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Sonic Hacking Contest 2015 Results

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Spanner, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    United Kingdom
    Sonic Hacking Contest
    If Natsumi has an issue she can address it herself.

    Please list them.
  2. steveswede


    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    I think runner up trophies is a good idea just to show a little feedback so hackers who just missed 1st place are not in limbo on what kind of impression their hack has on everyone.
  3. redhotsonic


    Also known as RHS Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    Like said I agree with almost all the winners. But after seeing this was all the results, I jumped straight to the Casinopolis trophy, seeming as that was the only one my hack stood a chance at. Now like said, MJ's hack winning is understandable, but CrazySonic being runner up? No offence to the team, but...? Out of all 50 hacks, that was runner up beating all other 48? And no other hack was voted (okay, there's only 6 of you...)

    Okay, that's it. After this, and a new discovery I made (which I won't bring to public), I'm not entering any longer. It's made my retirement decision a lot easier *everyone cheers*
  4. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    The only thing I think should happen is that there should be a Community Generations trophy (especially for next year since everybody is seemingly expecting a lot of Lost World mods).


    The cute one here Tech Member
    Now bite your tongue, will you! I already got enough out of the contest and many people recognized the hack beyond the fanfic. Plus I got tons of laughs out of it. It is enough to keep me satistified about the results, even if it wasnt what I expected.
  6. rata


    Trying to be useful somehow.
    Cool, I wasn't the only one voting Sonic Zoom for best music!

    Aside from being in disagreement with the desicions, guys, remember that the most important in here is to get fun. Thophies are just png images, not having one doesn't mean that your hack sucks or that you should retire from contests; it just that deciding which one is the best is just too... subjective. Ask for my votes and you will find different results, and there would be other winners.

    + - By the way, what is that fanfic you're all talking about?  
  7. :ssh:
  8. iojnekns


    trouble keeps you runnin' faster Member
    I can understand why, but you must keep an open mind to this discourse and try your best not to get defensive. Embracing these comments will help you improve. An awful lot of things about this contest went very well. You've done a good job, but you can also refine it further.

    Personally, I have quite a number of criticisms about the contest this year.

    - I mirror the sentiments from everybody else regarding listing the second and third places for each trophy. The contests I've participated in in the past included "honorary mentions" and "runners up" which were tremendously encouraging to underdogs, particularly when you have a heavy hitter like The Next Level in the contest.

    - I've said before, I think the trophy names don't really do anything for me - I'd much prefer the functional names to be used primarily, but that's a minor quibble.

    - By far my biggest beef with the contest this year is the lack of actual commentary with the results. I realize that there have been tonnes of streams and stuff which are very entertaining and I may well have missed snippets of this (sadly work commitments have left me unable to watch any of them live and the sheer volume is quite intimidating for me to catch-up on). However I believe that the main "meat" of the contest results should come in the form of (written) commentary on each hack from the judges. I cannot tell you how tremendously pleased I was with the 2 lines of commentary left by Ayla about Sonic Boom in the sixth contest, who took the time to write a few words (however brief) about each hack.

    - Additional to the above point, it isn't really very clear what exactly is the reason for each trophy. For example, The Next Level took the trophy for best new badnik... This is fair enough, it is one of only a few hacks that brought new badniks to the table - I've no dispute with the choice necessarily - but which badnik in particular so impressed the judges that it deserved to take the trophy? Its a bit like a game review in a magazine - I'm way more interested in the content of the article than the score at the end. A dispassionate list of results very much leaves me none the wiser as to what the judges think about the hack.
    - I'm a bit unsure about the timing.... As far as I can tell there was a week after final submissions, during which Marc shared his displeasure at hackers posting their work "early" (read: finally). But during this week, no community judging took place... I may have missed something, but I can't understand why everyone waited an extra week when seemingly all the entries were in.

    - I'd consider making the community voting hidden until the results are out, to prevent people (or judges) being influenced by the "popular opinion".

    I think the general sheen of the contest deserves praise. The streams, the website voting and general organisation was a high standard for a community contest and certainly generated a lot of buzz. Please don't take my above criticisms as me condemning the contest overall. However, if you can consider incorporating these suggestions into future contests, I think it would improve it further. The contest is important - it was the impetus for MarkeyJester's awesome hack this year, as it has been the impetus for many other awesome hacks in the past. Keep up the good work.
  9. Shade Vortex

    Shade Vortex

    The Black Vortex Member
    USA, WA.
    Twitch Streams
    I can serve to be an example that if you can't be the best, you can sure as hell be the worst. Thanks guys. :specialed:
  10. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    Results be damned, I simply enjoy the fact that it's the one time of year people feel like releasing some hacks. I love the classic Sonic series but after 20 years it's nice to have a breath of fresh air thrown in there every once in a while, and this is that once in a while.

    I know my opinions aren't worth as much as winning something, but there are some hacks in the bunch that I really enjoyed, so I hope that's some solace to some of this year's participants. I really loved S3DA for example. It feels like a Sonic 3 and Knuckles 2, being familiar yet fresh at the same time, and regaining that feeling of having fun exploring new paths that has was lost years ago with the original S3K (unless I find that floating battery thing in Flying Battery, I always forget where that is).
  11. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    iojnekns made some very good points. Personally, and don't take this in the wrong way because I alwyas thought of you as a friend and I always will, but I feel that your attitude towards the people sometimes is too rude, I'd look for a better word but this is where my C2-level English shows its limits. We all get that you're in charge, and it's a good thing! But sometimes you dismiss things in a way which doesn't leave people satisfied. Being more open and friendly would help, in my opinion. Of course you can't let people decide everything for you, I did that mistake when I ran the SMPS music contest and we barely had two rounds which used the same rules. But listening to opinions and feedback isn't a bad thing per se. We all know that the contest is a serious major date in the hacking season, but it won't kill you to smile from time to time.

    And yes, I never got the point of the double deadline, other than being confusing. One deadline should be enough, in my opinion. You entered? Ok. Done. Personally, I never saw double deadlines in any context other than this contest (no pun intended). This is why I posted a video of MainMemory's hack a week too soon than intended. I said "hey it's monday, let's upload it". Then I was like "ooops".

    There is probably more but I have to go now.
  12. MainMemory


    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    As someone who's won a couple trophies this year, I would be interested to know why the judges voted for it, so I know what it is that I'm doing right. Maybe throw in some criticism too, so I can see what I can improve on.
  13. Mercury


    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    Okay, so I owe you guys an explanation.

    Last year, after the 2014 contest concluded, I had a conversation with another judge on Skype about returning as a judge for the next contest. I decided not to return, due to a lack of time and waning interest. At the end of the conversation I left it up to them to pass this info along (IIRC I was not in the Skype groupchat for the contest at the time and it seemed more convenient to me to delegate the task to someone who was). In retrospect this was a stupid decision, because I should have acted professionally and announced my departure in a proper way, so I take full blame for that.

    In the ensuing months I assumed it was a closed case, and didn't really think about it much. I barely go to the forums anymore so I wasn't reading the contest threads and seeing my name in the list of judges or anything that would remind me to follow up.

    In short, I basically half forgot and half didn't take it seriously enough. I sincerely apologise for causing such trouble and creating the need to find a replacement judge on such short notice, especially given the rest of the shit the contest runners have to heroically put up with.
  14. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    They are shown in the trophy pictures themselves.
  15. qiuu


    Tech Member
    Blue Ball & Blocks
    I second pretty much all of the points that iojnekns brought up, especially mentioning runner-ups and giving commentary on each individual hack. I think that'd make the contest a lot more attractive and rewarding to those who don't really have a good stab at any of the trophies in spite of having put in a lot of effort.

    In fact, I wonder if the judges could come up with a small list (maybe around 5 entries or so, maybe a few more for the overall winner) of nominees for each trophy first, listing those hacks that have come up during the discussion, which might be released half-way through the contest, and at the end one of them is picked as the winner. Being nominated is already a notable achievement for the smaller hacks. It might also encourage the judges to look at some entries more seriously, as would having to come up with some commentary on each hack at the end.

    I don't know how things work internally, but seeing the voting list I was wondering if each judge just casts their votes without much interaction. I certainly hope that there's a lot of discussion, pointing out things, creating awareness of certain features of hacks, sharing opinions, etc going on between the judges before they cast their votes...

    I'm also curious what the one week after the hacks have been submitted is for. I found myself in the trouble that the contest week is too short for me to give each hack a decent try, especially as it doesn't even contain a full weekend. When the voting closed I had played less than a third of the submitted hacks, and subsequently also restrained from voting. I really wish there was more time between the release of the hacks and the voting being closed. This weekend I had time again to play more of the hacks and I have to say, I've found quite a few gems that weren't even mentioned in the results list. It's true that there are many renditions of Green Hill Zone, but some of them are touched up, have a new atmosphere, or just merely play really well due to good layout, and I personally enjoy such hacks and think they shouldn't be outright dismissed. I think DAGarden Edition is evidence that layout is the backbone of a good hack. I got the impression that the focus is on polish rather than gameplay, which is a bit strange considering submission of works in progress is explicitly allowed.

    Either way, I'd suggest to extend the time before the results come out, to give both the judges and players more times to try out all the hacks. Another thing I would have found convenient is a batch download for all the hacks; having this would also encourage players to also test out more than just the well-known hacks.

    tl;dr, my suggestions: List of nominees, runner-ups, commentary on each hack, more time to play hacks, batch download -- to make it more rewarding for less successful entrants and to encourage everyone to play hacks thoroughly.


    The cute one here Tech Member
    Yeah I think after the submission deadline there should be a week for the judges to look at the hack, and then after a week for both people and judges to try and look at them, before the actual contest week with all the media coverage and things. I think it would help with the stress of the judges, and allow more time to properly judge the hacks and have more possibility to do things like the ones suggested. I really like the idea of doing mini reviews of the hacks and explaining further why person x got a throphy over y. It would really help us hackers to improve our products. Afterall user feedback is the best tool in helping to making a good and polished software.
  17. LazloPsylus


    Buried under SSRG Somewhere Tech Member
    Academy City
    SSRG, world domination, a billion and one research projects...
    Yeah, this year was quite stressful for everyone on the staff. Even with the judges having two weeks (that week of dead space for everyone else was extra judging time for the staff), it was a struggle to properly review all 50 entries before the voting deadline. There are definitely going to be a number of tweaks in regards to next year's judging period, though exactly what those tweaks are have not been decided yet. As for deliberation between judges, you can bet there's quite a bit of it. Between a Skype group with the judges and media team and a private IRC channel for judges, a number of entries were discussed and preliminary opinions said. Meanwhile, while I wholly agree with ioj's suggestion about providing personal notes from judges regarding their thoughts on entries, the issue we ran into this year was, again, time. We were barely able to get all the judging done on time, much less formulate the words to put down clear thoughts on how to improve the entries. The notes are definitely something I'd like to see for future contests, but that requires we get the time frames adjusted to properly let us do it right. We'd rather give proper commentary than half-assed, so we've got to get things arranged right to let us do that.

    We're reading and listening to your opinions, and you'd be surprised how much of it mirrors the thoughts of the staff. Keep it coming.