Pokemon Hacking Competitions
A week or so after the release of my biggest hack (Pokemon – UltraViolet Version), while I was minding my own business, basking in the popularity of my work, I got an email asking me a lot of specific questions about Pokemon Gold (Emu Edition). I was a bit surprised as this game seemed pretty straight forward and it was odd that he needed the exact locations and times to find specific Pokemon. I answered his questions and he told me that he was entered into a contest to attempt to catch all the Pokemon in MY game. A website called Vizzed allows users to play games online and they had started a contest offering Viz (their version of online fake money) to whoever could catch all the Pokemon in my game the fastest.
This interest in my hack inspired me to join the site. I passed on tips and tricks to a few fellow hackers that were on the forums, but mostly I hung out in the chat rooms of my games. Each game being played has a little chat stream and ALL the people playing it can chat. Anytime anyone would have an issue with something I implemented (something they could not google themselves) I would help.
I became tired of answering the same questions several times a day, so I decided to make a Players Guide to Ultra Violet Version. After releasing a massive PDF file to the public I was contacted by the owner of Vizzed, mostly nonchalant banter and congratulations and such. We chatted awhile, I continued to lurk and eventually found no need to return to Vizzed very often at all.
A month goes by and I get another email. This time from a Vizzed fan of mine, she told me that Vizzed started a Pokemon Hacking Competition with a cash prize, and proceeded to tell me that if I entered a hack I surely would win. By this time, however, I had already begun work on a new hack. I was about 40% finished. One of the rules to the competition was that it could ONLY be released on Vizzed. I had no intentions of releasing my new BIG hack on only one website.
If you remember from my previous blog post, I mentioned hacking games for a reason (previously it was to catch them all), my new hack was a hack that would add the Orange Archipelago to the games. The Orange Archipelago is an area from the TV show that was never made into a game, so I had a reason to make it. I had no other ideas to make any other hacks. The fan from Vizzed gave me a GREAT idea. Her idea was to play as the bad guys, following the main character of the real version of the game, cleaning up the messes he made. I fell in love with the idea, my mind filled with ideas and in just a few hours we had layed out the entire game and all the events that the player would get to see from the villain’s side.
It was time for me to actually read up on the contest. With a $200 grand prize plus $20 extra per every 10,000 plays, I was sold on the idea of entering. The contest would be graded by the players, only hacks with a rating above a 7 (out of 10) and with a minimum of 5,000 plays would qualify. To win you must have the highest “rating X votes” so if I had a rating of 9 with 10 votes, and you had a rating of 8 with 30 votes, you win. The contest had a 3 month deadline (with a few other stipulations) so I had little time to remake an entire game. I worked non-stop (around 20 hours a day) for a month and released Pokemon – Rocket Science.
This hack forced me to learn A LOT more about the game's graphics. I learned how to make sprites - sprites are the moving characters in the game. I made many super complex scripts and inserted new game mechanics. An entirely new main character and story was created. Most of the maps are the same and all of the music is the same but other than that, this game has everything changed. It was a lot of learning, but with everything I learn, I can put it to use in my next hack.
With the contest coming to a close (no more hacks can be entered) and my hack slotted to win by a landslide, it just reinforces my beliefs that I am on the right degree path and that this is the right school for me.