Yesterday, the Sonic Amateur Games Expo started, continuing a 21-year tradition of fans coming together to share new community-developed games, demos, mods, and engines. And while the name implies it’s all about Sonic, SAGE is more than just ROM-hacks and fan games based on Sega’s popular mascot. (But don’t worry, there is still a lot of Sonic content for fans of the blue hedgehog.)
The digital expo started all the way back in 2000. The event was created as a way to “help promote and showcase people’s creations in an easy and free way as well as give developers a deadline to aim for.” It’s continued to grow in the last two decades. The 21st Sonic Amateur Games Expo began yesterday. It runs until August 27.
Over on the official SAGE website you can find over 160 games created by the community. Some of these games use Sonic characters or are based on other video game franchises. But there are also completely original video games developed by indie devs. On a YouTube channel connected to the expo, you can currently catch streams where folks play through the various fan-created games and indie titles.
It’s not just games being shared as part of the Expo, but you can also find user-developed engines, mods, and other hacks too. It’s an impressive amount of content and organization that, as you might have guessed, Sega isn’t officially connected to or affiliated with at all.
The full history of the Sonic Amateur Games Expo can be found on a long and in-depth page hosted on SonicRetro.org. As expected with any long-running community event there have been some ups and some downs. But it’s still wild to see something that feels modern – an online indie game festival – that’s been around for two decades and is run entirely by fans!
Make sure you check out all the games available on the official SAGE website. You can also follow the expo on Twitter.