Let's take a look at what a hack actually is, shall we? A 'hack', in this context, is essentially an alteration of another person's work, and can take the form of altered graphics, functionality, gameplay elements, or textual differences. Hackers essentially try to (subjectively) improve the base work, and this provides the community with things like better translations, restored materials, expanded areas, etc. This is a wonderful and vital gift to the retro gaming community, as even the 'replace Mario with Luigi' hacks means that somebody, somewhere, loves the game and is interested in educating themselves a little. Props unto thee for being part of that crew, Drakon. I have my own issues with your 'mod-work', but others have mentioned before that this is not the point of this community, so I won't be a champion of Skips' cause. Not here.
However, and I'm afraid I must be blunt here - your notion of selling patches is not only absolutely disgusting
to me as a gamer, but is unequivocally illegal
. There are no shades of grey in this argument.
End of story.
The inherent problem with the idea of selling patches is that, ultimately, you are stealing registered code. Hacks are great fun, but by their very nature, they are building on top of an established code-base (ie, engine) that is not the property of the hack creator
. This constitutes IP theft
That's pretty illegal. The only way for you to profit on your hacks is for your hack to literally overwrite EVERYTHING that you did not personally create - no images, no backgrounds, no graphics, no code, NOTHING that you did not personally create can be a part of your hack. You can't even have dummied content that isn't yours. This effectively means that you might as well do away with trying to make a 'hack' and just create a homebrew, because that's what you need to do to profit off of your work.
There is no 'grey area' - if you don't own every aspect of the finished product, you cannot sell it. By creating a patch that, while useless on its own, is only useable once applied to another person's work, you are creating what is legally considered to be a derivative work
If you try to sell a patch, you will get your ass sued. It doesn't matter that every scrap of the patch
is your work - all that matters is its intended use...which is to be applied over someone else's code.
That's partly why my team and I released our
MSU-1 Zelda patch for free to the community - because we couldn't (and more to the point, wouldn't) charge for it. That's why Emuandco is working on his DKC2 MSU-1 patch for free.
For my own part, I took a great deal of pleasure in knowing that we not only did it for free, and not only did we do it better
than you did, but we did it to spite you and your money-grubbing ways.
I take no small amount of personal offense at your mercenary attitude, Drakon - ROMhacks are a gift to the community, a love letter to the games we grew up on, and it sickens me to see someone like you trying to make a profit off of things like this.