How should I go about Hacking a GBA Game?

Discussion in 'GBA - Game Development, ROM Hacks and Translations' started by Hiruko Kurokagami, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Hiruko Kurokagami
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    Hiruko Kurokagami Newbie

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    Dear Forummers,

    I would like to hack the Game Boy Advance Game "Yugioh-Reshef of Destruction" to
    (a) Conform with the TCG/OCG Rules
    (b) Change all cards in the shop
    (c) Modify Card effects
    (d) Lower card prices and DP returns from won duels.

    I am a relative newbie to ASM, so I am wondering if there might be another way to do this.

    Sincerely,

    Hiruko Kurokagami
     
  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    There's quite a bit of intricacies that come into play, a good place to start is Romhacking.net - it's general knowlege, but it applies to most platforms.

    The general rules of thumb is to learn the file structure, acquire some form of a Hex editor, a good emulator with debug support and secure a lot of spare time.
     
  3. Hiruko Kurokagami
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    Hiruko Kurokagami Newbie

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    All right. I'll try. It seems kind of daunting. With the Pokemon games you have a huge amount of specific hacking tools. In this you do not. :(
     
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    That's because somebody did the dirty work for those already - in your case, you're the dirty work man. :P
     
  5. Hiruko Kurokagami
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    Hiruko Kurokagami Newbie

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    I wonder if I can find some dirty work men for hire. I'll try it myself though.
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I do have to warn you that changing cards in such a manner will tend to utterly break any in game AI (to the point where you get to redesign it, a hard game before you even consider doing it in ASM) and depending upon your new/changed cards you may even have to recode the rules the game uses. Most of the time when people set out to do such a hack though it is for multiplayer so that probably does not matter. I am not sure I would suggest it for a first foray into ROM hacking though.

    As for hacking the GBA I did write the DS docs to also be good for the GBA http://gbatemp.net/threads/gbatemp-rom-hacking-documentation-project-rewritten-for-2012.73394/
    Add in http://www.coranac.com/tonc/text/asm.htm http://nocash.emubase.de/gbatek.htm and a bunch of stuff on the romhacking.net utilities and you should be able to get somewhere.
     
  7. Hiruko Kurokagami
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    Hiruko Kurokagami Newbie

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    I know this seems odd, but would it be possible to get someone to make it for me on commission? And where would I find such a person?
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Possible.... I guess. It is usually very much frowned upon by most in the hacking community though -- witness the general lack of project/group donation buttons, the lack of paid hacks (though that is possibly more that such a thing is against all sorts of copyright/IP law) and other such things. All you are ever likely to see is maybe the occasional paid tool or the occasional donate for a general site hosting cost sort of thing.

    Secondly what do you plan to pay? Hiring a programmer/computer engineer that knows ARM assembly, embedded devices and game design through to AI development is not typically a cheap affair (especially when this is actually a fairly challenging project). This then usually leaves people offering a token sum or something.

    Finding someone. Most of the hacking community or communities are out for reasons already mentioned and general programmers are going to be even worse.

    To that end you are back either finding someone to team up with* or doing it yourself.

    *the inevitable question there is then why would I hack a GBA game when I have a shiny DS or PSP game I can hack instead which is wireless, with bigger screens/better graphics, with better controls and probably a better game (almost certainly a better basis for a hack).