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Hack Submission Guidelines 2009

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The Hack Submission Guidelines thread has been long, long, LONG overdue for an update. The administration and staff team have taken it upon ourselves to work together and write a set of guidelines that we can all agree on. If you hack is removed for any reason, then it probably violated one of the following guidelines.


1. You must submit an IPS file, NOT a ROM of any kind!
Use this tool to create your IPS file, and put the patch in a ZIP. Commercial ROMs are illegal, and we will not host any on this site. Uploading a ROM will result in a 72-hour ban for the first offense, and if you do so again, you will be permanently banned from SMW Central.

2. Blatant level edits will not be accepted.
Use CTRL+DEL to remove old SMW levels. (104, C5, C7, and 3 are exempt from this.)

3. No graphical glitches!
Errors such as garbled sprites/FGs/BGs, message box text screwing up layer 3 items, cutoff tiles, and general graphical ugliness are frowned upon. Also, don't forget about glitches such as sprite memory issues - the graphics of the sprite will 'disappear', but the sprite will still be there, and can unfairly hurt Mario.

4. Unless you intend to make your hack contain very long and very high quality levels, demos which are too short to provide any feedback on or be enjoyable will be subject to removal.

5. The player should not be able to die in the title screen or intro!
The title screen can screw up if you get a star, P-Switch, enter a door/pipe, or die. Don't do it.

6. Warn players ahead of time if mature content is present!
You should have a fair grasp on what is mature and what is not.

7a) Keep it fair, and keep the hack at a legitimate difficulty!
i.e. Avoid things like death after the goal, blind jumps, forced damage, excessive enemies, places where you can get permanently stuck, excessive 3-UP moons, etc.

7b) The player should be able to identify everything's behavior before touching it.
The player should not have to do something illogical, like jump in lava, to complete a puzzle. If something acts "unusual", inform the player ahead of time.

8. Test your hack on all major emulators!
This will ensure that all players, no matter which emulator they are using, can play it without experiencing slowdown or crashes.

9. Quality level design
Your hack has a much higher chance of being accepted if the level design is fun. Conversely, if the level design is found to be lacking then a little cutoffness may be enough to push the hack into deletion.

For additional tips on how to make your game even better, please read all of the Tips Of The Day.

NOTE: If you have an accepted hack currently on SMWC and would like to update it for bug fixes or some extra content, feel free to send the patch to a hack moderator or administrator. They are able to upload a "replacement" patch that keeps the description/reviews/ratings/pictures/etc intact. You don't need to completely resubmit the update as a new hack. Thanks.


This will remain in place until new guidelines, or new rules come up. This post is subject to change by any staff member at any time, should they feel the need to add or revise something.

Thank you, and happy hacking!

WYEdit: Fixed some HTML. ;)
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