Sonic Hacking Contest 2015 Results

Discussion in 'Discussion and Q&A Archive' started by Spanner, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

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    Once again the Hacking Contest has come to a close. Here are the results...

    JUDGED TROPHIES

    THE TOP THREE

    Hidden Palace Trophy
    Grand prize / 1st place. This is given to the overall best hack in the contest.
    Sonic 1 - The Next Level by MarkeyJester

    Wood Zone Trophy
    2nd place.
    Knuckles' Emerald Hunt by MainMemory

    Dust Hill Trophy
    3rd place.
    Big's Fishing Derby by flamewing

    AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE TROPHIES

    Green Hill Trophy
    Hack (or specific level of a hack if non-applicable) that plays most like a Sonic game.
    AND
    Windy Valley Trophy
    Best art in a hack submitted.
    AND
    D.A. Garden Trophy
    Best music in a hack submitted.
    AND
    11000101 Trophy
    Best technical / proof of concept hack submitted.
    AND
    Fang Trophy
    Best new enemy/badnik in a hack submitted.
    AND
    Eggman Trophy
    Best new boss or miniboss in a hack submitted.
    AND
    Carnival Night Trophy
    Most innovative game play feature in a hack submitted.
    AND
    Casinopolis Trophy
    Most entertaining / fun hack submitted.
    AND
    Newtrogic High Trophy
    Voted best hack of the contest by the Media team.
    ALL GO TO: Sonic 1 - The Next Level by MarkeyJester

    Don't worry, he didn't win every single trophy. Here's the ones he didn't win:

    Lava Reef Trophy
    Best level layout in a hack submitted.
    Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition by D.A. Garden

    Genocide City Trophy
    Most difficult hack (or specific level of a hack if non-applicable) submitted.
    Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Hard Bosses Edition 2 (Demo) by TheBlad

    Wing Fortress Trophy
    Best Cutscene in a hack submitted.
    AND
    Tails Trophy
    Most improved hack from last year's contest.
    ALL GO TO: Big's Fishing Derby by flamewing

    Generations Trophy
    Best Sonic Generations (or other 3D game) mod.
    Tropical Resort All in One Remastered by brianuuu

    Spin Dash Trophy
    Best new ability in a hack submitted.
    Bunnie Rabbot In Sonic The Hedgehog by E-122-Psi

    Emerald Trophy
    Best Special Stage in a hack submitted.
    An Apeeling Sonic Hack by VAdaPEGA

    Robotnik's Revenge Trophy
    Best fresh concept using existing concepts as the backbone in a hack submitted.
    Knuckles' Emerald Hunt by MainMemory

    Polygon Jim Trophy
    Most unique hack submitted.
    CrazySonic by The Ducks Team

    Shadow Trophy
    Because we had to bring back the NSFW content trophy after that fanfic...
    SonicMT.bin by Natsumi

    COMMUNITY TROPHIES


    Hidden Palace Community Trophy
    Voted best hack submitted overall.
    AND
    Windy Valley Community Trophy
    Voted best art hack submitted.
    AND
    11000101 Community Trophy
    Voted best technical hack submitted.
    AND
    D.A. Garden Community Trophy
    Voted best music hack submitted.
    ALL GO TO: Sonic 1 - The Next Level by MarkeyJester

    Lava Reef Community Trophy
    Voted best level layout hack submitted.
    Sonic 3: D.A. Garden Edition by D.A. Garden

    Big the Cat Community Trophy
    Voted worst hack submitted overall.
    Sonic The Hedgehog 1: Hold Right To Win Edition by Shade Vortex

    Thanks to all those participated, the judges, those who did streams and anyone else I've missed. The contest staff will come together shortly to evaluate this year's contest and see what could be looked at for next year. Already a few things have been noted down as worth adding / changing / etc. We will also be looking for new judges as Shadow Fire is far too busy to judge nowadays and D.A. Garden is retiring from judging. Don't ask to be a judge, let us ask you if we feel you're up to the job.


    It is safe to say that with 50 entries (and all were public too), it was a better year than last time. But let's just say this, it doesn't matter about the quantity - what matters is the quality! There are many hacks submitted that are doing good, and could do far better if they are submitted next year with improvements and what not that are needed. There's a Tails Trophy for a reason you know. 


    The 2016 Contest will be announced when it's ready to be announced, but expect a similar October deadline like this year, so you pretty much have just under a year to work on an entry for next year's contest. Some will work on something early on and be ready to submit, whilst others will still do things at the very last minute. But as long as you meet the deadlines, just do what you can.


    If you enjoy coming together and getting involved in things once again, you don't have to wait until next year, as SAGE is returning this December. It's not just for fan games, hacks ARE being accepted there too! So if you submitted anything to this contest and want to refine it to show off to perhaps more people, there's a platform for you there.

    Thanks for taking part!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2015
  2. Devon

    Devon I think I'm paranoid Member

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    This was certainly an interesting year for the Sonic Hacking Contest, and I wish everyone of luck for next year.
     
  3. TheFieldWarrior

    TheFieldWarrior Warrior of the Fields Member

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    This was an extremely interesting year for the hacking contest. I am so glad D.A Garden won the Lava Reef Trophy, I loved his S3 hack, easily my favourite hack of Sonic 3 (besides Sonic 3 Complete). It's no surprise MarkeyJester won all those trophies, he deserved every single one of them. S1 Next Level is one of the best hacks I've played in recent years. There are other hacks I really enjoyed as well such as Sonic 2 Return of Shadow, Sonic 1 Burned Edition, Mobius Evolution, Sonic 3 Resort Island and of course CrazySonic. Congratulations to all the winners, I am looking forward to the next hacking contest.
     
  4. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester ♡ ! Member

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    I would like to take the time to express my sincere gratitude to not only the judges, but the media team, and the general public, for not only supplying me with a substantial number of trophies, but also encouraging several others to make some project regardless of minority, and for introducing me to those projects. While I cannot thank you enough for showing me how much you enjoyed Sonic 1 The Next Level, I also have some questions to ask, and they may come out as highly critical opinions, but nevertheless, I feel it is necessary to express my negative thoughts about the results. I am excessively concerned about the number of trophies I have gained, I was expecting some, but not on this scale, in fact, I am not sure any hack until now has recieved this many trophies in one go. I know I'm good, but surely not that good.

    The Eggman Trophy (Best new boss or miniboss in a hack submitted):

    I honestly expected SonicMT by Natsumi to win this one, I honestly felt her bosses were far more unique and interesting, and weren't so infuriating either. I felt they were spot on, and would be the type of bosses you would have expected from an actual Sonic game in the day. They were also the most appealing quality of the hack too.

    11000101 Trophy (Best technical / proof of concept hack submitted):

    All things considering, Sonic 4: Cybernetic Outbreak by Varion should probably have gotten this one. Now, don't misunderstand me, I don't think that being able to run something on a SEGA Mega CD/32x and playing samples on them, or displaying a simple moving image on the display buffer is impressive (believe me, I know how that works, and it's not too impressive), but mine was not exactly technical either, the effects you saw are just as simple so long as you have the knowledge, and by comparison to what other entries were in the list, this should surely have come first. I would like to think that the boss' difficulty had not clouded the judgement of the Judge and public voting. I am certain that maybe you had your reasons, but I was picking up quite a few negative vibes from almost everyone regarding his project, while I sympathise with their reasons for negativity, I'm wondering if those reasons really justified not winning this trophy.

    I'm also shocked that vladikcomper's hack (or homebrew) was restricted from the hacking contest, some of the code from it was still from the original Sonic engine as I understand it, and vladikcomper's original code would have been based on the original code in terms of ideas while not necessarily code, I really believe that it should have been in, and it should have won something. I know you guys had explained to me in minor detail regarding the line between hack and homebrew, I just wished it would have been bent this one time around.

    I do not wish to sound ungrateful though, and I am not implying the contest was rigged or anything, I just wanted to express my opinion and supply justification where it's needed, more importantly though, I wanted to ask if you guys would consider runner up trophies? I know we displayed runners up before in previous contests (not sure why the recent contests have seemed to have dropped them), but it would be nice to give extra credit where its due to show how close someone was to winning, this would help encourage those to work a little bit harder, I am also really curious as to who would have gotten the trophies had I have not gotten in the way in the first place. What do you guys think?
     
  5. ArcaniaCQ

    ArcaniaCQ Well-Known Member Member

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    I wanna be honest cause I was to be honest expecting that Cybernetic Outbreak was going to get a trophy but it seemed that I was wrong. Also I do see what you are hinting at with displaying runners ups for a certain trophy would make the contest more interesting when it comes to the trophys. I am myself kinda bummed out that some hacks didn't even get mentioned. For the boss of Next Level I think that it deserved the spot and so did it with all the trophys it won.
     
  6. LazloPsylus

    LazloPsylus The Railgun Member

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    I already said all of this on Retro, but I think it might be useful to say this on both boards rather than just one, because I want to see what people on both boards have to say.

    ​Personally, while I loved Natsumi's bosses (and it made the decision close), I found your boss to test the bounds of a boss fight by making the boss arena have no gravity at all. It felt a lot more unusual and different from your traditional dodge and hop dynamics that Natsumi's boss still stuck to. Natsumi's bosses are cool, but your boss just seemed to strike the judges as unique enough to nudge it to victory in that category.

    ​I believe the differentiation is that you did more with less, and you executed it well. Don't get me wrong, CybOut is technical, but let's face it, there were a lot of problems with the entry that ultimately tainted its impression. I think you'd agree when I say that technical ability doesn't mean much if the execution isn't well. Ergo, I believe you got 11000101 because your entry was the most technologically impressive and solidly stable in execution, while CybOut missed out because of its bugs and overall rushed feeling. Others may not agree with me, but that was my personal reasoning.

    Yeah, that's definitely going to be discussed *very heavily* in the post-contest discussions. The ambiguous nature of the definition for the rule is problematic and ends up with situations exactly like this.

    You're not sounding ungrateful at all. You're sounding as modest and curious as you always are. Keep it up. The team's open to suggestions, and we want to make this contest even bigger and better next year.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  7. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic Also known as RHS Member

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    Wait, what?  A hack won a trophy that wasn't available to be won in the first place?  Especially when there was only one hack that had one feature NSFW?  Where the hell is the "best multiplayer" trophy?  I swear that use to be one, and at least there was some competition for that one (Sonic Bash, Knuckles Emerald Hunt, Big's Fishing Derby).  Seems unfair and not exactly a great competition to bring a new trophy right at the end where only one hack is eligable for it.  It's also a shame SonicMT.bin is only going to be remembered because of that fanfic.  It's funny, I admit, but it had a lot more features and hard work put into it that no one cares about.

    Except for that, I think the results were almost spot on.  I was only after the most fun/entertaining hack (mine weren't really eligable for many others), but MJ's hack was enjoyable, so I'm fine losing to that.  The "Shadow Trophy" is the only thing I disagree with; it shouldn't even be there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  8. LazloPsylus

    LazloPsylus The Railgun Member

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    You do bring up an interesting point. I may do some research later and dig through archives to see if that trophy ever did exist (because now you've piqued my curiosity) and bring it up with judges if there was evidence of one that was awarded in previous years. That being said, this year, the judges encountered a situation that hadn't been previously considered, which has brought about an interesting new precedent possibly into play for future contests. Due to SonicMT's "unique" (to put it lightly) surprise that was revealed during contest week, the judges discussed and eventually decided to un-retire the Shadow trophy. This was definitely not planned originally (and was decided not long before the determination of results), so it really wasn't in play until after the fanfic was revealed. A somewhat spontaneous judgement call by the staff, essentially.

    Now, all that being said, I do personally agree that it is a bit of a shame that SonicMT's most memorialized aspect is now the fanfic, especially considering the work put into it everywhere else. The last-minute decision of slipping in the Shadow Trophy into the competition is also something that is understandably disagreeable. The subject will invariably come up in the post-contest staff discussions, and if such a precedent is decided to remain in play for future contests, the staff will make sure to make everyone aware of it and roughly what special circumstances would bring about such a decision.
     
  9. TheStoneBanana

    TheStoneBanana banana Member

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    I personally think the Shadow trophy coming back is alright. Considering no one including Natsumi knew that this trophy would appear, it's not really unfair. Just a small surprise.
     
  10. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic Also known as RHS Member

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    I would agree with you, if there were another 2 or three hacks that also had features that were "NSFW"; I wouldn't have said anything.  But there isn't (to my knowledge).  Only SonicMT.bin has a "NSFW" feature.  Hardly a competition to suddenly bring a new trophy at the last minute to give to a hack which is the only one eligible for it.  Doesn't make it a "contest".  And it's also unfair because if people were aware of this trophy was coming out, people may of made more "NSFW" hacks and made it a competition.  See my argument?

    Now don't get me wrong, Natsumi's hack is really well done; for her bosses and the points system.  In fact, her hack is one of the very small few that makes me want to replay Sonic 1 because I can earn points and earn rewards to go with that game.  I enjoy his hack.  I do not like the hack for the fanfic however, and that's all it's getting known for at the moment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  11. amphobius

    amphobius spreader of the pink text Member

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    I do believe the Shadow trophy was retired because of "certain" hacks being submitted by a "certain" individual and them being the only one to even try to go for the Shadow Trophy. Then they stopped entering said hacks and there were no candidates for the it. If there's no competition, there's no point in the trophy. If there's at least one entry in the running for something, it can win something. It's not unfair.

    As a legacy trophy, as for fun, as for a laugh, I don't see the problem. Whilst it does have more features than the fanfic hidden in it, it's at least getting attention because of it and I do believe because it came right out of nowhere the reaction was justifiable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  12. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic Also known as RHS Member

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    This competition shouldn't be a laugh.  That's why next year I bet half the people won't try as hard.  And I don't think I'll enter at all anymore.

    Anyway, I'm not asking to take her trophy away, nah, not at all.  Too late for that, and I'm glad Natsumi won something.  But my point is, if you're bringing that trophy back because of a laugh, then why not bring the multiplayer one back for someone like me, flamewing and MM worked hard on with multiplayer compatibilities?  That's all.  I'll stop now.  It's passed, let's move on.  Just wanted to express my point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  13. Selbi

    Selbi The Euphonic Mess Member

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    This was posted in the main topic, but I think the reply fits here more.
     

    Honestly, ​I couldn't disagree more with that statement. Making something crazy impressive isn't a privilege given to everyone equally, like you claim there to be, because some people just have a better feeling for content creation than others. No amount of time or effort will change this. Sure, everyone can make something quite good with enough time, but certainly not everyone is a candidate for a Hidden Palace Trophy worthy hack, no matter how hard they try, because at some point what you consider "trying" reaches its limits.

    Think of this as the Olympics. In theory, I could win gold, but it's just not a given that everyone is able to do this, just because on paper it could work. Different body conditions, different specializations, different interests. You get the point.

    I draw heavy parallels here, because some hacks were bound to fail from the get-go, just because of what they are. This is true to all Generation hacks, all character-replacement hacks, all "standard" hacks.


    Am I disagreeing with the results? Not entirely. Many trophies were given to the rightful hacks and creators, but there were so many that just don't add up. This mindless showering on The Next Level just strikes me as odd until I see what the runner-ups would've been.

    So, please, add those retroactively. You already got the votes of the judges somewhere, it shouldn't be a problem to add them up again and see who came in second for each trophy (unless for some reason some trophies were won with all votes).


    Finally, I agree with redhotsonic, adding a trophy at the last minute, competition or not, is just wrong. It doesn't matter whether or not it was the only NSFW hack submitted, and I also don't mind it because it'll be the only thing people will remember of the hack. It's wrong because a trophy was brought back due to subjective opinions of the judges without doing it with any other trophies. To me that directly translates into, "Unless you do something that provokes attention, you are nothing special."


    Overall, this year's contest was a big improvement from the last year's, but it still decided to screw its reputation over and look unprofessional at the last minute for pointless reasons.

    Also, now my name will be remembered in a gay fic. Again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  14. D.A. Garden

    D.A. Garden Sonic CD's Sound Test Member

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    I agree with redhotsonic and Selbi, actually. Bringing back the Shadow trophy with no warning just to be awarded to natsumi for the fanfic in her hack (Which by the way, is just that. A fanfic), is just wrong, in my opinion. I know this contest is supposed to be fun, but the tone has been moving towards a more professional one over the last 2 years and this year felt no different (bar a few small issues I won't go into now), until this happened. I've got nothing against bringing back trophies, but this felt more like an easy way of throwing another one out there for the sake of it. As a judge, I didn't even know about it until the live stream, which is just poor planning as well, in my opinion.

    As I said on Retro, I think that displaying runner-ups for trophies is a good idea. it gives people something to work towards next time; especially if they are well-versed in a single area. (For example, I didn't win the Lava Reef Trophy last year but I did this year. Now, if I had come second in this trophy category last year, I would be more determined to try and achieve it this year. It's an example, though. Nothing to hold facts against).

    Finally, yes, I have stepped down as a contest judge from now on. This was a decision that I didn't take lightly and have already discussed it with Spanner. I look forward to seeing who the replacement judges are for myself and Shadow Fire, and I wish them the best of luck with the process. It can be a tough one, but also rather rewarding.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  15. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

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    ​I hate this post editor so I'll just have to put the same stuff that I said about the same post on Retro, underneath:

    SonicMT's bosses were quite impressive in some aspects, but your boss was quite unique. How the boss fight was controlled, the graphical effects and everything that went into it, I don't see why you shouldn't get it.

    Cybernetic Outbreak was in the running for the Genocity City Trophy (the hardest hack) obviously due to the bosses, but S3&K Hard Bosses won it in a majority vote. I think if Varion submits it next year and delivers a polished piece of work that goes beyond four "dick move" bosses, it will certainly grab some trophies. Certainly, the usage of the 32X and what is being run on it surpasses other things that have been put out for that system lately, but again, it really needs a lot of work.

    The whole homebrew thing and Sonic Warped is going to be discussed. It honestly was a hard decision to disqualify it, and people do always make decisions that not everyone can agree on. 

    The runner up trophies could probably be a thing next year for community trophies, again it will be discussed.

    ​A multiplayer trophy could be added for next year.

    Shadow Trophy returning was just a one-off due to the amount of reactions it got after that fanfic. Yes, there's plenty of stuff in SonicMT beyond that, but at least it got some recognition.

    ​Next Level won so many trophies because it honestly deserved it. It also won them because it was given a majority by the judges. That's what comes out about them at the end of the day. I have the page that shows the percentages of the votes for every trophy, I could easily show you it in private to reduce your concerns. 

    I'd like to see a good number of hacks return next year with refined pieces of works that could bag them trophies. It's not the end after one contest after all.

    I disagree that adding one trophy makes a contest look unprofessional. Trophies can be added or removed at any time, and we do not have to give trophies to anything if they cannot fit the criteria.​

    If there's any more issues anyone has, then put them in here. Obviously the contest can be refined further for next year. Not everything is perfect after all.
     
  16. MainMemory

    MainMemory Well-Known Member Member

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    ​Knuckles' Emerald Hunt has no multiplayer functionality in its current build (the menu option just plays the error sound).
     
  17. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

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  18. expansivelovestories

    expansivelovestories Newcomer Trialist

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    What is most exciting and enduring about the contest, especially this year, is that it serves as a shared release date for many excellent projects that people will be exploring and enjoying for years to come!  ^__^   It is bigger than any other Sonic release dates other than sometimes SAGE being a sibling huge release date!

    The awards are special... but I think at their heart they are a final celebration that this contest is even possible due to reverse engineering and freshly coding within decades old Sonic engines, let alone to the creative and inventive extent that it continues to be done!