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Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.1 Launches Only took us like four years

#1 User is offline Shadow Hog 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

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After an exceedingly long development period, SRB2 v2.1 has finally been released. An overview of the changes from 2.0.7:

General
  • The collision detection has been improved and can now handle speeds beyond the previous limitations. Super Sneakers and spin dashing have been dramatically sped up as a result.
  • Many bugs involving the controls beyond normal maximum speed have been fixed. This should make the controls feel more responsive when moving extremely fast.
  • When holding back, the character now skids to visually and audibly demonstrate that simply letting go of forward doesn't slow the player down as much as reversing direction.
  • Dropped rings now travel farther and become harder to recover when taking repetitive hits.
  • Knuckles has been updated with lavish new sprites.
  • Monitors have all-new sprites, and shields now all have individual sprites instead of being palette swaps of each other.
  • You can now record Animated GIFs in-game.

Single Player
  • Techno Hill Zone Act 1 and Castle Eggman Zone Act 2 have been dramatically updated.
  • Techno Hill Zone Act 2 has been replaced with an all-new act.
  • Castle Eggman Zone Act 3 has been added with an all-new boss.
  • The special stages have been completely replaced with new stages based on NiGHTS into Dreams.
  • All the rest of the stages have been given a fresh coat of polish.
  • The final boss has been replaced with a new, actually fun design.
  • The emblem system has been completely revamped, with hidden emblems accessible as all characters. Explore for emblems however you'd like.
  • Record Attack, an expanded version of Time Attack, lets players set records in time, score, and rings for each act they've accessed in the main game and record a replay of the run. Beating the requirement in a category for a stage grants an emblem.
  • Record Attack replays can now be raced as ghosts in Record Attack, allowing players to directly see the difference while playing. They can also be saved as a guest replay to send to a friend's copy of the game for them to race against.
  • NiGHTS Mode allows players to set records on special stages similarly to Record Attack. Sadly, NiGHTS mode does not support replays and ghosts in this release.
  • Sonic can now have Tails follow him around through the single player game like he can in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3.

Multiplayer
  • A large amount of multiplayer stages have been added.
  • In match and capture the flag modes, players now spawn with basic shields and losing players get free basic shields during the round.
  • The grenade ring has been completely redesigned, and the infinity ring from older versions has been reintroduced.
  • The old Classic Race gametype has been revamped and renamed to Competition. Similar to Sonic 2's versus mode, players race through single player stages and attempt to grab goodies in the stage before completing the stage. This gametype now actually functions well beyond two players.

Editing
  • The software renderer now features skyboxes, allowing for complex, animated skies by rendering another section of the level as the sky.
  • The system for adding custom textures has been changed to a very rudimentary implementation of ZDoom's TX_START/TX_END and TEXTURES lumps, so that two WADs with custom textures can be added to the game at the same time without issues.
  • A rudimentary version of ANIMDEFS has been implemented for animating textures. Support for Boom-format ANIMATED lumps remains.
  • Tall patches are now supported, allowing images larger than 255 pixels tall to be imported to the game as a single image.
  • TypeOfLevel can now use gametype names instead of requiring numbers.
  • Level headers for levels 100 and above can use letters instead of the decimal equivalent; eg Level A0, A1, AA, ZZ etc.
  • SOC format (a DeHackEd variant) now supports internal thing names, other enumerations, and basic math. Porting mods to future versions of SRB2 will be easier, as these names rarely change.
  • blarrg's Game Music Engine has been implemented, meaning you can now use rips of NES, SNES, Genesis, etc. soundtracks as music in-game.
  • There are now 25 different skin color options for characters to use, including returning colors from older versions such as Dark Red and Black.
  • Super forms for characters now glow like they did in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3&K, allowing yellow to be usable once again for match mode. Super Knuckles as a bonus flashes pink instead of yellow, but this is not available for custom characters.
  • Multiple characters can now have the same displayed name; no more "Tails2" if you add a custom Tails character.
  • All SOC actions and extra character abilities from SRB2Morphed have been imported, allowing SOC to be even more versatile.
  • Colors, abilities, and spin items are set by name, as with SOCs, to enable forward compatibility. If the color numbers ever change again, the intended color will still be used.
  • A scripting language based on Lua has been added to the engine exclusively for use by mods. It can be used to create entirely new console commands and thing behaviors in game, allowing a lot more flexibility for mod content without requiring editing SRB2's source code itself.

For now, 2.1 is only available via torrent. It will be made available on http://www.srb2.org/ at a later time. Source code is available here.

#2 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:58 PM

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Wow, I didn't know it was still being worked on. Good stuff.

#3 User is offline WAC 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:13 PM

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Too bad version 2.1 wasn't finished a month ago. Then this could've been part of SAGE 2014 Act 1. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to playing the latest version of SRB2. It's always been one of my favorite fangames. Though question, can Tails and Knuckles achieve super form in the single-player or can they only achieve it in the multiplayer right now?

#4 User is offline Blivsey 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:06 PM

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Posted Image

Man, I know what to do with my time today.

#5 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:07 PM

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Is there a windowed mode? Not a fan of screen hijacking.

#6 User is offline Shadow Hog 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

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View PostMr Lange, on 15 March 2014 - 03:07 PM, said:

Is there a windowed mode? Not a fan of screen hijacking.
Launch from the command-line with "-win".

#7 User is offline FlashTHD 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:31 PM

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View PostW.A.C., on 15 March 2014 - 01:13 PM, said:

Too bad version 2.1 wasn't finished a month ago. Then this could've been part of SAGE 2014 Act 1. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to playing the latest version of SRB2. It's always been one of my favorite fangames. Though question, can Tails and Knuckles achieve super form in the single-player or can they only achieve it in the multiplayer right now?

Hell, it was on the cusp of release last summer and that got derailed by a massive spam attack across srb2.org. (Long story.) Super Tails and Knuckles are still multiplayer only.

Windowed mode also now supports resolutions above 640x400.

Blivsey, the funny bit is X & Y also diverted attention from finishing the update for a while :p
This post has been edited by FlashTHD: 15 March 2014 - 07:27 PM

#8 User is offline Saidian 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:24 PM

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Yay, I've found something to do while waiting for Twitch Plays Pokemon Emerald to start! :D

#9 User is offline Blivsey 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:20 PM

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View PostShadow Hog, on 15 March 2014 - 03:17 PM, said:

View PostMr Lange, on 15 March 2014 - 03:07 PM, said:

Is there a windowed mode? Not a fan of screen hijacking.
Launch from the command-line with "-win".

Looks like it also comes pre-packaged with batch files for windowed mode, OpenGL rendering, and both at once.

That said, just played through as Sonic. Holy hell this game looks and plays better than I remember. Worth the wait.

That said, what's the deal with the final boss? It's apparently got an attack that spontaneously combusts Sonic, and I only ever dodged it once. The tiny pillars that sprout up often appear across the field from you, and even then, sometimes you just don't shake the lock off when you stand behind them.

Also, since there is no escape from the Day One Patch...

#10 User is offline WAC 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:59 PM

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So I haven't played this game since 2009. Back then, I used a terrible PC controller before switching to my DualShock 3 (and later my DualShock 4). I used to assume the analog controls were terrible because of my controller. Well, it seems like when I use an analog stick for movement, Sonic can only go in eight direct direction and how far I move the analog stick doesn't affect the speed. Fortunately, the DualShock 4's dpad is surprisingly comfortable for 3D platformers, so I guess I'll use that instead. Any chance the analog stick controls will get improved someday? Also would be nice to be able to strafe with right analog camera controls. I currently have the button mapping configured this way. Since the right analog stick is completely non-configurable, I did most of the mapping with XPadder.

Jump = Cross
Spindash = Square
Camera L = R2 & Right Analog Stick to Right
Camera R = L2 & Right Analog Stick to Left
Look Up = Triangle & Right Analog Stick to Up
Look Down = Circle & Right Analog Stick to Down
Center Camera = L1, R1, & R3

Ideally, I'd love to see the camera system to be more like a traditional platformer and have the option to strafe with the click of a button similar to what's done in some Ratchet & Clank games. The controls are currently designed where to switch from normal platforming controls to strafing controls, you need to change those settings in a menu. That, and you can't control the camera with a right analog stick. :/ Also would be nice to have analog controls that are more advanced than what can be achieved with a dpad. Any chance some of this might happen someday?
This post has been edited by W.A.C.: 26 March 2014 - 06:09 PM

#11 User is offline Shadow Hog 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

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Guess what there's a patch already

Well, it's not like we've ever had a good history with our initial releases. :v:

#12 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:08 PM

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Wow, the release came way sooner than I was expecting. Decided to grab it and the day one patch, so we'll see if the game works under WINE.

Although why is the default resolution so massive? I'm having to look up startup commands again so I can set it back at one that's playable on my CPU. (640x400.) And why isn't the default configuration file included in the installer package? It's annoying not being able to set what resolution and stuff I want before starting the game for the first time.

W.A.C said:

I used to assume the analog controls were terrible because of my controller. Well, it seems like when I use an analog stick for movement, Sonic can only go in eight direct direction and how far I move the analog stick doesn't affect the speed.


That's one of the problems with the game I've seen. Analog mode actually works on past Linux ports, because for whatever reason, some controllers being run through DirectInput on Windows don't receive any analog sensitivity in the game. You would be amazed how well analog mode works when it does as intended, but when it doesn't, you might as well be playing with a d-pad, and that starts to hurt after a while for me.

Also, Sonic's thok, and character abilities in general, only work in 8 directions with analog mode, making some people who abuse Sonic's ability hate it unfairly and stick to keyboard/mouse controls. Otherwise I can't see how the single player campaign is playable without analog mode, platforming and precision is a joke when the camera struggles to keep up with you like a fat lakitu.

#13 User is offline WAC 

Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:49 PM

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Using a DualShock 4 with ControllerMax, it emulates a 360 controller (xinput) which has become the modern standard for PC gaming with controllers. If analog mode has worked great on some past builds, perhaps the coders could fix the problem with xinput which has a set of standards every xinput controller is supposed to have? I would love to have 360° movement in this game, especially since the new bonus stages are so inspired by NiGHTS.

Note: I haven't tested the bonus stages yet.

#14 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:12 AM

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It's a huge issue that I think has gone largely unnoticed by the player base, so it's never been fixed all these years, or it's difficult to troubleshoot. I don't quite know the story behind that.

Also, this game runs under WINE, and the distracting white line that strikes across the screen doesn't show up in Windowed modes. However, even with PulseAudio disabled, the audio still broke on me once I got to Techno Hill Zone, the second stage, while sound from other WINE applications are just fine. Are there any sound options besides volume that I can adjust? The only thing I did was turn up the music volume.

#15 User is offline Mystic 

Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:27 AM

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View Post.Luke, on 16 March 2014 - 12:12 AM, said:

It's a huge issue that I think has gone largely unnoticed by the player base, so it's never been fixed all these years, or it's difficult to troubleshoot. I don't quite know the story behind that.

It's not that it's largely unnoticed by the player base as much as the player base never even encounters it. The community consensus on the best way to play the game is using WASD and the mouse, like one would play a first person shooter. The game's controls are also designed with keyboard and mouse in mind, leading to common misconceptions amongst some players. For instance, in order to slow down in SRB2, you have to hold the opposite direction from your current momentum, as if you're holding left while moving right in the 2D Sonic games, which is rather contrary to the way the 3D Sonic games handle this.

Personally I suggest you play SRB2 with whatever control scheme you play first person shooters with, such as WASD and the mouse, dual analog sticks like a console FPS, or even keyboard only (several of the developers play this way very successfully). Give it a little time to get used to playing a platformer with those controls and you'll find the game controls much better.

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