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When in life are you? What got you interested in SMW Hacking?

When in life are you?

21.4% (12 votes)
28.6% (16 votes)
26.8% (15 votes)
21.4% (12 votes)
1.8% (1 vote)
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I'm always curious about the demographic breakdown of our little hobbyist community, and I know just from talking to people that there's a huge spread ages and backgrounds. There's people still in school, both secondary and post-secondary, there's people with careers/jobs who noodle in this SMW stuff for fun, and so on.

So I've made a little poll here to gauge those demographics (without asking your age) using life milestones. If you like, you can vote and leave a blurb in the replies about what got you or keeps you interested in SMW hacking.
I'll go first, I'm well outside of university and have been working in software design for about 7-8 years. Noodling in Mario Maker 2 when it came out and finding the online community around that game eventually brought my attention to SMW hacking and the rest is history.
I'm kinda just coming back to SMW Hacking after a decent period of inactivity of about 2 years, mostly due to lack of motivation (i didn't really stop hacking but i haven't interacted with the community for a while)

As of now, i'm past college, graduated a little over 1 year ago. Currently looking for a job, and i have worked before as a software developer for about 1 year, which is still my area of interest.

My story with SMW Hacking actually started long before i became active in the community. It all started when i was a teenager, i was browsing Youtube and ended up finding videos about performing glitches, and got very interested on the topic. The first game i started messing with glitches was A Link to the Past, but later i expanded into Super Mario World and Super Metroid.
Eventually, my Youtube was full of content related to glitching games (and in fact, back then i started following some people from SMW Central, even before i actually found out about the site lol), and this led to me finding some videos about SMW hacks. I still remember the first video i saw of a hack (that got me interested) was a compilation of bosses from Brutal Mario haha.
I ended up downloading Brutal Mario as a pre-patched ROM in 2015, and played the heck out of it. Then by 2016 was when i decided i wanted to try some new hacks, and found SMW Central. I used the site for a while just to download hacks up until the end of 2017 which is when i made an account, and then got interested into trying my hands at Lunar Magic by mid 2018 (which didn't go as well as i had hoped)
Then by 2019 i saw VLDC 11, so i decided to give it a second try, and also actually started interacting with the community. This was a much better attempt, so i became an actual part of the community haha. I was mostly active from 2019 to 2021, stopping due to the pandemic and lack of motivation. But i've been wanting to get back here for a while. Hopefully now is the time i actually get back for real haha
My Youtube Channel
I graduated college to be a Portuguese teacher in 2020 and did a postgraduate degree in special education. Now, following my pursuit for education, I'm recently enrolled in yet another college to teach basic computer science. It's tough, yet I'm digging it so far. I didn't get a new job yet, though.

My story with SMW hacking started is actually very scarce in my mind lol, but it dated back from when the dead Orkut existed and there were communities about Mario games. I stumbled across one of those communities and submitted a hack that I now see it was a complete joke (I was a kid and the year was 2008 so cut me some slack). I also watched ancient creators' playthroughs of ancient hacks, which increased my interest even more and eventually drove me here.

Nowadays, I'm not creating hacks too often as I'm a busy boy, but sometimes something comes up. Hopefully I may be fully back at some point.
Well I've been ROM hacking for over 20 years now. I started in high school, out of sheer excitement that I was able to edit one of my favorite all-time games and play new levels from others.

For a time I had wanted to become a professional game designer and studied it in college, and continuing to make hacks helped keep my creativity going.

While I don't currently work in gaming, I've worked in software quality assurance for 16 years. I think creating and testing hacks has helped to give me a good eye for detail and bugs, and that has translated to my professional career.

I keep coming to ROM hacking because it's one of the only outlets I still use for to express my creativity. When I was younger I used to do other things like write short stories or draw comics, but ROM hacking has always been the most accessible. Even with a 30 year old game like SMW, there are still a lot of cool new resources being released to create fresh ideas.
Started hacking in "middle school" at age 10, joined this place at 11. Now I'm 23, a civil engineer, and am currently getting a master's degree in structural engineering. I started living away from my parents and family and handling my own expenses this year as I had to move to get this degree. Before that, I worked half a year as an intern and some 5-6 months more as an employee in an engineering office, but I'm pursuing an academic carreer. Or a programmer carreer as a second option. An engineering carreer interests me a little less than these two, lol. Thankfully my research is very programming-oriented.
I first found SMWC in maybe 2014 or 2015 when I was in elementary school and used a family-shared computer. I had seen both SM64 and SMW hacks in videos and was trying to get into SM64 hacking (which never ended up happening). At this point I didn't engage with SMWC and didn't make an account until much later. My interest in hacking declined when Super Mario Maker released and I made my first playable levels. SMM allowed me to slowly develop my level design skills and experiment with a few things.

My hacking interest did not really return until 2019 when I saw a video on the best SMW hacks and decided to try and play them. I learned to use Lunar Magic when I started making a Mellow Mode of Yoshi's Strange Quest and made an SMWC account about a month after my interest had been rekindled. From there I began to involve myself in a few different projects and started making levels. I never ended up going back to SMM and did not find myself all that interested in SMM2, which released just when I was getting into SMW hacking.

I am now almost finished with high school and plan to study Geographic Information Science. Presently SMW hacking is my primary creative outlet and I hope I will have the time to continue doing it in the future. Regardless of what happens in the future, it is really neat to see how much I have grown as a player and as a level designer from the level sketches I made in notebooks to SMM to now.
I have always been a fan of SMW and Romhacking in general so I've known about the site for a long time. I only really started getting into the site when I started working on my own hack!#smrpg#tb{^V^}
Its been a long day, chill a bit
I've known about this scene since I first got on the internet around early YouTube times. I tried out hacking stuff in my early teens, didn't get very far.

I've been working on games for the past three years and, while I've had some successes, working on games from scratch has been tiring on top of my other obligations.

I'm a bit more patient and wise when it comes to game making nowadays, so I've been really enjoying messing with level editors and making stuff with a quick turnaround. So for the time being, I wanna make some hacks and see where I get. Very thankful that these communities are still going strong!
How I got here:

Back in mid-2013 (at the age of 12), I had recently started my first YouTube channel and was doing a series where I made videos analyzing Marble Hornets and other weird/creepy things on the internet that interested me. Those videos were absolute garbage by today's standards (and most of them I've unlisted or had to remake), but I actually gained around 30-50 subscribers doing them and had a couple of pretty loyal commenters.

At some point, I found out about the MARIO creepypasta hack and had gotten some requests to talk about it for the channel. I originally only registered on SMWC to interview people, learn more, make sure I had my facts straight, etc - But I ended up getting frustrated at the fact that some of his files are deleted and unrecoverable, which discouraged me so badly I gave up on the video and eventually put the entire channel/series on the backburner. I was a bit of a drama queen at that age.

Regardless, in just those first few weeks of me being here, I ended up falling in love with the community and stuck around for far, far longer than I initially planned. There were (and are!) so many amazing people, and just the whole concept of basing a community around investigating a game and making something new out of it is kind of incredible. I ended up never fully leaving, and here I am today.

Funny thing is, I've still never actually played the original SMW.

Where I'm at now:

I'm currently in my fifth (and hopefully final) year of college at a state university, majoring in Engineering Physics. It's insanely tough, and I'm very much not a fan of the way my professors tend to teach, but I still usually have fun learning it (even if I feel like I'm teaching myself everything most of the time). I'm really not sure what I'll do with the degree if I can pull through and complete it, though. Probably something in engineering, but I'm not sure.

Funnily enough, ten years after my first miserable attempt at making that M A R I O video, I became inspired to finally make a documentary about the story, which blew up more than I expected and totally re-ignited my passion for YouTube. I've been consistently making videos for the channel since then, and honestly I think I'd much rather make content for a living than literally anything else.

My story is so weird, lmao
The handomest people in the world are ones who follow my Twitch
wow, surprised about the poll results lol. i was thinking most of us would be post-college
Originally posted by teezy jumps
wow, surprised about the poll results lol. i was thinking most of us would be post-college

Most people in post-college lives are probably too busy / focused on their careers to have time for this site. If we counted inactive users, though, then I'm sure that post-college would win by a landslide.
The handomest people in the world are ones who follow my Twitch
What got me into SMW rom hacking? It's a long answer. In late 2018 I was trying to a groundbreaking sonic romhack, I failed miserably though since the best tools for sonic romhacks didn't quite work on my old toaster oven pc nor did I spend hours making them like how I do smw romhacks as I was in my childhood heyday back in 2018-2019 and spent time with my (used to be) friends. But in the fall of 2019 I got into Mario via Mario 64. I dabbled around in other Mario games until I came across smw, from prior knowledge I knew that this game could be changed via romhacking. The thing was that I knew of no other smw romhacks at the time and thought that the tools for smw romhacking were limited as heck like the tools for sonic romhacking. Damn, it's crazy to think how far we've all come and for me personally how many good hacks I've made that never saw the light of day.

My Favorite Albums For You!! (Spotify Links).

W3Schools W3Schools W3Schools W3Schools W3Schools W3Schools

As Of 6/19/2024.

Outside of growing up on SMA2, I probably got into the scene entirely through music. I had seen some Mario Paint Composer videos back in the early 2010's, and some years later caught onto SMW custom music videos, classics such as RS2 Last Battle and such. Several years after that I'd occasionally see streamers playing SMW hacks, and some of the songs (especially from RednGreen) drew me in. Finally in 2020 I started peeping the SMWC music section, and eventually learning how to port (I was mid-college at the time), officially registering and submitting my first ports in early 2021.

I've had a grand old time since, and have just graduated college this past May, and have been working as a Software Engineer since, which hasn't been too bad. Won't stop my passion for music from spilling into every possible avenue, this included, haha.
embed fail!!

Post-college, yes. Working, no, at least not currently.

I'm pretty sure that I got into SMW hacking when mentioning on GameSpot that I wanted to make my own video game levels. I don't remember how or why I registered there, but I assume it was after I'd been using their game guides. That was only 3 months before I registered on SMW Central. What keeps me interested...well, I guess I still think it's cool to make my own levels and create resources that people can use, and I feel like I should finish at least one hack before I retire. I would like to get into homebrew and/or more modern game development after or in addition to ROM hacking, though.


I'm working on a hack! Check it out here. Progress: 64/95 levels.
I have long known the SMW romhacking scene since I was young, with letsplays being my biggest exposure to the scene in general. I started getting interesting in this site when I first learned how to use emulators and patch files, which led me to this wild ride of an adventure.

Flash-forward to today, I’m at high school and this place is still pretty cool to me.
Damn, no option for unemployed since grade school

anyways, the reason I'm somewhat interested in SMW hacking is because I literally just needed a background for a fake SMW custom music video on youtube and I wanted it to have the title screen animation. I then proceeded to spend three hours trying to import the cover art of the game who's music I was remixing without issue. Someone created an ASM patch specifically for me that just forced the title screen to accept a custom palette.
Originally posted by NovaDelta
Someone created an ASM patch specifically for me that just forced the title screen to accept a custom palette.

Wait, couldn't you just change the palette normally through the palette editor? How does the patch work with that intent?
I heard about it from my cousin back in high school in 08. He wasn't into it but he heard hacking was a thing...I didn't have internet so I used the school computer and found FuYoSa's site and got Lunar Magic. I already had ZSnes and a SMW rom so I was good to go. 6 months later I googled a question about custom title screen movements and stumbled upon this site. Here we are 15 years later
Paul '96
I learned about SMW hacking (and Mario in general) through YouTube growing up (like in these videos). Though, I was pretty young at the time, so I didn't know where one would even begin to create Mario levels.

Eventually, I toyed around with stuff like Platform Racing 2 and Roblox, but they weren't what I was looking for. It wasn't until years later when I found SMWC, and a couple years into college to register. Tinkering in Lunar Magic sparked my interest in level making again, and the rest is history pretty much.

Nowadays, I don't have the time to work on a full-fledged hack (college/life stuff). But maybe one day, I'll be able to publish one or two when it's done. (Maybe I should start by releasing a demo first lol.)
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