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Suggestion: Base ROM section

It's a lot of fun to have custom GFX, sprites and music in a ROM hack, but it's out of reach for noobs until they've spent a lot of time learning about SMW hacking. These people could be perfectly good level designers, just not familiar with the tools yet.

Why don't we have base ROMs to make it easier for people to make themed hacks?

Few examples:
Megaman Base ROM with all the GFX and ported music from the original, and ported sprites, with a .txt to help explain where everything is addressed and how to access it in Lunar Magic.
All Stars Base ROM, this could be well utilised with SMB X like levels and custom power-ups and example levels.
Sonic The Hedgehog Base ROM. Well, not a lot of custom stuff exists for this yet, but a base ROM can be the point of making new things for others to use. It doesn't even need to have custom sprites or bosses.
You could just have a completely custom drawn and coded base ROM that's not based on any existing game at all.

These base ROMs can be updated over time with new sprites and better optimised content. You could have different collections of assets for the same game, let's say if a base ROM was just SMASSMB2 stuff and had really háčky things like Subspace, without taking up loads of space with unused elements from the rest of SMAS.

The possibilities are endless, really. You give people greater means to start building their hack where they're not just confined to Vanilla. I'd play hacks that use a base ROM since it will be fully customised level design and that's mostly what Vanilla hacks have going for them. People will still want to know how to customise more things in the ROM and there's still motivation to grow as a SMW hacker, it's just they're no longer held back from making a Chocolate hack.

Credits for the base ROM resources can be in .txt for the person using it to insert them into the hack somewhere.

Why wouldn't it be okay to have a base ROM section starter pack for new people to decide early on how to begin their hacking?

You could even literally have a fully customised and original base ROM with your own graphics, original sprites and et cetera for new people to learn with!

I'd contribute for sure.

Originally posted by Conal
All Stars Base ROM,

That would be cool for anyone who wanted to make a ROM hack of The Lost Levels without having to actually hack SMAS.

Originally posted by Conal
Sonic The Hedgehog Base ROM.

Wonder if there's any combination of resources allowing Mario to run through roller coaster loops.
Legacy custom music
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I like this idea. The themed ones are neat, and it'd also open up spaces for relatively smaller edits, like a kaizo baserom similar to what the romhack races people have going, or just a general "a lot of general fix patches have been applied" baserom.

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I think it is smart to have such a resource available, because these are things that many would want to start off their hack with anyways because another video game is a very likely theme people would strive for. Even for experienced users, this can still be an extremely time-saving way to start a new SMW hack.

I don't think, as a normal user, a section right now makes a lot of sense because those starter packs have not accumulated, but definitely a compilation thread somewhere, maintaining a list of links in the OP, would be a great way to kick it off. See how it performs, and see how it grows. I am *thinking* Resources & Tool Releases is a good fit for it.

If you have a Megaman base ROM too (it's a good example,) I think it would be valuable to include a readme that tells which ExGFX file is what, and a screenshot for clarification when a name isn't enough for someone to know off-hand. An HTML readme would provide the perfect way to format this. If music is added, the .msc file and the way it reports to Lunar Magic should suffice, though it is important the text of the file has the whole name of the game and song title for ease of use.

Also, I think that if a base ROM database of any sort is to exist, then because people submit new resources all the time to the site that fit themes like Megaman, it would be wise if the base ROM maintenance were considered a community-wide thing rather than just the choice of the creator, giving everyone an opportunity to propose and evaluate each update to ensure it is quality and kept modern.

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I do not think we need a really have a huge use for a baserom database.

I see the points and can understand the novelty of it but that's as far as it goes, IMO it's much better to just host these files all individually and just make sure they are easy to find for those who are looking for them.

My reasoning behind the thought is 1) if you are looking at patches not everything is compatible and things evolve over time so having a baserom with say Powerup patch v1.3 and you are now on v1.8 with the baserom not being updated to compensate this is a huge issue.

2) everyone has their own idea of a good baserom and that's so wildly different from each other that trying to make a good middle ground is near impossible. Let's just assume you are only go as far as ExGFX and nothing else that's fine but if everything is available separately that's just a better system in general so people can pick and choose.

3) Like Counterfeit mentioned if these were created someone would have to own them making sure they are maintained but again like the idea of the All Stars base that would require ASM if one patch updates but is not compatible with an older version of another which is depreciated already and no longer maintained itself but is present in the baserom you have a big issue of the base itself needing to stay outdated.

I just can't honestly support this idea with all the draw backs it has from just a purely maintenance stand point.