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Sega Homebrew Competition 2015 NOW LIVE

#1 User is offline Super Egg 

Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:06 PM

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We're live. Come to http://shc.sonicresearch.org/knuckles/!

---------------------------

Howdy Folks, this is SuperEgg, Judge #4 and Media Manager for the Sonic Hacking Contest.

For years, the staff has been trying to find a meaningful and great way to include homebrew into the contest. Unfortunately, an answer for integrating homebrew into the contest just wasn't meant to be. There's just far too many issues to contend with to be able to shoehorn homebrew into the contest, and we didn't want to turn the contest into another SAGE by just letting in everything. But, we've also had to come to terms with trying to lump together homebrewers with guys who just make fan games is completely unfair and an utter disrespect towards these hardworking individuals and their work. Homebrewers have to ensure their games work with console systems, and as such, it is unfair to pit them against people who can just use C, C++, Game Maker, Multimedia Flash, etc. to make games and not have to worry about the limitations of home consoles.

In order to keep the Sonic Hacking Contest in line with what it says on print, "Sonic Hacking", and to ensure we respect these individuals, we've come up with a much better solution, the Sega Homebrew Competition!

"What is the Sega Homebrew Competition, SuperEgg?"

I'm so glad you asked Matt, sit down in that computer chair and I'll tell you, you little idiot.

The Sega Homebrew Competition is a week long celebration and competition to showcase and promote users who work with making games outside of the Sonic Series as well as provide a laid-back competitive venue.

The qualifications are simple.

1. The entry must be written and built to run on a relatively unmodified Sega console. No ridiculous hardware mods that extend native capabilities, please. That's just ruining the spirit of the competition.
2. The judges must be able to run the entry. If special conditions are needed to run it, contact the judging staff, and we'll see if we can work something out.

There you have it folks, that's the only real qualifications we have. Homebrew entries do not have to be Sonic related or even Sonic themed, though a few wouldn't hurt due to it's joint function with the SHC, it isn't even necessary and isn't even being asked. We want people from all walks of Sega life to come together and have a good time. Sonic is great, but there is so much more to SEGA and it's time that we see what all of you are capable of.

"Wow, I'm excited DuperSegg, but how does the Competition work?"

This time Josh, you have an excellent question, sit back down and I'll tell you.

For starters, entries will be set up in a similar manner to the Sonic Hacking Contest. There will be public entries, entries where the general public can play them, and Partial Private entries, entries where the contestant has opted to allow public access to their creation, but is willing to showcase their work via various media outlets.

Importantly, Entrants who opt to submit their hack under Partial Private must provide at least one video. Showing only still screenshots to the general public is just counterintuitive and not to mention incapable of showcasing your work.

For the contest, we have three main categories: Music, Art, and general game flow.

Music- Which homebrew game has the best soundtrack overall. Originally, this was going to be just one song, but the amount of people who can make at least one good song for a game on any of the listed hardware is a bit....easy. We have decided to change this up slightly to make it fair amongst the competitors, and to make our jobs easier.

Art- Which homebrew game has the best game art overall. In this case, one level can be considered enough.

Flow- Well, this is a weirdly titled category, ain't it? Trust me, it sounds weird, but flow in a game is important. After years of playing bad Sonic hacks, one of the biggest things that stick out is that the game doesn't flow, or it isn't natural. When you go and play a game and you fall in love with it, art and music are important factors, but the biggest is how fluid the game is. If the game is a bothersome and tiring exercise, why would you bother playing it? Remember, these entries must not only look and sound nice, but they must play nice. In this case, the console is irrelevant, we want to play a game that will begging us for more.

Now that we have the categories outta the way, it's time to discuss how the contest works.

For each of the three categories, we have a completely different system.

Each judge will pick the piece of work as our "Best in _" per category. From there, the final entries chosen for that category are then reviewed by all the judges, then the official "Best in _" for said category.

Example:
Judge 1: TomasJester's Steak Adventure (Game Gear)
Judge 2: DrupaSage's Country Music Race (Saturn)
Judge 3: SawnukBam's Tetrsex Party (MD/CD)

Overall Best in Music: DrupaSage's Country Music Race (Saturn)

Now, why is this kind of system being used in comparison to something more like the Sonic Hacking Contest's trophies?

Put simply, this competition is meant to be far more laid-back than the Sonic Hacking Contest. We're not here to rigidly compare and pit such a large palette of designs and approaches against each other. We want to provide a platform for homebrew so that, rather than being relegated to dark corners of the Internet, these projects are noticed by larger audiences. In addition, unlike the Sonic Hacking Contest, judging should be quicker.

There you have it folks, the Sega Homebrew Competition...

"Wait, wait, wait, who are going to be the judges, besides you?"

Thanks for interrupting me Donnie, I was about to get to that.

For now, the official judges for the contest are myself (SuperEgg), and LazloPsylus. We are still scouting for more judges. Stay tuned. And before anybody asks, no, I am not holding tryouts for judges. The magnitude and scale of this contest is one that is unlike any I've seen. We are currently screening for judges to ensure we pick people who are not only qualified, but are also unbiased and are open-minded to things beyond Sonic.

The deadline for the contest is Sunday, August 2nd (though there will be a grace period until August 9th to provide updates to entries), and will share the Sonic Hacking Contest's Contest Week: Monday, August 24th to Sunday, August 29th. The Sonic Hacking Contest Media Panel will also be covering this competition, so stay tuned.

All in all, let's get to work people. I want everybody to show the internet gaming culture that Sega truly does what Nintendon't.

#2 User is offline Shockwave 

Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:17 AM

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Oh this is excellent, I've been waiting for something like this to come up. The idea of seeing more homebrew MD projects has interested me since MarkeyJester posted his ROM for The Chaos Layer a few months back. Looks like this will certainly encourage more material of that nature to be shown, not to mention also encourage people who primarily focus on Sonic ROMs to explore other mediums (I should certainly jump on that at some point). Can't wait to see what comes out once the showcase week arrives.

#3 User is offline KingofHarts 

Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:38 PM

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SO MUCH LIKE! I swear to fuck if we see a Pokemon homebrew I will fucking die happy

#4 User is offline Caniad Bach 

Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:42 PM

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This is excellent! I highly encourage any SEGA console homebrew.

Out of interest, what do you mean by "relatively unmodified"?

#5 User is offline flamewing 

Posted 26 January 2015 - 05:25 PM

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View PostCaniad Bach, on 26 January 2015 - 04:42 PM, said:

Out of interest, what do you mean by "relatively unmodified"?

Thinking of a Genesis, I imagine that mods to add S-Video output, stereo output, and multi-region mods would be acceptable, but mods that add another 64kB of VRAM, overclocking and so on would not be.

#6 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 30 January 2015 - 10:48 PM

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Have a companion logo to the other SHC~ :v:
Posted Image

#7 User is offline Clownacy 

Posted 31 January 2015 - 06:25 AM

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Sounds like we're gonna need a new abbreviation. SHoC?

#8 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 31 January 2015 - 09:23 AM

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I think one of the big reasons for it was the same acronym in the first place.

#9 User is offline Super Egg 

Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:47 PM

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LazloPsylus and I have been receiving questions over the past few months regarding content for projects, so I would like to make one thing clear.

We don't care.

Seriously, we don't. Ports of games to other platforms, original material, even unusual hacks. All of that is valid. There are no restrictions on content matter at all. Anything and everything works. So long as entries cooperate with the two rules, the playing field is wide open. There's no implicit rules or things like that. What you read from those two rules is literally what is being enforced. We're not overthinking them at all. One of the goals of this "contest" is to be more free form and eliminate as many barriers as possible within reason for people to express their creativity in engineering something wild and crazy and impressive. The contest is very WYSIWYG by design.

If you still have questions, the inboxes are open and we can be found on IRC. Everyone is still welcome to ask questions. I just felt the need to clear this up due to the volume of questions focused around this subject.

Onward, ye glorious bastards! I want to see some good material come August!

#10 User is offline Super Egg 

Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:24 PM

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Alrighty folks, time for an update.

This thing is alive and is still being worked on. Because of the events of the Sonic Hacking Contest, so is the Homebrew Contest.

The submission dates are the same as the Hacking Contest.

Submissions Deadline: Sunday 4th October
Updates Deadline: Sunday 11th October
Contest Week: Monday 19th to Sunday 25th October

The Sega Hombrew Contest will be using the same website as the Hacking Contest, but have its own separate portion, as to not mix the two contests with each other. So yes, the Contest will be delayed.

Let's talk judges....

Before I do, let me clarify one thing. This contest isn't meant to be competitive. Honestly, think about it as more of an Expo more than Contest. Yes, there is a best in show trophy, and Second and Third place trophy, but due to how the contest's broad and nearly infinite interpretation on what to make of one's homebrew, it would be ridiculous to have such specific trophies. Sonic hacks can be categorized and pitted against each other just fine as there isn't many aspects to judge for. With homebrew, anything goes, so it will be purely on what the judges felt like wowed us the most. Oh yeah....the judges.

Since this Contest is just beginning, I will keep the list short and simple. LazloPsylus and myself shall be the judges. In future contests, this roster could change to add more, but since we aren't there yet, it'll be us two.

As far as media outlets go, I will not make a promised list until I can get complete confirmation, but don't worry, there's bound to be somebody who can cover us.

That's it, see you guys in October!

#11 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 26 September 2015 - 08:47 AM

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We're live. Come to http://shc.sonicresearch.org/knuckles/!

#12 User is offline LocalH 

Posted 28 September 2015 - 12:47 AM

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My interest doesn't guarantee that I'll have an entry, but is this strictly limited to games, or are demos eligible as well? Not game demos, but demoscene demos.

#13 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 28 September 2015 - 11:27 AM

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Upon consultation with the judges, their official response is "Yes." :v:

#14 User is offline LocalH 

Posted 30 September 2015 - 11:00 AM

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Awesome. Just wish this compo offered a little more time.

#15 User is offline redhotsonic 

Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:36 AM

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It's already been delayed like 3 times =P

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