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Editing Tips and Advice

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The following is some advice I have geared towards both newbies and experienced 94 hackers.

  • Make sure that the desk you are working at is reasonably organized and uncluttered.
  • Invest in a marble black and white notebook and a very small 3 ring binder. The notebook is good for taking notes and jotting things down such as offsets and/or hex code when you are testing something. My notebook essentially acts as scrap paper. In the past I have used real scrap paper but that gets lost easily and its unorganized. Every so often, I'll go through this notebook and circle any useful info I've jotted down and type it up into a word document and print it out. This is where the 3 ring binder comes in.
  • This absolutely goes without saying but I'll say it anyway since its the most important thing. MAKE BACKUPS AND MAKE THEM OFTEN. A good rule of thumb is to have an ISO and a backup ISO and alternate saving between them. Example: you change something, then save it to your ISO file. Once you test it and verify that it works and the game doesn't crash, save your next changes to the backup ISO and so on. I strongly suggest backups if you don't want to see all your hard work go down the drain. Once again, this is CRUCIAL.
  • This site is an excellent resource and has a lot of good info under the file editing section. By all means, utilize it, but use it as a guide, not as a crutch. Don't directly copy it without even thinking about what you are doing... use it to help you UNDERSTAND how to do something, then go about it in your own way and apply your own theories. It might lead you to a new find.
  • If you are tired and burned out, TAKE A BREAK. If you are hungry, STOP AND EAT. I've often found that my most productive stretches of hacking occurred right after a break. It also doesn't hurt to take a few days or even a week off. This works both ways as well. If you are finding a lot of things and making a lot of progress, keep at it for as long as you can.
  • Don't give up. If you are trying to figure something out, keep at it and you'll eventually get it. As Evan can attest to, I believe it took us almost 6 months to find out how to change the ice color back in the early days of our hacking.
  • Don't be afraid to question things. At one point back in the early days, where the only thing we knew how to do was change the player names and jersey numbers. If I remember correctly, I was in an AIM chat with Donny and a few other people trying to figure things out and I said "what is all that crap between the player names?" I zeroed them out and it led to the discovery of how to change the player attributes.
  • If you find something new, post it here and let everybody know about it, no matter how small or insignificant it may be. Someone else might already know how to do this and will be able to help you figure out more. Also, someone else might explore it further and It may also lead to a find.

If anyone else has anything further to add, feel free to do so.

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Very good advice Chris. I don't know why you specifically recommend a black & white marble notebook, but it just so happens my NHL94 book is that exact notebook :)

I also agree on working when you have momentum & desire & laying off when you're frustrated. I've run into several roadblocks that frustrated me. I'll walk away for a while & when I come back I work through it with no problem. One time after a month-long hiatus from my biggest obstacle so far I not only solved the problem but went through a period where I was making progress at an unprecidented pace for me. You do have to be careful though, I took too long of a break last time & until yesterday, haven't touched my project in 6 months.

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The reason I recommended that type of notebook is because I've always hated spiral notebooks. The pages rip out way too easily, the black and white notebook stays bound, although you could rip pages out of you wanted to, which I usually do once I've typed the important info and printed it out for my 3 ring binder.

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