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Childish modding...by children

Discussion in 'Playground' started by SlickRCBD, May 22, 2023.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I was just chatting with somebody and we were talking about some of the first hacks/mods we did.
    I admitted my first mod was with a game called "Strike Fleet" when I was messing around with my new "sector editor" in Copy II+ (basically a hex editor, but edits a sector on a 5.25" disk) and found the parameters for ships & weapons in the game.
    The first thing I did to help me figure things out was change the weapons on a U.S. Navy Frigate in the intro mission to have "photon torpedoes" instead of harpoons. Which of course were OP as you'd expect a 24th century weapon on a 20th century frigate.

    My friend said that was kind of childish, but I was 11 years old and this was my first time messing around with the parameters on a game. I didn't have the tools to do so prior to that as there was no internet to conveniently download stuff like hex editors and I wouldn't even get a 1200 baaud modem until early 1996 when it was handed down to me, although I'd get a 33.6k modem in late 97 (about a year and a half later).

    Anyways, is 11 still young enough to have an excuse for being a bit childish when making my first mods?
    That was basically my defense "I was ELEVEN!"
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2023
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Obviously young enough, I mean, come on... though I guess these days when you have kids competing in pretty much everything on near-adult level (shows like MasterChef Junior come to mind), some people's expectations of what kids should be doing are unrealistic.

    When I was a kid, I remember we played a lot of early 1986 PC Tetris in primary school in the computer lab. Some joker changed the intro TETRIS logo display to say TESTIS on all the computers in the lab. Nobody ever bothered to change it back afterwards, so it remained there for years. :shake:
     
  3. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I've been playing around with game files for as long as I can remember. I've never put out any official mods, but little things like changing save game file names and occasionally editing character stats (if I figured out which things did what).

    But at 11 years old? The best I could have probably done then was figure out how to save game files to a diskette so I could transfer my progress to a different PC. :D
    Changing game parameters at that age is impressive.

    Young people these days are a mixed bag. Yep, they're a lot more advanced than us in some ways but at the same time if, say, their iphone starts bugging out very few of them have any idea how to deal with it or how to accomplish certain tasks without it.
    I guess it's kind of like how I'd be lost without a calculator when doing certain calculations while certain older folks would just whip out their huge stacks of data tables and keep going.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I can't remember what my first mods were. Diablo 1 and BG1 were likely some of the first games I modded by myself and, being a kid, it was mostly grossly overpowered items to live out my power fantasies.

    Speaking of high school though, our school had Quake installed on basically all of the machines, so I made a batch script that logged every time someone ran it and then force shut down Windows. I then renamed the script to Quake, gave it Quake executable's icon, and put it on the desktop, so that people would run it. Before I graduated, I checked the log and there were dozens of attempts from poor souls who thought they could play some Quake during class and ended up basically crashing the computer.
     
    Paracelsi likes this.
  5. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  6. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I scared a bunch of kids in my freshman year of high school by altering AppleWorks (Apple IIe version 2.0. Not to be confused with ClarisWorks which was renamed AppleWorks for version 5 at the end of the '90s). Whenever you saved a file, you'd get a screen as it was saving that said "Carefully saving this file."
    I altered over time as many disks as I could to say things like "Carelessly saving this file" "Recklessly saving this file" "Carelessly trashing this file" "Cruelly deleting your file", and stuff along those lines.
    Note that I could only alter one disk per day and wasn't there every day.
    Several people panicked at getting a disk that said "Carelessly trashing this file" when I was in an English class working on a paper.


    Another one that I did was on the Macintosh with Hypercard. My high school was phasing out Apple II's when I started and they were all replaced with Macs at the end of my sophomore year, which caused a couple problems with term papers as they started the replacement the week before Finals Week.
    They eventually made an implementation of "At Ease" that had poorly done security because they didn't want to take the time to make individual student accounts. All data was to be saved on disks, but they had a shared folder on the server anyways. I added a stack and changed the icon to an applications and named it "Student grades", then made copies with other enticing names of things students shouldn't be getting into like "Teacher answer keys" (with a document icon).
    The stack if opened would suddenly pop up a dialog box that said "Reformatting the hard drive will erase all data on it including the System Software. You will have to reinstall the Mac OS. Are you sure you want to reformat the hard drive?"
    With two options "NO! Don't!" and "OK. Reformat and delete everything."
    However, clicking on "No! Don't!" would play a "boing" sound that was included with '80s and '90s Macs and a dialog box would pop up that said "Sorry, this option is not implemented. Please make another selection." It would then present the above choice again. No, it did not actually reformat the hard drive, but I made it make the HD whir for a bit before putting up a fake screen of the disk with a red X as if the computer was booted without an OS on the HD (as was the norm for '80s and '90s Macs, equivalent to "Non system disk or disk error, replace and press any key" or "Disk not found").


    Another one I did in 8th grade was use the AutoCorrect or whatever WordPerfect 5.1 called it make it whenever somebody typed "Satan", "The Devil" or "Lucifer" it would replace the text with "Yes? You called?"
    I was sent to a Catholic parochial school for that year for various reasons, and because of my experience then I no longer consider myself Catholic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2023
  7. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    Actually, it wasn't that different from editing the game data files. They were unencrypted and the quantity of weapons was laid out in exactly the same order they appeared on screen, only they were displayed in hexadecimal. What I think was impressive (for an 11 year old) was figuring out the pointers to change weapons on a ship. Changing the weapon parameters on the other hand wasn't that hard as they were right next to the strings.
    It was a bit childish to change the "Harpoon" missile to a torpedo and change the name to "Photon_torpedo" and max the damage, speed and range parameters to $FF, but it WAS my first attempt to mod and I wanted to see if it did what I thought it did in a way that would be obvious. It's not like I had a set of instructions and I was only 11, and trying to have a bit of fun.
    On a more serious note I did upgrade the SH-2 Seasprite helicopters to have the smallest caliber and range guns the game allowed so that they could now attack ships, along with giving them the ability to launch torpedoes at ships by using the Tomahawk slot.
    Actually, the torpedoes thing was because I couldn't understand why I couldn't use the MK46 torpedoes against ships. My dad was a WWII buff who insisted on watching every WWII show that aired on TV and in WWII documentaries destroyers used their torpedoes against ships.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2023
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