Mr Lange, on 13 September 2015 - 08:29 PM, said:
Every stage in Sonic was uniquely crafted in every aspect. You can't even separate them by generic themes like Mario; every Sonic stage was its own special form. The closest you can get in that regard are tropes, but even then, stages within trope categories were very unique from each other. And on top of all of this, a Sonic Maker isn't even possible if the core engine doesn't exist, something Sega has proven themselves incapable of producing beyond a butchered twisted buggy mess.
But of course, people think a Sonic Maker is a perfectly reasonable suggestion after Mario Maker because most people barely understand Sonic and think it's just "Mario but fast".
Another thing we can blame SEGA's intense marketing for. Which is funny because people instantly call Freedom Planet a "sonic clone" since its level design shares aspects with it (even if theyre just like "oh look loops and slopes).
Though I'm going to have to disagree with your claim about the true uniqueness of sonic levels. The art? Definitely was made unique for each stage, something Sonic indeed has/had over Mario until reacent years. But you can most definitely break up the underlaying DESIGN of each level into chunks. There'd be a LOT of chunks, but you can do it. More intuitively, you could construct your own out of boxes that can be rotated, and circles that can cut away.
Think of Sonic level design as a ton of divisions of varying sizes of a circle + slopes of varying angles (but not an infinite amount!).
Running from the floor to the ceiling requires a circle cutting through a block so only a concave slope is visible. Look at most/any slopes in sonic games that bring you from the ground to the wall and they do this. Spring Yard is a great example.
Loops of course are what we always expect them to be, but you can divide them into half loops, quarter loops if you want (another way to go from wall to floor!), or arbitrary divisions for crazy weird design.
Other than a few bumps for some reason, GHZ's opening area is simply a flat plane. To replicate the bumpyness, applying a sine wave to the top could easily achieve the same effect. Increase the width and height of the wave? You got yourself some rolling hills.
Now I know what your thinking. "Thats all well and good for collision, but how the hell are you going to make the art look good from that?" And thats where the issue comes in I feel, and is probably why Mario Maker doesnt have slopes since any game that didnt have any would need a ton drawn for them. You'd be right in that a Sonic Maker wouldnt be a 1:1 Mario Maker clone because Mario is simple enough to get away with that. But a Sonic level maker doesnt have to be exactly like MM. You make it out like a user friendly level editor would be impossible. It really wouldnt.
In theory, you could solve the art issue with the aformentioned 2.5D asthetic, which im sure everyone would be down with if Sonic 4's episodes werent wholly inaccurate as successors. You don't have to worry about pixellation of your assets too much if they're 3D rendered. Scaling objects to obscene sizes would cause issues, but thats a given; things could be rotated without any issues.
If we wanted to keep the pixel art look, however, I think the best bet would be decoration chunks. While a basic pattern can fill in the created collision, the user can add in things like grass covering flat areas, cuts in geometry to add visual flair, plants, holes in the wall, things bolted to the ground/walls... etc.
Sonic Levels, in terms of play, aren't these mystical "every pixel accounted for" masterpieces that cant be copied with a level editor. Their art is always unique, but you could feasibly recreate their collisions with a user friendly level editor, and with enough effort decorate it to look nice. It wouldnt be exactly like Mario Maker, but really why should it? Sonic isnt Mario :u