If you’ve been around the Sonic Internet scene, more than likely you’ve heard of the Sonic Stuff Research Group. Affectionally known as SSRG, it has been a hub for discussing and researching the inner workings of the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, and the techniques in modding Sonic both old and new.
What you may not know is that the SSRG has, in one form or another, existed since 1996. Initially a small subsection on Andy Wolan’s gaming-themed website EmulationZone, it grew to house a number of Sonic websites dedicated to uncovering the history of the franchise, the lost content that sparked the imagination of an entire generation. Sonic the Hedgehog Area 51, Tom’s Hacking Station, Simon Wai’s Sonic 2 Beta Page – separately, they told snippets of a hedgehog’s history. Together? They became the foundation of what would come.
When Andy stepped away from the project in 2003, it was truly the end of an era.
Twenty years later, Andy Wolan, along with three charter members of the SSRG community, are coming together for the Sonic Stuff Research Group Reunion panel. Taking place at the Retro World Expo in Hartford, CT this will be the first time that these four individuals have ever been in the same room together, telling the story of what once was, and how it informs where we are now. Who knows what stories they have to tell? Or what wild things could happen live and in person?
Who are the others joining Andy on this trip down memory lane?
- Rlan – Founder of Sonic Fan Games HQ, Secrets of Sonic Team, and Sonic the Hedgeblog
- SSNTails – Co-creator of Sonic Robo Blast 2, the fangame that still keeps on kickin’
- Saxman – The original author of the earliest guides to modify the classic Sonic games
The expo will take place on August 26th and 27th of this year. A schedule has yet to be set, but the OG crew will be hosting two panels, “one for a general talk and historical reflection on SSRG and it’s impact, and another focusing on the technical challenges we faced as we attempted to tear into the classic games for the first time ever to figure out how they worked.”
If you plan on being in the area, be sure to check it out. For more information and future updates, be sure to keep an eye on the panel’s dedicated thread on the forums.