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Games That Are Easily Hacked

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by LordOfSquad, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Maybe I'm naive, but I'm convinced that somewhere there's a game that can easily have it's aspects edited through preexisting, user-friendly, utilities that work with no problems on modern operating systems (Vista/7).

    That means level layout, graphics, music, dialog, etc.

    I've been interested in hacking Mega Man, but I can't find any utilities.
    I've been interested in hacking Pokemon, but the utilities don't work in most cases.
    And I've of course been interested in hacking Sonic, but it's just overall too confusing for me.

    Maybe I'm dumb/lazy/blind. I dunno.

    But if anyone who has ever been in the same situation as me has had some success, please share your happy news and how you got to it here.
  2. MainMemory


    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    Super Mario World.

    99% of everything that has ever been done is publicly available, and Lunar Magic is the best level editor ever.
    I started my "hacking career" there. I found here first though.
  3. Uberham


    King Of Oblivion Member
    Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge is very moddable, everything is in plain text inside .ini files and when I first started, I managed to bumble my way through without any modding guides.

    there's still a decent community, plenty of free graphic assets, and I'm currently beta testing a project to fix missed bugs and hack extra functionality into the game.
  4. Flygon


    Shining Force and Shining Force II are simple to hack. Shining Force II moreso, not that Shining Force isn't simple if you ignore all the compressed stuff.

    Though, I would hold off on either unless you are very desperate to hack.

    The author of SF1Edit lost motivation and no more progress for Shining Force II is happening until it is disassembled.

    Come into @ #sf2hack if you're interested.
  5. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Wiki Sysop
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    The simpler/older the game, the easier it is to hack. Most emulators will display the palette, and once you have the palette you can edit the 8x8 tiles of art in a tile editor. Many of the older games don't even have the art compressed. Once you've got that, crack open a savestate and you can work out the relative positions of the art tiles in vram (video memory) and search for the mappings that piece the art tiles into blocks and then those blocks into level layouts.

    Simple really, just takes a bit of practice, trial and error, the ability to count to 16, and an anal approach to cutting and pasting data.
  6. Amistat


    I second Yuri's Revenge, in my opinion the finest of the C&C games; so much goofy fun and endless re-play value due to ease of modding.
    Some friends and I just started messing around with it one day and now I'm pretty good at it (they lost interest).
    Lately I've been trying to fix Yuri's min-maxed army of lameness with a few more units like the tank hurling Kinesis Clone >=D (shamless plug!).

    The community is awesome and ModEnc has a MASSIVE in depth set of guides for how to edit almost every aspect of the game, what each tag does, what values work etc and some good tutorials to start you off.

    "there's still a decent community, plenty of free graphic assets, and I'm currently beta testing a project to fix missed bugs and hack extra functionality into the game."

    Is that the thing that developed from RockPatch? I heard talk about it's features ages ago but nowhere seems to update details (I think the last I saw was the re-enablement of the EMP shockwave effect in screen shots). Did it become totally private or what? I'd love to get my hands on the finished product *drools*
  7. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    The Sonic Community was a great game circa 2003, and very easily hacked.

    The latest editions are for casualfags though.
  8. Uberham


    King Of Oblivion Member
    Yes it's what used to be "Rockpatch 2" but is now "Ares" after the god of war.

    it uses a program to inject DLL's (Coded in C(++?)) into the executable, so your exe is never modified.

    here's a list of stuff added/fixed:

    Temporal warheads no longer gain veterancy by killing friendlies
    Prism tower "Absolute Damage" bug fixed
    Infantry mutating to brutes could be frozen by another unit moving into it's cell while the mutate anim was playing, this is fixed.
    When you spy a war factory, naval units also got veteran cameo's, but did not build veteran units, now they don't get veteran cameo's.
    Secret Labs now pick a unit at random upon capture, sides can be stopped getting certain units.
    If there were more secret labs than bonus', some labs would be empty, this is fixed.
    Superweapons no longer target cloaked units.
    if you build a secret lab, you get a bonus as if you captured it, you didn't before.
    warheads on animations now work properly
    if a side gets initial veteran units, their cameo's reflect this.
    only infantry could overpower tesla coils, now anything can.
    open topped units (battle fortress) do not decloak to fire, even when told to. they do now.
    rad beams and waves use primary FLH, even when assigned to secondary weapon, fixed.
    ambient damage on a sonic wave was taken from primary weapon regardless, now it takes from whichever weapon fired it.
    all types of unit can use Ivan Bombs, not just infantry
    upgrades are now valid prerequisites.
    more than one custom building palette is now allowed
    factories building units too fast will now look for other valid factories for the units to exit.
    "New construction options" bug fixed
    mind control, parasite and temporal weapons can now be secondary weapons.
    destroy animations no longer cause reconnection errors online.
    buildings and infantry reload ammo properly
    build limit now includes stuff the unit deploys into.
    100 unit bug fixed
    pkt files no longer double instances of the same map.
    "sell" superweapon no longer causes internal errors.
    pips.shp was being loaded 6 times, it isn't now.
    getcell performed the same action twice, it doesn't now.
    random maps generate quicker.
    EMP works now.
    Spotlights work now.
    Laser fences work now.
    Firestorm wall "works" now (not fully implemented yet)
    new countries/sides can be added (not fully working yet)
    shrapnel weapons don't need dummy units now, they have a section.
    rad beam, electric bolt, waves, ivan bombs etc can be recoloured and customised.
    iron curtain effect can be put on a weapon.
    permanent mind control is possible.
    warpaway is customisable
    Ion cannon ripple can be given to weapons.
    deployed infantry take less damage.
    can add new armour.
    can add new superweapons (not fully working yet)
    survivor logic (ala generals)
    custom foundations.
    prerequisites expanded, can include theatre, negative prerequisites, or user definable groups, ala RADAR, BARRACKS etc.
    various hard coded properties can be given to any unit (cow, desolator IFV)
    include other ini's (rulesmd1.ini, rulesmd2.ini, etc)
    custom veteran/elite insignia's, on a per-unit basis.
    custom parachute animations.
    can use multiple CSF files, or can skip CSF alltogether, and use custom tags for names.
    Some IE's will prompt ares to TELL you what you fucked up.

    thats about it ATM, it's very stable, and is great to work with.
  9. Vendettagainst


    Apparently shooting kills things Member
    Doom/Doom 2. Everything within the game, from graphics to music to levels to inner programming, can be edited by Windows friendly programs.
  10. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Wiki Sysop
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    Most of you seem to be describing modding rather than hacking.
  11. Uberham


    King Of Oblivion Member
    adding new characters, levels, sounds, graphics, etc can be called both modding and hacking.

    where does one end and the other begin?
  12. Amistat


    Ares! That was it. Oh man there's a lot of features now *drools*

    Also that's a good point, in the Yuri's community it's referred to as modding but around here it's hacking.
    I guess the difference is what's being altered internally; all the Yuri's stuff is us editing documents intended for use by humans that are also read by the computer. When editing Sonic though the stuff we change is only ever intended to be used by the computer.

    The end result is the same, but I guess there is a difference depending on your viewpoint...namely I can "mod"...I suck at "hacking" :v:
  13. Uberham


    King Of Oblivion Member
    not really, have you looked at AIMD.ini? try reading that fucker without a guide.
  14. Amistat


    Oh man that's a good point. I forgot about that thing. There's a reason the AI doesn't use any of my new units yet >.>

    In which case, I'm stumped. Maybe there really is no difference between modding and hacking. Regardless, we appear to be de-railing this topic somewhat so I'll end by just asking where the latest Ares talk is happening nowadays? Or is it all private?

    On a more topic-related note, instead of starting with actual hacking, I'd actually suggest trying out programs like my personal favourite RM2K. They're surprisingly powerful little bits of software hidden behind a user friendly interface which are great for really grasping the theory behind how games work internally. You start to work things through more logically which will help when you do move on to proper coding and cast off the safety net of the interface.

    And if anyone says RM2K is no good I simply respond with you're no good at using it :P
  15. Mr. Mash

    Mr. Mash

    All fanbases are awful Member
    I second this notion.
    Also, pokemon g/s weren't too difficult to screw around with the maps, dialogue and sprites, although making a new storyline would probably be deadly.
  16. Ell678


    Am I Annoying You? Member
    Barrow, England
    Sonic Incursion
    I dabbled with Yuri's Revenge as well. Very, very easy to do basic edits. Tiberian Sun also has a tool that is really powerful, and lets you edit practically everything and even create new stuff, but I can't remember the name.

    I also believe the Unreal games are quite easy and well documented, but I'v never tried so I couldn't say. Going by the sheer amount of mods there are for Fallout 3, I guess you could say that too.
  17. Sik


    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
    being an asshole =P
    Modding is a subset of hacking really. Basically a game that can be modded is a game that has been designed for hacking.
  18. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Presumably derived from the term "modular" as much as "modification" then. :P
  19. Techokami


    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
    Sonic Worlds Next
    Did you look hard enough?
    Maybe you should give Rock and Roll a look-see.
  20. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Wiki Sysop
    GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
    Hacking is more hardcore, and results in a slightly larger e-penis.