Sonic Hacking Contest 2016

Discussion in 'Discussion and Q&A Archive' started by Spanner, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

    Aug 9, 2007
    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!!
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  2. pixelcat

    pixelcat The Holy Cat Jr. Member

    May 31, 2014
    Oh, it's nice that we have a multiplayer trophy, and don't have a NSFW one.
  3. ArcaniaCQ

    ArcaniaCQ Well-Known Member Member

    Jul 18, 2015
    Finally I may be joining this year. :D Even with my limited time schedule.
  4. Royameadow

    Royameadow Welcome to the modern existence. Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Lynn MA, North America
    Sonic Hacking Contest XIV Online might be one of the utmost massive contests that the franchise has seen up to now, if I have learned anything from doing my speedrunning marathon for Sonic Hacking Contest XIII's entries, the thirteenth contest was ever so congested that the Media Panel had to put less time into some of the utmost major entries just to get certain ones into the streams, I had felt that was sadly an issue that I hope will not be present this time around, especially if some streamers plan to record all of the titles presented, that indeed was brutal for the lot of them.
    It must definitely be taken into absolute consideration that Sega Homebrew Competition II obtains far more coverage than what the first one had gotten, I personally had felt that it was unfair to both RazoZen/Razor & Zenon and the people who make up Royameadow and Co. that Dune: Razor Missions and MIAA Women's Hockey 2015 were not even covered in the Livestreams at all, at least from what I had viewed; Sonic Warped being the only entry that was broadcast anywhere (in this case, exclusive only to The Mega G Show), I personally had felt was unjust and rather negligent on the part of how the Homebrew Competition was intended to be handled, so I truly do hope that Sega Homebrew Competition II obtains far better dedication to this year, as opposed to how badly it was handled last year, I forgive it now for 2015 being the first year of the contest's existence and you folks were kind of cut short for time, but Homebrew Competition II definitely deserves better this time around, I know that I and other people who intend on joining in on the fun for that contest will not want our works to be silently present, even a full day of only the Homebrew entries being shown is more than enough to satisfy many folks, yours truly included, I felt that this was mandatory to discuss before going into any extra planning for the Contest/Broadcast Week so that this may be properly planned accordingly.

    Now, provided the fact that I am reading this before the logo for Sonic Hacking Contest XIV Online has been officially released, I have my personal logo for the contest available below.
    The judges and all entrants of the contest are open to use my logo without limits, all that I ask in return be proper credit that I had made it, whether I am credited under the name of Royameadow or Roya Rockwood; doesn't matter which name you use, just so long as the group or I am credited, that be what truly counts here.

    Sonic Hacking Contest XIV Online; Promotion Logo.png

    Those that want a Sega Homebrew Competition II logo from me might sadly be out of luck at this point in time.
    Assuming that SuperEgg and LazloPsylus will be running the contest again with a logo that has Knux in it, the logo that I had made for SHC XIV was based on Sonic the Hedgehog 02's Nick Arcade Demo's signpost, an incarnation of it for Knux would have to be Custom Made and I am not good at drawing him in Pixel Art form, so I would need assistance on that if it were to be made; makes sense for me to mention that now, while it's early in the Announcement Phase of matters.
  5. Painto

    Painto Arthurus Paintus Erinaceus Member

    Mar 24, 2014
    Lublin, Poland
    I'll surely join this year. Not sure however if only with Scorched Quest or maybe something more. Waiting to see other's work too.
    โบวี่ likes this.
  6. Donnie Paradox

    Donnie Paradox SSF1991 Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    The Homebrew Competition and the Hacking Contest are two different things, and all the streamers were geared towards the latter. I don't think they were even aware of the former. That wasn't part of the plan. As for me, I knew it existed, but my computer can't handle that stuff. So streaming that was just not possible.
  7. TheStoneBanana

    TheStoneBanana banana Member

    Nov 27, 2013
    The Milky Way Galaxy
    Was wondering when this announcement would come, or if the contest was even still happening.
    It's great to see the extended deadline being kept, and I really hope that this year is an even bigger hit than last year!
    (Let's just all not agree to mention the buses or the caterkillers again, alright?)
    Chaotix and Devon like this.
  8. โบวี่

    โบวี่ Tsingtao Enjoyer Member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Jeez man. You really need to work on your graphic design skills. That looks awful. The images that make it up are all stretched out and have a horrible looking blur from stretching. I'd recommend making a logo with vectors (Programs like Adobe Illustrator are good for that), or at least do the lettering with them and work from there.

    Anyways... Hopefully some of my favorite projects from last year's contest will be returning this year, new and improved. I can't wait.
    Pokepunch, Devon, Clownacy and 2 others like this.

    AURORA☆FIELDS so uh yes Exiled

    Oct 7, 2011
    Can't wait for October but what can you do. You know what to expect from me! [​IMG] ;)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  10. ThomasThePencil

    ThomasThePencil resident psycho Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    the united states. where else?
    Well, with me having a potential entry this year and so many other people showing adequate skills in hacking, I'm sure this year's contest will be really interesting.
    i wonder if people can tell when i'm rolling my eyes and/or yawning behind the screen
    Anywho, I'm hoping that some of the better people from last year come back for another round.
    and hopefully this time there won't be a case of one hack hogging all the trophies
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  11. LazloPsylus

    LazloPsylus The Railgun Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Academy City
    Oh look, you're trying to be a smartass again. You're bad at your joke delivery, and you end up making yourself just look like a twatscraper. Might want to watch what your tongue spews, unless you really want me to railgun you away for a few months. Besides, we went through this conversation back in October. You think you can do better with judging? We could always just wedge you in and let you taste what it's like to be in the hot seat. Don't like that something got xxx trophies? Bring on better hacks. Not right to punish for being "too good".

    Homebrew expo's in the works. There's discussions going on about revisions, and media will probably not be involved unless the size is enough to warrant it. Warped got an exception last year due to some management mixups that got it disqualified from the hacking contest, and because it was a promotional experiment. Was opportunistically the most appealing to the crowd that also was a homebrew entry.
    Pacca, Alex, Misinko and 4 others like this.
  12. LuigiXHero

    LuigiXHero Well-Known Member Member

    Mar 22, 2014
    Well, Guess it's time to get back into Sonic Hacking.

    I don't think North Island is going anywhere any time soon so don't expect that in the contest. But who knows?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  13. NiphFM

    NiphFM Host of the Mega Drive Music Contest Member

    Jun 5, 2015
    Music Plant Zone
    Here's my logo:
    Sonic Hacking Contest 2016 A-S-H Logo.PNG
    Taking a little inspiration from last year's logo. Anyway, hope this year's contest will be as great as last year's! I guess it's time to get cracking on Sonic 1 - Warped World again...

    Good luck to all you other potential competitors and may the best hack win!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  14. โบวี่

    โบวี่ Tsingtao Enjoyer Member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Could we please not post our own logos for the contest and just wait for the official contest logo to be shown?
    Then we can use the official logo for our promo's and whatnot.
    Devon and Misinko like this.
  15. Selbi

    Selbi The Euphonic Mess Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Northern Germany
    I still believe that the Homebrew Contest shouldn't take place at the same time as the SHC. Even if the homebrew entries will (hopefully) be of a much larger quantity than last year, it's still going to be vastly overshadowed by the main event. I don't get why it wasn't changed to be asynchronous, with the HC starting like one week earlier, both to give those entries more exposure as well as getting the general audience hyped.
  16. Royameadow

    Royameadow Welcome to the modern existence. Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Lynn MA, North America
    That actually sounds rather logical and the utmost reasonable of ways to handle this, I wholly agree that having Sega Homebrew Competition II media coverage begin the Monday after the end of Sonic Hacking Contest XIV Online would allow for easier presentation timing on the Media Panel in the long run, I feel that the fact that both the Hacking Contest and Homebrew Competition had taken place during the same week (as well as the way that the public had to go to the Hombrew Competition site, I don't know how many had known that they had to click on the Sonic Hacking Contest XIII logo in order to get to it) had prevented the latter from getting as much acknowledgement, the lack of media based advertising outside of the forums and Sonic Retro's Main Page had also brutally decimated the possibility of the Homebrew entries getting much of any love, Sonic Warped included, contrary to the fact that RazoZen and my team's works got roughly almost a full hundred downloads combined during the Contest Week, that is still a reasonable Download Count from the first year of a contest that only had four downloadable titles at the time.
    Sega Homebrew Competition II and subsequent annual installments to the franchise might be rendered as the B Film of the Sonic Hacking Contest franchise, so to speak, if only because of the fact that it is the spin~off series and spin~offs usually are not presented before the main event, especially in official broadcasts; so while yes, Selbi, I truthfully do agree with the thought that both the Hacking Contest and Homebrew Competition must take place on different yet consecutive weeks, I feel that the Homebrew Competition must be covered after the Hacking Contest is over, rather than before it, if only because the nature of it being a B Film type series to the Hacking Contest, and probably one that might attract a slightly to massively different audience from it as well, but that statement is indeed debatable, perhaps a lot of the Hacking Contest viewers might want to also view other Homebrew works as well; Sega Homebrew Competition III in 2017 will definitely have to have its coverage slot be set to the week after Sonic Hacking Contest: Fifteenth Anniversary if the franchise is not as easily able to be handled by the Media Panel because of an increased Entry Count, it will have to become presented on its own week to assure that it has as fair and just of an Air Time amount as the Hacking Contest does, if only to assure that we have everything presented Live somehow and so no entrant feels left out from the streams; I know that SuperEgg and LazloPsylus will do what they are able to though, in order to assure that all of us obtain the respective Air Time in our Homebrew works though, I will not ever attempt to demand for more than they are capable of delivering to us, the best that we, the developers, are capable of doing at this time is primarily suggestions and recommendations, hoping that this does help out the overall structure of the future of the series though. :)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  17. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Enough with the logo making. There will be the same professional logo as is every year when Cinossu gets the time to do something about it. I wasn't going to keep things on hold just for an image that goes at the top of the thread.
  18. ProjectFM

    ProjectFM Optimistic and self-dependent Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    Orono, Maine
    Could you consider limiting the number of trophies the judges can give to a single hack to avoid what happened last year? The difference between having 0 and 1 trophy on their hack would mean more to someone than the difference between 3 and 4 trophies. For example, if a hack is really good, it can get the Hidden Palace trophy and a trophy for whatever stands out the most.

    Also, while I don't have as many hacks to get hyped up for, I still have high hopes for the hacks in this year's contest. Maybe I'll learn about more hacks in the works through this year. Currently, I hope Cybernetic Outbreak gets levels instead of just hard bosses and I hope all the hacks I like a lot get new updates and maybe a return of some hacks from previous contests.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
    Jdpense, Selbi and Dragon Wolf Leo like this.
  19. SuperEgg

    SuperEgg I'm a guy that knows that you know that I know Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    No. I don't understand why you people are all on about punishing somebody for doing a good fucking job and winning what they deserved. MarkeyJester didn't win all those trophies for whatever bullshit reasons you plebs keep spouting, especially mob mentality. He won a fuckton of trophies because his hack was that good. Everybody had a few months to make their hack better, and if Markey could have made a beast like that in 3 months, what's everybody's excuse? There was no favoritism that was played, nothing foul. He did a clean sweep because he worked hard. You get out of the contest what you put in.

    I will concede however that we need to change the trophy system altogether, there are too many and some cause confusion as the names don't correspond to their titles. However, people winning too many is not one of the problems. So no, a limit will not be placed. Everybody just needs to work that much harder.
  20. Selbi

    Selbi The Euphonic Mess Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Northern Germany
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, get that stick out off your butt cheeks, Eggy. ProjectFM just stated his call on what he thought wasn't properly working last year, and he's got a point. Markey created an amazing hack, no doubt, but stealing the show without giving exposure to the countless hours of work that was put into the other hacks is really annoying for any creator involved. Personally, I still find it bothersome that SonicMT wasn't honored for any of its awesome bosses, only a silly fan fic, or that Mobius Evolution got no recognition whatsoever.

    The runner up system should get an overhaul, so that contest stealing no longer becomes a thing. Markey isn't to blame for the hack or work he's done, he deserved the recognition. But what does bother me (and judging from ProjectFM's post, probably a lot of other people too), beyond the three "best hack" trophies there barely isn't any focus on other hacks in specific categories.

    Overall, I see the contest as a pseudo-promotion platform for the work of many talented people of the scene they've put in over the course of a couple of months. You can have a freaking great hack or a controversial one to get exposure, but anything between those two extremes falls low below the radar and it's super frustrating.

    Therefore, I agree with ProjectFM. I'd like to have something changed for the next contest so that the people who did an awesome job but didn't quite get there at least still get their fair portion of recognition. Not an "everybody wins!" sort of thing, of course, but something that does give the good hacks their fair share of credit.

    Also, seriously, SuperEgg, is it possible for you to, for once, disagree with another opinion without calling people out like they committed a hate crime?
    MarkeyJester, Pacca, Jdpense and 9 others like this.