About the next release, and things we’re doing wrong in the project so far

Hi everyone,

as you may already know, one of the focuses of our project (other than pumping out releases at a somewhat steady rate – something we failed miserably during the last year) is listening to your feedback in order to make this project better and better.

Now that we have completed the cycle of Most requested – Oldest request (x2), it’s time for the next Remaster.
Next one is going to be, of course, Sonic 3 as we’ve already done Sonic 1 and 2.
Needless to say, this is going to be a *huge* release as we’ll now be adding some of the most iconic jingles as well which will bump up the number of tracks from a lot to a truckload.

But here comes my first concern: lots of you have criticized releasing Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles separately as most of you see the two games just a single, big one.
I’m not completely against this, but I’ve always thought that, since the two of them have their own cartridges, which have been sold separately, they should have separate soundtracks.

The issue here is that in an ideal world I want everyone to be happy and satisfied about how we’ll manage this release, which means releasing Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles separately and releasing a huge Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack.

This is something I’d love to do, but not too fond of for a reason: redundancy.
What we’re doing here is basically wasting space and bandwidth to upload the same tracks, two times, with the differences between the two soundtracks being only track numbering and the cover art.

One of the solutions to the problem would be releasing the two soundtracks separately and then give you an official tracklist for the Sonic 3 & Knuckles and new cover art, so you can meld the two releases together.
I personally like this solution, but I’m sure some of you would be pissed off as you want a “complete” and “ready to go” release without having to change tags and cover arts yourselves.

The other solution is providing a small software which would “convert” in one click the separate releases into one.
The problem on this one is that doing it in Windows is quite a pain while doing it in a Unix environment (Linux/Mac OS) is manageable. In addition, I’m sure there would be issues as people would complain about it not working in some kind of configuration, wiping their hard drives, burning down their home, etc., which is, of course, something I’m definitely not looking forward to.

Of course, the other solution is just releasing the Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack and then let you guys split it using a tracklist and cover arts.

So, what I’m going to do now, is opening a poll in our forums and let you guys vote for several options. The one with the most votes win. Poll ends on the 21st of May.

With this out of the way, let’s talk about other things we’ve been doing wrong: requests.

Right now everyone can just freely sign up in the forums, go to the release section and open a new thread for their request.
Theare are some things in this method which have been heavily criticized in the past:
1 – You have to scroll through several pages of threads to make sure your request hasn’t been already done.
2 – You don’t have an easy way to see which request have been seconded the most and which one is the oldest
3 (by me) – Checking which request I should do next is a pain in the butt.

So I want to overhaul in the next days the request system and go for something simple and quick: I’ll make a sticky thread with a poll with all the games requested. The poll never ends, it just stays there. You can vote for the game you want out next, the requests are ordered from newest to oldest.
This is the only change you’ll see, you still have to make requests the old way (open a thread). Then I’ll add the request to the sticky thread and to the poll so you can vote for it.
Request threads will be locked for the sake of ease of organization, all the discussions will be moved to the sticky thread.
I’ll make a new thread-guide to introduce you all to the new system.

Next up: the way we share our releases.
We’re running out of space on Mediafire and, while it wouldn’t be an issue just to create a new account, I want to take a moment and ponder on this as many of you have criticized Mediafire for its speed and reliablity.
On my part, I’ve never had any issue with Mediafire (most of the times it was due to my terrible internet connection), but I hear you and want you to discuss what file sharing service you’d like to see.
Two things: I want something reliable which will not nuke my files out of nowhere and a service which won’t go out of business due to legal issues (for reference: Rapidshare, Megaupload).
If you want, we can just use torrents and be good with it.
Again, let me know in our forums, your opinion matters and is very important to me.

Last thing: I’ve received criticism on our logo and the side art of our releases (the one with the mega drive grid background and our name on it).
We’re using the Sonic & Knuckles logo because I like it a lot and don’t have any idea about what logo we could use.
Also, we had lots of discussions about the side art in our old forums and made several to see which would fit better and the resulting one seemed to please all of you.
We’re 100% ok to change it if you want, I have a couple of ideas in mind on how to do it, just let me know if you would like to see a new side art and I (and Truepack) will work on it.
Same applies to our logo: if you want to see it replaced with a new one, I’m absolutely down to it.

Again, I want to stress that your opinion matters and is critical to this project, so make sure to sign up to our forums (if you haven’t done already – tip: you really should) and let us hear your voice!

Poll for voting on Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles or Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Choosing which file sharing service we should use in the future
Should we change our logo and side art on covers?