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Old December 22nd, 2008 (3:47 PM).
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Thrace Thrace is offline
Gold Tier
Join Date: Jun 2007
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,048

ROM Hacking Newsletter

Issue 17 - Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Opening Notes
Yup, the new layout is here. Made by Darthatron and given a few little tweaks here and there by me. So, what do you think? Post your comments here. Anyway very short newsletter today, I've just been too busy with Christmas and Genesis to work on a proper sized one. Next week I won't be here to do RHN, I'll be leaving Darthatron in charge and hopefully we'll have a decent sized issue to make up for this one.
Opening by Thrace

Hacking News
Keep up with the latest in the ROM hacking scene
End of Hack of the Year
I planned on having a whole article for this but theres really not much point. HotY has ended this year with, thankfully, very little drama as opposed to last years. Congratulations once again to Haruki Hanai for winning HotY, I can't think of any other hack that deserved to win it. Next year there will be a different format to this years, hopefully one that'll make it easier for both the voters and the organisers.

Hack Rating System
RHN will follow a standardised rating system similar to that of IGN, ratings and their meanings are described below.
10.0 to 9.0 - Masterful
Its almost impossible to make a hack that is perfect, but ratings in this range get pretty close. These hacks are flawless in all aspects of hacking, they are innovative and engaging.

8.9 to 8.0 - Impressive
Hacks that we feel are outstanding and are exceptional in at least one aspect will receive ratings in this range. Hacks that we feel are worthwhile and that everyone will find enjoyable. You'd need to put in a lot of effort to get this rating.

7.9 to 7.0 - Good
An excellent hack that is let down by a one or two major problems. Above average in all aspects but just missing a few things it needs to be great. Not amazing but has potential.

6.9 to 6.0 - Passable
Hacks that are just above average. Nothing to really get excited about. Nothing particularly horrible about the hack but nothing all that great either.

5.9 to 5.0 - Mediocre
A hack that provokes no emotion, standard, run-of-the-mill whatever you want to call it, these hacks are as average as they come.

4.9 to 4.0 - Lackluster
Hacks that do not have enough effort put into them. Probably not worth the attention for the time being. Has some potential to be better, but not enough to become something spectacular.

3.9 to 3.0 - Poor
Hacks that are flawed in all areas, most likely caused by inexperience by the author rather than effort. Not worth checking out regularly, will probably be cancelled the next week.

2.9 to 2.0 - Bad
Hacks that we recommend you avoid, not worth playing. Might have a few interesting ideas but ultimately is just very poorly executed. Major flaws in all aspects.

1.9 to 1.0 - Terrible
A hack we believe should not have had its thread accepted. These hacks are not even worth browsing over. These hacks are usually made by people trying to achieve internet stardom.

0.9 to 0.0 - Abysmal
Hacks that are not even truly hacks, more like edits. A few small changes to the original game, achievable in mere minutes.

Compiled by Thrace

Hack of the Week Review
Spotlight on the HOTW winner
Pokémon Oblivion [Link]
Hack Author: TehTehTehTeh
Reviewed By: Thrace

Now I very rarely get excited about hacks these days. Even when I see a thread with nice screenshots and a beautiful thread layout I barely notice. There was a time when I would play each and every hack available here at PC. Anyway, my personal problems aside, lets get to the review.

This hack has one of the most epic sounding storylines I've seen for a long time. It reads exactly like a movie and its understandable why people would get excited over this. The graphics too are by-and-large very nice. I especially love the new grass tile, its unique but it doesn't look awkward and out-of-place like most others. The paths for the city... well I'm not so sure about. I get that its in a city and will therefore logically have roads but to me it just doesn't look good. That Giratina building looks strangely two dimensional too.

On the scripting side, theres not much to talk about. The scripts shown are ok, nothing particularly impressive. Its a good idea to have a script that is mildly impressive at the beginning of the game to get people interested. There are some good ideas though. They seem to have neglected the text colour conventions which in my books is pretty unforgivable considering how easy it is to implement. They do have an excellent team with some very talented hackers. I can see this hack going pretty far if they're determned to stick with it.
Article by Thrace

Tips and Trick
An interesting Tip or Trick that you may not know
This weeks tip will teach you how to change the players overworld.
Ok, So open VBA and make sure you're in a place you can see the hero. Go tools > Memory Viewer.
Now a new window should appear called Memory Viewer. In the top right corner, there is an empty box next to the Go button. Type "2020648" there and press Go.
At the first line it should give you A0 00 3A 08. Reversing this gives us 083A00A0, the 08 is to show its pointing somewhere in the rom.
Let's say I inserted my new sprite at, 3A0420 (Ruby Brendan Sprite). Reversed that, and add 8000000. 20 04 3A 08.
Now overwrite the A0 00 3A 08 with 20 04 3A 08 in Memory Viewer, and go back to the game.
Has the overworld changed into a Brendan sprite with the wrong palette? YAY, Now you can edit the sprite to whatever you want in the overworld editor or repoint to empty space and insert a new OW.

For this to be useful in a hack we'll need to be able to use it in a script. The writebytetooffset command will edit bytes in the Memory Viewer. Below is an example of the script.

#org 0x16582F
checkflag 0x851
compare LASTRESULT 0x1
if 0x1 goto 0x8166917
msgbox 0x817F723 '"Would you like to transform?"
callstd 0x5
compare LASTRESULT 0x1
if 0x0 goto 0x801EE9E
setflag 0x851
writebytetooffset 0x20 0x2020648
writebytetooffset 0x4 0x2020649

#org 0x166917
msgbox 0x817D80D '"Want to stay transformed?"
callstd 0x5
compare LASTRESULT 0x1
if 0x1 goto 0x801EE9E
writebytetooffset 0xA0 0x2020648
clearflag 0x851
writebytetooffset 0x0 0x2020649

#org 0x1EE9E

Tip donated by Darthatron/X-Buster, thanks to Sebbe for the article

An in-depth chat with...
<Darthatron> So, Zeikku. Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to have an interview with me.
<Zeikku> it's alright, It's an honor, really
<Zeikku> haha rofl
<Darthatron> anyway...
<Darthatron> You've recently "quit" Pokémon ROM Hacking, yet you still come on PC alot. What's that all about?
<Zeikku> well, to be honest, I don't think I ever could just quit. For me it's not that easy. I'm a part of too many hacks mainly as a spriter. The main thing keeping me on PC was Liquid Crystal. I hate letting people down.
<Darthatron> I see... So you still work on Liquid Crystal, and some other hacks. How much longer do you think you can keep your "help everyone" attitude before you finally throw in the towel?
<Zeikku> I've been doing it for a while now, so I'm kind of unsure. I think 09 will be a year to make a lot of decisions, of who to help and not. Mainly because liquid crystal should be done in 09.
<Darthatron> Indeed. Liquid Crystal is getting pretty big. Do you think it could out-shine Shiny Gold, popularity wise?
<Zeikku> Hmm, Both games have obviously made an impact. Shiny gold being the most consistant remake one. Liquid Crystal being the event driven hack. Shiny gold is what a remake should be. But I feel Liquid crystal adds some originality to the remake. It may take a while but I see liquid crystal becoming popular. but seeing as shiny gold has been out for ages now. I doubt it could beat the popularity of it.
<Darthatron> I see...
<Darthatron> How did you first get into Hacking, and when did you first find PC?
<Zeikku> well, I had just hacked PC and was actually looking for roms to play... I stumbled across pokemon brown and grew intriuged. I then discovered an interesting gold remake called "shiny gold", after youtubing "pokemon gold hacks". A link took me to PC where I learned to hack. Rijon adventured was the first hack I played actually. mainly because I was a fan of brown. Shiny gold was downloaded after.
<Zeikku> beta 3.5 i believe..
<Darthatron> Wow, beta 3.5. I thought you would have joined alot earlier than that. You have a pretty big reputation, for someoen so new.
<Darthatron> Have you ever made a hack by yourself?
<Zeikku> yes, Super Luigi 64, Clear Diamond but I stopped those. because I have a lot of stuff to do for people on PC and in real life. I'm actually working on a hack called pokemon steel...progressing very slowly though. Yunghoves my scripter, co owner and my only staff member for it. but everything's made by me and him only.
<Darthatron> Does Steel have a plot yet? If so, what is it?
<Zeikku> well steels plot is: you wake up and your father is taken away. you actually see him being escorted out of the hero/ heroines house. your starter choices are hidden in your own house. Your dad wanted to keep them for emergencies. You go to the next town where you learn more about what has happened. I can't really say much cos everything will have a twist eventually.
<Darthatron> Good plot.
<Darthatron> The "your father gets kidnapped" thing is a bit over used now-days, though.
<Zeikku> yeah I know. but I don't think any in showcase or in progressing hacks have them right?
<Darthatron> I don't know.
<Darthatron> Do you think you will get this hack finished?
<Zeikku> eventually yes, will take forever though, I have very little time working on it. once a beta's out, it'll be hotter than katy perry kissing girls
<Darthatron> That's hot.
<Darthatron> Would you like to recommend a hack?
<Zeikku> hmm, I'll recommend 2, Rijion adventures being HOTY winner and being the first hack I played. Liquid Crystal Because A lot of people have worked hard on it.
<Darthatron> And perhaps a tip for our readers?
<Zeikku> I have a few, Never skateboard drunk, Don't drink n drive. use a condom, when getting lucky. Do these things and you'll be the next "pounder" on PC XD

Interview by Darthatron

CSS by Darthatron