Got a rom hack you’d like to publish but aren’t sure how to make a distributable patch for it? Check it: the process for making a patch file is 200 times easier than you’d imagine thanks to a program called Flips!
Essentially what this software does is take a clean, unmodified rom and compare it to your romhack then create a patch file that encompasses all the differences between the two roms. Voilà! A small patch with just the content you made is now available!
The software really is that easy to use but I wasn’t sure about how to do this until just a week ago. My goal is to help people realize how easy it is to make patches of their romhacks without including copyrighted content so modders feel a little bit safer making the games they dream of without eminent fear of a DMCA claim as soon as they post it online.
Anyways, let’s get into this! I’m assuming if you’re reading this tutorial you already have a romhack you’d like to make a patch for as well as a clean copy of the rom you’re using as your base so let’s jump in like we’re ready to roll.
If you haven’t downloaded and extracted Flips yet, you can get a copy here. Launch Flips.exe and click on [Create Patch]. A browser should have popped up asking you to point at an original, unmodified rom of the game you’re creating your patch for. For this tutorial, I’ll be using Super Mario 64 for rom hack so I’m going to select a North American copy of that rom in with the extension of ‘.z64’. It’s very important that the rom you use is in .z64 format or else Flips isn’t going to find it.
Next, Flips asks us to point at our custom romhack. I’m working on an Event Horizon inspired rom hack for Simpleflip’s 2019 Halloween themed hack contest so I’m going to use it as my custom file. Note that it too is in .z64 format because most tools for modifying these old games rely on that extension.
Lastly, choose a unique name and location for your patch file. I’m going to go with ‘SM64 SheeshFr Demo v1’ and note how the extension of .bps is automatically given to your patch. These are the files Flips uses to patch our clean rom later.
If everything went according to plan, we should be notified that our patch was created successfully. Congrats! You just make a legally distributable patch for your romhack! As long as you didn’t include any copyrighted material in your mod, you legally own this file and can do with it as you please.
Planning to release the next Star Road? Or are you a bigger fan of the Releasio series? Either way, send me screenshots of your rom hack and I’ll promote it on my Twitter, @SheeshFr!