Tip: Entering a door or pipe, activating a P-Switch or grabbing a star, completing the level, hitting a message block, and dying will cause issues on the title screen, such as causing musical glitches, or trapping the player in an endlessly-looping level.
Inspired by an idea over at Jul, I would like to present:
The Member of the Month
and The Staff of the Month
The "member of the month" is a user who the staff have come to an agreement on. This member excels in the community, and stands out among others. Whether it is a friendly attitude, or just being a great person in general, they are chosen for their actions.
The "staff of the month" is a little different. Each month, one of the staff members will be interviewed so that the community may learn a little bit more about their interests and personality. This should help users get to know the staff a little better, along with helping them feel a little more comfortable (assuming they were not before).
This month's member and staff are:
Steven and Blumiere
Each user has been given their own personalized "interview", which I will now proceed to post.
[SNN] How long have you been hacking for, and what drew you into the world of hacking?
[Steven] I have been hacking SMW since 2001. The reason I got into hacking Mario games in the first place was because a friend of mine from school brought in a graphing calculator, which had a Mario Level Editor in it. I searched the internet for something similar, and stumbled across LM. I was hooked from the start, because I finally was able to live out a childhood dream: designing my own Mario levels.
[SNN] What was your first project in the hacking world?
[Steven] Actually, it was an unnamed SMW hack which I never released. I was working on the final level, and I tried to insert ExGFX. I messed up and ended up corrupting my whole ROM. I had no backup. But after that, I started my first SMW hack, SMW+, which was the first to actually be released publicly.
[SNN] While making SMW+, did you ever think that, eight years later, you would produce a hack with the quality of SMW2+3?
[Steven] Not at all. Back then, I was just so caught up in my excitement that I could finally make my own Mario levels that I didn't care in the least of making a high quality hack, moreso, I just wanted to have fun. Although, I learned the hard way people wouldn't react so warmly to just some quick messing around in the editor.
[SNN] Do you feel that the eight years of hacking has, in some way, helped you in real life situations?
[Steven] Yes, I now have a game-related job. Primarily, I'm a QA Tester and have been branching off to a bit of game producing as well. I think these years of hacking has given me a more clear picture of what works in a game and what doesn't. On one job interview, I gave my interviewers a copy of SMW2+2 (my Yoshi's Island hack) as a sample of my level design work.
[SNN] Between Yoshi`s Island and Super Mario World, which of the two has been your most favorite one to hack?
[Steven] I would say Yoshi's Island. That was my next favorite game above SMW, so I was in bliss when I was finally able to hack it. The fact that EggVine was so underdeveloped didn't matter to me: I was willing put that aside to create a full-fledged hack. Plus, Yoshi's Island hacking has given me a great sense of pride that I didn't get from my earlier SMW hacks... I was able to ignore the limitations that held back many other hackers in using the editor and make a fully functional hack out of the game.
[SNN] So now that you have used EggVine to complete two Yoshi`s Island hacks, and have a top-rated Super Mario World hack, what is next for you in the hacking world?
[Steven] There are a few things that interest me...that new SMAS editor in development MushROMS will likely be something I want to dabble with, if it ever sees the light of day. Same goes for Romi's Golden Egg, which may mark my return to Yoshi's Island hacking.
[SNN] What was your first project in the hacking world, and what drew you in?
[Blumiere] My first project was a SMW2 hack, SMW2: War of the Yoshies, after Borfes (or Mue) introduced me to SMWC. At first I didn't work on it much, since I didn't see much point to it, but the thought of other people being able to play a game I created is what eventually drew me in.
[SNN] What draws you to Yoshi`s Island hacking over Super Mario World hacking?
[Blumiere] Basically I just found Yoshi's Island more fun than Super Mario World. I tried playing the original SMW but that bored me to death, but YI had more of that in your face action which is what appeals to me over something like SMW.
[SNN] Do you have any current projects on the go in terms of hacking? Or are you currently taking a break?
[Blumiere] I'm actually taking a short break from my current hack, "SMW2: Reloaded!", because ... well, I guess I was losing some motivation. I'll soon continue the progress, but for now it's frozen. I just really needed a break after using Eggvine for a whole year non-stop.
[SNN] So as a staff member at SMWC, what do you feel you bring to the community that makes you "stand out" among others?
[Blumiere] Well, I'm one of the few YI hackers on the website, which I guess makes me stand out more than all the other 400 or so users who chose SMW over other games to hack. I'm pretty devoted to the website, usually on it everyday, and many users consider me a friendly guy. Being a staff member, those traits are quite useful, since many users might look up to me, I guess that's what makes me "stand out".
[SNN] If you could hack any other game besides Yoshi`s Island (assuming an ideal world where every single game has an editor), what do you think it would be?
[Blumiere] I'd love to hack Mother 3 or Earthbound. I'm a sucker for RPGs, and Mother 3 was one of my all-time favourite games, since it combines my two most favourite things in a game, some magic and mystery, and those small RPG elements like leveling up which I really enjoy.
[SNN] During your time hacking Yoshi`s Island, do you feel that you have gained any real life experience or traits, or has it all been just a fun, Internet hobby?
[Blumiere] I think hacking YI gave me a new look on how to draw things, over exaggerating drawings and colouring everything quite solid. Other than that, hacking YI was just something I did to kill some free time.
Hopefully this will end up being the first of many successful interviews. I certainly liked reading them and finding out about more about these guys. Didn't know Blumiere was also a Mother/Earthbound fan or how Steven first got into ROM hacking, heh.
Anyway, it was nice to hear from two of the top YI hackers here on SMWC.
Finding out about other members sure is something quite fascinating, as staff members get the opportunity of knowing about regular users way better, and virse versa. These two interviews were pretty interesting, and it will certainly be great to have more member/staff of the month events as the time goes.
Congrats to this month's winners, as well - pretty much like everyone else, I agree that these two users really have been standing out among the community, despite the staff of the month award, particularly, being a tad little different from the user of the month award.
I thought this was a great idea from the start. It's really great to see the different tastes and knowledge the users of this fine community possess. It just goes to show how diverse we really are.
That is the case with the two choices this month...Steven is knowledgeable in both YI hacking, as well as SMW hacking. Blumiere is skilled in YI hacking. In a community widely considered only for Super Mario World hacking, it's good to know that we have users like these two who are skilled in other areas. It just goes to show just how special this place is.
Cool, I was hoping something like this would come about. With a lot of users, it's not enough just to look at their profile just to see who they are. Plus, we may see some members who aren't as committed as others to the site start to shine as well!
This idea is nice, I've seen these threads on Jul too, there were they cool, too. The first interviews turned out well, and I'm agree with the selection of winners. Congratulations Steven/GoYo and Blumiere!
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