Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the Sonic Hacking Contest!

As much as we believe the 2018 Contest and Expo went well, we noticed a few things that needed to be addressed. Notably, last year was the first year starring more 3D entries compared to their classic 2D counterparts. This in itself is nothing bad, in fact we believed it was eventually going to happen.

Knowing this, we felt it was necessary to look at how we handle things going forward. We want to ensure a fair playing field for all entries, which as you may already know effectively means revamping how the entire trophy system was handled from the ground up. This in itself is a rather difficult task, as to both figure out the general format of the trophies and come up with new names is time consuming.

The New System

We gave people the exclusive opportunity for the final format to be used for trophy distribution and what was decided was "Option 2". This means that starting with this year we will be employing a new format, which for those who have stuck with us for long still retains close similarities with the original.

Entries will be graded top 3 overall in the respective common submission formats/categories: "Retro", "3D" and "2D PC". Various "general" categories, subject to different interpretation based on submission format such as "best visually appealing" or "best sounding" will also be split in the following manner.

Last of all, "special" trophies such as "most improved since last year”" or "most WTF" (ie. the Polygon Jim trophy) will remain as is.

We understand that there is a possibility that some of the trophies under the format may end up "unnecessary" in the long run with no real "winners", due to what may or may not be submitted. For such trophies, the "Null Vote Rule" will be applied, with "Null Vote" being a voting option if no entry either satisfies the trophy description or does not meet a given quality standard in the given trophy's department. If "Null Vote" becomes the top vote for a category, no trophy is awarded.

Contest Staff

The Judges

This year's judge set consists of Cinossu, Clownacy, CodenameGamma, Dario FF, Melpontro, OrdosAlpha, Sewer56, SSF1991 (Donnie), Spanner, StephenUK and Twilightzoney.

The notable difference this year is we have included more people with both knowledge and reverse engineering of PC titles. This includes both general 3D (Adventure, Boost style) as well 2D (RSDK, e.g. Sonic Mania). We believe it will be to the benefit of judging quality greatly.

Judges & Contest Submissions

Judges will be allowed to submit their own hacks, however they will not be allowed to judge their own entries (conflict of interest). This includes submissions that they have been involved with, such as team submissions.

After the main contest finishes, the Judges will provide more detailed evaluations of the entries to give their opinion, thoughts, and advice they feel is deserved.


This judge list is not final and additional judges may be recruited to replace former judges who have left the contest due to retiring or other reasons. Do not ask to be a judge as that just rules you out. If we think you're up to the job, we'll talk to you.

Not all judges can judge all games as they may not have have the capability to do so. For example: 360/PS3 based sonic hacks requiring either powerful PC for emulation or hacked console. If you submit a non 8/16-bit entry please have this in mind. The majority of judges however are capable of playing PC-based game entries.

Please note that the final decisions are subject to the Judging Team and may not reflect your own opinion. If one hack wins a whole load of trophies that is what the judges thought should win. Judges may change at any time due to unavailability or other reasons.


This year we're doing trophies a bit differently. First of all, we're scrapping the names for now to make things easier to understand. Secondly, we're categorising them differently to before. First, we have three main categories that entries can fall under:

• Retro
For any and all retro console hack entries.

• 3D
For all entries based on the 3D Sonic games outright.

• 2D PC
For those entries based on the 2D ports, rereleases, and remasters on PC, as well as Mania.

All three of these categories will have a Top 3 result and individual trophies of the following:

• Best Visual
• Best Audio
• Best Technical
• Best Level Design
• Best Voted by Media Panel

As well as these we have a set of misc trophies that can be attributed to any entry from any category:

• Most Entertaining
• Most WTF (Polygon Jim)
• Best Team Entry
• Best Multiplayer Entry
• Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone
• Most Potential
• Most Improved Since Last Year

Of course we also have the overall Top 3 that can again be attributed to any entry from any category.

And what of community trophies, you ask? Well, you're all in luck this year. Apart from the obvious exception of "Best Voted by Media Panel", the community get to vote on each and all of these categories and trophies as well.





CONTEST WEEK FROM: Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th December

The Contest Week has been put back due to Thanksgiving, but also allows extra time for judging and quality control.