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STATE OF THE RETRO 2010 (Also: THE BIG CHANGE revealed)

#1 User is offline Scarred Sun 

Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:58 PM

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2009 was a monumental year for Sonic Retro in every way possible—we hit many highs and lows in the past year.

GENERAL ACTIVITY

As you can see in this graph by Xkeeper, 2009 has been quite the year in terms of Sonic Retro's activity:



However, that's no surprise—between Sonic Unleashed reactions, the revealing of All-Stars Racing, and the 130-page speculation-fest that was the first Project Needlemouse thread, it makes sense that we'd all be more talkative than usual. On the hacking front, there's been an explosion in quality hacks coming out—to the point where I was going to list a few and realized I couldn't stop at just three or four. Despite the controversy in this year's Hacking Contest, it was arguably the best contest held yet. We found out (or confirmed) many more aspects about Michael Jackson's involvement with Sonic 3 over the course of this year, and his unfortunate death in June seemed to be the catalyst to get the media to pay attention to our questions. SADX was finally blown open by the likes of Main Memory, Polygon Jim, Endri and Dude, setting precedent for what will probably be much more 3D game exploration. Glitch's Aspect Edit arrived on the heels of his Sonic 2 SMS disassembly in late 08, and Sonic 2 LD took off this year as a result. Sonic 2 HD kept chugging along and started wrapping things up for an alpha release, but not before getting nods from both Retro Gamer and GamePro. Sonic art assets, the Sega Channel demo cartridge and Sonic X-treme data were leaked to the public, as well as the huge package of scans and miscellaneous info generously sent to us by Tom Payne. This is to say nothing of the many little gems discovered throughout this year. It will be hard to live up to these same standards in 2010, but I think we can all do it.

THE NEW DYNASTY

Despite all these achievements, we ran into some serious rough spots in July and August, when between x64 and Shibunaynay, we lost all our front page content, had our forums scrambled up, and lost all of our wiki's images and files. Though the staff banded together to solve the first two issues (special thanks to nineko in particular), we're still missing 100 files as of this writing. However, in that time, we gained 2,300 files. Not bad for a site in a scene that would have just given up had this happened five years ago. The only reason Retro didn't fall apart was due to the help of many people, who I'd like to thank:
  • GerbilSoft, who in the immediate aftermath of what happened coded retrofix, crawled sites like crazy, coordinated everyone sending him uploads and was in general a huge help
  • Xkeeper, who whipped up wikiimages as an invaluable tool to track our progress, prioritize restoration and provide comic relief for every milestone we hit
  • andlabs, who kicked restoration into high gear by coordinating the file requests thread and hunted down obscure images like no tomorrow
  • The more than 60 users on Retro who have earned the "Wiki Restoration Contributor" achievement by helping us get our files back. Seriously, if you see them in IRC give them a high-five or something.
  • Everyone who ran retrofix and got the word out to help us in our recovery efforts

I have been floored by the response of this community in working as a team to get this far and cannot express my gratitude enough. As someone who has literally worked on this project nearly every day for five years, it really means more to me than I can tritely put in a couple of sentences. So just know it's appreciated. wink.png

To those who think the way to change the Sonic scene is not through hard work but by destruction, lies and a bad attitude, you should take fucking note of this. In August, we were pretty damn fucked up on all fronts, but we came back united and better than ever with the work of not one or two people, but the majority of the community who worked or cheered us on. We are the new Sonic scene dynasty. We're not going away. In fact, I can guarantee that, because...

THE BIG CHANGE: WE ARE MOVING TO OUR OWN SERVER

...I purchased a server for the sole use of Sonic Retro. This is not to be taken as a diss to CultNET; if anything, CulTNET is the reason we are around today as we are. Look back up at that activity graph where it goes absolutely batshit in February 08. Sonic Retro's host basically kicked the site off the network, and Sazpaimon generously allowed us his services for hosting. Whenever we've needed his help or assistance, Saz has been there, and I personally can't thank him enough. However, it's become increasingly unfair for us to be using a terabyte of bandwidth that we've been basically taking for free. Moreover, we only have 25GB of space on CulTNET, and our aggressive plans for growth this year demand that we have more room to stretch and grow.

Therefore, Sonic Retro has a new, tricked-out server (4GB memory, 500GB RAID, dual-core processor) that we'll be hosting on a mix of Cogent and Level 3 bandwidth. The server is complete, and over the next couple of weeks we'll be finalizing the move from CulTNET to our own server. BadnikNET will continue to operate, as it has been, from a separate server. While we have the money to pay for this change as a long-term solution, I do want to underscore the importance of donating, as these funds go directly to the maintenance of the server.

I also have been using our donation pool to buy and scan items for the site; I plan to have a topic going in the next couple of weeks where Sonic Retro users will get first dibs on buying these items after I've processed them for a fair price—usually at or slightly higher than what I paid for them on discount. My plan is that if they are not purchased, they will be resold on eBay to make sure the money we have to perform these "Catch-and-Release" acquisitions can continue to operate.

Here's to a fantastic 2010!

#2 User is offline PicklePower 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:33 AM

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I'm glad it's going so well. I'm also glad to see that the big change wasn't a Lottery-type of weeding.

#3 User is offline GeneHF 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:38 AM

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Oh, you have no idea how close it was, though. emot-ssh.gif

I'm sure I speak for the rest of the site staff when I thank you all for your contributions—yes, even you people who don't really do anything but visit and lurk because you take time out of your day to come visit us, despite the rather lackluster state the brand is in still. You are the precious blood of Sonic Retro.

#4 User is offline Ravenfreak 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:57 AM

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Retro is like a internet home to me, no joke. I love the site, and cheers to 2010. I'm sure this year will be even better for Sonic Retro, also kudos on getting SR it's own server. smile.png

#5 User is offline RGamer2009 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 02:16 AM

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Almost 1 year at Retro...wow.

Joined around April 2008, Around the time Sonic Unleashed was getting hyped up.

This has been one thrilling ride, and I'm glad I was on board.

This truly is the most tight knit and awesome Sonic forum around.

Thanks for becoming one of my most frequented sites on the net!

#6 User is offline Flygon 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:22 AM

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Another year, another chapter in the book.

I just hope this chapter is as exciting as the previous one was.

#7 User is offline nineko 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 04:01 AM

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Sonic Retro is the best website ever.
This is because you are the best users ever.
And of course because we are the best staff ever. v.png

I can only agree with Scarred Sun and say that it has been a fantastic 2009 for the most part. New discoveries, new breakthroughs, many new things in general.

Sure, there were also bad things. We've been hacked. Not once, but twice in a row. But here is the bright side of it: many other websites would have closed after two attacks of that calibre, but the Sonic Retro community instead decided to stand up and react in the best possible ways. While x64's attack was countered by staff members only, the whole ongoing community-driven effort to restore the images on our Wiki is amazing, it's something that makes me speechless -- in a very good way. I'm glad to see many other people who love Retro as much as I do. This is the best demonstration ever that you don't need a red/pink/cyan/orange/black usergroup to do something for the community. You now have achievements in your profiles. Wear them with pride.

So everybody, open the champagne and celebrate, here's a toast:

To an awesome Sonic Retro 2010 smile.png

p.s. now donate for the server, fgts. Even I did!

#8 User is offline Mercury 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 05:32 AM

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Yeah, Sonic Retro rocks! smile.png

Unlike Sega, it makes me feel proud to be a Sonic fan. I hope it never goes away.

(Who else heard "We Are The Champions" going round their head while reading Scarred Sun's post? v.png )

#9 User is offline Max Firestorm 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 05:59 AM

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QUOTE (Mercury @ Jan 15 2010, 10:32 AM)
Yeah, Sonic Retro rocks! smile.png

Unlike Sega, it makes me feel proud to be a Sonic fan. I hope it never goes away.

(Who else heard "We Are The Champions" going round their head while reading Scarred Sun's post? v.png )


Actually, I had that event music from Sonic Adventure 2 when Eggman, Rouge and Shadow go over their plan on Prison Island, but whatever v.png

Can we get pictures of this new server? =P

#10 User is offline nineko 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:04 AM

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QUOTE (Max Firestorm @ Jan 15 2010, 11:59 AM)
Can we get pictures of this new server? =P
Sure, if you donate. $10 for a shot of the case, $30 for a shot of the internals.

Paypal money to [email protected]

#11 User is offline Flygon 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:09 AM

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QUOTE (nineko @ Jan 15 2010, 03:04 AM)
QUOTE (Max Firestorm @ Jan 15 2010, 11:59 AM)
Can we get pictures of this new server? =P
Sure, if you donate. $10 for a shot of the case, $30 for a shot of the internals.

Paypal money to [email protected]

Give me a Bank Account and a Debit Card and I'll do it.

This $50 is burning my pocket. specialed.png

#12 User is offline Max Firestorm 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:46 AM

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QUOTE (nineko @ Jan 15 2010, 11:04 AM)
QUOTE (Max Firestorm @ Jan 15 2010, 11:59 AM)
Can we get pictures of this new server? =P
Sure, if you donate. $10 for a shot of the case, $30 for a shot of the internals.

Paypal money to [email protected]


FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU- I'm entirely broke. X.x Oh well.

#13 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

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QUOTE (Scarred Sun @ Jan 15 2010, 04:58 AM)
2009 was a monumental year for Sonic Retro in every way possible—we hit many highs and lows in the past year.

GENERAL ACTIVITY

Yay!
QUOTE (Scarred Sun @ Jan 15 2010, 04:58 AM)
THE NEW DYNASTY

Yay! It really shows how people feel about a website that they read, post, edit, etc and how they can get into action by helping. Although I was involved in the restoration process I should apologise for not contributing enough, since I had an old hard drive that potentially contained a lot of downloaded content and I didn't have anything that I could use to operate the HDD. Also, I'm a lazy fuck. =P
QUOTE (Scarred Sun @ Jan 15 2010, 04:58 AM)
THE BIG CHANGE: WE ARE MOVING TO OUR OWN SERVER

Yay! It's good to know that a server move is finally going to happen. Hopefully this will allow Retro to expand or restore some services (such as the WebSVN). As for donating, I'll try and donate something this year, even if it's only $20, at least it's a contribution.

#14 User is offline Chris Highwind 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:49 AM

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This gave me mixed feelings.

1. Hey, congrats to everyone who helped with the restoration after the hackings, and everyone who's been releasing these quality hacks for everyone to enjoy!

2. On the other hand, I feel like a leech, contributing nothing but posts to the forum, and I doubt they're even anything important. Hopefully once I brush up on my C++ and Visual BASIC, I might be able to make SOMETHING.

Incidentally, can you make an emulator using C++?

#15 User is offline Nova 

Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

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Great news and good job to everyone who worked so hard on the site in 2009. I'll try to donate somewhat regularly in small amounts, it's the least I can do. You'll be waiting a week or three for me to start that though... Pay doesn't come for nothing, you know. =P

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