Author Topic: Developing FF4kster: a comprehensive editor for FF4  (Read 236557 times)

Grimoire LD

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,682
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #60 on: September 10, 2012, 09:46:31 AM »
For 1 MB of data, this game sure does still have a lot of unknowns. I somehow forgot about Paladin Cecil... heh.

Though for the wishlist you mention, by all means post it! For a game with so much information known about it, to know what's missing from documents and the like would make it easier to search for what remains unknown.

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #61 on: September 10, 2012, 10:01:27 AM »
True enough. Then, post it I shall! I think I should probably start a new topic for it though since it is kind of a side issue that's technically independent of the editor.
Let's dance!

chillyfeez

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,234
  • Gender: Male
  • Go ahead, ask me about Angel Feathers!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2012, 09:05:38 AM »
Hey Pinkpuff

1. I'm curious - did you keep monster spells unlearnable in the spell set menu because they show up weird in the spell menus (a problem I don't think we can solve)?

2. In the event editor, is it possible for you to include the bits at the beginning of each instruction (similar to how things appear in Phoenix's FFTools)? this would make it easier to copy one event or part of an event to another.

3. (this might have been asked already and if so, sorry) Is there any plan to include the ability to change the accompanying sprites for each character (battle and map) - not to edit them, but, say, make fusoya look like tellah.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 09:14:04 AM by chillyfeez »

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2012, 09:18:39 AM »
Hey Pinkpuff

Hey!  :childish:

1. I'm curious - did you keep monster spells unlearnable in the spell set menu because they show up weird in the spell menus (a problem I don't think we can solve)?

Actually, yes, that is the exact reason.

2. In the event editor, is it possible for you to include the bytes at the beginning of each instruction (similar to how things appear in Phoenix's FFTools)? this would make it easier to copy one event or part of an event to another.

It is possible but I don't really see the point/use of it... copying and pasting event code is a completely separate thing from displaying the underlying hex code. The point of having this kind of tool is so that you don't have to know or understand the ROM or locations or anything, you can just have an idea for a hack, design it with this tool, and it will take care of translating that into the appropriate hex changes for you.

Having a copy/paste feature may happen in some capacity, though if it does it would probably be something like "clone event over another event" and then you can change the details; like if you want a bunch of events that all more or less do the same thing but, say, set a different flag or something, such as the trap door battles or something like that.

3. (this might have been asked already and if so, sorry) Is there any plan to include the ability to change the accompanying sprites for each character (battle and map) - not to edit them, but, say, make fusoya look like tellah.

If it is known how to do that (what the bytes and such are for linking portraits to jobs and map sprites to actors), then sure! Ultimately the kinds of things this editor will be able to change will ideally be limited only by what is known or unknown about the ROM.
Let's dance!

Dragonsbrethren

  • Forum Overlord
  • *
  • Posts: 1,820
    • View Profile
    • Dragonsbrethren Industries
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2012, 09:20:11 AM »
(a problem I don't think we can solve)?
This is easily solved, you just need to alter the text routines to account for them. The easiest way is to copy those names into a second list that is still eight characters, then alter the existing list so each spell is only six characters long, like the normal character spells. Then you just need to change the routine that displays the name on the right side of the screen in battle. It's been a long time since I looked at the text routines, but it's already set up to load eight characters instead of six after a certain index, so editing that to load the eight characters names from an entirely different offset shouldn't be too hard.

chillyfeez

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,234
  • Gender: Male
  • Go ahead, ask me about Angel Feathers!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2012, 12:10:54 AM »
It is possible but I don't really see the point/use of it... copying and pasting event code is a completely separate thing from displaying the underlying hex code. The point of having this kind of tool is so that you don't have to know or understand the ROM or locations or anything, you can just have an idea for a hack, design it with this tool, and it will take care of translating that into the appropriate hex changes for you.

Having a copy/paste feature may happen in some capacity, though if it does it would probably be something like "clone event over another event" and then you can change the details; like if you want a bunch of events that all more or less do the same thing but, say, set a different flag or something, such as the trap door battles or something like that.

... It doesn't necessarily have to be the exact hex for what I'm envisioning (though there's no real reason why it specifically couldn't be - hacking ROMs is an activity inextricably linked to hex exposure), it could be as simple as numbering the different instructions in regular old base 10.  The reason I think it would help is... let's say I want to create a flashback scene from the opening events later in the game.  I don't want to clone the entire event, but I also don't want to have to spend all that time writing "main character face up-repeat the following action three times-main character move up..." just to recreate the same actions.

If it is known how to do that (what the bytes and such are for linking portraits to jobs and map sprites to actors), then sure! Ultimately the kinds of things this editor will be able to change will ideally be limited only by what is known or unknown about the ROM.

I feel like I've seen the info somewhere before.  I wasn't looking for it at the time, so I didn't make note of it.  If I can find it again I'll let you know.

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2012, 06:05:53 AM »
hacking ROMs is an activity inextricably linked to hex exposure

I completely disagree with the "inextricably" part. I think it is definitely possible to create a set of tools that allows one to hack a rom and not know what the word Hexadecimal even means. And while some kind of game code (hex or any other base) may creep into this editor due to my laziness or lack of creativity, one of my goals is to try to avoid it wherever possible.

it could be as simple as numbering the different instructions in regular old base 10.

This would probably be less useful than straight up hex code in both respects...

The reason I think it would help is... let's say I want to create a flashback scene from the opening events later in the game.  I don't want to clone the entire event, but I also don't want to have to spend all that time writing "main character face up-repeat the following action three times-main character move up..." just to recreate the same actions.

That is a good point. I might make a "copy/paste script section" feature at some point, but it would not display underlying instruction code in any base, and I think scenarios like you describe above would come up seldomly enough that this is a bit lower of a priority for me at the moment. I think right now I need to get the editor to be able to work the basics of as many different kinds of data as possible, then afterwards I can go back and add in neat little features to the existing editors that make life easier in various respects.

I feel like I've seen the info somewhere before.  I wasn't looking for it at the time, so I didn't make note of it.  If I can find it again I'll let you know.

Sweet, thanks!  :childish:
Let's dance!

chillyfeez

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,234
  • Gender: Male
  • Go ahead, ask me about Angel Feathers!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2012, 06:59:02 AM »
I completely disagree with the "inextricably" part. I think it is definitely possible to create a set of tools that allows one to hack a rom and not know what the word Hexadecimal even means. And while some kind of game code (hex or any other base) may creep into this editor due to my laziness or lack of creativity, one of my goals is to try to avoid it wherever possible.
well, yes... sort of. your editor (and one or two others I've seen) already do this, to a point.  Will such a tool ever be TRULY comprehensive though? unless your editor automatically performs all of the prework described by Dragonsbrethren above on every ROM it loads, it will never allow the hacker to use monster spells. And I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. I am not a programmer, and not long ago, my only experience ROM hacking was a cosmetic/text hack of the original Legend of Zelda created over ten years ago (and now, sadly, lost).  I was inspired to try messing around with FFIV after playing Euclid's LoZ:PW (something like, "This is really cool, but I wonder if I could do something similar with a game I like better than Zelda").  If I ever actually complete a FFIV hack (I've been toying around with editing bits and pieces for months and slowly formulating a plan), I now have enough knowledge to hack other ROMs, too, which I wouldn't have if I remained sheltered from hex.
But this is a serious digression from anything I ever meant to get into with you.  The editor is definitely great so far, allows for easy (and reliable) interface with lots of elements of the game that other editors don't even touch on.  I don't want you to think that I am not VERY happy with what you're trying to accomplish here.
This would probably be less useful than straight up hex code in both respects...
Yes, excepting only to the end of NOT exposing the user to hexadecimals  :laugh:

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2012, 08:19:22 AM »
Ok I see what you mean now.

First, my goal with this editor isn't for it to be able to do anything with it that you could do with a hex editor. There will likely always be things that you have to either hex-edit or download a separate patch for (such as the monster spell issue you mentioned). Second, it would still technically be possible to create a tool to do literally anything with the ROM without knowing any hex; though it would be more of a programming language than an editor at that point. As an illustration, I'm certain that no one working on this game's initial development typed in any hex code. They would have been using some kind of programming language and compiler that took care of doing all the machine langauge translations for them.

The editor is definitely great so far, allows for easy (and reliable) interface with lots of elements of the game that other editors don't even touch on.  I don't want you to think that I am not VERY happy with what you're trying to accomplish here.

Thanks! It wouldn't be possible without the efforts from all the awesome hackers on this board and elsewhere who have posted the information they've discovered. And don't worry I didn't get that impression at all.
Let's dance!

Grimoire LD

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,682
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2012, 10:34:25 AM »
I can't recall if I posted this or just thought about it...

With the Mist Dragon Events there are basically two events, one, when you reply yes, is cut off by the "no" event. Though you can see the Yes event in another box below it. Is this unused functionality by the editor at the moment and is it planned that the player will be able to add their own Yes/No options to any given event, down the line?

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2012, 10:39:36 AM »
Down the line? It should work right now! If not then that's a bug!

You should be able to switch between editing the two windows using the TAB key. If the main (upper) event code contains a "Yes/No" choice then it will display the bottom box, and that should go for any event.
Let's dance!

Grimoire LD

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,682
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2012, 11:18:45 AM »
Hah! Well what do you know? I must have missed that little bit of information when you went over the controls all that time ago.

However it seems if you add a Yes/No option to an event, that second box won't appear. Unless I'm missing something other than just adding the instruction?

Oh yes, there is one thing which may want to be reviewed now that I remember. If you delete an event and then accidentally click Enter on the "End Event" section, you're forced to choose an Event Instruction even though there is no "--END--" choice in the Event Instructions menu, so you have to exit without saving, lest one event flow right into another. Easy way to fix this is just include the "--END--" as an available instruction to choose.


EDIT: Ah, I see. You need to save and reload the program to make the second box appear. It's not preferable but it does work all the same.

EDIT 2: I can say with all certainty that this functionality works perfectly! I put a branch for when you reached Mist for the first time. Interestingly enough when you use a branch it will copy the next event, which is actually a bit easier than making a new event from scratch so good insight when you made the split event functionality.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 11:38:17 AM by Grimoire LD »

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2012, 11:43:03 AM »
You were totally right, that was not at all the intended behaviour.

Should be fixed now though when you have a chance to redownload. Also a Job editing component.  :wink:
Let's dance!

Grimoire LD

  • FF4 Hacker
  • *
  • Posts: 1,682
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2012, 12:16:51 PM »
Glad to see that Job editing made it in! A good use for the spell set menu. I tested it a bit and came back with some not optimal results unfortunately. I gave Cecil a new Spell Set 014 for his Black Slot, added a couple of spells, and one learned spell. When you start a new game and check your spell list you'll see the spells there under Black, but for those they throw out nonsense spells that seem to be reading into the Monster Spells Section, is it that whatever is written to Spell Set 014's original location is being read rather than what the editor says?

So I thought that may have been the case and gave Cecil, Kain's unused spell slot for his Black Magic spells. Filled that in with several spells and one learned one to test that out. While the linking outside battle is perfect, going to Cecil it shows his Black Magic spells instead "Cannot use". Inside of battle he doesn't have any of those spells, nor will he learn the spell he's set to learn. Which leads me to wonder, did you perhaps forget to include the secondary pointer to the in-battle menus for the magic linking?

Also looks like the second window appearing immediately works perfectly. Very nice fix.

Pinkpuff

  • Flan Princess
  • *
  • Posts: 923
  • Find a Megalixir in Unprecedented Crisis!
    • View Profile
Re: Developing a comprehensive editor for FF4
« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2012, 12:40:06 PM »
Good catch! Try it now.

 :edit:
At first I wasn't sure what you meant with the spell set 014 thing but now I see exactly what you're talking about. The whole "adding new spell sets" thing was mostly an optimistic shot in the dark and largely untested. Oh well, I guess I'll have to exclude that funcitonality from future versions now.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 12:45:22 PM by Pinkpuff »
Let's dance!