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Old 11-28-2005, 08:20 PM   #11
Sliver X
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

I will agree that ROM hacking as a whole (translations and non) has slowed down over the past few years, but for many reasons. For translations, most of the "high profile" games for the 16 bit and below eras have been done now. It's shifting more towards obscure games (Which I actually enjoy), but not as many people are doing it.

In the realm of non translation hacks, there's been a marked decrease in hack releases, but you've got to put that in context. The vast majority of all hacks are really pieces of shit anyway, and still are. But over the past couple of years some of the most amazing hacks ever have been released, with more than a few in progress right now. I'd rather have quality than quantity any day.

But I get the feeling that we're going to see a spike in activity next year, or whenever the Revolution's classic game download service is up and running. Suddenly people who may not have been old enough to really play the SNES and NES will have access to basically their entire libraries, if I understand correctly. This will probably spark interest in them again to a broader group of people.

The flip-side to all of this, though, is that I fear Nintendo will begin to *strictly* begin to crack down on emulation as a whole, since it will start to tangibly effect their income. If this drives "the scene" underground, then access to it won't be as ready as it's been since 1996 or so. Whether this will simply limit the amount of newcomers, or actually make it smaller, <img src=smilies/mystery.gif>.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:42 PM   #12
Bit-Blade
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

You bring up some very interesting points but I think I see a flaw in your logic. You're assuming that events may more or less duplicate themselves are far as a gestation time period. The ideas to do all this are already established. I rather think that it would take the next generation much less time to begin if they are aware of our activities in even the slightest. Besides, who's to say that events shall unfold in a similiar way that they did for us? The the conditions just aren't the same. If the internet had been around in the 80s and been as mainstream then as it is now, then maybe your analysis would hold better. As PCs and their software and userbase have developed, ideas like NES emulators became more realizeable. Can you imagine trying to play nes roms in an emulator that had been developed on windows 3.1? Or the earlist GUI days of the black and white mac? I do think you have something here. Obviously 7 year olds aren't going to make very good rom hackers. My dad might have back in his NES guru gaming days. The teenagers of the 80's might have as well. Basically, the younger ones need to be given enough time to mature so that they can pursue rom hacking. Be that as it may, I still stand by my view that many of these would lack the background to really care about hacking snes and nes games, even WITH having been exposed to the GBA. I'd expect scorn at worst, apathy as the middle ground, and only a slight interest at best from most of the others.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:03 PM   #13
Dark Knight Kain
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

Still, I enjoy my bad NES games much more than bad next-gen games. My mind works in 8 directions. This 3d stuff just confuses me. I'd much rather miss a platform by jumping too late or because of poor collusion detection rather than a shoddy camera angle or a bad sense of forward distance. It's like, with an NES game, I can suck at a game and it's my fault. With newer games, I can suck at the game and I can blame it on the camera waaaay too easily.

<hr></blockquote>

This is how I am too, back in the day if a game had bad controls you could still have fun. Some of those games really sucked though, but I think today's sucky games are worse, because of 3D. I don't know how many big-name 3D games I've played where I'm jumping blind because the camera decides I don't need to see the hole infront of me, I need to see my character...

I do, however, love 3D platformers. They're rare, but they're great, it's playing in "8 directions" as you say, but the path you're on turns as you run through the level.

A good example of this is Mega Man X8 (Now if only they didn't have those annoying "racing" levels...)
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:53 PM   #14
Isildur
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

> Basically, the younger ones
> need to be given enough time to mature so that they can
> pursue rom hacking. Be that as it may, I still stand by my
> view that many of these would lack the background to really
> care about hacking snes and nes games, even WITH having been
> exposed to the GBA. I'd expect scorn at worst, apathy as the
> middle ground, and only a slight interest at best from most
> of the others.
>

But if this was simply a matter of game players coming of age to do ROM hacking of the consoles they grew up with, why aren't we currently seeing as many N64 hacks coming out as we saw SNES and NES hacks coming out a few years ago? As many Saturn and Dreamcast hacks as we used to see Genesis hacks? I think the answer lies in part in that a) as game get more complex, they're a lot harder to hack well, and b) recent gamers may have less of a tendency to feel much nostalgia for the games of their youth, because there's less of a sense of particular platforms defining their gaming childhood, because platform turnover is speeding up (or is that just my imagination?).

<p id="signature">

<center><img src=http://pages.nyu.edu/~jc73/misc/FieryAshNazg.gif></center></p>
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:36 PM   #15
assassin
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

Good points. You're right the gestation should be shorter nowadays, and that plenty of knowledge is in place. Then again, the SNES gestation period had a bit of a headstart due to its processor being so similar to the highly documented NES, and look how long it took for comprehensive (read: not crappy) hacks to come out.

Take Final Fantasy 6/3. It's one of the most hacked and well-documented games I've seen. Sure, it was being deciphered in 2000, but how many patches worth squat were out for it then? That's a full *six* years after its release, and even with that time and the ability to leverage prior NES knowledge, the patches available were probably a laugh by today's standards.

Playstation hacking (for instance) may have the advantage of more of its system's heyday occurring after the Internet became mainstream, but afaik, it lacks the advantage of somebody being able to (directly) apply their knowledge of a past console to it.


> I still stand by my view that many of these would lack the
> background to really care about hacking snes and nes games,

Note I didn't contest that view, and actually agreed with it in the closing parts of my post. A new crop of potential game hackers is going to have a new crop of platforms that command their interest.
<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by assassin on 11/28/05 06:09 PM.</FONT></P>
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:57 PM   #16
assassin
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

Didn't like 30 people purchase Dreamcasts? :P N64 hardly did as well as NES and SNES (at least not portionately; I don't know the sales numbers). So fragmentation figures into your fine "less of a sense of particular platforms defining their gaming childhood" point.

There was a time that if you said you played video games but weren't familiar with Super Mario Brothers 1, you'd be launched to a prison colony on Pluto. Simply saying "100 lives" was enough to have people know what you meant and conjur up an image of that stairway; preceding or following it with a game title was just a waste of breath.


> as game get more complex, they're a lot harder to hack well,

word.. i've never tried to hack Mario 64, but just hearing people on Acmlm talk briefly about the 3D texture modelling mapping nonsense almost made by head explode. I don't graphics hack, but that's where a lot of people seem to get their starts, and scrolling through your 2D ROM (whatever game it may be) with TileLayer sounds a ton easier than trying to make sense of some mess of vectors.
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:40 AM   #17
Cless
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

This post has for some reason inspired me to update my nearly five year old document on PlayStation 1 hacking basics. Maybe more will come of the practically dead PSX translating/hacking scene. The current doc is garbage, and full of bad info.
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:49 AM   #18
Cless
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

> many Saturn and Dreamcast hacks as we used to see Genesis
> hacks? I think the answer lies in part in that a) as game
> get more complex, they're a lot harder to hack well,

It's funny though. Outisde maybe 3D graphics and the fact the games use CD, I don't find hacking most PS1 games all that much harder than NES/SNES/GB/ETC. I've seen games that are assholes to hack, but you can find those on any platform. Right now a god damn gameboy game is giving me more grief than my main PS1 project. :P
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:35 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

I would argue it's already died once. Pretty much everyone from the 1996 era has grown up and moved on. Grading homework for 70 hours a week and lecturing for 10 doesn't really lend itself to hobby time. Some people are even married ... with children. That's guaranteed to nuke any remains of free time you had.

All the documentation produced from that time was left to the next 2000-era hack community. They've wrote some new stuff, and now they're going the same route. I'm sure there will be a third wave following this pattern.

Don't forget the whole ROM hack scene basically rode in ont he coattails of the famidev scene, which produced a shitload of system documentation that made hacking (and a lot of early emulation) possible in the first place.

The scene is not dying. YOUR SCENE is dying. There will eventually be another.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Decline of ROM hacking.

Heh, you'd think 3-D 'camera dynamics' would be a piece of cake by now. :P I don't know though....there's still quite a few good next gen games in my opinion, I don't know that current bad games are worse the older bad games though...I mean, come on...Pit Fighter for the SNES anyone? <img src=smilies/errrr.gif>
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