Monday, May 2, 2016

Interview with Rom Hack Translator Bobby Vandiver (Red Comet) - [HG101]

(Really cool interview on Rom Hack Translator Bobby Vandiver (Red Comet) posted on HG101 by Andrew Quemere)

The Interview itself is not all that interesting, but what makes it worth reading is how he briefly touches upon the hostility of early online internet communities - which is not all that unsimilar to what rpgmaker communities went through seven years ago...)

(from HG101 Article by Andrew Quemere - April 26, 2016)

"...Finally, the biggest factor is the amount of time that the people involved with a translation are able to commit. Most of the really prolific people in the scene are at least in their late 20s or older and have many other real-life responsibilities to worry about. I've had the translated script for Spider-Man: Lethal Foes since December of 2006, and I still haven't released the patch. I began making headway a few years ago with the more invasive hacks I wanted to implement but got sidetracked by real life.

I was wondering what you can tell me about the ROM hacking community in general. When did fans first start to hack video game ROM images? What do you know about different hacking communities, especially older, defunct ones that might not be very well documented? What do you consider to be the community's major milestones?

I joined the scene just after the end of what some might call the golden era of ROM hacking, so I don’t know much about the older, defunct groups as some of the older guys in the scene might.

As I recall, the MSX translations released by Oasis were some of the earliest translations created and released. A few years later came the Final Fantasy wars where multiple groups sprang up, each competing to be the first to release a translation for the Japan-only Final Fantasy games. From what I’ve heard, this period had a really hostile, juvenile atmosphere which has fortunately gone away after everyone involved got older and/or left the scene.

I remember in my early days in the community, it felt like I had missed out on something really incredible, which is one of the reasons why I jumped at the opportunity to help [founder] Nightcrawler get off the ground.

When first launched, it was a much needed breath of fresh air for the community. For the first time since I came on the scene, there was activity in a central place with active contributors. It seemed like every week, someone released something new or a new thread popped up on the forum showing off a new project someone was working on. This lasted for a couple years and then kind of settled down to a steady flow of updates. I haven’t kept up with the scene for a few years now, but it seems like it’s still a very vibrant, active community that shows no signs of dying any time soon..."

Continued on Hardcore Gaming 101