Spring is almost here, and with the promise of a new season comes some brand new Sonic the Hedgehog content to enjoy! As we reported earlier this week, Sonic Frontiers is set to get its first free content update for 2023 in just over a day's time. So we thought we'd do something to celebrate the occasion!
That's right, we're introducing some new Limited Edition Achievements for the Sonic Community! These will all be Sonic Frontiers-themed, and available to all users who play the new DLC pack (and contribute to the Sonic Stadium forums) until the end of the month.
Each Badge will relate to one of the new modes or features found in the upcoming Sights, Sounds and Speed DLC pack. To earn these Badges, you will need to play or complete the relevant mode, take a screenshot of your handiwork and post it on the Sonic Stadium Forums to share with the rest of the Sonic Community.
We have created a new Topic in the 'Sonic Chat' forum which will be used for your Achievement hunting and screenshot sharing - check it out here for details on each Achievement Badge and how to unlock it!
Speaking of Achievements, we know that since we launched the new system in mid-2022 there have been a lot of questions about how it works, what kind of badges you can earn, and a lot more besides. So we've taken the time to create a Site Guide on the Sonic Database that fully introduces the Achievements System and all you need to know about it. You can find it here:
That Database record will also contain links to other records that list special Badges you can earn, as well as legacy SSMB Awards from yesteryear (if you're curious)! If there are any more questions about how the system works, please feel free to let me know and I can update the Suite Guide to account for any missing information.
You might have noticed that the Calendar section has had a bit of a facelift. That's part of a recent site software update that changes the focus of the section from less of a 'calendar' and more of an 'Events' portal. The front page of the Events section will now show an at-a-glance view of all upcoming occasions, but if you like you can switch it back to a traditional Calendar view too.
We also took the opportunity to tart up the Events widget, found in the sidebar on the Forum homepage and elsewhere. You can better see what's coming up in the month ahead, and we're always adding new Events so that it doesn't get stale and empty. We encourage the Community to also create Events to help populate the Calendar with us - you get Achievement Points and Badges for contributing, and you also get a warm glow of satisfaction for helping your fellow Sonic fan know when the next major game anniversary will be. Give it a try!
Personal Discussion is No More
A quick update on the Personal Discussion forum - in our last update post we announced that this forum would be closed down at a nearby date. Due to certain events that have taken place this week, the moderation team has decided that the closure of the forum is long overdue. So if you no longer see the forum where you would expect it to be... that will be why. It's kaput.
Why has it been shut down? To recap, the site staff spent some time re-assessing the kind of discussion and content that we would like to see and encourage on the Sonic Stadium and its forums, and we found that topics of a deeply personal nature - many of which veered very closely to sensitive and borderline subjects - are themes that we no longer have an appetite for hosting on our community. We want to be a positive, encouraging space for people to come together and talk about their favourite things, but at the same time we can not be a destination where community members end up therapising one another.
Sad topics (a significant person's passing, or a newsworthy tragedy, for example) will of course continue to be allowed in the General Discussion forum. But topics of a deeply personal nature, of the kind previously fit for the Personal Discussion forum, will no longer be permitted. For various reasons, we also cannot move certain topics from the Personal Discussion forum into a new 'allowed' destination. Thanks for your understanding on this.
I have to say, I'm enjoying finding the time to post site updates on here once again. This is starting to become a monthly thing, isn't it!? Maybe we can make a habit of this. Anyway, I wanted to round things off with a notice that I'm still working on a number of further updates to the site, including slight design tweaks to make the user experience a little cleaner, and some new features that I hope you'll love.
But the headline here is all about the Achievements, and I want to get into the habit of offering more seasonal/exclusive Badges to encourage community discussion and connection. Stay tuned for more in the coming month/s!