Sonic Hacking Contest 2018

Discussion in 'Discussion & Q&A' started by Spanner, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. sewer56lol

    sewer56lol Newcomer Member

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    Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.
    Greatly appreciated!
    Edit

    I wouldn't be replying to the message below because it's very easy to start a shitstorm with Natsumi so I'll say this:

    While it doesn't affect me personally, the problem with those sentiments is that you are indirectly discouraging others from participating just because they are trying something different than the others, trying to justify it by stating stereotypes associated with PC gaming.

    Some of us hear enough of this already, so please don't rub in more salt into people's faces.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  2. Natsumi

    Natsumi Markey's Member

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    Reality is not always happy and rosey. I am very much talking from my own opinion and what I heard others say. The games sucking is not our fault, and saying 'it's not nice' will not change that.
     
  3. StephenUK

    StephenUK Working on a Quackshot disassembly Administrator

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    I think the only problem with PC entries really is that for people to try them out and potentially enjoy them, it involves a financial transaction, whereas with ROM hacks they're all readily available at no cost. I remember years back I wanted to try a Generations mod but couldn't justify paying for a game I already owned on PS3 just so I could try a mod. With some of the older games like the Adventure series, they're now pretty cheap so it's not that much of an issue. I know on a few occasions in the past though, judges have not tried entries due to not owning the base game.
     
  4. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

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    They also require the hardware to run them in the first place. A good chunk of the appeal of Genesis roms is that pretty much anything can run a Genesis emulator nowadays (hell, there's pretty good ones for DOS and the Nintendo DS!)
    Sonic Generations, on the other hand, will most definitely not run very well on an old, cheap computer. They also require setting up the mod in the first place, which a lot of people aren't willing to look into, especially compared to how simple it is to open a Genesis game in an emulator.

    I personally haven't tried any Generations/Adventure PC mods at all for the above reasons, and I imagine a good chunk of other people are in a similar position.
    That said, I recently got a decent computer, so that might change for me this year...
     
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  5. Misinko

    Misinko If you need to shoot me, I won't complain! Staff

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    I think another big issue is that, to most, the PC mods folks put out just aren't all that impressive. That's not to say they aren't, far from it. But the majority of people who stream for the hacking contest have already seen the lantern engine in action on the Dreamcast. Physics tweaks aren't all that special. New characters aren't all that appealing. The only frame of reference most of the streamers have are the Megadrive mods, where all of these things are commonplace. They're not seeing the years of tinkering and studying that's gone into making these mods, and they don't understand how big something like the lantern engine is for the scene. I guarantee you that if Sonic RDX was entered into any contest, it'd have an enormous media presence because of how big it appears to be. Heck, I remember Sonic Adventure Generations getting a good deal of coverage when it was entered into the contest. The majority of people care more about longevity as opposed to technical prowess. They can replay a level mod over and over and over again. It's hard to get excited over something like the physics swap mods, because the novelty wears off quickly.

    Again, this isn't a knock against the current 3D mods. Not in the slightest. For those of you who hadn't read my thoughts in the Discord, I think stuff like the physics swap mods are ultimately where hacking should go. Things that poke and prod at various aspects of the engine they're in as well as implement a few interesting ideas along the way. But that's not what people really wanna see. They wanna see stuff like RDX and Hyperdrive. "New" games that allow them to have a brand-new, fully fleshed-out experience. While the physics tweaks are impressive on a technical level, the average viewer doesn't care about the technical level. People don't see the fundamental difference between the raw amount of research that's gone into the Megadrive vs SADX on the PC. And they don't have the difficulty of working with these engines constantly shoved in their face. They're hyped for CybOut because they've heard how hard the 32X is to modify. But SADX and Heroes are on the PC, so they must be easier to work with, right? If someone were to magically put Blaze the Cat into SADX next year, and give her all of her abilities from 06, that'd garner massive amounts of attention. But progress has blinded them, and they can't appreciate the work that went into what we currently have.
     
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  6. MainMemory

    MainMemory Well-Known Member Member

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    Designing levels for a 3D game requires a specific set of skills. Making SADX mods also requires a specific set of skills. There is very little overlap between the two, and just about everyone who did have those skills has since quit. Not helping matters is the fact that the tools used to create mods are not at all user-friendly, and the creator (me) doesn't know anything about level design or 3D modelling. And then there's the part where just about everything in the game is hardcoded, meaning that if you want to make anything that feels truly custom, you'll have to grab the disassembly, learn the basics about how the game's engine works, track down what it is you want to edit, and create a custom DLL in C++ to replace the appropriate functions or instructions; or get someone with experience to do it for you. And the disassembly in question is only available in IDA Pro 7.0 format, huge parts of the game are unexplored, and because this is a C game, we're using the decompiler which requires all sorts of fun with setting function arguments and variable types.
    And then for SA2, you have all that, but an even worse disassembly and we currently can't make custom models at all.

    On the other hand, Mania modding is really taking off, and Sonic & Knuckles Collection and Sonic R wouldn't be hard to make mods of if someone really tried. Because, you know, not all PC games are 3D games. It seems like people forget that sometimes.
     
  7. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Administrator

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    Here's an update. Remember people, if you have any comments, suggestions, questions or feedback for the upcoming contest please don't hesitate in using this thread to do so. We also have a thread on Sonic Retro too.

    So a number of people keep on asking me about last year's mini contest that did not happen, and honestly, I'm thinking maybe we could do one perhaps in the summer (there will be the usual mini contest during the contest week too).

    What do people think about that? Is it something you would be willing to participate in if you had the time, or would you just like to see what kind of entries come out of this?

    Also another thing that gets brought up concerns the website, particularly the results page. Cinossu, who deals with the site, is a very busy man at the moment and hasn't had the time to get the results up as well as roll the site over to 2018, but it will happen at some point, bear in mind the website is still a work in progress and does not have certain features that it intends to have. If you are looking for the results, please check out this thread or this thread. The results for all contests are available on the Sonic Retro wiki page too.

    There will be more platforms for SHC discussion in the future other than Retro and SSRG, in particular I would like to see more non-English sites get involved, so if you are involved with a regularly used site or forum that may be able to help in that regard do send me a PM and we can maybe try and get something sorted out. Ideas are always welcome. The Hacking Contest is for everyone, not just a few sites.
     
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  8. Misinko

    Misinko If you need to shoot me, I won't complain! Staff

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    If it's anything like the mini contest from a couple years ago, I'd be down for that.
     
  9. nineko

    nineko I am the Holy Cat Member

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    re: non-English

    My offer to provide Italian translations of things (such as the website and the rules, maybe the verdicts too) still stands, if you want.

    re: other websites

    Maybe you can post something on smspower, it might increase the 8-bit submissions a bit (no pun intended).
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  10. Pacca

    Pacca Level 1 inflatable otter thing Member

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    I'm excited to see more sites join the contest. I have no idea what goes on outside SSRG for the most part, so there will probably be a lot of surprises for me!
     
  11. Clownacy

    Clownacy UP - ON - CPU Staff

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    Just a reminder that there are 6 months until the deadline for entering the contest. Like it says in the first post, the last day to submit is October 28th, and after that there's a week to make any updates you need to before the final deadline at the end of November 4th.
     
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  12. Roxurface

    Roxurface Well-Known Member Member

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    Totally down for a mini contest.
     
  13. Clownacy

    Clownacy UP - ON - CPU Staff

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    Big thanks to AquelGamerMexicano (AGM) for making this. RedHotSonic's trailer is still on the way, but it will work a bit differently this year. More info on that soon.
     
  14. Pikaman2577

    Pikaman2577 Newcomer Trialist

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    Last year's entries were great, I bet this year's entries are gonna be even better.

    (now i just need a pc and programming experience and i may be able to participate)
     
  15. Iso Kilo

    Iso Kilo Dark Sonic Obsessed Hacker Member

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    As a trialist, I highly recommend you don't go wasting your 10 posts like this, this literally didn't contribute to the conversation, and now you lost 1 post that could have been used to say, showcase art or music. And as a technical site, I recommend getting some experience with programming so you can contribute to conversations. Even I at least learned how to use ESEII and SonikSprite before joining. And with minimal skills like that, members such as I could further your knowledge. Like moving from editing the ROMs themselves to using disassemblies. Anyways, that's all I had to say, sorry if I sounded like I was trying to be a mod, I just don't want you to wind up like me last year. As for my status on SHC 2018, I might enter something this year, but probably not. I need something more elaborate, so expect me at SHC 2019, instead. Bye.
     
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