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What does "vanilla" mean to you?
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - What does "vanilla" mean to you?
Pages: « 1 2 »
I'd say it means that you've only used stuff included in LM : you can change the pallets, flip the graphics, basically anything as long as you don't insert anything custom with other tools, such as the sprite tool or block tool.
"Vanilla" means trying to make a hack implementing all of its original resources, resorting to making new palettes and modifying MAP16 tiles. I honestly like these kind of hacks more, they're fun to make, and they're not as pretentous as those that use a lot of patches inserting features from other games to cover up the crappiness within the hack. Not saying it's a bad thing, but I'm sort of "meh" about it.
I'm still not sure how the terms "vanilla" and "chocolate" were coined, or how they spread, but like everyone else, I've found myself using them all the time now. Regardless, "vanilla" to me simply means using Lunar Magic and no other tools at all. Any changes you make within LM are fair game, but as soon as you touch YY-CHR/Sprite Tool/Block Tool/whatever, you've entered the chocolate realm.

Honestly, the term is so ambiguous and we all have our own definitions for it. Eh.
I don't believe that there's a clear line between vanilla and chocolate hacks: it's more about what the hackers themselves are trying to achieve. If they're hacking SMW in the spirit of trying to get as close to ExGFX or ASM as possible within the limits of LM and vanilla graphics, as opposed to just trying to compliment a good vanilla level design through a few Map16 tricks, it's hard to call such a hack vanilla.

Test sig.
As SNN said, Anything you can possibly do in LM is what I consider Vanilla. So using BG spaces for sprite sets so you can make them into the FG is vanilla still. Using any yy-chr isnt..
Its the ice cream opposite of chocolate :D

But realy vanilla is a hack that has no outside sorceses and no ASM. The hack relies on map 16, pallets, and great level designe. SMW wasn't made with external programs, so why should we use tham?

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-another day-
To me, "vanilla" not only means "usage of LM only", but also "everything that feels about the same as the original SMW". Most of the time using tools other than LM "destroys" the feeling, though it's perfectly possible to use them and still have your hack be "vanilla" (in the latter sense).
Yeah, I'm aware that's not a very exact definition, but then again, neither is the whole vanilla terminology.

As for where the term might originate from... This, perhaps? (might be NSFW, not sure)

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Vanilla means pretty much squat to me, but I think the original intention of "vanilla" was to classify a hack as one where the creator spent most their time on level design, rather than graphics, music, or ASM gimmicks.

That was lost as soon as people started reorganizing SMW's graphics to look entirely different, because once again, graphics came into focus instead of gameplay.
Vanilla to me means that you can't have hardly any fun in hacking. Why do I say that you ask? Because:

You can't use any ExGFX

You can't use any custom blocks.

You can't use any custom sprites.

You can't use any custom music.

You can't use any edited graphics.

You can't use patches.

You can't hex edit to fix glitches etc.

It's harder to fight off Cutoffness Man.

People will criticize you just for the fact that the hack is Vanilla. (Sadly, I am one of those people, I just can't stand vanilla, sorry...)

You can't use anything custom (wait...didn't I already say that...)

People will call you lazy for not using any ASM etc.

YOU CAN'T USE ANYTHING CUSTOM! (Yeah...I'm running out of reasons...)

You can't use anything custom. (replace the term "custom" with "that I would like to use"...)


That's all the reasons I can think of. Oh wait...did I already say:
Originally posted by DarkBones
You can't use anything custom.


Oh, I guess I did...

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My New Year's resolution was to finish one of my old projects, and I didn't even remember my SMWCentral password until April. 10/10.
I actually divide vanilla into two categories.

PLAIN VANILLA
Plain vanilla means no use of custom palettes, GFX bypasses, or Map16. You also can't edit the background images. Plain vanilla hacks are perhaps the most challenging to create because you're limited to only a few themes and sprite combinations. A good example of the limitations of plain vanilla is a desert theme. To really make that work with SMW's graphics, you'd need to have a custom palette and a custom background image.

ENHANCED VANILLA
Enhanced vanilla involves pushing the original resources to their very limits. Enhanced vanilla hacks can use custom palettes, GFX bypasses, and Map16. You can also edit the background images. The desert theme that was impossible in a plain vanilla hack can be done in an enhanced vanilla hack. Just use the Underground 3 FG/BG index, create a pyramid background with the angular rock tiles from GFX19, and finish off with a sandy custom palette.

There are also varying degrees of chocolate.

CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES
The hack may have some ExGFX use, even if it's just to mix tilesets. Putting the chain part of the chain lifts from GFX05 into a copy of GFX03 in order to have rotating chain lifts in castles gives the hack chocolate sprinkles. Even just squaring off the edges of ledges and cement blocks to beat Cutoffness Man puts chocolate sprinkles on a hack.

CHOCOLATE ICING
Hacks with chocolate icing may use several ExGFX sets. It's also likely to have a few custom sprites and blocks.

FULL CHOCOLATE
Just about everything's been edited. There are ExGFX, custom sprites/blocks, ASM hacks/hex edits, and custom songs. Don't expect to even see the original game's HUD left untouched. Even if it's something as simple as a GFX edit to the item box, it won't look the same.

My first hack that wasn't a collection of blatant edits, the original Super Mario Starlight Remix, had some chocolate sprimkles in the form of sprite edits and squaring of the gray cement block's edges.

My first hack to be hosted on this site after the Great Wipe, Super Mario Starlight Remix 2.1, has chocolate icing in the form of sprite tweaks and ExGFX.

My latest project is full chocolate, but started out just having chocolate icing.

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"Experience, lad. You should learn to appreciate it."
-Kup, Transformers: The Movie 1986
My first (and only) SMW hack (in progress) would probally be full chocolate so far, everything is edited but the status bar. Yeah...NOT a good place to start unless you know what you're doing (and I barely do...)

Well, to get back on topic, Vanilla hacks are (in my opinion) probally harder to make than Chocolate, but if you ask someone who likes making them, you'll probally hear the opposite...

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My New Year's resolution was to finish one of my old projects, and I didn't even remember my SMWCentral password until April. 10/10.
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
Vanilla means pretty much squat to me, but I think the original intention of "vanilla" was to classify a hack as one where the creator spent most their time on level design, rather than graphics, music, or ASM gimmicks.

That was lost as soon as people started reorganizing SMW's graphics to look entirely different, because once again, graphics came into focus instead of gameplay.


I support this opinion, saying that "vanilla" has an intention to make people concentrate on the level design, not just Graphics and pallets.
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