So I've started going through my proposed race changes, and updated all references in the ROM for each. Everything it, and in some cases has given me a few characters to play with when I redo the scripting. The only real problem was with the Elowan... Their name being somewhat shorter than "Salarians", has had me refer to them as the "Salari". I will try and take another look at this and see if I can extend some of the references. Luckily, in much of the conversational text I can reword things to buy myself the few extra characters needed, hopefully it'll only be a minor canon-quibble in the end.
Whilst hunting through the ROM for race names to change, I stumbled upon a piece of text test from the original development:-
In my previous meddling with the initial briefing text, I had already worked out that "r" would insert a line break. Now I also know that "c" and "t" do something! The "c" diplays as ©, and "t" displays as an up & down arrow in the same character - generally used in game as a "press to continue text" notifier. I can't see either of these bindings being of particular use in game, butt the list of supported punctuation characters definitely will be. No semi-colons for this game!
THIS STRING TESTS IF THE NEW WRITEMESSAGE FUNCTION WORKS PROPERLY OR NOT. THIS MESSAGE SHOULD APPEAR CORRECTLY IN A WINDOW WHEN THE START BUTTON IS PRESSED PLANETSIDE. WHEN THE WINDOW IS FULL, THE USER PRESSES THE A BUTTON AND MORE OF THE MESSAGE SHOULD APPEAR. THIS IS TO BE USED FOR ANYWHERE THAT A MESSAGE COULD RUN LONGER THAN A WINDOW, FOR EXAMPLE IN THE ALIEN COMMUNICATIONS SECTION, WHERE ALIEN MESSAGES COULD BE SEVERAL WINDOWS LONG. SPECIAL CHARACTERS THAT ARE ALLOWED ARE: LOWER CASE R STANDS FOR RETURN, SO YOU CAN BREAK A LINE IN THE MIDDLErSMALL C IS c, SMALL T IS t, SMALL I IS i.rPUNCTUATION STANDARD ASCII: !+=-:?%#.,rANY ILLEGAL VALUE SHOWS UP AS A
Also, I may hijack this part of the ROM for a hidden message of my own. The kids go crazy for hidden messages these days.
After doing the race names successfully, I moved onto the mineral elements. Starting out with the fuel source "ENDURIUM+", I decided tochange this to Element 0, or Eezo. In official environments (briefings, trade centre, etc.) would become "ELEMENT0" (to fit into the character space of "ENDURIUM"), and in more conversational/informal settings (convos, discovered logs and the like) it would be replaced with "EEZO", in keeping with Mass Effect usage. So I searched the ROM and updated as necessary, and loaded it up to see the change.
That's slowed me down somewhat, so I'm going on a trial & error fishing expedition for this elusive punctuation mark!