SMW Hacking has come a huge way since those years ago, before many of us started, when all we could edit was level design. Now we have overworld edits, custom palettes, ExGFX, HDMA, Custom Music, ASM Hacks, Custom Sprites and more. These are great advancements for our world of SMW Hacking but they do have a dark side. Now that these are readily, and in some cases, easily available to implement, the bar has ben raised so all anyone with a simple hack gets an "It looks good but add some ExGFX, ASM and HDMA then it'll be great."
That's the problem. Unless you can pull off many of the above techniques, you are destined for mediocrity, despite what everyone says about level design being the most important aspect. It's only semi-true. I could create the most interesting, most awesome level that we have seen so far level design-wise and yet it wouldn't be that
great unless I added ExGFX and probably more.
That's the problem I see. With these accessible, we now can all add them. Soon our hacks may be snazzy, but they'll all seem familiar. The last frontier we hadn't conquered had been Custom Music but with that now achieved, there's no where else to go but to try and excel at the areas we have now. Some will, others won't, but in the end, the hacks will be nothing more than different takes on the same hacks, over and over.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy playing these hacks as much as everyone here but I'm discouraged now by how high the bar has been set. To me, (and this is going to seem like a shameless plug to try and invoke interest among you all to look at my hack, sorry if it does...) I'm creating some very interesting things and yet I get very little recognition and I think I know why. I'm not able to use ASM, HDMA, barely custom music, I need my ExGFX pre-made, overworld design isn't my strong-suit; I'm just another hacker that looks like I'm doing something interesting. But without these advanced techniques, all I'll continue to get is, "It looks good but add some ExGFX, ASM and HDMA then it'll be great."
And so, I think I'm going to go into semi-retirement from SMW Hacking. It's not holding my interest like it used to. I haven't touched my Shyguy hack in two weeks or more. And my first hack, Super Mario Eternity, I haven't touched that in 4 months. The bar right now is too high, we are too unaccepting of mediocrity, and I'm moving to something with a little less expectation for amazement.
I'm starting up Super Metroid hacking. It's tougher than SMW Hacking but more satisfying in a way. I hope I can stick with it and not give it up in a month...
I felt that I had to talk about this somewhere. Just some observations of mine for you to mull over as you hack. By no means am I leaving the community; I'm just done for now joining you all in creating another SMW hack. Perhaps I'll make my two games open source like B.B. Link did... Either way, it's about time I said what I just did. It's been floating around in my head for some time now.
Well, See You Next Mission, I guess.