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#1 2013-06-25 04:07:44

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
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Advice on making a hack

I've been thinking about maybe making a Pokemon hack for a while now, but I've never really felt I had the time and patience to dedicate to the project. And if I started it, I would feel like I owe it to myself to finish it, or it just ends up being wasted time.

I had two ideas for hacks before. One of them was Pokemon Blood and Crip versions, based of the African-American street gangs. That idea I've decided to shelf for now, but my other idea was to make a version of Pokemon set in the Orange Islands. Yes, I know this hack has already been done:

80C wrote:

I know of an old 2000 unfinished hack called Pokemon Orange Island Adventures, it was made by DTyler, you could take it as example of how is the journey between islands.

Do you have some screenshots?

I even have two versions of it on my computer (thanks Sanky). But it's not a very good hack. There's text errors all over the place, half the characters say/do nearly exactly the same thing they did in Red/Blue, they renamed potions into "herbs" and other stupid changes. I really want to make a good version of this.

The concept is this: if, instead of releasing Pokemon Yellow, the third version of Red/Blue had been Orange. Much like how Yellow doesn't follow the standard rules of other third versions of Generations (a different starter Pokemon, for example), this version would be more like a "Generation 1.5". Based a lot off the anime, the game would be a collection of everything released up until Generation 2. So, for example, Pokemon (Togepi, Marill, Lugia) and moves (Aeroblast, Shadow Ball) introduced before Generation 2 would be included. I plan to have certain events like Crystal Onix, the 4 Gym Leaders, etc. as well, based off the anime.

So I guess what I'm trying to ask is what kind of advice would someone give me to completing a hack of this scale. To me, I feel like the easiest way would be to start with all the Pokemon and move changes, then move onto the maps/graphics, and finally flesh out all the "scripts". It seems to me, however, that most people work on hacks more like one city at a time, finishing all the scripts and whatnot in that city before moving onto the next, and releasing a demo that stops at a certain point.

Uhmm... yeah


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#2 2013-06-25 04:26:44

Munchulax
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From: Somewhere in Johto
Registered: 2011-08-10
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Huh, never even knew that you were interested in making a hack.

Even though it might not really be the answer you're looking for, I got to say that my advice is that the way you make your hack is up to you.  You can make an incremental hack that goes up to a certain place each beta release and then ends there temporarily like Dark Future and SaR, or you can make a bunch of changes that affect the entire game (replacing/adding Pokemon) / modify all the important parts of the game's plot, temporarily ignoring smaller parts of the game (trainer battles, inside building layouts) like Pokemon Bronze.

(That was one long run-on sentence)


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#3 2013-06-25 04:34:48

comet
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Registered: 2012-04-09
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Not ambitious enough.

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#4 2013-06-25 04:37:37

Munchulax
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Re: Advice on making a hack

comet wrote:

Not ambitious enough.

Come on, comet, you know you can be more helpful than that :D.


“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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#5 2013-06-25 04:48:02

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
Post 446/630

Re: Advice on making a hack

No, no, I agree with comet. I'm glad he took the time to grace my thread with his honest opinion. Me and him go way back.


now gtfo

Edit: But yeah jwibagi and Munchulax, that seems like good advice. jwibagi, I do have a little preliminary planning done, but its more of a structural outline than a detailed thing.

Last edited by stag019 (2013-06-25 04:57:39)


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#6 2013-06-25 05:10:21

Miksy91
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Registered: 2010-10-16
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Munchulax wrote:

Huh, never even knew that you were interested in making a hack.

Even though it might not really be the answer you're looking for, I got to say that my advice is that the way you make your hack is up to you.  You can make an incremental hack that goes up to a certain place each beta release and then ends there temporarily like Dark Future and SaR, or you can make a bunch of changes that affect the entire game (replacing/adding Pokemon) / modify all the important parts of the game's plot, temporarily ignoring smaller parts of the game (trainer battles, inside building layouts) like Pokemon Bronze.

(That was one long run-on sentence)

I'd personally recommend choosing option #1. This is because mapping, text editing, event data editing, ......., pretty much all kinds of data editing, beside scripting/asm work that makes you have to use your brain, can turn into a struggle to do. If it comes to that, take a break and come back to making the hack when you feel like doing that.

jwibagi wrote:

Make a great, polished hack with everything you want and everything properly done, or don't make one at all.

I believe this is what Miksy91 would have said to me, had I come to him for advice. I'm also copying his italics for fun.

Hahha! :D
So true! I think I would have probably said something close to this, not in this good english though. But you did "translate" my advice here.

Munchulax wrote:
comet wrote:

Not ambitious enough.

Come on, comet, you know you can be more helpful than that :D.

I both agree, and disagree at the same time.

A good rom hack introducing Orange Islands would be nice to have since there really aren't any of those around. Liquid Crystal for gen III is about to do this, but I don't think any other well-made hack has featured Orange Islands in them before. What comes to disagreeing, you probably won't find the motivation to finish a project such as this unless the hack is going to be short.

I've seen by experience that making a rom hack requires enormous motivation. Even though you may have it at some point, especially in the beginning of the process, it will certainly start dropping down unless you have some way to turn it up. Personally, I used to think the story of my own rom hack was exceptionally good, then I realized it's not that good since there are lots of points about it that give all the means to critisize it. The hack is fun to play otherwise though.
I may or may not have the motivation to finish it, but if I do, I certainly want to make the storyline even better. I've been planning it irregularly for some time now, and figured many ways to change it. To not forget anything, I've written down all I've gotten in my mind in several text documents - each serving a different purpose. Not that you wouldn't think of doing the same, especially if you've studied programming as I think you have.

But yeah, that's pretty much it.

If you want to go for a hack based on Orange Islands and really want to get it done, plan, plan and plan. That's all I have to say for now.
When you get the feeling "This hack is going to be something incredible (from the view of an ordinary kid who plays rom hacks)", it would be appropriate starting to think about doing some move changes for pokemon and such. But those really can't be the main priority in the beginning when you think about what to do and such.

Edit:
And what comes to planning - what I've been doing myself is to form preliminary ideas for certain areas. Pretty much, "What happens in this place?".
I just recently finished a certain area called Forgotten Cavern which was introduced as a sidequest area in Dark Energy. And for it, I had preliminary plans of two major events that take place in there already a year or two ago. I just had written down a couple of lines about both and started to come up with more ideas for them time after time. In fact, it's better to think about things in long time scale rather than trying to fill out everything when the time comes you need the ideas.

Last edited by Miksy91 (2013-06-25 05:19:14)

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#7 2013-06-25 05:34:53

stag019
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Re: Advice on making a hack

My outline, as it stands now, consists of the major points in the game, the gyms, and the events. The problem is spacing them out properly with enough filler so it doesn't seem like the game is just 4 gyms and a final battle. As far as islands go, there are 31 candidates, but I don't know quite how many I'd like to include.

In the Pokemon games (remember I've really only played Generations I and II extensively) it seems like each city is a small breakpoint between the meat of the traveling, which is the routes. However in this game, I'd prefer the sea routes to be kept to a minimum in length because there should be a large quantity. I feel like I should draw some inspiration from the Sevii Isles from that one time I played FireRed or LeafGreen (I don't remember which). Certain parts are easy for the story, because getting the gym badges or finding the crystal onix would be taken nearly directly from the anime. It's the time in between I'd have trouble setting up a story for. I should probably either introduce a new villainous team (or reuse Team Rocket), but I'm not sure what I'd have them do.

I torrented all the episodes of the anime for a nice reference guide, so that should help a little. But I still need ideas on what should happen in between gyms and whatnot. Especially because the first gym happens so early on in the anime. And I need a plot, something other than just "Beat 4 gyms, and beat Drake. Oh, and here are some side islands of interest".

Edit in response to Misky's edit: There are several island I could or could not include, and so I kinda feel like I should base which islands to choose off of the plot and not base the plot on which islands I've chosen. If that makes sense.

Last edited by stag019 (2013-06-25 05:36:33)


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#8 2013-06-25 06:18:01

Mateo
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Miksy91 raised a good point when he brought up motivation. That's something I struggle with a lot when making a hack. Its also one of the reasons why SaR still only goes through Brick Town.
Although, part of that with SaR is that so many people have come to expect so many things from it over there years, I have this sneaky feeling that if and when I ever finish it, it will be like Duke Nukem Forever all over again. I actually almost renamed it "Pokémon Forever" as a reference to this. I also stole Miksy's italics for fun.

But for real though, planning is a big part, which I see you've started on. But keeping up the motivation to work on it and get it done is a large part of it, so you need to make sure its a project that can keep your interest long enough to see it through. Going back to SaR, I know the plan in that hack was to include the Orange Islands as the post-kanto region instead of the Sevii Isles, but so far the things you've mentioned have pretty much covered my vague ideas for the Orange Islands. Follow the anime, have the 4 gyms, have the Orange League, have the Crystal Onix event. Probably also include an area with several shiny Pokemon events walking around, for Pinkin Island. Also included would have been Shamouti Island and the legend festival from Pokemon 2000. However, I wanted to actually get to that part and so I re-worked that into "South Isle" in Pokemon Christmas. But I'm rambling here.

As for how many islands to include, I can't say offhand. Maybe while you watch the anime for inspiration, write down which islands catch your interest the most, and try to think of ways you could include them in the hack. Then disregard the ones that aren't as interesting to you.

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#9 2013-06-25 06:55:51

Miksy91
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Re: Advice on making a hack

This definitely won't help a bit, but when I think about how I went for starting my own hack, I actually had ideas how the story is going to go through and based the regions on it. Some towns and areas are totally useless and wouldn't have to exist - but they do. I don't think I had any bigger plans for the hack when I started it so I just mapped and scripted new places. That's all.

But like Mateo said, it's a good thing you've started planning out what happens and so on. Anyway, if you're going to make a small hack which indeed only includes battling 4 gym leaders and the champion, the story can't be that large either. Throw simple ideas here and there, and start building the story based on them.

The game could even start by the main hero shipwrecking to one of the islands, having no idea where he is, and starting to journey from place to another to find out. Gyms could then be optional, or serve the purpose of being able to use HMs like they do in most original games. Whatever you can come up with really.

Example story I can come up with;
-Shipwrecking to some isle
-Finding out where you are and hearing how somebody at the another side of the island owns a boat
-The boat owner is about to leave to another island close by to go shopping and you decide to go on with him/her
-Reaching the other island (, battling some gym leader there), and trying to get closer to the other edge of the island (in means of somehow getting back home?)
-Finding out how some evil team is up to no good, or perhaps even the player being "evil" himself and sneaking to a cruise leaving somewhere. (In this cruise, you could find out the crew are evil and are up to something no good.)
-Stopping the evil team, battling some more gym leaders and more "stuff" happens...
-Returning home in the end of the game

Last edited by Miksy91 (2013-06-25 07:01:05)

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#10 2013-06-25 08:23:15

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Nah, I wanna keep the story simple and boring. A random kid from Valencia Island is now old enough to go on his Pokemon Journey™ and gets a starter Pokemon from Professor Ivy. He must make his way around the islands, defeating the 4 gyms so he can challenge Drake. He faces opposition from both his rival, and some sort of villainous team (should I make it Team Rocket, or someone else?). I just want the journey to be something memorable, not just "a bunch of islands, a bunch of wild Pokemon and some trainers, and then the 4 gyms". Which is exactly what the Pokemon Orange Islands Adventures hack feels like.

I know I'd want the villainous team associated with the Kabuto fossils again, just like in the episode Shell Shock.


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#11 2013-06-25 11:18:14

Miksy91
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Well if you want to make it somewhat close to the anime, Team Rocket could fit as the evil team nicely. I haven't watched any other season of pokemon expect for season 1, so it's impossible for me to say if they included any other evil teams until later in the series but yeah.

Anyway, it's really up to you how you want it to be. If you stick to the "normal routine", you'll most likely end up with an ordinary rom hack with some tweaks here and there.
One thing you could also consider would be giving the player more freedom to choose where to go. There could be different paths you can take to reach the next storyline-related island, side areas and such. Maybe not even force the player to go through all 4 gyms in a certain order either.

But yeah, it's your hack and you don't have to implement any of this I've suggested.

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#12 2013-06-25 12:55:17

FroggestSpirit
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Re: Advice on making a hack

I'd say always start with the most important parts first, and add the sprinkles persay afterwards.


This isn't easy to say, but…
Music and ASM hacker

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#13 2013-06-25 13:28:52

80C
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Registered: 2013-03-16
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Re: Advice on making a hack

I support the Idea of Pokemon Crips & Bloodz:

Ice-T wrote:

We gangs of L.A. will never die - just multiply

But I really don't know how it could match with the story unless Crips & Bloodz could replace 2 teams such as Team Aqua & Magma.
Uh, and don't wear the wrong color if ya're in LA, CPT or Watts...

I would support even more the Idea of a fourth\fifth sequel of Red\Blue setted in the orange islands.

The Name "Pokemon Orange" was used tons of times, the most famous Pokemon Orange is the GBA hack created by Serg!o and it's cool, but due to avoid confusion I should suggest to change name.

I know about 1999 there was a rumour spread in my country (a very spread rumour) of a Fourth Sequel setted in the Orange Islands, the name was "Pokemon Purple" and the mascotte would have been Slowpoke.
I think this rumour came out after the 2nd Season of the Anime.

It would be really cool, I support the second idea!
Lemme know, I would support it.

edit:
Is it a GenII or GenI hack?

Last edited by 80C (2013-06-25 13:33:21)


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#14 2013-06-25 18:07:51

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
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Re: Advice on making a hack

stag019 wrote:

The concept is this: if, instead of releasing Pokemon Yellow, the third version of Red/Blue had been Orange. Much like how Yellow doesn't follow the standard rules of other third versions of Generations (a different starter Pokemon, for example), this version would be more like a "Generation 1.5". Based a lot off the anime, the game would be a collection of everything released up until Generation 2. So, for example, Pokemon (Togepi, Marill, Lugia) and moves (Aeroblast, Shadow Ball) introduced before Generation 2 would be included.

This should have been the hint that it would be a hack of Generation 1. I'd be using the pokered disassembly.


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#15 2013-06-25 19:40:57

80C
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Re: Advice on making a hack

GenI hack?

I think you'll need that pokedex expansion throught asm too.


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#16 2013-06-26 03:13:24

stag019
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Re: Advice on making a hack

80C wrote:

GenI hack?

I think you'll need that pokedex expansion throught asm too.

You mean the one I made? I guess I'll have to talk to myself and see if I'll explain it to me.


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#17 2013-06-26 03:41:46

Mateo
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Re: Advice on making a hack

stag019 wrote:
80C wrote:

GenI hack?

I think you'll need that pokedex expansion throught asm too.

You mean the one I made? I guess I'll have to talk to myself and see if I'll explain it to me.

Good luck, stag. I hear that stag019 guy can be a real dick sometimes. He might not want you using his Pokedex expansion code.

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#18 2013-06-26 06:03:56

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
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Re: Advice on making a hack

I would hope I would let me use it. I did post a plain text tutorial on how to do it step by step, a C program, and it's source code. If I don't want me to use my code, I'm more of an asshole than I thought I am.

So I remembered how I can't draw worth shit. I attempted to make a Professor Ivy picture for the intro, but it ended up looking horrible. Here's what I was trying to base it on: http://romendo.net/stag019/randomimages/ivyanime.png

Anyone else wanna give it a shot?


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#19 2013-06-26 07:38:21

80C
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Re: Advice on making a hack

@Stag019

I know perfectly you created that tutorial that allows you have more pokemon, my question was if now you're able to add also Pokemon above #152 without problems - in the tutorial you said that with that method someone could only add a Pokemon #152 unless there's a (repointing of the RAM Areas?) asm operation that must be done in order to expand the pokedex entries.


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#20 2013-06-26 11:23:18

80C
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Re: Advice on making a hack

@Stag019

Will you use sprites with Yellow-style or GenII style?


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#21 2013-07-14 14:32:46

emaj30
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Re: Advice on making a hack

Maybe it's time to set aside the pokedex completion quest at the moment? Since Orange Islands don't actually hold all the pokes around, focusing on the main adventure is more suitable I guess. And oh, if I remembered correctly, the GS Ball is there(from pokemon naranja by sergio, maybe it's really included in the anime?). I'm thinking of gym battles as a combination of normal battle and some sort of minigame(s)/challenge(s)/quest(s) given by the gym leader first before the real battle ensues.

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#22 2013-07-15 03:02:27

stag019
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Registered: 2011-01-05
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Re: Advice on making a hack

80C wrote:

@Stag019

Will you use sprites with Yellow-style or GenII style?

Probably a combination of both and maybe some custom sprites depending on what sprites I like and whatnot.

emaj30 wrote:

Maybe it's time to set aside the pokedex completion quest at the moment? Since Orange Islands don't actually hold all the pokes around, focusing on the main adventure is more suitable I guess. And oh, if I remembered correctly, the GS Ball is there(from pokemon naranja by sergio, maybe it's really included in the anime?). I'm thinking of gym battles as a combination of normal battle and some sort of minigame(s)/challenge(s)/quest(s) given by the gym leader first before the real battle ensues.

Well I was probably gonna add some Pokemon where they see fit; like put my own twist on things that weren't in the anime. As long as most of the anime is well represented, any additions can just be explained as having always been there, just never in the anime. Mandarin Island South, for example, is pretty big, some stuff could be there that wasn't in the anime. Because I want this story to be as if the Orange Islands was Generation II, only instead of 100 new Pokemon, there were only like 10.  So I still want it to fit the generic story arc of "kid comes of age, gets starter Pokemon from Professor Ivy, and attempts to fill his Pokedex and win the region's Pokemon League, all while fighting off a villainous team, and his rival, along the way. While I do want certain things from the anime to be similar (the islands, gyms, Drake, the first two movies, etc.) I don't want it to affect the story, like the GS ball. As for the gym battles, I'm debating whether the first two should battle after the mini-games, or just keep it like anime.


You can try to hide yourself in this world of pretend; when the paper's crumpled up, it can't be perfect again.

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#23 2013-07-15 13:13:35

emaj30
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Registered: 2012-12-29
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Re: Advice on making a hack

stag019 wrote:

Well I was probably gonna add some Pokemon where they see fit; like put my own twist on things that weren't in the anime. As long as most of the anime is well represented, any additions can just be explained as having always been there, just never in the anime. Mandarin Island South, for example, is pretty big, some stuff could be there that wasn't in the anime.

Pretty well. Simple it may seem, it can add some length to the whole storyline. People will get more excited.

stag019 wrote:

Because I want this story to be as if the Orange Islands was Generation II, only instead of 100 new Pokemon, there were only like 10.

That's it. And maybe event shinies are good addition. Plus Celebi.

stag019 wrote:

So I still want it to fit the generic story arc of "kid comes of age, gets starter Pokemon from Professor Ivy, and attempts to fill his Pokedex and win the region's Pokemon League, all while fighting off a villainous team, and his rival, along the way.

Just like the main games ala Orange Islands. I want to expect more from this.

stag019 wrote:

While I do want certain things from the anime to be similar (the islands, gyms, Drake, the first two movies, etc.) I don't want it to affect the story, like the GS ball.

Like there's no Celebi along the  mainstream of the game?

stag019 wrote:

As for the gym battles, I'm debating whether the first two should battle after the mini-games, or just keep it like anime.

Yeah, it'll be a tough decison though.

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