January 1, 2013 - Happy New Year
Unfortunately I don't have much to report yet. I've been trying to use my meager amount of free time to pick back up some of my staff responsibilities at Romhacking.net and get in a little game time. I've started looking back into my projects to see what is far enough along and/or most interesting.
Right now, Surging Aura has my attention. I've started digging back through my notes and my existing code to see what shape it's in and I'm not too happy with it. It's really messy and just embarrassing to look at. Even worse, it's hard to figure out what's going on. So my first task is to work on cleaning this mess up. My next task is gonna be updating the VWF code to output one character at a time rather than an entire tile at at a time. The next thing will be seeing how the translation is coming along since I haven't talked to Ruairc in probably a year.
I still want to work on the assembly hacks for Spider-man, but Surging Aura is just more interesting to me at the moment. I'd also still love to set up a WordPress blog and revamp this site. Alas, I have too many ideas and not enough time. Classes start next week, so I'm gonna try to get a little something done before then. Work, school, women and romhacking do not mix well together.
June 5, 2012 - Another "I'm not dead" Update
I've been extremely busy since December with school, work and other fun real life stuff. On the one hand I've learned a lot about web development and I'm anxious to learn more, and on the other hand I've been so busy learning new things for work that I haven't had time to work on any of my own projects. I did spend a few days getting my machine set up so I can continue working on SEKAS. I'm gonna work on switching the build system to CMake so I can hopefully make it platform independent. I've grown to hate doing development work of any kind on a Windows box.
Things will hopefully start picking up around here while I'm out of school for summer, but we'll see. The first thing I'm gonna tackle is SEKAS then either Spider-man: Lethal Foes or dig up my old notes on Shui Hu Feng Yun Zhuan since I finally found a translator thanks to the guys at Sega-16. I might look into redesigning this site while I'm at it. I'm really getting sick of editing html files by hand.
December 21, 2011 - Candy Cane Massacre
So it's been quite a while since the last update and unfortunately I don't have much in the way of news to report. I've been disgustingly busy with school for the past 4 months and finally have a chance to rest for a few weeks. On the plus side, studying so much has paid off immensely, and I actually learned a lot of things that I can apply to my own projects.
Before school started, I began rewriting SEKAS from the ground up and it probably needs another 20 hours or so of work before it's ready for release. I could probably get it done in the next few weeks while I'm off, but I'm not sure if I'll work on it or not. You might be wondering why after 5 years of development, I still haven't released SEKAS. The last version (which I used for Bare Knuckle 3 and some other projects...) was basically a heavily modified version of byuu's phenomenal xkas. A lot of the modifications I made to xkas' code base to support the 68K ended up introducing a lot of really evil bugs that were difficult to track down. It's fine for hacking purposes, but as soon as I began using it for real development, I found a number of show stopping bugs and issues that would require large chunks of the code to be redesigned and recoded.
After much thought and consideration, I decided that the best thing would be to just rewrite the entire thing from the ground up. This has given me a chance to get familiar with object oriented programming and the code has been written in such a way that I can easily modify it later in the future if (when) any bugs show up. It also means that with a little tweaking I'll be able to support different assembler syntaxes without too much trouble, so hopefully it'll appeal to all of those homebrewers in the Mega Drive scene who currently use snasm68k.
Lately I've been reading up on WordPress and learning some PHP so I can play with WP and create something new for this site that will hopefully get everyone to be a little more interactive. At the very least, it'll make updating the site a hell of a lot easier. I'm still editting and uploading individual html files like it's 1997. I'm old school, yo.
Once I have enough free time to actually focus on something, I'm going to try to tackle Spider-Man: Lethal Foes and get that out of the way. I've been sitting on the translated script since December 2006. I know. I'm pathetic. I'm just too burned out to look into adding the hacks that it needs so the translation really shines. If memory serves me, the game uses an 8x8 2BPP font. In order to make the VWF for a comic book style font look smooth, it really needs to be recoded to support a 4BPP font. Those extra colors will really help smooth the italicized font out and make it look professional. At one time I entertained the idea of adding extra code and graphics so the black Spider-man costume (the Venom symbiote) could be used via a special password, but now I think that would be too much work and beyond the scope of the translation. It'd be a nice hack though if someone was interested in doing it.
As of right now the only game not being actively worked on in any fashion is Z Gundam. DarknessSavior is still slowly plugging away at DBZ2 when he as time and I still need to test the assembly code I wrote back in 2006 for it. I can't believe it's been so many years already. I'm getting old. Until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.
July 19, 2011 - Mobile Suit Gundam F91: Formula Wars 0122 - Released!
It only took a little over 5 years, but it finally happened. Go grab the patch from its project page and enjoy it!
July 7, 2011 - Gundam F91 Enters Testing At Last!
So after countless hours of frustration, I fixed the bug in my code AND improved the overall quality of the text rendering in F91. I just sent the beta patch out to my testers to begin picking it apart. With any luck, testing should be done within a few weeks and the patch out by month's end. We're almost there folks! I hope you're as excited as I am.
Now that F91's finished, I'm probably going to try to put some work in on Spidey. The translation's been done since December of 2006 and it's only waiting on the hacking. I know. I suck. I also have a few other projects going behind the scenes that I'm gonna try to work on, too. I'll post more about that when the time comes. I'm also considering upgrading the site to something more blog like to encourage user feedback, but we'll see how that goes.
July 1, 2011 - The End is in Sight!
I've spent the last few days tying up a few loose ends with Gundam F91 and we're just about ready for testing. I found a few small strings of Japanese that hadn't been translated and some Engrish that needs to be fixed, but that's it. All of the 8x8 text has been fixed (as you can see in the below screenshots). I even resized the unit info windows on the map to accomodate the longer unit names. There's one small bug left to fix in the code, which I need to look into more. It's not something anyone other than Gemini will notice, but it's a flaw in my code and it's gonna bug the hell out of me unless I fix it. I'm either a perfectionist or borderline OCD. Probably both. Anyway, here's a few screenshots of hitherto unseen English:
May 25, 2011 - Small Status Report
I've been taking summer classes and they've proven to be a lot more time consuming than I initially thought, so I haven't had much time the last few weeks to do anything. I got lucky somehow and fell into a little freetime the last day or two. I've finished up SEKAS to the point I think it's going to be. Macros and namespace are not supported at this time for a few reasons. I'm going to use SEKAS for a few things I'm working on for a few weeks or so, and then I'm planning to release it to the public so you guys can break it and make me cry.
On the projects front, I finished all of the editing and formatting for F91 before class started a few weeks ago. Now the only thing I have left to do is look into adding a VWF for the cockpit menus and then test everything. I've got a couple testers lined up and I'm pretty sure I caught all of the bugs and weird issues during my edit/format playthrough. I'm probably wrong.
DarknessSavior (translator of Hyper Dimension) has stepped up to translate DBZ2 and finally finish the NES DBZ series off. He's made decent progress over the past month, but this will still be a while. I have to insert the code I wrote and test it. (First I gotta remember how it works...) I also have to rewrite my compression tools to be more user-friendly. I've grown so much as a programmer since I first coded Huffy.
That's about it for this month. Like I said, I'm up to my eyeballs in school work, so I can't make any guarantees. I have a day off coming up sometime, so maybe I can get something done. I've got my hands in a few other on-going projects that I think a lot of people will be excited about. I keep saying I'm going to finish this game or that game and then retire, but there always seems to be another game to come along and pique my interest. Such is the curse of the ROMH.
April 29, 2011 - Surging Awesome
So how's this for a surprise? Now I just need a translator. The translations in the screenshots are based on the translations in reinofhearts' Let's Play: Surging Aura videos on YouTube. My code builds on g8z_et_al's awesome starter pack, which was an invaluable resource in getting this project started. There's a bit more coding left to do, but it shouldn't be too difficult. I just have to find the time. Anyway, check out the below screenshots and check back in the future for more updates.
April 27, 2011 - Moving on Up to the East Side
I'm pleased to say that this has been a (surprisingly) productive month around here. I've been slowly formatting and doing some minor editing on F91's script and I have up through Act 7 (of 12) inserted and looking good. I stumbled onto a little bug in my code that I need to fix before I can finish Act 8's text. The original Japanese game apparently never intended for a string to be longer than 255 bytes long, but some of the English text is slightly longer (that count includes control codes and such). So I need to rewrite a little code to load a 16-bit string index instead. Not really anything major. I've just been suffering from ADD this month or something.
In addition to F91, I've been working on a few other things. I've been slowly working on SEKAS and adding features I need for it to be a serious assembler for hacker and homebrewer alike. It's getting there. I've got a few more things I need to fix and then I'm going to open it up to the public for testing. As of right now it doesn't support macros and I'm not sure if I'll add support for this or not before I open it up. I wrote most of this code 4 years ago and it's really messy and difficult to work with this far out. Just another example of poor planning on my part. C'est la vie.
The rest of my time this month has been spent working on a secret project that I'm really excited about. It's almost to a point where I'm comfortable announcing it. I had a translator back in August lined up for it, but he disappeared on me. Real life claimed another one. Oh well. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find someone for this one once I get it to the point it needs to be.
Also, if there are any Chinese speaking folks out there that are interested in helping me out with a little project and can understand Chinese poetry, hit me up at rpgcredcomet AT gmail DOT com. I've got a secret project that I'm interested in finishing, but at least one person wasn't able to do it because of the archaic, flowery text. Hint: Pirates kick ass in Ancient China on the Mega Drive. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out what game it is.
That's about it for this month. I'm gonna try to finish up F91's script and then focus on fixing the various menus throughout the game. After that it'll be ready for playtesting. Barring the appearance of any show stopping bugs, this will be out before this year is over if not before the summer is over. After that I'm gonna try to work on Spider-man: Lethal Foes since I have someone going over the script to make sure it reads like a Spidey comic. Then probably Z Gundam or DBZ2. All that plus the few secrets I've got going on the side should keep me busy for the next year or two. Class starts in a week and a half so I don't know how much time I'll have to devote to my projects until the few weeks I have off in August before the fall semester starts. Check back soon.
April 4, 2011 - It Only Took 5 Years...
So yeah. Happy Birthday to me. Let's celebrate a day early with a video:
March 27, 2011 - Brief Update
So I finally have a little time on my hands to do things. I've spent most of today rewriting and debuggin the VWF routine in F91 to hopefully be faster and less laggy than it was before. The VWF itself is up and running. Now I just have to recode the display routines so they play well with the new code. I'll probably try to work on that tonight or tomorrow night. The script is finally ready to be edited after a few issues were resolved, so now I'm anxious to get this finished and out the door. It'll be 5 years next Tuesday (April 5th) that I first announced this project, and I'm ashamed it's taken that long to get this far. Oh well.
Summer classes begin in May, so I'm gonna be pretty busy until December with school. I'm gonna try to maybe get something done in the next month. Check back in a few weeks and maybe I'll surprise us both.
January 4, 2011 - There's Never Enough Time
So it's been a while since I've posted any news. There's a lot of reasons for that. After I finished HD, I got sidetracked working on another project (which I haven't gotten far enough along to announce yet) and then I took a break from hacking to focus on other things. Recently I've been working two jobs on top of going to school. (Alright student loan debt!) So my free time has been nonexistent. I got the past few weeks off from the really time consuming job and from school for Christmas, so I've had about two weeks to rest and recuperate. In that time I've managed to complete Mass Effect 2 (which any Sci Fi fan should check out; it rocks), rekindle my interest in drawing, watch a few movies, and get the hacking itch again.
I've spent the past few hours looking into fixing the last few bugs that were plaguing SEKAS that I never fixed, and there's still one major bug to fix before I'll be happy with it. The recent release of Pier Solar has really got me interested in doing a little homebrewing of my own for the Genesis. We'll see how that goes. I'm anxious to give PS a try when my copy arrives. Be sure to order a copy if you can and support those guys. The game looks like it's gonna be pretty incredible.
Since I'm gonna have next to no time off until May, there probably won't be much activity around here for a while. Things are gonna hopefully pick up after that. Maybe. I want them to. I've got a few surprises in store for everyone.
There's two secret projects I've been working on I wanna develop a little more before announcing them, then the other games already announced. Of those, F91 has a working VWF (see previous updates for screenshots) and is just waiting on the translator to go back over the script to check a few things. Then it needs to be edited, inserted, tested, etc. Z Gundam needs to be translated still. I ran through the first chapter and the text was pretty easy, but seeing the anime is pretty much mandatory.
I still need to sit down and do some ASM work on Spider-man and the script needs to be edited. I have someone lined up to do that, so we'll see how that pans out. I've got a couple of the files for DBZ2 translated, but I don't know if my translation skills are good enough to handle the story and dialogue. The item and training descriptions were easy. I need the practice, so maybe.
So the question remains, will something be released this year? Hell if I know. Stay tuned!
July 29, 2010 - Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension - Released!
I know. I can't believe it either, but it's finally out. Stop reading this and go get the patch on the project page. Enjoy!
July 22, 2010 - Hyper Dimension Video Revisited
I'm not sure if you all remember the video I made of the first few minutes of the Story Mode in HD back in November 2008 (to be honest, I don't and I have cheap whisky to blame; what's your excuse?) but I decided to upload a new video tonight that shows off a little more of the game and the finalized script. Hopefully this will whet your appetite for the patch.
July 18, 2010 - He is a Char
I've spent the past month or so working off and on on a VWF for Gundam F91 and, well, I finally got it working. There's a little lag still that I'm not happy with and a few bugs, but I'll work on fixing those. In the meantime, enjoy these screenshots. (The script hasn't been edited, so no complaining about it!)
July 9, 2010 - Hyper Dimension: Round Two
I managed to get the few bugs and issues that cropped up during the first round of testing fixed and now HD is undergoing a second and (hopefully) final round of testing. Thus far only one bug was reported, which was easily fixed. Apparently someone forgot ASM 101 and didn't wait for VBlank before DMAing data. Wonder who that was?
Anyway, if all goes well, this will be out the door by the end of this month, but seeing as how I'm usually totally off base when it comes to deadlines, expect this by Christmas and no sooner.
June 22, 2010 - Fifth Anniversary
Today marks Tiwlight Translations' fifth anniversary. That's five years we've been translating games. After all that time you would've expected us to have released more that we have, huh? Well, I had really hoped that Hyper Dimension would be ready by today and to be fair it could have been. There's a few bugs that the first round of testing brought to light that I need to fix and thus far I've been unable to find the time to fix them. So, expect that in the near future. It's something really simple to fix too. The way I have to fix it is just so mind numbingly boring that I can't motivate myself to find the time to fix it. It'll happen here soon. Anyway, here's to hopefully 5 more years of hacking and health.
May 31, 2010 - Hyper Dimension Enters Beta Testing
May 29, 2010 - The 'B' in DBZ is for Bloopers!
That is all.
May 20, 2010 - Witty Innuendo Here
I think I can finally say that the hacking in Hyper Dimension is 100% finished. I finished up the credits last night and now the only thing left to format is the victory quotes in the versus mode, which will probably take a few days depending on how fast I work. Once that's done, the patch will enter play testing. Then any inconsistencies, bugs, or other general weirdness that crop up will be fixed and then repeat until I'm happy with the results. If all goes well, we're looking at a mid to late June release.
I've been bored and suffering from insomnia so I decided to poke around a few other projects and see how much work will be needed to complete them. So far I've only looked into F91 and let me say, it'll be relatively easy to add a VWF to. The VWF will be tricky, but for the same reasons HD's was a challenge. Fortunately now I know exactly what to do. There's still a little more reverse engineering I need to do to figure out the compression on the font because I lost my notes (and I had the damn thing figured out too), so it might be a bit on this one. Spider-man is in a similar boat as F91 as far as the hacking goes, but it'll probably take a back seat to F91 as there are a few more issues to deal with in Spidey.
I think next I'm gonna look at Z Gundam or watch some more Z Gundam. I'm actually kind of anxious to try translating this myself. We'll see how it goes. I'm not going to sacrifice quality to stroke my ego, so no worries people. Furthermore, I'm really considering just going with the 8x16 hack like I mentioned in a previous update. I want it to be consistent with Cross Dimension and the 8x16 is ridiculously simple to implement. Anyway, the next update will probably come when HD enters testing. And no, you can't help, so don't ask.
May 8, 2010 - I Do Everything Fast...
Except that. So it turns out that I'm better than I thought and I have the ending text in working order now. Unfortunately fixing that broke the credits. Oh well. Praise Yevon we have the technology to rebuild it with a VWF. Anyway, here are a few bloopers I threw together for my own amusement from earlier in the development process and tonight. Enjoy.
May 6, 2010 - 6 Months Later...And It's Still Not Done
I know it's been a while, but in my defense I've had a lot of non-hacking related things to stress me out in real life. School is officially out until the end of August, so I'm hoping to get a few things done around here. First on the list is finishing Hyper Dimension. Turns out the ending screen uses a different text routine than the rest of the game, and that needs to be hacked. Additionally, the credits also need to be VWF'd. I didn't know about these two things until play testing began back in December or so. So, HD is almost finished. By the grace of God, Buddha and the Man Jesus, it should hopefully be released this summer.
Other things I'd like to get done include Spider-man and Gundam F91. Both of these have translated scripts that I've had for at least a year, or in Spidey's case since December of 2006. Time flies when you're having fun, or when you're drunk. Whichever. That just leaves DBZ2 and Z Gundam on my active projects list.
I'd really like to get DBZ2 translated. Once DBZ2 is finished, I'd like to go back through and make sure everything between the NES games is consistent and well written. I'm not sure yet if I'll do that or not. A lot of my old tools will need to be recoded to be of any use. They need to be recoded for DBZ2 anyway since I don't remember how they work, so who knows. I miss the time I spent working on the other DBZ games, especially 3 and Gaiden. Fun times.
That just leaves Z Gundam. I'm really considering translating this one myself, because I can't find a translator and I need the practice. I'm not sure yet. I still need to figure out the text routine and everything so I can implement a VWF. Although, I'm considering just doing a simple 8x16 hack so that the look of the game is consistent with Aeon Genesis' translation of Cross Dimension 0079. Depends on how much of a pain in the ass the VWF will be.
There you have it. The order in which projects will be worked on goes something like this: HD, F91 or Spidey (whichever is easier to hack), DBZ2 or Z Gundam (whichever I get a translator for first). I'll try to get back to my once a month updates, but if I don't update, it's because I don't have anything new to report.
I am still working on these projects, so don't worry. I have one more secret project (not SRW, which probably won't ever be finished) that I'm interested in finishing, but I'm not gonna say what it is. It needs a lot of work because my notes and old work are from 2006 when I didn't really know what the hell I was doing. Once all the games on my projects page are finished, I'm seriously considering closing up shop. There's only three other games that I can think of that I'm interested in working on (one of which is the aforementioned secret), but time and motivation to hack is becoming increasingly harder to find nowadays. It kind of makes me sad. Shikata ga nai.
November 26, 2009 - Gobbledygook
Barring any bugs or formatting issues that crop up during testing, hacking work is officially complete for Hyper Dimension. (Yeah, I know I totally missed that whole Halloween release.) The only thing left to do is plug the script into the rom and test, which will be a bit still. There were a few problems with the original script, so it's been basically retranslated from the ground up. That's almost finished. Once that's done, in goes the script and testing starts. I don't know when this will be ready for release. I hope soon, but who knows. Below are screenshots showing off the two last things that needed to be hacked (the copyright screen and the options menu). Stay tuned.
August 7, 2009 - My, What Shiney Balls You Have, Grandmother
I've made some phenomenal progress over the last few weeks on Hyper Dimension, so much so that it's finally ready for editing. Last night I handed the scripts off to my editor to polish up, and so far I like the results. No screenshots, yet, until we finalize the script. Actually, don't expect any more screenshots until I'm ready to release. If all goes well, this should be ready for testing by month's end, but that depends on how fast the editor works and how much additional revision is needed once he's finished.
In the meantime, I have a few small things to finish up on the hacking front, but nothing that should delay the progress of the project. I'm gonna focus solely on HD until it's finished at this point, I think. So, don't be surprised if you don't see many updates between now and, say, Halloween. I'm fairly certain HD will be ready before then, but that's the release date I'm shooting for. I'll post a few "I'm not dead" updates along the way to keep you guys up to date, and feel free to join the forum and start some discussions.
July 24, 2009 - Fear of the Romh
I got the palette issue with the name graphics on the character select screen sorted out, but now it's caused a bug to crop up in the versus mode set up screen. I'll get it fixed. In the meantime enjoy some new screenshots:
July 23, 2009 - Hacking Lite: A Lager with Today's Hacker in Mind
Got the graphics that Gemini (of Persona: Innocent Sin fame) provided inserted tonight. That only took a couple of hours to do. I forgot how therapeutic hacking could be. Huh.
July 18, 2009 - I've Still Got It, Baby
Got the stats displaying correctly just now, so I thought I'd show them off.
July 17, 2009 - Long Time No See
So it's been a while since the last update. The truth is there hasn't been anything to update you guys on. Production around these parts has really petered out the past few months. I've spent the past few days working on Hyper Dimension again, so hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to show in a few weeks.
For now, I'm wrestling with fixing the Win/Lose/Draw screen in the Versus mode. Originally, a kanji was appended to each value. In the translation, I've removed the kanji and simply written out the words in the center of the screen. That works perfectly. The only problem I'm having now is getting the variables themselves (the numbers) to display correctly. With them disabled the screen below should give you a good idea of what the final product will look like. Please keep in mind this is far from final, as I haven't centered everything.
The good news is, I got the other bug that was giving me problems in the options menu fixed. (Someone made a typo, heh.) In other news, well, there is no other news to report. I'm gonna try to work on these projects at least a half hour each day until I get them finished. I need to prove to myself I can still see a project through to completion. Stay tuned.
February 15, 2009 - Bare Knuckle 3 - Released!
This was supposed to go out yesterday, but my connection was being retarded. Anyway, the patch is available on the project page. The patch description on the page hasn't been written yet. I'll get to that in a few days. For now, I just want to thank everyone who has helped in some way or another with this project. Thanks!
January 26, 2009 - It's Coming...
I've got maybe 3 things left to finish up on the game right now. Testing should begin tomorrow night at the latest. And no, you can't help.
January 14, 2009 - Beat'em Up Guy
Time for a brief update, since I've made some phenomenal progress this past week (at least compared to the past 6 months). The script for Hyper Dimension is currently being edited, which should be finished by the end of the week. I haven't worked much on the hacking side of things on HD this week because I've made progress on other projects, like Super Robot Wars Complete Box.
That's right. That game I started working on last year is finally seeing some progress being made. Thanks to Kingcom of The Romhacking Aerie I've finally figured out how the game stores its text. I hooked back up with Suzaku, who is now working diligently on the script for SRW2. I'll probably wait til he gets SRW2 finished before I dump the other two games.
In other robot related news, a fellow by the name of SteveMartin (who's helped Pennywise out with a few games) offered to translate Gundam F91's script for me. And he did it in 3 days! So, there's one more script I'm sitting on, which brings the count up to...3, I think: F91, Spider-man (which I haven't forgotten about), and Bare Knuckle 3. I'm proud to say that BK3 is finally seeing some appreciable progress. Since my editor has apparently bailed on me (haven't heard from him since November), I'm currently in the process of editing the script myself. Expect more out of this later in the month.
That's all for now kiddies. It looks like 2009 is shaping up to be a great year for both Twilight Translations and me! Stay tuned!
January 5, 2009 - I. Hate. Menus.
So both Christmas and the start of the New Year came and went with no updates (or patches). Sorry about that; I was busy. The good news is I haven't completely been sitting on my hands the past month! As you can see in the below screenshots, the various menus and random screens of text in Hyper Dimension are finally translated and sporting a sexy VWF like the Story Mode. You have no idea how hard it was to make the VWF work with those menus. That's the reason I didn't make the Halloween release: I underestimated just how coked up the programmers were when they made this game.
Things left to do: Add VWF support to the remaining strings of tournament mode text (really just hook the old code into the new code); Change the character name graphics in the menus and during fights; and translate the credits at the start up screen. I believe that's all that's left! I'm not making any promises when it'll be released, but it will be very soon.
Oh, and Bare Knuckle 3 is still being worked on. We're slow like that.
November 27, 2008 - Turkey Tree
I suck at meeting self-imposed deadlines. So let me make it up to you with this movie:
The script has been translated since early October and I'm slowly getting the last of the hacking finished up. All of the menus have proven to be a lot more difficult to VWF than I originally thought. It'll be worth it though.
October 3, 2008 - Trick or Treat
September 24, 2008 - Now Boarding at Gate 7
September 8, 2008 - Brief Update
Things have been relatively quiet around here for the past month. My editor is still polishing the script for Bare Knuckle 3, but I'm not sure when he'll be finished. (Real life is pain sometimes, isn't it?) As for other things, I've been toying with another game off and on in my spare time for the past month or so. If all goes well I might have something substantial to show off later this month, maybe this week if I can do something meaningful on my day off tomorrow.
I'm hoping to have something ready for one of the upcoming holidays, i.e. Halloween and Thanksgiving. I'd really like to have something to release on Halloween since that would mark the two year anniversary since Twilight's last release, but I'm not making any promises just yet. Right now there are three games that could potentially be released this year: Spider-man: Lethal Foes, Bare Knuckle 3 and the secret project I mentioned earlier. Everything else on my plate isn't far enough along to be ready for testing by year's end much less release. Alas, I'll never finish everything I want to it seems.
August 8, 2008 - First Draft of Bare Knuckle 3
I got the first draft of the script back from my editor earlier in the week so I thought I'd insert it and see how it looks. Of course, that was after I spent an hour or two modifying Atlas to support little endian pointers. Anyway, less talk more pictures!
Keep in mind this is still a first draft and the text in the above screenshots isn't final. Hopefully I'll have another video up for you guys later this week.
June 27, 2008 - Late Anniversary Gift
So I forgot our anniversary. I'm sorry! There's not another site! I swear! In the meantime hopefully this will make up for my early onset senility:
May 30, 2008 - New Release...Sort Of
Ordinarily I wouldn't make an update about a patch release that I only contributed to, but this is a special case. Aeon Genesis released Live-A-Live 2.0 yesterday and you owe it to yourself and your children to check it out. We've spent over a year working on this and it was well worth, as I'm sure you'll agree.
Other than that, I don't really have much to report. I'm slowly making progress on a few things, but nothing particularly news worthy. Although, I would appreciate if some Japanese literate person would contact me about retranslating the Battle Mode dialogue for Bare Knuckle 3. I haven't heard from Anton in a while and I kind of need this redone and/or looked over.
I noticed the 3 year anniversary of the site is coming up in a few weeks today. I'm not sure if I'll be able to pull anything together in time for it. I suck at meeting deadlines.
May 17, 2008 - Old Project Made New Again
As I mentioned in my update yesterday I've been working on a new script dumper called Cartographer. I've been testing it by redumping old projects that I still need translators for, like Gundam F91, and I gotta say I'm really proud and impressed with the output. But I digress. The real reason I'm posting anything at all is because I'm looking for a translator to help me finish a project I started a few years ago: Dragonball Z II: Lord Freeza's Fury. The first, third and even the sidestory games have all been translated and it looks a bit stupid and annoying that there's a gap in the story. With your help, I hope to fix that.
So, if you're well versed in the squiggles from the far east, mosey on over to the project page where you can check out a brief sample of the 33KB script. If you're interested in translating it, let me know. I'd really like to get this game finished in the next year or so. The majority of the ASM code has been written for nearly 2 years now, so the only thing left is the translation.
One last thing. Only serious translators apply. I'm looking for someone with experience, not a first year student; if I wanted a first year student I could do it myself. Also, if you suffer from the delusion that owning a Japanese to English dictionary makes you a translator, do not waste my time. Thank you.
May 16, 2008 - Good Things Coming Round the Bend
Since it's been about 2 and half months or so since I last updated the main page I thought I'd take the opportunity to do that. The best way to do this is to tackle each project in turn, I guess.
First up is Bare Knuckle 3. All of the ASM code that is necessary for the translation has been written. There are few other ASM related things I want to look into doing before release, but nothing that will hinder the progress of the translation. I sent the translation to Anton to look over one final time before I hand it off to a script editor (thanks to all those who applied) to sexify. Once that's finished, testing can begin. No, don't ask if you can help.
In other news, I've been working on a new script dumper that should finally put romjuice and other dumpers out of business. Cartographer (props to Gid for the name) allows the user to dump text in one of two ways (more will be added as needed): by address (like romjuice and most other dumpers) or by pointers. There's a lot of other things, too, but I'll save that for the release, which should happen in the next month or so.
Finally, there's Live-A-Live, but I think Gideon's latest update says it all.
So, stay tuned. The next few months should with any luck see a few things being released; some already announced, some not yet announced and some that have been announced but forgotten.
March 6, 2008 - This one time at ROMH camp...
I made more progress on a translation for a game called Bare Knuckle 3 and tested it on the actual hardware and it worked. Flawlessly. True story.
I'm slowly debugging all of the code still. There are 6 separate blocks of text: the Wood Oak screen you see when you first turn the game one; the 4 screens after that; Blaze's letter to Axel; the dialogue that occurs before and after stages; the green warning message that is displayed before Stage 1; and the various winning and losing messages for the Battle mode. Of those six, all except the letter and the warning message use the same read routine and this has been thoroughly tested. Blaze's letter and the warning message use the same read routine.
Actually, they all use the same routine; the code that initializes the various variables used is slightly different between the two. That's mostly because the first set of blocks all have a constant length for every line in the string; the line lenghts of the other two strings, however, vary from line-to-line. I'm currently fixing a small bug in the way these variable lengths are handled. I'm officially out on spring break for the next week, so I should be able to get a lot of work on this done.
I also took the liberty of updating the project page and I included a disclaimer concerning the screenshots posted. This bears repeating, like the Spider-man screenshots (I haven't forgotten about Spidey) I posted last year, the current set of screenshots for Bare Knuckle 3 are only to demonstrate the progress of the hacking side of things.
Once I get the bulk of the hacking squared away and do a few other tests, I'll begin looking for a capable person to edit this script. If you're interested, please send me an email or post a comment on the blog on the latest post. Keep in mind it'll be at least a week or two, if not more, before I'm ready for your help. The only thing I ask is for a demonstration of your ability. How do I do this, you might ask. Simple. Let me know you're interested and I'll send you a sample of the script to edit. If I like what I see, you're in; if not, thanks for playing. Please, if u type li3k ur r3tarded dat prolly meens u r, so dun axe, ne?
February 24, 2008 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town...
I can't find the words to express how happy I am right now, so I'll just let the pictures do the talking:
Their ain't no gettin' off this train we're on! Woo!
February 10, 2008 - Long Time Coming
As I'm sure you've noticed, it's been a while since the last update. Now, you might have gotten the idea that I'd fallen off the face of the Earth, but that would mean you haven't been checking the blog like you should be.
Friday night I fixed one of the last bugs plaguing SEKAS (at least for the time being) and that has renewed my interest in Bare Knuckle 3. I've updated BK3's project page, which you can view here.
I've made an immense amount of progress on this project since I started working on it again yesterday. The formatting for the intro and the letter that scrolls by if you let the game go into Demo/Attract mode has been figured out to the point that I can change it for the VWF. Work on the VWF was stalled by one of the aforementioed bugs in SEKAS and now progress can continue in that regard. However, I'm not jumping back into the VWF immediately. Rather, I'm taking my time to understand completely how the game's code works, so I don't waste time later fixing bugs brought about by my ignorance. I learned my lesson with Live-A-Live, which incidentally has also entered Beta Testing.
There ya have it. Things are finally picking up around here and more importantly, I'm having fun hacking once again. It just goes to show you really have to work on a game that you enjoy or else you're gonna hate every minute spent on it. Stay tuned folks, there's more good things to come!
November 4, 2007 - I've Become What I Hate Most
In the interest of allowing you the public to provide me with feedback, I've set up a blog. Scary, ain't it? I'm not sure how I'm going to use it exactly; will the main site (this) be updated for major news only and the blog serve as my developer's journal of sorts? I'm not sure. We'll see how things go. In the mean time feel free to say hi over at the blog.
November 2, 2007 - Good News
I finished fixing the last of the known bugs in Live-A-Live the other night, and unless any more are found along the way, my part in the project is done. Now we just wait for Gid and co. to edit and insert the script. In other news, I worked on SEKAS's documentation a little earlier this month. I'm in desperate need of more free time and sleep. Ugh.
October 9, 2007 - I'm Not Dead
Just a quick update to let you guys know that 1, I'm not dead and 2, college rocks. On the one hand I'm really, really enjoying my classes. While on the other hand, I don't have nearly enough time between class, studying and work for hacking at the moment. What little free time I have had the past few months has gone towards finishing up Live-A-Live for Gideon Zhi. There's still one small bug left that I'm hoping to fix tomorrow night. Once that's finished, I'm probably not going to be doing much hacking until Thanksgiving weekend. I'll keep you guys posted.
August 17, 2007 - I'm a Dirty, Filthy Liar
A third update in the same month?! Unbelievable, I know, but I'm bored at the moment and thought I'd let you folks know where things stand with SEKAS. Currently I'm writing the ReadMe and Manual. What's the difference? Well, the ReadMe contains very general information: what SEKAS is, how to run the program, a page long reflection of the project (really more for my benefit than yours). While the Manual contains the specifics on how the program works: syntax, features, example code, etc. So once this is released you'll want to skim through the ReadMe for general information, then move onto the Manual for the good stuff.
The current plan is: finish up the aforementioned documents, continue testing, and fixing bugs as I find them. So far I've only found one bug and that wasn't really a bug, per se, as it was a simple typo. Go figure. Also, I've got a rough outline of the VWF for Bare Knuckle 3 drawn up already. Finally, I'm considering releasing an Alpha version of SEKAS to other coders to toy with and provide me valuable feedback on the program. Alternatively, I could set up some sort of online bug reporting system and release to the public. Not sure what I'll do just yet.
There ya have it. Classes begin next Wednesday for me, so this weekend will probably be the last time I have to work on my projects for a while. Even if much progress isn't being made over the next few months, I will try to check in at least once a month and inform you guys of any developments or that simply I'm not dead. Who knows, BK3 might just make a Christmas release afterall.
August 12, 2007 - Two Updates in the Same Week?! Sacrebleu!
Okay, so I lied about the previous update being the last one for a while. In my defense I honestly thought it would be, but over the past few days I've put a couple more hours into SEKAS and things are really coming together. So much so that I felt like showing it off a little with a screenshot.
It probably doesn't mean much to the casual viewer, but it does show off SEKAS's ability to support labels as a part of the PC based displacement addressing modes. Which is an absolute must for those two, because they're essentially useless without label support. With that out of the way, the only thing left that I can think of that needs to be implemented and tested is macro support. That really shouldn't be too difficult, but I'm taking a break from programming now to spend the afternoon in Mid-World. Adios.
August 9, 2007 - NotDead(PC) or (NotDead,PC)
Yes, I'm still alive. I spent the last hour and a half adding support for the alternative operand syntax and labels to the PC displacement addressing modes. There's still a few kinks to work out, but both styles are being correctly parsed now. All I need to do is add support in each individual code generating function, then test some more.
In other news, if you've been watching the Screenshots thread over at Romhacking.net, you'll notice that I haven't exactly been inactive the past month. Painfully slow, but not inactive. Live-A-Live is just about there. Name expansion is in and working for the most part. I need to rearrange the naming screen for the Chinese Monk to allow for his full name (martial arts name, technically) to fit on screen.
Also, everything prior to the Two Year Anniversary has been moved to a separate page. Hope that helps you guys with crappy connections.
That's probably it for this month. Classes start the 22nd and I'm pretty sure most of my time is going to be spent with my nose in a book. Woo! College!
June 22, 2007 - Two Year Anniversary Special
If you people have been following along since we started (or scrolled to the bottom of this page), you know that today, June 22nd, marks the two year anniversary of Twilight Translations. That's two years that we've been putting out translations. I would like to take this time to publicly thank each and every person who either contributed to one of our projects or enjoyed the end results: Thank you. Without you guys this whole translation thing would suck.
Now, on to the present situation. As some of you may know (and judging by the amount of referrals I've gotten lately, most of you reading this do know) that I've been helping out the man himself, Mr. Gideon Zhi over at Aeon Genesis with a very special game that is near and dear to both him and me: Live-A-Live.
I'm not quite sure exactly how much I'm at liberty to say about this, but the hacking is top-notch. I started working on the ASM mods (VWFs out the whazoo among other things) in late April or early May and I'm finally just about finished. There's a few minor things I need to finish up; however, there's nothing major left to do. In the meantime I suggest checking out the above pages and ogling the pretty pictures. And for the record, Live-A-Live is not the secret project I've been dropping hints about since January.
In other news, June hasn't really been a good month for me romhacking-wise. I've had very little freetime to invest in accomplishing any of the things I wanted to. Unfortunately that means SEKAS is still missing a few features (though I did get a chance to add some of the code for them) and it still needs more debugging. Once LAL is finished (and I manage to pull myself away from Ace Combat 5...), my romhacking time will be devoted solely to finishing SEKAS and getting Bare Knuckle 3 wrapped up. I really want this ready by no later than Christmas at the latest. Thanksgiving or even Halloween is what I'm really shooting for, but as we saw last year, I suck at meeting deadlines.
So there you have it. Two years in and we're still going strong. Provided everything goes according to plan Spider-Man Lethal Foes and Bare Knuckle 3 should be out by the end of the year. Hopefully. Stay tuned.