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(Dual!) Staff Spotlight - March 2017
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Display Case - Interview Archive - (Dual!) Staff Spotlight - March 2017
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Hello and welcome to yet another edition of the Delayed Staff Spotlight Show, this time with a less-than-a-day delay!
Because most people know so little about them, we've decided to pick our very new additions to the staff team, Amaraticando and Bruno Visnadi, for a double interview! They joined the team together with the promise of helping us out so we could host pit hacks again, and they've been delivering pretty well so far! This month's read includes a bunch about themselves and about pit hacks as well, so don't miss it.

Koopster Alright! So to start with a twist of a classic question, how did you guys get into TASing? And more specifically, how did you get into TASing Mario hacks?
Amaraticando The first TAS that I watched was Super Mario Bros any%. The skills impressed me and the video sounded fake to me. I decided to click on the link to to read what the heck was going on. Then, I had a small notion that the run was legit, but done with careful use of states and slowdown.
Amaraticando As Super Mario World was one my favorite games from my childhood, I googled Super Mario World TAS and found runs from the game and from pit hacks (Item Abuse). After months watching, I decided to try it.
Bruno Visnadi Around 2012, some Kaizo Mario World videos poped up in my Youtube suggestions. At that time, I didn't know what a ROM hack was, neither that there was such a think as a SMW community. I found the videos pretty interesting, and eventually they lead me to nathanisbored's channel, a guy who posts videos of various glitches of the game, which he finds himself. I didn't intend to create a Youtube channel, but in 2013 I did so to show Nathan a technique (which thanks to his knowledge lead to the discover of Yoshi's House ''normal'' exit!). I decided I wanted to upload regularly, and as I found some TASer channels (including Amaraticando's, which already TASed for a while I think), I decided to give a try and post some TASes too. Both Nathan and Amaraticando were supportive and taught me about the game.
Koopster I see. Turns out YouTube is not just how a lot of people find out about SMW hacking, but about speedrunning and TASing as well!

Koopster Next question interests me a tad. What made you guys offer to help SMW Central with the moderation of pit hacks?
Bruno Visnadi I was at SMWC Discord helping LappySheep with something about his pit hack, and Chillah suggested me to request to become a pit mod. I didn't know Panga had left, and that pit hacks couldn't be accepted anymore. So I liked his idea and I asked the admins if it was possible to the site to start accepting pit hacks again. They said that it was necessary to have at least 2 mods in case 1 drops of. So I asked Amaraticando if he had interest in being a mod too. Thankfully, now, pit hacks are being submited with some small regularity 😃
Amaraticando I believe pit hacks are artistic, just like normal hacks. While kaizo games are supposed to be a pain to beat normally, pit should be hard to beat with any possible tool, except cheats. Making a pit hack can be even harder, because the creator must know a good bit of the game mechanics, glitch abuse and the difference between very hard from not possible at all.
Amaraticando Since pit hacks are awesome, they deserved to be at the site. That's I wanted to help.

Koopster Well, I'm glad you two have stayed motivated for the task! It definitely doesn't look very easy.
Koopster Speaking of, can you tell us a bit about the process of moderating a pit hack? Is it no much different than making a TAS?
Amaraticando Often, users don't present us a solution of the game, so we have to figure out by ourselves. Aside from beating the hack, we must evaluate if there's any major break in the game that skips the challenges, if the visuals and design are good, if the final movie look impressive and if there's any clever new trick. Pit hacks are mostly done for people who will watch a TAS or gameplay instead of playing themselves.
Amaraticando Some parts of this process are very related to TASing, except that a good TAS must be optimized and must complete the game as fast as possible.
Bruno Visnadi It is actually pretty different than making a TAS. In the case of pit hacks, there is a similarity: In both cases, we have to look for breaks. In the TAS, you want to find them to complete the level faster; and in the moderation process, well, a lot of breaks can be a reason to reject the hack.
Bruno Visnadi Besides that, in the moderation process I try to evaluate parameters like creativity, level design, difficulty itself, and to make sure the hack is actually possble to beat, while TASing is about heavy movement optimization, route testing, and often some brainstorming and creative thinking. However, as pit hacks can be very difficult to play, some TAS skills/knowledge can be required to beat them.
Koopster I see. Pretty interesting to learn about that.

Koopster So, besides TASing, have you guys ever tried your hand at SMW hacking itself? Do you have any projects released, or perhaps something in progress? Or do you really just speedrun?
Bruno Visnadi I've tried to make hacks a couple times in the past, but I dropped them in the first level, both times. I also have a kaizo hack made back in 2013, which is... just terrible, I had no idea what I was doing! I do intend to make a pit hack some day, focusing mainly on heavy glitch abuse. There are many glitches that aren't required in any hack so far.
Amaraticando Last year, I started drawing my first hack, but it's not even a WIP yet. I wanna release it by the end of 2017. Aside from that, I like to write Lua scripts for this game. My smw-tas shows many info about Mario, sprites, hitboxes, timers, tiles and all sort of objects. While the main purpose is to find the best time, it can be used to debug the game and to hunt glitches.
Koopster You guys must know a lot of obscure tricks in SMW with the experience you have with TASing. Looking forward to your hacks, I bet they're gonna be pretty insane to watch :D

Koopster To finish the main questions, I want to talk a bit about the site itself, SMW Central. You guys may not be very active in the forums, but you do hang out on Discord. What do you think about our community?
Bruno Visnadi To be honest, I still feel ''new'' in the site. I didn't 'explore' all areas yet, and, unfortunately, I still don't know many people from the community. In some months I'll have more free time and I'll be able to change that :)
Bruno Visnadi So far, I interacted mostly the admin and mods who intruduced us to SMWCentral, and some people who helped me with one specific case I decided to ''investigate'' in the site about users who abuse of the rating system, and they were all really nice. I digged in some foruns and took a look at the highest rated hacks I didn't know of, which are, of course, candidates for TASing in the future! I enjoyed a lot things like messing with hacking tools (Like ''Sprite Tweaker), which I didn't know they existed. It seems there are a lot of great tools. SMWC seemed to me, thus, a very well organized site, with a nice comunity and a lot of good content.
Amaraticando I don't post very often but I'm always wandering around the kaizo topics. The community is huge, very organized and provide a lot of tools for free. That's just possible because the administrators take the job very seriously.
Amaraticando The userbase is very creative and many hacks beat professional SNES games. I don't see a more vibrant ROM hacking community elsewhere.
Koopster It's always interesting to heard what people who aren't very engaged have to say about our community. I'm glad you two have good impressions of it! Thanks for being part of the team that makes the community go forward, too. Your work is always very appreciated.

Koopster To finish off, I'm going to give you very quick and random questions. Here goes!
Koopster Favorite food?
Amaraticando (almost) anything with shrimp will be delicious.
Bruno Visnadi For lunch, I like a lot most kinds of fish. For a quick snack in the afternoon, fruits are awesome. Except papaya.
Koopster Best holiday/time of the year?
Bruno Visnadi Surely summer, which is, where I live, January/December. It's when I have a lot of free time to do stuff I like.
Amaraticando The final week of the year.
Koopster A music genre you enjoy?
Bruno Visnadi I lately haven't spent much time listening to music, but I like a Brazilian genre we call 'MPB', which direct translation to English would be something like 'Popular Brazilian Music', although it can be semantically incorrect, maybe.
Amaraticando Metal
Koopster Good taste, you two 👌
Koopster When you eat shrimp do you eat the tails (blame leod for this question)
Amaraticando I eat it all.
Bruno Visnadi I don't!
Koopster Man I haven't had shrimps in a while
Amaraticando I think I prefer sea food because I live too far away from it.
Bruno Visnadi Or maybe just because it's good, as I live pretty close to it and preffer it anyway :)
Koopster I live right next to the sea and I rarely have sea food, lol

Koopster Alright guys, that should wrap it up for this month's Staff Spotlight. Thanks a lot to the two of you for your time and for you great answers! Keep working hard, guys!!

I promise to deliver in time the next time
This is an A+ high quality interview =D

Also congrats to the two spotlighted staff, it's cool to know more about a scene that I usually don't go near, and the people moderating hacks for it.

congrats you two guys, you're very dedicated (really dedicated lol)


Shrimps SHOULD be eaten fully
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This is a really good interview, glad to finally know some more about the both of you. I bet moderating pit hacks is an incredibly difficult thing to do, so kudos to you for doing them.

Congrats to you both, keep it up!
Very well deserved, as they have both worked hard around moderating pit hacks ever since they were added to the team. Congrats!
MPB music is cool! i haven't explored much beyond metá metá, cícero, n a little bit of tom zé. been years since i've listened to that stuff.

congratulations to the lot of you tho.
Really nice interview!
I'm privileged to spend a portion of my day with these 2 talented guys in Discord (our group used to be on Skype actually). We share the same passion for SMW, and our projects are always fun to do.
This site and community will learn a lot with them! #smw{;)}

Glitch hunter, RAM eater, pseudo-TASer.
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Congrats and well deserved, I think you've both done a great job so far!

Once again, thanks a lot for helping us bring pit hacking back to the site, and I have so much respect for the patience you guys have lol. Hell, I tried ColonThree and couldn't get passed the second screen rofl

Proud of ya both, keep it up :3
Yoo congrats! You guys are being modest too. These guys have the fastest TAS for SMW currently, so yeah :D Also super happy pit hacks are being accepted and are still popular, and the popularity of Kaizo hacks and stuff is increasing too. If you guys made a pit hack together that would also be really cool. And really nice interview Koopster!
should've gone the extra mile and have archie help you interview
Congrats you two!
^ true

A double interview is a pretty interesting idea, and there's no doubt both of them deserved it in this case. Congrats!
I normally don't read interviews, but this was actually pretty good. It's great to get to know the two of you a little more. You guys really deserved it, as pit hacks wouldn't be alive on here if it weren't for you guys.

Formerly known as nick 139
My YouTube channel
High quality interview, high quality mods.

Didn't the nathanisbored and co. have some sort of huge Super Puzzle World 3 discussion?
Super happy to have you two around! It was unfortunate we had to cut off pit hacks from the section, and it's great to see the opportunity for growth in that community again! Great interview, and congrats to both of you!! #wario{;)}

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Display Case - Interview Archive - (Dual!) Staff Spotlight - March 2017

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