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If there were one thing you could tell your past self about hacking, what would it be?

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I've been thinking about this for a bit as I've slowly started to learn how to ASM properly, and I really wish I had told myself that it isn't that scary.

When I was little I had this huge compendium of scientific lectures by people like Turing, Von Neumann, etc etc etc, and I thought they were so cool but was so intimidated by programming that I never got into it.

But ASM's different from "normal" programming! It's basic enough that you can see the little binary wheels spinning around to make up the program/subroutine, and it's fascinating looking at it.

Honestly, at this point, I think that making a computer science course at the primary school level that's based around learning ASM and then being able to apply those principles to higher level languages would be a really good thing. It provides you with a much more hands-on approach to programming, especially compared to higher level and more abstract things.

Basically ASM is great.

What would you want to tell yourself right before you started working on hacks?
"only focus on one Hack."
Super Mario Travelers

can i participate in this if i didnt even release a hack

So was quite impressed by Master Foot's Doomsday and downloaded Lunar Magic. Ehh... I only knew how to drag and drop things. I didn't even know how to resize lol

Now, when I returned after a couple years... well, I wouldn't say I'm good, but at least now I can:
- insert and modify GFX
- insert sprites
- insert blocks and use Blockreator
- insert music
- insert patches
- modify RAM adresses
- resize lol
- make some other things

Well I guess I've learnt. (I even made a small something with a couple levels.)

What I'd like to say to past myself?
"If a file's named README, you're actually supposed to read it."
Hacks in progress:
None, I can't hack lol
"Your hack sucks."
My layout has removed you.
Originally posted by Super Stiviboy
"only focus on one Hack."

Pretty much. Also, "try not to focus more on being gimmicky than on fun factor in contests. Do not be afraid to sacrifice some set-ups to maintain balance or cut down on length."
Legacy custom music
A site where you can be able to hit that dislike where your dislike will be visible to other people and not have to rely on a browser extension as well as actually watch my SMW hacking content

1 - Dont rush it
2 - theres a fine line between a fun challenge and frustration.. learn to identify it
3 - Ive had a teacher who told me to when writing an article, write it as if it was to the dumbest person in the world to read.. i guess this also applies to rom hacking.. just put coins everywhere and make the intended way so obvious nobody will never get lost not knowing what to do next
mode 7 doesn't mean you just struck gold

also not everyone likes kaizo
If it's my past self during VLDC9's development phase, I'd tell myself to chill

At any other times, I'd cheer myself, because my motivation has been lacking until it finally died.
Don't let your perfectionist side ruin your hacking career. At some point, you might cancel every hack you start if you keep that up.
Not much, actually. I'm pretty happy with what I did with hacking.

I might help myself through a few headache inducing problems, mostly regarding my 2009 chocolate level design contest entry.
Don't bother waiting for special tools until at least 2011, probably several years later. Just finish some hacks. Also, keep your hack files backed up in Dropbox.


I'm working on a hack! Check it out here.
2006 (During the development of Starlight Remix):

"Overworld editing really isn't that hard."
"Only use a few different types of enemies in a level."
"Don't just throw ExGFX in because you can. Make sure they fit together."

Late 2011-Early 2012 (During the development of Mecha-Bowser's Revenge):

"See what you can do by reskinning existing custom boss sprites, and do more experimentation with the n00b Boss if necessary."
"Save those levels from the original Kamek's Island mini-hack. Maybe you could use them later."

2012 (During the development of Starlight Island Adventure):

"It's not a sin to hack SMW. God isn't causing your Hacker's Block. Try doing something else until the Hacker's Block clears."


"Don't procrastinate so much during the Christmas season. You might pull off a Christmas/Winter C3 release."
"PetiteMM and MidSplit are your best friends for porting."
"Don't let people demotivate you by pointing out how homogenized your hacks are."
Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
"Don't bite off more than you can chew, and take the time to learn the basics first"

Back in 2014 when I got into hacking, I immediately started work on a huge project, I was aiming for 50+ levels. I learned EXGFX, applying patches, and custom sprites quickly, but I sucked at palettes and didn't have the patience to learn, and things like using the 8x8 editor and YY-CHR were completely foreign to me. As a result, I burnt out on it fast.

When I got back into hacking in late 2017, I took the time to learn everything I had neglected previously, and even learned how to do hex edits. Now the only things I don't know are ExAnimations and ASM. I also set the much more realistic goal of a 20-25 level hack, and focused on making each level as fun as possible, rather than banging out as many as possible to be meet my "quota".

Now my hack is 95% complete, and I'm already thinking about my next one.

Marios Adventure in the Dreamworld - My first hack.

Learn ASM
actually do it
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!
"Don't try to out do yourself. Don't put yourself in a state of mind that your hack needs to be more than what you are currently capable of, as this WILL result in failure and needing to start over."
Expect little to nothing from me for now.

Player graphics are the only thing I do right, so come tell me to make one you want.

Go to my profile for more trash of mine.

"Sketch out your levels first before doing them."
Check out my Hack Thread
"Sample levels are there so you can Ctrl+C the backgrounds from them. No need to assemble BGs manually lmao."


"Don't make hack X, it's bad"

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