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Has SMW modding died out/lost popularity?
Forum Index - Donut Plains - General Discussion - Has SMW modding died out/lost popularity?
Pages: « 1 2 » Link
Originally posted by Uhrix
Just some things I think would spark the activity alittle around here

- Update the frontpage more. I mean, there's a huge attention space right there. Bring videos up, maybe some videohosts like Kristian and Dots. Show the site "the site".

- More contests. When people have a common goal, the comunication increase.

- compress the forum sections. some of them are real dusty at times


I agree with these 3. We only have around 4 Major contests every year, and it seems that a large amount of activity occurs during those times.

I also think that we should do more things that attracts people to the site/hacking SMW. We have the Youtube page, Social site pages, the Steam group, and the radio, but none of them are used to their full extent:

• The Youtube page is practically dead
• There's a steam group, but no one offers the possibility to do anything
• The radio was originally planned to have promotions for other hacks/tools and shows, but all it's used for is people who just want to play their music. When we did the Skype thing, there was a large amount of Listeners (though i was complaining that you guys did nothing at all), stuff like this seemed to attract people.
...great points made.


SMW wont die unless it's owners/admins/leaders believe it's time for it to die. Alternatively, with the exposure and ease of creating custom indie games, and most of the veteran hackers getting older...who knows what the future holds?

As most of us get older, jobs, income, family, reality, and other "adult" stuff start hitting in. Back in high school, there was no need to work much, save to buy a living residence, food, bills, and the such...we had the freedom to pursue out interests.


...but to tie back into SMWC and it's future...best to take it day by day. I cant really say what will happen. Best to do what everyone can, and hope for new faces to rise up.

--------------------
Originally posted by cheat-master30
or at least a more popular one


No, I don't think so - or at least, not at this point. It may have been possible 4-5 years ago, but we've simply built up too large of a resource base and we've simply beome too "known" around the ROM hacking scene as having the RAM/ROM map, countless resources, etc. In order for what you said to come true, SMWC would need to die and another site would need to spend years building up a resource base.

Keep in mind that this site still nets an average of 50k views per day. In terms of ROM hacking sites, it's really only second to Sonic Retro (and even then, their focus is Sonic games as a whole and not just ROM hacking).

Originally posted by Uhrix
- Update the frontpage more. I mean, there's a huge attention space right there. Bring videos up, maybe some videohosts like Kristian and Dots. Show the site "the site".


I agree completely. I would love to see more stuff on the front page, and I'm still totally open to any ideas on this. We've tried a few things in the past, but they were seemingly too ambitious (eg. weekly resource submissions).

Originally posted by Uhrix
- More contests. When people have a common goal, the comunication increase.


Working on it. I'd like to have one at least every two months, ideally.

Originally posted by Uhrix
- compress the forum sections. some of them are real dusty at times


Also somewhat being worked on.

Originally posted by Suns
-Less strict rules (Allowing for ROMs, Japanese Hacks, Kaizo Hacks)


We're doing our best to find ways to allow as many differing styles of level design into the Hacks section as possible.

Originally posted by Syntax Errors
The Youtube page is practically dead


Agreed. This is another section I wouldn't mind getting back into full activity soon.

Originally posted by Syntax Errors
There's a steam group, but no one offers the possibility to do anything


What did you have in mind? Game-related tournaments?
Wouldn't allowing ROMS go against the Legal Information? Besides it's not that hard to download a clean ROM anyway and then patch it with LIPS and everything.

Otherwise I agree that there should be more variety in the Hacks section. Perhaps make separate sections for Kaizo hacks, Puzzle hacks, etc.
Isn't there a way to dump the ROM onto your computer without actually downloading it? If you know what I mean.

Anyways, I too am not as interested in ROM hacking as I used to be. I mainly started because I had a big interest in it when I first found out about it. But since I've taken part in some big collaborations; A2MT and SMWCP2, I felt like I accomplished what I intended to do in the first place: create something for a big-time hack. And I also wanted to create a full-fledged hack just to say I did. And I did; though it isn't great.

I'd say it's a gradual process of growing out of it. As time goes on, newer interests pop-up and some people choose to pursue those instead.

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I no longer have interest in SMW Hacking as I did when I first started several years ago.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
Originally posted by cheat-master30
or at least a more popular one


No, I don't think so - or at least, not at this point. It may have been possible 4-5 years ago, but we've simply built up too large of a resource base and we've simply beome too "known" around the ROM hacking scene as having the RAM/ROM map, countless resources, etc. In order for what you said to come true, SMWC would need to die and another site would need to spend years building up a resource base.

Keep in mind that this site still nets an average of 50k views per day. In terms of ROM hacking sites, it's really only second to Sonic Retro (and even then, their focus is Sonic games as a whole and not just ROM hacking).



Activity doesn't exclude the chance of some site potentially doing better. Keep in mind I mentioned disruption, and you know what other examples of companies and stuff used that?

Nintendo with the Wii. Didn't require the Xbox 360 and PS3 to die off.

No site could compete directly, sure. But I do think a site with a somewhat different focus (not sure what exactly) and different standards could be some pretty good competition. Something aimed at the smw low end of the community? I don't know, just that no one should take success for granted, there's genuinely no size where a site or company is too big to fail.

Still, how to improve this site?

As said, revive the Youtube page. The let's moderate thing was kind of interesting, like a counterpart to similar videos made by azentiger and linksdarkarrows.

Revive the wiki, big time. It's nearly useless at present. Then again, wikis rarely ever catch on for sites based around forums, they tend to be one of the hardest types of website to make active.

Really, really loosen up standards for smw hacks, and really, really harshen the rules for some other submissions. The former tend to being causing the rejection of a lot of otherwise interesting games, and the latter are useless to the point some files don't have any of the required screens, palettes, map16 pages or even in some cases GFX files needed. Similarly, allow resources from Japanese sites and such like, if they're officially released they should probably be on the site somewhere, so that we don't lose potentially good stuff when smaller sites shut down.

Oh, and this is a controversial one because it's to much of the userbase, but... make your stuff more easily usable by newer game modders. Seriously, there seems to be the assumption everyone's an expert in everything nowadays and a genuine lack of the kind of easy to use resources from a few years ago. There's also a kind of unfortunate uselessness in the kinds of resources made by experts here in that they seem more interested in getting stuff from obscure licensed games no one's ever heard of them than from games people do. Like Ripperon X. No one gives a toss about Yogi Bear or Mr Tuff or whatever else, rip some stuff your average Joe will A: be able to use without patches and B: would care to use.

Similarly people, it's fine to just slightly lower the quality of a resource to make it more useful, people aren't that picky. For GFX, try losing a few details or palettes to make it so people can use them without resorting to layer 3 or those gfx vram rearrangement patches. For music, try making more of it unsampled or use less samples so you don't overwrite sound channels used for effects like jumping.

I'd go as far as to say for your average Joe, carol's Haunted Hall theme would be more useful than the one here, because it would work better for an actual level based on the theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0fY2EEqEt4

Basically, make resources your average 'hack' could use well rather than ones with a ton of detail that require multiple tools and patches to use. People don't expect perfect copies of anything, it's merely modding a video game. People didn't expect perfect copies of stuff in fan games either.

--------------------
For gaming news and Wario discussions, check out Gaming Reinvented and Wario Forums respectively.

As for Mario's Nightmare Quest? Well, it's currently on Fusion Gameworks, ROM Hacking.net or the GCN at the moment.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
No, I don't think so - or at least, not at this point. It may have been possible 4-5 years ago, but we've simply built up too large of a resource base and we've simply beome too "known" around the ROM hacking scene as having the RAM/ROM map, countless resources, etc. In order for what you said to come true, SMWC would need to die and another site would need to spend years building up a resource base.

Keep in mind that this site still nets an average of 50k views per day. In terms of ROM hacking sites, it's really only second to Sonic Retro (and even then, their focus is Sonic games as a whole and not just ROM hacking).


With that said, SMWC is already big enough where, even if the community dissappeared, the resources would serve as a life source in of itself. 50K views a day is 350,000 views a week, which is over a million view(ers) a month. A lot of people know SMWC.

...there's always the possibility of restarting moves towards creating "Kuribo's Shoe", and move all SMW resources towards a more general "Super Mario Bros" general site/forum/workplace.

All theory though. Staff knows what they're doing. When the time comes, something out of left field might even catapult this site's success to new heights.

--------------------
Originally posted by cheat-master30
Activity doesn't exclude the chance of some site potentially doing better. Keep in mind I mentioned disruption, and you know what other examples of companies and stuff used that?


You're using an example of a company which had already been huge AND around for 20-30 years prior. That doesn't really apply in this situation at all. I get what you're saying with "disruption", but SMW hacking isn't really the kind of thing that you can really knock off of the rails. What, is a site going to come along with a better RAM map or something? No, because there is only one RAM map to the game and it's right here.

Let me quickly note I don't really disagree with your points, I just disagree with your wording. I am not one to bask in the "glory" of this site having a lot of popularity - I fully recognize anything could happen. However, the chances of another site pulling forward and doing better than us when it comes to SMW are next to none. The problem is, if people keep trying and failing, it discourages both them AND us. It's almost a lose-lose, if that makes sense.

Originally posted by cheat-master30
Revive the wiki, big time. It's nearly useless at present. Then again, wikis rarely ever catch on for sites based around forums, they tend to be one of the hardest types of website to make active.


I would like to see the Wiki either a) used for disassembles and subroutines, or b) discarded completely. As it stands, at least 75% of the info on the Wiki is already present on SMWC itself, so people will naturally just go to the website instead of there.

Originally posted by cheat-master30
Similarly, allow resources from Japanese sites and such like, if they're officially released they should probably be on the site somewhere, so that we don't lose potentially good stuff when smaller sites shut down.


Uh, we already do. The only time we don't accept Japanese resources is when the authors specifically ask people not to rehost their works. We do have a couple of Japanese speakers on the staff team though, so maybe we could get one of them to fire a message or two to certain uploaders and see if they'd be willing to let us host their stuff.

Originally posted by cheat-master30
Basically, make resources your average 'hack' could use well rather than ones with a ton of detail that require multiple tools and patches to use. People don't expect perfect copies of anything, it's merely modding a video game.


I agree with this one .. to an extent. What would be nice to see is these patches incorporated into future versions of Lunar Magic so that these various backgrounds can be used with ease. On the other hand though, we have an entire "Tutorials" section with guides to make stuff as painless as possible, and the vast majority of them are up-to-date. It doesn't take much time to read and understand them, even for a new hacker (though if a new hacker is immediately resorting to dumping loads of graphics/music into their hack instead of .. you know, learning how to use Lunar Magic first, then there is a bit of an issue).
Originally posted by snn
You're using an example of a company which had already been huge AND around for 20-30 years prior. That doesn't really apply in this situation at all. I get what you're saying with "disruption", but SMW hacking isn't really the kind of thing that you can really knock off of the rails. What, is a site going to come along with a better RAM map or something? No, because there is only one RAM map to the game and it's right here.


They can't come up with one, but they can basically take the current one, it's just data and legally not copyrightable. Same potentially with similar stuff.

But disruption has happened with smaller companies and most often does.

I'm not sure what could be theoretically done to improve, but my guess is something radically different in format. Maybe have the tutorials and things written by the staff with pictures, video, audio, etc and what not as actual site 'content'. Like Sitepoint or Gamespot or whatever for hacks and rom hacking.

Maybe some better categorisation with a modern downloads system and a mix of categories and tags to sort submissions. So you'd have say, a bunch of categories:

Hacks

Sprites

Music

Blocks

Patches

ASM (maybe level asm code)

Then tags in each, like 'kaizo', 'demo', 'collab', 'base', etc for hacks.

Maybe a glossy set of star icons to rate hacks rather than a number. Kind of like IPB Downloads or something with all the features included there.

I think a site with proper 'inhouse' content and a 21st century look might be good competition.

Originally posted by snn
I would like to see the Wiki either a) used for disassembles and subroutines, or b) discarded completely. As it stands, at least 75% of the info on the Wiki is already present on SMWC itself, so people will naturally just go to the website instead of there.


Problem with this, info about disassembles and subroutines could easily go on the site itself somewhere, like the RAM or ROM map. By that, I mean like a section for them in particular where useful stuff can be submitted by users.

I don't really think a wiki is particularly necessary for any site with actual content, it's just a lot of sites seem to be adding them as almost a fad thing. SMW Central probably doesn't need one, and nor do the likes of IGN, Neoseeker or GameFAQs despite them currently all having them.

Originally posted by snn
Uh, we already do. The only time we don't accept Japanese resources is when the authors specifically ask people not to rehost their works. We do have a couple of Japanese speakers on the staff team though, so maybe we could get one of them to fire a message or two to certain uploaders and see if they'd be willing to let us host their stuff.


Problem is, a fair amount don't say whether they can be rehosted, and there's no contact link in most cases. For example, what about some stuff found here?

http://www7.atpages.jp/smw/view.cgi

There's no email link provided or contact information, and it could very easily be shut down permanently at any time now, causing at least ten good hacks and countless resources to be lost forever. In fact, this HAS happened, I know at least one big site for Japanese hacks which vanished without a trace and took at least 30 hacks with it.

Also, I think the author of Mario :p:p:p's site has been deleted too, which has meant a bunch of blocks, asm and sprites have been lost there as well.

And then there's the fact a whole bunch of people use the VIP 5 and probably VIP 6 uploader to distribute their work on 2ch. If those go down, a whole bunch of stuff not even related to the collab is gone permanently as well, like the music pack with this music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt6JW8x3Lzw

There's also stuff randomly removed for no real reason like S Mario and every Mario LD demo ever made. I think someone should just start archiving it, likely emailing the creators and then if no reply, just putting a contact link saying how to remove stuff if necessary and getting it anyway like the internet archive does.

Originally posted by snn
On the other hand though, we have an entire "Tutorials" section with guides to make stuff as painless as possible, and the vast majority of them are up-to-date. It doesn't take much time to read and understand them, even for a new hacker


Problem is, these are not simple edits to use in some case. Like ExGFX Revolution or whatever, which has caused countless problems and generally shows too much obsession with attention to detail than anything else. And for many cases, it's not so much they're hard to use but tedious to use because of people's obsession with getting every pixel exactly. Take edit and ripperon's DKC graphics. You can do the same thing with about half the gfx space and palette space by simply limiting the amount of detail.

In fact, everyone I know who wanted the chainlink chamber graphics simply took the VIP 4 Trauma Tower ones, they're much easier to assemble and actually practically usable. Same with some other way tone down Japanese sets:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3KiyGyVPA8

http://www.geocities.jp/bisclavaret2000/smw/index.html

It's not so much it's hard as that it takes more effort to construct the gfx from these fancier sets than to actually design the level.



Does this look particularly easy to reassemble? Contrast with this:



Takes under a quarter of a page of map16 without losing too much noticeable quality. Why couldn't something this simple have been submitted instead?

Because like it or not, no one generally notices too much if minor details are lost. Hell, no one even probably thought the DKC 2 fight from Brutal Mario looked low quality under they compared it with the original:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOEu_VIuCrk

The background is low quality as all get, but it works fine for what people want it to do. I think there's just too much effort put towards minor details at the expense of making the gfx usable.

And for the music, it's not so much they're hard to use as just don't work in a normal level. What's the point in having a Haunted Hall theme which doesn't work with the sound effects used in well, a Haunted Hall remake?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Oh7N2P_1Q&feature=plcp

Ignore the poor quality of the level, but the point's the same. If you can't use Haunted Chase in a Haunted Hall level without beeping sounds and such or use Krook's March in a DKC 2 style tower without the same, why even bother? I think this kind of music, as nice as it is, is just TOO complicated to be practical with sample tool and has no decent use I can think of.

Also, the whole 'insert binary stuff for dynamic sprite gfx in a hex editor' thing is outright ridiculous. There really should be a patch for this stuff by now like the one included with Tap Tap the Red Nose.

--------------------
For gaming news and Wario discussions, check out Gaming Reinvented and Wario Forums respectively.

As for Mario's Nightmare Quest? Well, it's currently on Fusion Gameworks, ROM Hacking.net or the GCN at the moment.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
Originally posted by leod
the only one that comes to my mind right now is JDC Games and hey, they seem to not be too shitty, considering they made a neat little collab hack already.


That board is kind of an exception to the "dying in a few weeks" rule, but it still counts as an offspring board whether they want to admit it or not.

Off topic stuff:
Let me speak from what I've experienced in the past year (time flies) of running JDCG.

To be honest, I never expected it to last very long at all. I created it partly for two reasons: To have a go at leading something myself (I consider myself a natural born leader) and also to create a feel for the community I suppose. I've experienced quite a few things in that year, from leading and completing the collab to seeing the ups (the community) and downs (spammers. :/ ) that appear on websites. But hey, that's what you get. I've enjoyed my time running it and I don't regret that. :)

Although what S.N.N. said is very valid to some sites (in which people create a site and put SMWC on the backburner. ), I hope people realise it is a lot of work leading/organising a website, regardless of how big the userbase is. I can trust S.N.N. can speak for himself with regards to how busy this place is, and what goes on "behind the scenes" so to speak.

To sum up last thoughts on a off topic: It's more of an "alternative" to SMWC than a replacement. No one has said that JDCG (or any other site for that matter) will replace it. I don't expect it to either really. That's not a bad thing though, as SNN said, SMWC is the main hub for SMW hacking mainly due to the masses of resources available over here.




With regards to activity, I completely agree that SMW hacking is fading. Personally, I'd chalk that up to the release of Reggie, which is a level editor for NSMBWii. Although wii hacking is more "difficult" in a way, it is more mainstream to newcomers as it's a recent game. Seriously, who thinks "Let's hack SMW" nowadays? (The above sentence applies to newcomers discovering hacking/level editing). I can only assume that people are focusing on more modern work nowadays.

For SMWC though, I think the future is in Kuribo. That is, to diversify hacking. When we have more focus on specific games to hack (not just SMW) we should indeed gain more users/popularity. I mentioned NSMBWii earlier, and I do feel that'd be a good choice to have, in regards to having focus on more games.
Originally posted by JDC
With regards to activity, I completely agree that SMW hacking is fading. Personally, I'd chalk that up to the release of Reggie, which is a level editor for NSMBWii.


Actually, I've never thought this had much to do with it at all. The "main" NSMB/NSMBWii aren't really that active at all, netting about 30-40 posts a day with what looks to be about 20 members at the most. It was a similar situation when Lazy Shell came out - everyone thought it would be a revolution and that everyone would move to SMRPG hacking, but once people started in on it, they realized it was far too complicated. Even on board2, where the editor was first released, it's an absolute ghost town. SMW editing has just been made so easy over the years that a lot of people find it difficult to turn down as their "game of choice" for hacking. Of course, the negative consequences of this are a ton of bad hacks (which we've come to know as YouTube hacks), but it at least gives people a creative outlet.

Honestly, I'd say if there is one game that I feel will take off in terms of hacking, it's probably Super Mario 64. I don't really follow the scene at all, but from what I've witnessed, there is still quite a bit going on behind the scenes. I'm pretty much certain it'll never become remotely close to as large as SMW has been, but I do believe it'll still hit a fairly high peak. Truth be told, I have absolutely no interest in doing any hacking beyond SMW. I'm getting older, like many others here (some of us are already moving through our 20s), so there comes a time when we're going to move on as well - that is, move on to real life.
Regrading Super Mario RPG, in the first place i though it would be a silly idea... editing Super Mario RPG? Oh goog please... |:-1

Regrading Super Mario 64, i think it would be a better idea since i saw many custom made stuff made with Messiaen's obj importer, so, many people here (including me, for spare time and creativity vent) would be highly interested. I would replace Super Mario RPG forum with the 64 one. The only problem is that Messiaen looks very irl busy, since he didn't put hand on his editor for long and progress are very slow.

--------------------
My deviantART
My Youtube channel
My avatar
Watch, i made a Super Mario 64 level
What the hell is a super mario world.


Personally SMW hacking really isn't as intresting as it was anymore, and the other editors never really took off. We have 652 hacks in the database, and countless more that people have made but haven't finished, and even more that have been rejected. It's not really a surprize it isn't as popular as it used to be. SMWCentral is nearly 5 years old, and if it was a game or a console we'd be playing something else by now. Not that the site isn't still cool, but I can understand why it's not as intresting as it was 5 years ago.

That being said, we're all still here. I'd kind of like to see more focus put on other kinds of game modding, and then maybe SMW hacking wouldn't seem so boring when it isn't the only option. We have great staff, a great userbase and a great site in general, so it would be nice to do things that weren't all about SMW.

You know, even though the site is called SMWCentral.
hey I just so happened to show up the exact moment this thread happened to be here so I can give my two cents yay

I left last february because I became a mod on another forum and because I lost interest in SMW hacking, true. but the bigger reason I left is because I felt the community was too "memetic" if you know what I mean. I recently revisited, interested in what you've been up to for the last year and a half, and for one think I noticed you finished the RAM map. congrats! I also noticed a giant animated pony and poptart cat in the header, which I was unable to remove. no offense but that is seriously off-putting to a lot of users who are just visiting and don't understand the community yet. if you're one of those people who hates bronies you'd probably leave and never come back. additionally, if you're an anal retentive web designer you'd also be turned off by the large, distracting animation.

also, a lot of people are just here to download a few tools, maybe play some hacks, and then leave. there are plenty of other forums where they can have general discussion and probably already frequent, and they can even talk about the new hack they're working on there, as I did.

also, sorry if I'm bringing up a dead horse but weren't you guys moving to kuribo.org or something? to make the site a more general "mario hacking" environment? what exactly happened to that?

that said, I'm sure the community here remains as kind and accepting as it was when I left, and if new users picked up on that immediately they'd probably be here to stay. I know there are a lot of people of widely varying age groups who are still interested in rom hacking but don't visit the forums because they're either not aware of them or simply are not interested in joining yet another forum. I think that romhacking remains a great way to introduce people to game design and programming and I hope your site continues to grow.
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