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Ice cream flavors
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Ice cream flavors
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I have to wonder why so many people get caught up on what ice cream flavor their hack is. Half the time, when I see a hack thread, the author immediately classifies it as an ice cream flavor, usually something ending in "nilla."

I gotta be honest, it pisses me off. Sticking to some arbitrary restrictions on what your hack is and isn't allowed to use doesn't change anything. It doesn't advance SMW hacking at all. It really just makes the whole hack forgettable in my mind.

I don't know though, what about you guys?
I never bother with the disambiguation, since my hacks would be very difficult to classify in any of those categories.

But I can see the fun in restricting yourself - it offers a different challenge from having to figure out what patch is breaking the hack.
yeah, rather than making a hack based on what they can do, people follow some guideline (which is fine for a contest since that may be the point, but not so much for a personal work). vanilla overall turns me off because there's so much you can do with SMW yet you choose to stick to what feels "safe" aka the original game, though this is probably a different argument
I never did fully "get" the whole vanilla/chocolate/choconilla concept. I'm pretty sure that vanilla means the hack stuck to original-game graphics (maybe incorporating beta graphics as well). Chocolate might therefore mean that the hack incorporated all-new custom graphics. As for choconilla, it might mean a cross between the first two (some custom graphics, but the rest being standard fare).

I agree with Ladida on this score: everybody jumped on the "ice-cream bandwagon", and the darn thing is about to tip over!

Labeling hacks as chocolate/vanilla/choconilla is beyond stale now. The words (especially choconilla) don't really mean much anymore.

As hacks continue to become more advanced and the ideas more ambitious (take Yoshifanatic's latest hack, for example), the ice cream flavors are going to become more and more difficult to ascribe to upcoming hacks, so I vote that their use be (voluntarily) discontinued.

No need to infringe on people's freedom of expression, but new "tags" need to be created to describe future hacks.

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The meaning of life is 42 because potato.

I don't feed trolls. I feed THEM to Cthulhu. He finds them DELICIOUS.
I've made some researched on the Internet and I've found more likely reason:
Vanilla is a pretty popular ice cream flavour and isn't America (where you live) the country which had introduced (plain) vanilla as a synonym for "nothing Special" or "ordinary" which later become the style for SMW hacking? #ab{:P} The opposide of (plain) vanilla is exotic options because most of the time we use the artifical aroma vanillin. Why we also use chocolate? IDK. Maybe because cacao beans are exotic fruits but I'm not an expert at this.
For sure, there is a reason why we use vanilla for SMW-styled hacks/ hacks with only edited level and overworld.
If I recall correctly, SMW isn't the only game using the term "vanilla" as the original (or based of), unedited game. I don't mind about chocolate or vanilla terms, as they tell you which type of hack is it. Some people used the term "choco-nilla" to tell about a mix of these two.

It's okay as long people don't use too many terms or flavours. I remember that some people called "choconilla" hacks "strawberry". Strawberry doesn't sound like a mix of chocolate and vanilla, but whatever.
It's just names so I don't see anything wrong with it.

All hacks could be classed as "Chocolate" in some respect.
(new colours, sprite editing, etc.)

These terms acting like rough guidelines can be helpful to those starting to hack.

I dunno. I aint fussed by them.
I think we should all stop getting diabetes over ice cream flavors and just make video games.
I think some restrictions are useful. After all, if we didn't want any at all, we wouldn't be hacking an ancient game with SNES limitations. We'd be making a new game from scratch.

Anywho, the ice cream flavors are waaaaaaay too fuzzy a distinction. They hardly mean anything at all. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting things that conform to some limitation or other, but it should be clearly defined as to what the limitations are. Things like "vanilla" would be more useful with clearer definitions.


Personally I don't limit my hacks very much. Anything goes, with the following exceptions: No extreme SRAM expansion, no special chips or extensions (like SA-1 or MSU1).
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
I think some restrictions are useful. After all, if we didn't want any at all, we wouldn't be hacking an ancient game with SNES limitations. We'd be making a new game from scratch.

Makes me wonder why some people here don't do just that, to be quite honest.

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I still remember that suggestion topic Gamma V made regarding for the current hack section. I find it to be a fitting alternative to the whole ice cream flavored classification so engrained in this culture as it offers a more objective approach of what this hack is. Why don't people use that as a guideline for classifying their hacks?

...Though I do see the point of using the ice cream flavor classification as a personal means of either restricting or going all out.

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-Other times I'm availible for your project is C3 request threads I may run.




In a sense, here are three reasons why I think Icecream flavors are used.

1. Never really see any others, and if so, they are easily forgotten about
2. We all know what the icecream flavors come to mean easily considering they are everywhere, and even used to describe other games (non modded minecraft is often refered to as "Vanilla Minecraft")
3. It's easy to remember

I honestly don't know what the big fuss is though, they're just words, and if simple terms can flip a switch on anyone, that person needs to look over their daily activities and think a little.

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Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
I think some restrictions are useful. After all, if we didn't want any at all, we wouldn't be hacking an ancient game with SNES limitations. We'd be making a new game from scratch.

My thoughts exactly. Personally, I don't even like using the SA-1 patch, since it feels too far beyond what the SNES is capable of.

You have to remember that the SNES' processor had a clock speed lower than anything we use today. The creator of the SA-1 pack lists the SNES running at 3.56MhZ with FastROM. The thing had 128kb of RAM.

I'm listing this to get some perspective; today's developers often make games which don't look much better than SMW take up several times the processing power and memory, almost entirely because SMW was coded in assembly. I think it's amazing that you can fit an entire game, with fancy HDMA effects, beautiful palettes, and great sampled music into a processing power which barely comes close to 4MhZ.

By today's standards, that's near impossible to achieve. And that's why I love SMW and other SNES games, as well as hacks. Part of it's nostalgia, yes, but I stand in awe at this feat that no developer would even bother considering performing today.

The SNES and every game made for it is beautiful, and isn't something we should take for granted.

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I've become very grumpy these last few years, and have been biting my tongue here in SMWC's forums quite a bit. I just want to let you all know that if ever I come off as harsh, I still care about you all. You guys are great.

(Avatar by http://reyleias.tumblr.com/, butchered by me)
If nothing else, it is good for clarity.

When I play a hack that is considered to be "Vanilla", it usually means I should not expect to see any custom sprites or ExGFX that did not come from the original game. Yes, I understand there are many interpretations of vanilla (some go as far as to say you shouldn't even change the palettes), but I have always associated the term with SMW's native assets.

Once the hacker starts dabbling in stuff not found in SMW, inserting custom sprites and graphics, throwing in new ASM routines, etc., that is when they are going into chocolate territory. Again, chocolateness can vary to many degrees, from "Choconilla" which still retains a lot of SMW's default aesthetics and mechanics to full-blown chocolate where the game is not even recognizable from the original SMW. When I play a hack that is considered to be chocolate, I am expecting to see a hack that introduces new elements not found in SMW.

I see no reason to argue over this unless an author is claiming their hack to be something it is not.

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(My first thought after reading the thread's title: "what, what's a thread about ice cream doing in hacking discusison")

I think any limitations you give yourself for your hack are silly outside of graphical limitations. I wouldn't start using ExGFX in the middle of a hack that uses no ExGFX at all, but I would, for instance, use a custom sprite or a custom block in a hack that still didn't use any if it was cool. I don't think anybody who hasn't played SMW would see that as clashy (unless it's some extreme Wapanese custom sprite or something) because even SMW itself introduced the carrot lifts in Valley of Bowser 3.

Well, it also introduced that cards-like "tileset" in the third room of Bowser's castle, but I still prefer to either stick to SMW's graphics, mix them or change them completely for the whole hack throughout, since it's just very difficult to find something that looks just like a SMW tileset.

I don't like giving "flavors" to my hacks though. I have one project with no custom graphics or palettes but with custom blocks, sprites and music; and another with no custom sprites, but with custom blocks, music and backgrounds other than SMW's. Vanilla? Choconilla? Half-choco? Strawberry? Guessing which one it fits best as is kind of... Pointless thinking. I'm all fine if people want to classify their hacks however, but may they not limit themselves beyond what affects consistency only because of that.
I love how everyone keeps calling them "ice cream flavors" even though vanilla and chocolate flavors exist in...well, pretty much anything that has a flavor. Even condoms can have vanilla or chocolate flavor. Oh and there's also the Vanilla Dome and Chocolate Island in SMW.

Anyway I never had a problem with vanilla hacks, neither with naming them like that. I see vanilla hacks as hacks that focus on level deisgn (although you can do this with chocolate as well but whatever) and I think it's interesting to see what somebody can come up with using the original resources.
Originally posted by Koopster
I think any limitations you give yourself for your hack are silly outside of graphical limitations.

But limitation drives innovation. I think that choosing not to limit yourself is silly, because it all but guarantees that your work will be average at best. Only by working under certain limits, self imposed or otherwise, can one create a real masterpiece.

This is more a philosophical point, but just look at how successful the indie game community is and you'll see what I mean. Hell, look at SMW hacking in general. SMW hacking is literally all about limitation driving innovation, and choosing to avoid any and all restrictions, especially in a medium like this, seems plain silly to me.

But yes, ice cream flavours are perhaps not the best way to limit oneself, because it lops your work into a 'genre', another factor that brings your work down to average.

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I've become very grumpy these last few years, and have been biting my tongue here in SMWC's forums quite a bit. I just want to let you all know that if ever I come off as harsh, I still care about you all. You guys are great.

(Avatar by http://reyleias.tumblr.com/, butchered by me)
Originally posted by MelodicCodes
But limitation drives innovation. I think that choosing not to limit yourself is silly, because it all but guarantees that your work will be average at best. Only by working under certain limits, self imposed or otherwise, can one create a real masterpiece.

This is more a philosophical point, but just look at how successful the indie game community is and you'll see what I mean. Hell, look at SMW hacking in general. SMW hacking is literally all about limitation driving innovation, and choosing to avoid any and all restrictions, especially in a medium like this, seems plain silly to me.

the snes already imposes enough limitations imo, just work with that
Originally posted by MelodicCodes
Originally posted by Koopster
I think any limitations you give yourself for your hack are silly outside of graphical limitations.

But limitation drives innovation. I think that choosing not to limit yourself is silly, because it all but guarantees that your work will be average at best. Only by working under certain limits, self imposed or otherwise, can one create a real masterpiece.

This is more a philosophical point, but just look at how successful the indie game community is and you'll see what I mean. Hell, look at SMW hacking in general. SMW hacking is literally all about limitation driving innovation, and choosing to avoid any and all restrictions, especially in a medium like this, seems plain silly to me.

But yes, ice cream flavours are perhaps not the best way to limit oneself, because it lops your work into a 'genre', another factor that brings your work down to average.


I couldn't undertand anything you were saying.
Originally posted by MelodicCodes
But limitation drives innovation. I think that choosing not to limit yourself is silly, because it all but guarantees that your work will be average at best. Only by working under certain limits, self imposed or otherwise, can one create a real masterpiece.

This is more a philosophical point, but just look at how successful the indie game community is and you'll see what I mean. Hell, look at SMW hacking in general. SMW hacking is literally all about limitation driving innovation, and choosing to avoid any and all restrictions, especially in a medium like this, seems plain silly to me.

But yes, ice cream flavours are perhaps not the best way to limit oneself, because it lops your work into a 'genre', another factor that brings your work down to average.


I completely disagree with everything you just said.
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