A lot of questions

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MysteriousLad
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A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:00 am

I'm starting to get back into hacking AW2 and I want to know some things:

Where are the offsets for unit names?
How do you view the games assembly and figure out what does what?
Do you know any good books/internet guides on ARM7 ASM? (Pretty sure AW2 uses that.)
What do you use to make ASM, as in which editor do you recommend? (I know how to assemble it.)
If I were to increase the file size of a ROM, would this be applied to other ROM's via an IPS patch? This would make ROM size no longer a limit for large hacks.
How do I edit graphics?
How do you add text pop-ups in War Room maps?
How do you let certain CO's only be used if S rank is reached in WR? (Like in War Room Hack 2012)
How do you remove menu items?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:41 pm

MysteriousLad wrote:I'm starting to get back into hacking AW2 and I want to know some things:

Where are the offsets for unit names?
You can just use a hex editor's search function to find them as they're just standard Ascii (apart from the Mini Infobox, but that's a graphic), but they should be around the CO Power names.
How do you view the games assembly and figure out what does what?
No$GBA and Visualboy Advance both have the option to display the assembled code. No$'s debugger also allows you to step through instructions one at a time or set breakpoints where the code execution will stop so you can see what's reading what. It's a fairly involved topic, so more than I can put into one forum post without specifics.
Do you know any good books/internet guides on ARM7 ASM? (Pretty sure AW2 uses that.)
Yeah, the GBA uses an ARM7 processor with two processor modes, ARM and THUMB. GBA games predominantly use THUMB mode. I don't know about any good guides, I picked up my knowledge hodge-podge, but the GBATEK document is an invaluable resource.
What do you use to make ASM, as in which editor do you recommend? (I know how to assemble it.)
Any text editor will do, but a text editor with highlighting and tabbing would be nice. I personally use jEdit (a Java based text editor).
If I were to increase the file size of a ROM, would this be applied to other ROM's via an IPS patch? This would make ROM size no longer a limit for large hacks.
Provided the filesize remains under 16 mb (that's the IPS patch limit) or 32 mb with other formats (that's the GBA cartridge size limit). It'll apply correctly if you made your patch correctly.
How do I edit graphics?
A combination of graphical editors (I use a combination of XP Microsoft paint and a sprite-specific graphics editor called GraphicsGale) and compressors/inserters.
How do you add text pop-ups in War Room maps?
This is controlled through scripts, like in the campaign maps. It's supported in all game modes.
How do you let certain CO's only be used if S rank is reached in WR? (Like in War Room Hack 2012)
This was an ASM hack I did where before generating the CO select menu in the War Room, I checked that map's high score. If it wasn't an S-Rank it loaded one CO select list. If it was an S-Rank, I loaded a second list with the S-Rank COs available. It was pretty hacky and I could likely whip up a better method nowadays.
How do you remove menu items?
Depends on the menu. Main menu etc. would require ASM hackery, in-game menus would require just editing a few menu lists and whatnot.
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:56 am

Thanks Xen, I've set myself a goal for a hack with all the numbers worked out. However I'm wondering if it were to be possible to allow 5 player battles?
It would probaly take a full rewrite of map headers and stuff, what scale would this be however?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
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Lambda

Re: A lot of questions

Post by Lambda » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:21 am

Don't even think about it, you would want to rewrite a huge part of the game.

What kind of hack do you have in mind though ?

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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:52 am

Lambda wrote:Don't even think about it, you would want to rewrite a huge part of the game.

What kind of hack do you have in mind though ?
A War Room type thing, however making use of the knowledge how to make infinite CO's and Units. Along with some tile edits and stuff. I'll post my ideas once I've organised them.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:05 am

MysteriousLad wrote:Thanks Xen, I've set myself a goal for a hack with all the numbers worked out. However I'm wondering if it were to be possible to allow 5 player battles?
Yes, but.

NO.

No.

NOOOOOOOO.

Like Lambda said, it would be a brutal amount of work.
IST wrote:Even the worst individual needs to discover the joys of a chicken statue that is also a pregnant blonde housewife.

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:23 pm

Haha, I understand.
These are my plans (Very, very summarised. I'll balance CO's ect.)
-Add all AWDS CO's
-Add all SFW CO's
-Add Caulder from WRH2012
-Add Venom Adder
-Add Nathan, Diam and Tierce (CCO's)
-Remove all default CO's
-Add units: Stealth, Carrier, A-Bomb, Anti-Tank, Nuclear-Sub, ICBM, Gas-Bomb
-Make labs not end game, give 5% strength per captured one and allow players/AI to build Stealths, Neo-Tanks, A-Bombs, Gas-Bombs and Nuclear-Subs
-Make Silo's capturiable and and allow them to build ICBM's, Gas-Bombs and A(Atom)-Bombs
-Add tiles Swamp and Deap Sea
-Edit tiles for Naval movement
-Make S-Rank unlock certain CO's
-Make A-Rank unlock certain CO's
-Allow 5 player battles
-Add Fog as weather
Last edited by MysteriousLad on Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:32 pm

Oh yeah, and a lot of custom maps.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

Lambda

Re: A lot of questions

Post by Lambda » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:10 pm

-Add units: Stealth, Carrier, A-Bomb, Anti-Tank, Nuclear-Sub, ICBM, Gas-Bomb
There is only 5 free slots for units, if you want 7 units you'll need to overwrite existing units.
Expending the number of unit isn't as easy as COs, this requires a lot of work, that's why we don't have infinite unit support.
Allow 5 player battles
Honestly you can really forget it, would probably be faster to code your own AW5 from scratch.

Add Caulder from WRH2012
One of my next plan is to add a CO zone support in the Infinite COs module, with editable sheets and stuff.
Good news : it's almost done and I already added Caulder as a test. It's a bit better than the WRH version because our knowledge of the game have evolved quite a lot (though it was amazing work back in the time).
I just need to finish the AI module and fix some known bugs (and probably some unknown too).
Bad news : I'm lazy as fudge.

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:38 pm

The 5 Player thing was just not removed from notes, I won't do it this hack. Maybe one day when my knowledge has grown. As for the units, I'm aware of that. I'm going to attempt to make it possible for more units.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:13 am

Ok, I'm going to start by adding a unit making use of Xen's ASM that edits unit stats. How do I change the images on the map to a custom one (does anyone have the unit images of the AWDS Carrier, Black Bomb and Stealth so I don't need to rip them myself?) and make the info on the Shop screen custom?
I'm going through the stuff I don't know step by step.

Edit: What's the Unit Name ID for? I understand it will point to the units name but how do I use it?

Edit-2: I've assemble the dummy unit with the data of a carrier (with the name of the Anti-Air) how do I get it to appear in shops? Man, it's been too long. Fixed
Last edited by MysteriousLad on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:21 am

I'm guessing the units name ID's work like this:
None is 2266, so I'm guessing the next string in the hex would be 2267. If I change the name of something like Sami's Theme (I'm not going to have the sound room in my hack) to something like Carrier and point it to the replaced string number (Counting from none which is 2266) would that give me the name Carrier for that unit?

Does anyone have the images ripped from the games of the Carrier, Black Bomb and Steath? An Anti-Tank image (I've seen it used before) would also be helpful.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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JSRulz

Re: A lot of questions

Post by JSRulz » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:13 am

These images are available on the Custom Wars Tactics Repository, but they are off color from the original game so they will need to be recolored. The images that you are looking for, as well as the animations for them, are in the link below...

AW Units

ACAR - Aircraft Carrier
BKBM - Black Bomb
STLH - Stealth
ATNK - Anti - Tank

JSRulz

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:31 am

Thank you, that saves me a lot of time.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:52 pm

Also, I did a rip of a tonne of AWDS sprites recently for the site so in my dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3kpq5suv49wh ... y_Jua?dl=0

Should be a folder with all of the map sprites at least and should be correctly colour indexed.
Edit: What's the Unit Name ID for? I understand it will point to the units name but how do I use it?
Basically there's an enormous table in the ROM which has a pointer to every single string of text in the game. The text parser gets an input of the string ID (Unit Name ID in this case), finds that entry in the table and loads that pointer.

So for your example of the string "None", it goes to the 2266th entry in the table which leads to the string "None"

If you have a look at the Infinite COs module or the Insertable script module, it has the text table which you can add more entries to, etc.
IST wrote:Even the worst individual needs to discover the joys of a chicken statue that is also a pregnant blonde housewife.

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:33 am

I assembled the units (Basic data, I'll add cool abilities later) and then changed the default build list to have "04 09 0c 0d 12" at the start to allow me to build those units. I selected a base and the game semi-froze, the animations still ran however I couldn't do anything. What have I done wrong?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Linkman
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Linkman » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:30 am

Black Hole looks more like Purple Hole doesn't it?
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:29 am

It's does really.

Anyway, I'm having trouble with my build list. I've made the units (minus the custom graphics and for the missiles/stealth without abilities) and I can build them by editing the default build list. Whenever I repoint the pointer to 0x1C7501 so (01 75 1C in the pointer) and point it to a list which I did for testing which is this: 04 09 0C 0D 12, it crashes on clicking A on a property that builds units.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:12 am

Woop, I don't know how but I fixed the build list. Thanks for recommending the script module xen, that made adding their names a lot easier. I'm now stuck on how I can chnage the dummy units map graphics. I've given them temporary exsisting graphics of the apc but I would like to add my own. I have honestly got no clue where to start but I've got an image inserter and the graphics I wish to insert.

Edit: How do I make non-sub units "dive" (for the Stealth.)
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:20 pm

MysteriousLad wrote:Woop, I don't know how but I fixed the build list. Thanks for recommending the script module xen, that made adding their names a lot easier. I'm now stuck on how I can chnage the dummy units map graphics. I've given them temporary exsisting graphics of the apc but I would like to add my own. I have honestly got no clue where to start but I've got an image inserter and the graphics I wish to insert.
You're going to have to cannibalise some other graphics space if you want to do that - I recommend condensing the five armies' infantry and mech sprites into one set of Infantry and Mechs for everyone: Should give to you plenty of extras. As is, there's no more room in VRAM for extra sprites without removing some old ones.
Edit: How do I make non-sub units "dive" (for the Stealth.)
The "Dive" command is hard-coded to check whether the unit is a Submarine. You'll need to change that check to include your new unit (in the ASM code) or write up a new menu command that applies to non-Subs.

Be warned though that you'll need to do some rejiggering of the damage loaders for a non-sub unit that has 'dived'. In AW2, every single unit that has Dived uses the same damage list as the Dived Sub list (So a Dived Tank, Sub and Stealth for example will be hit and take the same damage that a Dived Sub does in Vanilla AW2).
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:30 pm

Thanks Xen once again,
Some thoughts on future changes, are the black tiles on the mappy aw2 tilesheet unused tile slots? If so could you fill them with your own tiles?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:39 pm

Yeah, you could theoretically add new tiles although it'd be fairly complicated. The tiles in the mappy tileset are the constructed 16x16 tiles, made up of by four 8x8 tiles.

The 8x8 tilesheet:
Spoiler: show
Image
contains every possible tile that you'll see in the full tileset (outside of the animated rivers/ocean tiles and the Black Hole Inventions/Volcanoes/blah, they're handled separately).

That's the one you'll need to add to if you want to create your own new tiles, then you need to add entries to construct the 16x16 tiles. Then you need to give them a tile behaviour (E.g. 1 = Plain, 6 = City, etc etc)

Edit: Just make sure you don't use that image I posted up as a base, it's a screengrab rather than the actual dump.
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:25 am

Thanks once again xen, I've decided to drop the capturable silo idea. Instead of the missiles I'll add Black Bomb and Mega Tank. Stealths, Mega-Tanks and Black Bomb's will be only buildable from labs. They also won't give a 5% bonus per lab. This shouldn't be too hard to do, however I'll have to change some stuff to fix terrain stars to be activated by unit type, not where the unit is built.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:50 am

MysteriousLad wrote:This shouldn't be too hard to do, however I'll have to change some stuff to fix terrain stars to be activated by unit type, not where the unit is built.
This is a pretty easy fix. You can more or less just change the check that loads the byte that has the build location to one that checks unit class and just exclude the copters and planes.
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:45 pm

Where's that located?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:11 pm

My notes tell me

;Terrain Boost Adjustments
.org 0x08043326

But I'll go look up a more accurate address later.
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:32 am

I can't find the map unit sprites, which image are they? (Using nlz gba editor, I have no idea what I'm doing)
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:27 am

Ignore that, I have figured it out.

Now an assembly question, if I wanted to allow Stealths to dive as well as subs, what assembly would do this?
Is there someone who has written notes on some common assembly instructions?
I'm currenty fiddling with the stuff in Infinite CO's module COP'ers to start to get an dea of how that works.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:28 am

Xenesis wrote:
MysteriousLad wrote:This shouldn't be too hard to do, however I'll have to change some stuff to fix terrain stars to be activated by unit type, not where the unit is built.
This is a pretty easy fix. You can more or less just change the check that loads the byte that has the build location to one that checks unit class and just exclude the copters and planes.
And how would one do this?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:43 am

I feel like the biggest idiot, turns out I was looking for the Map Sprites in the compressed images, which they're not in...
I have started adding the images for the units, I'm now starting to actually expand my knowledge of hacking again, yay.
Still haven't figured out how subs dive though, I've been looking at the VBA disassembler and playing around to see what causes it but I'm stuck.

Anyway, here's what I'm currently doing:
-Adding the sprites of the units.
-Adding shop pictures.
-Adding descriptions.
-Making Stealth dive.
-Making Black Bomb explode.

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:32 am

Image
Feeling proud although this isn't that significant.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:37 am

Where are the unit movement animations located though? I'm too lazy to find them right now or check if they're compressed.
Another thing I want to know now is how I could let a unit "explode" like a missile.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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Xenesis
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by Xenesis » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:53 am

MysteriousLad wrote:Where are the unit movement animations located though? I'm too lazy to find them right now or check if they're compressed.
Another thing I want to know now is how I could let a unit "explode" like a missile.
They're compressed spritesheets that have the different animation parts.

To make something 'explode' would be a custom menu command written from the ground up in pure ASM. That being said, the basic idea of the AWDS one could be used as a starting point.
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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:37 am

Well time to get into assembly then, first how do I get the game to check if a unit is "The one I want to let itself explode" and then add something to it's menu (like a sub) to run a script later. I'll figure out how to actually let it blow up later, first I want to get the game to do this.
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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MysteriousLad
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Re: A lot of questions

Post by MysteriousLad » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:51 pm

The spritesheets for the unit animations are rather messed up, what's their width or do I have to live with the parts all being in different locations?
"i put on my robe and wizard hat" ~Pkdragon
"rocks fall everyone dies" ~HPD
Welcome to the optimistic world of WWN :D

And logic doesn't work on MysteriousLad... ~Kireato
Wait, wait, wait.

Organized crime is selling bagels on television? Since when? ~Dragon Fogel

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