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Hacking the Trivial: Governor of Poker game

During the nine-hour plane ride from Amsterdam (after the 1.5 hr flight from Vienna) to Dallas, I figured out how to increase the amount of money you have in the game the Governor of Poker by flipping a bit in the save game file.

I did this because I’ve had a little trouble with the game. It’s a cute Texas hold’em game in which you progress through Texas based on your winnings. Quite possibly because of the oddities of my system, the game several times acted as if it had lost the save file. So, now I copy the save file after every game. But I also was annoyed at having lost the three or four days of “work” acquiring a lump o’ cash. (Please note that in this game, you play against the computer for purely fictitious money. Also, it’s a Windows game I’m running under VMware on my Mac.) So, I spent time on the plane figuring out which bytes in the save file encode the amount of money you have in the game.

So, here are some rough instructions on how to do this. Or, quite likely, totally screw up the game.

The save file is “GovernorOfPoker.sol,” which will be in something like: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Desktop\E4VWWMXNC:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\TS2J3QVB\localhost. Make a copy of it and put it somewhere safe.

Did you remember to make a copy? You’re about to edit the save file, and a single wrong byte can trash it.

Get yourself a hex editor. PSPad is free and works well. Open up the save file in it. (Did you remember to make a copy first?)

Look for the word “money” towards the end of the file. The byte you want is 3 bytes after the end of that word. In the version I have, the key byte is #7959.[LATER: The file size changes as you play the game, so there’s no predicting which byte is at issue. Instead, go to the end of the file and look backwards for “money” or “m.o.n.e.y”, depending on how your hex editor displays it.] Change it to “A” and you’ll have something like $3,000 available. Change it to “F” and you’ll have over $100,000. But I haven’t experimented enough to know exactly what the rules are. There’s clearly another byte or two involved in recording the amount. So, you have have to do some experimenting.

Also, did you make a copy?

By the way, on the plane I also watched “Vantage Point,” which just gets more convoluted and less believable with each iteration, plus an hilarious episode of “Frasier” in which Daphne asks Niles to pretend to be her husband to discourage an old flame. [Tags: ]

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