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haven1433

Modder / Programmer

Male
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted May 22nd, 2019
14 posts
5.8 Years
I've started working on a new tool for working with .gba pokemon files, and I'm getting close to the point where I may need some usability testers: people who are actually trying to make ROM Hacks, who can provide feedback on things I can improve about the tool.

The tool is a custom Hex Editor with features that help recognize and work with data within the pokemon games:
  • Standard Hex Editor features (data entry, Find/Goto, Copy/Paste)
  • Multiple simultaneous open files
  • Automatic pointer recognition / navigation
  • Moving data
  • Forking / joining data

Would such a tool actually be useful? Would anyone be interested in helping me test / improve the tool as I add features?

haven1433

Modder / Programmer

Male
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted May 22nd, 2019
14 posts
5.8 Years
@Delta231 Do you mean Bless Hex Editor? Googling didn't find Bliss.

Crystal Tile 2 does seem to have some useful features. I'll see if there's places in my app where it makes sense to provide a similar interface.

Unfortunately, I'm coding it in .Net with WPF, so it won't be cross-platform for now. I may look into porting it to .Net Core, but building up an entire new UI would be a very big project, and I'm still just working on core features. Are a majority of the hackers in the community not using Windows?

AkameTheBulbasaur

Akame Marukawa of Iyotono

Age 22
Male
A place :D
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted 17 Hours Ago
361 posts
6.2 Years
I don’t know if it is the majority, but I know quite a few (including myself) don’t have Windows as their main computer. I have access to Windows via Virtual Machine, so I can use Windows programs, but if there is a cross platform version of the thing I need then I will prefer that as it is generally easier to work with.

So if it was cross-platform, then it would be usable by anybody (including those with Windows), but you’d have to decide for yourself if it would be worth it.

Since you’ve seemingly only just started it might be easier to port it to .NetCore now than it would be if you had already made the whole thing? I am not experienced with that sort of thing, so I’m It 100% sure, but that is my hunch.

Thus far the concept sounds like a good idea, as I really only use the Hex Editor for ROM hacking, and a tool that made little things easier to do might be of interest.
"The human sacrificed himself, to save the Pokemon. I pitted them against each other, but not until they set aside their differences did I see the true power they all share deep inside. I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." -Mewtwo

Delta231

A noob

Male
India
Seen 3 Days Ago
Posted May 25th, 2019
688 posts
3.2 Years
@Delta231 Do you mean Bless Hex Editor? Googling didn't find Bliss.

Crystal Tile 2 does seem to have some useful features. I'll see if there's places in my app where it makes sense to provide a similar interface.

Unfortunately, I'm coding it in .Net with WPF, so it won't be cross-platform for now. I may look into porting it to .Net Core, but building up an entire new UI would be a very big project, and I'm still just working on core features. Are a majority of the hackers in the community not using Windows?
Yes, Bless.

Majority of the community uses Windows but cross-platform should be a thing and Disassemblies are having rapid progress and hex editor wouldn't be needed in the future as most of people will use decomps. However, there will be people who will binary hack so Windows would be fine.

FBI

Free supporter

Male
Unknown Island
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted March 30th, 2019
1,906 posts
6.5 Years
I'm not seeing the impact this would have on a binary hack workflow. What are people actually opening a hex editor for? I think most of the time, it's for inserting ASM routines into free space or to write a few bytes to some address as instructed in a resource (does this tool really aid in that?). Most tables that someone who needs a smart hex editor for are repointed and edited in older tools, and it makes sense for most data to be looked at in conjunction with other data. For example, when editing Pokemon names, users would also want to edit Pokemon stats, move pool ect. This is efficient in comparison to editing these things individually in a hex editor. Features like "Automatic pointer recognition / navigation" are included in programs like IDA, which also disassembles code and gives a decent decompilation too.

I suppose if your goal is just to make a hex editor for hackers and people use this instead of a hex editor, sure. IMO your time is better spent developing other tools. We still need an XSE replacement (probably keep the syntax) which allows room customization of the script engine/smart error checking ect. There is also the need for an AMap replacement, but I realize that's an ambitious project.

Anyways, I appreciate your effort and reaching out to the community for opinions :)
...

haven1433

Modder / Programmer

Male
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted May 22nd, 2019
14 posts
5.8 Years
@FBI What happened to MEH? Wasn't it supposed to replace AMap?

I'm mostly making a hex editor because I was unhappy when working with some of the existing tools (granted, this was 5 years ago when I first got the idea for this project, and several tools have improved since then). I didn't like having many different tools open at the same time, each which showed me a sliver of what was going on inside the ROM. I wanted to break down the barrier separating me from the data and actually see everything going on.

While I understand your concern about wanting to edit related data together, I'm interested to see if a wider view of the data counteracts the loss of related things now longer being displayed together as in some other tools. If I actually manage to see my plan all the way to completion (which is unlikely, given the large scope), when I'm done, I'd be able to do any relevant editing using only the HexEditor, without needing to break out into additional tools.

Anthroyd

Age 21
Male
United States
Seen 2 Weeks Ago
Posted June 9th, 2019
172 posts
3.2 Years
Hi Haven,

I haven't thought too much about how much I'd use a new hex editor, but I will say that I've come across several hackers who don't use Windows as their primary OS. My belief is that cross-platform portability is a necessary feature, not only in the domain of ROM hacking, but in all of computer software that's meant for a universal audience.

BTW, I like your profile picture dude. Wicked stuff.
Pokémon Generation III ROM Hacking
Video Series

Pokémon Dreary

Discord

haven1433

Modder / Programmer

Male
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted May 22nd, 2019
14 posts
5.8 Years
Anthroyd,

Microsoft recently announced that they're making a cross-platform version of the tools I'm using (.Net / C# / WPF) so making a cross-platform version of my tool will indeed be possible.

However, while I plan to design it with cross-platform in mind, I've realized that my primary concern has to be getting in the unique features that will make my tool useful. That means focusing on only one operating system for now, and potentially branching out once the first release is done and I start getting feedback about how to improve it.

Still, I'm collecting data from different hackers I talk to about what operating systems they use, and I am indeed finding what you're claiming: not everyone uses Windows as their primary OS. I don't want my userbase to be limited due to something as mundane as an operating system difference. I'd rather people not use my tool because they don't like it, not because they can't.
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