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Have we got the skills?

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I've noticed that some users here (correct me if I'm wrong) seem to talk big hacks as far as story lines go, but creating them is a different story. Know what I mean? Take me for example. I can talk a big hack, but I can't for the life of me create one... at least, not now, because mine is in hiatus.

What do you users think of this? Unless some of us wanna be like Carol for a day... unlikely... or any skilled SMW hacker, for that matter...
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Well, it doesn't really bother me too much to be honest. Sure, a lot of people talk big hacks and very few actually create those, I agree with that, but I don't mind.

If people who create big hacks find the inspiration somewhere between all those poorly executed brilliant ideas that would bring us an awesome hack, treat that 'big hack talk' as if it'd be a post in the 'Awesome hacking ideas' thread.

Also: this is why there are collabs. A fair amount of the people who talk big hack can create a good level with that inspiration, which is really suitable for a collab.
Of course you should fight fire with fire, you should fight everything with fire.

Oooh look at my userbar!


Sadistic Designer - testing Pit without tools.
To use an old saying "talk is cheap", we need to see the results. The problem is everyone talks story lines or creates certain parts of their hack that isn't beneficial to the main part of the hack which is indeed level design. I haven't seen it happening to much as of late, but what you're saying is most likely correct.

One thing I will say, and a motto that I am now starting to live by is level design comes first, everything else comes later. One should worry about the level design first and foremost, work on some levels that have no set relation to each other, get some ideas. Than later, extremely later, worry about the story as those can be very easy to make or to work into a hack. This is just an idea of what I think would work.
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I guess I'm the same way. I was pretty good at hyping up my previous SMW hack, but in the end, it wasn't nearly as good as I suggested. All it turned out to be in the end was a gimmick showcase, not an actual hack (I'm not suggesting a true definition of 'actual hack', just my viewpoint on it). I was more concerned about impressing players than actually making it fun. Plus, I figured the more flashy I made my presentations, the better the actual hack would be. Wrong. From now on, I intend to keep it plain and simple. No more gaudy C3 or release threads, because that tends to get people more excited than they should be, especially if they end up disappointed. From now on, I pretty much plan to keep it low-key.

Honestly, I care more about what I want in my hacks, not others. I'm not doing this professionally, so I feel I can do whatever I want.

Originally posted by The Thunder
What do you users think of this? Unless some of us wanna be like Carol for a day... unlikely... or any skilled SMW hacker, for that matter...


I really don't desire to be like other hackers, nor do I like being compared to them. I'm just here to do what I want, not to be like someone else. Even though Carol has impressive ASM skills, I found his/her level design and graphical choices to be quite atrocious.
I liked brutal mario's level design...

Meh. I hate and loathe deep storylines. I prefer something silly like "OMG GUYZ MARIO HAZORS WENTUD TO KULL BOWZA 4 NO REAL REAON!!!"

and then fun gameplay.
Originally posted by Error 52
I liked brutal mario's level design...


That's because you seem to like linear more then most of the people here. I personally found the levels incredibly dull other then the gimmicks all over the place, but the bosses were REALLY IMPRESSIVE, and it gets me wondering how somebody could put so much work into ASM but not level design.

Originally posted by Jacob
All it turned out to be in the end was a gimmick showcase, not an actual hack


... What? It didn't feel like a gimmick showcase...
Good fucking bye.
Coming up with stories and ideas is fine and can be fun to do, but they're pretty much useless unless they're actually applied. The issue some people face is they're not willing to take on all the hard work that's required to actually incorporate their story into a hack. It's a lot easier to think of something than actually do it, but if you are able to do it, it's commendable.

The issue with a lot of Mario-themed hacks is that making a story too deep or complex just doesn't fit. Mario doesn't contemplate the meaning of life, Bowser doesn't deliver a speech on why evil is cool. Trying to do this just feels out of place, but there are examples of good stories being incorporated well, actually fitting in the Mario universe. (i.e. SMW2+3)

At the other end of the spectrum, there are hacks like Azure Chaotic, where the story itself is immensely important. It isn't the Mushroom Kingdom anymore: characters and settings have to be established instead of simply being ripped off. Tossing out the story in these instances will most likely harm the final product a lot.

Again, coming up with a story is great, but the question is: can you do the work? Can you stick to it, and keep working on it, even when you've grown tired of the story? Can you effectively communicate it in a SMW hack? Even in hacks, sometimes a story isn't necessary, but when you have a good story incorporated well, it can only add to it and give more of an incentive to play it.
There have been millions upon millions of awesome game/music/movie/painting/sculpting/art-in-general ideas that you will never see because the creator couldn't muster the will to actually create it.


It's not a matter of skill. It's a matter of motivation. Do you have it?

I sometimes think I don't. I've been working on my hack for nearly 6 months straight now and have 1 world done. How much of that time was spent learning though? Then again, how much more do I have to learn?

Ultimately you have to enjoy the process if you're ever going to finish. If all you want is the end product you're likely to never get it.
Story lines for some people is the easy part I mean I suck at story lines so as for the lack of story for the most part I try to make up for it in self made custom things. I guess the opposite could be applied to people with huge story lines you know making this huge detailed story that tries to over play the fact the levels are linear and bland. Finding a nice medium between the two is actually pretty hard if you think about it.

For talking big though if your going to post something saying "Oh looks I is going to makes this big hack full o things like ASMs and Musack and Costom GFXs." And you have no way to back that up at all even just something like a screen shot I can tell right off there is about a 2% chance that will be finished or even partially finished.

I myself have a big hack planed out and have most of the ideas down but I'm not going to make a thread or even release info on it until I get a good two world demo done so I can tell people this is what I'm doing.

In the end I think if you can back it up with either a demo or a video with a demo being preferred your big talk will be excepted more.


Just because of the outdated hardware (the SNES) I don't recommend attempting a complex plot in a SMW hack. Without proper cutscenes or dialogue, it would be difficult to produce a gripping, edge-of-your-seat story. Ever notice how old video games never have very elaborate storylines?

On the other hand, saying "It's a Mario game" is NOT an excuse for a crappy story. After all, WE ARE HACKING SMW. Isn't the point of hacking the game to improve it?

Users who have written a very ambitious story should not even post threads unless they have some kind of intresting way of showing it off. Having a message box in a screenshot explaining the over complicated story is NOT the way to approach things.

Point being: Mario is not really meant for a good story. If you can pull it off, good for you. But don't over-hype things and then have nothing to show.

Who knows when I'll have
something to put here.


Credits go to Counterfeit for the bitchin' post layout.

At the same time though, there are people who don't even use Mario as a basis for their story, such as Azure Chaotic, which I mentioned earlier.

Besides, in SMW hacks, we have the extremely versatile cutscene tool, as well as the ability to make more basic cutscene formats as well.

I'm not sure what you mean by "old games" to be honest. If you look at some of the other SNES games, such as Final Fantasy IV/VI and Terranigma, they were certainly able to add in a good story despite technical limitations.

Lastly, I'd argue that a lot of hackers aren't just trying to improve SMW. If they were, we'd see tons of hacks with updated levels or whatever, which aren't even accepted here. Most people try to use SMW as a base to make their own adventure, not try to improve the original Super Mario World.


My point is that compared to today's way of presenting a story, the SNES can't do much in the way of lighting, suspense, dialogue, ect.

Also, when I said improving SMW, I didn't mean adding to the original game, but creating a new game using SMW's resources.

Who knows when I'll have
something to put here.


Credits go to Counterfeit for the bitchin' post layout.

There's nothing story-wise the SNES can't do. The pixelated graphics and MIDI sound may make it hard for some to suspend disbelief (especially for things like horror), but otherwise no technical limitation gets in the way.

Text dialog doesn't inhibit it in any way. If you don't believe me, go read a book.
I'm a beginner at hacking (I don't even know how to use spritetool yet) and I'm working on a complex hack with a deep storyline. Why me, a beginner who has been called a n00b countless times over, create such a demanding hack, you ask? Because I feel that if a person takes his or her time on something, they will, no matter how hard the task, finish in the end. As long as they don't give up on the project, they will finish. I hate seeing hacks get cancelled because of reasons like "I got bored with it" or "I'm out of ideas" or "I don't feel like it." That is a prime example of a lazy hacker. They're making up excuses because they don't want to continue, and then we're just stuck with whatever they left behind. It really sucks, because they might have had a good idea, and we'll never get to see it in action. So don't give up, no matter how hard the task is. Or you'll never get to see what you've done.

By the way, if you want to check out the hack I'm talking about, the thread link is in my sig.
“The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.” - Salman Rushdie


Originally posted by Kaijyuu
There's nothing story-wise the SNES can't do. The pixelated graphics and MIDI sound may make it hard for some to suspend disbelief (especially for things like horror), but otherwise no technical limitation gets in the way.

My point is, once again, that in my opinion superior WAYS OF PRESENTING A STORY = Better experience.

Although a huge contradiction to this is Transformers 2. The story sucked but the special effects were stunning.

Who knows when I'll have
something to put here.


Credits go to Counterfeit for the bitchin' post layout.

Snes titles with good story lines:
Chrono Trigger
FF IV
Dragon Quest/Warrior 4
there are also many more but really this thread is about people talking big about there hacks so can this get back on track I'm curious to see how others feel about this topic.
I actually have some average motivation, but I think my hack's getting boring after four levels. Then, what could easily give the player a new reason to play ? A good, plot-twisted story, as you mentioned before.

But I'm just at the opposite- I can't think of a great story.

Even for the main idea : The antagonist.
Having a "normal" villain as in today's some movies- Who have actual reasons to act and thinks he fights for justice- is just too limited for a Mario hack, and less epic.
But a villain like in today's some video games- The obssessed bad guy who want to take the world with an awesome secret weapon- is just too strange and stereotypical for a Mario hack.

The secondary characters. The end. The intro. Ect.
I can't choose. Fu-.
I actually have a hack with no real enemy. It's not even a "Mario got bored! LET'S ROCK!" but a actual story.

I mean, It could be Bowser, but I could actually scrap him from the story. In fact, I'm going to!
I believe creating hacks is actually quite hard. I've spent about 2 months on my side project which is only 5 levels and I still less than 50% done.

I have to agree with Ixtab creating hacks is hard. I mean I'm one of those people that get lots of ideas to use in a hack so I build them (usually they end up being blocks) but them I don't have a use for them so I extend the story, or change it. That being said I've been working on NaHH for months now and I've gotten 2 demos out demo 1 was ok and demo 2 was... well... sucked. Because of this I redesigned the game and the story but now I'm not fully sure what I want to do with it.

I guess making a story line is a lot harder for me to do then others so most of my hacks will probably be like "OMG Guyz Mario or other character neeedz U too halp him/her"
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