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There are a lot of Demos floating around...

There seems to be a common trend where us hackers tend to submit demos with at least 1 world, then kind of get bored of the project and cancel it afterwards. Granted, I've submitted 2 demos myself and canceled one of them (for a good reason, as
Mario's First Adventure
isn't worth continuing), but I thought to myself that quite a few people just give up. After submitting my second demo, I start to just work on my projects until they are finished and done with.

I've also seen quite a few half finished hack demos, and even demos that are 7/8 worlds done, which I find quite ridiculous if I'm being honest. There are also finished hacks that had demos where the previous content had little to NO changes whatsoever. Those who have played the demo earlier in those hacks would have to go through that first part of the game again just to get to the later content. This is why I wait until the final product is released.

To me at least, a demo is a piece of a project that is meant to give you a taste of what is coming, with the completed levels dumbed down to be shorter or have less content so that when the project is finished, you will be able to experience what the author removed if he already made the level. For an example, if I were to give you all a demo of Daizo's Journey, I would have the player play through 8 levels they can try out, and make them shorter so in the final release you can experience the full thing. That is what I think a demo is, not releasing a quarter completed game with a END OF DEMO level at the end.

Now of course, I'd like to hear more opinions about this subject. So how do you all feel about demos in general, and the amount of demos we have in the Hacks Section (especially recently).
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I've already said once that there should be a cap of one demo per person at some point. Perhaps one is a bit of a low number, I don't know how many repeated offenders there are.

If you absolutely must submit a new hack then you should just remove your older demo. Demos are meant for showcasing, they don't belong next to full games.
My opinion is that we need to push collabs as a concept a lot more. Making a hack about as long as the original SMW takes a stupid amount of effort; with today's expectations on GFX, music and ASM pretty much no one has what it takes to finish it. Ideally big projects like that should have an entire team backing them, or they will just be left in the dust. Granted, there are some big hacks made by single people, but it's a vanishingly small minority.

I think it's good that we expect more from hacks the more we learn, if only we could learn how to produce them, too. Idk, I think we had more big hacks before we started expecting so many new resources in every project. If we pushed collabs we could also vastly increase the average quality of hacks. Maybe there would be fewer, but they would also be better, I'm quite sure. Single hackers should probably settle for 1-2 world hacks. A hack definitely doesn't have to be long to be enjoyable; it's a lot easier to polish a short hack and make it good, too.

So yeah, push collabs.

allow shy guy emojis in post footers you cowards!
The purpose of a hack demo, as I understand it, is to receive general feedback from the community in order to determine what direction the game should be taking and which ideas to add/keep/discard. I personally don't find two or three world hacks to be a bad thing (although I think just one world is probably not enough content for a demo of a long hack.) I completely agree with you about longer hack demos, though. A few hacks hosted here (I won't name any though) have had several successive demos with only minor additions. It is possible, in some cases, to simply use the same SRAM from an older demo to continue a later demo or the final game, but still.

I do partially agree that a demo should, ideally, have a sampling of levels from throughout the game (partially edited, though) rather than just two or three whole worlds that probably won't be changed much in the final game. But I don't think this is really the right choice for an SMW hack for reasons I've already mentioned: a demo permits you to get feedback from players. If you can release the type of demo you want, the hack would have to be nearly finished and it would be difficult to make any changes or possible overhauls if there are design flaws.


Originally posted by Daizo Dee Von
There seems to be a common trend where us hackers tend to submit demos with at least 1 world, then kind of get bored of the project and cancel it afterwards.


Not a hacker trend as much as a game developer trend in general. Really, this happens quite a lot. That's because people underestimate game development. It takes quite a while to complete a finished game with a decent amount of play time, especially when you're working alone. I'd like to say at least a few years. People just sort of start realizing the ideas they have in their heads, which is quite fun, but most of these ideas are wasted after completing a few levels and that's when they realize, that what they already have is - at best - a minimal part of a full game and they have only few ideas for more levels and realizing them would take quite a while. That's probably when a lot of people just give it all up.

At the same time, people want to get feedback on their work, so that's why they release demos of their projects, way before these are actually nearing completion. And that's not entirely wrong, in my opinion, because you can't get good feedback on a project unless you actually let people experience it. For professional game development, yes, I'd agree with you that this would be the wrong way to do it. For a professionally developed game, you should only release a demo once your game is nearing completion and the demo should only be a slice of your game. However, professional game development is something entirely different. Professional game developers are usually big teams, so they have a lot of internal people to test a game again and again during development and therefore have less of a necessity to get outside people to play their game, at least until just before completion. As a hobby game developer, you just don't have anyone but yourself to test your game, so releasing demos is the only way to get some decent feedback at all. Although I have to admit that I'm personally not a fan of releasing demos, either (at least to the public), since I don't like spoiling surprises for people when working on a project.

Another reason why many projects don't get past a demo is because the initial euphoria usually doesn't last very long. When you start a project, it's usually a lot of fun, you have a lot of ideas, a lot of inspiration, everything feels new and fresh and you just start working and actually get some stuff done. Then, at some point, you realise that your project needs some kind of direction and that there is no point in just creating random levels without any concrete plans in your head. That's when suddenly the project starts becoming more and more "work" and less and less "fun" and going way beyond what the project was originally imagined to be (which is "a fun hobby"). Not too surprsing that a lot of people lose motivation after that.
Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeadFic

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StillbornSerial

Not really a Mario modding specific thing, more like a general trend/issue in games and fan works in general. Think of ROM hack demos like those fan fiction.net stories with one or two chapters complete and the last update being a 'sorry I haven't done anything' letter three years ago.

Making any creative work is difficult. Completing one requires a level of willpower few people actually have.

In other words, the problem is just as endemic on Mario Fan Games Galaxy or Fan Fiction.net as it is on SMW Central.

Quote
My opinion is that we need to push collabs as a concept a lot more. Making a hack about as long as the original SMW takes a stupid amount of effort; with today's expectations on GFX, music and ASM pretty much no one has what it takes to finish it. Ideally big projects like that should have an entire team backing them, or they will just be left in the dust. Granted, there are some big hacks made by single people, but it's a vanishingly small minority.


That's a good point as well. The amount of stuff you need to know for game development (Mario modding or otherwise) gets larger and larger all the time, so it's probably a good idea to work with at least a couple of others in order to get contributors that know how to handle all the different aspects of game development (graphics, music, programming, level design, etc).

See ASPE Mario for an example of what a team of people with different skillsets and levels of ability can achieve.

Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult to get people to help out with most games here. Or anywhere in the modding world, since it's filled with people who seem to be die hard individualists without any interest in working as a team. It's not SMW specific, same stuff is true of the scene over on sites like ROM Hacking.net too.
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.
Working in teams isn't really a solution to the problem. It just exchanges one problem for another. When you work alone, you hack is likely to have a constant quality, but it's unlikely to finish. When you work in a team, your hack is likely to finish, but it is unlikely to have a constant quality. The problem here, once again, being, that to most people a hack is just a hobby. And when your hack is just your hobby, you also kinda want it to be a mirror of yourself and don't want to subordinate yourself to someone else's visions. Again, this is no problem at all for professional game development, as there is pretty much always someone who is responsible for the game's vision (usually called vision keeper) and who is usually your supervisor, so that whether you obey him or not just isn't even in question.

Yeah, that's the big problem. There just isn't a real solution to fix all problems that come with hobby game developing. It's always connected to some kind of problems and that's why so few hobby game development projects are actually finished (or if they are finished, are often of poor quality).
Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
Originally posted by cheat-master30
Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult to get people to help out with most games here. Or anywhere in the modding world, since it's filled with people who seem to be die hard individualists without any interest in working as a team. It's not SMW specific, same stuff is true of the scene over on sites like ROM Hacking.net too.


This is because most people have a clear idea of where they want to take the hack, and it's hard to get other people, especially those on the internet, to help out with the project because they do not share your own vision. Persuading them can help, but in reality, those people are going to think their own ideas are more important than your own. Which is also a very healthy way of thinking mind you.
It also doesn't help that if you're completely new to a site, nobody is going to offer you (help with) resources unless you make a very good first impression. This being said, being helpful to other users as far as advice and similar goes isn't counted in this statement.

Really, the best way to get team-hacks/collabs going is to be willing to compromise. If you have a specific story you want to tell with your hack, this could be very hard because the other (potential) members might not share the same ideas; and maybe the lack of story there of might turn other potential members off.

Another way is to find a way you can each design your own hacks; yet help one another out with resources. Like a coder and a music porter might need the other person's skills for their own hacks. The coder can give the music porter some private code and related while the porter in turn gives the coder private ports. However, there is always the risk that either the coder or the porter could lose motivation, and therefore the other party will suffer due to absence of required resources.

I know everybody hates private stuff, but it is a necessary to make hacks stand out; and at this point in SMWC, that's what we really need to see.

Making or even starting collabs takes a lot of time and effort. Hell, each collab would technically require its own subforum just to keep things organized! And while that would be nice, I don't think admins are going to set up subforums for every collab out there. You could possibly keep a collaboration dedicated to just one thread, but that would take a lot of work on the OP's part. Additionally, one can always set up their own forum for the collab, but seriously, who visits these new forums for more than a week? Collaborations are always great ideas and are fun, but they become tedious once members/users you've come to rely on lose their motivation or drive to continue, and most collabs outright fail because the members there of quit altogether: either due to lack of motivation or lack of excellent leadership.
The reason there are demos is because youre thinking of demos differently than most hackers, in this context.

On here, "demo" is more synonymous with "beta", or just "unfinished" in general. It's the game, thus far. It's why stuff like Kitiku/Brutal is almost a full game despite being a "demo", because it's not that kind of demo, it's just... what the author has. For some people, this will be a world or two, and for others it'll be several.

You're thinking of demo in terms of like... the outside world of game development, but this website uses "demo" as its tag for unfinished hacks.
Very very very shortly, this drab, workaday world and everything in it will be changed forever! Follow us into the golden country, into the empire of the senseless!
then they shouldn't be called demos
"WIPs" would probably be a more fitting term. But eh, not much point in suddenly introducing a new naming system. Most people are already used to "demo" by now.
Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
What others said. People want feedback, but it can be difficult to get the right feedback unless you have a substantial amount of work to show, and a lot of times these demos are the first or second hacks these users create. I know when I had created a 3-world demo for Sugar Island Adventure almost five years ago (which was sadly rejected over a few graphical errors), I was already beginning to explore more possibilities in SMW hacking such as Map16 manipulation and hex editing. I had also become much better versed in level design concepts as well. It got to the point where I had learned so many new things since my first demo that I needed to make a tough decision: rebuild my entire demo using the new knowledge I have amassed, or use that knowledge to create something completely different. I decided to go with the latter because I did not think I could keep the spirit of the original demo with what I now know, nor did I want to hold back my capabilities.

As for the whole discussion on collaborations, that is really dependent on how ambitious of a collaboration it is. Something on the scale of the SMWCP hacks definitely requires a lot of talent and dedication to complete it, and even the first one did not turn out as well as many had hoped due to a handful of issues in the production, while the second has been stuck in limbo as a result of lost motivation among key project members. Now if you were to do something less demanding on the coding/ASM side and not focus too much on making your own resources for the collaboration, the users can focus more on the game design elements of the hack, which most of us are capable of to varying degrees... but then this goes back to the argument of high expectations. I think people starting collabs should really ask themselves: are you doing it just to have a large hack with 70+ levels that you don't have to work on alone, or 70+ levels of very high quality?
While we're at it, what was up with that Kafka jerk? That loozah never actually managed to complete anything but few single-level or one-world stories. All his longer word-hacks remain unfinished, one even ending mid-sentence. Seriously, who wants to bother with that sort of half-finished hokum? I mean jeez Louise.

But more seriously--if we only had completed works around these here parts, we'd have a lot fewer hacks overall, and those we had would necessarily be a sample of our best. As noted above, completing a full-length hack--or at least a good one--is a major undertaking, and it's often the most ambitious ones that ultimately end up being abandoned in the end. But not before coming a significant step of the way. Plenty of unfinished hacks have been major influences for later works (finished or not) and help move the hackular discourse as a whole along. Just like that weird neurotic Praguite with a thing about bureaucracy. And also like his unfinished novels, I'm glad we at least get to play the parts of these projects that do manage to force their way into existence despite all odds. Because as much as we may sigh to ourselves about what could have been, that scarcely detracts from what there is, fully realized or not.
Originally posted by Rameau's Nephew
While we're at it, what was up with that Kafka jerk? That loozah never actually managed to complete anything but few single-level or one-world stories. All his longer word-hacks remain unfinished, one even ending mid-sentence. Seriously, who wants to bother with that sort of half-finished hokum? I mean jeez Louise.


Well, he deserves due credit for managing to end a one-word hack mid-sentance. How does that work?

That is true, though, most of the well-known hacks were never finished. Mario's Keytastrophe, The Cookie Crisis, Super Mario Odyssey, and Brutal Mario.


At least BM is still being worked on, unlike every good hack ever (☞゚ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞
Originally posted by Cascade
That is true, though, most of the well-known hacks were never finished. (...) Brutal Mario.

Actually no, Carol started working on the last world like last month or w/e

Originally posted by MercuryPenny
At least BM is still being worked on, unlike every good hack ever (☞゚ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞

lel
HackPortsASM"Uploader"

Originally posted by MercuryPenny
At least BM is still being worked on, unlike every good hack ever (☞゚ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)☞

I like the implication that BM and good hack are mutually exclusive :^)
Originally posted by Leomon
Originally posted by Cascade
That is true, though, most of the well-known hacks were never finished. (...) Brutal Mario.

Actually no, Carol started working on the last world like last month or w/e

Source please?
Originally posted by FanofSMBX
Source please?

cheat-master30 has said over on the fanmade Brutal Mario Wiki that Carol sent him an email back in April about them looking for graphics for the last stages (World 9), and also that Carol was going to contribute something for their hack.

He also sent me a PM about it:
Originally posted by "the PM"
Well, I may have some interesting news.

1. I'm currently looking for graphics for carol's Luigi World section of Brutal Mario. He mentions level based on an arabian town, Peach's Castle and a ruined version of Toad Town.

2. Carol may be willing to provide some sprites for Mario's Nightmare Quest. I don't expect to get the next Julius or Tanasinn, but damn that would be awesome,

I'm so winning C3 this year. Heck, when my ROM hack is done, I'm winning the 'best hack of all time' lottery.

He also got a demo, which I posted about in the Japanese hacks thread.
It's in the last few pages, you should find it pretty easily.

The graphics cheat and Carol agreed on (as of June 14th) as being the most suitable were from Castlevania: Dracula X and Aladdin (whether it's the Virgin one on the DOS, Amiga and Mega Drive or the Capcom one on the SNES, I have no idea).

Also, Carol recently (last month, also FYI, they've been gone the entire July, I dunno if they'll be replying to anything in August) sent me a reply to a question I made about the DK Coins' purpose and the end boss (also a song I couldn't find the source of).

See here.

I blurred out Carol's new email due to Carol stalkers (more like time stalkers hoho) on here. I'll only give out the email to people I deem trustworthy. Sorry if this sounds elitist, but I don't want people bothering Carol too much.

The reason for the new email is because of junk mail flooding their inbox at Xrea, by the way.

I actually sent Carol an email asking if they wanted me to talk to a mod and restore their account, I'm awaiting a response.

I'm assuming that the arabian town and Toad Town stages Carol was talking about were the center ones, the Peach's Castle stage being the castle, obviously. Carol mentioned once that at most they can only complete two stages per month, so they should be done with those four stages probably sometime between August and October (assuming they started working on them in June).

They also mentioned that they were remaking all of their older levels. They first mentioned this back in 2012, after releasing the Athletic Special demo. Since they're working on the last stages now, I assume that they're done with the level remaking? I'd ask what there's left to finish, but I'm not sure if that'd be rude on my end. Sorry.
HackPortsASM"Uploader"