The Sega Genesis is coming across my desk quite a bit in the last month or two. The latest is BEEhive, an art tool that allows you to rework games that were commercially released. Sonic the Hedgehog 1 is used in the video, below, to show off the basic features of BEEhive. While the video is from a basic version of BEEhive, there is a lot more already up and running in BEEhive. This is quite an interesting tool that is in development.
Right now reportedly BEEhive supports tiles and palettes from Bitmap images (shown in the video), palette/tile editing, adding and removing of tiles and even multiple tile selection (shown in the video). Here is a list of more stuff that you can expect to see in BEEhive:
Create and paste stamps
Clone and paste
Flip tile vertically/horizontally
Flip stamp vertically/horizontally
Imagine being able to, easily, take a Bitmap from say, Robocop vs Terminator and adding enemies from the Sega CD version. Or mixing up Sonic and Havoc or Out of this World with Flashback. The options are endless, only held back by your imagination (and access to Bitmap images of Sega Genesis titles). While BEEhive, and tools like it, take out most of the challenge of creating ROM hacks, it opens the idea up to more gamers that are intimidated by the available options.
Right now, I am not sure if BEEhive will be released to the general public- the developer has made no mention of this either happening or not. It is still in the air but I hope BEEhive is released, it will make it a lot easier for fans to play around with their favorite titles.
More on BEEhive when I find out.