A different visitor

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Hiya! I'm Raymie, and while I'm also a hockey fan, I'm here mostly to get some help doing a light hack of a different game by High Score Productions: College Football USA '97.

Built for the Genesis in June 1996, the engine for this game dates back to Bill Walsh College Football in 1993. CFB USA '97 was the last 16-bit college football game (only followed by a poor SNES port in late 1996).

Many of the same technical parameters apply from NHL '94 to CFB USA '97. It has the same checksum routine. Its teams have plain text headers with listed stadiums (never used). The sound is in the same format.

I'm here in case I need help. I'm already having trouble picking out the graphics (can't figure out the format in Tile Molester) and figuring out what else is in the team data besides the player information (every player is just 5 bits of information, believe it or not!). This is kind of an off-and-on thing for me, and I'm fairly new to it all, but I'm here, and that's what matters, right?

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or a link to a video or... anything more, really. this place needs more hacker to the point where I'm really excited about a nonhockey Genesis beginner, but I am excited and curious. before I sold my Genesis, I had two Bill Walsh games. I probably played them twice, collectively, for two minutes total, if at all. you like the engine, I take it.

good luck with your project and post frequently!

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Yeah, that and Arizona State is a beast in the game (I mean, heck, they made it to the 1997 Rose Bowl, so they SHOULD be!)

There are some specific long-term challenges I know will come into play:

#1. College football has expanded. In 1995, EA released College Football USA '96 (Genesis only), which had 108 teams. BWCF '95 had 36. In the offseason after 1995, four teams jumped to Division I-A and one (University of the Pacific) dropped football altogether, and College Football USA '97 has 111 teams and a partially-defined 112th filler team. By comparison, the 2015 season has 128 teams in FBS, and given the fact that this is kinda being born out of Reddit, UAB will likely be unlockable or something similar, so that's 129. (That will require a 130th team which will either be Pacific '95, if all its assets are intact, or North Dakota State.) This will likely be the first college football game to feature the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as an FBS team!

#2. The graphics format is a mystery. The player data I seem to have figured out for the most part, as its ratings and even the weight of all the players are defined by just one hex number. Believe it or not "25 3D B7 92 73" is a complete identifier for a player — in this case, a wide receiver on Ole Miss.

#3. While it looks like one or two people will be helping in this, there is also stuff we don't know. This game has the material for a hidden sound test, though disassembly help would be needed to figure out its button shortcuts.

So far, this project doesn't even have a proper name yet. But I can share a screenshot of the first text editing that has been done... (In the original this reads "Northeast LA." with the period at the end. NLU became ULM in 1999 and also is no longer the Indians.)


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