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raindog

Hack-O-Matic

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Decided to post a little xmas present for the would-be sprite hackers out there. It's called Hack-O-Matic, and it's a very simple (and probably buggy) graphical bitwise file editor written in Tcl.

 

Basically it lets you do the sort of things you'd normally use showgfx/editgfx for, only with a mouse. Like those tools, it'll probably work on images for any 8-bit system that used 8-pixel-wide 1-color graphics elements, like Odyssey2 and probably Atari 5200 and Colecovision. The Tcl interpreter runs on many platforms but I have also built Windows and Linux binary versions that are totally self-contained. (Haven't tested the Windows version though, no Windows box here.)

 

It lives at http://www.kudla.org/hackomatic/ and is free software licensed under the GNU GPL. It remains to be seen which I'll regret more, posting this or giving my 8-year-old niece a karaoke machine. No rotten tomatoes please! Merry Xmas!

 

Rob

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The Windows download link doesn't work "you are not authorized to view this page"...but the others work. Would that compile for Macintosh users, or just PC platforms?

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Oops, my bad, the Windows directory is all better now.

 

Mac users should be able to run the original .tcl script (from the zip file in the "everything else" folder) using a Tcl interpreter. I have no idea which files you would need, but they are most likely among the ones listed at http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.p...?group_id=10894 . As for making a standalone Mac binary, that may also be possible but I have no idea how. The tool I used to make these binaries (Freewrap) is Windows/Linux only, it seems.

 

BTW, in case it wasn't obvious from my original post, Hack-O-Matic is primarily meant for and only been tested on Atari 2600 games. The screen shot depicts "K.C. Invaders" which I did while testing this thing and will not be distributing because there are too many Space Invaders sprite hacks out there already. ;)

 

Rob

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The only reason that I asked is because someone posted a message earlier asking about a Mac editor...

I don't really give a sh*t

...uh yeah...Macs. Cool!

 

Thanks for fixing the link...I'm gonna try it out.

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Hack-o-matic delivers!

 

I just ran a small test and it's as easy as point and click!

I like it! it makes it look so easy! No more text editors involved.

 

Chalk one up for ya dog.

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This is indeed very cool! I'm almost somewhat hesitant to post news about it due to the terrible flood of graphics hacks it is sure to unleash. :D

 

..Al

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You're safe from me...I can't get it to function using the crap 486 ;)

Program stops responding when loading anything.

 

Doesn't matter...since I lack the speed to play roms anyway :lol:

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Well, on my Celeron 400 it takes about 20 seconds to load a 4K ROM, so you may have just needed to wait a little longer. Just tested it on a Duron 800 and sure enough it was about half that time. Loading speed is something I'll need to address later (probably with a rewrite, because it's just slow drawing 32,768 squares in an interpreted language no matter how you slice it :) )

 

Rob

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Thanks for this! It's really cool and way easier to use. Now let's hope the community uses this wisely and makes some truly cool hacks to the classics. Basically that's a nice way of saying, "WE HAVE ENOUGH PAC-MAN AND SPACE INVADERS HACKS - DO SOMETHING ELSE!"

 

This is like an early Xmas present :D

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Excellent program! Very easy to use.

 

I've already tried to improve Entombed by making the players character smaller, so it's easier to get around the maze. Only problem is that if you are too close to the nearest wall, your make-breaks will not change the adjacent square but will change the next one over (or down.)

 

Very frustrating, but what do you expect from a guy who last programmed in 1987.

 

It is also fun to just look at the graphics for various games. Spent some time looking at Euchre. I can now see those six-bit sprites. 8)

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Has anyone else had as much fun as I have with the program?

 

Here's my Adventure hack, where the dragons look more menacing, the sword looks like a sword and it's a little more graphic after you slay a dragon. The other changes are all just messing around.

 

This is my first hack that I think is worth posting. Hope you like it. :D

bp_adventure_hack.zip

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Do you need experience in this area, or is this something easy enough for me (who has no hacking experience) to pull off?

 

No hacking experience required. I had never attempted to hack a 2600 game before I downloaded Hack-O-Matic two days ago. (Please direct all complaints to Raindog ;) )

 

For starters, read this article for background.

 

http://www.gooddealgames.com/articles/chan...he_easy_way.pdf

 

Now you won't need most of those programs mentioned at the begining. All you need with HOM is some ROM's and an emulator. Start HOM and open a bin file. Space Invaders, like the above article says, is a good one to start with.

 

Use the slide bar to scroll down near the end of the program, until you find some of the game characters. Now all you have to do to change the graphics is click on and off the squares. Once you have it how you like it or if you just want to test it, save it to a new filename, remembering to put .bin at the end.

 

Now fire up your emulator and try out your hack. It's just that easy.

 

You will find if you make any radical changes, you could affect the gameplay. I had a better-looking dragons on my adventure hack, which had very nasty teeth when they opened their mouths. Only problem was they couldn't eat Hero. So while it looked more menacing, it played more like they were actually ducks.

 

Good luck with it. And thanks again to Raindog for making the program.

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Working just fine in XP here...course I still haven't installed service pack 1 yet...so maybe that has something to do with it?

 

:?

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DID IT! I created a graphics hack of (what else?) Xenophobe. It's basically just trying to improve on the original, some of the Xenos are modified, and your character is leaner, and now has an eye. I call it "Xenophobe Plus", even added the "Plus" to the title screen. I'll have to send it to Albert.

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@King Atari: Just attach your hack here as you would an image, just like I did with the adventure hack. You do need to zip the file first.

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