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Old August 10th, 2008 (03:52 AM). Edited September 28th, 2008 by Thrace.
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Thrace
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Age: 24
Gender: Male
The Rom Hacker's Newsletter
Issue 1 - Sunday, 10 August 2008
Introduction
Another attempt at a newsletter? -_-

The rom hacking scene seems to have dulled a bit so KhaosKnight and I thought that it was time for another incarnation of the old Rom Hacking Newsletters. I can't really guarantee that we will be able to regularly create a newsletter but we will try our best.

So far it is only KhaosKnight and myself making this newsletter, but if people like the idea then we may create a thread in the Team Discussions Forum to recruit people who are keen on helping us. We will be looking to come out with a new issue every week but if it looks like it will be too much work then it might have to be every month.

We are looking to have sections for a few things which will hopefully expand with your input. We want this to be community driven. So without further ado...

Welcome to the first issue of The Rom Hacker's Newsletter!
Opening by KhaosKnight and dshayabusa


HOTW Winner
Spotlight on the Hack of the Week

Pokemon Tree of Peace [Link]
Hack Author: Kawaii, Inc.
Reviewed By: dshayabusa
Reviewer's Rating: 3/5
Far too many hacks have either established teams or are looking for one. Not this hack though. Kawaii has done everything himself. That in and of it self is an accomplishment. The hack is looking quite promising even though at the moment it is relatively new. It has some very nice features planned that the average Pokefan will love. Though I have to say using Team Rocket, Aqua and Magma is probably a bad thing. Not only has it been attempted numerous times but using those teams is a little slack, wouldn't coming up with new ones be a lot better?

The Alpha is quite good, not much available though. The use of many different colours in the text got a little annoying. The beginning also isn't what you'd usually expect so that's good. Theres a few bugs but if there weren't it wouldn't be an Alpha now would it? One thing that I didn't like though was how you get the PokeDex, who would just randomly give a PokeDex to someone for free?

Story wise its decent. Celebi hacks are a bit of a turn off for me. As are grass Pokemon. But it seems very well written and I'm sure we can expect perfect grammar and spelling in-game.

Mapping? Well, its ok. I remember when I first started Pokemon Genesis my mapping had similar faults. I'm sure he will improve. Don't get me wrong, compared to most of the other new hacks this has excellent mapping, its just I have come to expect a high standard when it comes to mapping. I suggest that you look at some mapping by Christos, Fanking Omega, Dark Lakitu and myself. I believe that is the style of mapping you are going for.

Noooooooo!! Why did you use a rom base? Sorry I just have a thing against them. Some people might like seeing the same graphics over and over though. The new rom base you are using certainly fits your hack so I won't complain. I don't like how the Mart is the same size as the PC though...

The scripts are good, perfect spelling is always a plus. Why have you not used the colour convention though? Its not too hard but a lot of people don't use it which gets frustrating. Its only 3 bytes! Female -> Red, Male -> Blue. There aren't any very advanced scripts yet but its early days yet. This hack definitely has potential.
Article by dshayabusa




Hack Review
A review by the editor

Pokemon Liquid Ocean [Link]
Hack Author: Christos
Reviewed By: dshayabusa
Reviewer's Rating: 4.8/5
Pokemon Liquid Ocean won HOTY back in 2007 and if you remember the old thread it truly deserved. Its gone through redevelopment, but the question is does it live up to its former self? The answer? It does so in spades!

Let's start with the mapping. One word describes it: inspiring. When I first started hacking Liquid Ocean was what gave me inspiration for maps. I learnt to map simply by looking through Christos's maps. Overall the mapping is absolutely beautiful and very imaginative. Some places could use a little extra work but these are very few and far between. The only other complaint I have about the mapping is the flowers. A little too much IMO. Beautifully subtle palletes too.

Scripting is solid, nothing too amazing but as long as it is consistent then I'll be happy. The mini-games look like where Christos will really be able to show off his talent and I can't wait to try them for myself. New things like the egg store, showcase his brilliant and innovative ideas. The NPCs are very interesting and always have something quirky to say.

The tiles he's used are wonderful, as always sticking with the FR style. It seems however that he has given up some of the quality of tiles for originality which is a little disappointing.

The story is where it falls short for me. Team Rocket has never really interested me, but I guess Christos's aim is to stick to the original Pokemon game guidelines. Thats not to say it isn't interesting, just not enough to make me hold my breath for every update on the story.

The Alpha is nothing short of amazing and the play time is the perfect length. Very little bugs, and where bugs exist they are very minor. I could go on forever, but it would take me too long to talk about everything that makes this hack so good. Go check it out for yourself. Definitely my favourite hack.
Article by dshayabusa




Tips and Tricks
A cool new trick that you may not have known about

If you've ever tried using the special 0x17B (Seagallop animation) in FR/LG you'll know that it inexplicably always sends you to Vermillion City. Thats perfectly fine of course if that's where you wanted to end up, but what if you wanted to go somewhere else? Although you're choices are quite limited, it is possible to change it.

The Seagallop is used only when travelling between the Sevii Islands and Vermillion City. Therefore the harbours of the Sevii Islands and Vermillion City are the only places you can go. That said you still get around 8 different places.

So anyway, the way to change your destination is by changing the value of a variable. Which variable? Good 'ol 0x8006 of course! Now I haven't checked what the maximum number of values are, you'll have to try yourself, but starting from 1 for Sevii Island 1 to 7 for Sevii Island 7 should work. Vermillion City is 0. As I said I haven't really tested it completely, I've only used it once (the boat script for Pokemon Genesis). So in code form it will look like this:

setvar 0x8006 0x[place where you want to go]
special 0x17B

But oh no! What if you want to travel back? Sure you just use the corresponding number but the animation shows that you are moving in the wrong direction! Well its quite simple to fix, all you need is another variable, variable 0x8004.

setvar 0x8006 0x[place where you want to go]
setvar 0x8004 0x[0 for right, 1 for left]
special 0x17B

So, thats how you do it! Next weeks tip will be somewhat of an addon to the above. Hope this helped some people!

If you would like to donate a tip, please PM one of the editors; dshayabusa or KhaoKnight.
Tip donated by dshayabusa



New Tool
An excellent new tool from the Toolbox

Hello all in the hacking community this is Khaos here reporting on a new tool that just landed in the Toolbox. It is called the Nameless Tile Map Editor(apply dubbed NTME)by D-Trogh. Of course this isn't the final name, I personally find it catchy. I have found the opportunity to download this awesome looking piece of software, as the boards have been experiencing technical difficulty's lately ;). But as soon as I find the moment I will be sure to nab it, and you should too.

This tool looks very nice for an Alpha release. It looks as though you can make title screens and edit world maps with this nifty program. The author stated that, Darthatron lent him the source code that this program was written from, so a big hand to Darthatron as well. Though was hasn't been stated is what GBA games that this is compatible with, but the picture in the thread(http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=149454) there is the Rayquaza title screen for Emerald. So I expect it to be compatible with at least Emerald and most likely FireRed. Remember guys this is still an alpha and D-Trogh still needs testers.
After reading about this I give this program a 7/10.
This has been Khaos Reporting on the Tool scene. See ya Soon.
Article by KhaosKnight




Interview
An in-depth chat with...
Spoiler:
This is the first week so we don't have an interview. If you would like to nominate someone to be interviewed make a post in this thread. The interviewee will be announced in the next issue. If you would like to be an interviewer please apply at our recruitment thread in the Team Discussions Forum. The interview will most likely occur via PC's irc channel, I've never used it so I don't know it we will be allowed, if not well... we'll figure something out.

Interview by dshayabusa



Closing Notes
Some house keeping

The editors hope that you enjoyed the first (of hopefully many more) Rom Hacker's Newsletter. If you are interested in helping out with this keep an eye out for a recruitment thread in the Team Discussions thread. We only want people who are experienced, mature and reliable. Please make comments and criticisms and suggest new sections for the newsletter. If you would like to donate a banner to us or some other graphics that would be greatly appreciated, too. Not much more to say, see you next week!
Closing by KhaosKnight and dshayabusa
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