Pokemon X and Y Player Builds Automatic Shiny Finder

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Pokemon X and Y Player Builds Automatic Shiny Finder

Perfect for multitasking, one Pokemon X and Y player built a hands-free shiny finder that notifies him when the game encounters a shiny Pokemon.

With a state machine and less than 300 lines of code, one Pokemon X and Y trainer, going by the online handle dekuNukem, has built a way to hunt shinies, Pokemon with rare coloration, while he is away from his 3DS.

Shiny Pokemon are very rare to simply happen upon by chance. Using a newly added mechanism that increases the rate of shiny Pokemon when successfully chain fishing in X and Y, dekuNukem decided manually fishing over and over was a bit tedious. "Why spend stressful hours trying to fish for just a single shiny when you can sit back and watch it do exactly that, at full speed, without fail, and alert you when it's done?"

With that question in mind, the shiny finder was born. He connected a micro controller to a 3DS to automatically fish and reel in Pokemon. The bottom screen of the 3DS has a different set amount of time of blackout around 11,383 milliseconds. The duration of blackout is slightly longer at 12,623 milliseconds when encountering a shiny Pokemon. A light sensor measures the blackout to determine whether the wild Pokemon is a shiny. If it's not, the microcontroller is programmed to press down, right, A to select the run away option, and then the process begins again. If the wild Pokemon is a shiny, a buzzer sounds to notify the user.

To do this, dekuNukem directly soldered wires onto the motherboard, making the 3DS believe someone is physically pushing a button. He recorded one case of the shiny finder in use. That case took 81 chains to find a shiny, but he said in other cases 50 chains were more likely, and as few as 20 chains occurred. Check out the build in action on YouTube. The source code is available on dropbox.

Source: YouTube

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that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

I kinda feel this way too, then again I just spent 2 hours chain fishing the other day just to get my first shiny. It's very taxing. If I could come up with an easier way to do it, I would sure as hell use it.

Edit:
Also, I really liked the data he came up with. Interesting to learn that at 50 tries its more likely to show up.
My first shiny was on my 9th try and my second was on my 75th or so, I thought it varied wildly.

This is ingenious! I wonder if he going to make one for the grass/ cave encounter aswell?

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

Yeah, screw that guy for using his intelligence, creativity, and real world skills to determine a way to more effectively complete a task. He should do things the way skilled gamers do them: By repeating a banal action over and over again until rewarded by the RNG. After all, that's how we rank the skill of players: Based on how many times they press a button before giving up.

Falterfire:

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

Yeah, screw that guy for using his intelligence, creativity, and real world skills to determine a way to more effectively complete a task. He should do things the way skilled gamers do them: By repeating a banal action over and over again until rewarded by the RNG. After all, that's how we rank the skill of players: Based on how many times they press a button before giving up.

And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into. I didn't say anything about "skilled" gamers, just that it feels on par with folk who use extra programs to do work they can't be bothered to do. It would be akin to using a self-developed x-ray-ish tool to sift through Magic boosters to find foil rare cards or WoW TCG boosters to find loot cards. Takes away from the random aspect.

Falterfire:

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

Yeah, screw that guy for using his intelligence, creativity, and real world skills to determine a way to more effectively complete a task. He should do things the way skilled gamers do them: By repeating a banal action over and over again until rewarded by the RNG. After all, that's how we rank the skill of players: Based on how many times they press a button before giving up.

Agree. And with the level of snark.

I wish I had an Arduino, and a breadboard. The code should be pretty simple. But I think I'd need a little EE brush up to do the wiring.

Every time I have to do a boring action in an RPG I think of a way to do this. Autoleveling with an autofire controller and strategic rubber bands was my go to, but on the handheld it is more difficult. I even bought a lego mindstorms kit to try and actually do the button pressing, but that didn't pan out. I'm not much of a mechanical designer.

Being able to program actual electrical logic, that should make this easy. He basically made AutoIt for his DS.

Cudos to that guy.

amaranth_dru:
And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into.

Ah! I think you may be laboring under a misapprehension about what is being accomplished: Shiny Pokemon provide no benefit beyond looking pretty. All the shinies in the world gives him no advantage over any other player.

Which is part of the reason I have no problem with this: He cannot use this technique to gain an edge in battle against other players.

Falterfire:

amaranth_dru:
And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into.

Ah! I think you may be laboring under a misapprehension about what is being accomplished: Shiny Pokemon provide no benefit beyond looking pretty. All the shinies in the world gives him no advantage over any other player.

Which is part of the reason I have no problem with this: He cannot use this technique to gain an edge in battle against other players.

Playing devil's advocate, he could trade shinies for quality Pokemon to people would rather not do the work for shinies and are willing to pay a premium for them...

Story:

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

I kinda feel this way too, then again I just spent 2 hours chain fishing the other day just to get my first shiny. It's very taxing. If I could come up with an easier way to do it, I would sure as hell use it.

Edit:
Also, I really liked the data he came up with. Interesting to learn that at 50 tries its more likely to show up.
My first shiny was on my 9th try and my second was on my 75th or so, I thought it varied wildly.

I think this is the what most games ultimately come to. You get to a point where you can do anything in the game and its not particularly relevant to your progression (as its just a small goal you set for yourself). In that regard I don't think it breaks the spirit of pokemon cause you'd be doing the same thing anyways, the fun lies in doing it easier and better. You see this a lot in open world games where you're given a lot of freedom. I'm playing terraria now and half the fun at the end is setting up farms so you never have to venture far from home base.

I know Pokemon's more popular than Jesus and shit but the fact that people want to find something else to entertain themselves while playing a game is quite a design flaw.

deathbydeath:
I know Pokemon's more popular than Jesus and shit but the fact that people want to find something else to entertain themselves while playing a game is quite a design flaw.

Logic: Using an RNG that can generate a really rare (REALLY) rare pokemon and someone did a non-legitimate method to getting it counts as a bad design flaw?

Gamefreak had no intention of anyone altering their game/3DS for this. How is that a bad design?

I've not touched my copy of Pokemon Y in a week or two, but the last thing I did was catch a couple of shinies. One was a shiny Volbeat, which was my very first. It took me roughly ten minutes of chaining to come across it. The second was a shiny Magikarp, because I wanted a red Gyarados. That one took me closer to fifteen. As far as I can tell, the new games have made it immeasurably easier to find shiny Pokemon, so I feel like this would have been more helpful in one of the older Pokemon games.

Now, that kid who finally found his shiny Ponyta? He sure as hell could have used something like this.

amaranth_dru:

Falterfire:

amaranth_dru:
that just sounds like it breaks the spirit of playing the game. I really detest automated players...

Yeah, screw that guy for using his intelligence, creativity, and real world skills to determine a way to more effectively complete a task. He should do things the way skilled gamers do them: By repeating a banal action over and over again until rewarded by the RNG. After all, that's how we rank the skill of players: Based on how many times they press a button before giving up.

And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into.

You do realize what game you are speaking of correct? What the "pro" players of the game you are speaking of do, correct?

Because that statement actually manages to subtract whatever number of legs you may of had to stand on, right down to 0, if not below it. I say that because:

1) Shiny Pokemon only have a different appearance. It's (in my personal opinion) a lazy way to fluff out an already bloated list of check off boxes. What little "spirit" there is exists solely in catching all the Pokemon, shiny or not. In no way does this really affect anyone or anything.

2) Pretty much all hardcore Pokemon players who actually compete in leagues use 3rd party devices. None of them bother with breeding, trait hunting, EV training, or any of that. Nintendo (and Game Freak) themselves have come out and said that as long as your Raichu doesn't know Surf and Flame Thrower and as 999 in every stat, it's perfectly fine as well. As long as the end result is possible naturally, they allow them to do it.

So yeah... two legs, gone. And here's a bonus one.

3) Yes, shame on him for being an "automated player" because he totally made an autonomous robot to play the game once he has found a shiny. Shame on him, shame! I mean, its not like there are millions of games out there that are truly autonomous, and that when you usually see that in a game it's provided by the game itself rather than through hard work on the players behalf. But shame!

amaranth_dru:
And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone

Except that it, you know, IS available to everyone. He is giving out the source code, and the hardware components could be bought on a small child's allowance.

Unless by "not available to everyone" you just mean that you don't feel like setting it up.

Terminate421:
Logic: Using an RNG that can generate a really rare (REALLY) rare pokemon and someone did a non-legitimate method to getting it counts as a bad design flaw?

Gamefreak had no intention of anyone altering their game/3DS for this. How is that a bad design?

The whole RNG bit doesn't bother me much, especially for cosmetic effects such as shiny Pokemon. Let me elucidate my point: If grinding in Pokemon was fun, then the "Automatic Shiny Finder" would not exist. My point isn't that devs should mitigate console hacks, my point is that a game is flawed if people need to do something else to entertain themselves while "playing" it. It doesn't matter if they're grinding for uber-rare accomplishments or strolling through the story, as the gameplay is the same either way.

deathbydeath:

Terminate421:
Logic: Using an RNG that can generate a really rare (REALLY) rare pokemon and someone did a non-legitimate method to getting it counts as a bad design flaw?

Gamefreak had no intention of anyone altering their game/3DS for this. How is that a bad design?

The whole RNG bit doesn't bother me much, especially for cosmetic effects such as shiny Pokemon. Let me elucidate my point: If grinding in Pokemon was fun, then the "Automatic Shiny Finder" would not exist. My point isn't that devs should mitigate console hacks, my point is that a game is flawed if people need to do something else to entertain themselves while "playing" it. It doesn't matter if they're grinding for uber-rare accomplishments or strolling through the story, as the gameplay is the same either way.

Are you interested in playing any game, even your favorite, for hours and hours and hours at once?

cursedseishi:

amaranth_dru:

Falterfire:

Yeah, screw that guy for using his intelligence, creativity, and real world skills to determine a way to more effectively complete a task. He should do things the way skilled gamers do them: By repeating a banal action over and over again until rewarded by the RNG. After all, that's how we rank the skill of players: Based on how many times they press a button before giving up.

And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into.

You do realize what game you are speaking of correct? What the "pro" players of the game you are speaking of do, correct?

Because that statement actually manages to subtract whatever number of legs you may of had to stand on, right down to 0, if not below it. I say that because:

1) Shiny Pokemon only have a different appearance. It's (in my personal opinion) a lazy way to fluff out an already bloated list of check off boxes. What little "spirit" there is exists solely in catching all the Pokemon, shiny or not. In no way does this really affect anyone or anything.

2) Pretty much all hardcore Pokemon players who actually compete in leagues use 3rd party devices. None of them bother with breeding, trait hunting, EV training, or any of that. Nintendo (and Game Freak) themselves have come out and said that as long as your Raichu doesn't know Surf and Flame Thrower and as 999 in every stat, it's perfectly fine as well. As long as the end result is possible naturally, they allow them to do it.

So yeah... two legs, gone. And here's a bonus one.

3) Yes, shame on him for being an "automated player" because he totally made an autonomous robot to play the game once he has found a shiny. Shame on him, shame! I mean, its not like there are millions of games out there that are truly autonomous, and that when you usually see that in a game it's provided by the game itself rather than through hard work on the players behalf. But shame!

Nintendo is actually starting to crack down on hacked pokemon, but to go along with that, they also made breeding 'perfect' one a realistic proposition instead of insane luck. They gave us easy ways to find perfect IV pokemon, friend safari, and gave us the tools to pass them down, destiny knot.

I can't say I blame anyone who does this.

I love Pokemon to death, but I hate everything about grinding in it. Call it cheating if you want, but I prefer to just make the Pokemon, transfer them to my DS and battle with friends. I don't have the patience for breeding the right natures, grinding for the right iv's and ev's. Heaven forbid I go looking for a shiny Pokemon.

Looking forward to when I can do that for X and Y. Come on hackers, make it happen.

Ftaghn To You Too:
Are you interested in playing any game, even your favorite, for hours and hours and hours at once?

Depends on the game. Maybe not hoursX3, X2 sounds more like me, but if we're accounting for small breaks here and there for the necessities like eating, pooping, and fighting off ninjas, then yes I've done it before. Neither often nor recently but I have moments of my life that were dense with gaming.

Besides, Pokemon lends itself well to (gasp) casual play, aside from the occasional long-ass battle. I don't understand what uberdense okaying has anything to do with using one's time more efficiently.

Considering the fact that this device only works on fishing chains, nothing else. Most of the fishing pokemon are not Gen 6, and that I can hack any Gen 5(or lower) pokemon for Shiny with my iPhone in less than 2 minutes and the games can not tell if they are hacked or authentic. It leaves very little usefulness/must have for obtaining of Shinys.

Man, I spent three days chain fishing and never even saw a shiny. I'd use this, if only to make sure I can reel in the Pokemon every time. "You were too slow!" my ass...

WHIIIIIINE goes the thread. Cmon guys, this is pretty cool. Give him some points for coming up with this! How many people do you see pulling off stuff like this? I certainly don't see it often

I have absolutely no problem with any of this, in fact it's ingenious. The problem comes when he takes it online. Using any 3rd party anything in an online space damages the experience of other players (even if it just devalues shinies). This generation has been the first where we couldn't datamine the gmaes. Combined with trading and breeding / EVing being far easier than ever, the online interaction is more satisfying than it's ever been and I don't want people to spoil it.

That said, props to him. It's a cool piece of kit made very smartly on zero budget.

While I'm not doubting the technical skill, that I do not possess, that it took to make this, I kinda feel that it defeats the point. Shinys are supposed to be a reward and a rare occurrence, not something reduced to farming for.

Baldr:
Considering the fact that this device only works on fishing chains, nothing else. Most of the fishing pokemon are not Gen 6, and that I can hack any Gen 5(or lower) pokemon for Shiny with my iPhone in less than 2 minutes and the games can not tell if they are hacked or authentic. It leaves very little usefulness/must have for obtaining of Shinys.

I finally got my first shiny in years in XY by manually chaining a grassy area. It felt fantastic to finally see one on my game for real and capture it. I was litterally bouncing in my seat. I also used to hack shiny pokemon into my Soul Silver game until I realised they were litterally worthless as I had not earned them and released them all.
Hacked Pokemon are fine so long as they aren't traded beyond your personal game, but bragging about having multiple Shinys due to hacking seems like you're missing the point of Shinys in the first place.

see this seems like a lot more work than you need. I mean he cracked his 3ds open and sodered to the motherboard. if you really want shinies without having to "farm" them isn't it easier to just hack them. I mean for the same amount of work he could've cracked into the cart and altered the code so everything is shiny by default right? I don't know much about modding but it seems like a weird round about way to go. I don't care either way. I've never seen a shiny as far as I know, I think I got lucky and got one from a wonder trade but if so it's the first one I've ever got, and I just don't care really.

I think it's great as an engineering challenge and solution, and having just done Introductory Digital Systems I actually understand what they did, but I would be against it as a gameplay tool IF it weren't for the fact that finding shinies is such a stupid arbitrary mechanic anyway. I've wasted days in previous games and found no shinies. So I'm bitter as well. But all in all well played.

This is great. More consoles and handhelds should come with the ability for players to script/automate play/controller input. Development of more advanced AI algorithms for more complex game play would fundamentally boost kids skills in real-world programming/software-engineering and possibly electronics. Even developing short macros like this will help with real world engineering problems.

If my son were to build such a microcontroller and write code to automate the collection of shinies, I would be a very proud dad.

I little against what the shinies are about i feel but it is impressive what can be done... but damn i couldn't do that to my 3dsXL i'm too fond of it :)

Falterfire:

amaranth_dru:
And giving him an advantage of using a 3rd party program/hardware peripheral that isn't available to everyone to get things that the rest of the gaming world who play the game actually have to put time and effort into.

Ah! I think you may be laboring under a misapprehension about what is being accomplished: Shiny Pokemon provide no benefit beyond looking pretty. All the shinies in the world gives him no advantage over any other player.

Which is part of the reason I have no problem with this: He cannot use this technique to gain an edge in battle against other players.

Well Shinies are to pokemon are what hats are to TF2. The rarity of them makes them valuable . I heard some players will pay good money for a shiny pokemon in trade.

Still though, kudos to this guy.

For the people telling him to hack them in: As far as I know that isn't possible yet and even if it was Nintendo/Game Freak has blocks that can mess up your game if you attempt to use them in online play making them functionally worthless.

For the people that say it ruins the fun of getting a shiny: it doesn't really. Actively looking for a shiny is boring and takes up lots of your time that could be used for something else. And tt's really a waste of time if the shiny comes out worthless with a bad nature and crap IV's
Shiny pokemon aren't really rewards either. I got a shiny sewaddle on the first day of White 2 without even thinking about it and when they are given as rewards then they aren't anything special since everyone can get one.

TimeLord:
While I'm not doubting the technical skill, that I do not possess, that it took to make this, I kinda feel that it defeats the point. Shinys are supposed to be a reward and a rare occurrence, not something reduced to farming for.

Baldr:
Considering the fact that this device only works on fishing chains, nothing else. Most of the fishing pokemon are not Gen 6, and that I can hack any Gen 5(or lower) pokemon for Shiny with my iPhone in less than 2 minutes and the games can not tell if they are hacked or authentic. It leaves very little usefulness/must have for obtaining of Shinys.

I finally got my first shiny in years in XY by manually chaining a grassy area. It felt fantastic to finally see one on my game for real and capture it. I was litterally bouncing in my seat. I also used to hack shiny pokemon into my Soul Silver game until I realised they were litterally worthless as I had not earned them and released them all.
Hacked Pokemon are fine so long as they aren't traded beyond your personal game, but bragging about having multiple Shinys due to hacking seems like you're missing the point of Shinys in the first place.

I get it, I love shinys, I've got a Cubone from the Glittering Cave. Just because I can hack them, doesn't mean I want hacked versions. I'm just saying when the bank comes in December, there going to be a ton of hacked shiny (Gen 5 and below) floating around, and shiny trading just isn't going to be the same when someone hacked that shiny instead of getting it the normal way. Those rare shiny are not going to be rare. I use to be able to trade a shiny for a legendary. Those days are over.

werewolfsfury:
For the people telling him to hack them in: As far as I know that isn't possible yet and even if it was Nintendo/Game Freak has blocks that can mess up your game if you attempt to use them in online play making them functionally worthless.

It very possibly. All you need now is a smart phone with one of the apps. In this version of hacked pokemon, the game data is not modified. What it does is you create a custom internet connection between your phone app and DS, then connect to the global trade station and the pokemon is sent to the game. For all purposes the pokemon is legit unless it has stats and moves not normally available in gameplay. The apps are called PokeBuilder or PokeCreator.

Has anyone checked the GTS since this story broke? Just reading the title made me think that the GTS is going to be overrun with shinnies in the days to come.

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