I could see most rom hacks being a niche. Except for a rare few, I don't really care for them (no offense, but they're just not my thing).
Translations are different though. Even if they're not perfect word for word translations, it opens up an entire new library of games to an English speaking audience. Not including the adult games and the games that were translated by two separate groups here, you guys have made right around 375 NES and FDS games available to an English speaking audience that weren't before.
Granted, not all of them are great games, but neither were all the US/EU games.
Some of them are amazing though, and considering all the crappy games that were officially translated the work you guys have done here just proves how many mistakes were made by the suits that chose which games to port and which ones not to bother with.
I think it's unfortunate that this is a niche hobby thing, at least when it comes to translations. I also think one of the reasons for that is because of how difficult the patching can be for novices. Everyone is free to have any opinion about those novices that they want and say that they don't deserve to play them unless they learn... I'm not going to get into that argument.
I'm just going to say that I think, from experience, that one of the major obstacles is that it is unnecessarily difficult because there is no standard when it comes to making the patches. What works for one game will absolutely not work for the next game, and vice versa. This problem isn't nearly as bad on the NES translations as the FDS translations, and I think that's DIRECTLY a result of the necessity of the header on the NES files, regardless of how good or bad the iNES system is.
The fact that the FDS header is superfluous causes A LOT of problems when it comes to patching the translated games. Unlike the NES games that were mostly fairly easy to figure out what was wrong when you learned a little bit about the process, the FDS becomes a complete game of trial and error.
Sometimes the patch page says the CRC for a headerless rom. There's a 50/50 chance that you're going to need the headerless rom. In most cases, there is no readme file or if there is it doesn't say if you do or don't.
None of the information is reliable for FDS games, save for the few authors who wrote VERY specific instructions in their readme files. Just seeing the replies in this thread, I'm going to say it's safe to attribute that to the fact that everybody has their own idea about what to do with headers on the FDS and they did their own thing with them. I'm thinking it probably doesn't even get discussed much so the authors that don't put specific instructions didn't even think they were necessary because they thought the way they were doing it was the way that everybody else was doing it.
Not judging nothing. Just talking.
I'm going to have a thread with some more details about the FDS translations when I'm done. I'm already writing it while I'm doing the games. It will let you know which ones need a header, which ones don't and notes about specific problems you may run into on any of the patches. It will also have info on the proper rom the author put on their page and the CRC value for both headerless and roms with headers so if they can find one version but not the other all they will need to do is add or remove the header before patching it depending on what the author made the patch do.
Didn't mean to cause any drama here guys.
Here's an example that I just patched.....
Boxxle - Warehouse Evening of Tears - http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1/
(September 29, 2001, by KingMike) Just about 16 years ago.....ROM / ISO Information:
Namida no Soukoban Special.fds
24A387F0 is the rom with the header.
Strip the header and you get 943C5882.
Don't apply the patch to the headerless rom though. It will apply without an error like all other IPS patches do, but the title screen and all text in the game is extremly garbled and just as unreadable as it was pre-translation. In fact, if you just stumble around and press buttons, the game goes to a black screen and freezes on you before gameplay.
You have to apply it to the 24A387F0 headered rom that was put on the rom page. That works fine.
Again... not trying to call anybody out. Just pointing out the problem when there is no standard and nobody agrees on one. 16 years was a long time ago. Things change.