The December update of fan game Sonic Gather Battle, has been found guilty of malicious code and is now considered malware. As noted by GerbilSoft on our forums and found by several Discord and Reddit users, Gather Battle will do the following to your system:
If any open window has certain keywords in the header (such as “cheat” or “hack”) it will close that window without your permission, including folders, programs and browsers.
If it thinks you’re trying to tamper the game, it will remotely blacklist your system from running the game, and the only way to unblacklist it is to convince the developer directly.
It exhibits a lot of other malware-like behavior, including storing a hash of your system information on a remote server, modifying system files, and running unusual and shady system commands in the background.
If you downloaded the December update of Gather Battle, the current recommendation is to delete the game immediately and run a scan on your system. You may also want to consider restoring your system if possible. If you’re truly curious, you can check out this YouTube video showing off the game’s intrusive measures at work.
After a turnaround from last year’s showing, the Sonic Hacking Contest 2017 draws to a close with the winners of this year’s showing for trophies rewarded by both Hacking Contest judges and the community. The contest celebrated big this year for it’s 15th anniversary with a brand new website, a public showing at this year’s Fan Jam and featured a game industry participant, Jon Burton of Traveller’s Tales, with Sonic 3D Blast Director’s Cut. There’s plenty to be excited for this year’s showing of ROM hacks and mods for Sonic R, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Mania and Sonic Lost World. You can discuss the results of the hacking contest after the jump or via the forum here. You can also watch the first part of the results show from MegaGWolf’s Twitch channel at the top of this post. You can then watch part 2 of the show here.
This upcoming Saturday November the 18th is the return of the Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam, 2017 edition, taking place at the Embassy Suites in Savannah, Georgia. You can join Matt Mannheimer, formerly of Tails Channel, and some of his Sonic Retro and Sonic Fan Games HQ pals David the Lurker, NeoHazard, Volg Shan and your ol’ pal Bart as we discuss all things Sonic the Hedgehog. Those who are able to join us in person are also eligible for winning mystery prizes, What are they? You’ll have to come and find out for yourself when our panel starts at 4:15PM.
Those unable to attend you can watch us via a livestream of the event from this link which will go live Saturday morning. You can follow along with the day’s schedule and further updates from the event’s Twitter account here.
The stakes are going to be higher for everyone this year with the introduction of new quality control measures and newly split trophy requirements. If you are not participating, you can always hit up our forums to talk about the contest in this thread here. Are there any entries you’re excited to see? To bring you up to speed with the goings on with the contest hit the jump to check out some things to make note of. Continue Reading
How’s this for a little role reversal? Where Sonic Mania features fan game developers work in a commercial Sonic game, a Sonic game developer makes works on a ROM hack?
GameHut is the YouTube channel run by Traveller’s Tales founder Jon Burton which recently celebrated his achievement of 25,000 subscribers. The channel provides a constant stream of video material showcasing old prototypes, special builds and insight on coding techniques of Traveller’s Tales’ work over the years. There’s a greater focus on Mega Drive material and more recently a focus on their work on Sonic R and Sonic 3D Blast / Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island. As an example I reported on videos on SEGAbits that covered a prototype for Sonic R and unseen footage of an unannounced sequel to Mickey Mania.
In a surprise announcement for achieving 25,000 subscribers on the channel Jon announced that he is working on releasing an unofficial patch for Sonic 3D titled Sonic 3D Director’s Cut that focuses on restoring content and adding enhancements to the game. This has no involvement with SEGA or any other company and is only being developed by Jon himself in his spare time. Details about the hack can be seen in the jump.
Boy, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen this project hasn’t it? You’ll recall Sonic 2 HD as one of the featured projects on this very website up until the project disbanded in 2012. When the project was dead in it’s tracks, it did give us PagodaWest Games who’s talent eventually led to the amazing Sonic Mania and the Sonic 2 HD team got some fresh talent in 2014 to resurface the project from it’s ashes. You can read a summary of the project’s troubled history from Guess Who’s editorial.
Now the project is back with a new trailer showcasing the smooth artwork, zones, remastered soundtrack and gameplay with new material not seen since it’s first public demo in 2012. Sonic and Tails are shown running together through the previously featured Emerald Hill Zone and the similarly colored Hill Top Zone that was originally hidden in the first demo. The bigger highlights include Chemical Plant Zone being shown off for the first time, new character artwork and the video’s closing teaser for the game’s second demo set to release later this month on the 30th. The team also relaunched their website simplified to feature screenshots, wallpaper and social media links.
The project continues it’s long trek but certainly shows a lot of promise. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in the project’s second demo after so long. Over time they have been showcasing new assets and even positions for those who want to put their talent up to honor the original 1992 game. Be sure to check out their website and social media links for more information.
Woah, hey, it’s been a bit, right?! We’ve got a couple quick updates regarding SAGE so let’s get right into it!
Just like last year, we’ll have another SAGE trailer to show off the exciting games coming this year! If you’d like your game featured, please send a 10 second clip of gameplay to [email protected] by 11:59 pm Central Time, September 14th. For examples of clips and what to expect, take a peek at last year’s trailer here!
Off-Site Booths are now optional. That’s right! Now that the new SFGHQ site is up and running in beta, instead of worrying about if you can make your own booth, or you lack the resources or what have you, then go ahead and create your booth using the site’s built in submission system! Awww yeah! It’s easy and gives you an better than ever method to get set up for SAGE! A lot of folks were, worried about creating their own site for their entry as well as archival of SAGE’s content. This will effectively accomplish both, while also wrapping everything up in an easy to use form set up!
Hit the jump to find out about on own hosting and how you can get yours up today! Continue Reading