Yesterday Sega Europe announced the SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub for Steam. Basically it’s a fancy emulator shell that lets you play Mega Drive games in a virtual room. It has the standard features you might expect officially released emulated games to have like save states and visual filters. But outside of that, it’ll have one very interesting sounding feature: Steam Workshop support.
According to Sega’s blog post, the Steam Workshop support is for “modified versions” of the Mega Drive games. You might think that this sounds a lot like they are letting people share ROM hacks, which would be huge news. And it turns out: they are! It was later confirmed on Twitter that you’ll be able to share “custom ROMs” of the games with other Steam users. So yeah, ROM hacks.
It’s no news that Sega is okay with people making and sharing ROM hacks. After all, they haven’t tried to stop us from letting people host them on this site. But to let people share them through an official channel like this has never been done before. More details on how Steam Workshop support will exactly work will be shared next week, but so far this all sounds very promising.
The SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub will launch on April 28th, and will be released as a free update to the current Mega Drive emulator on Steam. It’ll be compatible with all of the Mega Drive games Sega are selling on Steam, and you’ll be able to make use of the hub if you already own any of them. This of course includes all of the Mega Drive Sonic games that are being sold on Steam.
It would be an uneventful year without the time honored tradition of the hacking contest. Despite the delays and complications the Sonic Hacking Contest got 2016’s back for another round of ROM hacks and more! For the time being, there are no entries being accepted as the website will be up later.
You can get your submission ready by viewing the rules here on our forums courtesy of hacking contest judge Spanner. Deadline is Sunday 9th October 2016, so there’s plenty of time before the contest begins. Watch this space or check with the forums when the website goes live.
Remember that you can submit more than just ROM hacks as there are entries for mods as well. Will you make the ultimate mod to Sonic Lost World?
[UPDATE: The SHC site seems to be overloaded! For now, hang out in the IRC channel provided below for as-they-happen updates.]
Rise and shine, Retro. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re already groaning that another work week has come in this hamster wheel called life. But that’s fine, because there are several new hacks waiting for you to get your digits all over.
If you swing on by the Sonic Hacking Contest 2015’s website, you now have a selection of titles from some of the Sonic Scene’s more technically inclined to try out and evaluate. While you can play the games without restriction, voting does require a Sonic Retro or an SSRG account, so try to snag one by Saturday if you want to guarantee your vote.
If you’re not about that, you can enjoy a week of streams, with one kicking off in a less than 20 minutes. These streams will let you see some of the community’s finest play the games for you to watch and just hang out with fellow fans. Fan-favorites MegaGWolf and SomecallmeJohnny also return, with a music workshop hosted by DalekSam Saturday, if you’re interested in learning how to create songs for games. The schedule is as follows:
5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT – Monday to Friday: Donnie 7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 9pm BST / 4pm EDT – Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Spanner 9pm BST / 4pm EDT to 12am BST / 7pm EDT – Monday to Friday: MegaGWolf 12am BST / 7pm EDT to 3am EDT / 10pm BST – Monday to Friday: SomecallmeJohnny 5pm BST / 12pm EDT to 7pm BST / 2pm EDT on Saturday: DalekSam Music Workshop 7pm BST / 2pm EDT to 11pm BST / 6pm EDT on Saturday: Nova 7pm GMT / 3pm EDT to 9pm GMT / 5pm EDT (clock change on Sunday): Results Show
So come on by and relax in the Sonic Hacking Contest’s IRC. Just point your favorite client (or mibbit) to irc.badnik.net #shc2015.
As sure as the air gets crisp and the leaves turn brown (or green if you’re upside down in the world), the Sonic Hacking Contest is live once more for the next generation of game hackers and homebrewers. We’re partnering with SSRG once again to see what the more creative of you can do given a digital game jam of sorts.
To start, you’ll need a forum account for either here or SSRG (the rules are a little more relaxed if you’re actually entering.) Participants will have until Oct. 4 to submit a playable build of their game or hack, and then a further week to work on their projects should the entrant deem it necessary. Voting will then go live on Oct. 19, and also requires an account to either site.
Much like last year, everyone can download and play the entries, but streams will be held that showcase the games for those more interested in hanging out and talking with others.
Don’t be shy if you feel you’ll be swept up by more veteran groups. It’s not unusual for someone to come out of left field and stun the competition, such as with the likes of Robotnik’s Revenge, which in a roundabout way inspired the boss rush mode in Sonic 2 Mobile (2013)/Egg Gauntlet Zone. Practice the craft and have fun with it. Joke hacks are certainly welcome too, but not joke submissions. Basically, you can make something funny, but don’t submit something that’s clearly just stupid (see: Sonic 1337.) If you’re going to swing for worst hack, do it with some grace.
If you’re not into the whole Sonic theme, you can also submit SEGA-themed fangames too. Golden Axe, Shinobi,Jet Set Radio, Puyo Puyo… any of those brands are ripe for the picking. Going off the hip, I can say a Mighty Switchforce 2 styled Burning Rangers may be a neat idea, but you didn’t hear it from me.
And yes, this isn’t just limited to the Mega Drive games. The 3D games like Sonic Adventure, Sonic 2006, and Sonic Generations are encouraged.
Whether you’re sharing your life with other people or if today is more of a, “Nope, not getting out of bed today” sort of affair, we just want to take a little time to say, “Hey, thanks for still putting up with our insanity and we love you.” Truly! Retro wouldn’t be half of what it is right now both as an information hub and as the forefront (or at the very least, the knowledge base) of some of the neatest Sonic hacks out there if it wasn’t for your support.
It’s not much, but since trying to email chocolate to everyone who visits would not only be impossible and probably messy, we’d like to show our appreciation by hooking you all up with a project tucked away in the corners of SoundCloud aiming to recreate an often sought but never discovered soundtrack. Mr Kingalicious is in the middle of making the Sonic OVA soundtrack himself and it sounds pretty damn good, all things considered! Go show his work some love today too, since it deserves recognition for being pretty quality stuff.
And if today isn’t the best for you? Hang in there. Let this little gift at least give you some light.
Has it already been a year? We and SSRG are teaming up once again for the annual Sonic Hacking Contest, where talented fans work on creating their own game hacks. Now, this may make some people think that it will be nothing but the usual MegaDrive game hacks, but the contest also features Sonic Generations and Sonic Adventure DX edits among others.
New to this round is the introduction of Team entrants, which allows multiple users to be credited together for a work instead of last year’s single representative. Teams can consist of Retro members, SSRG members, or a mix of both.
As always, you’ll need a Sonic Retro or SSRG account to log in and actually vote for which title you feel best deserves an award from many categories. Downloading, however, is free to the public. Who knows, maybe these works can inspire some of you to take a stab at it next year, especially with the many tools Generations hacking has.
Sonic Retro and Sonic Stuff Research Group team up once again to bring you the Sonic Hacking Contest 2014. The competition for all ROM hacks, mods and more based on our favorite blue blur. Entries are now being accepted on the website and can be accessed by logging in with either a Retro or SSRG forum account. Our resident Cinossu breaks it down on our forums with whats new for this year.
“Like last year, everything is handled on-site and you can log in with your Sonic Retro forum account to get started. More information is on the site itself, including instructions on what to do, how to do it, etc.
The biggest addition this year is Teams, which can be set up from the new “Teams” section. They can be a mix of both Retro and SSRG members, and allow credit to be on all members of the team as well as allow any member to modify and set up entries for the whole team.
As always, enjoy. If any issues, bugs, etc. are found, just let us know either in here, the SSRG thread equivalent, or in the comments of the news post on the site itself.”
The deadline for entries is on July 31st, 2014. If you’re not interested in participating, you will eventually get to see the entries that are made publicly available, or look at entries from years prior. Head on over to the website itself for more information!
The hacks are done and submitted. With judgment day looming over which hacks will reign supreme, the time has come for you–Yes, YOU!–to play these works. Lovingly called Contest Week, the festivities will begin on Aug. 12 and last through Aug. 18. During this time, everyone is able to download the games on display. However, to actually vote for Community Choice trophies, users must have a validated account on either SSRG or right here on Retro.
According to contest judge and organizer Spanner, a number of regular events are scheduled to take place every day over on the SHC website. These include live streams of the games by MegaGWolf (from 7pm to 9pm British Summer Time, or 2pm to 4pm Eastern for the Americans) and SomecallmeJohnny (1am to 3am BST/9pm to 11pm Eastern.)
A daily podcast will also go live at 9pm BST (4pm EST) and last until 11pm BST (6pm EST.) At the end of the Contest Week, the winners will be announced live via the radio server on the site, so make sure to tune in from 8pm BST (3pm EST) to 11pm BST (6pm EST.)
Other events planned include hacking workshops–of which they’re still seeking ideas for more, so fire Spanner a PM if interested in hosting your own workshop–and a daily hacking contest open to everyone which will ultimately produce a level within Sonic 1. For that last one, a Retro or SSRG account is not required.
Fans can join the discussion about the contest all week via IRC by joining the server located at irc.badnik.net and joining #hackingcontest.