Genderhacking Project

Discussion in 'Nintendo Game Development' started by Rosstin, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Rosstin

    Rosstin Newly Registered

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    I've often had the thought that, even if I did NOTHING but spend my life making games starring female characters, it would be only the barest drop in the bucket compared to what's already been done. That's when I got the idea to actually edit the ROM files of old games, and add female protagonists to as many games as humanly possible. I've had this idea for awhile, ever since reading those articles about the father who hacked Legend of Zelda to star a female protagonist.

    I was hoping to get some advice on getting start with hex editing. I don't even care which system, I just want to get the tech working. Genesis, SNES, NES, whatever! As long as there's a way to get at those pixels...

    After I determine feasibility, I'll start a website for the project where people can upload tiles. Perhaps a wiki?

    Which games should I even start with? I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to work with NES games, hopefully SNES and Genesis won't be much harder.

    I made a folder for the project, which just has some resource links so far:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...WM&usp=sharing

    You guys know way more about this stuff than I do, I'm a complete noob to hex editing. I've made games before, our latest was King's Ascent (http://www.kongregate.com/games/shoosein/kings-ascent ). But I've never edited an NES ROM. Any advice is appreciated, on how to get started.
     
  2. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Site Supporter 2013

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    I've only worked on SNES, but you can use Tile Layer Pro with a variety of systems as long as they are uncompressed (not like .zip, compressed and then decompressed by the system).
     
  3. Zoinkity

    Zoinkity Site Supporter 2015

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    You know, a fair number of NES games already have editors for them or, at the very least, are decently documented.
    I'd suggest poking around romhacking.net. They have a collection of tools for various games, documents on specific games and hacking on a whole, and occasionally decent advice in the forums.

    Just to warn you though, there's more to genderswapping a title than simply switching in women. In many ways it's akin to the difference between "translation" versus "localization", and probably just as poorly understood in a general sense.
     
  4. Rosstin

    Rosstin Newly Registered

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    I tried playing around with "Revamp", a Castlevania 3 editor. I managed to alter the background tiles some, and I was able to view the character tiles. Good start, and interesting to see the guts of the NES.

    It's a promising start. Have any of you done tile editing before?

    My main concern is in creating a workflow that's not too complex. I have some game artist friends who would help me, but I see that the NES sprites have an extremely limited palette and only 3 colors (plus transparency) which means that I'll have to effectively communicate all the limitations to them.
     
  5. Rosstin

    Rosstin Newly Registered

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    I'm getting into pattern editing now. Any good software for this? It's very labor-intensive.

    Even a Windows pixel editor would help. I have a good Mac one (Pixen) but a lot of the editors I'm working with are Windows-based.

    Of course I can hit Photoshop until it behaves, but I'd rather have something dedicated.
     
  6. Zoinkity

    Zoinkity Site Supporter 2015

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    YY_CHR might be a good bet. It has a dedicated pattern editor, though that probably won't help with certain annoying games that scramble their graphics.
     
  7. goldenband

    goldenband Spirited Member

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    Maybe Adventures of Lolo would be a place to start, since Lolo -> Lala would be one of the easier sprite/palette swaps I can imagine.
     
  8. Zoinkity

    Zoinkity Site Supporter 2015

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    Come to think of it, the Castlevania series was renowned for its creative tile layout schemes.

    There's also a limit on which colors are available in the palettes as well, which is altogether more limiting than the three-color rule. Although certain emulators will allow you to externally alter this, it's usually better to stick to what the console originally permitted--especially if you're interested in playing it on original hardware.

    Although sprites themselves are limited to four colors (well, three), certain games like Yoshi's Cookie will seemingly exceed this limit by switching between different screen buffers rapidly. Also, you may run into cases where the screen background color isn't black, affecting loaded palettes in a similar way as altering images' color channels.

    Hope things go well with this project!
     

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