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Anyone else feel overly picky about what hacks they play?
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Anyone else feel overly picky about what hacks they play?
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I feel like my standards are too high, for what I want out of a mario hack. I sorta treat rom hacks as like DLC/ expansion packs, wanting something close to the quality of the original game. This is obviously not an easy task lol, for a single creator.

I didnt really care when I was younger, I kinda thought most hacks were just better, because smw is old, and just the base for these games, but after I played it for the first time in a while on the switch SNES online service, I changed my mind. The level design is way better than I remembered it, which was kinda dumb of me to think otherwise. I'm also picky about stuff like the visuals/ presentation. I'm way too senitive to stuff like clashing gfx, I find myself only really enjoying mostly vanilla aesthetic hacks since they have the least amount of that. Luckily there was a hack that came out recently that is exactly what I want, but I feel I'm gonna be waiting a long time for the next one like it.

It kinda sucks, only having a few hacks that really get me excited, but I guess on the upside, I don't have a big backlog of hacks to playthrough. Maybe it would be better if I was into kaizo hacks, since they seem to be getting most the hacking focus these days. I've seen some impressive stuff, but I dont like kaizo hacks because of just the aesthetic of the levels, with the construction being like rube goldberg machines, instead of a land you're exploring. Which sadly, for me atleast, seems to be a thing in a lot of non kaizo hacks as well. What is your guy's standards for a hack? too high, or more reasonable?
I might be even more picky than you. I won't have anything to do with any sort of Kaizo hack no matter how good the aesthetics are (or the music or ASM), and even among regular hacks, a lot of them just feel unreasonably difficult in an unfun way. I liked SMW2+3, and Gamma V's hacks are of pretty consistent quality, but aside from that, hacks that I've wanted to play through are few and far between. I also tend to prefer hacks with a lot of custom stuff; I have nothing against vanilla hacks, but they don't feel as interesting and exciting. They also tend to suffer even more so than chocolate hacks from "Nintendo would never have used this in this way" syndrome, which can apply to either graphics (using SMW's original graphics to make a factory tileset, for instance, is fine, but if you're going to include that level theme, why wouldn't you just use an actual factory tileset?) or behavior (the infamous tile 1F0). Of course, plenty of hacks of any type can have that issue. I wish that The Tale of Elementia and New Super Mario Bros. SNES had been finished, and I hope that SMWCP2 turns out well (it's certainly taken long enough), but I'm also really looking forward to A Plumber for All Seasons and Extra Mario World. I'd like my hacks to feel professional, but if not that, at least not annoying.


I'm working on a hack! Check it out here.
My favorites are choconilla hacks. I'm not very fond of hacks that change literally everything, and vanilla hacks feel too uninteresting for me to want to play. I guess I could be picky?


If I was asked this a few years ago, I'd answer that I'm overly picky with kaizo hacks that draw inspiration from worldpeace's own creations. However, the advent of JUMP/YUMP really changed my pickiness. Now, I thoroughly pick kaizo hacks and hacks based on that janky philosophy regardless of the flavour, though simple vanilla hacks that are fun to watch and play are also okay in my book.
When I was really active (7-10 years ago) I used to play basically every hack that got released on the site and I enjoyed nearly everything. These days I'm far more picky, since I get bored really quickly by things that don't excite me. I've mostly been enjoying Collab Hacks lately, because they provide more variety than hacks by a single creator. I also keep coming back to certain hacks I really love (the VIPs, JUMPs, SMW Yeah).
Thinking of things only in terms of these very specific criteria would be very strange in any non-hacking context.

I'm picky about what I want to play because I'm not going to just play every random thing idly, but it's not like, ohhh it has to be exactly this one type of hack but not this one subtype whatever... it's the same as with all things, Is It Interesting

Very very very shortly, this drab, workaday world and everything in it will be changed forever! Follow us into the golden country, into the empire of the senseless!
I pick stuff to play SUPER randomly. Most times it's when it's being talked about and the context/screenshots make me curious about it. Or when I stumble upon some hack with interesting screenshots. What's interesting to me is quite hard to describe, but in summary, out of the ordinary stuff.

I rarely ever finish a hack though. Judging a book by its cover is bad!
Kinda. It could be either a yes or a no depending on the type of hack, because I have a tendency to enjoy experimental hacks and crazy unique ideas, even if they're not so well executed or whatever. This would make the answer a no, but...

I mentioned how I like hacks that try stuff you would never see in an official Mario game. And that means I'm picky towards more simple hacks, and if they try a lot to feel official and easy for beginners, I may get bored easily.

This is true for super vanilla hacks too, like the ones that don't even change palette and music, I feel excited to see new stuff, and if it doesn't have anything new other than just levels with no super mindblowing ideas or even a little ambition, I might not even feel like playing it. When I browse the SMW hacks section (in gallery mode), I tend to open tabs for whatever title and/or title screen looks intriguing to me. And I usually only feel like downloading stuff that have descriptions and images that make the hack stand out among regular vanilla.

So again, you could say I'm picky based on that, or not, based on me willing to try a lot of stuff (including some more vanilla stuff, especially right with the OLDC going on).

Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco / Rest in peace, Near, thank you for everything
While I think being overly picky is not a good quality to have because you'd lose out on hidden gems and yes, judging a book by it's cover is indeed bad.

At the same time, I understand people don't have the time to play every hack out in the sun for obvious reasons and that can be justified when a lot of hacks look, feel, and play similarly to one another. If a hack doesn't meet your personal baseline on what you want out of it, don't play them or make your own that can.

As for the "Nintendo would never have used this in this way" syndrome being mentioned earlier, in all honesty while I do see Nintendo as an authority in some respects, its not the end-all, be-all because those levels that stray from that have their own creativity shining through if level designer(s) is competent at his/her/their craft.

On Pixel Art Requests: I generally do not accept work unless I either have the time, if I see your project worth my time to contribute towards, and that is usually me doing the approaching to you on that.
-I also do not accept speculative work as I do have various art I made on-hand with me.
-I am more receptive to equivalent exchange of resources in which case, you can DM me wherever I have an active presence on for the details.
-Other times I'm availible for your project is C3 request threads I may run.

I think most people don't realize that nintendo's kind of design (at the time anyway) IS to make new enemies and gameplay elements. An "official style hack" that's totally vanilla isn't official style in the slightest, because they would never do that if they were actually developing more levels for SMW. There are multiple enemies in SMW that only show up in one room (and same with other nintendo games from this era). So if you want to make levels in the style of the original SMW, you better get coding new elements for most-to-all of them!

Very very very shortly, this drab, workaday world and everything in it will be changed forever! Follow us into the golden country, into the empire of the senseless!
Isnt that what the original SMB2 was though? I think they would do it differently, but I think it more like an alternate universe SMW, where the levels were different, instead of them doing a sequel/DLC. Also when I say vanilla, I mean like aesthetic-wise, matching the original SMW's art style. I like cool custom stuff, but that also looks like it fits in the game. stuff like SMW Yeah
I mean, SMB2 (TLL) also breaks the rule of "nintendo level design = safe" in other ways, as the new things it does bring to the table are playing on the rules of SMB1 in order to prank the player who is familiar with the first game.

Another direct example of Nintendo making new levels in an old engine is the SMB3 e-Reader levels, which... included tons of new gimmicks taken from other Mario games without changing their graphics. Sounds familiar!

Very very very shortly, this drab, workaday world and everything in it will be changed forever! Follow us into the golden country, into the empire of the senseless!
I feel like this would apply to 80s and 90s 2D Mario just fine, but after the series went 3D, the only 2D games that are Mario games (aka not Wario, not Yoshi, not DK, etc) were remakes and later the NSMB series, which while the first NSMB and arguably the second are pretty fine on the pattern of bringing new ideas to the table, the later games were all on the vein of having the same style, visually and mechanically, on top of having the same music too. In which I can totally see a super vanilla hack being "official-styled" due to those reasons.

Хуй войне!

桐生会FOREVER #ThankYouCoco / Rest in peace, Near, thank you for everything
I feel like this alot, most hacks I end up just putting down because they arent what I expected (in a bad way) or they bore me. With hacks I end up finishing the ones that pull m in from start to finish and always feel exicting. I feel like first impressions are important with a hack.

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I don't play too many hacks, which is probably somewhat due to my pickiness. There are over a thousand SMW hacks on the site, yet so many fail to interest me. I tend to avoid hacks that look like something "standard". While a standard style can certainly be executed masterfully, it is a rare occurrence to stumble upon a hack that does this. To me, most standard-style hacks are just boring, with little interesting use of blocks, enemies and mechanics. I recognize that it isn't right to judge a book by its cover (or even just the first few pages), but I can't find myself devoting my time to something I don't enjoy from the start.

Originally posted by Random Internet Name
I feel like first impressions are important with a hack.


Just to build on my thoughts a little more, I have never found myself turned off by vanilla SMW and actually tend to prefer it more than custom resources. I think there are a lot of really interesting things in vanilla SMW that people seem to ignore because they can just easily find a custom resource that suits their needs. I don't feel like there is much "exploration" of the original SMW. (Perhaps this is because so many feel there is nothing left to be found?)

I tend to prefer big collaborations over anything else simply for their variety; they tend to be far more interesting than single-author full-length hacks.
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