Dark Byte (creator of Cheat Engine)

September 15th, 2017
Lazy Bastard: You created Cheat Engine, the application pretty much every PC game hacker uses to hack games, and which millions of people use to apply cheats to games. What inspired you to do this, and how did it all come together?

Dark Byte: I've always liked to cheat in games. In the early days on MSX computers using POKE's and editing the code of games written in BASIC, later on 8086 CPU's save game editing (using DEBUG.COM/.EXE) and messing with open source games. Eventually I encountered tools like GameWizard32 (DOS era) and GameHack (Windows 9x era). With windows NT and later these tools didn't work anymore so I created my own tool to teach myself more about programming as well. Eventually it become Cheat Engine as you know it.


Lazy Bastard: What's something you did in the game hacking scene which you think was pretty cool, but isn't very well-known?
Dark Byte: I'm not allowed to say.


Lazy Bastard: What is your favorite code or hack of all time (by anyone)?
Dark Byte: I don't know. I'm usually satisfied with just godmode myself. But I guess hacks that bring back the console or at least the direct commands are pretty neat.


Lazy Bastard: What was the first thing you hacked for any game?
Dark Byte: Number of lives/godmode .


Lazy Bastard: What is your favorite feature of Cheat Engine, and why?
Dark Byte: There's not really just one feature I like. CE is a collection of tools and a lot of them work together with eachother.
But if I have to choose a few I'd say Ultimap(1/2) , Pointerscan and DBVM as they are more interesting features of CE.


Lazy Bastard: Who would you say influenced you the most in the game hacking scene? Who did you 'look up to' when you first entered the scene? (doesn't have to be the same person for both)
Dark Byte: Honestly I've never really paid attention to the gamehacking scene (I don't think there was any at the time I started).  All I did/do is play games and cheat on them. Then share some information about the game on the forum with those interested.
 

Lazy Bastard: Was there ever a code, hack, application, or functionality you made that you just couldn't get to work quite correctly?
Dark Byte: For some hacks, sure. A lot of my personal hacks involve having to press a hotkey to disable it right before the end of the map else the game will crash.  For me it's functioning well enough, but I could never put that online for other people (they'll complain).
For non hacking related there have been some changes in the way I wanted to do things because the system just didn't act like I was expecting or it was going to take too long to implement and not worth it anyhow. 


Lazy Bastard: Aside from the hacking and gaming scenes, how do you like to spend your time?
Dark Byte: Watch tv, go out, bike/excercise, walk my dog.  That's all.


Lazy Bastard: What is your favorite video game ever?
Dark Byte: I really can't pick one, and a list will be really long.
But the ones I like the most : Ultima series, Fallout 3, Monkey Island series, Book of unwritten tales series, command and conquer series (exluding 4), and many more (strategy, rpg, adventure).


Lazy Bastard: What do you think must happen for the game hacking scene to continue to thrive?
Dark Byte: Keep sharing information and ideas.


Lazy Bastard: One last question: if you had one thing to say to current, aspiring, and future hackers, what would it be?
Dark Byte: Stop waiting for people to teach you. Look up what you need, get ideas, experiment with those ideas, then work them out into something useful.
Also, start with small simple games.