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Hack Policy

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So, you've created a hacking project, and you want to distribute it on Sonic Retro. Before you do, make sure that your project meets our Hack Policy!

Retro exists partly to document the history of the Sonic scene—both in its "oral" history and the files therein. The best way to show this history is through the hosting of these hacks for archival purposes. Simply put: Sonic Retro is not GoodGen. Hacks are accepted on the basis of their merit to both the Sonic hacking community and the larger population of gamers and those casually interested in Sonic the Hedgehog.

Examples of hacks qualified for inclusion

  • Historical hacks: As a general rule, hacks created before 2003 will qualify for inclusion, provided they are not palette-only hacks. Early hacks provide a window to the early Sonic research community, when such works were cutting-edge.
  • Technologically innovative works: In the case of games that are not well-documented, something as simple as palette-editing, new music or changed art may qualify as a legitimate contribution to the community. As such, they are accepted for the site.
  • Notorious hacks: Several hacks and hack hoaxes are so well-known that they are used as comparisons to modern hacks. Many hoax hacks, despite being already proven to be hoaxes, are erroneously reported to be genuine prototypes. For educational purposes, these works are included on the site.
  • Hacks which are currently considered to be important: Ask this simple question—will people still be talking about this project two years from now? If so, the hack qualifies.

If you feel you meet this or another significant qualifier for inclusion on Sonic Retro, check your own hacking project.

Hacking Project Qualifications

  • Make sure you have a project to begin with: In order to have a hacking project, you must have proof that such a project exists, either by a public ROM release, a series of screenshots, or some other definitive proof that you have and are working on a hack.

In a small number of cases, Sonic Retro administrators may waive this requirement.

  • Make sure you have a quality project: Palette hacks with minor level changes for the four big ROMs (Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles) are non-notable in 95 percent of cases and will be summarily removed. Minor edits, especially those done by Sonic Hacking Utilities, are non-notable. As a general rule, your hack should have at least three of the following:
    • Palette Edits
    • Level Layout AND Object Placement Edits
    • New or Ported Music
    • ASM Edits
    • Art Edits

The administrators and most of the major editors to this site are seasoned Sonic hacking veterans, and will be able to determine with a good deal of expert knowledge whether a hack is deserving of a spot or not. This is not to slag or discourage beginning hackers, but instead to focus those beginners towards making a quality product.

  • You MUST have a corresponding page on Sonic Retro: Sonic Retro is not a glorified uploading site for the Sonic scene. There must be an accompanying article for any hack uploaded onto the system done in the style of all hacks listed in Category:Hacks.
  • You MUST host a mirror of your files on Sonic Retro: One of the most alarming problems with hack distribution is that oftentimes files are hosted on temporary upload sites or by web servers which are later dismantled. Because Sonic Retro isn't going anywhere anytime soon, we ask that you at least mirror your files onto the upload system here. You are free to include a link to your own hosting of the file, website or forum thread(s) in addition to this file.

Hack Uploading Requirements

  • If you are uploading a hack onto the system for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, please distribute your ROM fully patched (i.e., no IPS or RXL patches) in either .bin or .gen format (not .smd) contained inside a .zip file (.rar or .7z if only absolutely necessary.) Sonic Retro does not accept uncompressed files (unless you would like to pay its server bills) and non-standard compressions—all major Mega Drive/Genesis emulators recognize .zip compression and the format is the most universal and accessible of all compression formats.
  • As a general rule, the file inside your zip should not exceed 2MB. If it does, please contact the administration to explain why.
  • Upload your file with a clear, accurate filename, and tag the hack file in its appropriate category.
  • If you are uploading multiple versions, do not delete the older version of your hack; it is kept for archival purposes.

Disclaimer

By placing your hack on Sonic Retro, you give the site irrevocable rights to distribute the files. Files, while appearing to be deleted, can never be fully removed from our servers. We will NEVER take credit for anyone else's work—you, the hacker, hold the rights to your work. Conversely, Sonic Retro reserves the right to remove any hack at any time if it does not meet the policy stated on this page.

ROM hacks distributed within the GoodGen ROM set are considered by this site to be "freely distributable," and may be placed on the site due to their already wide distribution.