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Old 05-16-2005, 05:29 PM   #1
Blade556
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Default What do you think of this concept?

http://www.freewebs.com/blade556/bre.txt

This is something I've been toying around with for a while, but now I want to put it into production. There's still a few kinks I want to work out still, but since this is a rich ROM hacking community, I figure you would be able to help me out here and tell me if it's a novel idea or not.

I need a C++ coder (I may ask Lenophis, since I know he knows C++), but I might pay for a professional to code the jist of it.

And if you're wondering the ever asking "WHY?!", just read the whole thing and it should explain itself.

But more importantly, who would be willing to work on this with me? I think it's a grand idea, but just don't go about saying "Man, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into" or stuff like that. I fully realize how much work is involved with this. More than I can handle by myself, thats for sure. Which is why I need your help.

So tell me all your problems with it (besides what I said above), and we can sort it out here (Or IRC...I'm usually on Espernet, in #rom-hacking late at night).

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Old 05-16-2005, 07:09 PM   #2
ToneE040
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

Splendid idea! It would definately be a lot of work, it would be nice to have that for Linux as well. This would definately be a big project. I'm impressed that you'd even pay people to help in the production. Best of luck, there's always room for improvement. <img src=smilies/thumb.gif>

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Old 05-16-2005, 07:32 PM   #3
Fx3
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

Unless you're a genious, that's impossible. At last, what Kent 'SnowBro' did was something VERY similar with mapper #0 games - instead of pure ASM output, he rebuilt the code somewhat. For mappers, the task is much more complicated and... unless you know the meanings of EVERY peculiar aspect of the game, I (honesly) dunno...


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Old 05-16-2005, 10:33 PM   #4
CROcOp
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

It is very possible, but very hard. It will probably take years to get this all done. When making a script inserter, make it change the pointers and automatically look for free space in rom. That is the tool i am dreaming of.

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Old 05-16-2005, 10:49 PM   #5
Disch
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

One thing I just noticed:

Why are you so attached to Word files? Is the .doc format even open for public use? Why can't you just use .txt files?

I don't even have Word installed on my computer -- I'm sure I'm not alone.

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Old 05-17-2005, 04:23 AM   #6
phonymike
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

sorry not gonna happen. all those features would need to be programmed based on each individual game. it's only possible making custom programs to extract/insert scripts, graphics, sounds and the like on a per game basis. sure some companies reuse data storage techniques on several games, but no one program can do what you imagine.

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Old 05-17-2005, 06:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

>Once it has finished searching the ROM for Assembly code, it will log all the different calls
>the game sends out to the processor in alphabetical order.

Why would you ever want this?

A disassembler that divides things into procedures/functions/subroutines//"processes" automagically would be awesome. I remember running through Arkanoid and wiritng down each fcn by hand, it was very useful tedious and seems like it would lend itself easily to automation, but then again I've never even tried.

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Old 05-17-2005, 02:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

"I have spent too
much time trying to figure out DOS commands and parameters and mumbo jumbo bullshit like
that. "

<img src=smilies/cwm27.gif><img src=smilies/cwm27.gif><img src=smilies/cwm27.gif><img src=smilies/cwm27.gif><img src=smilies/cwm27.gif>

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Old 05-17-2005, 02:28 PM   #9
Blade556
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

For some reason, Windows 98 won't display any Japanese characters except for the internet and in Word. I thought it would be great for translation, but perhaps just using text files will be fine.

...Do they show up in the XP edition?

And yes, DOS is a pain in the ass to learn. I just want a windows binary that does what I want it to do without the hassle. Naga, Atlas, Tile Molester...They don't do what I want and the readme doesn't tell you anything either.

Anyway, I hope I can get this to work. I know alot of the stuff cannot be automated, but we'll see about that soon enough...At least, I know the Script can't really be, which is why the program will need the start address for it.

And hcs, a game sends Mnemonic calls to the processor through the leads on the loading bay thing. The ROM sends out the signals too. Enigma will emulate the ROM (Not like an emulator, just to initialize it and run it minimally) and log those mnemonic signals. For logging the different game processes, they will probably be recorded by appearance.

But that would be tricky to do...I'm thinking of 2 screenshots per event, one from the very start of the process and to the end of it...But even then it's still gonna be a pain to code...

Oh well...I'll get to that problem as it comes.

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Old 05-17-2005, 03:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: What do you think of this concept?

> And hcs, a game sends Mnemonic calls to the processor
> through the leads on the loading bay thing...

Er, yeah, I know what mnemonics (more specifically, instructions) are, I just don't seee why a count of them sorted alphabetically would be.
Your best hope of getting a program like this to work would in fact be to write an emulator, you could make attempts to locate the graphics in the ROM by tracing where the stuff actually accessed by the graphics hardware, same for sound, same for code for that matter. Ditto also for data, anything read but not "traced" to sound, graphics, or CPU could be considered additional data, given the instruction set you might be able to recognize arrays when series of data are accessed by indexed instructions.
Think of this, you run the program, load a ROM, and when some text comes on screen you select a tile and it'll tell you
a) where the graphics data itself came from (and you could continue to trace back to see where that originated, all the way back to the ROM)
b) what code wrote the command to put that specific tile up, and a stack trace back from there (which might help you find text routines and, with data references noted properly, the script you seek as well).
It'd need to track and obscene amount of data, the heuristics would naturally not cover every situation, but properly implemented it might be a great help.

> For logging the different game
> processes, they will probably be recorded by appearance.
> But that would be tricky to do...I'm thinking of 2
> screenshots per event, one from the very start of the
> process and to the end of it...

I assume that you here mean save states? I'm not too clear on what you mean by a "process", either. Tracking stack operations would probably be the best way to recognize what I think you mean

> Oh well...I'll get to that problem as it comes.

This isn't the sort of situation where you can write a program with a description, unless you have a good idea how it'll be implemented you're not asking for a C++ programmer, you're asking for someone to do the whole thing for you. At least have some idea.

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