Due to the downtime we had and the server move, we weren't able to have a Member/Staff of the Month for August. Thankfully, we're back in full force this month, with interviews from another user and staff member.
This month, the user chosen by the staff is Maxx and the staff member is S.N.N. I was in charge of the interviews this time around, and they can be found below:
[Supertails] As a longtime, active member on SMWC, you've certainly seen the site grow and expand over the years. What do you think makes you stand out compared to the average user? [Maxx] I wouldn't say I am more different, or stand out, in a strictest sense; I'm not much different from the rest of SMWC outside of SMWC (cliche as it sounds.) I suppose it's probably just my perhaps more mature views and generally wanting to be nice. The defining difference is my dedication to the site and hacking, most likely.
[Supertails] Yes, you've made quite a few sprites, patches and blocks that have really benefited the community. Is there one submission you're particularly proud of? [Maxx] If I was proud of one, I'd say it was the Newbie's Boss because of the time it took to code it. However, generally it's coded pretty badly and frankly, while I'm glad I helped so much, it's pretty inefficent and limited. My submissions are never really hard to code, and I try to do more basic ideas to help out with those, like a wind generator over a layer 2 horizontal scroller. So, they're not to the best of my abilities. I'm proud that I submitted something in general, especially common sprites/blocks that people can use, but I'm not really proud of one in particular. I think I should change that but that's getting off topic!
[Supertails] What originally got you into SMW hacking and learning ASM? [Maxx] Oh man, that's hard to answer in a short question! Well, here goes. I actually found SMWC in it's early months of operation through Jul. I was pretty new to the internet at that time, so I didn't become a member for a long while. I did hang around, and around 2007 I became a member. I made a few basic vanilla hacks but when I saw Smallhacker/Bio/BMF doing all this crazy stuff with Super Mario World, I was totally hooked. However I took a long hitaus- I just got bored, with SMW hacking in a infancy compared to now- and returned in 2008. I found ASM again and by late 2008 was doing minor requests and submissions for minor members. It just went uphill from there.
[Supertails] That's good to hear. You even have a nice looking minihack in the works. Do you have any favorite submissions from other people, such as sprites, patches or hacks? [Maxx] Anything that acts like a tool is extremely helpful. I don't use much of other's work, because I like to be original. So aside from LevelASM/Cutscene tool I don't have anything I use a lot. However if it's used in the community a lot or is useful, I'm pretty happy it's around so I suppose anything commonly used could be considered my "favorite" (although only if it's deserving on that position.)
[Supertails] A great place for users to get some assistance with a sprite or block on their own seems to be #serioushax. What's it like to be an op there, and has the channel been able to offer help to people who need it? [Maxx] Ah, #serioushax! Being a op isn't extrememly hard; when people want attention for a question, they direct it to you. It saps up time sometimes, but really it's nice to know that people know they can come to you. And yes, I think #serioushax is a nice hangout for all hackers and ASMers where they can get answers. Questions aren't asked frequently enough to be active, but when they are they are usually, if not always, answered.
[Supertails] And to wrap things up, I'm sure a lot of users would like to learn ASM at some point, but find themselves a little daunted by how complicated it can be. Aside from coming to #serioushax for assistance, what else would you suggest they do to start learning it? [Maxx] The main reason people have problems with ASM seems to be 3 things: they are lazy, or they set their sights too high, or it's too complicated. They say complication usually, but that is probably only true for 1/3 of those who say it. For the first one, I'm sorry, but you're out of luck! Just in general, if you want to really accomplish something, you have to stick to it! If you must, go very slowly so you don't feel overloaded. For the second, it's hard to realise that this is your problem. Come to Adv. SMW Hacking, anywhere, and they can help you out and tell you if that's the problem. These kinds of people usually are quite smart but just have some basics wrong. And for the third, go slow and steady. ASM, for me, was fairly simple. But if you try to learn more than 3 opcodes a day, I'd say, you'll be overwhelmed. And it is a MUST MUST MUST that you learn the extras about what format things are in a and general basics about the SNES. Refer to better ASMers or documents often!
[Supertails] In terms of hacking, you've certainly done quite a bit. Sonic 3-D Blast data, some Tetris Attack stuff, a full YI hack, two SMW hacks in progress, and plenty of music. What do you enjoy doing the most in terms of hacking? [SNN] It became more or less a hobby for me than anything. I guess I just really enjoy allowing others to play my work, use my creations, as well as picking up other knowledge at the same time.
[Supertails] Users have certainly had a chance to enjoy your work here, with the demo of Keytastrophe and music to use for their projects. Of course, many have chosen to submit their own SMW hacks as well. In your eyes, what separates an "okay" hack from a great one? [SNN] I can play a hack which can be simply overloaded with ASM, custom graphics, beautiful music, etc., but like many others, if the level design is boring then I will not enjoy the hack. The main instance of this is Brutal Mario - while the ASM was fantastic, it felt more like a "tech demo" than a real hack.
[Supertails] Agreed. This has been a problem with a lot of recent games as well, focusing more on life-like graphics and less on pure fun. Both Mario's Keytastrophe and Bellum Letale certainly have some neat ideas, and your music is quite original as well. For these, have you ever felt inspired by other games or hacks, or do you just come up with most of your ideas yourself? [SNN] Mario's Keytastrophe's inspiration came solely from Donkey Kong '94, which was pretty much my favorite Game Boy game. I felt it would be a pretty different idea to make a "key-to-keyhole" hack. As for Bellum Letale, and it's rather "medieval" storyline .. I came up with that idea myself.
[Supertails] So, you've been a staff member for over two years now, and it must be an interesting experince. What's it been like, and what have some of the high points been? [SNN] It's been an adventure. As an administrator, I make my fair share of friends, as well as my fair share of enemies. It's part of the job. High points .. there have been several, but the biggest one I can think of right now would be the intercommunity relationships I've developed with people as a staff member. I've tried to involve myself with people as much as possible, and I feel I've made a fair amount of friends by doing it.
[Supertails] We certainly have some great people here, even though we get quite a few that cause trouble. Most people tend to keep their real lives and internet-related things separate, but do you feel your experiences as an admin here have affected you in any way, or at least made you think slightly differently about people/the internet? [SNN] The amount of drama I have dealt with within SMWC and from "outer" parties (who most regular members here know) is absurd, but again, it's part of the job. My opinions about the Internet have differed in my time on SMWC, mostly with the people. Most of my arguments and statements are simply emotionless now - no need to waste my time playing with Caps Lock or getting melodramatic over things.
[Supertails] You're certainly very popular and probably the most respected staff member on the site, but what's one thing you'd be willing to share that the average user may not know about you? [SNN] Most people know the "Internet" version of me. As for my real-life self .. I just graduated from the University of Waterloo this past May, and I'm planning on heading off to teacher's college to pursue a career in that (which will hopefully one day lead into a prof. type job at a university).
I hope you enjoyed reading them, and we'll be sure to have another one next month.
Hey, I forgot about this. Can't say I know Maxx, unfortunately... perhaps we should get to know each other a little bit better, yeah? Judging by your... well, interview, you sound fun to talk to (I've gotta drop into #serioushax again...)
Also, hi, SNN. I guess it had to be you eventually, right? Considering all the junk you've had to deal with that I'm not even aware of, I feel like I need to get to know you again. I feel somewhat distant from you... do you too, SNN?
SNN actually sounds like he would make a great teacher.
He just has the type of personality for it.
I do have to admit though, people like SNN need to be gotten to known better instead of just assuming he's an asshole if he says something blunt.
My personal viewpoint on SNN? We've had disagreements. And I admit, most of the time it is my fault for saying stupid shit. But I can still tell he's a wonderful and creative person with many inspirations. And I have to respect him for that. I wish him good luck with his career.
I never got to know Maxx, but he sounds like a cool guy. I'll leave it at that for Maxx, since I don't know him well.
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Overall from what I've seen, Maxx is a pretty awesome user and he can be really helpful. I'm sure a lot of people look up to him and respect him, although I personally haven't talked to him myself, so I really don't know that much about him. Still, he seems like a pretty awesome guy.
As for SNN, same thing. Really awesome and is one of the about 10 people I know that can actually leave things in the past and just move on, humouress, friendly at times, and keeps the whole place in shape. I personally think he's pretty awesome, and one of the few people that have helped me with things, whether it be on the internet (it was this in this case) or anything in real life.
So, congratulations Maxx and SNN! You both obviously deserved the placement! =D
Although I think Raibys and Azure deserve it more. Mostly for just being awesome.
Well, I can't say that I know SNN that well, I haven't come into contact with the guy too often, but I do know Maxxwell a bit more, considering we both are regular members of #serioushax. I certainly enjoyed reading Maxx's interview, and I hope to get to know him better one day.
Heh, since we skipped August, I kind of forgot about the whole member of the month thing. Well, I know Maxx fairly well, and I definitely think he deserves this award. He's been a great asset to the community(ies?), not to mention one of my best friends. S.N.N....well, I probably don't know him quite as well, although I contacted him before I did Maxx. He seems like a pretty nice and talented guy from what I've seen so far (among other things, Keytastrophe may have been a world-class pain in the butt for me to get through, but the creativity of it was astounding), though I get the feeling that there are a lot of sides to his personality.
To Maxx personally: Congratulations! Keep up the good work, good luck in your future endeavors, and don't be a stranger. Also, can you make me a Mode 7 boss *shot*.
To S.N.N.: Congratulations to you as well. I hope that even with all the other stuff you have going on, you still have time to sit back and relax. It's cool that you want to be a teacher or professor; that is a very honorable career choice.
Well. I appreciate both SNN and Maxx's SMW hacking work, but the only time I really ever came in contact with Maxx was once when I was being an idiot. And I definitely know that there can be many sides to SNN's personality... God. Well, congratulations to both of you, even though the only interview I was really interested in was SNN's.