The Sonic Center
From Sonic Retro
|The Sonic Center
|Current owner(s): SonicAD
|Type of site: Competitive gaming
|Created on: October 23, 2003
|Current status: Online
The Sonic Center, or TSC, is a site that does explorative research into Sonic games, but not as much so by hacking. Instead, TSC members look into games through ordinary play (though to observers, the things they do are hardly "ordinary"). The site's main goal is to get players to complete each of the various games and levels as fast as possible; offering several videos and strategy guides to aid them.
As of 21 January 2012, TSC has more than 900 players with roughly 140,000 submissions on 5,052 competition charts.
The Sonic Center grew out of the GameFAQs Sonic Adventure 2: Battle forums. Jolt135 had created an "SA Elite" in which players compared their best times for the Sonic Adventure games. On September 2003, Rolken, one of these eager players, went a step further and created a site named ParaShift to serve as a home portal for several subsites, including two that he had in mind: The Sonic Center (for time attack competition in Sonic games) and ParaShift Pokémon (for Pokémon research and strategies). A month later, on 23 October 2003, Rolken founded TSC. After some time, he closed the Pokémon subsite and TSC became the main site.
At first, TSC had rankings for four games (Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2) and only Rolken could submit players' statistics. On December 2003, he released the second version of TSC, including rankings for the Mega Drive Sonic games and Sonic CD. Rankings for Chaotix, Sonic R and four 8-bit Sonic games were added on February 2004.
On April 2004, rankings for rings and scores were introduced after some dicussion, and rankings for Sonic Battle, Sonic Jam and Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure were implemented. On 23 July 2004, nine months after its foundation, the third version of TSC "was born". The new version included support for new major features such as a "Time Machine" option (which would allow going back in time and seeing the rankings as they were in the past) and site skins.
On 1 April 2005, the site mysteriously disappeared and nobody knew why. The word going around at the time was that s0nicfreak (who hosted TSC at the time) was running behind on her payments and couldn't afford to keep going the sites that she hosted. Rolken returned in June after being missing for two months to confirm that the site was down and all the data from November 2004 onwards was lost. He said that TSC would be back by the end of June.
TSC came back to life on 6 July 2005. That day, several players submitted many new statistics that they had gotten during the downtime, only to found out that Rolken happened to have a backup from 19 December 2004. The day after that, this backup replaced that of November and said players had to submit their records again. TSC started recovering its activity as old members discovered that the site wasn't down anymore and submitted their new statistics, and so it continues to this day.
On June 2009, Rolken announced that he would be stepping down from running TSC and ownership was later transferred to SonicAD.
TSC ranks its players via a points system. A player's points in a game are calculated from their rank in each of its charts (also known as classes); a first place in a chart is worth 0 points, a second place is worth 1 point, a third place is worth 2 points, etc. If a player doesn't have a submission in a chart, they are given a number of points equal to the number of players in said chart. These points are added up across each chart to calculate a player's total number of points in a game. After calculating the total points of all players that compete in a game, the player with the least amount is awarded with the championship. It is technically possible to get first places in all the charts of a game and have 0 total points for a perfect championship. In fact, this has happened on several occasions; SprintGod, at various times, has held perfect championships in Sonic the Hedgehog (8-bit), Sonic R and Sonic CD, and NintenDan has held perfect championships in Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 2.