don't click here

Sonic Hacking Contest 2019

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Spanner, Mar 12, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Click Here for the Results!


    Sorry for the later posting this year.
    As much as we wanted to get SHC2019 announced right after 2018 was done,
    we had a number of things to look into and deal with before kicking off the show.

    As much as we believe the 2018 Contest and Expo went well, we noticed a few things that needed to be addressed.
    Notably, last year was the first year starring more 3D entries compared to their classic 2D counterparts.
    This in itself is nothing bad, in fact we believed it was eventually going to happen.

    Knowing this, we felt it was necessary to look at how we handle things going forward.
    We want to ensure a fair playing field for all entries, which as you may already know
    effectively means revamping how the entire trophy system was handled from the ground
    up. This in itself is a rather difficult task, as to both figure out the general format of the
    trophies and come up with new names is time consuming.


    Recently, we gave you the exclusive opportunity for the final format to be used for trophy distribution
    and you decided “Option 2”. This means that starting with SHC2019, we will be employing a new format,
    which for those who have stuck with us for long still retains close similarities with the original.

    Entries will be graded top 3 overall in the respective common submission formats/categories:
    “Retro”, “3D” and “2D PC”. Various “general” categories, subject to different interpretation based
    on submission format such as “best visually appealing” or “best sounding” will also be split in the
    following manner.

    Last of all, “special” trophies such as “most improved since last year” or “most WTF” (Polygon Jim)
    will remain as is.

    We understand that there is a possibility that some of the trophies under the format may end up
    “unnecessary” in the long run with no real “winners”, due to what may or may not be submitted.
    For such trophies, the “Null Vote Rule” will be applied, with “Null Vote” being a voting option if no
    entry either satisfies the trophy description or does not meet a given quality standard in the given
    trophy's department. If “Null Vote” becomes the top vote for a category, no trophy is awarded.


    The Judges

    This year's judge set consists of Cinossu, Clownacy, CodenameGamma, Dario FF, Melpontro,
    OrdosAlpha, Sewer56, SSF1991 (Donnie), Spanner, StephenUK and Twilightzoney.

    The notable difference this year is we have included more people with both knowledge and
    reverse engineering of PC titles. This includes both general 3D (Adventure, Boost style) as
    well 2D (RSDK, e.g. Sonic Mania). We believe it will be to the benefit of judging quality greatly.

    Judges & Contest Submissions

    Judges will be allowed to submit their own hacks, however they will not be allowed to judge
    their own entries
    (conflict of interest). This includes submissions that they have been involved
    with, such as team submissions.

    After the main contest finishes, the Judges will provide more detailed evaluations of the entries to
    give their opinion, thoughts, and advice they feel is deserved.


    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.

    Not all judges can judge all games as they may not have have the capability to do so.
    For example: 360/PS3 based sonic hacks requiring either powerful PC for emulation or hacked console.
    If you submit a non 8/16-bit entry please have this in mind. The majority of judges however are capable
    of playing PC-based game entries.

    Please note that the final decisions are subject to the Judging Team and may not reflect your own opinion.
    If one hack wins a whole load of trophies that is what the judges thought should win. Judges may change
    at any time due to unavailability or other reasons.


    This year we're doing trophies a bit differently. First of all, we're scrapping the names for
    now to make things easier to understand. Secondly, we're categorising them differently
    to before. First, we have three main categories that entries can fall under:

    For any and all retro console hack entries

    For all entries based on the 3D Sonic games outright

    2D PC
    For those entries based on the 2D ports, rereleases, and remasters on PC, as well as Mania.

    All three of these categories will have a Top 3 result and individual trophies of
    the following:

    Best Visual
    Best Audio
    Best Technical
    Best Level Design
    Best Voted by Media Panel

    As well as these we have a set of misc. trophies that can be attributed to any entry
    from any category.

    Most Entertaining
    Most WTF (Polygon Jim)
    Best Team Entry
    Best Multiplayer Entry
    Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone
    Most Potential
    Most Improved Since Last Year

    Of course we also have the overall Top 3 that can again be attributed to any
    entry from any category.

    And what of community trophies, you ask? Well, you're all in luck this year. Apart
    from the obvious exception of "Best Voted by Media Panel", the community get to
    vote on each and all of these categories and trophies as well.


    Please note that these rules can be changed, added to, or removed from at any time. In such event,
    the contest staff will notify you through this thread and send a global announcement using any form
    of Social Media we have at our disposal. We recommend checking back often to ensure nothing has

    Everything described in this section applies to both the Contest and the Expo unless otherwise specified.

    Entry Eligibility

    1. Your entry must be based on an existing ROM or game tied to the
    Sonic The Hedgehog franchise.
    Homebrew submissions are not accepted.

    ? Hack of Super Mario 64 converting it into a Sonic game.
    ? Custom game engine with imported Sonic game assets.
    ? Hack of a Sonic game turning it into a non-Sonic game.
    ? Hack of a Sonic game introducing new features/content to the game.

    Tech demos of console to PC/console conversions are acceptable if based on an existing
    ROM and/or disassembly.

    2. Joke/Meme entries are not allowed in the Contest. Public evaluations clearly shown people
    did not like the abundance of them in previous contests. Once again we will not be allowing them.
    They will however be allowed in the Expo provided Quality Control Criteria are met.

    3. All entries must be playable and cannot prevent judges from playing them if they have been
    uploaded. Judges have the right to look at your incomplete work if you have submitted it. However,
    judges will not allocate trophies based on any incomplete builds, only the last build submitted
    for the completed entry.

    Submission Rules/Guidelines

    1. Each entry by a participant may only be submitted to either the Contest or Expo - you
    cannot have the same entry in both categories. That said, nothing stops you from submitting <x>
    entries to the contest and <y> entries to the expo.

    ? “Sonic Hack R” in Contest AND Expo.
    ? “Sonic Hack R” in Contest.
    ? “Sonic Hack R” in Expo.
    ? “Sonic Hack R” in Contest, “Sonic Hack Z” in Expo.

    2. You must include media such as screenshots, videos (YouTube links are fine) and/or music
    (MP3, OGG, and VGM preferred). The staff will not waste time making these for you.

    3. All submissions must be completed through the online site.
    E-mailed or direct-messaged entries will not be accepted.

    4. You must inform what has been changed or explicitly what has not. This can be zone and act
    breakdowns to a full change log, if need be. We need to ensure stock vanilla levels and completely
    untouched gameplay is not being judged and/or played by the general public. Submissions can
    inform of other information such as cheat codes, easter eggs, and other worthwhile information
    that would benefit your entry when being looked at and judged.

    Copyright & Intellectual Property

    1. All work used from external sources/contributors (sprites, VGM conversions, etc)
    must be credited.
    Hacks found with stolen and / or uncredited content will not be tolerated.
    If anyone suspects an entry to have stolen and / or uncredited content either flag the entry or
    contact staff immediately.

    2. If you have used asset collections such as music packs from the Internet, please be wary that
    they are known to contain content illegitimately ripped from other hacks. Please always double
    check your original sources.

    The general course of action for stolen content is that the participant will have all of their entries
    removed from the Sonic Hacking Contest.

    What Not To Do

    1. Save the drama. The contest is not an appropriate place to air your
    grievances with individuals or communities.

    2. Obscure jokes/memes that most people will not understand. If the entry focuses
    on inside jokes with no appeal to anyone other than those in the know, the Contest or Expo
    is not a valid place for it to be shown.

    3. NSFW content accessed through normal means. Easter eggs are okay, provided
    accessible without prior knowledge of existence. Adding the method of access through
    your entry description, will be considered as “accessed through normal means”.

    4. Submit joke entries with sole purpose of just gaming the rules/exploit any loopholes.

    Action may or may not be taken depending on the severity if you infringe on any of the above.
    In the worst possible case the participant may have their entry removed, possibly along with
    any other entries they have submitted.

    Other Considerations

    1. No private entries. If you want to submit to the Contest your entry must be made
    available completely to the Public.

    2. Offensive content without good context is frowned upon and should be
    avoided to prevent issues.

    3. Give a thought about your target audience. Make sure your entry is not
    over-complicated to run or unnecessarily bloated. If a mod can be 200MB and easily
    installed with a mod loader, we don't want to see a 2GB submission that achieves
    the same thing requiring total file replacement.

    4. All entries are viewed equal regardless of who submits them.
    Do not be put off with people well known in the community potentially submitting
    that could win trophies - people do not win trophies because of who they are in this
    community, people win because their entry deserved to win.


    In the Sonic Hacking Contest we take quality control very seriously,
    but try to be inclusive enough to potential contest participants by not setting the
    bar too high.

    For Contest entries, the quality control is very strict, while for the Expo
    entries we are a bit more lenient. As a general rule of thumb, we use the
    following measurements to decide whether an entry is of sufficient quality
    for the Contest.

    Retro & 2D PC Entries

    Pick at least 3 of the following
    A. Palette changes, physics changes and other various minor modifications.
    B. Art changes, layout changes and/or mapping changes.
    C. Engine, sound driver and/or special stage functionality changes.
    D. Music and sound effect modifications.

    3D Entries

    Modification(s) that change features in the playable game itself.

    ? Simple texture only hacks.
    ? Simple object layout modifications.
    ? Model swaps of existing game models. (UNLESS process is technical)
    ? Collection of custom models, assets, objects.
    ? Custom levels and/or playable stages of acceptable quality.
    ? Custom game logic/code written in assembly or existing game logic hooked
    using arbitrary programming language (C/C++/C#/D etc.)

    All Entries

    Alternatively if your entry meets any of the following criteria
    (regardless of entry type), it is sufficient to enter the Contest.

    Pick at least 1 of the following
    A. Complete change to the rules of a Sonic game.
    Example(s): Sonic Bash v2, Boss Rush Hacks, Knuckles Emerald Hunt.

    B. Overhaul into a whole new game.
    Example(s): Sonic Scorched Quest, Sonic Virtual Adventure.

    C. Technical feat.
    Example(s): MarkeyJester's Mode 7 Mega Drive experiments,
    Lantern Engine, Sonic 4 in 1, etc.

    Can't meet the criteria? Take some time, look at what you are
    missing or need to work on and come back in next year with an even
    better hack than your current one.

    Unsure if your entry meets the standards? Ask a judge or a
    member of the Hacking Contest staff. If it happens to be the case
    you already have submitted your entry, do not be concerned - we
    will tell you if we believe the entry does meet the given standards.


    CONTEST UPDATES DEADLINE: Sunday 10th November
    EXPO SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: Sunday 17th November
    CONTEST WEEK FROM: Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th December

    The Contest Week has been put back due to Thanksgiving, but also
    allows extra time for judging and quality control.

    Please see this link regarding submitting for this year's trailer.

    Ready, Set, Procrastinate!!


    Forum Thread also available at SSRG.

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  2. Clownacy


    Tech Member
    Just a reminder to get your votes in by Wednesday.
  3. Sewer56


    Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    [Reloaded] Mod Loader


    Hi folks, Sewer56 here.

    I'm that one guy who's often seen tampering round with Sonic Heroes
    and a practitioner of mastering the art of the Ultimate Mod Loader.

    Joining the Hacking Contest team starting with this year, I am the author
    of the new Hacking Contest announcement format, including the header
    images and refactoring of the text you see in the thread here (and on SSRG).

    The Dark theme used on Retro is called Eternal Halogenic Midnight,
    while the Light theme used on SSRG is called (uncreatively) SSRG White.

    The overall process of making the two different announcement themes and
    reformatting the post into its new layout you see today for the two boards took
    just over 10 hours for SSRG and Retro combined.

    Let me know what you think of the new thread designs on both of the sites. ??????


    What's This!? You expected that I would end my previous post there?
    No end, just me, Dio. That's not happening yet.

    I have a few extra goodies to hand out with this year's announcement post,
    mainly in the form of wallpapers using the Eternal Halogenic Midnight theme
    seen in the Retro post.

    Previews (Warning: Large)

    You may download the mini asset pack from here.

    As with everything I do, the sources for Eternal Halogenic Midnight are public, so if you ever need
    feel free to remix or modify the wallpapers should you require any minor adjustments.

    Enjoy and have fun.
    See you during the contest week.

  4. Dandaman


    Also known as Dandaman955 Tech Member

    Basically, everything went to shit for me around that particular time period and it peaked in late November, so I'm gonna have to apologise on that front. I'm not really comfortable spreading my situation at the time on a public forum but if you really need to know then send me a private message. Another thing that I'm going to have to apologise for was the inability to play 3D mods: The scope of last year's 3D entries compared to 2017's caught me by complete surprise and turned a nonissue into a very big one. Nevertheless, I'm back with the evaluations that were meant to be uploaded on December:
  5. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Just a reminder to everyone intending to submit, we are exactly one month away from the Submission Deadline for entries to this year's Sonic Hacking Contest, Sunday 27th October.

    Remember, it's not the only deadline, there will be the Update Deadline on Sunday 3rd November for Contest entries to polish up their submission for judging and for those who forego the judging and submit to the Expo, it's Sunday 17th November.

    Please read the first post for all the information you need to know. All submissions are welcome provided you meet the criteria. If you are unsure if you meet the criteria, ask a judge for clarification.

    As always, the site will be open for entries when the site is open. Please be patient.

    Stay tuned for further updates. And check out SAGE whilst you're at it.
  6. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    We have had to delay the contest deadlines for another week as it has not been possible to get the site up in time to allow for a decent window of submissions, due to Cinossu being ill and also very busy with work.

    New deadlines are as follows, note the Expo deadline and Contest Week remains the same as before. The site will be open for submissions at some point in this week.

    CONTEST UPDATES DEADLINE: Sunday 10th November
    EXPO SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: Sunday 17th November
    CONTEST WEEK FROM: Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th December

    Enjoy the extra week. Please make good use of it.
  7. Cinossu


    London, UK
    Sonic the Hedgehog Extended Edition
    SO THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER. And we do mean it this time.

    The site is finally live.

    As always, a mix of work, illness, stress, and other factors have lead to a late opening. But we're open. Come enjoy, come enter, and make sure to read the news post and information pages on changes to this year's SHC!

    Of note, if you already had an SHC account from last year, you have one this year already too. You'll just need to go through the Forgotten Password system to restore access. We changed how user accounts are stored, so had to wipe out all existing passwords and such. But, once in, have fun~
  8. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Please see this link regarding submitting for this year's trailer.

    In the mean time here's a promotional video from Tails Channel:
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  9. Clownacy


    Tech Member
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  10. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    A reminder that this is the last day to submit to the Sonic Hacking Contest! Submissions will close at the end of Sunday, after which only Expo submissions will be accepted.

    Remember that you do not need to have a finished product by the end of today, just something that is playable. You can polish your entry up until the end of Sunday 10th November.

    If you want your entry to be judged, get it in today, in the Contest section, or you will miss out on potential trophies that could have been awarded to your entry.

    I have seen a few Expo entries that certainly would have been good in the Contest, but at the end of the day it's up to the submitter on where they want to enter it in.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  11. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    The Sonic Hacking Contest is having issues with Twitter who for some reason are blocking links to our domain by saying they are spam or automated links, and this is seriously impacting us with promoting this whole thing, which may result in less entries overall and / or less attention for the whole event, as people may treat the link as suspicious.

    To get Twitter to sort this out please go to and click "I can't Tweet a link because Twitter thinks it's spam." and fill in the relevant details and of course the address of - If enough people report it they might get it unblocked, otherwise we're going to have to blow some money and get a new domain entirely...which might also end up getting blocked by their algorithm.

    We've owned this domain for many years without trouble and would prefer to keep it that way, but if we can't get this sorted out we'll have to get a new address.

    Sorry for double posting however given the situation it is unfortunately needed.

    Also, on a side note you still have a few hours left to get a Contest entry submitted.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  12. redhotsonic


    Also known as RHS Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    Okay, all. So, you're probably very busy updating your hacks and mods for the 10th of November deadline, and that's great to hear. Once you're done, do not forget to submit a 15-second long footage of your work to me for it to be showcased in this year's Official Trailer! All details can be found here!

    If you do not submit any footage, then there's no guarantee that it will be featured. If you're having technical issues, please get hold of me in my or SSRG's Discord server. Thanks!
  13. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    As of Friday 8th November, the website is now linking again on Twitter. Many thanks for all your reports to get this sorted out!

    Also, a reminder that whilst the Contest updates deadline is at the end of this Sunday, we are still taking Expo submissions and trailer clips for RHS' trailer until the end of Sunday 17th November.

    Remember, if you are unsure if your submission will pass the criteria, please contact a judge for assistance. We wouldn't want any good entries be missed out over any doubts.
  14. Cinossu


    London, UK
    Sonic the Hedgehog Extended Edition
    Hey all, just a quick update on Team Entries.

    So it's been a busier week with work than others, which is very annoying as it's meant I didn't have as much time to work on integrating Teams as I wanted. As such, it's all manually handled by myself right now.

    If you want your entry/entries marked as a Team entry send me a DM with the entries in question, what you want as a team name, and all the members you want on said team. All members should already have users on the SHC site, and all members will be able to edit any team entry they're on the team of.
  15. Spanner


    The Tool Member

    Please ensure you have marked your entry as Completed by the deadline, otherwise they will be moved to the Expo. Judging commences after the deadline has expired.

    Also, any entry that the Judges feel are more suited to the Expo will also be moved. Remember that people have until the end of Sunday 17th November to have something submitted fully to the Expo.

    Please note that the Expo will not be used just for any entry and if Judges feel that an entry is not suitable for showing in the Expo for failing many aspects of the Quality Control Criteria, it will be removed entirely.

    Anyone who has wanted to submit this year has been aware of the deadlines since at least March. There's still time to get something in the Expo if you have anything to show off. There have been many things shown off over the year on here and elsewhere, they would certainly be welcomed to be submitted should you want to, even though they won't be judged, there's always next year if they are ongoing projects that can be continued. Without any doubt, the audience and download traffic for the Contest Week is the most highest you will get for any Sonic hack or mod these days, just like SAGE is for fan games, so use it to your advantage if you want more people to see your work.

    Before anyone asks, the list of Contest entries won't be posted until the Expo deadline, as we will be posting both lists at the same time. I'm sure you can hold on for another week.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  16. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    There are only a few days left before the Expo deadline expires. We have a good amount so far, but there is nothing stopping anyone from still submitting.

    Again, in order for your entry to be in the Expo, it must be marked as Completed by the deadline, or else it may not be available in the Contest Week.

    Can I also remind people to submit their trailer clips to redhotsonic, as it will save a lot of time in getting the trailer made which means we can release it earlier.

    If anyone has a problem with creating a trailer clip, let RHS know and he may be able to help out with that. The instructions given should be clear however.
  17. Clownacy


    Tech Member
    This is your final reminder to submit (or finish submitting) entries to Expo - submissions will be locked down at 9am GMT on Monday (4am EST, 1am PST), and no further updates can be made.

    This is also the deadline for trailer clips to redhotsonic, so if you have not submitted a clip, please get that in by then - if you do not upload a clip, there is no guarantee your entry will make the trailer.

    All entries must be marked as Complete, any that are not will not be in the Expo. People have had plenty of time to do this.

    A list of all entries will be provided once unfinished and removed entries are cleaned up, once we are ready to present them.
  18. Sewer56


    Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    [Reloaded] Mod Loader

    You know what time it is.

    The time to reveal all upon the world, the secrets of the universe,
    peoplekind and of course first and foremost, the Sonic Hacking Contest entries.

    Ready, Set, Go!

    (Another) Shadow the Hedgehog in Sonic 1
    by AsuharaMoon
    Hellfire Saga by Hardline Team
    I Made You A Salad by VAdaPEGA
    Kaizo Sonic 2 Demo by KaikeKTH
    Sonic 2 Advanced Edit by Team AE
    Sonic 2 Chaos Adventure by Jdpense
    Sonic And The Mystic Gems by Harder Project
    Sonic Cronos by Timaeus
    Sonic Sad Hill by borus
    Sonic The Hackable by CHRdutch
    Sonic The Hedgehog - A New Adventure by D.A. Garden
    TishaProject by TishaKot

    2D PC
    Amy Mania
    by troopsushi
    Dragon Valley by Cyber1204
    Return of Metal by Metal Shadow Productions
    Sonic CD Plus SHC Edition by Hyper_Doggo
    Sonic Gaiden by AeroArtwork (& Gaiden Team)
    Sonic Mania: Advanced Quest Pack by Balibali_418
    Sonic Mania Warped by Ggyas2202

    2P Shadow The Hedgehog
    by DreamSyntax
    Character Select Plus by Justin113D, MainMemory
    Generations Crisis City in Sonic Forces by RobowilOFFICIAL
    Legacy of Solaris by JotaroPowered
    Sonic Adventure 2: Randomizer by Prahaha
    Sonic Adventure 2: Blazy Mix by Darkybenji
    SA2 Sonic for SADX by MainMemory, End User
    Shade the Echidna by Justin113D
    Sonic HD Model by Justin113D
    Sonic Heroes EX by SuperrSonic
    Terios Conversion Mod by DeeforTL

    Previews for each of the entries (in random order), I have made
    available in the following Twitter thread.


    AMPS in Sonic 2
    by Natsumi
    Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine - DX Edition by RadioTails
    Hardline Team Storybook by Hardline Team
    I Made You a Salad with Extra Tomatoes by VAdaPEGA
    Ray in Sonic 1 by Iso Kilo
    Rouge the Bat in Sonic 1 by AsuharaMoon
    Sonic 2 Extreme by JoenickROS
    Sonic 3 Metal Edition by qgray14
    Sonic in Troll Island by matheusbrancobs
    Sonic Powered by SMS-Alfredo

    2D PC
    Chat VS Sonic Mania
    by CodenameGamma
    Motobug in Sonic Mania by JamBurger
    Sonic Mania & Hatsune Miku Extend FINAL39's by The Special Stage

    Amy Adventure 2
    by Team Amy
    Chao Data Menu Mod by Justin113D
    E-102 Gamma over Mech Eggman by Shadowth117
    HD GUI SA2 Edition by Speeps
    Mario 64 Mario in SA2 by Shadowth117
    Menu Overhaul by Speeps
    Modern SA2 Complete Edition by _DEXTERITY_
    No Model Tinting by Speeps
    Radical Highway in Sonic 06 by HyperPolygon64
    Reject Amy by Shadowth117
    SA2 Bad Time Edition by Lady_Jojo
    Sans Sonic by HyperPolygon64
    Sonic 06 - Lost in Translation by Knuxfan24
    Sonic 06 - Westopolis by Knuxfan24
    Speed Up in Single Player for SA2 by KrustyKong
    Speedy Eggman by End User

    Previews for each of the entries (in random order), I have made
    available in the following Twitter thread.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  19. What is this madness?!

    I wasn't prepared for this. Seeing Sonic 2 Advance Edit back again after so many years is a very HUGE unexpected thing that caugh me off.

    That's so surreal man, I'm feeling that I'm in 2010 again. Can't wait!
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  20. Sewer56


    Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    [Reloaded] Mod Loader
    Doubleposting would be silly as keeping two posts separate would be too inconvenient for the end user.

    Updated the previous post to now include the announced Expo entries:


    Spoiling you ahead of contest week would be in poor taste, but I will say the following.
    Sonic 2 Advanced Edit (Version 4/2019) is really, really good.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.