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Old 05-27-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
Malevh
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Default Extend a Pokemon game with multiplayer

Hi everyone,

I hope this is the right place for my question.

I looked through the existing hacks of pokemon games and I couldn't find a hack / mod like this:
I'd like to modify the ROM of a pokemon game so that it can be played with 2 or more players over LAN or internet. By multiplayer I don't mean wifi battles but ingame live display of the other player's figure while both are playing their own instance of the game on separate computers. When they meet they could, for instance, battle against each other or trade.

The idea is meant to break the boundary of pure singleplayer experience, I'm curious whether something like this can work. If so, additional functionality could be implemented later (e.g. footrace (who beats (part of) the game first) or making items / pokemon unavailable that have already been collected by the other player).

So I need to:
1. Read / extract status information (like position on world map) from the game in order to send it to the other player
2. Modify the ROM in order to display the other player's figure ingame

For the latter, I guess I need knowledge about structure / architecture of the ROM. I'd be happy if someone could estimate the difficulty of this project (or whether it's even possible) and point out to me what tools and knowledge I need in order to implement it. I have some programming experience (Assembler, C, C++, Java) but I've never done ROM hacking.
I read that VBA provides multiplayer functionality, do you think it will serve this purpose?

Cheers
Malevh
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
InVerse
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There are a couple of other things you need to add to your list.

3.) Go to college and learn how to program.
4.) Realize that it would be over 9000x easier to just write a game from scratch instead of trying to modify a ROM in this manner.
5.) Drop the idea of it being a Pokemon game because the massive amount of work the project would require makes it stupid to bother stealing Nintendo's intellectual property in a manner that would allow them to shut the entire thing down at will.
6.) Give Up
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
krimsonkunai
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VBA probably would not serve this purpose well. Also I agree with InVerse that it would be "...easier to just write a game from scratch instead of trying to modify a ROM in this manner."
From my perspective it seems pointless to use the ROM for this, but just out of curiosity:
Which game were you plannning on using?
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:28 AM   #4
Malevh
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Hey guys,
thanks for the replies and the estimation of work this would mean. I guess I'll leave it then.
@krimsonkunai: I wasn't yet thinking about any particular game but I thought it would be the "easiest" to modify the red/blue version.
@InVerse: I didn't intend to steal any intellectual property. And I got a bachelor's degree in computer science so I know a bit about programming.

What kind of projects are you guys working on, for instance?
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #5
InVerse
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If you downloaded a Pokémon ROM, you're stealing someone's intellectual property. If you modify that ROM in any way, you're stealing someone's intellectual property. There is no way to make anything in any way related to Pokémon without stealing someone's intellectual property.

I also have a degree in Computer Science and, I hate to break it to you, but if that's all you have then you have a whole lot more to learn before you'll even be close to becoming a competent programmer. I started programming in 1988, got my degree in 1999 and currently have a job in programming. I deeply regret having gone to college because all it did was amass debt. I didn't learn anything and it hasn't helped me get a job.

As for what kind of projects I'm working on... I gave up ROM hacking years ago. I just swing by here to answer basic questions because you never know what giving someone a bit of help might lead to. When I was ROM hacking, 99% of my work was in translations. The programs I'm actively working on include a distraction free writing environment using the Windows 8 Metro-style interface, an MP3 management suite modeled after a discontinued program of which I'm quite fond, and I just passed the 60,000 lines of code mark on a program that is being used to run the door manufacturing capabilities of a company that currently has a presence in 28 of the 50 states.

Also, based on what I saw my sister playing the other day, it looks like World of Warcraft now has your online Pokémon thing covered.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
kone191
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The only real problem with the idea is the fact I believe it's simply impossible to do, literally. For instance, Gen II and III are built on Game Boy Color and -Advance. Neither of the consoles are able to access internet.

So practically, this is one of the things that cannot be achieved with rom hacking, it's something the "processor" used by the emulator can't do. Then again, you can pretty much achieve doing everything the processor is capable of. It's hard to explain better as I don't fully understand this kind of stuff either (and another reason is that I'm not a native english speaker).

But personally, I hadn't done any programming in my life before but I still got the hang of Z80 assembly and learned how to create functioning code with it. So learning how to accomplish doing major changes isn't impossible with basic knowledge either, you've just gotta read and experiment a lot though.

As advice, everytime before attempting to create something for yourself, you must have an assumption of how the thing you're creating is going to work. Start with the basics and move to the "next subject" once you understand the previous one.

Last edited by kone191; 12-29-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
InVerse
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There are emulators that emulate the Gameboy Link Cable through online connections. Pokémon already supports 2-player mode in this way for battles, so the ROM could certainly be hacked to accommodate other multiplayer modes. It would likely be a lot more trouble than it's worth and could be better done from scratch, but it's certainly feasible with the existing technology.
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