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Sonic Hacking Contest 2016

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Spanner, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Sonic the Hedgehog Hacking Contest 2016

    So if you haven't noticed, this is a rather late post. Well unfortunately not everything goes to plan, things were being held up due to things required from judges concerning last year and where to go with this year, plus a whole load of other things. With that out of the way, this can finally be announced.

    In any case, you have PLENTY of time to get working on a submission and have it ready for entering into the contest. The deadlines are below, we are keeping to the same October deadlines as last year as they worked, but the Contest Week has been moved to November to allow judges enough time to go through all of the submissions and decide on the winners.

    This year's judges will consist of myself, Ayla, Cinossu, LazloPsylus, Shannon, SuperEgg and SSF1991 (Donnie) along with new judges amphobius (DalekSam) and Clownacy. This judge list is not final and additional judges may be recruited to replace former judges who have left the contest due to retiring or other reasons – do not ask to be a judge as that just rules you out. If we think you're up to the job, we'll talk to you.

    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, so if one hack wins a whole load of trophies like last year, well that's what the judges thought should have won. Judges may change at any time due to unavailability or other reasons.

    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. Judges will allocate a winner to each trophy and if a particular entry that missed out has enough support as a runner-up an Honourable Mention will be added as well.

    Hidden Palace Trophy
    Grand prize / 1st place. This is given to the overall best hack in the contest.

    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.

    Azure Lake Trophy
    Best multi-player hack 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.

    Wing Fortress Trophy
    Best cutscene 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.

    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 cannot 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. Hacks found with stolen content are not tolerated and anyone caught will be dealt with severely and their entry will be null and void. If anyone suspects an entry to have stolen content, contact a judge IMMEDIATELY.
    10. 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 9th October 2016 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 16th October 2016.

    Any questions can be asked in this thread where-in a judge will be able to provide some sort of answer.

    CONTEST WEEK - Monday 7th to Sunday 13th November

    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 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 much like last year. We may also have something this year that will be a first for the Contest.

    We'll let you know when the website is updated for the 2016 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. shilz


    getting my daily allowance of vitamin kk
    Hopefully I can figure out something to do this year.
    If by some off chance I actually have something, I'll submit.
    also the joke hacks better behave this year
  3. S0LV0


    Sonic Generations Helpdesk Tech Member
    Abusing SMPS
    November? November?

    Holy shit I love you guys. I'd basically given up on having a chance to submit Unleashed Project 2.0 but this falls quite comfortably into my timetable. Thank you thank you thank you.
  4. RetroKoH


    Project Sonic 8x16
    At one point I'd have wanted to join.... I've recently lost the desire. Hoping that we will see some fresh faces kick ass for a change instead of halfass their way into the contest.
    Inb4 the powers that be come after me for speaking my mind...
  5. Shade Vortex

    Shade Vortex

    The Black Vortex Member
    USA, WA.
    Twitch Streams
    Don't worry, I won't submit a joke hack this time. :P In fact I probably won't submit at all- no point when all I can do is make layout hacks that aren't very good. But hey, it was fun making Hold Right To Win series while it lasted... I once considered a 3&K and CD version of it, but it the joke wears thin with repeated use. If I ever do something like it again I'd certainly innovate more on the idea...

    Good luck to those who are actually competent enough to do something worthwhile, and thanks for spending so much time to put work into your projects. I can't see myself dedicating so much time into a hobby like this, which is why all I did was make joke hacks.
  6. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    People should have enough time to work on a submission. We're not expecting a full game, maybe just a few levels, that's it really.

    In fact, people shouldn't be constrained between the dates set to work on the submission, they could have been working on their entry even after the end of last year's contest.

    Who knows what'll come this year...
  7. LazloPsylus


    Buried under SSRG Somewhere Tech Member
    Academy City
    SSRG, world domination, a billion and one research projects...
    Woo, far more tame here than over at SSRG.

    Yeah, timeline's pushed back to November. We all want to be able to give all the entries the attention needed for judging, and the staff last year can attest that we had far less than that previously, and it really impacted our ability to judge properly. There's work internally to try and fix many of last year's faults, and while we by no means have all of them solved, we're doing our damndest to get what we can. And you may be surprised to hear, KingofHarts, that we'd love to see some new bloods come in and just obliterate the competition. We want fresh and new and amazing just as much as the rest of you. Any of you think you have what it takes to blow our minds? Bring it. I, for one, want to be blown away this year, and will be very disappointed if I'm not.
  8. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    Hoping to have an entry for this year. :v:
  9. redhotsonic


    Also known as RHS Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    (I got permission from Spanner to post this in here). Well, I promised to get this video out months ago, but life kept getting in the way. Now that the SHC2016 has been announced, it was time to get a move on. So I give you, The Sonic Hacking Contest 2015 Results Review! This is where I review the SHC2015, and each hack that won at least 1 trophy. I will also quickly give my SHC2016 expectations! It took me ages and a lot of work to get this done, so I hope you enjoy it.

    PLEASE NOTE: If you're going to skip the introduction to this video and just watch a particular hack being showcased, then please read this next spoiler (you don't have to if you're going to watch the introduction to the video).
    Everything I say in this video is my opinion which I am entitled to. Just as much as you're entitled to yours. I will be totally unbiased to every hack in this video. You can agree and disagree with me on anything you like; the comments section is open! But I want to get it out there that even though there will be plenty of good points in this video, I will be giving out a few bad points to every hack here and there. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and say “This hack is awesome” just because everyone else has. If I like it, I like it. If I don't like it, I will say so. But please, please accept these points as criticism, and not me bashing your hard work. I respect that the creators have worked extremely hard on creating their hacks, and I by all means, I do not want to put them down. But I do want them to respect my opinion (otherwise you or they wouldn't be watching this), and decide for themselves if they agree with me or not. So, to any creator of the hack that is about to watch this, (or anyone watching for that matter), if you do not take criticism (or cons) very well, it may be best not to watch this. But don't worry, like I said, I will be doing a lot of praising too!

    If this video goes really well and gets good marks/likes/subs, I will be very grateful (as I worked hard on it), and I will do another video: Sonic 1 – 50Hz vs 60Hz.
  10. RetroKoH


    Project Sonic 8x16
    I completely agree with you on this... not to mention the fact that Contest Staff, based on what I've seen has been seemingly very lenient and willing to accommodate for late entries... and yet we get things like "Hold Right to Win".

    I've babbled on about this gripe enough, I only wanted to reply to make it clear that I wasn't going after you, Cinossu, or other staff with that comment.
  11. Blaxer


    Sup? Member
    Sonic Origins [Mini Hack]
    In request from Ayla Over at SSRG, An official announcement she made concerning the contest. she wanted someone to make a mirror of it for her here so I thought I should help with that.
  12. Sith


    The molotov bitch Member
    I wish all the contestants good luck and hope we can enjoy some kick-ass new hacks and further improvements on existing ones.
    Playing hacks has never been so good as in recent times. Keep it up, you talented people!
  13. Spanner


    The Tool Member

    We have come to a decision on recruiting new judges to replace those who are no longer involved and two new judges for this year will be amphobius (DalekSam) and Clownacy.

    This should complete the judges for this year, but if replacements are needed due to whatever reason then judges may be added or removed at any time.
  14. Spanner


    The Tool Member

    As you may be aware, we have the Contest Week taking place this year from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th November. There are opportunities for everyone to take part in the Contest Week - it isn't a closed door environment. So as a result we are looking for people who could provide additional streams, site reviews, hacking workshops and much more. If you have something you can do during the week we want to know so you can do it. In the past people have done things such as music workshops and level design seminars among other things. You don't need to submit a hack to be part of the Contest Week!

    To be a part of the Contest Week with whatever you are interested in doing please please contact a judge (preferably myself or SuperEgg as we are more hands on with the contest week) with full details and examples (videos, links etc) of previous work.

    Streams can be done at any time including when other streams are on, you just need to let us know what times they'll be on and where they will be at.

    Providing streams does not make you part of the Media Panel unless you have been specifically asked to be a part of it.

    Hack Submissions Note
    A reminder that we intend to open submissions on Sunday 11th September, allowing a one month window to get your initial submission in – remember that there will be a further updates deadline. Deadlines are Sunday 9th October 2016 for submissions and Sunday 16th October 2016 for updates. Judging will commence after the update deadline and judges have been given ample time to get through all submissions. Details of submitting to the contest will be made available on Sunday 11th September.

    We have given notice since March this year that this contest will take place, we don't announce events on a whim and do things last minute here, people have had plenty of time to get work done so if you've been working on a submission for months, even years, then the opportunity to enter is shortly approaching. Or if you want to submit something mashed out in such short time then feel free, after all people have won trophies through that. Everyone is welcome to submit as long as you meet the criteria.
  15. Unlimited Trees

    Unlimited Trees

    we Do a Little Mischief, Mischief... Member
    UNITRES, Project Time, etc.
    Hey, I have a question. Can any member (besides people who are banned) submit their hack (When you guys start allowing submissions)? I've been thinking of asking this question for awhile, and when I tried asking this question to someone else I still didn't get any answers.
  16. MainMemory


    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    The rules say that you need a Sonic Retro or SSRG full member account to submit.
  17. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    You must be a full member of either Sonic Retro or SSRG to submit, but those who ask a judge beforehand for permission may be granted the opportunity to submit.

    Full details for this year's submission process will be posted on September 11th.

    EDIT: Wing Fortress Trophy added for best cutscene in a hack. Somehow this trophy always gets neglected when people want it in the contest.
  18. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Contest submissions will open very shortly.
  19. Cinossu


    London, UK
    Sonic the Hedgehog Extended Edition
  20. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Got a good amount of entries so far, keep it up.