Rom hacking project help thread

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by FAST6191, Mar 20, 2008.

Mar 20, 2008
  1. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Ideally it would have placeholders in the GBA and Wii sections but we will see if this can get up and running first.

    First this should not act as a request thread. If it becomes necessary one can be created (I try to keep on top of this section and have not seen any genuine (i.e. those with potential) requests go unanswered yet), this thread is aimed at those who have some of the skills required for rom hacking but need some help with an area of it.

    In the past year or so rom hacking has taken off in a big way (I started writing a guide about 2 years ago and there were only about 20 people regularly hacking DS roms with a few wanting to learn) from just a few people to quite a few and a fair few major projects (see all the threads with large amounts of posts and the advanced RPGs being hacked/translated, looking around the internet now there are quite a few hackers and probably close to 800 people frequently involved in it at some level (many more if you include all the cheat makers) as well as many languages covered: I have seen Chinese, Thai, Italian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Dutch large projects and some more minor stuff in many other languages.

    Unfortunately the downside to this is some projects for less popular titles or those who are just getting into this tend to get buried with other threads and may go unnoticed by some who can help so here it is. Hopefully this thread can act as a hub for rom hackers, translators, coders etc to meet up rather than relying on them to sift through the large number of threads on the subject.

    I strongly suggest making a thread for the project and posting about it here or making some way of displaying the stuff you have if you want a more private project. Remember a lot of people are loathe (usually with good reason) to do any work without some assurance that their efforts will not go to waste. This usually means an example of what you want done, examples for common requests later on but even if the example only serves as an example get it done and people are more likely to help out.

    what to post here
    Are you a translator without a game to translate or offering translation services (in general of for a game)?
    You likely will not go without work for long, some examples of previous work is nice to have however and if you can translate some screengrabs for a game that is good too.

    Do you need a translator for a game or do you have a section causing you trouble?
    Examples include sections with jokes, lots of uncommon Kanji, sections assuming knowledge of history (be it real or from previous titles in a game series).

    Do you need proofreading and/or formatting services?
    Text in games often has some limits to how large/how much can be on a line/paragraph..... similarly translators may not be as fluent as some in the language they are translating into. For example I can speak/write French well enough to get a point across/follow a game/film but I am nowhere near native speaker proficiency.

    Are you a rom hacker with need of some specialist work or just a quick hand with something?
    Examples are stuff like asm hacks, odd compression, unusual format of files.

    Are you a rom hacker who would like a custom tool but lacks the time/capability to do it?
    Under this banner would be stuff like custom display/insertion tools, repackers and websites. As an example I would consider myself a fairly proficient rom hacker but if asked to code a website it would be sit and rock in a corner time.

    Are you a rom hacker in need of an artist?
    A good example would probably be the Jump Ultimate Stars komas thread: although it can range from a custom font to a title screen hack to a full rework of sprites. Any artists should be aware though that "their art" may be constrained by technical limitations and some technical knowledge is a plus (i.e. understand the "paint by numbers" concept of tiles, limited palette, space/location basics).
    Again an example is probably in order showing you can do it.

    Do you need people to test the hack?
    On the flipside those offering testing services probably should have something to offer like knowledge of the languages involved, previous experience testing: testing is fault finding and it is often very tedious (the rom may crash often, the game may be fairly unplayable), testing is not playing a game before all your mates (not to mention when it gets to that stage most authors tend to open up their work).

    suggestions if you do post here.

    If you are a hacker in need of a translator show that you can do it. A simple example might be like rune factory 2 here:
    The text is extracted, decoded and a simple proof of concept hack is demonstrated.

    Those who would like a custom tool/website.

    Post in clear English (even if it is for a quick hand with translation for another language at least have an English section)
    "Iz w@nts to pl@yz j@p@n3s3 p0k3m0n, iz pl@y3d th3mz since p0k3m0n di@m0nd" is a sure fire way to get any requests ignored.
    Similarly technical discussion should probably be kept to a minimum.
    i.e. "I have a pointer table located at an offset determined by the header and the values are offset by said header as well as relative" can reasonably be replaced by I would like someone to code me a custom table/pointer generator/insertion tool. Details here [insert link] or in a spoiler box if you have no thread/site.

    Finding a table and extracting text is generally considered grunt work although there are exceptions for stuff like highly custom non-relative tables, dual tile encoding, occasionally kanji, fonts and text buried in highly compressed/obscure archive form (and even then you should be able to snatch uncompressed text from the ram).
    If you are requesting something generally considered this simple show you have done some work in the area (got a Japanese game: get the kana mapped as best you can along with roman characters if they exist), at best someone can give you a quick hand and tell you where you went wrong or you can help the person helping you by preventing them from doing stuff you already have done (and presumably did not work).

    Keep it concise. By all means link to the thread with a full request but wading through large amounts of info is not easy (especially if you want help with more than one area) and is why this thread exists.

    Most people I have spoken to do not like half finished work: menu hacks will usually have to be expanded into a (relatively) full hack before a lot of translators get interested.
    Of course doing a menu hack yourself is a good example hack when attracting people to your project.

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