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The 2013 Sonic the Hedgehog Hacking Contest

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Ayla, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Ayla


    I shat on your desk ^^ Oldbie
    West Linn, OR
    Hacking Contest, StH Overlooked, Personal Indie game
    (logo by Cinossu)

    It's that time of year again!!

    ...And what time is that you might ask? Why it's time for the 2013 Sonic the Hedgehog Hacking Contest!! As usual, we're changing a few things about how the contest is run this year and those changes are major.

    First of all, that annoying text file that you have to include with your submissions is finally being done away with! We're replacing this with an online submission form with which you'll be able to more easily submit your entries. While this feature will make life easier for everyone submitting a hack, we have not yet implemented it. We'll post something in this thread when we have the script up and running for your use =)

    The only other major changes is we've gotten rid of any trophies that were silly or pointless. Every trophy is now competitive and non-humourous to match the apparently serious and mature nature of reverse engineering a video game about an anthropomorphic, blue hedgehog.

    This year's judges will consist of Ayla, Cinossu, D.A Garden, Dude, Shadow Fire, MegaGWolf, Mercury, SOTI (Spanner) and this year's new judge, SuperEgg. 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.

    Allow me to show you the list =):

    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. 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 Sonic Generations 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.

    WTF?! Trophy
    Most unique hack submitted.

    Tails Trophy
    Most improved hack from last year's contest.

    Now we move on to the Community Trophies!! =) These trophies are trophies that are awarded by those following the contest.

    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.

    ...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. This could, quite possibly, be one of the most major changes of all and was eventually brought on as a result of the contest a few years back where Sonic Boom won the HPZ trophy.

    1) No palette hacks
    2) No simple level layout hacks with nothing else changed
    3) No joke hacks. Sonic is srsbizness guyz >=(
    4) No private hacks. This is the major change I was referring to. Sonic Boom winning caused a huge shitstorm until people could actually play that hack and see why I gave it the HPZ trophy. Entries are either Public (Hack can be downloaded) or Partial (media such as screenshots, videos and music only available to the public).
    5) 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.
    6) E-mailed submissions will not be accepted. All submissions must be through the online script.
    7) These rules can change at any time. Check back often (or at least before you submit something) to make sure they haven't.

    The deadline for entries will be 31.07.2013 and 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.

    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. Unlike before, we will not be doing this as part of SAGE. We will hopefully have some additional events during the week including live streaming of hacks, IRC workshops lead by experienced hackers and quick time-limited contests that could last from one week, one day or even one hour! What can you do in terms of a hack from scratch in such limited time?

    So with that, I'll leave you to your hacking =P

    Ready, Set, Procrastinate!! As long as you don't procrastinate as long as I did making the thread for this to begin with =P

    ~Julia / Ayla, Spanner, and the SHC2013 judges
  2. Mercury


    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    Location Location
    oh god yes

    Especially 4 and 5.
  3. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    To clear up a few things, videos and music are not mandatory, only screenshots are. One screenshot that is required is the title screen, regardless if it has been edited or not.

    The difference between Partial and Public is that you show everything in Public, but in Partial the public don't get access to your hack.
  4. GT Koopa

    GT Koopa

    Elgin, IL
    Flicky Turncoat DX, T.L.W.S. Vs M.G.W.
    I see humor trophy is gone. What am I going to strive for now and get demolished in by more technical members?
  5. Knucklez


    I love 2B 'n' ass. Member
    The difference between Partial and Private is NOTHING. Ooooohhh, a screenshot of the title screen... but no download? Screw you. At least let the good ol' community give a hacker some feedback instead of leaving it to a few judges and their biased opinions.

    I want to play more hacks. I think I speak for everyone when I say that this community wants to play more hacks. I'm getting tired of all these damn hacks we're slapped with a sloppy screenshot of and never given a chance to play, especially during a time when MD hacking is practically dying.
  6. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    You will get something, the problem is that there are submissions that just aren't ready for public exposure. What has been eliminated is the option where you get to see nothing.

    Also, did I say that you would ONLY get a title screen image? There will be a number of screenshots for the person to upload, not just one. What we're doing this year is to avoid ridiculous entries where people submit shit to get quick trophies. If people want to win, they'll need to do their best.
  7. steveswede


    Ask my hand
    Fighting against the Unitary State of Europe
    I've always felt that anything that isn't a finished build shouldn't be entered into the competition. I feel it's highly unfair to the people that do enter into the competition with hacks that are finished, compete and possibly loose out on something that's isn't, which includes not ready for exposure entries.
  8. Ayla


    I shat on your desk ^^ Oldbie
    West Linn, OR
    Hacking Contest, StH Overlooked, Personal Indie game
    We do. That's what the community trophies are for.

    As for a lot of screenshots and no download, let me be the first to say that a lot of times when someone releases what they have done when they release that first screenshot, they get chewed out for it being incomplete.

    I know I did. People loved the screenshots of my hack and I decided to release what I had just for fun.

    People were brutal. They complained about collision issues and the game not being finished. No fucking shit it wasn't finished!! It was still in conceptual stages.

    I quickly removed the link after this and stopped the project.
  9. Jimmy Hedgehog

    Jimmy Hedgehog

    England - Slough
    Getting the motivation to continue old projects
    I know I've said this but maybe I'll actually have something done this time, even if only the first zone. Also, where it says no just level layout/palette hacks, am I in the clear if Sonic's art, HUD's art, varying main object art and things such as abilities are changed too, but not the actual art of the level itself? Or are level art edits a requirement now?
  10. Ravenfreak


    2 Edgy 4 U Tech Member
    O'Fallon Mo
    Sonic 1 Game Gear Disassembly
    I know I said last year that I was going to enter up my Sonic 2 SMS hack and ended up entering the contest with a shitty retarded hack of Sonic 1. :v: I've made a resolution for this year and that's to at least finish one of my projects, I think I'll start working on Sonic 2 Remixed and actually enter it in the contest this time around and try to finish it. I haven't hacked any of the 8-bit Sonic games in a while (been preoccupied with Pokemon glitch research and hacking Pocket Monsters Midori lately...) so I think it's time to get off my ass and start working on it again. This contest will be enough motivation for me. ;)
  11. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    That's fine. The rules are just referring to hacks where idiots just change Green Hill Zone's palette, change a few level tiles at the start and call it a day. Silly stuff like that.
  12. Cinossu


    London, UK
    Sonic the Hedgehog Extended Edition
    As SOTI has said, it won't just be a screenshot of the title screen; seeing as I'm the one coding up the system for entry, and the exact specifics haven't been decided on yet, it'll probably be a minimum of 3, with one being a title screen as a page title image, like on the wiki, as it were.

    As for no downloads, and as people have said for years, hacks are made for fun by the people making them, not just for you to play them. If they don't feel up to releasing their work, that's not for you to get pissy over. The whole point of removing Private entries specifically is that they showed nothing at all to the public, which was completely unfair compared to those who showed everything. Partial at least shows something exists in the way of a decent entry, especially if it wins a trophy.

    That's what the community trophies are for, so we can listen to your biased opinions too. :]

    Unfortunately dear, as I have said, we make hacks for our fun, not specifically your fun. If we don't want to release anything until we consider it ready for release, that's what you have to deal with.

    While I do agree to a extent, it'd be a very small competition if it were restricted to finished entries only, plus this way we also get to see entries that improve over time and reward that effort. In the end, it's up to the person entering to feel that their entry, finished or not, is up to winning. It is a contest, after all.
  13. Ayla


    I shat on your desk ^^ Oldbie
    West Linn, OR
    Hacking Contest, StH Overlooked, Personal Indie game
    Wherever your heart and interests lie is where your dedication will appear. If you've been doing more with Pokemon hacking lately, you don't need to feel obligated to work on something Sonic related unless your heart is really in it. I've made that mistake myself far too many times and felt it was worth commenting on.
  14. TheInvisibleSun


    Buffalo, NY, USA
    The Water
    I might actually be somewhat finished by the deadline. Hopefully I'll win something on my first contest entry!
  15. Knucklez


    I love 2B 'n' ass. Member
    Well, I didn't really mean to come off as harshly as I did. So, my apologies.

    However, I still hope that there'll be a substantial amount of hacks available for the public to download. It's less about the fun of playing a hack and more about basking in the art of it. ;)
  16. Cinossu


    London, UK
    Sonic the Hedgehog Extended Edition
    Oh, I'm sure there will be; there usually are a good number each year anyway, and with video becoming a much more popular form of showing off what has been done it wouldn't surprise me if most, if not all, of those that are Partial have them, if only for a better chance of winning the community trophies.

    Remember, the only way for the community trophies to be won is through showing what you've done to everyone in some form or another, and compared to a single title screen and a single "gameplay" screenshot, a video of actual footage showing what has been done will go a long way.
  17. redhotsonic


    Also known as RHS Tech Member
    United Kingdom
    I won't be submitting "Sonic 2 Recreation" this time as haven't done much sinse last contest. Although, I will submit "Sonic 2 Time Attack" as it is pretty much complete (excluding World Record Times).

    A question though. If we submit our hacks by the deadline, do we get an extra week to update the hacks? Like last year?
  18. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Yes, that would be correct. Sometimes we forget to add or remove some things, but you will get the extra week. However, you should have enough time to have your entries finished for the submissions deadline, the extra week helps if any serious bugs need to be fixed or you finished implementing something that was only partially completed in the past entry. With the online script being used this year, it will be much easier to update your entries and judges will be able to get them as they are available.
  19. Alriightyman


    I am back... from the dead! Tech Member
    Somewhere in hot, death Florida
    0101001101101111011011100110100101100011 00000010: 0101001100000011 01000101011001000110100101110100011010010110111101101110
    I think I should have something to throw in here this year. I haven't entered in a long time!
    As far as the "submission form", will there be an area to comment on about the project in an attempt to explain what has been changed/modified?
  20. Spanner


    The Tool Member
    Since Ayla hasn't had time to update the thread, there will be the usual week after the submissions deadline to update your hack, which will be Wednesday 7th August.