What are the first steps on becoming a ROM hacker?

The title say’s it all.
While my laptop is broken for the time being I want to know how to become a ROM hacker. I came up with this question when I was using Fe builder when my laptop was functioning, unfortunately I was busy at that time and couldn’t really ask it here.

Some lingering questions:
Is there like a secret code a hacker must follow?
What are the limits a hacker has?
Is it best to have a team?
What are the things a hacker must have or need in his hack?
How do I draw an audience to my hack.
And many more.

Any advice is helpful here whether minor or major all of it is important.
For the people who had/have helped me with this thank you.

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Is there like a secret code a hacker must follow?

Yes, but I must warn you, learning it will cost your immortal soul. However, once you’ve done so, your other questions will feel inconsequential.

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  1. no secret code really, just start tinkering with the rom, make your changes, ship it out. I guess don’t steal people’s assets and remember to credit?
  2. limits are just on the general knowledge you have, like if you’re no programmer aka me, you use builder , if you know how to code and stuff you can do more stuff with buildfiles and other mediums
  3. you can have or not have a team base on personal choice, there’s pros and cons and such, like if you have a team then you probably need to find a middle ground on what ideas gets into the final hack, but it does make developing larger projects quicker, then again, you probably need to attract people to your project, easier said then done
  4. depends on the experience you want the player to have with the hack
  5. don’t do reskins, rebalance or pmes hehe (pain)
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but then again what do I know, I’ve only been here 5 months, we waiting for the vets to come in, can practically hear Pandan typing right now muahahaha

I’m ready.

Ok then

secret code is blasphemy; a true hacker posts their code publicly–with comments and examples–for all to use. A true hacker’s only limit is themself: if you don’t know something, learn it. If you don’t have something, make it. And, after either, share it.

Live by the wizard’s creed. Read the doc. Reply soon. Donate to Circles.

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Ohh interesting I’ll definitely read this. Thanks

oh yeah, while I do say that reskins, rebalances and pme’s wouldn’t attract long lasting attention, they are great as starting projects to learn individual components of hacking (at least in febuilder) like changing classes, changing events, etc. My lead project right now is a reskin of fe8. These might feel more reachable for new hackers compared to just cool dipping to an entirely original hack. Imo at least

Hmm good point thanks

Oh so that’s why I’m dead inside.

Re: limits - it’s pretty tough to expand the size of indexes that only use a byte and are referenced in tons of places.

Eg. Expanding beyond 255 items, unit IDs, classes, or hp isn’t something any hack has done yet. You can use durability based items to sort of expand items in exchange for durability, but I expect if we figure out ways to expand other indexes any time soon, it won’t be a complete solution.

For example, if I wrote a hack that adds up to 255 armour on a unit to be drained before hp is lowered, I could probably make regular attacks drain armour first, but what about when you step on a mine, or are hit by a devil’s axe, or want to use the gaiden magic hack where spells cost hp? If you want all of these to drain your armour first, you need to hook more and more code and worry about hacks that others have written.

This is the easiest possibility I could think of, which would still be tough. I don’t think expanding classes is going to happen anytime soon. :sweat_smile:

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Hmm good point