I have a recurring dream where it’s finals week, and I show up for my last test only to realize that I’ve forgotten to go to class for the entire semester. That’s kind of how I feel right now – a new Retrochallenge is coming around in a couple days, and I haven’t really accomplished much since the end of the last one. (Nothing I can post about, anyway – if I were writing about work-related stuff, man would I have some stories.)
I’ve been casting around for a Commodore 64 project, and I think I’ve got something good. Earlier this year I picked up a boxed copy of Questron, an old computer RPG originally published by SSI. I thought about just playing it again for the challenge, and then I thought about maybe, um, cheating a little bit, and then I got the idea: I’m going to try to write a character editor for Questron.
Now of course this means I’ll have to reverse engineer the format of the save-game files, and then write something to modify them. While I’m at it, I’d like to see if I can document some other aspects of the game, too, like how the map and tile data is stored. Since I’ve got an original game disk now, I might also try to figure out how the copy protection works (especially since most of the cracked versions of the game available on line are only semi-functional).
The caveat here is that I really don’t have any experience with that kind of reverse engineering, so I don’t know how hard that’s going to be. I might fail spectacularly. But I’d like to think I’ll be able to figure out something.