few examples.

The SegaCD was a flop and the PCE/TG16 stuff (I am guessing that was the PCE/TG16 CD that "turbo CDs" refers to) was niche on top of an already pretty niche system. There are certainly some interesting games on the PCE-CD but the sort of thing someone will have to drum up interest in really rather than get discovered by default.

On the other hand PS1 and PS2 stuff is going from strength to strength, Saturn is getting looked at a bit, Dreamcast maybe not as much but could pop at any point (and people have been fiddling with things for many years), PS3 and 360 have had bits and pieces going on for a while now, PSP if you want to count that has been pretty good since it was current and ever since, gamecube is getting some stuff (even if by osmosis), xbox people seem more interested in trainers and cheats but they are doing some things, wii has been going fairly strong since about the time the so called trucha bug was released and kicked of system level (as opposed to DVD level) modding, Wii U even has a few things. Indeed most of those would be where I look for the shiny future of ROM hacking.

PolishedTurd

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2019, 04:33:52 pm »
For most hackers, there's about a 10-year window between when they graduate and when they start a family that they are active. People tend to hack the games they played endlessly as kids. For many of the really active hackers these days, that's just not NES/SNES games anymore. By my best guess, that's somewhere between PS1/N64/Saturn and Gamecube/PS2/Xbox/Dreamcast. That's the era that we saw game development slow down, as games became bigger and more complex. I think that's what's happening with romhacking too.
I think this is on the money. And these systems have not aged well. It's something like the uncanny valley, where the razor sharp edges and harsh textures are too realistic to have the charm of a crude analogue, but too coarse to be enjoyable now.

Older games, having simpler resources, focused on gameplay. You can fire up Skydiver on the Atari 2600 and begin playing within 1 second of turning it on, as opposed to 3 splash screens, a title screen, an intro movie, and a loading screen. It was fun to play over 3 decades ago, and it's fun to play now. Towering Inferno, Missile Command, Mario, Zelda, Tetris... Games accessible to all ages and skill levels. As a curmudgeon generalizing broadly, there have been fewer revolutions in game design in the last 20 years, and games have mostly just gotten prettier, while becoming harder to hack.

Hacking for more modern systems takes deeper skills. A kid can understand how to draw a 16x16 bit tile, but if you want to change graphics after the mid '90s, you need a 3D modeling program and the skill to use it; you have to make a shader in Photoshop, with UV maps, bump maps, MIP maps... Then the assets have to be transmogrified and imported, etc.

Modding newer games takes more specialized tools. You can edit the map of a NES game with some tile swaps or hex edits. If you want to change something on a post-'90s console, pray the dev team releases its tools, as Valve did for Battlefront 2 in the mid 2000s.
... And pray that the console hasn't been rigorously designed to thwart hacking, like the Xbox 360.

In a nutshell, the games from the childhood of hackers now in their heyday have not aged well and are harder to hack.

goldenband

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Re: Is rom-hacking on the decline?
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2019, 09:20:56 pm »
The SegaCD was a flop

That's probably putting it a bit strongly -- I think it was at least profitable.

In any event the total lack of Sega CD/Mega CD fan translations is a real shame. Other than Game no Kanzume (which is basically a compilation of enhanced MegaNet ROM releases) and an Arabic translation of a soccer game, there's nothing to speak of.

I made some preliminary efforts on Cosmic Fantasy Stories (which is super-easy to hack), and that sparked some additional work from others who got quite a ways into it, but didn't get close to finishing the job. Shadowrun's been a WIP for something like a decade now. I think someone was working on Funky Horror Band (Spinner 8, maybe?) but didn't get beyond the first few steps.

There are some really interesting-looking games on the platform, so whoever completes the first "real" translation (no offense to Game no Kanzume) will have a feather in their cap. Heck, the 3DO has a bunch of fan translations already (one complete in English, a few others in progress, and a bunch in Russian).