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Is there a 'Sonic Maker' or equivalent?

#1 User is offline 1337rooster 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 12:27 PM

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I know some of the sonic game engines were made for the purpose of making and sharing content across the community.

I was wondering if there was anything similar to Mario Maker in the sonic fan game community.

Maybe its just a website with downloadable levels for one of the game engines.

I'm curious as to what currently exists today, and what it would take to improve the experience. Could we improve the UI making levels a bit more fun and easy to create, like they are in Mario Maker. Maybe improve a website with some of the social features found in mario maker:

I.e.
Having a top levels chart. Integrate uploading the levels into the same level creation client for a smoother experience. Forcing people to complete their levels before uploading.

#2 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 12:43 PM

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Sega had a web-based thing a while back where you could make a level using fixed assets and a poor engine.

Other than that, you're looking at ROM hacks or Sonic Worlds-based fangames.

#3 User is offline BlazeHedgehog 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 06:07 PM

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I'd thought about trying to remake Sega's level editor using Sonic Worlds, but I didn't get very far before I became busy with other things

Posted Image

And it may not even end up being possible. Making a level editor using what is essentially another level editor is pretty backwards!

#4 User is offline Lobotomy 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 07:21 PM

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There sure is!

#5 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 08:29 PM

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I've seen people suggest that Sega should make a "Sonic Maker" and this is insanely stupid. No one stops to think for two seconds to realize just how implausible this idea is. Mario's gameplay is very simple; the majority of its gameplay is the bare basics of platforming. It's so simple you can get away with making levels out of right angled blocks, hence why Mario Maker doesn't have slopes. The only major differences between stages in the early Mario games are visual themes, overall layout structure, gimmicks and enemies; otherwise, the levels are built mostly out of blocks and one way platforms of different sizes.
Sonic on the other hand is a much more complex beast. The platforming engine is a lot more advanced, and the level design for it is a lot more complex. The design separating stages applies all the way down to the raw terrain. Every stage has unique forms of ramps, slopes, loops, curves, and all kinds of shapes. You can't represent a Sonic level in blocks, nor in basic shapes, not even with one basic set of curves and loops. 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".
This post has been edited by Mr Lange: 13 September 2015 - 08:30 PM

#6 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 13 September 2015 - 11:30 PM

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The only logical approach would involve a 2.5D Sonic Maker. I.e, LittleBigPlanet meets Sonic Runners. That way, you could carve your own slopes, loops, and ramps with a vast array of textures for variety's sake. Sadly, I would be surprised if Sonic Team went to this length. I would be thrilled if they did, but that's entirely up to them.

As far as a 2D Sonic maker goes:

Posted Image

I was attempting basically something similar at one point with a heavily moddable short fan game. All of the level and character assets were fully external and organized into folders, so you could have 10 unique ramps, slopes, floors, walls, and more per level. Even the "master playlist" for levels, as well as the INI scripts for your characters, were external, so you could basically make a total conversion map pack if you wanted. All without ever touching the game's source code.

Only problem was it was beyond my scope to program years ago. I needed to create a simple scripting system for making custom enemies and bosses. I needed to work out all the numerous bugs in my level editor without the knowledge of arrays and computational functions. (Yes, I was that big of a coding newbie, and yet here I was playing with DS stacks and loops. *head desk*) And I needed to code a GUI for setting up custom background scrolling and layering.

So, yes, something like this could exist; easily if you have the skill to make a simple script or action block system for customized AI behavior. However, I don't see Sonic Team taking this route at all, because, as Mr Lange said, Sonic has slopes, not blocks. It would be very difficult to do this without allowing the player to make their own art assets, and we all know what the Internet does if you give it even a tiny space to draw stuff. (Enter Dick Wave Ocean; you know somebody would do this.)

#7 User is offline Falk 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 09:13 AM

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I was just thinking that considering how the most popular levels in SMM are dumb, automated "press right to win" automated sequences that they play more like Sonic than Mario.

#8 User is offline TimmiT 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 09:39 AM

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View PostMr Lange, on 13 September 2015 - 08:29 PM, said:

I've seen people suggest that Sega should make a "Sonic Maker" and this is insanely stupid. No one stops to think for two seconds to realize just how implausible this idea is. Mario's gameplay is very simple; the majority of its gameplay is the bare basics of platforming. It's so simple you can get away with making levels out of right angled blocks, hence why Mario Maker doesn't have slopes. The only major differences between stages in the early Mario games are visual themes, overall layout structure, gimmicks and enemies; otherwise, the levels are built mostly out of blocks and one way platforms of different sizes.
Sonic on the other hand is a much more complex beast. The platforming engine is a lot more advanced, and the level design for it is a lot more complex. The design separating stages applies all the way down to the raw terrain. Every stage has unique forms of ramps, slopes, loops, curves, and all kinds of shapes. You can't represent a Sonic level in blocks, nor in basic shapes, not even with one basic set of curves and loops. 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".

A level creator where you can make unique level geometry and gimmicks and stuff has been done before though. It's the basis of LittleBigPlanet.
This post has been edited by TimmiT: 14 September 2015 - 09:58 AM

#9 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 12:35 PM

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View PostFalk, on 14 September 2015 - 09:13 AM, said:

I was just thinking that considering how the most popular levels in SMM are dumb, automated "press right to win" automated sequences that they play more like Sonic than Mario.
I'm not sure the current 2D Sonic engines would even be able to make automatic levels like those in Mario Maker, since they fail at momentum.

#10 User is offline NoNameAtAll 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 03:28 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 14 September 2015 - 12:35 PM, said:

I'm not sure the current 2D Sonic engines would even be able to make automatic levels like those in Mario Maker, since they fail at momentum.


That's what speed boosters are for! :specialed:

#11 User is offline Azu 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:52 PM

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https://www.youtube....h?v=9okEGkyoDtU

View PostFalk, on 14 September 2015 - 09:13 AM, said:

I was just thinking that considering how the most popular levels in SMM are dumb, automated "press right to win" automated sequences that they play more like Sonic than Mario.


I think it has more to do with this.



#12 User is offline 1337rooster 

Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:45 PM

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Just realized that this page existed. And it used the name Sonic Maker well before Mario Maker was announced. Conspiracy? Nintendo Insider? Lol.

https://info.sonicre...org/Sonic_Maker

But yeah, I don't think it's a terrible idea at all. It might take a bit more time and effort to make a level.

What this community has built today already approaches this. Sharing Sonic fan games is almost the same thing.

All that's missing is easier to user UIs for level creation. Finding a way to package and send levels around without needed to download an entirely new compiled game. Hosting a sharing service and maybe some social features for sharing and upvoting the levels.

I imagine with some of the tools we have today its not possible to package and send out a level without sending a full compiled exe. And I imagine their UIs are not as easy to use as what we have in Mario Maker.

You wouldn't need to launch a version that could handle any possible Sonic level, just some subset of functionality that Sonic levels had. A few types of objects, platforms, etc. Then the community could upgrade the software over the years. Adding new objects, art assets, etc. That's how I imagine we could create a project like this.

#13 User is offline Chimera 

Posted 26 September 2015 - 02:07 PM

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View PostMr 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.




tldr 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

#14 User is offline Laura 

Posted 26 September 2015 - 04:28 PM

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Sonic Worlds is kind of like a 'Sonic Maker', it's just not as accessible or as easy to use :p .

I like to play with Sonic Worlds like it's a game though. I like making levels but I have no talent in game design.

#15 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 26 September 2015 - 05:16 PM

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View PostChimera, on 26 September 2015 - 02:07 PM, said:

View PostMr 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".

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.

Well you can "disagree" all you want, but it's hardly a matter of opinion. Stages do have unique structures. Even the shapes of loopdeloops were unique across stages. Slopes, curves, chunks, all had special variations and nuances that were only found in particular stages. I don't mean every stage had its own specific set, but a lot of what you find in one stage won't be in the next, but some of it might be found a couple stages later, etc. The total amount of structures created throughout the classic games alone is tremendous.
And the ridges along a ground are not a sine wave nor can they be represented with one. They're dips or bumps along normally flat ground with variating lengths, depths and periods.
Either it's providing a zillion microscopic angled bits to stitch together, or it has every high level structure ever at its disposal, either of which would be overwhelming for general players.
Haven't even touched upon gimmicks, which there's no way to make generic for a Sonic Maker, god knows how that could even work without stages quickly turning stale.
This post has been edited by Mr Lange: 26 September 2015 - 05:21 PM

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