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A little update to the Hack Submission Guidelines :)

heyy

i would like to note that, as of november 19th 2023, we will now be asking hack submissions to abide by the following hack moderation core value:

Originally posted by Hack Moderation Core Values
Authors should make an effort to credit resources used
If you use resources from the community, you should make a good effort give credit to the authors of those resources, this includes things submitted to the site as well as off-site resources that have known authors.

What we look for in included credits:

  • Either a formatted text document or in-game credits (you can do one or the other, you need not do both).
  • That good faith effort was made to include all authors of resources used.

When you can leave things out:

  • If an author states that credit is not necessary (if it is unclear, we recommend going with crediting them).
  • If you have an appropriate reason to not include an author in your credits.
  • If the author of a given resource is unknown.
  • If the resource is a Tweak (hex edit) since it is a very minimal change.

Including credits is a good way for resource makers to know the impact of their contributions and for hack makers to acknowledge that. So we recommend providing as detailed credits as you can.


the hack submission page has already been updated to accommodate this change. current waiting hacks will be grandfathered in, although we would highly suggest if they are missing credits for their authors to go back and add them properly. we will reserve the right to reject hacks that make no attempt at crediting any resources used for any new waiting hacks.

thank you! 🐎🤠

Edit: put the updated text in the announcement for visibility.
Re: "at-minimum, a plan text file" and "extend this to in-game credits" is this meant to imply that a text file will always be required or are in-game credits on their own acceptable? I myself have avoided including extra files with my hacks but I always make a point to make my in-game credits immediately accessible from a new file.
It should be read as: "if you don't want to make extensive in-game credits, then the least to do is put some names in a plaintext file". If you have in-game credits that's fine, you don't need to do both. In either case a good faith effort to credit folks is to be expected.

To what level of depth you go into is up to you for this credits file, but it can be as basic as:

Code
Music:
    Iggy, Larry, Wendy

Graphics:
    Ludwig

ASM:
    Lemmy, Roy


That said, the more detail the better such as including what the resources were or a link to them (if it's something publicly available on the site) would be ideal in case others want to source things for themselves, for example:

Code
Music:
 - "Port Title" by Iggy - <link to resource>
 - "Port Title" by Larry - <link to resource>
 - "Port Title" by Wendy - <link to resource>

Graphics:
 - "Resource Title" by Ludwig - <link to resource>

ASM:
 - "Resource Title" by Lemmy - <link to resource>
 - "Resource Title" by Roy - <link to resource>


The goal here is to help form good practices so that resource makers could be aware of how they contributed to works that get submitted to the site, which as been more or less an honours system up until now.
I appreciate this finally being a proper rule. Seeing Barb not credit everyone he took resources from was pretty disheartening, especially after I painstakenly credited every person I could in ~omh~ after the public beta that was released.

Though,
Originally posted by new rule
current waiting hacks will be grandfathered in


does this mean Barb doesn't actually have to do it since his hack was already waiting by the time this rule was made? Unless it's rejected, he doesn't even have to do it. (Silent updates are a thing)
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For transparency, Grand Poo World 3 was the impetus for this change as concerns were raised with and among staff about the lack of sufficient acknowledgements to resource makers here given all the public resources used in that project.

That said, it would be unfair to enforce a policy (i.e. reject submissions) on projects submitted to the site before the policy was introduced since they wouldn't be aware of it at submission time.
Weird change if I'm honest
Crediting people was always an optional thing to do, and now you're forcing every hack submitted to credit people just because one "big" hack didn't do it? This change is so sudden that it looks like it was pushed only because one or two people were whining their names weren't in the hack. Who cares if Barb (and I say this as someone who doesn't even care about Barb and/or his hacks at all) or anyone uses resources without crediting when they're publicly available for everyone to use, for free. This is a hobby, you're not getting or losing anything if your nickname is or isn't in a hack's credits. I understand not doing a minimal effort to credit people is shameless (in the end, I believe most people do it for courtesy, including myself), but completely forcing it is ridiculous.
Hobby or no, the responsible thing to do is to acknowledge the work of other people when you make derivative works or use their work as a piece in a whole and being publicly available doesn't mean you lose all entitlement to credit either; some people say credit is not necessary and some say nothing on the topic, but others do request it. Making the most basic set of acknowledgements is an affirmation of mutual respect between hack makers and resource makers--that is what people get out of it, the message: "I acknowledge your work was valuable to me in the way that I used it."

This change is not because "oh the one big hack didn't do it" but because of its prominence as a release it is drawing attention (beyond what was said in the comments section) to the fact that that addition to the guidelines is long overdue (as it has come up before but to a lesser degree). Enforcing a minimum standard for credits ensures those who are seeking credit, get their due and, as said in reply above, makers get to find out how their stuff is being used. It's a formalization of a relationship.

It is not mandating extensive in-game credits be in hacks either, because that is unreasonable, but it is not an excessive requirement that makers keep track of things they used (or just who's stuff they used) in a project in a txt document or what not to include with a submission.
Originally posted by Ayami
one or two people were whining their names weren't in the hack.

as someone who wined about it without even knowing if my stuff was in it or not, I don't think that's entirely accurate. :)

This is a big deal with streamers due to their monetary gain, much like how a lot of spriters resource artists got uncredited when used in Dorkly's animations.
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To weigh in my thoughts...

While I am not against this change because I do think it is good practice to credit the makers of various assets and resources you use for your projects, such formalization of a previous norm that needed to be done at all I feel is just unnecessary. My reasoning for why I think such is because from my observations of the myriad of fan projects I have seen over the years I've been on the Internet, most fangame and ROM-Hack makers have been generally good at crediting the authors of said assets that go into the making of whatever fangame and ROM-Hack project that is being developed, especially for things like custom music, original (and sometimes ripped) graphics, and custom code used since they require the effort, creativity, and time to make.

The act of crediting is something that is very much already a strongly implied norm that has been a thing in this community since its inception, as well as many other communities dedicated to developing fangames and ROM-Hacks. That is why I didn't think a rule like this needed to be made formalized in the first place but is because of how the site has been stress-tested with the release of GPW3 made by Barb, and whom I assume does not share the same kind of values SMWC has.
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Originally posted by SF - The Dark Warrior
That is why I didn't think a rule like this needed to be made formalized in the first place but is because of how the site has been stress-tested with the release of GPW3 made by Barb, and whom I assume does not share the same kind of values SMWC has.

While I know there are people just treat SMWC as a platform rather a community, I think "When in town, do as the Romans do" makes sense. They may have diffrernt core values, but if they want to interact with a plece where they have their own core values, they should at least respect it.

And I can understand you think the rule sounds weird, because it's more a morality thing.

*Jusy my personal opinion, I am not involved with SMW Hack moderation
I personally always have credited but I think it's bit much to force it, as it can be hard to remember exactly what assets I used and what I never ended up using or used something at some point but removing it later, in Yash I just listed people under categories (blocks/sprites etc) and even that was longass list, if I put in every single thing I used along with the names it would have been three times longer.
I appreciate the change.
I've always thought to be of good practice to credit people for their work, regardless of the contribution being big or small, but now I see that sourcing the site resources used in a hack makes things very convenient for everyone. I don't mind doing that extra step myself from now on.
All this made seem weird/pointless but formalizing unwritten norms sometimes is a good thing actually. We (the SMW Central community) know what good practices are, but in recent years there's been a great deal of contributions to the community (in the form of published hacks) from outside the community, so it does help to put our flag down on some of these core values. As  Nanako points out SMWC is more than just a publishing platform for hacks.

Originally posted by SF - The Dark Warrior
how the site has been stress-tested with the release of GPW3 made by Barb, and whom I assume does not share the same kind of values SMWC has.


I don't think it's fair to speak to the intent or values of Barb or any creator who didn't include credits with their hack, because I don't think the omission of full credits in any instance is done out of bad faith. So let's not make this thread a referendum on GPW3's release.
Will this change include crediting the staff of original SMW in its entirety as well?
Since, you know, without them no SMW hack would've ever been possible in the first place.
If it's so important to everyone to get credit, where is the credit for the original creators?
Originally posted by lexy
Will this change include crediting the staff of original SMW in its entirety as well?
Since, you know, without them no SMW hack would've ever been possible in the first place.
If it's so important to everyone to get credit, where is the credit for the original creators?


If that ends to be the case, It's a good thing I listed them in one hack
As a resource author who has asked for credit when people use my graphics tilesets; I'm not going to be entirely hurt when somebody uses something I made and doesn't credit me, a little upsetting but ultimately I wouldn't make any kind of deal about it nor voice any opinion on it other than this topic. I think the same can be said about most people where as they're perhaps even more indifferent to the topic, and people who have left the site more than likely don't have it on mind. That being said, when people include credits, it does always feel nice to read your name, showing the author recognizes the value of what you have submitted for use to the public. It's overall a moral issue, and as a previous poster said: users have requested it, including myself, but I also understand that requests are requests and thus are not obligated to be fulfilled.

Originally posted by Daizo Dee Von
This is a big deal with streamers due to their monetary gain, much like how a lot of spriters resource artists got uncredited when used in Dorkly's animations.
That being said, the real pain does indeed come from streamers who are paid to play things, hacks in particular, that a person spent countless hours, for some, years dedicating a great amount of free time in the days of said years, get paid for simply playing the game where as the hack creator sees literally none of the same appreciation for actually sitting back and making the thing. I would imagine any kind of creative mind that has felt the pangs of this, and I know how petty a feeling it is, but there was no way I could not say anything in regards to this now that it has been mentioned.
I know that there's a lot of fine lines regarding copyright and what not given legally we're not supposed to be making mods/modifications of SMW in particular and thus is why we can't see any monetary gain, but I do wonder how many other hack authors have experienced this feeling in particular.
tl;dr : It feels good to be recognized, but a lot of us also think "honor system"
It's... a bit of an interesting rule not necessarily for when I create my own hacks (in that the two hacks I am creating(?) do have a list of all used resources) but rather for my own resources as I generally ask for no attribution and even when no rules for attribution exist, I'm fine with getting no credits either; my resources basically are "no attribution unless noted".

There also is the issue of derived resources i.e. if I make a sprite which is based on an existing one (not just a disassembly but one made by a different user), who should actually be credited in this situation?
Thanks, it's a good change.

As for whether it's necessary, it almost never has been necessary. Of the thousands of hacks I've seen or played, I would be hard pressed to come up with 5 that threw credits to the wind.

This is something that anyone can do, and there's very little excuse to treat the towering contributions of this community as something expendable.
NewPointless
This is by no means a new grievance spawned by one hack of a few days of public access. The only difference between now and when a certain predecessor had similarly... concise credits is that more people are paying attention to the grievance.

I personally can't find any way to sympathize with it being ~more work to credit~. That must be so hard for you actually. Gotta preserve your precious extra seconds of time and the zero money it would take to do it. Keeping some kind of note of other people’s stuff you’ve used, or even just going through your folders later to inform a quick site search, is just about the lowest point on the totem pole of the effort required for romhacking with custom content. If one can’t muster the energy to do that then I’d wonder how they got that far in the first place.

Talking of the slippery slope of it all, I think it's worth considering that this guideline stands alongside such others as “the hack should make sense” and “the level design should be engaging”. These are long-standing similarly vague and subjective expectations, yet we soldier on. There’s no real science to this stuff. It all just means try. The actual precedent and/or bar is comparatively pretty lenient.

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Originally posted by lexy
Will this change include crediting the staff of original SMW in its entirety as well?
Since, you know, without them no SMW hack would've ever been possible in the first place.
If it's so important to everyone to get credit, where is the credit for the original creators?


Some people in this case will typically use something along the lines of "Original Super Mario World created by Nintendo."

I feel kinda mixed about this. I can see the reasoning for it (especially for artists that have their work reposted), though I don't think that their omission in Grand Poo World III was done out of malice/bad faith. Most romhack credits I look through, be it a more elaborate contest entry or a full hack, tend to credit their authors anyway.