It’s no secret that the Sonic community is home to some of the most talented people around, and every year the Sonic Hacking Contest showcases their latest up and coming mods and hacks.
It’s that time again! The Sonic Amateur Games Expo is an annual event celebrating the talent of Sonic fans around the globe, and it will be taking place on September 27th through October 4th this year.
The entries for both the Sonic Hacking Contest and the Hack Expo have now been revealed.
With the new quality criteria in place this year, twenty four entries have made the cut for the main event and are now competing to be judged as the best games for this year. The contest entries are as follows;
● A Generic Sonic 1 ROMhack by CHRdutch
● A Rushed Sonic Hack by Unlimited Trees
● Achi (AKA another trend in gaming that is slightly annoying and ultimately pointless) by Natsumi
● Classic Pantufa the Cat DX by VAdaPEGA
● Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – DX Edition by RadioShadow
● Heroes Mod Loader & Tweakbox by sewer56lol
● Metal Sonic Rebooted by Lone Devil
● Mr. Cat’s 16 Day Challenge by Mr. Cat
● SADX Lantern Engine by SonicFreak94
● Sonic & Ashuro by Ashuro
● Sonic 1 – Comet Edition v2.1 by BCasais
● Sonic 1 Back to South Island by PineappleArse
● Sonic 1 Dragon Edition by DragonWolfLeo
● Sonic 1: Colors Edition by campbellsonic
● Sonic 2 for PC & New 3DS by Clownacy
● Sonic 2: Zen Island by Yoshister
● Sonic 3 Chaos Adventure by Jdpense
● Sonic Chaos Quest Ultimate by Narcologer
● Sonic Double Dash by SteamPoweredPixel
● Sonic Egg Factory ReMastered by FoxConED
● Sonic Halloween by CamManS5
● Sonic Legacy by GammaV
● Sonic Redux (Character Demo) by InvisibleUp
● Tails Adventure X-L by lordxernom
In addition, twenty three further hacks will be available to play during the Hack Expo. These will not be judged formally, but they’re still held to quality standards so should be fun and interesting showcases of what you can do just by hacking regardless. These games are as follows;
● Sonic the Hedgehog Bania: Gold! Edition ~ Promotional Demo by Royameadow
● SADX Physics Swap Mod by MainMemory
● SA2 Physics Swap Mod by MainMemory
● Mario Mania by metalkingboo
● Sonic.EXE Mania by haloarbiter117
● Spider-Hog Mania by PotterAndMatrixFan
● S3K/SKC Random Special Stages by MainMemory
● S3K Mania Special Stages by MainMemory
● SADX SMPS Mod by MainMemory
● Mania SMPS Mod by MainMemory
● Mania Random Bonus Mod by MainMemory
● Sonic 2 Fine2uned by Clownacy
● Sonic: The Return of Shadow by JoenickROS
● Sonic 1: Terra Night by SonicBurst
● Sonic’s Fun and Easy Adventure by Novedicus
● Sticks by Slashy
● Sonic Limbo by lordxernom
● Aurora Garden (Sonic Mania) by AeroArtwork
● Sonic 3D Blast Director’s Cut (BETA) by gamehut
● Super Sonic & Hyper Sonic in Sonic 1 by Clownacy
● Sonic Lost World – Snowball Joyride by Dario
● Sonic Generations – Classic Green Hill Zone Forces WIP by TwilightZoney
● World 1-1 in Sonic Mania by AeroArtwork
The hacking contest and the expo will start on November 20th, at which point all games listed here will be put up on the official website for the public to play. The events will last through to November 26th, and the winners will be announced at 8pm on that day.
Here’s an official teaser trailer for the event to give a taste of what’s in store for then. This same channel will also have a live stream for the premier of the event.
If you’ve entered the competition or the expo, then I hope your hack manages to capture the excitement of everyone who plays it. If you’re going to play the entries when they become available to download, I hope you have fun with them!
It’s that time of year again! SAGE 2014 Act 1 has begun, the central hub for fangame developers to show off their work to the Sonic community. From February 23rd to March 1st, you can head on over to the SAGE website and try out a ton of fangames. This year has a plethora of titles to try including the Sonic CD-esque Sonic Time Twisted, the 3D Sonic Lost Adventure, and a game by a member of our community, Shirou Emiya, Digimon Heroic Battle Spirit – yep, it’s not just limited to Sonic titles!
You can head over to the SAGE website now to try these and tons more – plus, members of the SAGE team are doing a livestream showcasing the various entries to the expo this year. What’re you waiting for? Go go go!
Sonic Nebulous will most likely go down in history as one of the first ever fully completed fangames at a SAGE event. But there’s a lot to be excited about here too besides such accolades, as Nebulous brings its own quirks and innovations to a game that otherwise is inspired by the roots of the classic Sonic games.
One of the most impressive things about this game is that the graphics are entirely customised sprites. All of the backgrounds, foregrounds and characters have been crafted from scratch, and the additional scenery and easy-to-follow storyline helps bring a very moody atmosphere to Mobius. It really feels like you’re battling for the planet’s freedom here.
The main innovation in Nebulous is the screen rotation, that kicks in when you’re at a point where a wall links up to a roof. The screen rotates to sit exactly along the wall or roof you’re on, so there’s no over or under-rotation. A notable point about this is how well-programmed this feature is – the camera snaps back to position if you jump back onto the ground from the roof.
All of the individual characters have their own special abilities and play styles, showing off the abilities of the game engine, and with 30 characters to choose from it’s amazing to think that Pink Ninja Monkey Studios have thought of all the possibilities for each one while still keeping true to their personalities.
The game so far is great – I only found a couple of problems with it. For example, as Fang I seemed to miss some rings when running into them as if their “action point” was set a fraction too high, and another thing I miss is there being checkpoints in the middle of levels. This however is covered with the levels not being too long to do in one run (even if it is after a couple of tries).
With a unique design style, thirty characters offering tons of replayability and an interesting story to boot, Nebulous is definitely one of the more ambitious and playable titles at SAGE. Give it a go at their booth here.
It’s a strange time to be in the Sonic community at the moment, particularly if you run a fansite. For years, we’ve been able to post – as webmasters on TSS, Retro, SFGHQ, CulT or any other site – our thoughts and feelings of being Sonic fans, and not have to worry about possible tabloid ramifications in doing so. Running a website such as this is a hobby, nothing more, so personal feelings are surely going to be thrown into the mix. But these days there’s less of a feeling of community due to nobody talking to one another – perhaps as a result of such prejudicial fear.
It’s been harder for the poor guys behind the Sonic Amateur Games Expo this year, who are now the new targets of such unwanted gossip. With festivities kicking off tomorrow, there have been fangame creators who have had some trouble in getting demos online, or in other cases pulling out of the show entirely. Such activity isn’t new; as a dedicated (and at times, official) coverage-provider of the SAGE event, I know that such bad situations are part and parcel of a hobby activity that dedicated fans undertake in their spare time. Sometimes work gets you down, you have a kid, money’s tight, or some social event happens in your life, and you just need to put your fan project on hold for a bit. With such trivial matters being highlighted as headline news though, it’s even less fun for those fangame creators involved.
This next week is all about celebrating Sonic fangames, and the people behind those projects who put their free time into it all. They don’t owe us anything. They’re hardly obligated to even finish their games (and many who set out to make a fangame seldom do). SAGE was created to be a structured exposition on the year’s best fangames, but again it’s not an obligation to show your game. Fangames aren’t a business, it’s a hobby. Some of can forget that we’re only in this community to have some fun.
So when SAGE opens, people should all just kick back and enjoy that hobby, whether those people be the creators showing off screens, videos and demos of their labours of love; or the visitors that play, watch and get impressed with the work that one or two people at home are capable of achieving.
Tomorrow, TSS will be covering SAGE, and we’ll be in it to have some fun. Come and join us, or play the games yourself when the site opens at http://www.sagexpo.org/
There are always short demos on the show floor, so I’m combining them into one post here. Today, I’ll be reviewing a few of the lesser known titles at the show, in order to give them some exposure. The bigger games you already know about and will be getting larger reviews, like Fated Hour, later this year. I’m holding those off, as they always update with bug fixes and stuff throughout the expo.
The following, arbitrary scoring system will be used for these review round-ups:
- Sucks: Avoid at all costs
- Kinda Sucks: You might like it, but probably not
- Meh: Doesn’t suck, but isn’t cool either
- Interesting: Worth your time
- Way Past Cool: Must see!
SONIC PANIC – Meh
Spike has had this game running for nearly 3 years now and this year, we get new content and a brand new name. Formerly named, “Sonic the Hedgehog 4,” Sonic Panic follows Sonic as he chases Robotnik across various galaxies and planets. The demo features the Planet Mech level of Rail Road, which is a Genesis revamp of Sunset Park from Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble on the Game Gear. I am a complete sucker for Game Gear levels, so I went into the demo with modest expectations.
First off, you will notice that the music is awful. The instrumentation is simply horrific and you will be cursing FL Studio for having such poor guitar samples. Once you get past that, your attention will be directed towards the “close, but not quite” physics of the game, which are decent enough. Jumping could use some improving and the spindash is extremely weak, but otherwise, the whole gameplay experience is serviceable and is hardly game-breaking in the slightest.
As a Genesis-styled game, the level design features branching paths and “awesome secret walkthough wall shit.” While it is nice to have many places to go, there is simply not much to do. The whole level is devoid of any activity, mostly due to the lack of badniks, as I only encountered a couple. There are a few industrial-themed gimmicks in there to tide you over in spots, however.
Augmenting the demo’s emptiness has to be the graphics. Essentially everything is black and any variety the foreground tries to offer is thrown out the window. There is the occasional yellow, construction stripe, but that is about it. The background is nice, with the sunset and all, but the black silhouettes of the towers in the background have no contrast to the foreground, thus adding to the black attack. Continue reading [SAGE ’08 Review] Review Round-Up #1
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE SOME EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE OF SOME SELECT TITLES COMING TO SAGE? OOOKAY!!!
This 3-minute video ran at the Summer of Sonic during the day, but if you didn’t go, catch a glimpse of Sonic Nexus’ new engine and animated cutscenes, the action of Sonic: Time Twisted, the beauty of Emerald Ties: Crossing Fates, and more!
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE SCHEDULE! ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD.
Pink slots are workshops, red slots are SAGEcasts, skin-tone (wtf color is that) slots are interviews in the chat room, and baby blue slots are concerts. Other colors are just random events.
Well, now we can finally confirm the first SAGE workshop, as Chris Senn, the developer of Sonic X-Treme, has agreed to hold a workshop on game design on Monday, August 18th at 6 PM EST! His regular interview time in the SAGE chat room has been changed from the last post. He is now appearing at 6 PM EST on Thursday, August 21st. Continue reading Current SAGE Schedule released, confirms times and more
Mike Pollock, the voice of Dr. Eggman for 4kids, is going to be a SAGE chat guest along with the aforementioned Ryan Drummond, Chris Senn, and Richard Jacques. Chris Senn’s appearance now has a time and date confirmed. This show just keeps getting bigger and bigger! Here’s the entire rundown of what is brand spanking new as of today:
- Sonic GEDA – a game that pays tribute to Sonic CD by emulating its play style
- Sonic Fusion – no idea what this game is, but it’s coming
- Mike Pollock – time and date have yet to be determined
- Chris Senn – confirmed to be in the chat room at 9 PM EST on Thursday, August 21st.
- Slingerland’s Super Sonic Super Trvia Game Super Show – there will be a trivia bot in the SAGE chat room, just like there is every year. However, now it will keep track of rankings! The top few people will meet head to head in a live SAGEcast that tests their Sonic knowledge. I am hosting and I will probably be as ridiculous as possible.
That’s all for today, folks! Oh, you want a source for this information? Well, it is not in any SAGE threads yet, but let’s just say that I have my methods (and that would be…talking to the director -easy enough).
Check back for more SAGE updates and check this story out later today at TSSZ when it is copy pasted over there (ouch).
Ugh, it’s 3 AM on Monday…no wait…it’s Tuesday now. I am slaving away on my demo, but for the sake of procrastination, I am going to fill you in on more SAGE game confirmations. With the first day of registration over, the following games were confirmed to show up at SAGE 2008:
- ProSonic – Developed by saxman, this Sonic development kit is being hailed to be the “perfect” Sonic fangame creation tool, allowing users to replicate the original games “to the letter.”
- Emerald Ties: Crossing Fates – This game has been in and out for years now, sitting on the border of obscurity, but it we are finally going to get to see some new content from this famous Sonic fangame.
- Mecha Madness – When it comes to unique experiences, SFGHQ member Streak Thunderstorm has the bases covered. A simple, yet intuitive, combat system, an impressive array of elemental shields, and tried & true Sonic gameplay meets luscious production design to create a can’t miss SAGE experience. Continue reading More SAGE game confirmations!
In addition to the last SAGE 2008 informational news update, posted here at TSS, SAGE director, Shadix, has released new information! The updated post includes updated photos of the games that were previously confirmed, as well as brand new confirmations:
MORE CONFIRMED GAMES
- Dlpha – A Sonic RPG based in the AoStH universe.
MORE CONFIRMED GUESTS
- RICHARD JACQUES – the composer from Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R comes to chat with SAGE visitors. A time has yet to be determined.
- CHRIS SENN – designer of Sonic X-Treme. A time has yet to be determined
MORE CONFIRMED EVENTS
- LIVE CONCERTS – concerts will be airing over the SAGEcast channel! Three bands are confirmed: Riker Out (featuring Hunter Bridges, the composer of Sonic Nexus’ soundtrack), The Polites (headed by The Taxman, creator of Retro Sonic), and Dom (live requests and the all around Sonic jukebox).
Stay tuned for even more SAGE 2008 confirmations! A SAGE news thread has now appeared at TSS in the Sonic the Hedgehog forum as a sticky. Check it out here!
SAGE, again, will take place on August 17th through the 24th at http://sagexpo.org/