(logo by Cinossu)
First of all, I'd like to apologise for the delay in announcing this contest as usually we have it posted before the previous year ends. This year there were some issues that had to be looked at preventing the announcement. However, all of that has been sorted and we can go ahead with the announcement of the 2015 Sonic Hacking Contest.
For the last few years, we've had community involvement that increases every year, from the interactive participation where the public can download the majority of the entries, to our live streams brought to you by well-known people…as well as people not so well-known. It's that popular that the servers hosting the 2014 Contest crashed twice due to overloading and bandwidth usage. In any case, the contest is getting better and better every year, even if some get disappointed with entries that are or are not submitted. The Hacking Contest is for everyone to submit, be it beginners who want to show off their hack to people, intermediate people who want to have a platform to show their work, or the advanced technical guys who want to blow your minds away with what is possible in a hack. So of course, this WILL continue!
This year's judges will consist of myself, Cinossu, D.A Garden, Shadow Fire, Mercury, Reverie, SuperEgg as well as new judges LazloPsylus and SSF1991 (Donnie). This team will be reliable and will be able to deal with contest judging as soon as possible in order for us to progress through the contest and get the results out as soon as possible. Judges will be able to submit their own hacks, but will not be able to judge it themselves, nor will they be able to judge submissions that they have been involved with (such as team hacks). Please note that the final decisions are subjected to the Judging Team, and may not reflect your own opinion. Judges may change at any time due to unavailability or other reasons. Regardless, we'll have enough judges to make sure the proceedings are carried out as best as they can.
First are the normal trophies. Please note that any level specific trophies are now hack specific meaning they no longer go by individual levels in a hack.
Hidden Palace Trophy
Grand prize / 1st place. This is given to the overall best hack in the contest. At the moment there is no cash prize but instead we have this.
Wood Zone Trophy
Dust Hill Trophy
Green Hill Trophy
Hack (or specific level of a hack if non-applicable) that plays most like a Sonic game.
Windy Valley Trophy
Best art in a hack submitted.
D.A. Garden Trophy
Best music in a hack submitted.
Lava Reef Trophy
Best level layout in a hack submitted.
Genocide City Trophy
Most difficult hack (or specific level of a hack if non-applicable) submitted.
Best 3D Sonic game mod.
Best technical / proof of concept hack submitted.
Best new enemy/badnik in a hack submitted.
Best new boss or miniboss in a hack submitted.
Spin Dash Trophy
Best new ability in a hack submitted.
Carnival Night Trophy
Most innovative game play feature in a hack submitted.
Best Special Stage in a hack submitted.
Robotnik's Revenge Trophy
Best fresh concept using existing concepts as the backbone in a hack submitted.
Most entertaining / fun hack submitted.
Polygon Jim Trophy
Most unique hack submitted.
Most improved hack from last year's contest.
These trophies are trophies that are awarded by the community during the Contest Week.
Hidden Palace Community Trophy
Best hack submitted overall.
Big Community Trophy
Worst hack submitted overall.
Windy Valley Community Trophy
Best art hack submitted.
D.A. Garden Community Trophy
Best music hack submitted.
Lava Reef Community Trophy
Best level layout hack submitted.
11000101 Community Trophy
Best technical hack submitted.
Polygon Jim Community Trophy
Most unique hack submitted.
...And there you have it!! The only other incredibly important thing to mention at this point in time would be the rules of this hacking contest. These are generally the same as last year's with a few changes:
1. Your entry must be based on an existing Sonic the Hedgehog ROM or game. No homebrew submissions will be accepted.
2. No palette hacks - we have moved on from these sorts of hacks and can do far better than that nowadays, plus there is no trophy for palette hacks.
3. Level layout only hacks can be submitted - if you can't do much with your hack and think it can't be submitted, think again. Ask a judge if you're unsure though.
4. Joke hacks along the lines of Sonic 1337 will not be accepted. Feel free to make something humourous though!
5. No Private Hacks. Entries are either Public (Hack can be downloaded) or Partial (media such as screenshots, videos and music only available to the public).
6. You must include media such as screenshots (absolutely mandatory, must include a title screen image), videos (YouTube links are fine) and music (MP3 and VGM preferred). The judges will no longer waste time making screenshots for you.
7. E-mailed submissions will not be accepted. All submissions must be through the online script.
8. All submissions MUST BE PLAYABLE and can not prevent judges from playing the game. Judges have the right to look at your incomplete work if you submit it, and judges do not allocate trophies based on your incomplete builds, only the last build submitted.
9. These rules can change at any time. Check back often (or at least before you submit something) to make sure they haven't.
The submissions deadline for entries will be Sunday 4th October 2015 where you must submit a playable build by then to the contest site in order for it to be entered.
You then have a week to refine your entry, fix any issues found and improve your hack which will be Sunday 11th October 2015.
Any questions can be asked in this thread where-in a judge will be able to provide some sort of answer. We do not need any other judges at this time.
CONTEST WEEK - Monday 19th to Sunday 25th October
Like the last few years, the public will have a chance to view this year's entries, download the public hacks and vote for Community Trophies. If you're planning to debut your submission to the public, you can do it then however nobody can be stopped from releasing earlier. If you want to show it off to the biggest audience around, the Contest Week is your best time for it.
We hope to have live streams, mini contests, radio streams and much more similar to the previous Contest - these will be announced during the Contest when they have been finalised. We'll also have news coverage this time as previous years have usually lacked in that, but Donnie has assured us that this will not be an issue this year.
We'll let you know when the website is updated for the 2015 Contest so you can start submitting as some changes to the site will be carried out to improve it. Once again, in order to submit you'll need a Sonic Retro or SSRG full member account although exceptions may be given by contacting a judge.
The contest rules and features can change at any time - further announcements will be posted in due time.
So with that, I'll leave you to your hacking.
Ready, Set, Procrastinate!!