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Author Topic: Attacking the flank
Rolken
Vulcan
Member # 7

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posted 03-14-2000 10:02 PM      Profile for Rolken   Author's Homepage   Email Rolken   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Most people research Pokémon the traditional way; that is, tests and more tests.

Why?

The source code is right in front of our noses (in no$gmb, anyway) and it wouldn't be too much effort to deduce that instead. It'd put an end to endless arguing over what the game does, too. That's my $.02.

Does anyone have any GS codes for reference points?

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From: Provo, UT | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rolken
Vulcan
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posted 03-14-2000 10:38 PM      Profile for Rolken   Author's Homepage   Email Rolken   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heh heh heh; the GB uses the same Z-80 series processor as TI calcs! Interesting.

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The new millennium doesn't begin until 2001!


From: Provo, UT | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Wintermute
My custom title sucks.
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posted 03-15-2000 02:37 AM      Profile for Wintermute   Author's Homepage   Email Wintermute   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Rolken:
Most people research Pokémon the traditional way; that is, tests and more tests.

Why?

I can think of several reasons. First of all, not many of us have the expertise to learn anything by looking at the source code.

Second, I believe that there are many things which would in fact be easier to learn by turning on a GB and actually trying it. I first realized this when studying the interaction between Substitute and about a million other moves. I think even the ppl who coded the thing would have to look at a bunch of different places in the code, evaluate which rules would take priority in a given situation, determine where certain algorithms would be interrupted... Why not just actually try to Leech Seed a sub instead?

Third, and for me most importantly, non-code-sifting pokemon research extends the metaphor of the game, rather than breaking it. The game asks you to believe in this whole imaginary ecology, populated by creatures with different lifecycles and abilities and origins... it even introduces you to Professor Oak, one of the greatest living pokemon experts, who has now turned full-time to research. Doing research without looking at the code lets you participate in all of that, so that you're (almost) still playing the game, even when you're just doing some tests. Personally, I think that's fun, which is the whole point of playing a game, after all.

I certainly won't dispute that not all research projects are equally fun, though, and I'm not so dogmatic about this game-metaphor thing that I'd ever refuse data from the ROM. Necrosaro's work has been invaluable to everyone, for example. But the fact that his data has sometimes been wrong shows that there will always be a place for testing.

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From: Winnipeg, Manitoba | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
White Cat
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posted 03-15-2000 10:14 PM      Profile for White Cat   Author's Homepage   Email White Cat      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has Necrosaro been wrong about anything other than the power of Self-Destruct/Explosion?
From: Calgary | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Mr. K
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posted 03-16-2000 01:21 AM      Profile for Mr. K   Author's Homepage   Email Mr. K   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wintermute:
I can think of several reasons. First of all, not many of us have the expertise to learn anything by looking at the source code.

I know how to read assembly language, but Pokemon's a big friggin program and, with no context, I'd probably be able to solve an issue by research faster than by decoding it. On the other hand, if someone really put forth a massive effort to understand the code, it would probably prove interesting.

quote:
Second, I believe that there are many things which would in fact be easier to learn by turning on a GB and actually trying it. I first realized this when studying the interaction between Substitute and about a million other moves. I think even the ppl who coded the thing would have to look at a bunch of different places in the code, evaluate which rules would take priority in a given situation, determine where certain algorithms would be interrupted... Why not just actually try to Leech Seed a sub instead?

A very good point. I don't think the programmers purposely made Focus Energy suck. And if the guys most familiar with the code can make mistakes like that, I imagine things are pretty complex in there.

quote:
Third, and for me most importantly, non-code-sifting pokemon research extends the metaphor of the game, rather than breaking it.

I'm always happy to hear you say that. For me, this site is all about having fun...if I ever lose sight of that, this will be a job, one for which I don't get paid, and I don't imagine we'd still be making progress at the rate we are now...

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From: Cinnabar Island | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rolken
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posted 03-16-2000 10:45 PM      Profile for Rolken   Author's Homepage   Email Rolken   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Necrosaro's data was wrong, not the GB's.

Some things may be easier to test, but there's things debated today that could be resolved simply and easily.

Also, I keep the metaphorical aspect of Pokémon seperate from data-crunching. Besides, examining a dozen different pokémon's numerical stats to pick one and then box tricking it isn't very metaphorical, either.

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The new millennium doesn't begin until 2001!


From: Provo, UT | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Ancient Egyptian Cat-Gonk
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posted 03-17-2000 03:58 AM      Profile for Ancient Egyptian Cat-Gonk   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Simple reason, how can you be sure the ROM's correct?

There's a rather nasty rumour going around AGNP that his GS Pokedex is almost completely wrong. Though it's been fixed (as far as I can tell), the initial errors were probably due to him decompiling the famous "Imperial Wrath = Sandstorm" ROM (or a distant cousin) by accident.

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From: Perth, Western Australia. | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Mr. K
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posted 03-17-2000 06:56 AM      Profile for Mr. K   Author's Homepage   Email Mr. K   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rolken:
Besides, examining a dozen different pokémon's numerical stats to pick one and then box tricking it isn't very metaphorical, either.

I dunno, I liken that sort of testing to those mysterious machines Oak had those nearly identical Rattatas hooked up to in that episode.

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From: Cinnabar Island | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Mr. K
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posted 03-17-2000 06:58 AM      Profile for Mr. K   Author's Homepage   Email Mr. K   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ancient Egyptian Cat-Gonk:
Simple reason, how can you be sure the ROM's correct?

How does he get ahold of the ROM anyway?

You'd think it would be difficult to screw up if it's just a dump...do the problems come from the raw data usually, or mods they have to make to it to make it work with emulators?

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From: Cinnabar Island | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
cfalcon
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posted 03-17-2000 03:13 PM      Profile for cfalcon   Email cfalcon   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I've thought about this too, but finding the correct code would be quite a headache. Seriously, it is a good idea, but I can't spare the time to a rather largish project like decompiling pokemon...

But it still is a pretty good point.

-cfalcon

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From: 39°45' N, 104°52' W | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rolken
Vulcan
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posted 03-17-2000 07:42 PM      Profile for Rolken   Author's Homepage   Email Rolken   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's where GS codes come in.

Take the RAM referenced to by the code, find where it's specified in the ROM w/ the find function in MS Word, and bingo.

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The new millennium doesn't begin until 2001!


From: Provo, UT | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Wintermute
My custom title sucks.
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posted 03-17-2000 10:46 PM      Profile for Wintermute   Author's Homepage   Email Wintermute   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Ancient Egyptian Cat-Gonk:
Simple reason, how can you be sure the ROM's correct? There's a rather nasty rumour going around AGNP that his GS Pokedex is almost completely wrong.

It's hard to be sure that anything is completely correct in this business, and I'm not even referring to any arcane philosophical objections to certainty. Errors can literally creep in almost anywhere... even when you turn on the GB and check for yourself. How do you know there's not some totally unanticipated condition present in the test you did that isn't partly responsible for the result you got? The RBY link battle/game battle discrepancies are a good example. Stat bleeding is another.

In the case of Necro's work, I'd worry more about his interpretation of the ROM than the ROM itself, though both may be an issue. Gotta be a certain amount of eye-strain involved when humans try to grok large amounts of assembly (really, any) language.

While I don't know anything about his GS ROM data, his RBY work is clearly worth the while... much better, I think, to take that approach and then correct the few small errors as they turn up, than to do the whole thing the hard way. (After which, as I've already said, you still can't hope to be error-free.)

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From: Winnipeg, Manitoba | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged


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