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Is there a 'Sonic Maker' or equivalent?

#91 User is online .Luke 

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

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View PostLordOfSquad, on 27 February 2017 - 12:02 PM, said:

I think if a Sonic Maker were made for a modern platform, without tiling constraints, it might go over a little better. Something more freeform like LBP or Smash 4's level creator. Messy? Maybe. Fun? Probably.


LittleBigPlanet did slopes really well in a 2.5D environment. You could carve, shave, or add to terrain as you pleased like a piece of clay; couldn't be more intuitive.

Strife is using an extension for Unity that allows warping/manipulating 2D assets in a somewhat similar fashion, to create more unique slopes in Freedom Planet 2. Would the same concept be as easy for a fully 2D Sonic Maker to implement? Because that would be far easier for the average person than working with literally dozens of slope pieces at a time.

#92 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:34 PM

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View Post.Luke, on 27 February 2017 - 01:12 PM, said:

LittleBigPlanet did slopes really well in a 2.5D environment. You could carve, shave, or add to terrain as you pleased like a piece of clay; couldn't be more intuitive.

It's dirt easy, as is drawing shapes for arbitrary terrain in SSB4. The problem is, it does tend to be uneven and rocky in a way that would wreak serious havoc on Sonic's physics. A few misplaced pixels of terrain that weren't leveled neatly, even if barely visible, could cause a spindash in that area to send Sonic flying. It works for LBP's slower, methodical, floatier gameplay, but I don't think it would be reliable enough to use for this sort of gameplay without some sort of automatic cleanup, which could be infuriating in its own way.

#93 User is offline The Danimal 

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:47 PM

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Wow, looks like there's quite a bit of disscussion over this old topic. And all because I didn't read the date of when it was created.

#94 User is online .Luke 

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:21 PM

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View PostCovarr, on 27 February 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

It's dirt easy, as is drawing shapes for arbitrary terrain in SSB4. The problem is, it does tend to be uneven and rocky in a way that would wreak serious havoc on Sonic's physics. A few misplaced pixels of terrain that weren't leveled neatly, even if barely visible, could cause a spindash in that area to send Sonic flying. It works for LBP's slower, methodical, floatier gameplay, but I don't think it would be reliable enough to use for this sort of gameplay without some sort of automatic cleanup, which could be infuriating in its own way.


I sort of experienced that firsthand in LittleBigPlanet. My attempts to make a rocket sledding level were dashed, either because the sled pieces would get crushed on terrain when it wasn't rotating along the slope fast enough, (Should've given my cousin a few bucks for the DLCs with unbreakable pieces.) or I did make a slope the sled liked, except for one little mistake, and it'd go flying wildly. It needed too much experimentation to make it work, so I gave up on that and moved onto a Dark Souls-alike map with a floating "HUD buddy". Fun times. :specialed:

That's why I suggested Freedom Planet 2's approach. The way it works seems to be if there is a previously unseen rough patch in a slope, characters still walk or run over it without any problems.

#95 User is offline Okamikurainya 

Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:27 PM

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Another problem with a "Sonic Maker" is a certain expectation of uniqueness. It would be very easy to have, let's say a "Greenhill Maker" which is tailored for making levels with the Greenhill assets, but when someone wants to make whole new zone they'll want fitting badniks and gimmicks that are so baked into the level's tropes that a brand new zone would be fundamentally limited by what is already provided... Unless they add in scripting and then, well, why not just make a fangame?

Though considering the amount of Greenhills we as a fangaming and ROM-hacking community put out, I'd honestly be happy paying cash for a Taxman & Stealth Retro engine Greenhill Zone Maker. :P

#96 User is offline Kharen 

Posted 01 March 2017 - 09:05 PM

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To be completely honest, I don't really see why this wouldn't work very well. I mean, it would be a touch more complicated than Mario Maker, but not by too much.

Use something like Lapper's video as a starting point. Place individual chunks in a level to make the general shape. As far as the directions go, just tell users that because of Sonic's speed, the levels should be expected to be much longer as a result, and it makes more sense to build it using larger pieces than assembling things one tile at a time.

Step 2 would be to go over it again with a smaller chunk grid. Something about the size of a quarter-loop. The idea is, you can overlap these pieces over the level you built to get more precise designs, or more complex structures. Assemble a loop through four quarter tiles. Loop sections don't necessarily need to be attached to each other, you can have the original level framework have a tall vertical wall, then tuck a quarter loop into that corner so players can run up it. The most complex thing you would need to explain to the player here would be a sort of "override" platform, when you have something like a vertical wall that loops around and you run through it. (A loop where you enter vertically and exit horizontally) The way that would work to be as simple as possible is that you place the platform that Sonic runs through, then you're immediately given the path-switching node that you place on the loop that led to it.

Step 3, which could also be done as part of step 2 would be placing things like Checkpoints, Badniks, crumbling platforms, and Rings. Pretty self-explanitory there. If you want to get really complex, you can have extra graphics for the user to patch up where the auto-tiling doesn't perfectly line up, just like how Lunar Magic lets you either place whole slopes or individual 16x16 tiles. The only difference is that these graphics don't have any collision or anything, they're just graphics of various sizes that can be placed overtop existing graphics like drawing on a new layer in Paint.NET.

The final step, which may or may not be necessary depending on how Steps 1 and 2 were designed would be how Lapper drew the solidity over the tiles. Just a bunch of different-shaped slopes that piece together to form the level geometry. Hell, have a quick-dev feature where you get a generic wire-frame tileset like Worlds has, and you just have to draw the solidity, so people can come up with really complex designs and see exactly how they work in-game. Have a copy/paste feature so you can build a structure and place it in the full editor, then draw over it with the normal graphics using the solidity as a placement guide.

As far as graphics go, do it like RPG Maker or something. Each tileset has a set of graphics that, as long as you draw it in the proper shape, can be loaded as a custom tileset. Beginning artists can just draw the graphics for the ground as they want. Artists who want something more complex can go the whole nine yards and do something similar to the normal maps in Minecraft tilesets. A second identical version of each graphic done in two colors, such as red/blue, where one color is for what's drawn behind Sonic and the other color is drawn in front of Sonic. Stick it all in a ZIP file and put it in a "tilesets" folder and you can easily swap graphics.

Yes, it's more complex than Mario Maker. It's still completely understandable when done step-by-step. Every step is something proven to be grasped by a typical user, as it was either taken from or inspired by an existing layman's tool. (RPG Maker, Minecraft tilesets, Lunar Magic, SonED)

#97 User is offline MartiusR 

Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:58 AM

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I agree with you Kharen.

It's not that in other level editors (or "makers") you can't do something which is unplayable. And they're requires some "know how" (more or less), internet is flooded with additional scenarios to Warcraft III, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, or games made in RPG Maker and other "game makers"), but only part of them is actually "playable", and part of those which are playable, is actually really good (or at least "decent"). It's nothing terrible.

Not to mention that it's only platform game, physics or not, it's not that complicated to make it impossible to deal with by common user. Anyway - plenty of levels in original Sonic 1/2/3 wasn't using especially this glorified "physics" (which seems to have status of demi-god on this forum :)/>) and they were fun, working (more or less) fine.

So yeah, I'm totally for this idea. What is more - I think that such tools are great opportunity for total beginners, due to the fact that such applications are allowing to focus on less "painful" work than coding/hacking/etc, but on purely "creative" part, such as composition, graphics (if it's allowing to use your own assets, like many editors/makers) etc. And at the same time - some sort of "test", because if you're not able to make good and playable level in such "maker"(assuming that this tool is working properly), then creating your own rom-hack/fan-game/etc is rather too big challenge. I know that we're used to complain a lot for many aspects of video games market (it's fully justified in most cases), but bloom of "makers", which are easier to use than previously, is for me a good aspect of "modern" video games world.
This post has been edited by MartiusR: 02 March 2017 - 04:58 AM

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