Sonic Hacking Contest 2015

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Spanner, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Spanner

    Spanner

    The Tool Member
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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    http://shc.sonicresearch.org We're live! Come and upload your entries!

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    [​IMG]
    (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!
     
    JUDGES
    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.
     
    TROPHIES
    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
    2nd place.
     
    Dust Hill Trophy
    3rd place.
     
    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.
     
    Generations Trophy
    Best 3D Sonic game mod.
     
    11000101 Trophy
    Best technical / proof of concept hack submitted.
     
    Fang Trophy
    Best new enemy/badnik in a hack submitted.
     
    Eggman Trophy
    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.
     
    Emerald Trophy
    Best Special Stage in a hack submitted.
     
    Robotnik's Revenge Trophy
    Best fresh concept using existing concepts as the backbone in a hack submitted.
     
    Casinopolis Trophy
    Most entertaining / fun hack submitted.
     
    Polygon Jim Trophy
    Most unique hack submitted.
     
    Tails Trophy
    Most improved hack from last year's contest.
     
     
    COMMUNITY TROPHIES
    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:
     
    RULES
    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.
     
    DEADLINES
    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!!
     
  2. Overlord

    Overlord

    ...did we just switch realities? Moderator
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    I'm assuming you mean Sunday 2nd of August for the submissions deadline and 9th August 2015 for the final deadline. Might wanna check & change those. =P
     
  3. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    Dates are fixed, sorry about that. You can easily see it's mostly a copy/paste of the last thread with some changes.
     
  4. saxman

    saxman

    Oldbie Tech Member
    I want to be sure this gets said: I spoke with Spanner a little over a month ago now regarding my Sonic Boom engine. And although there's no category for it specifically, he did inform me that using it as the base for your hack would be no problem. So, check it out and see if it's right for you. (Wow, I sound like a pharmaceutical commercial!)

    And I just want to add that, as always, I am exciting to see what comes out of the contest as a whole. Last year and the year before produced some pretty creative hacks!
     
  5. Cinossu

    Cinossu

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    And it was a completely unnecessary comment as well, as you can use any base you want so long as it isn't stolen, as has always been the case since the hacking contests began. Please stop trying to use everything as a platform for your base/engine/mcguffin. I get you're excited that you made a thing, but there's a topic for it already.
     
  6. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    Not to mention I pretty much said there will be no Sonic Boom Trophy unless someone ends up modding those awful games released on the Wii U and 3DS last year.

    Who knows, maybe it'll happen, I mean we finally got Big in a hack after all last year. Feel free to continue to add Big to hacks, especially in actual levels.
     
  7. Cinossu

    Cinossu

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    So I thought I'd make a post about the state of things with the SHC site and stuff. Don't worry, nothing is cancelled or anything along those lines, but hopefully this will clear up some things people might've been wondering about.

    "Where's the site? It's mid-June and there's nothing yet!"

    This year's site is being built completely from scratch, again, in order to give everyone a better system to work with. Doing so is a huge job, and it is progressing well. However, my day job is Web Development as well, and one of the last things I want to do when getting home from work in the evenings is work on more websites. In addition, at work we are making a push to launch a new site/product in these upcoming weeks, so even moreso am I working on things and under pressure to get things done. Combine that with a planned holiday in the middle of things, with work forgetting this and wanting to go ahead with the launch anyway, and you can imagine all the fun and games this is bringing.

    This isn't me saying I'm not doing any work on it whatsoever, as I dedicate time on the weekends to do this, just with real life getting in the way it's taking longer than I thought it would to get it completed.

    "But what about getting my entry completed in time?"

    Well, you know the sorts of things that'll be required already, or should do from the posts above, and possibly from last year's contest as well. Get your actual entry ready (obviously), get a description ready both describing and advertising your entry in a concise way, and also prepare media such as gameplay videos and screenshots. That way, once the site is live, all you have to do is some copy-pasting and uploading.

    "Why can't you work quicker!!"

    You work in Web Development 9 to 6 every day and see if you want to do so all evening every evening as well. :v: As I said, I will get this done, and it will be good, just combined with it being my day job and all the hassle and pressure of things right now, it just may take a little longer than we all thought.
     
  8. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic

    Also known as RHS Tech Member
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    Wha? After a hard days work of web designing, you should be in the zone when you get home! *runs*
     
  9. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester

    My predecessors have nothing on me. Resident Jester
    Ahahahaha ^ you're such a bitch... I love it! dX

    On a serious note, I'm not particularly fussed about a website being made on time, hell, you don't owe anyone to do it. Though, have you considered asking for assistance? (You probably have, but I'm just making sure).
     
  10. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Every day's the same old thing... Same place, diff Tech Member
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    What kind of formatting will we be able to use in our description text? And don't say it's the same as last year, because I don't remember.
     
  11. Cinossu

    Cinossu

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    Assume similar to the forum bbcode, as that's what we had last year.
     
  12. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    Just a reminder of this year's deadline for submissions.

    The submissions deadline for entries will be Sunday 2nd August 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 9th August 2015.

    The Contest Week where the results will be announced somehow at the end of the week in some shape or form will start from Monday 24th August to Sunday 30th August. More details on that week in the next few weeks.

    Obviously the site isn't up yet but it should be up in good time before the deadline. If there is still an issue with the site then if we need to extend the deadline to accommodate this, then it may be looked at.

    So, you have plenty of time to get a submission made. Don't think you'll get something done in time? Consider making a mini-hack that could still have good playability value, or even just hold off on this year and look at the 2016 Contest. Don't submit an entry that hasn't been changed in years and has already been submitted to previous contests because it's just not worth it at the end of the day. You've had plenty of notice for this contest so there's still time to do something about it.
     
  13. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    TIME EXTENSION - NEW CONTEST DEADLINES
    Submissions in by Sunday 9th August 2015.
    Updates in by Sunday 16th August 2015


    As you may be aware, the contest website where submissions are made as well as downloading and voting for the Contest Week among other things has been in the process of being worked on. Usually, we have submissions open by now, but this has not been the case as Cinossu who is the web developer has had plenty on his plate to deal with outside of the contest site, and so work has been slower than usual.

    To accommodate for this inconvenience, the contest deadline has been extended by another week, meaning you all have extra time to get a submission sorted.

    The submissions deadline means that you must have a playable build to be submitted to the contest site whilst the updates deadline gives you an additional week to fix any bugs or improve the entry overall. After that deadline is over, the judges will look at the submissions and vote on trophies accordingly. If you don't submit by the 9th from when the site is open for submissions then you are not in the contest.

    As mentioned before in the thread, prepare what you will have on your submission page such as entry information, screenshots, videos and a playable build of your entry that has not been submitted before in its current form to the contest.

    The contest week remains at the current date of starting on Monday 24th and ending on Sunday 30th. There will be plenty of oppertunities to get involved with various means during the week. Judges must have completed their judging by the end of Saturday 29th meaning that results can be announced on the Sunday without any delays.
     
  14. S0LV0

    S0LV0

    Sonic Generations Helpdesk Tech Member
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    Abusing SMPS
    YAY, I GET TO PROCRASTINATE MORE
     
  15. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    Due to being informed that the completion of the website will not be done in time for the deadline, the contest has been extended once again.

    Submissions in by Sunday 6th September.
    Updates in by Sunday 13th September.
    Contest Week from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th September.
     
  16. LoneDevil

    LoneDevil

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    HELL TO THE FUCKING YES, I GET TO PROCRASTINATE EVEN MORE

    Nice.
     
  17. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    A reminder that the hacking contest is still going on and that everyone who is intending to submit should prepare entries for as soon as the site is ready.

    The submissions deadline for entries will be Sunday 6th September 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 13th September 2015.

    Yes I'm aware, the site is holding this contest up and it really should have been up by now. Cinossu will be providing an update at some point concerning the progress as I can certainly understand that there are people getting restless over the fact that this contest hasn't been going to plan this year. At the end of the day, when someone has to prioritise their actual life and work over a contest, then that is completely understandable. Obviously it inconviences people who are planning to submit as well as those judging and doing media, but setbacks do happen all the time, it's just something we have to deal with.

    If there needs to be any time extensions once again I will have to do that. Otherwise, prepare your entries and when the site is live, put them through as soon as you can.
     
  18. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Sonic Hacking Contest
    Sorry for the double post. I'm going to cross-post this from SSRG as people over there asked why there was such a delay:

    New contest dates are as follows:
    Submissions Deadline: Sunday 4th October
    Updates Deadline: Sunday 11th October
    Contest Week: Monday 19th to Sunday 25th October
     
  19. LoneDevil

    LoneDevil

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    Kinda disappointed having to wait for nearly 2 months now but oh well.
     
  20. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    I just don't see why each year we have to reinvent the wheel. It's like "Sonic series: the website"