Today we have a killer, exclusive follow up inteview with December PSX-Scene contest winner CrashSerious who gives us some advice for new people getting into the development scene as well as a strong message for the Cobra and True Blue teams.
How does it feel to be the first back to back winner of the PSX-Scene monthly contest? Were you surprised? This month you once again had a huge number of votes. Is that a cool feeling to know that the scene likes and respects your work?
Back to back is a nice bonus! But it wasn’t my goal with releasing unsig-- Last month our goal was to prove a point. The point was that there needed to be better quality homebrew entered into the contest. For people to get attention they need to; fill a niche, solve a problem and or give people a new fun experience, do that and then you should get votes. one was honestly designed by the group to do just that—it was our “In it to win it” entry. Like we said last month, our goal was to get more people involved in the homebrew/PS3 development scene.
Unsig wasn’t anything near that type of entry. I wrote it in VB
.Net (I know, people will say it’s not a real language… but unsig was meant to be a quick and dirty app 5-6 months ago) and honestly never meant to be released because no one was interested, or so I thought. It was written alongside another team member doing it in C for linux (which has been released on the wiki) just to get at the sig files and peek at them because we knew what they were. I personally watched in anticipation when anonym0us released the last batch of SIG files, but it looked like no one was interested in them—or it could be his bonehead decision to put a Trojan in the exes that caused the loss of interest.
We had actually planned to NOT enter into the contest this month. We really wanted to see if one had made an impact on entries or generated any new people entering the contest or if the entries were better polished. When a little more than a week was left in the month hadn’t happened, I mentioned on IRC that we should release the unsig app and several people on IRC who had been around when I discussed it months ago seemed to be interested in it. Apparently, they had missed me discussing it. So, I polished it quickly and released it on a whim. In part because I wanted to see if someone else would pick up where I left off in reversing them and in part to just see what would happen if I released an app so late in the contest. I had no idea it would so quickly get so many votes and tie ThatOtherDev’s then second place record of 32 votes, and certainly not in roughly the first 36 hours.
But, in some respects unsig has achieved some good—an interest by some new talented folks in what they are and how they operate. Definitely, be on the lookout for them to release their findings and make sure you watch the wiki page--- heck, why not update some of the pages yourself! I know Eussnl would love to have some extra talented hands formatting the unformatted un organized stuff we put in there! ;-)
We know it takes a lot of time and effort to release something. Give the readers an idea of the process you go through when beginning a project. Do you have a list of things or ideas that you want to do or is it an inspiration kind of thing? How much planning is there before you actually begin work? On average approximately how much time do you devote on a daily basis to these projects?
Well, over 100 man hours went into one. But that’s a huge project for your first release. I’d suggest starting small like a utility or an easy homebrew game… maybe even a port of something already done on another platform.
If you want to get into it… First, if you don’t like to; learn new things, challenge your current knowledge, or feel occasionally lost and confused… skip this answer. I won’t hold it against you… but programming isn’t for you and that’s OK.
It starts with an idea after learning something that interests you, then the idea builds into something bigger and more feature rich. A word of encouragement: You’re not going to make the next greatest CFW on your first try, that’s not to discourage someone—it’s just to set your expectations. If you’re starting out in PS3 development start small. Go through the samples in PSL1GHT for example!
I saw someone else, I forget who, complain that there weren’t tools to get people started. First, tools won’t help if you don’t know C as a programming language--- but if you don’t, that’s a GREAT place to start. Tinker with some easy C examples and get the hang of the basics, get a “for dummies book”, or ask for a few links to some tutorials. PSL1GHT is pretty good about being plain vanilla C without all (or too much) “weird” C++ syntax.
If you do know C, then come on aboard!!! Next you’ll need to setup a linux environment because all the tools are in linux. However, to make things easier for people last summer I built a full and complete linux environment and put it out on torrent sites. Last I checked the torrent was still alive. Start there… don’t worry about updating it just yet till you get the hang of it.
The last thing, and this might not be terribly popular… Get on IRC, in the appropriate channel for your topic, for your discussions and questions you’re not going to get your questions answered in the forums. It will take too long to read through all the trolls and the just plain wrong answers. Get to know people on IRC from being in the channel, but don’t bug them with questions you haven’t researched. Always ask in the channel and someone is bound to help you out. And above all, lurk in the channel without saying anything and read the backlog when you get back to your PC. I guarantee you will learn a TON that way.
Now that 2011 is over, in your opinion what was the biggest advancement made in the PS3 scene?
In 2011, without a doubt it was the PS3MFW builder. An easy to use tool for people to make their own Modified Firmware! Heck, even Cobra/True blue uses it. (psst, by the way vermin @ Cobra/True Blue--- they can tell you do use it. ;-) And releasing the PUPs is a direct violation of both Sony’s copyrights and the GPL license PS3MFW was released under since you aren’t sharing back to the community the patches you make for it to modify the PUPS. That’s ok though, we’re coming for you.)
As a follow up to the previous question what if anything in your opinion was the biggest detriment to the scene? Was there anything in particular that you feel held the scene back or stifled creativity?
We think the Cobra/True Blue dongles that exchange one DRM for another are holding the scene back. Also, that the cobra/tb firmware is crippled to make sure people no longer have control of their ps3. Lastly, these guys take code freely given to the scene and with very little to no modifications and take the scene backwards to where users have to use their dongles to get the features. News flash for everyone: There is no reason they need you to use a dongle other than the fact that they can’t sell you an idea or a patch to the PUP… and in the True Blue dongle’s case--- they can’t sell you the stolen debug eboots.
Do you see anything major coming for the ps3 in 2012?
I’m positive there are big things in the works and that they will be released to further the scene throughout 2012.
For something a little less serious...no pun intended...what games are you playing now? What is your favorite game and how much time do you get to play on a weekly basis.
Serious? I’m always Crash, but rarely Serious. Games… hmmmm. Most of us don’t play games. And NONE of us on the PS3 any more. Personally, I play games on my Xbox 360 I get an hour or two in a week on average. Mainly lately, it’s been both Modern Warefare 3 and Battlefield 3 that I have been playing, but I got Rage for Christmas… but have yet to open it.
And lastly....will we be seeing more contest submissions in 2012 from CrashSerious?
You’ll definitely see more releases from both me and us in 2012. And, frankly, the fact that they are released for the scene is really all that matters to each of us. Whether they are contest submissions remains to be seen the “prize” keeps dropping month to month so there is less incentive to release solely at psx-scene. But, like I said, it was NEVER about the prizes… the prizes just funded our expenses for our current project. All without taking a dime of donations, which we are against when you have nothing to give people. Entering the contests was about driving the scene forward.
On that note, I can say that the last two entries are being used for Cobra Dongles for the group. With a little left over for the possibility that we brick a dongle… and we plan to since they brick themselves when you hack the PS3 and they notice you have modified it to get at LV2 patches. So “Operation:Mongoose” is under way and we are making progress we can recover a bricked dongle at this point which was the first priority. Like unsig, I think that the unbrick process is something most people would be unwilling to undertake because it requires quite a bit of hardware, but we will release EVERYTHING for the cobra dongle when we have it, or as it seems appropriate. However, the unbricking is only a small part of the work that is needed to be done. As we find things, you’ll see it put in the wiki.
For now, we’ll leave the Cobra/TB dingle making vermin with this message:
0x10 0xC3 0x64 0xCD 0x0C 0xCE 0xD1 0x5B 0xF8 0xB4 0xDE 0xEB 0x71 0x21 0xE3 0xA3 0x74 0x4B 0xA0 0x2F 0x5F 0xF6 0xCD 0xD5 0xA7 0x97 0x4F 0xA3 0xCD 0xF3 0x0A 0xD7 0xE0 0x55 0xAE 0x28 …
0xE2 0x60 0x74 0x77 0x36 0x56 0x10 0x03 0xE2 0x60 0x74 0x77 0x36 0x56 0x10 0x03 0xE2 0x60 0x74 0x77 0x36 0x56 0x10 0x03 0xFF 0xFF 0xFF 0xFF 0xFF…
We’re coming for you…
0x09 0x02 0x12 0x00 0x01 0x00 0x00 0x80 0xFA 0x09 0x04 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFE 0x01 0x02 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFA 0xCE 0xB0 0x03 0xAA 0xBB 0xCC …
… 0xEB 0x3B 0x01 0xF7 0x6F 0xA9 0xCF 0x3C 0xB6 0xEB 0x89 0x82 0x7D 0xE6 0x7D 0x3B
Reversing you would only enable piracy, but since everything we wiki will apply to you… we’re sure someone will get you too.
Thank you to CrashSerious for taking the time to provide such detailed, in-depth answers to our questions and for the great work being done for the scene. If you haven't checked out the winning submission unsig for the December contest be sure to give it a look.