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Useful FAQ for those who want to mod WoTL

Started by darkskyx, September 10, 2022, 05:32:32 am


September 10, 2022, 05:32:32 am Last Edit: August 28, 2023, 08:19:28 pm by darkskyx
I'll share some useful FAQ that I made during the creation of my PSP WoTL project:

Hacktitians/modders FAQ:
It may be the most comfortable to you, but it's not the best for hackmods as it is limited.
For me, that usually play FFT in my PSP I think it is good because it can also be emulated more easily than PSX in mobile devices. But if you want to make that, you'll only get a Vanilla+ project.
If you want to make a new big project I recommend you the PSX version. There are better tools to use and you are much less limited. If you still want the story of TLoW on that project, I recommend you to install instead >this patch<
- For the in-game text changes from the PSP ISO you have to follow these steps from this post. And use version 0.457 of FFTacText. The changes needs to be done in 1-go.
- To patch you need to use FFTPatcher lastest version, you can get it from here. It's very simple to use. You use it to edit patches yourself and you can share changes but those changes won't change in-game text.
Oh, and this is important: That last program have more tools to easily make everything about hackroms.
· I followed this guide, but some steps may get issues, so also read my comment. You need to use a powerful or specific program for that, some will use Adobe Photoshop but there's also GIMP or GraphicsGale.
For the palette changes I used Palette Editor v.131b, very easy to use. You can click & drag the mouse to copy easily.

· If you have any issues with portraits in spritesheets (just for palette changes or uploading already done skillsets), try to use Palette Editor clicking the palettes to see if the avatar fixes itself so you can save and it's done, it's the best way. Maybe that doesn't help to you, so you can follow this useful tutorial (I don't know if there is a better one) to see if you can fix it.
If you see a grey square in your .bmp image that mean the initial image is somehow corrupted. You must reupload again the first spritesheet, convert it to BMP again (I use Photopea online, but there are more tools) and then finish again your palette changes. Don't forget to save your changes that you did for palettes and load them again.

· Understanding that last tutorial you can even make a new title screen for your project (you'll found it in Shishi: Other images -> Menu Options).

· If you wanna do something more advanced like adding new portraits for different spritesheets, you need to follow Celdia's tutorial exactly, but I found a better way... once you understand it, of course. It was so hard to understand for me as I tried everything until something worked. Here's a message that solved one of my issues with new portraits... Read carefully:
Quote from: Xifanie on July 09, 2017, 04:36:12 pmI guess you didn't get that Celdia's tutorial is now pretty pointless.

In GG, open the bmp of the sprite, crop to the portrait, rotate it.
Select All & Copy (ctrl+c) (if you choose to load from clipboard in the next step)
Click the down arrow button under the palette colours, choose Load Palette/File/Load From Clipboard (or from file)
Copy the portrait's palette row (9th row unless you want a different one) to the 1st palette row. Then select the 9th row in the first box, and the 1st row in the second box, uncheck Match Pixels with Colors.
All Frames/Color Depth, choose 4bpp, OK.
Unfortunately, that will likely fuck up your palette's order (which is important), so you'll have to reimport the palette from file, selecting the original sprite's file and copy the 9th row to the 1st row again, but this time with Match Pixels with Colors.
Save the bmp and import in Shishi.
Basically to create a new portrait you need to first download the original WLDFACE portrait with Shishi. Then, you need to follow the instructions above. Once you have done it you will end up with a messy image (THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT). Now you can use this messy image to paste it in the spritesheet you are going to edit. When you have done that, then you have to go to Palette editor, click in your first palette and it will be fixed.

It didn't work for your portrait that was edited? Follow this:
How to remake your spritesheet after editing it: Basically you need to get the "negative image" again, in fact this is named null palette (You can have an idea of what it looks like using Palette Editor). Open your spritesheet that has a portrait that looks good, now delete everything but the avatar. Follow the same steps of the last quote... Put it on color depth 4bpp, 8bpp again and so... You need to obtain a portrait that looks like a negative image. Now copy and paste that "negative" image into another copy of the spritesheet that looks good. You should get a spritesheet and a wrong avatar. Now open it with Palette Editor and fix it clicking in the first palette. Save. You are welcome.

· [How to make new palettes like a noob] Following this tutorial you can understand how to make new color palettes. Do the tutorial loading a portrait or a spritesheet. Once you have changed it you only need to open it on GraphicsGale, save your image palette in a .pal, open it in your spritesheet and paste each colorful pixel color (it will be messy. so you have to fix it manually). Then play with the palette color in the Palette Editor until it shows a good result. 
My best advice for this is: Try change the next pixel of a color equally (One color is 10 15 20 then change it to 12 17 22 and then 15 20 25).

· (Optional) Here you have a good amount of sprites that a lot of users has done: Sprite Thread. Give them credit if you use any of those!
You can follow this full guide (found it on this guide). It is for PSX but it works. Maybe I can do a tutorial for PSP but it is basically the same concept. The idea is to replace unused characters that has a formation sprite and an avatar/portrait. There are sprites that people recommend for removing are a few units like Valmafra {F. Sprite: #12 & Job: #21 (skillset #49)}, Simon {F. Sprite: #0A & Job: #13 (there are unused skillsets like #49)}... Even if those units only appear on cinematics so it's safe to change everything about them, they will appear wrong in cinematic events. To change their appearance you have to use the program FFTEVGRP (made for PSX version but it works on PSP version) or Sishi Manager that works too.
There are very hardcoded units like Dark Knight and Onion Knight so you can't really change those units, you can only add/change skills. There are also hardcoded units but just for skills like Archer or Ninja that you can't change or have a full skillset but you can change their appearance.

If you want to maintain everything it is basically impossible. You need to delete an event or a character. You have to choose. And since PSP is very hard to edit freely, it can be very hard to work around these problems. Also, the space for playable characters are limited. You can't really make new ones from nothing.

Also there is a problem, you can only add units that appear both in WLDFACE.BIN & UNIT.BIN  for your side (WLDFACE4 won't work for your units as I tested it, I think this is hardcoded). It doesn't happen in the enemy side. Also, the important thing is that portraits and sprites need to be tied. You can see this using Shishi Manager in Other images.
Technically that means you can add new units even for pure Guests (Rapha, Mustadio...), but in the PSP version the issue will be that you can't change easily their avatar/portrait sprite and you'll have to edit many events so I'll avoid that. You can still try use other Guests (Algus, Gafgarion...) that you can change their avatar/portrait sprite but you'll still have to modify events and maybe bugs will happen, so it is not as safe for PSP. You'll end up with wrong portraits and you won't have it easy to link those units in the event editing (ENTD). Remember a Guest unit needs an unique sprite formation to work.

Anyway, there is a way to add new units in the game than just Simon and Valmafra like some people say. This is something I tought myself while seeing that people made new units with Guests. These are all the unused units (you can read this from the FFT Wiki):
Quote from: undefinedThere are quite a few job classes that are unused in battle (...) More information on these jobs can be found in their respected articles; Cardinal, Duke, Duke, Elder, False Saint, Grand Duke, High Confessor, Viscount, and Witch of the Coven.
- So with animation/event editing you have the option of Delacroix, Goltanna, Larg, Simon, Ajora Glabados, Barrington, Funebris, Ludovich and Valmafra. The important thing to use those units in your side is that they needs to appear too in UNIT.BIN so that's why Valmafra and Simon are the way to go, but you can also use some Guest units like Algus if you don't like it, but you'll need to edit a lot more. Don't forget you can replace any of the other units only on the enemy side.
So after all, which are the units that are safe to use but require a little more work (events, swapping sprites) other than Valmafra and Simon? I'll try to say some:
- The easiest one is Olan, as this is an enemy unit that you only see once and this unit won't appear in scenes. To replace it, use another unused unit from the list above (example: Goltanna, Simon...). Be careful if you use any unit that appear in scenes. I'll explain how to make custom animations to fix this issue with any character.
- Serpentarius & Archaic Demon. Two monsters that you can also use to edit new units and you won't use on your journey. To replace Jobs & IDs, you can use units listed above. I didn't test those units but I think they will work. They are coded as humans but they have monster sprites.
- NEW: I am also trying Holy Dragon (2nd dragon) that seems like a good replacement for a monster.
Remember you'll have to change ALL sprites for those, including all in-game sprites that will appear in the wheel and formation. Follow the tutorials for that, including to learn how to change sprites.

I didn't figured it out at first but there are some units that are not used in combat but there are used in events and those units use animations. If you replace a character, that character is also replaced in story events. If that character has animations, the animations will glitch. Those animations are found in EVTCHR.BIN (in Other Images, using Shishi), using different layers as palettes.

The way to edit those animations is pretty simple if you are already familiar with the edition of sprites:
· Select the animation from the character, navigate arround the palettes until you see your desired character that is not glitched.
· Export that palette and edit it as you like. You can also try to make custom AI animations if you are familiar with AI.
· Just import the .BMP image on the same palette and animation number. Done.
· Be careful with this crystallization crash error, it's very common for the PSP ISO.

· If you want to make a project yourself be patient, it will require years of work, and that's only for a vanilla+ project. After making this hackmod I think that if you want to get involved into something big it's better to jump into an existent PSX group project to make a huge hackmod.

· Keep in mind in FFTPatcher effect area is -1 (so 0 means 1, only for 1 character). Also keep in mind some character have hardcoded skills. The only place I've seen this hardcoded list is in the file of FFTText Editor v1.1.

· In-game text are difficult to patch for the PSP version. That's why some people don't recommend to patch PSP ISOs, because it's easier to patch on PSX. There are better tools for PSX, but the simple answer to use the PSX version is that PSP will be a lot of work because you can usually get errors while making text changes and you can't save the file to keep updating, you have to manually put every text on a clean ISO. That's why I couldn't make in-game text changes until I finish all my changes, because I had to make all of them in one go.

· Before doing any in-text game changes with FFTactText just make a backup/copy of your ISO that you'll patch. Weird things can happen if you make something that the program is not allowed to do. Make sure you delete some kanji/japenese text to make some space before you make any change. Test the game to see if you have some issues too. Also check out this post to know more about in-game text changes.

· Here is a useful video and a useful post about skill effects that you may use to change it to create new skills. Also, use this webpage to know how "inflict statuses" work

· To finish your project you'll have to use PPF Studio. Follow the steps of this video and you'll have a safe way to share your project that also will be lighter.

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