Details on Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2021 unveiled

The annual showcase of Sonic fan games, mods, and independent titles unveiled this year’s official guidelines and submissions for those interested to participate.

Participants are expected to follow the respective guidelines and regulations on submitting a title, showcasing a title in the expo’s trailer, or streaming during the expo.

Here is the full statement from Sonic Fan Games Headquarters, the event organizers:

Submission Guidelines​

  • Making use of Sonic Fan Games HQ’s Showcase is mandatory. If you haven’t prepared a booth for your game entry, it will not be accepted to SAGE.​
  • Please do not send your entry to the SAGE email.​
  • All entries with less than 500MB must be uploaded directly to the site.​
  • Each game entry must contain an image in square format (1:1) of, at least, 500×500 for the SAGE website. This does not have to be the same as your submission’s cover, just needs to be attached to the gallery.​
  • All game entries must be submitted by August 8th 2021, 11:59 PM PST.​
  • Entries can be updated after registration and even during the event.​
  • ROM Hacks and Mods are allowed, given they have considerable changes from its source. Level ports have to be significantly changed from its source material or they won’t be accepted. Character swaps and so on, as technically impressive as they may be, won’t be accepted.​
  • Modifications made to the RSDK Sonic games (Sonic 1, 2, CD and Mania) are only allowed to include the necessary files needed to let the mod run. Full Data folders containing the base game assets and material won’t be accepted. In the case of EXE mods, they may use base files if they are crucial in making the executable operate properly.​
  • If you have multiple game projects to submit, please follow the submission guidelines for each project and submit them separately.​
  • Frameworks/Engines are welcome but must follow the same guidelines as stated above.​
  • Entries from users currently banned from SFGHQ won’t be accepted.​

Submission Regulations​

Minimum Content​

  • Your submission needs a minimum amount of effort and substantial content. This is by no means strict. What this means is we’re trying to avoid submissions in which a fan game engine’s built-in test level was exported with only minor tweaks, or is just an empty scene with a Sonic model in it, or similar cases is not an acceptable entry.​

Not a Contest​

  • SAGE isn’t, and has never, been a contest. This means we don’t rate, judge, or award games. Do not worry about how “good” you think your submission is; all we’re looking for is a little effort and something unique to share. SAGE is not a contest, it’s a place for people of all skill levels to show off what they’ve learned, get feedback for improvement and for us to all have fun with the cool things we all create for each other. Bullying of people with legitimate submissions because they’re “not as good” is not an acceptable behavior at SAGE.​

Submission Accessibility​

  • While we do ask you to host your project on SFGHQ this year, if for some reason you must choose an alternative hosting method (perhaps due to file size) or have your personal website featured in the event, you must make your submission easily accessible. We will not host submissions that require excessive, arbitrary or unusual limitations to access, unless there is a very justifiable reason.​

Do Not Hold Your Submission Hostage​

  • For example, do not host your submission on a forum which requires signing up for an account, or require people to join your Discord server, or force them to use an external download manager application, or built in “DRM” that makes the content difficult to access or remotely controlled. You’re submitting your game to SAGE for people to access and enjoy first and foremost, not to farm stats by holding your content hostage or to attach strings to people. You are however welcome to promote yourself, your Discord server or whatever you like with your submission, as long as it is reasonable and not restricting anything.​

Your Game Should be a Game​

  • No spooky stuff! If it does anything else other than being a game, such as secret data collection, any form of “remote control”, requires online checks for non-online content, observes or interacts with system processes for non-gameplay purposes or any of that sort of nonsense, it is not considered acceptable at SAGE. This is a place for people to share things they created in a friendly, safe environment, not spooky things that make someone wonder if playing your game is going to get them hacked or do something crazy. Obviously, actual malicious software or anything of that sort is a severe no-no and will be dealt with harshly.​

Your Demo Must Be Free of Charge​

  • If you’re making an indie project with the intention of selling it or has already released said game and would like to use SAGE to promote it, please make sure you have a free demo for people to experience it during the event that’s easy to find. Be it on the Steam page for your project or using SFGHQ’s Showcase system.​

Please Make English The Primary Language for your Booth​

  • While we welcome everyone from across the globe to participate in the event, the SAGE audience primarily speaks English. Entries and booths in entirely different languages can be difficult to navigate, and as a result, we ask that your submission, as well as your booth page, are primarily in English. You are more than welcome to have multiple languages in your booth and entry so long as English is one of them and preferably the first one!​

A note on Patreons and Donations for Fan Games​

  • Please note that we will not accept any fan games that are accepting any donations of any kind towards their project, even if the game itself is free. This absolutely includes any sort of Patreon (or related sites) linked to the project or the creators/team behind it, as well as with pages asking for donations. SEGA has been kind enough to allow us to run SAGE for all these years without issue, but fan games should always be about learning and passion, not for profit. This rule does not apply to indie or original titles submitted to SAGE as long as they have free demos available.​

Booth Guide

If you’re unsure on how to submit to SAGE or how to make your booth, please check out the SAGE ’21 Booth Guide in the following link:​

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