Dev Log: Star Ocean Canoe Patch

Monday, April 02, 2018

When I started the development of the Star Ocean canoe patch, for some reason I thought to try and keep a reasonable log of my point of view at that time as I thought that some people may find it interesting what goes into developing something like it. I planned to post it in a more broken up multi part post series, posting each part shortly after that part of development took place. But I ended up deciding against that as, I didn't know when the final patch would be released, and I didn't want to generate any extra hype for the patch that would feed any impatience. Doing so felt like it would just be an unfair teaser to people. So I held it off, thinking that I might post them shortly before I released the patch. But even then, I just wanted the patch out and elected to post it after, if at all.

Due to some recent unjust slander against me, causing me to have to defend myself against bogus claims, I'm now feeling more need to post my log. Originally this log would have made up 3 long posts, but I'm going to try and edit it and condense it down into this 1.

Release: Star Ocean (Canoe Patch)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Several months ago I set about creating a patch for Star Ocean to allow it to be played on canoe. In doing so I had to dust off my barely used ROM hacking skills, advance said skills, unlock the format of the data storage in the ROM, reverse engineer the SDA pointer format used by SFA2, and write code to dump and generate a patch in the same fashion.

I would have hoped the testing period would have been shorter, but I've decided that it's now time to release it to the public. I can't say that there won't be issues. Crashes, soft locks or bad tiles. I can only say that testing of the current patch shows no such issues. If you do find such an issue, please provide me with a description on how to reproduce, and most importantly save files!

That said, I'll try to keep this post short, and instead probably post details later of the journey (I took notes).

Enjoy! =)

P.S. #1: FYI, this is of course exclusively a SFROM Tool patch, and thus requires SFROM Tool.

P.S. #2: If you're interested in the story behind the development of this patch, you can find it here.












Release: SFROM Tool v1.1.1.0

Friday, March 30, 2018

This is a small update consisting of mainly just minor improvements and fixes.

You can download the new version over on the SFROM Tool page.


Update Notes:

  • Advanced window will refresh if you select a new file while its open.
  • Added a menu option to force the database.xml to reimport/recompile.
  • Fixed the database.xml to now check and reimport as needed when the program is run via command line.
  • Fixed detection/compatibility for "Space Football - One on One".
  • Fixed a issue with the patch select popup always defaulting to the first option, no mater which you chose. 
  • Added console output messages for the various steps of the patching process, so CE users can better know when and what has happened. 

Release: sfrom Tool v1.1.0.0

Friday, February 09, 2018

Today I've released an update to sfrom Tool. Outside of bug fixes, this update mainly consists of a UI overhaul. Gone are the large buttons in favor of a more traditional Menu Bar. Also the Tabs setup has been replaced, and instead now the Advanced settings have their own window (where the Patch Status list ow resides).

This new interface will allow me to expand the features of the tool as I see fit. A first example of which is the sram conversion options on the new Extras menu. While not directly "sfrom" related itself, it was just an easy to code nifty little feature I figure should be in the hands of as many people as possible. It will allow you to continue progress of games previously played on different emulators, now on canoe. Or vice versa.

While the UI overhaul was needed in general, what sparked the change at this time was my desire to help some newcomers to the SNESC development scene, who unlike previous developers, actually want to progress things forward and are willing to accept others contributions. Formerly just a personal fork of hakchi2 by u/princess_daphie, now a group collaboration by the newly formed TeamShinkansen, their new fork "hakchi2 CE" is fastly becoming the defacto hakchi2 build to use, and at the very least the one I'd recommend. While SFROM Tool is still going to remain its own program that I develop and expand as I see fit, keep an eye out for this fork to soon be able to utilize SFROM Tool to generate .sfroms using its extensive database and patches, and help see to it that more users are playing with the best possible compatible games as possible! =)

The new sfrom Tool update is available over on the dedicated sfrom Tool page!