The 30th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog is upon us. Among the celebration of three decades of the blue blur comes the annual Sonic Hacking Contest. This year the contest has revealed the deadlines for entries as well as the date for the contest week which you can see below.
CONTEST DEADLINE – End of Sunday 5th September UPDATES DEADLINE – End of Sunday 12th September EXPO DEADLINE – End of Sunday 26th September CONTEST WEEK – Monday 11th to Sunday 17th October
This year includes a change to the judging process including additional judges separated between the three categories, Retro (For hacks based on vintage Sonic titles), 3D (For mods based on 3D titles and 2DPC which includes mods for 2D titles such as Sonic Mania including the RSDK decompilation projects.
For further information regarding the contest you can check out additional details, such as contest judges and categories, from the Sonic Hacking Contest website here. You can also join the discussion on our forums regarding the contest on the dedicated thread for 2021 here.
The guidelines for SAGE 2020 are live! There’s a lot of updates this year, including a bit of a change on submissions, so make sure to give them a thorough read. After 20 years, we’re looking to make this the best SAGE yet! Keep an eye on the SAGE Twitter as we’ll have announcements about streams, guests, interviews and more leading up to the event, and we’ll see you on September 5th – 12th, 2020!
Sonic Lost World is right around the corner for those that don’t own a Wii U – trusting of course that they do have a PC and a Steam account – and it seems that SEGA is pulling off at least one official community event this year after all. Summer of Sonic it ain’t, but SEGA Europe is going to be hosting a relatively small community open day at London’s Loading Bar on Saturday, October 31st.
The event starts at 14:00, finishes at 20:00 and you must be at least 18 to enter – alcohol will be present, this being the Loading bar after all. Visitors will be able to play the new version of the game ahead of it’s general release on November 2nd, as well as get the chance to meet Dan Sheridan, the new European community manager. There’ll be a chance to win prizes, presumably from some form of challenge involving the game itself, though this isn’t clarified. The first fifty people to turn up to the event will receive goodie bags, apparently again featuring that Sonic hat. Yes, the same one as Summer of Sonic 2011.
Tickets are limited, so grab one from the event page here. You can find the Loading Bar at 97 Stoke Newington Rd London, London N16 8BX, but the map on the event page is probably easier.
I’m starting to wonder how many of those Sonic hats were or are still being made.
LakeFeperd, a member of our forums who is probably most well known for his fangames Sonic Before the Sequel and After the Sequel, just put up a Kickstarter for his upcoming game Spark the Electric Jester. He’s asking $7,000 as the base goal for the game, which he calls a mix of Sonic (obviously), Mega Man X and Kirby Super Star.
The main reason for the Kickstarter is to raise funds for the soundtrack and sound design, which is mostly being done by people who worked on his past fangames including Falk Au Yeong, James Landino, Andy Tunstall, Pejman Roozbeh, Michael Staple and newcomer Paul Bethers. The planned release window is Spring 2016 for Windows and Mac, with the game coming to Steam Greenlight. They plan to release a DRM free version as well. Be sure to take a look at the Kickstarter here. And if you want to try out the game, you can try out the demo.
Mostly made by forum member Stephen “Strife” DiDuro, the 16-bit-ish platformer Freedom Planet has finally been released on Steam after a few delays. This game is inspired by Mega Drive games with lovable protagonists like Rocket Knight Adventures, Ristar, and, of course, Sonic the Hedgehog. You can play as three different characters, of which two are playable in the story more. The third character will also get a story mode later on as free DLC. One of those characters is a cat who drives up walls with a motorcycle, bet you can’t find a Youtube video of real-life cat doing that! (But if you can, please link it in the comments below) Freedom Planet can be bought on Steam for 15 bucks right now. If you don’t like this Steam thing, a DRM-free version will also be released soon. Also, Gene did an an interview with Strife at Florida Supercon, so read that if you want to know more about the game.
Miami is known for quite a lot of things, but a burgeoning event for comic and game aficionados of South Florida, the Florida Supercon, bubbled to one of its biggest shows yet. Invading the Miami Beach Convention Center located a stones throw from South Beach during the Fourth of July weekend, the event featured several game development studios showing their works. Joining the likes of Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight and Dennaton Games’ Hotline Miami 2 was a small group under the banner of Galaxy Trail, makers of Freedom Planet.
For those unfamiliar with Freedom Planet, take a moment to consider the halcyon era of the MegaDrive. Taking cues from Sonic The Hedgehog, Sparkster (or Rocket Knight, if you prefer), Ristar, and Pulseman among others, Freedom Planet stars speedster Sash Lilac, the brawler and biker Carol Tea, and the timid but imaginative Milla Basset, on a journey to save the land of Avalice from certain peril. You know, the typical thing that will send heroes out to smack a few baddies in the face.
Given its origins as a Sonic fangame that grew to its own style and found great success not only on Kickstarter but on Steam’s Greenlight service, Galaxy Trail’s presence at Supercon definitely warranted checking in on the game, now that its Steam release of July 19 is just around the corner. There, I met with the lead programmer and creator of the game Stephen “Strife” DiDuro. Continue Reading
Rev up your disassemblies, it’s that time of the year where aspiring Sonic game hackers get their chance to show off new game ideas once more. Registration for the 2013 Sonic Hacking Contest is now open. In the past, the contest has seen magnificent entries such as the highly-praised Sonic Megamix or the blistering fast (and brutally difficult) Sonic Boom.
Novice hackers of course shouldn’t be so intimidated to enter after seeing names like those, since all it takes is a little creativity to strike gold. Robotnik’s Revenge, anyone?
This year is promised to be the biggest year for the contest according to contest judge SuperEgg.
Yes folks, this year all the stops have been pulled, and media coverage wasn’t an exception. For years, this contest had been only covered by MegaGWolf, but this year is going to be different. Through many hours of research and development, the judges realized that the need to bring attention to this community gem has been lacking, and something needed to be done about it.
I took the initiative and invited one of the ever popularly growing YouTube reveiwer, SomeCallMeJohnny, to play with us during this contest. He will be making a series of videos reviewing the hacks in the contest. Another incentive to make sure your hacks are tip top shape for contest, eh?
Johnny is a cool guy, so be nice. No promises that he won’t bite, cause you never know, the evil Sonic hat could easily possess him again……
With more eyes on the contest than ever before, it’s time to see what all the hackers out there, talented or otherwise, can really do. To submit an entry, vote and comment, you must have a Sonic Retro OR a Sonic Stuff Research Group account that has gone through the respective site’s trial period. Exceptions will be considered, so don’t let this be a deterrent.
Submissions must be done through the contest’s website, located here.
The following was written by forum member Hinchy, who was a personal friend of Polygon Jim.
Cody “Rick ‘Polygon Jim’ ‘Pegleg Jimmy’ ‘Grand Master Jimmy’ ‘PeglegPolygonGrandmasterJimmyJimJimmy’ Fields” Lawrence April 10, 1992 – May 18, 2013
This is the picture I took the last time I was ever with him. I’m still amazed that he managed to make that domino tower while drunk.
What can you say about Jimmy? He had a goofy sense of humor, hilarious to some, aggravating to others, but I don’t think anyone would deny that he was a man of charisma and fun. He was the most reckless guy I’ve ever met in my life, that’s for sure. He lived and died with the spirit of fucking around.
I’d known Jimmy for a good 5 years. During the lead-up to Sonic Unleashed, he was 50% of the reason I decided to check out Sonic Retro in the first place. Last fall, in the span of about 24 hours, he drove to Louisiana and became my roommate and hang-out buddy. There were ups and downs, but we had the time of our lives. Unfortunately, he couldn’t maintain the rent and moved back to his home in Pennsylvania. My chief concern about it a couple weeks ago was that he and I didn’t get to go see Iron Man 3 in theaters like we had planned… now that he’s dead, I have to get it through my head that I’ll never see him ever again.
Though he leaves this world today, he will live on in the Sonic community through the best hack ever and the phrase “assface Sonic”, which he coined.
We first reported on the Unleashed Project over a year ago, when Sonic Retro community members (and all-around beautiful people) Dario FF, Twilightzoney, and Chimera revealed the earliest footage of their experiments with porting stages from Sonic Unleashed into the PC version of Sonic Generations. Today, thanks to the incredible efforts of Dario and his team, they’ve released the first completed version of the project, including all eight major daytime stages from the original Unleashed ported to Generations, along with a redesigned hub world and reworked level progression.
Now you can play through all of the best parts of Unleashed without having to endure the suffering caused by Werehog fatigue and medal-hunting. Plus, you can enjoy the beautiful art direction of each stage in full 1080p at 60 frames per second (provided your computer can handle it – my Phenom II X4 cries during Jungle Joyride), and many of the game’s lower-resolution textures have been recreated in higher quality so you can get the most out of your PC’s graphics card. Of course, the stages also benefit from improvements and changes Generations made over its predecessor, such as tighter controls and the addition of customizable skills.
Be sure to check out the trailer after the break, complete with an orgasmic remix of the Unleashed final boss theme by Retro musician Falk, known for his work on fan games such as Sonic Before the Sequel and After the Sequel (and who also did the hub world remixes of the Unleashed stage themes for this project). You should also head to the project’s ModDB page, where you can find links to download the mod for yourself. Finally, a tremendous thanks to the Unleashed Project team for all the hard work they’ve put in over the past year to get this polished up and ready for release. This project is a stellar example of the kind of awesome stuff we love to see from the Retro community.
We’ve got one more surprise stream for you all before the end of the new year. We will be joined by Chimera of the Unleashed to Generations conversion team checking out one of the levels and will be able to take your questions.
Check back at 4PM Central (That’s less than an hour if you’re just reading this!) and come join us!
UPDATE: The stream is over, if you missed it you can still watch it archived (cut into lots of parts due to connection problems) here on our Twitch channel.