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Topics - Celdia

1
Heyla, folks. So this here is a quick rebirth of an old project that I thought I might dive into real quick to see how quickly I could get it updated using Xifanie's FFT Mod Helper (v 1.01) toolset. It even helpfully found a couple entries I'd missed so many years ago.

ISIA Base Patch


What Does This Do?

 This patch is intended to be used as a base patch for new PSX FFT patches that want all of the duplicate Inflict Statuses and Item Attributes from Vanilla cleaned up into single entries that are properly referenced by the skills, items, and etc. that need them.

How Do I Use This Patch?

 Included in the download are both .PPF and .FFTP files (use whichever you prefer, the end result should be the same) that can be directly applied to a CLEAN ISO before any other modifications for a new patch are made.

Notes

The only thing of note is that the Vanilla Inflict Status of "40 - None [Cancel: Petrify, Oil, Poison, Stop]" remains in the patch even though nothing uses that I.S. and it has been shuffled down to position 2B if for some reason you are looking for it. Replacing that shouldn't affect anything Vanilla.

2
The Lounge / FFT T-Shirt Design
May 10, 2019, 03:23:04 pm
Some of you folks might be interested to know that for the RPG Limit Break charity speedrun marathon going on right now, TheYetee has teamed up with them much like with the Games Done Quick folks and has some new t-shirt designs including one for Tactics. Link to that design here. A portion of proceeds goes to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness which has more info about that organization here.

Here's a quick look at the shirt design:


I don't think there's too much FFT apparel out there but this one is pretty accessible.
3
Hey all. Long time.

Been working on a new project and I've got a final edition ready for distribution so I thought I'd drop it here.

Just a new romhack of FF1 built off of the FF:Restored hack. There's details in the PDF with the patch file.

Updated to version 1.07 which fixes most of the bugs found in playtesting and includes a spoiler list for weapons and armor as well as fixes a game-breaking bug in Ordeals.

https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4159/
4
Friend of mine has been putting a lot of work into a new game and I was hoping it might get some love from the crew here.

If you're a fan of games like Wizardry or Etrian Odyssey but would like something a little darker, I might have something you'd be interested in.

If you're willing to burn 5 minutes of your time, head on over to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/93546740/shrine-of-orm and watch the video. It makes a better case for the game than I could just typing about it here. If you're interested, give it some props for Greenlight or maybe make a KS donation.

Here's hoping you like it.
5
I know some other folks around here were interested in this project. Just in case you haven't been keeping up though, version 1.0 has been released, meaning the project has been fully realized and is complete! For those not familiar with it, this is a wonderfully faithful and incredibly conceptualized remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. It may well become the definitive version of the game with fan acclaim. If you're any kind of a fan of the 2D Metroid titles, give it a try. I can't imagine you'd be disappointed.

Downloads and info here: http://metroid2remake.blogspot.de/p/am2r-downloads.html
6
The Lounge / Ramza in Dissidia
January 29, 2016, 06:11:06 am
Not sure if I'm late on this one, but anyone caught wind of this yet?

http://www.famitsu.com/news/201601/29098213.html

http://www.famitsu.com/matome/dff/character15.html

8
The Lounge / Summer Games Done Quick 2014
June 22, 2014, 10:17:11 am
https://gamesdonequick.com/

It's that time once again. I don't know that I really need to explain what's going on at this point. Just follow the link, the fun starts at 2pm EDT, today, the 22nd. The charity that funds will be raised for is Doctors Without Borders. Spread the word!
9
http://www.crystalsforlife.ca/

It has already begun. They're running a huge list of RPGs. Lots of FF games. Suikoden is going on as I post this, actually. Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Star Ocean, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, Ys games, Secret of Evermore, Lost Odyssey, Legend of Mana...just piles and piles of games I know you people are interested in. Come join chat, enjoy the games, spread the word and all that.
10
The Lounge / Like speedruns? Like Metroid? Well...
April 12, 2014, 08:37:26 am
...then you should tune in over here this weekend: http://www.twitch.tv/ludendi

Speedruns of EVERY Metroid game. This includes some titles you may not be familiar with like Metroid Prime: Hunters and Pinball!

There will also be a premiere of the latest demo of AM2R "Another Metroid 2 Remake" which if you're a fan of Metroid and haven't heard about this project yet, you owe it to yourself to either tune in for that or go check it out here: http://metroid2remake.blogspot.com/   Just some really awesome stuff going on this weekend and its already underway. Stop on by and show some support!
11
Spam / For all the lonely folks today...
February 14, 2014, 07:39:26 am


...he'll be yours.
12
The Lounge / Awesome Games Done Quick 2014
January 05, 2014, 11:17:31 pm
Speed Demos Archive is at it again. Tune in to the speedrunning marathon here: http://gamesdonequick.com/

They'll be playing all week, non-stop and collecting donations for the Prevent Cancer Foundation once again. This year's goal is $500,000. They've done it once before and here's hoping they'll do it again!

Also there may be some perler art prizes in there that I made that you should totally bid for. Just sayin'.
13
Celdia's Complete Patch / Goodbye, Farewell and...
July 12, 2013, 01:40:04 am
With the close of the most recent spriting contest I've finally decided to move forward with something I've thought about for a while now and that's the retirement of both Celdia's Complete Patch and my own term here as a moderator. This isn't some idle decision I've made over a cup of tea but rather something that has been long in coming and I can't imagine any of you that really know me to see it as a surprise. It has been quite a while since I really separated myself from the more social aspect of this community - something that was done for various reasons that need not be discussed here - and while I'd hoped that would help me find motivation for this project, instead it just showed me how well and truly done I was with it.

First I would like to thank everyone who helped me with this project. Your names are forever immortalized in the generic character name lists in CCP1 and my apologies to the few people whose names I never got around to adding. Those of you that helped make this project as fun as it was know who you are though and you were all invaluable to me as I plodded along from the first changes I made back when I still called it CEAP.

Next, of course, I have to thank everyone who actually played this half-broken monstrosity of a patch. In lieu of not having the constant affirmations from the players, I realize a lot of my motivation came from each of you telling me what you thought of the patch and watching you each play it either via live stream or Youtube videos. I never had so much fun doing anything as watching all of you face off with my creation, everyone coming up with interesting and unique solutions to the roadblocks I placed in your way.

Lastly I would like to tender apologies to anyone who may have been still following this project and hoping for the next update even so many months since the last one. I would also like to extend special apologies to both Choto and pokeytax for the extra work they did on my behalf that I never got to apply to the patch and test. I'm sorry the fruits of your labors never got an official release of any kind. However, they will not just be lost to the void...

Attached to this post is a collection of various resources I used to create both versions of my patch along with what I believe were the latest PPF files, FFTP and FFTTEXT files, ODS/XLS files and even some unique XMLs for FFTorgASM, some short note files and my Resources.zip files for both CCP1 and 2nd Beta. Those unapplied pieces are also packed in there as well as some other odds and ends I don't think I ever got to putting into the Beta for 2nd. I'm officially releasing all of those as well as the content of my patch as open to anyone who wants to borrow or steal from it, just so there is no question about that in the future. I hope something there gets put to good use. If there is anything anyone feels is missing from the packet that they would like or can't seem to remove from a patched ISO, leave a message here about it and if I still have whatever it is you're looking for I'll try to post it. However in a few months time I'll likely have either backed-up everything onto a storage drive or just deleted it so do try not to dawdle with requests.

I have to admit I've had a good run. I still can't believe the number of downloads I've seen for my patch over the years I've been working on it. Hundreds of people played something I made and that still fills me with a sense of wonder and awe little else has in my life. I just wish I still felt the way I did back when I was scrambling every week to release a new version while trying to fix it and re-upload it 5 to 10 times in one night. It was hectic but it was fun and as much as I may have complained, everyone's comments the days after always made it worth it. Again, thank you all.

As for myself, I'll be stepping down as a General Moderator. I find myself more out-of-touch with what goes on around here than I feel is proper for someone that should be in a position of authority or even management of posting on the forums. That said, you very likely won't see much of me around anymore so this is also a bit of a farewell. I hope some of you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. They say to go out on a song but no one ever liked my music choices anyways, so I guess I'll just leave one of my favorite quotes behind. Good luck out there and happy hacking! Elric, I leave the rest to you.



"Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice - pull down your pants and slide on the ice."

14
We're past the submission deadline and now it's time to cast your votes! See the submissions over here: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9852.0
15
Ivalicians Abroad


As always I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone that entered the contest. While the turnout this time around wasn't quite as numerous as the last contest, there were certainly an interesting number of styles of chosen among the contestants. Now without further ado, let the voting begin! We'll be trying the new three-vote option for this contest, meaning you have up to three votes available to you. You may choose to use them all or just vote once or twice for your very favorites. Feel free to discuss or ask questions in this thread and for those of you just burning to critique the various entries now would be an appropriate time to do so.

Voting officially ends on Thursday night, July 11th, at 11:59pm EST! I will tally up the votes and announce the winner then! Here's a quick recap of the suggested judging criteria.

1) Creativity: There are obviously a lot of different style options when you can pick from any other game. This criteria would be more about how far and away from what has been done before a submission is.
2) Artistic Ability: The more like the chosen game style, the better. Of course visual quality of the entry is always important.
3) Personal Preference: When it all comes down to it you should pick what you like best!




Title: FFT re-imagined as FF1
(WIP Used)
Creator: Cheetah





Title: Emblem Tactics - Fire Emblem 6, 7, 8
Creator: Diethe





Title: Male Knight in Yggdra Union style
Creator: Jumza





Title: FFTxAnadu

(Entered as a collective submission)
Creator: Lijj







Title: Beowulf Cadmus: Defense Attorney
Creator: lirmont





Title: Mobile Suit BYBLOS
Creator: lirmont





Title: Pretty Soldier Sailor Alma
Creator: lirmont





Title: Worker 8 as Gato
Creator: lirmont



16
News / The Next FFH Spriting Contest Begins!
May 05, 2013, 09:29:12 am
Back by popular demand, the latest FFH Spriting Contest has officially begun! Head over to this thread and see what it's all about!
17
Ivalicians Abroad

Back again by popular demand, it's another FFH Spriting Contest! Our last contest brought in nearly a score of entries from the community and there were some truly outstanding ones in the mix. I know I'm hoping to see a repeat of that kind of participation. I'm throwing off the yoke of it being a Halloween contest and going a bit more free-form this time around because our theme is going to be a bit backwards from the norm. I'll admit that this was my second option when I decided on "Heroes From Other Worlds" for the last contest. After how things have developed though, I'm glad I saved it.

With the popularity of Journey of the Five riding high I thought this idea might be fun to use now. We've seen a lot of other heroes coming to Ivalice, so now let's have a look at our favorite characters from Ivalice heading out to those "Other Worlds" to see how they might look there! That's right, this contest will even take our dedicated spriters out of their comfort zone because the goal will be to make sprites in the style of other games using FFT and FFTA characters!

Once again, this is a beginner's level spriting competition. If you've never done a sprite before we'd still love to see what you can do! The competition is open to EVERYONE and you may make as many or as few submissions as you like. You may also continue to update your submissions to the very end of the due date. Feel free to give constructive criticism on entries as they get posted to help people make the best sprite they can. Also, if someone else is doing a character and style you yourself would like to do, don't hesitate to post your own version!

Submissions are due by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, June 30th, with the possibility for an extension by request. Once the submissions are closed, all entries will be organized and a public voting poll will be opened in a new thread. Every community member will be allowed to vote for up to three entries. Poll closing will be determined when the voting begins, but it likely not to exceed 5 days. The poll will be blinded so please respect the voting process and don't make your vote choice public while voting is still ongoing.

Prizes
Elric, Xifanie, Kagebunji, Lijj and Mobius have each generously offered their talents towards prizes for this competition! To the 1st place winner will go a custom-designed event with custom portraits for the sprites used* and to each of the 2nd and 3rd place winners will go custom portrait-style avatars done by Lijj as well as sprite concepts done by Kagebunji. In addition to all those, Elric has offered to create a custom event as a collective effort to be designed by our top three winners! I hope the sprites in the contest are even half as amazing as the prizes being offered! Thank you all for your contributions! ...I think I've pretty much lost any logical way to describe all of these by now. @_@ If I get any more prizes to add I'm just going to make it a bullet-point list. -_-;;
* - some restrictions may apply, offer not valid on all planets, no purchase necessary

Submission Requirements:
1) A minimum of 1 frame in the style of a game other than FFT/FFTA. If you want to do more frames or even submit something animated, go for it.
2) A name for your entry. This can just be the actual character name you're making.
3) The name of the game from which you are drawing inspiration from.
4) Provide a spoiler'd image or link to a similar-style sprite of the game listed from #3. (Ex: If you're doing a Street Fighter 2 style character portrait, don't link to a picture of a character's idle animation for during a fight, link to another portrait image.)
5) 100% or 200% Zoom in either BMP or PNG format. We like to see those details up close!
6) Post your submission in this thread and it will be officially entered.
7) Submissions need to loosely follow the general competition topic. As long as you aren't submitting an FFT or FFTA style sprite, you should be okay.
8) Follow general forum rules, such as no nudity.
9) There is NO limit on the number of entries per member as long as they are significantly distinct.
10) If there are multiple valid versions of the same submission posted in the thread, the latest version will be considered the competition version.
11) Unique characters from existing FFT/FFTA patches are considered valid, but you will need to provide a source image for the character as not everyone may be familiar with characters outside of vanilla. [Ex: If you're going to do Gospel from Call of Power, make sure to post his sprite with your entry.]

Failure to meet the submission requirements will result in disqualification of the entry.

Judging Criteria:
1) Creativity: There are obviously a lot of different style options when you can pick from any other game. This criteria would be more about how far and away from what has been done before a submission is.
2) Artistic Ability: The more like the chosen game style, the better. Of course visual quality of the entry is always important.
3) Personal Preference: When it all comes down to it you should pick what you like best!

Important Dates:
Opening of Competition: 5/5
Submissions/Extension Requests Due: 11:59pm EST 6/30
Voting Begins: TBA
Winners Announced: TBA

Why are you...?

Just a quick Q&A section to try and head off some possible questions about the contest and change from form of previous contests. I'll update this bit if anyone asks things in the thread.

Q: Why do we get three votes this time?
A: During the last contest more than a few people expressed the wish to be able to vote for more than one entry as a favorite because they just couldn't choose. It was suggested then that for future contests we be allowed more votes.

Q: Why are you allowing so much time for submissions?
A: First, I can't really see extending the submission time as hurting the contest any. Second, I know that this can be a hectic time of year for some of our members who attend school and rather than just wait to announce the contest I figured giving more time would be to the benefit of everyone involved. Third, with all the possible styles to pick from this much time would give people interested in doing highly advanced sprites enough time to complete them. Finally, these contests have been at best bi-annually. It isn't like we're running them every month and the submission time is going to run into another contest's timeframe.

Q: Why are you allowing extensions for submissions with so much time already set aside for them?
A: This is really just reflective of the last contest and the number of messages I got in the last couple days of submission for people that wanted to submit something but didn't have time or hadn't heard about the contest early enough.

Q: How do I request an extension?
A: Just send me a PM here on the forum before the submission closing and tell me how much time you feel you will need to get your submission done. The longest extension I am willing to grant for a submission will be 2 weeks so keep that in mind if you feel you need to apply for one.

Q: You didn't mention any prizes for this contest. Will there be any?
A: At the moment I have no prizes planned for the contest. That doesn't mean that won't change before the end of it. Also, if anyone wants to donate something as a prize for the contest they are welcome to. Just contact me via PM here on the forum about it.

Q: Were you serious about this being back by popular demand?
A: Actually, yes. I have gotten multiple PMs asking about when the next spriting contest might be held.

Q: I'm still not clear on the goal of this contest.
A: Not a question but definitely a potential concern. Here are a couple of great examples of FFT characters done in a different sprite style.
These examples are not my work and belong to their original creators, whoever they may be.






That pretty much covers anything I can think of right now. If you have other questions, feel free to post them in this thread. Other than that, let the spriting begin! ^_^
18
The Lounge / Awesome Games Done Quick 2013
January 05, 2013, 03:17:41 am
It's that time of year again.



Spread the word.
19
News / CCP 2nd - Beta Version Download
December 25, 2012, 07:11:46 am
Just in time for the holidays is a quick look at the new "Celdia's Complete Patch: 2nd"! Some more [limited] information is available here: Click!
20
Current version is playable through the end of the main story. 6/7/2020: Various reasons pointed me to Goug/Steel Ball events causing infinite loading. The fix is super simple (pop open a patched ISO and add 00 00 00 00 01 to the end of the ISO) but I'm going to upload a fix patch that is exactly the same as the Tras920 except it adds those 5 bytes at the end which should let anyone not willing to break open a hex editor to still poke at the sidequest stuff. Not that there's anything to find there but madness.

6/12/2020: Some things never change. Uploaded the wrong fix file, of course. Should be the right one now.

Some classes have gotten serious rewrites and others just some tweaks here and there. There's a new job tree as well (see below) and I've implemented Xifanie's amazing Cross-Skip Hack so hold those X buttons and watch that  l i t t l e  m o n e y  just FLY by!

As always, this mod must be played via emulation. If anyone manages to get it working on any real hardware, I'd love to know about it.

I'll try to get some more updated info posted below sometime soon. Suffice to say, the information the rest of this thread is old and out-of-date.

- Some sprites will flicker/change color/change shape during story events. This is due to special animation frames having not been updated to match the new job sprites.
- The effects of stat-modifying skills are reset during battle when a unit levels up. This includes but is not limited to PA, MA, SP, Brave and Faith. This affects both buffs and debuffs.
- Weapon graphics in battle are not fully updated to their new designations. Some weapons may look strange when attacking but it shouldn't affect gameplay.
- Monster animations are not properly set yet. Some skills may make sprites load strangely or vanish for a moment entirely.
- Critical hits with ranged weapon skills may knock a units back twice. The second move could put them in another unit's square or off the map entirely. This can render a battle unwinnable if it happens.
- The Brawler skill "Dolphin Kick" can cause a unit to appear to get 'stuck' in the air. When they next move or a friendly unit passes
through their square they will return to the ground.
- The Warrior's skill "Charge" can be set to hit a tile and then your unit can move. When the skill triggers after it's AT comes up, it will attempt to Direct strike the originally targetted tile. This can lead to amusing looking melee-weapon attacks hitting from many tiles away. Abuse it as you like, since the AI will definitely being doing the same. I hope to get this fixed in the future though.
- Mageknight skills and unique character Swordskills operate on a PA*WP+Y formula instead of the intended MA*WP+Y formula.
- If you play any of the side-quests in Chapter 4 or the Deep Dungeon you may run into unimplemented beta resources. Also, random battle ENTDs may contain strange/nonsensical enemy loadouts.



21
Spam / Best Cooking Show Ever
November 06, 2012, 02:41:55 pm
Apparently these were part of some Utah college's youtube channel. Probably until someone actually watched them.








22
Well all the submissions for this year's contest have been checked out and assembled for easy viewing, so get on over to the new thread and cast your vote! http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9285.0
23
Heroes From Other Worlds


First and foremost I would like to say thank you to everyone that entered the contest. We had an amazing seventeen submissions this time around which blows last year's Halloween spriting contest out of the water! So let the voting begin! As always, only one vote per user [please do not use alternate accounts to vote multiple times] and it is generally considered poor form to vote for your own sprite [but we really can't stop you.] Please refer to the judging criteria for guidance in voting, though it should be noted that all the following sprites are considered valid submissions. Feel free to discuss or ask questions in this thread and for those of you just burning to critique the various entries now would be an appropriate time to do so.

Voting officially ends on Halloween night, October 31st, at 11:59pm EST! I will tally up the votes and announce the winner then! Prizes will be determined shortly after!

If you submitted a sprite that is not on this vote list and you do not believe is failed to meet the submission rules, feel free to PM me with questions.

Judging Criteria:
1) Personal Preference: Vote for your favorite character that gets submitted! The old 'Creativity' criteria doesn't really fit when the goal is to replicate something. :P
2) Artistic Ability: The more like the original character/costume, the better. However, make sure to balance this with the visual quality of the sprite. General pixel art ability, design, and palette choice are important here.
3) Valid Submission: There are clear expectations for submission, please try your best to follow them.







































Submission
          Title         
          Contestant         
          Character Art          
Bartz
Jon
Colette Brunel
Jumza
Cress
jimmyjw88
Crystal Chronicles Heroine
Taichii
Cyclops
Choto
Denim Powell/Denam Pavel
theultrawolf
Freedan
Choto
Genis Sage
Jumza
Goku
Cheetah
Hawkeye
Kagebunji
Kain
Jon
Mario and Yoshi
Twinees
Mesarthim
Lijj
Morrigan Aensland
Toshiko
Nail
Ledin
Philia Felice and Clemente
Celdia
Raven
GeneralStrife
24
News / Annual FFH Halloween Spriting Contest
September 22, 2012, 11:57:15 am
Well it's that time of year again. Come on over to The Annual FFH Halloween Spriting Contest Thread and find out how you could be the winner of fabulous prizes!

Disclaimer: Prizes may not actually be fabulous but there ARE going to be prizes this time around!
25
Heroes From Other Worlds

It's time for the Annual FFH Halloween Spriting Contest! I'm starting this a bit earlier than it was last year in hopes of getting more entries this time around. Last year our theme was "Decade of the Zombie" and we certainly got some creative entries. This year I thought we might keep the theme a little closer to the holiday itself and make it a broader scope as well. So the theme this time will be "Heroes From Other Worlds" where the goal is to make a character sprite of a hero or heroine from another game world or one of your favorite Ivalician dressed up like someone from another game! We already have some great custom sprites out there of characters from outside of Ivalice - the roster of which is going to expand with the work being done on Journey of the Five - but maybe there's some game franchise you think is terribly under-represented? Or maybe you'd like to show how your favorite FFT characters would look like dressed up for Halloween? Now is the time to step up and get your favorite heroes thrown into the mix!

As always, this is a beginner's level spriting competition. If you've never done a sprite before we'd still love to see what you can do! The competition is open to EVERYONE and you may make as many or as few submissions as you like. You may also continue to update your submissions to the very end of the due date. Feel free to give feedback on entries as they get posted to help people make the best sprite they can. Also, if someone else is doing a character you yourself would like to do, don't hesitate to post your own version!

Submissions are due by 11:59pm EST on Friday the 26th of October. Once the submissions are closed, all entries will be organized and a public voting poll will be opened for every community member to cast a vote. The poll will be closed on Halloween, the 31st of October so the winner can be announced that evening. The poll will be blinded and all users are allowed one vote, so please respect the voting process.

Since I'm proposing the contest theme this year I'll put myself out there for providing actual prizes for the top three winners. As always, you can expect at minimum some kind of permanent recognition for your accomplishments. However, flaunting the trend of previous competitions, I will personally make perler bead prizes for the winners. I haven't decided exactly what but that may depend on the entries themselves. If I can, I'll try to actually make the winning entries into perler bead figures. For those unfamiliar with perler beads, go have a look over here. (Acceptance of perler rewards will require providing an address to ship the prize to. Keep that in mind when entering if you want to be eligible for a prize.)

Submission Requirements:
1) A minimum of 1 front diagonal frame.
2) A name for your entry. This can just be the actual character name you're making.
3) Provide a spoiler'd image or link to a piece of art of the character you're submitting.
4) Please use a sprite from FFT or a Custom Sprite as the base for your submission. You can also make a wholly original piece of course, but try to keep it in the style of FFT. Submissions using sprites obviously taken from other games as a base will not be considered valid entries. Also, please credit "SQUARE" for anything based on FFT sprites and make appropriate credits when using Custom Sprites from our collection.
5) 100% Zoom in either BMP or PNG format.
6) Post your submission in this thread and it will be officially entered.
7) Loosely follow the general FFT style such as dimensions and palette choice. However, submissions are NOT limited to 16 colors.
8) Submissions need to loosely follow the general competition topic.
9) Follow general forum rules, such as no nudity.
10) There is NO limit on the number of entries per member as long as they are significantly distinct.
11) If there are multiple valid versions of the same submission posted in the thread, the latest version will be considered the competition version.
12) Characters that a Custom Sprite already exists for will not be accepted as valid entries. Click here to see what custom sprites already exist.

Judging Criteria:
1) Personal Preference: Vote for your favorite character that gets submitted! The old 'Creativity' criteria doesn't really fit when the goal is to replicate something. :P
2) Artistic Ability: The more like the original character/costume, the better. However, make sure to balance this with the visual quality of the sprite. General pixel art ability, design, and palette choice are important here.
3) Valid Submission: There are clear expectations for submission, please try your best to follow them.

Important Dates:
Opening of Competition: 9/22
Submissions Due: 11:59pm EST 10/26
Voting Begins: 10/27
Winners Announced: 10/31 Halloween

A tiny thank you to Cheetah because I poached his post from last Halloween when making this one.
26




My work continues and something new is on the way.
27
I'll just sum this up with a few quick statements and some links so you can educate yourselves further.

For those not previously aware, the folks over at speeddemosarchive.com like to run gaming marathons for charity. They have raised some amazing amounts of money for various charities in the past few years. A week from now will be the beginning of their next marathon with 100% of the donations going to O.A.R., the Organization for Autism Research.

I'm posting about it here to make as many people as I can aware about it and to encourage you all to do the same. Share this event with your friends. Tweet about it and post about it on your Facebook. Whatever you do to get the word around, just take a minute of your time in the next week and let someone know. Even better, join the fun yourself next week and make a donation yourself! There are spiffy prizes to be won [including some perlers I donated to the cause] and you can take a look at those in the bottommost link below. I hope to see you all there. ^_^

Marathon Information
Marathon Schedule and Donation Prize Times
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28
Spam / Stuff I Learned From Video Games
May 16, 2012, 02:25:47 pm


Feel free to add your own.

"If all else fails use fire." Admittedly, the usefulness of this one has proved erratic at best.
29
There has been another general outcry for a tutorial on how to edit spell effects lately, so here we are once again. Hopefully this tutorial will answer a lot of the basic questions when it comes to effect editing. First and foremost, what will be covered herein:

- Extracting and Importing Effect Files to and from your ISO.
- Modifying effect palettes. [Fancy way of saying changing the colors of spells.]
- Removing unwanted parts of effects.
- Replacing parts of effects with something new.

And a short list of what will NOT be covered and why:

- Screen/unit tinting effects: There are commands in the effect files that do things like tint the whole screen one color or fade to black for an effect. Others, like the example below, will tint an affected unit a specific color. To my knowledge, no one has dissected the effect files enough to know how this is done or if they have then I'm unaware of where it is documented. The instructions below will not cover anything that tints the whole screen or units.
- Sounds in spell effects: As with the screen tinting, as far as I know we just haven't discovered how sounds are controlled in the effect files.
- Making wholly new effects: Again, this comes down to a lack of detailed knowledge on how the effect files work. As of right now all we can do is modify existing effects into something else that will follow the same general pattern of motion on the screen. Until someone decides to start taking apart the effect files and decoding them into something we can understand and more easily modify, this is about as good as it gets folks.

With that out of the way, let's get down to it.

What you will need for the purposes of this tutorial: CDMage, GraphicsGale, TIMUtil, a HEX editor [I will be using HxD in my examples].

This tutorial will also assume that you know how to use FFTPatcher to choose your effects for the skills in your patch. I will not be covering anything involving FFTPatcher. I will also be assuming you have at least a basic working knowledge of how to use GraphicsGale or similar image editing programs. If you don't, just go play around with GG for a while. Its not too tough to figure out.

Step 1: Go here and get a BMP file of the effect you intend to modify. Xifanie has very graciously ripped the effect images from every spell effect in the game and made them readily available. We should thank her. Thanks, Xifanie! For our example today we will be modifying effect E052 "Faith/Face Up". As listed on the effects page we can see the filename for the effect is E052.BIN.

Step 2: Go into CDMage and open your ISO as "M2/2352 track".

Step 3: Open the EFFECT folder and locate your effect file on the right and right-click it to bring up the menu and select Extract Files. Make sure your effect filename matches the one from the effects page. Just save this to wherever you'll be keeping your working files. Also make a note of the number in the Size column for your file. We'll need that for Step 8. It has been cut off a bit in my example image but for this example our filesize is 46076.

~Removing Graphics~
Step 4: Open your downloaded BMP file in GraphicsGale. You are going to want to overwrite anything you don't want in the spell effect with pure Black. This has RGB values of 0 as you can see highlighted in the image below. This is usually the very first color in the image's palette as shown by the red arrow.

We will be removing the heart from the spell effect here. Now just save the BMP. If that was all you wanted to do then proceed to Step 7.

~Changing The Colors~
To change the colors of an effect you will need to change the palette. Palettes for spell effect are "indexed" which really just means each pixel in the image refers to a color in a specific place on the palette. If you only want to change a few colors of an effect then select the color you want to modify in the palette and use the value boxes [as highlighted in Step 4 above] to change the color. This example will be for changing the colors of the ENTIRE effect.

Step 5: For GraphicsGale you will want to go to All Frames and select Adjust Color. [In Photoshop this is usually called Hue/Saturation and can be found under Image > Adjustments. Your version may vary.]

This will bring up a new window with a lot of options. We're only interested in four of them: The RGB sliders and the Saturation slider. You can change other things there but I won't guarantee your effect will turn out as planned. Basic rule of thumb here: Do not increase Brightness ever and do not raise the RGB values over 0.

I want to change the pink colors of the effect to gold. As you can see here, the image changes to reflect my changes to the sliders. When you've got colors you like, click OK. If this is all you need for your effect, skip ahead to Step 7.

~Replacing Graphics~
For this section we will be using the heart-less version of the effect we made in Step 4 as well following the palette changing instructions in Step 5. The reason I chose gold is because the graphics I want to paste into the effect file are mostly gold and anything you paste into your BMP will attempt to match itself colors to the existing palette. Because what I want to paste into the effect uses white but the palette does have a white color, I have changed the very last and brightest color to white.
Step 6: This is really just as simple as Copy and Paste or just drawing your new graphics over what you want to replace. If you want to know how to make nice graphics, go read a spriting tutorial. Or you can just be like me and steal some graphics from another game. As shown below, I've replaced the hearts with a clock I stole from one of the Castlevania games. Looks kind of unimpressive here compared to the heart but it will serve for this example.

Step 7: A few of the previous steps will may directed you here. That's because this part is required no matter what you're changing or how. You will need to convert your BMP into a TIM file. Open TIMUtil and load your modified BMP file. Now the important part - you MUST click both of the checkboxes for 'Translucent except black' AND 'Transparent for black'. This is why we removed existing graphics with a pure black color. If you don't do this, your effect will look all wrong. Once you've got that done, click Convert and save your TIM file.

Now here is where I think a lot of people get lost trying to make things work. Open your HEX editor and open both your extracted BIN file and your TIM file you just created. If you're not familiar with HEX editing you're going to see a lot of numbers and letters that won't mean a lot to you. We are only concerned with all of the little pairs of numbers and letters in the middle of the window.
~Importing Your New Colors~
Step 8: Click on the tab at the top of the window that is your TIM file then bring your cursor to Offset: 14 as displayed in the bottom left of the window. This is the beginning of the palette data for your spell effect.

Now highlight down to Offset 213. The status bar at the bottom should read Block: 14-213 and Length: 200. Offset 213 is the very end of the palette information. You want to Copy this block of data.

Now remember that filesize number I had you make note of back in Step 3? This is where we need it. We now have to figure out where in the BIN file we have to Paste-Write this data for the palette.

Step 9: Read what's in the following spoiler.

If the effect file is larger than 70KB (71,680B)...
-the last 64KB (65,536B) of the file is a raw image 256x256 pixels.
-the palette is 1028B before the start of the raw image.
-the offset for the palette = the size of the file in bytes minus 66,564 bytes.

If the effect file is larger than 34KB (34816B) but smaller than 70KB...
-the last 32KB (32,768B) of the file is a raw image 128x256 pixels.
-the palette is 1028B before the start of the raw image.
-the offset for the palette = the size of the file in bytes minus 33,796 bytes.

If the effect file is smaller than 34KB (34816B)...
-the last 15,872B of the file is a raw image 128 pixels wide.
-the palette is 512B before the start of the raw image.
-the offset for the palette = the size of the file in bytes minus 16KB (16384B).

You got all that? Our example effect is larger than 34KB but smaller than 70KB, so we are going to take the filesize [46076] and subtract 33796 from that: 46076 - 33796 = 12280. That gives us the where but its in decimal. We want that in hexidecimal. After a quick conversion we get 2FF8, as in Offset: 2FF8. So you need to click on the tab for your BIN file now and you want to Goto that offset. You can find it manually or use the Goto function built into your hex editor to find it. I opt for the latter.

Step 10: Now you don't want to just Paste normally here. You want to Paste Write or Paste Overwrite, depending on your HEX editor. If you just Paste or Paste Insert you will increase the filesize. This will ruin your effect. You want to see this:

That data that shows up in red is only like that to show that you've changed something from the original file.

Not this:


If you EVER get this message, Cancel your action and try what you were doing again.

If all you're doing is putting in new colors, then you're done here. Save your BIN file and skip ahead to Step ###. If you are removing or otherwise modifying the graphics, read on.

~Importing Modified Graphics~
This part is pretty much the same as importing the palette information, functionally speaking. You're just going to be looking for more data in a different place in the TIM file. However, this is a lot easier to find where you want to Paste Write it to.
Step 11: Once again you will need to open your HEX editor and open both your extracted BIN file and your TIM file. If they're still open from Step 10, that's fine. This time however, we're going to use our IMAGE size to find out where we need to copy from in the TIM file.

Step 12: Click on the tab for your TIM file again and go to Offset: 220 and then just select everything to the very end of the file. Make a note of the Length value here and Copy.

Step 13: Click on your BIN file tab once more and bring up the Goto window again. This time you want to change the 'Offset relative to' from 'Begin' [default] to 'end (backwards)' because we'll be telling it to count backwards from the end of the file.
All of the graphics data is at the very end of the BIN file. Your image is going to be one of three sizes: 128x128, 128x256 or 256x256. Our example here is 128x256. You need to multiply the dimensions by each other [128 * 256 = 32768] and then convert the total to Hex [32768 in Hex is 8000]. As noted from the last step, 8000 is the Length copied out of the TIM file. That's exactly what you want to see. [If you're doing a 128x128 image the Length should read 4000. If doing a 256x256 image then the Length should read 10000. Remember, these are Hex values.]


As you can see above, I've set the Offset to 7FFF, 1 less than 8000 in Hex. This is to compensate for how HxD is going to count backwards. The goal is to bring us to the offset in the file that will let us Paste Write that Length 8000 block of data and end at the very last byte of the file. [If doing a smaller image you'll want your Offset to be 3FFF. If larger, Offset should be FFFF.]
Step 14: Paste Write in your data from the TIM file here. The data should come to the very end of the file, no more and no less.
If you get this error then you're not exactly Length 8000 from the end of the file:

If you see black numbers left after the red/changed values like this then you're not exactly Length 8000 from the end of the file:

You'll need to adjust where you're pasting your data from accordingly, but if you followed these steps properly then you should be right on target. Once everything is in place correctly, save your BIN file.

Step 15: This is the last and easiest part. Go back to your ISO in CDMage and right-click your effect file in the EFFECT folder again, but this time select Import File. Go find your newly modified BIN file and load it in. That's it! You've just created your own custom spell effect.


A fun note: Since this effect uses exactly the same graphics as the Innocent effect you can actually import the graphics data to E053.BIN [after adjusting for the different filesize] and get another new effect there but using that effect's special code which makes for another interesting looking spell. I've done that and applied the other three changes done in the tutorial here into a video.


The first questions I would expect is "Why is it green like that? What happened to the gold?" and the best I have is a theory and it goes back to the list of what isn't covered in this tutorial. The effect file has instructions in it to modify the colors of the palette to make that green color. If you note on the original/heartless version [top left] there is that burst of blue color, but our palette has no blue in it. I believe the effect file for Faith has instructions to apply a modification to the graphics based on existing colors in the palette, giving us green where once there was blue. This marks a great example of some of the limitations of effect editing right now. Simpler effects, like Esuna, take palette modifications beautifully as you can see here:

Other effects will just ignore any changes you make to their palette [I'm looking at YOU, Stigma Magic. >_< ] So for right now some of this is still a little hit and miss. Try your own edits, see what you come up with and as always...happy hacking! ^_^
30
The Lounge / Classic Mega Man fans - Read This
March 18, 2012, 10:56:14 am
Or rather, play this: http://king-soukutu.xsrv.jp/flash/rokko.html

I played this for a solid hour, took out half the Robot Masters and the whole time felt like I was playing a classic Mega Man title. The graphics are spot-on for the style. The stage designs are good, starting simple and ramping up quickly as you learn the lay of the land. The bosses are a solid challenge and nicely varied. The action gets very fast-paced and the music just screams classic Mega Man. These tunes are definitely going to be stuck in my head later and that's no bad thing. My only concern with the game itself is the controls. Don't mistake my meaning here: your character responds beautifully though her slightly higher jump takes a little getting used to...but I found this to be almost completely unplayable while using. Yes, you can remap them to other keys on the keyboard - which is great - but I still recommend grabbing something to let you map keyboard inputs to your gamepad [Google JoyToKey if you don't have a utility for this] to help this little gem shine.

Here's a little teaser image of the post-win graphics for when you get a new weapon.


Too cute!

Oh and a couple other observations that are notable; you have a suicide button for some reason, so avoid hitting Esc if using the default controls...and lastly, you can't re-enter a stage you've completed like some of the other games, so if you see something you want make sure you get it before finishing that stage! Good luck. ^_^