One question that gets tossed around the hacking community often is “why aren’t there more game hacks being made?” My general response to this is simple: there are a lot of hacks being made just very few that actually get finished. Game hackers are very inclined to abandon their projects before they are finished!
By why is this? I can’t speak for every hacking community, but I know at least a few reasons why this happens to EarthBound hackers.
1) EarthBound is an enormously glitchy ROM to hack. It is not unusual for a hacker to put hours and hours of work into a game, only to discover they’ve damaged the ROM irreparably in the process! At the very least this is an annoyance, but it could be disastrous if proper backups have not been made.
2) Hacking is a slow and arduous process. Many people hack EarthBound because they think it will only take a few days for them to put together a fully functioning game. They don’t realize that the work could easily span into months maybe even years, and when they do they often drop the project.
3) Sometimes stupid stuff happens during the hacking process and you don’t know why. For example, check out what happened to all the sprites in my game after I did the Lost Crevasse Edits:
I did manage to fix the problem, but it isn’t fun to open up your game to discover almost all your sprites have been turned into police cruisers and errant protagonists. I can imagine something like that would be very discouraging for first time hackers especially!
With all these issues it is amazing that anybody hacks EarthBound at all, but the community has still managed to put together some real top notch games. I highly recommend checking out some of the completed projects when you get the chance.