Sonic is back in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. Let's hope he has a better time of it than in 1993, when he was blown into a lamppost and popped. Not that I'm insinuating you should pull anything mischievous in our latest 'Shop Contest.
You may recall that 1993 was not only the year of Sonic's ill-fated encounter with a streetlamp; it was also his debut year in the parade and also the first year any video game character appeared as a balloon in the Macy's parade. Those facts, the upcoming parade, and Sonic's 20th anniversary year make this a timely contest, even if the image we've got doesn't seem particularly exploitable.
Source Image: Sonic the Hedgehog the Balloon Test Flight.
What can you do with that? You're a creative team. You can put him over a different landscape, swap heads with another character, make a callback to another 'Shop Contest, etc. In other words, the usual stuff you come up with to make this such a popular weekend feature. Just no Amy Rose Rule 34 like Fahey dumped on me when I complained about her challenge stage in Sonic Generations.
You know the rules: The 20 best will get rounded up and published at the end of next Saturday. Meantime, I and the rest of the starred commentariat will approve and promote as many as we can so folks can see them and pass judgment.
This is your no-frills step-by-step procedure to participation in the Kotaku 'Shop Contest.
1. Create your 'Shop.
2. Upload it to a free image hosting service. I suggest imgur. It's stupid simple. No account is necessary.
3. This is very important: You must use the URL of the image itself. In imgur, this is the second URL it gives you after you upload the image. It's under "Direct Link (email & IM)"
4. At the beginning of the comments roll, click "Start a New Thread"
5. To the right of your name, select "Image."
6. Paste the imgur URL in the image URL field. It's the field that says "Image URL."
7. You can add editorial commentary if you want, but then just hit submit and your image will load. If it doesn't, paste the image URL as a comment.
8. This is important: Keep your image size under 1 MB. It will not upload to comments if it is over that size. What's more, we're getting reports that if your 'Shop is more than 1000px tall (vertical), it won't upload. If you're getting the broken-image icon, try resizing to a smaller dimension.
Remember, I do take suggestions for future 'Shop Contests. So if you've got one, by all means shoot me an email.
Now, Gentlemen, start your 'shopping!