Today we conclude one year since the member of the moth tradition was revived by Camerin and myself. We had several difficulties keep this running, but we were able to maintain it for twelve months and we will keep it like for the upcoming months as well.
That said, the selected member and staff member for November 2012 are Underway and Hadron respectively. Underway if a really remarkable hacker, he won the last 2hoSMW contest and if a good user in general. Hadron is a remarkable hacker as well, and a very potential staff member and hack moderator. The interviews were made by Camerin and me, as always.
Originally posted by Underway's interview
1. What got you into SMW hacking?
I started SMW hacking at around 2009, because I saw my at that time favourite Let's Player play Kaizo Mario World and since I've been a big fan of the few Mario games, which at that time were Mario Kart for the GBA and SMW over at a friends place, I decided to try it out myself. The only problem was that I thought that making a kaizo hack would be a good idea, but luckily that thought didn't hold on too long.
For some reason it took me another year to find SMWC and almost another year to start using the forums.
2. By looking at your profile, I can see you have worked on several now canceled projects. Care to tell us a bit about them?
Actually that's not all of my projects, there was one before all of them which was my first level where I didn't even know that I could insert objects and sprites with a right click and inserted all of it through the insert manual function. And to top it of it was a kaizo level, with everything there is to a bad kaizo level. It had a very badly and unfair hidden P-Switch you needed, a Muncher labyrinth and a kaizo trap. Sadly I don't have a ROM of it around anymore, would be pretty interesting to see again.
As you can probably guess, this was cancelled after one very short level. I then started watching tutorials about hacking for about half a year and that helped improving my hacking skill a lot.
My second hack was way better then.That one was Mario's Holiday (or Mario's Urlaub, the original german title), which already had custom sprites, custom music and ExGFX. The super awesome story was just about Mario making holiday at an island and Peach getting kidnapped. It was one world long when I decided to cancel it and start a new hack.
The third hack then was Bowser's 101 Islands which is the first hack I actually showed screens of at SMWC. One of those is the screen in my first post. This one had the main concept that Mario wanted to steal Bowser's magic wand or something like that and it lasted for two worlds. At the moment it is the longest Hack I made. I also started drawing my own ExGFX for the first time in this hack. Of course they weren't the best, but it was something to build on. The whole thing ended like most of the other hacks I cancelled, I felt like I could make a better hack.
Then Super Mario Moduru (Modoru is japanese for god if I remember correctly, sadly that wasn't the best word to describe the hack xD). It was the first time I used HDMA and it was the shortest living hack out of all my serious attempts. I didn't even finish one single level for it and the reason for that is that I found my potential for choconilla hacking when I got bored of all the ExGFX I made for the hack ( yes, this hack was supposed to only have graphics I drew in it) I just decided to try making a choconilla level and it turned out pretty good and people gave me good feedback, aside from telling me to use less decoration, which has been the most used criticism in my hacking carier.
Lynnes probably was the biggest inspiration I had at that point and his work motivated me to try the choconilla style and the very busy look of the levels out myself and it worked really well for me. I liked it and most others did, too. That then led to the instant cancel of 'Super Mario Modoru'.
Then came Choconilla Paradox, the precursor of my current hack. It was my first hack using only the choconilla style. It also used VWF dialouge, which made it pretty impossible to use HDMA, sadly. The hack got quite a lot of good feedback and that motivated me for some time. I released one demo of it at this years C3 in spring and then I caried on until this summer.
The funniest thing about that is that I started and cancelled the hack in Greece while on holiday for two weeks and the two holidays were almost exactly one year from each other. The reason why I cancelled it was because I had just started to use Layer 3 ExGFX successfully and once again felt like I could make a better hack once again. And thatís how Choconilla Rise started.
3. Tell us about your current hack: Choconilla Rise.
Choconilla Rise (earlier called Choconilla Supremacy) started around 3 and a half months and already is viewed almost as often as Choconilla Paradox was after one year.
In this hack I have the highest aesthetic level I ever had. It uses almost no message boxes, in order to make HDMA and Layer 3 BGs possible, cluster sprites, custom music, custom sprites and lots of other things I canít all name at the moment.
Quite some people seem to like the hack and some even see it as an inspiration. That makes me really happy and makes me wanít to work even harder in order to release this hack as soon as possible.
Of course I kept the busy look I also had for Choconilla Paradox, but this time I heard no negativ criticism on that at all and that shows me that sometimes you just have to work on your style as long as you have to in order to make it look like something great and that you shouldnít always listen to criticism, especially if itís about something you like as the creator of an hack, because it matters more if you donít like the hack than it matters if others donít like it. As you can see I cancelled all the hacks before this one because I didnít think they were the best I could do. This time I feel like I canít raise to a higher level anymore and that makes me both happy and sad as well.
4. Your levels have a very notable style aesthetically speaking, they seem to follow this "choconilla" way of giving new uses to the original GFX and combining them with custom ones. What inspires you to design your levels this way?
I think it's a that interestig style for me because it combines the creativity needed for vanilla hacking and the huge freedome of chocolate hacking. Both in combination offer an enormous amount of creativ uses. And creativity is exactly what makes levels look special. There also is the aspect of trying to compliment the original games graphics as much as possible so it feels like an expansion of the original tilesets rather than some unfitting extra GFX.
5. Finally, how do you feel about your recent victory on the 3rd 24hoSMW contest?, and what advises would you give to other hackers?
I'm very happy about my placement in the recent contest, although I don't feel like it's a huge victory since it's more of a smaller contest. I'm quite amazed about what I did there myself though, because I never thought that I would be able to create a level that would place 1st in that little time. Especially because I think that I'm a pretty slow hacker. I guess for contests motivation and ideas are just exploding in my head which is something I'm more proud of than that I actually won.
As for my advice to other hackers. I think you just have to stick with your style if you like it yourself. I didn't change my style, although people told me that my screens where way too busy, but I liked it myself and extended on it and got better and better. So if you belive that your style or idea has potential, stick with it and don't always listen to other peoples opinions. At the end it's you who decides what you want to change and it's you who has to like your hack.
So to finish this, thanks for the staff for picking me as MOTM, it's a huge honor for me!
Originally posted by Hadron's interview
1. How did you discover SMWC? How did you spend your time here when you originally joined?
Like many other people, I found SMW Central through a YouTube video (this particular one, to be exact). The way I discovered SMW isn't that generic, though. Frankly, I haven't even heard of SMW until around February, 2008. A friend showed it on his Xbox using the snes9x emulator, and since I've always loved platform games, I had to give it a try. After finding that video and the site, I was a lurker for a long time, almost a half year. I occasionally visited the site to download hacks and check out stuff (I remember learning the usage of LIPS was quite a challenge too...). I remember I visited the Forums a few times, but they almost looked "scary" to me back then (which is quite understandable, considering that I had almost zero English knowledge).
In October, 2008 (holy cow, has it been really more than 4 years already...?!), for some random reason, I decided to register on the site. Maybe I just wanted to give the forums a try or just wanted to learn about adding music to SMW levels...I'm not sure. In the first few months I didn't do anything particular (well, you can check out my first posts - I dare you), until January 2009, when I actually started hacking. And since then...welp, I still frequently visit the site and all that stuff.
2. It has been more than a year since you joined staff. Do you think you have made a positive impression on SMWC on staff?
Heheh, I definitely hope so! I admit, I'm not the most active person on the board nowadays, but I think I'm somewhere on the top hack moderation-wise (at least, considering just the amount of hacks I moderated...). I just really hope quantity doesn't go over quality in my case. I try to be as helpful as I can, though.
3. Do you have any hobbies, interests, and other activities from your real life that trickle into SMWC? Conversely, have you developed any SMWC hobbies that have found their way into your real life?
Oh well, huge question about a huge topic. My love for platform games has defintiely led me to SMW, and after finding Lunar Magic, they were like, the perfect source and tool for me to jump into level and game designing. I remember we used to make some silly Game Maker games with my brother, so building and creating new stuff wasn't exactly new for me.
As for things that continued in the real life...well, definitely, if you count English knowledge too (and I think it's the most important one)! A really good comparison: when I joined, my English was worse than anybody else's, but 3 years later, I got 90% on my final English exam (and no, not because of those 2 English lessons per week.. ). SMWC has been thus far the "most useful" site I've ever joined in this meaning, and it's definitely a great thing!
But for "real" hobbies and activities...well, there are so many fields that could be connected with SMW hacking (like music, spriting, coding etc.), but I haven't really "broke out" yet. We'll see what the future brings.
4. You may have already answered this, but where does the name Hadron come from? Do you think you will ever change your name?
Oh yes, there were too many threads about this question, and I think I've already answered this a few times (but I always like to tell it, nonetheless).
I always liked Physics and scientific stuff. I remember my father once talked about "things smaller than atoms". I was about 14 years old, and I thought the topic was really fascinating. The names of these sub-particles (leptons, hadrons) sticked into my mind and when I wanted to change nickname, I simply used one of them. I still kind of like it, though for some reason I get annoyed if people use it in real life (fortunately not many people know it, so.. ). I don't think I'm going to change this nickname for a good while, at least not while I'm still on SMWC.
5. What do you think the future holds for you at SMWC? Will you continue to stay on staff?
The awesome and friendly community, the new tools and resources for SMW hacking will keep me here for a good while, I'm sure of it! I'll definitely finish my current hack, which isn't going to be done in a few days, which means that also "binds" me here. I enjoy being a staff member, and even if I can't be as active as before (university duh), I hope I can still be a useful part of the team.
Yay, Undie! Fantastic to see you finally get what you deserve. You've been so helpful and just a really friendly guy for such a long time. You also are one of the best hackers around here. I'm so happy to see you get your reward now. Keep it up! ^_^
Hadron, too, definitely deserves the SOTM status. He's been really busy here, and for quite a while too, now. Keep on rockin'!
You two really deserve this! Underway, you are an great inspirator, making creative levels and stuff, and a nice guy generally. I learned alot about life from your ASM tutorials! And Hadron, I've always liked you, you cheer everyone up and is really helpfull. Damn, I'll never forget Mario in Japan!