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Old 07-14-2009, 09:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firewing View Post
No, I only posted it here since Zophar's Domain is the main place I get emulation-related software from, and I just don't know any other boards
Well, there's Romhacking.net, which is a rom hacking archive, but I've heared from many people that the admins there are quote: Fucktards, and the people on the forum are pretty critical, though there are alot of members.

Alternatively, if you want to go international/multi-languaged you could try romhacking.net.ru for a russian rom hacking site. There's alot of cool stuff there and somehow my hack ended up there, which is pretty cool. The guy to talk to there would be TLT, as he can speak english. I know it may seem strange to post your editor on a russian site, but they seem to be pretty enthusiastic about many rom hacking related things.

EDIT: on second thought, if you post something on Romhacking.net, it'll probably end up on the russian one.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximum Potion View Post
... Alternatively, if you want to go international/multi-languaged you could try romhacking.net.ru for a russian rom hacking site. There's alot of cool stuff there and somehow my hack ended up there, which is pretty cool. The guy to talk to there would be TLT, as he can speak english. I know it may seem strange to post your editor on a russian site, but they seem to be pretty enthusiastic about many rom hacking related things.
...
Actually, I already did go international by making the editor in english and posting it here, since I'm russian myself
But thanks for the advice, I'll check that site out.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firewing View Post
That would be nice, it's ok to put a direct download link or the .zip itself. In case I make a new version, should I post it in this thread or is it better to do that somewhere else?
I suppose if you want to be proper you can post it in the News Submission forum, but if you post it here I'll more than likely see it. Also, posted to the front page.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by firewing View Post
Actually, I already did go international by making the editor in english and posting it here, since I'm russian myself
But thanks for the advice, I'll check that site out.
Правда? That's random. Well since you're russian, I just remembered that there's a pretty huge community of translators and hackers at www.shedevr.org.ru (Шедевр).
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #25
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Правда? That's random. Well since you're russian, I just remembered that there's a pretty huge community of translators and hackers at www.shedevr.org.ru (Шедевр).
Yes they make great translations indeed, but I'm not sure it's the right place to post my editor since there are mainly translation-related tools. Anyways I don't think it's right to post this very first release everywhere at once, I should finish it or at least implement most important features that are missing yet. I made this public release just to find out if people are interested in such editor so to decide if there's any point in further development. Now that it seems there's some interest, I think I'll make a global release once it's ready.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #26
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Version 0.2 is now available:
Code:
  * Some bugs fixed
  * Cell descriptions implemented: you can now change the cell type
    by right-clicking it and choosing the new value in a popup menu.
    When you select a cell, its description is displayed to the right
    of the map.
  * Added enemy/weapon/item/sprite counters
  * Clear tool: instantly clears the map
  * Fill tool: fills the map with specified value
  * Replace tool: replaces certain cells with new values
You can download it here
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #27
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I'm not a fan of Zero Tolerance (to be honest, I knew nothing about it prior to this thread, but upon playing it, I didn't enjoy it) but I still find your project interesting.

First of all, compliments on the interface. It's nice and clean and straightforward, even if I hadn't ever played the game, I could look at your utility and understand how to create a level. I usually prefer editors that utilize the actual in-game graphics, but in this case, I think your proxy representations are much easier to work with than the real graphics would be.

Also, I'm curious at how you uncovered the necessary data to create your editor. I glanced over Technopop's web site and there didn't appear to be anything more than the actual ROMs, so I presume you didn't obtain the information from them. Did you use corruption to find the data, or is there a Genesis emulator with a decent debugger? There aren't very many Genesis level editors (I'm seeing around half-a-dozen and those aren't all full featured) so I was just curious as to how you went about building your editor.

Also, in response to your comment about possibly offering .smd support in the future, I would recommend against it. It's pretty much commonly accepted that Genesis ROMs need to be in .bin format in order to be hacked. Sure, this might cause some pains for neophyte hackers who aren't aware of this, but as long as you mention it in your readme file, they'll figure it out. (And if they don't, they probably wouldn't be able to make a very good quality hack anyway.)

Also, if you do allow for the editing of both formats, it can also add confusion for when someone releases a patch of their hack. Granted, with Zero Tolerance being released royalty free, you could probably get away with just distributing a hacked ROM, but as TechnoPop mentions, technically Sega still owns copyrights on parts of the ROM, so it's not actually 100% legal to distribute it. Also, an IPS patch is going to be considerably smaller than the ROM, so it's simply more convenient to release a patch rather than a modified ROM. And, since looking back, I completely failed to actually explain my primary point... if a patch is made for a .bin format ROM, it has to be applied to a .bin format ROM, and the same goes for .smd. If your editor supports both format, someone could make a patch for a .bin ROM and not bother to specify that in their documentation, then someone else could be trying to apply that patch to a .smd ROM and not understand why it doesn't work. So, I'd just save yourself the trouble and not support SMD at all. (Alternatively, you could include a feature to convert an .smd format ROM to .bin.)

Anyway, kudos for your work thus far. I always enjoy seeing ROM hacking progress, even when it's not for a game of which I'm personally a fan.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:09 PM   #28
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Thanks for the feedback. Glad to know that someone liked the editor

For how I discovered the level data format, it was not that hard. First, I counted the map width and height (in-game radar shows borders around each cell so that was easy) and found out it's 32x32. Second, I opened the ROM in a hex viewer and adjusted the line width to 32 bytes, then just browsed the ROM contents until I found something that looks like a map of first level (see the screenshot). The next step was to find out the cell type for each byte value. Initially I created a map (still in hex editor) for this purpose where I just placed every byte from 00 to FF, then I loaded this ROM in an emulator and checked every cell, so I was able to correctly display each cell in the editor. But this was wrong because episode 2/3 levels were not displayed correctly, I realized each episode has its own cell definitions set. Then (I guess that was just my intuition ) I found those definitions - they're placed right before the first level of each episode, a block of 256 bytes. I modified the definitions for first episode, again placed every value [00..FF] there and used the same level I created before. Now every cell could be displayed correctly. That's it.
I'm currently working on Beyond Zero Tolerance support, but it's not that easy because there, each level has different width\height, it's not a fixed 32x32 grid and while I found where the first level data starts, I still don't know where each level's dimensions are stored.

Now about .smd support... Recently, I also thought it wouldn't be right to implement it, mainly because both Technopop's page and Zophar's Domain ROM archive offer the game in .BIN format and not .SMD. And the game is distributed as freeware only provided that no changes to ROM are made, so distributing hacked ROMs is also not a good idea.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #29
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That is probably the single most awesome method of locating level data that I've ever encountered. Now I'm going to have to find a game I can use that method on myself...
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:31 PM   #30
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I found level data like that in a SMS game one time, but it was in the RAM, so it was kind of cool because while playing i could erase the walls or create bridges to serve my needs... And on occasion lock an enemy in a prison of water.
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