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Sonic Hacking Contest 2018 : NOW LIVE AND ACCEPTING ENTRIES sonichacking.org

#31 User is offline TheInvisibleSun 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:24 PM

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Are you still taking completely new expo submissions? Or is Sunday's deadline only for refinements?

#32 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:53 PM

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View PostTheInvisibleSun, on 09 November 2018 - 03:24 PM, said:

Are you still taking completely new expo submissions? Or is Sunday's deadline only for refinements?

Completely new submissions are still being accepted. There's no update deadline for Expo entries, once the deadline has passed, that's it, considering that the Expo has a longer deadline than the Contest.

#33 User is offline Ralakimus 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:45 PM

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I'm going to play devil's advocate and say if that guy's entry isn't allowed in the contest, then why are Drop Dash in Sonic 2/3K allowed when that's just a single move added into the vanilla games. I don't really see it much as a technical feat myself and overall just seems underwhelming for a contest entry compared to other entries. Seems more like it belongs in the expo.
This post has been edited by Ralakimus: 09 November 2018 - 04:47 PM

#34 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:00 PM

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We just had this exact discussion in both the SHC and SSRG Discords. Apparently it has to do with how I reverse engineered the code from Sonic Mania. I submitted everything that wasn't a joke mod to the contest, and from there it was up to the judges whether it met the criteria or got moved to the expo. If I'd known it was going to be this problematic, I would have moved everything but Emerald Coast in SA2 to the expo.

#35 User is offline Ralakimus 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:14 PM

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In the last page, Clownacy said that they don't care about how much effort one goes into a hack, if the RESULTS are underwhelming, then it doesn't qualify to compete against other hacks, and I do honestly think the result of just an extra move put in to Sonic 2 and 3K are underwhelming. It's not really pushing any technical boundaries in the game.

Then again, these are my standards and not theirs, so take it as you will.
This post has been edited by Ralakimus: 09 November 2018 - 05:21 PM

#36 User is offline Clownacy 

Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:03 PM

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I probably could have worded it differently, but 'effort' to me is spending a long time on something. The specifics of what was done in that time is something else entirely. If one entry was a bugfixed SA1, where the hacker had to reverse-engineer the game themself to produce those fixes, I think it would fit in the contest just fine.

I think it comes down to technical stuff being harder to appreciate than art or music. You make music, your audience hears music. But if you reverse-engineer a game to port its ability to another game, your audience sees the ability and that's it. Yeah, it's just the Drop Dash, but actually porting it instead of taking the easy option and recreating it yourself is technically impressive by itself.
This post has been edited by Clownacy: 09 November 2018 - 06:56 PM

#37 User is offline Neo 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 08:42 AM

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View PostClownacy, on 09 November 2018 - 06:03 PM, said:

Yeah, it's just the Drop Dash, but actually porting it instead of taking the easy option and recreating it yourself is technically impressive by itself.

What the fuck? How is the act of designing, implementing and testing your own solution to a problem the "easy option"? It takes a different set of skills to reverse-engineer the original code and produce an accurate 1:1 port, but please don't accuse me, or anyone else who has ever written an entire implementation from scratch, of taking the easy path.

#38 User is offline Knucklez 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 10:00 AM

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You know what, I didn't mean to stir up shit when I called out my hack not being considered into the contest.

When I emphasized 2 new personal touches in my hack, it was because they were changes that I have not seen anyone else ever suggest or implement in vanilla Sonic 1 before. That's what I meant by "personal touches". That did not imply or mean that the other 50+ fixes which also included several prominent sound driver bugs were ALL copy pastes of other people's guides. 10-20 how-to guides for just as many bugs is not equivalent to over 50 changes across all contest-required criteria. And I also credited everyone who discovered or resolved the issue prior.

But I digress. It's just a cleaner version of Sonic 1. I get it. It brings nothing to the table for a competition and I pulled from the expo because of that. And really, who cares about Sonic 1, we've all seen enough of it.

And Neo, I did do it for myself first and foremost, and for what it's worth I am proud of it. So thanks for that.

I will also say that I couldn't be any more excited for all of the demo hacks every year that snag a trophy, only to never see the light of day in ever being finished after the contest. I just love those demos, always bringing the promise of something more but never actually keeping that promise. Just wonderful.

Love you guys, cheers.

#39 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 11:27 AM

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If people only submitted things they considered "finished", we'd only have one hack coming out a year, and you'd never even hear about 90% of what people are working on.

#40 User is offline Clownacy 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 12:07 PM

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View PostNeo, on 10 November 2018 - 08:42 AM, said:

View PostClownacy, on 09 November 2018 - 06:03 PM, said:

Yeah, it's just the Drop Dash, but actually porting it instead of taking the easy option and recreating it yourself is technically impressive by itself.

What the fuck? How is the act of designing, implementing and testing your own solution to a problem the "easy option"? It takes a different set of skills to reverse-engineer the original code and produce an accurate 1:1 port, but please don't accuse me, or anyone else who has ever written an entire implementation from scratch, of taking the easy path.

Geez, calm down. I made my own Drop Dash for my Sonic 2 port in half an hour. Porting it myself would take way, way longer. So yes, in my opinion it's the easy option.

Edit: Bleh, lemme try a more in-depth answer:

So earlier I said effort just means time. I said a from-scratch Drop Dash can be easy, thus low-effort. I also said I consider the process of making a hack, regardless of time spent, counts towards its technical-impressiveness.

The Drop Dash I made was not as accurate as possible. Upon looking at MainMemory's notes, I realised just how off the mark I was. I made it in a short time, and without trying very hard. I didn't attempt a port because I can't think of a way to do a port in just as little time, with as little work.

On the other hand, a hacker could spend tons of time comparing footage and testing behaviour, to get it as accurate as possible. I didn't, and I imagine a number of people who've recreated the Drop Dash before didn't either. Remember that fad, when Mania was just announced, where everyone and their grandma would try to shove the Drop Dash in their hack? Heck, even way after it was announced, we still had stuff like Sonic Double Dash from last year's contest.

So there's an easy way and a hard way to do a recreation. But the way I see it, there's only a hard way to actually port it from scratch. Now, I could be wrong about this, so MainMemory might want to step in, but the way I see it, MainMemory's port was done blind, with no prior documentation or disassembly/decompilation.

Anyway, I suppose what I'm trying to say is, the process of reverse-engineering Mania from scratch, and porting one of its moves, is something that can only be done with a lot of technical knowledge of both the Sonic engine and the Mania engine, and takes a large amount of time.

Recreating the move instead can sometimes take vastly less time, but either way, I don't see it being anywhere near as technically impressive. It's just looking at the two games, and trying to make them do the same thing. It requires Sonic engine knowledge, but not Mania engine knowledge.

View PostKnucklez, on 10 November 2018 - 10:00 AM, said:

I will also say that I couldn't be any more excited for all of the demo hacks every year that snag a trophy, only to never see the light of day in ever being finished after the contest. I just love those demos, always bringing the promise of something more but never actually keeping that promise. Just wonderful.

Believe me, you're not alone on that. It bothers me too. I'm just not sure if anything can be done about it. Though last year we did give the Hidden Palace Trophy to Metal Sonic Rebooted on the grounds that it was actually complete, despite it being seen as slighly more mediocre than some entries. At least, that's why I voted for it.
This post has been edited by Clownacy: 10 November 2018 - 12:46 PM

#41 User is offline Neo 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 04:58 PM

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View PostClownacy, on 10 November 2018 - 12:07 PM, said:

Geez, calm down. I made my own Drop Dash for my Sonic 2 port in half an hour. Porting it myself would take way, way longer. So yes, in my opinion it's the easy option.

Oh, I'm perfectly calm. Believe me, I have learned to step out of internet arguments when I can't be rational about them.


View PostClownacy, on 10 November 2018 - 12:07 PM, said:

The Drop Dash I made was not as accurate as possible. Upon looking at MainMemory's notes, I realised just how off the mark I was. I made it in a short time, and without trying very hard. I didn't attempt a port because I can't think of a way to do a port in just as little time, with as little work.

On the other hand, a hacker could spend tons of time comparing footage and testing behaviour, to get it as accurate as possible. I didn't, and I imagine a number of people who've recreated the Drop Dash before didn't either. Remember that fad, when Mania was just announced, where everyone and their grandma would try to shove the Drop Dash in their hack? Heck, even way after it was announced, we still had stuff like Sonic Double Dash from last year's contest.

So there's an easy way and a hard way to do a recreation. But the way I see it, there's only a hard way to actually port it from scratch.

But you don't know how much effort the author put into the recreation. When I made my own implementation of the drop dash, Mania wasn't out yet. I had to frame-advance through 60fps YouTube footage to determine stuff like the release speed and camera delay, and even added details like having the dust track the height of any moving platform you land on so the sprites stay lined up properly. It was not a half-hour job and you can't pretend to know how much work went into it from simply playing the final product.

A better metric which was brought up earlier, is the the number of practical changes made to the base game. By that measure, if the submitted entry is just Sonic 1/2/3 with the drop dash, but with otherwise the same levels, the same graphics, the same music, the same gameplay, then it should not be accepted into the contest regardless by which means it was accomplished. The average playtester isn't going to know or care either way.

#42 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 10 November 2018 - 06:51 PM

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Okay, just letting everyone know that we are at the 24 hours to go period before the Expo deadline stage. No more submissions at all will be taken after this deadline at 12am GMT / 7pm EST has expired. Furthermore, there is no update period for Expo entries, so what you submit is what will be made public. The list will be up once the deadline has expired, and the trailer should be up in the next few days. Can I also remind people if they have not yet submitted trailer clips to do so as well, any clips submitted after the deadline are not guaranteed to make the trailer.

Just about two weeks to go until the Contest Week, where everything will be available to download. Some entries may be shown off by the submitter before then as there's nothing stopping anyone from releasing before the Contest Week but for everything else, you'll need to wait until Monday 26th November for the big release.
This post has been edited by Spanner: 10 November 2018 - 07:16 PM

#43 User is offline Clownacy 

Posted 11 November 2018 - 12:01 AM

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View PostNeo, on 10 November 2018 - 04:58 PM, said:

But you don't know how much effort the author put into the recreation. When I made my own implementation of the drop dash, Mania wasn't out yet. I had to frame-advance through 60fps YouTube footage to determine stuff like the release speed and camera delay, and even added details like having the dust track the height of any moving platform you land on so the sprites stay lined up properly. It was not a half-hour job and you can't pretend to know how much work went into it from simply playing the final product.


...Isn't that what I already said? 'Depending how accurate you want to be, you can spend way more or way less time working on a recreation.'

Quote

A better metric which was brought up earlier, is the the number of practical changes made to the base game. By that measure, if the submitted entry is just Sonic 1/2/3 with the drop dash, but with otherwise the same levels, the same graphics, the same music, the same gameplay, then it should not be accepted into the contest regardless by which means it was accomplished. The average playtester isn't going to know or care either way.


By that metric, a port would be the most pointless project ever, since the goal of an accurate port is to have as little difference to the original as possible. That didn't stop my port from winning the community technical trophy, so I don't think such a metric aligns with the contest's audience.

#44 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 11 November 2018 - 04:02 PM

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We're at the three hours to go mark now. Submissions to the Expo will close at 12am GMT / 7pm EST.

#45 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:37 PM

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Sorry for the delay with the Expo list coming out, usually we have things posted a day or two after a deadline but Cinossu has been really busy with work to the point where it has been impossible to sit down and make a few adjustments himself as the site admin before the list can come out, otherwise there could be entries listed that have been marked for deletion by the submitter and that's the last thing we want to do. Only he knows what ones are in and are not, obviously that will get adjusted for next year.

Hopefully we will have things sorted by the weekend, I know a lot of people want to know what the Expo has on offer this year, but we will get there soon. Working for money is far more important than a contest for free, so it's something we just have to accept.

Everything will be good to go on the 26th, and I have been told that the trailer is nearly done so we'll have that posted soon too. Please wait and we will get there eventually!

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