Wanting to Learn Hacking, but Having Trouble?

Discussion in 'Discussion & Q&A' started by Ayla, Nov 15, 2016.

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  1. Ayla

    Ayla Sonic Hacking Contest Founder & Co-Organiser Member

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    Sonic hacking can be tough for some people. This is because many try to approach the hobby in the wrong way. There is actually a right way to learn how to hack and a way that will have you end up making fantastic games every time!

    I've taken a few individuals under my wing when they first joined the community. The most well known individual on this forum is SuperEgg, although those from Retro may known Malevolence as well. Both of them are my "protoges" if you will and I only worked with them for a month before they took off on their own as certified badasses (you can ask SuperEgg to see his certificate. He actually has one).

    If you are interested in being mentored in the ways of Sonic the Hedgehog ROM hacking, I am opening up the opportunity to teach anyone my method of learning assembly / Sonic hacking. Simply contact me by PM, on IRC, or on Discord. If anyone else would like to join in as a mentor to help teach n00bs how to hack, go ahead and advertise in this thread!

    Please be aware that this will require you to communicate and work. If you find it's too much for you, or you don't want to do what's being asked of you, then the mentoring will stop immediately, and you can go back to your Night Time Green Hill Zone hacks.

    I'm hoping that if we get enough experts taking a little time to help the new hackers along, we'll all grow closer as a community and also see a greater return on quality work! If you have any questions or comments on this, feel free to ask :D
     
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  2. mrcat-pixel

    mrcat-pixel The Holy Cat Jr. Member

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    Assembly teaching? NICE!

    I was waiting for something like this for years. :0
     
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  3. Ashuro

    Ashuro Well-Known Member Member

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    I really like this kind of approach, because i'm one of those who MUST and NEED to be actualized. I have "so much" potential for many of peoples, but i will never make great things if i don't know how to use this potential.
    I would like to PM you.. But, right now i'm very busy with work, i don't know if i can be a good student :p I will be there every day but not all hours of the day as before (instead maybe the week-end).
     
  4. TheFieldWarrior

    TheFieldWarrior Well-Known Member Member

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    This is a really cool opportunity for new comers to ASM hacking, I would love to be mentored in the ways of ROM hacking from veterans in the hobby. I do have a question though. Will there be lessons in other elements aside from programming like level design, art and music? I especially would like lessons in level design because whenever I make levels I always feel as though there is something missing or my levels are generic for a Sonic game, I know what not to do when making levels but I always struggle with making them feel Sonic-ish.
     
  5. FireRat

    FireRat "The grand imitator..." Member

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    Ninja'd by TheFieldWarrior: Not to expect knowledge on art or that kind of stuff besides the programming, but my question is just that: Is it about programming only, or there's also something else regarding a project's proper directing? Because generally speaking, game making isn't about only 1 topic. People can be creative, but being realistic, from outside's viewpoint, it's just useless if not "applied" or executed properly.

    Now on the programming itself:
    One part is the obvious technical, to learn how to handle things.
    The other is pretty much game-related, simpler-looking but no least important, the sprite/layer animation. While not exactly "required", it is beyond obvious it's a part many, including programmers from original 16-bit games, seem to be mixed about. One thing is the sprite's animation itself, making it properly with proper frame timing; something pretty much linked to the general animation principles/topics. Other thing is the sprite's translation on the screen, that is the programmer's task (unless the artist had a keyframe-like system at its disposal). Depending the game's setting or "style" itself, the movements also need proper fluidity, and move around with care, so everything plays soft enough on the screen.
    For instance, avoiding broken/messy screen transitions (f*** Chaotix), adding/substracting X/Y speeds rather than setting them fixed to add some variation, making circular movements, and many others. EVERYTHING is visible, and there will always at least 1 person aware of all that, including but not limited to some group EXPECTING to be disappointed in this regard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
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  6. EMK-20218

    EMK-20218 Eduardo Knuckles Member

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    I would like to join. But my brain is like the great wall of China to programming. I tried it even being taught by others, but just some hours passes for me to forget everything. I dunno why, but it surely have to do with the fact I'm a constantly depressed and lonely person which barely concentrates with enough attention to something that is right in front of me. Though I like the help and I'll surely give to this help a try any day soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  7. Ralakimia

    Ralakimia Pour your misery down on me Member

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    I have attempted to teach a few people to work with ASM and Sonic Hacking in general, but, I have come to realize, that I'm not exactly a good teacher, and I'm running short on time to even do that.

    Hopefully, you can do so way better than I did, because I do have one particular friend who really wants to learn ASM and hack Sonic, but I haven't been able to teach well and often.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  8. Baraksha

    Baraksha Well-Known Member Member

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    I would love to accept the offer, I seem to find myself going to back over and over again to the Q&A thread when ever I hack , sometimes even for very basic stuff that I somehow did not know. which shows that even tho I have learn quite an amount about hacking and ASM, I still seem to get confused a lot due to not learning everything in order and I still got a lot to learn, so I guess this would be a great way for me to learn more and possibly fill those gaps.
     
  9. B. Comet

    B. Comet Is fun still infinite? Member

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    The only thing I know is using the basics of SonLVL to hack (level layout and... block editing?). Sometimes I got some issues in my hack I wanted to solve, but, I end asking for a solution in the "Q&A thread" like Baraksha. Even when people explain to me the solutions to my issues, I don't know exatcly how I can solve them.

    I don't even know what ASM is.
     
  10. Ayla

    Ayla Sonic Hacking Contest Founder & Co-Organiser Member

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    I'm very happy about the response that this has garnered!

    I'll answer some questions here, but I don't have too much time at the moment. I'll try to edit this later on with more info.

    First of all, the amount of time that I require of you would only be a couple hours of the day and only a day or two out of the week. It can be more if you'd like, but I'm not going to rush you.

    If more "experts" join in, we might be able to have classes for spriting, music, art, level design, proper game design and cohesion, etc. At the moment, I'm here to help you broadly learn how to hack. This means we'd start out with assembly (the only proper way to start learning how to hack), move on to basic programming in the sonic disasm, and finally end with the features of various utilities and how to use them (this will include some information / education on level design, spriting, art, and music porting).

    Anyway, some of you have PM'd me already. I'm trying to get to all of your PMs. Ultimately we'll be needing to all speak with each other one on one. To do this, I prefer IRC or Discord. We don't need to talk out loud (I'd actually prefer text), but we do need to have some sort of instant communication that is not a message board =P

    Again, if anyone wants to help with mentoring, let me know!

    ...And if anyone wants to be mentored, just PM me here, on IRC, or on Discord.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: B. Casais, this course would be exactly the sort of thing you'd be looking for it sounds like! Also, I wanted to tell you that I love your Kagura signature. Gintama is the best comedy I've ever seen. Not just anime. It's literally the funniest show period I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Glad to see someone giving props to it =)
     
  11. CaveQuest

    CaveQuest The Draco Centauros Main in Puyo Puyo Member

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    I would love to learn asm but my time is more limited right now. I got to be bluntly honest I really need to be better at ASM.

    This hacking contest has taught me alot. Due to being part of Team Overload and was overhyping the shit out of Donnie the chao.

    I feel generally pissed off for not blocking entries from being posted as Team Overload and I have a deep regret for it. I should really be ashamed but I will not give up.
     
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  12. SuperEgg

    SuperEgg I'm a guy that knows that you know that I know Member

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    THE BEST GOD DAMN STATE OF TEXAS
    deploma.png

    She isn't wrong. You fucks wanna be cool like me, you gotta got to school. I may be even one of your teachers. I will offer the following classes...

    S2B101 Sonic 2 Simon Wai prototype Theories
    S2B104 Advanced understanding of the timeline placements of the various Sonic 2 "Beta" builds. (Note: only offered in the summer.)
    S2B201 Porting to and from Sonic 2 Simon Wai
    LEV101 Basics of Level Design and Level Mechanics
    LEV124 Advanced Level Mechanics and complex layout branching
    SOU101 Sonic 2 Sound Driver basics and universal modifying
    GUT101 Guitar 101 (Note: Only counts as an elective course.)
    VOC101 Fundamental Basics of Voice (Note: Only counts as an elective course.)
    VOC201 Basics of Latin Choral Voice (Note: Counts as a cultural course.)
    VOL101 Violin 101 (Note: Only counts as an elective course.)
    VOL104 Violia 101 (Note: Only counts as an elective course.)
     
  13. Xeal

    Xeal The Nuke Retired Staff

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    Do note if anyone wants VOL101 I can help with that as well. :U
     
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  14. Misinko

    Misinko YOU FOOLS! YOU MESSED WITH THE NATURAL ORDER! Staff

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    Sign me up for LEV101, SOU101, and VOC101! How much is tuition at SubparEgg University?
     
  15. Ayla

    Ayla Sonic Hacking Contest Founder & Co-Organiser Member

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    SuperEgg actually nailed that "J" and "V". They look similar to my actual signature.

    Anyway, just as an update, I've been mostly speaking with anyone that messages me on discord whenever I can. Please note that if you're at an intermediate difficulty, you might not get much help from me because I'm really fucking rusty (I just started hacking again after an eight year hiatus about one week ago). That being said, I'm relearning it pretty quick and hope to be a badass again in a month or so.

    But yeah. I can help you with most things that you'd be wanting to do. :V
     
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  16. Charblazer

    Charblazer Newcomer Member

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    Is there a place where rom hacks can be planned?
     
  17. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester ! % # @ Member

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    This site generally doesn't do "ideas" threads, so planning on board is out of the question, this is something you have to do on your own time. You can post screenshots of what you've done so far in the General Screenshot & Movie Thread to obtain some feedback and maybe a few ideas, though.
     
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  18. Charblazer

    Charblazer Newcomer Member

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    Well,the thing is,I was actually going to start my very first Sonic 1 hack once I get a computer. I was using my cousin's computer,and it didn't work out one bit...
     
  19. Ayla

    Ayla Sonic Hacking Contest Founder & Co-Organiser Member

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    Idea threads end with a bunch of people requesting for someone to make their hack for them. Incidentally, this is how the very first hacking team, X-Team got started (I was there), but it is not an accepted method of going about things these days.

    This is for good reason.

    X-Team failed because, while it had a bunch of smart people (it was rocking the best spriters, level designers, and binary programmers in the community at the time), Rich (the head of X-Team) was the visionary and we had no direction. Anything we made wasn't what he wanted.

    Why?

    Because we weren't in his head. You just can't do every little thing that a person wants. This is why teams have someone that can put into the words of the trade what they want. Every member is a hacker without exception. In professional game companies, game designers have expertise in other areas and, if they aren't programmers or graphical artists like is common in triple A titles, they don't even have a say on graphical implementation or at least a very loose one. In indie game companies, the game designer is almost always also the programmer. I know because I've recently quit my job with Microsoft to start an indie game company and I'm the one that's programming the stuff for UE4 while my wife covers graphic design.

    Anyway, this wound up being a long post.

    TL;DR -- in the real world and in the community, idea threads don't work because the only one that can truly execute your great idea is YOU.
     
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  20. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Lady in red, living in dread. Member

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    Having a mentor to help me learn would be a lifesaver, for I am not exactly the best at teaching myself these things to be fair (lest it is spriting, since I am pretty good with art), but even there I still need to improve greatly. I kinda wanna learn more about the 8-bit games for ASM and music, but also deeply desire to move onto Sonic 1 and 2 for Genesis as well.
     
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