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Sonic 8bit: Aqua Planet and Green Hills 2 brief videos of the gameplay updates

#1 User is offline Justin Cole 

Posted 14 July 2016 - 05:27 PM

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Hey everyone, Its been a while, but in the meantime for waiting for the new demo of the game, I made some videos that will help keep you all updated. Here they are....

Green Hills Zone:
Green Hills Zone

Aqua Planet Zone:
Aqua Planet Zone

I'm curious to hear what I could do to improve this game. Its far from perfect and I'm open to any suggestions.

#2 User is offline Kharen 

Posted 14 July 2016 - 05:56 PM

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Have you already released a previous demo of the game? This is the first I'm hearing of it, although to be honest, I don't follow too many of these projects all that closely.

Now, this is just personal preference, and other people may disagree, but your loops in Green Hills Zone are just way too big. Do you notice how they're so large that the camera not only has to scroll just to keep Sonic on-screen, but the background has to rise up a ton as well? This can be a good thing, or a bad thing. If you want the best effect, shrink your loops down EXCEPT for the last one in the level. The loop takes up a lot of space that other platforms and terrain can't, and naturally leaves a ton of empty space where all you see is the background. As a regular occurrence, it's not a very good idea. What it is good for is a level set-piece. Think about it, the player doesn't have much to do in this part except hold forward, so their attention is going to wander towards the visuals for a good three or four seconds. You have a huge panoramic view of your background in a way that the player wouldn't normally see because there's usually all of the foreground terrain in the way. As a single set-piece, that could work pretty well. Even better would be if you put something special in the background for just that one special location, so the loop frames it in and the player's attention is drawn towards it. For instance, in Shovel Knight, you can see the tower that makes up the final level in the background of the first. Use that special space and timing for some similar foreshadowing or something.

Second, I'm going to sound insane for saying this, but Sonic seems a little bit *too* fast on this. I mean, yes, Sonic is meant to be a speedy character. However, look at the official 2D games, even the 16-bit ones. Sonic has a top speed that you get used to, that seems to stay consistent proportionally to his sprite size, not including the additional speed from something like the Boost in the later games. 8-bit Sonic is a bit smaller and simpler-looking, and the speed should stay proportionally consistent as well. Maybe something like 80-90% of his natural top speed from the 16-bit games. This game has Sonic charging full blast ahead, and with the smaller sprite sizes, it's a bit excessive. (Also, if you slow Sonic down a touch and possibly scale the screen a bit closer so they're the same size as the Master System, you can make the levels last longer and feel larger while still keeping the same sense of speed for the player)

Other than that, the only real design issue that I can think of is that some of the paired springs in Aqua Planet seem like they'd be a bit too difficult for the player to escape the bounce looping. Like, for example, there's a pair at the beginning of the level where Sonic is only on the ground and able to jump out of the cycle for a split second before getting launched back up to the upside-down spring on the ceiling.

#3 User is offline Justin Cole 

Posted 14 July 2016 - 06:17 PM

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Yes, I have released a demo, but It was a while ago. I'm working on 2 anniversary titles for Sega. One for Sonic's 25th and the other for Wonderboy's 30th.

Awesome feedback and some good advice as well:) As far as Sonic's speed goes, most of that was done by the springs, speed boosters, and the spin dash(which I should probably make less powerful). I noticed that Spring loop too! I just removed it and the level runs a lot smoother now. Sorry for the Speed running, that was intentional to show off only a small portion of the level while going as fast as possible. As far as the background and loop goes, I could try doing something new with them both. Sonic physics are very advanced and I'm still learning a lot about how they are made and what Sega has to go through to make them. Even these 8bit games take a lot of work and love when it comes to level design and stuff.

Thanks a bunch for your feedback and I think I picked up quite a few new things from it.

Also, I just Realized Aqua Planet is missing the spears and the water current control flaps. Looks like is time to extend the level.
This post has been edited by Justin Cole: 14 July 2016 - 06:34 PM

#4 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 15 July 2016 - 03:07 PM

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I think your parallax scrolling is going in the wrong direction. It's a bit difficult to tell - you don't spend much time on the lower areas of the level and YouTube dramatically cuts the bit rate on low resolution videos so you can't see the detail.

The most obvious thing about all this is that all Game Gear and Master System graphics are widened to 4:3 when run on an actual system (the clue is in the loops being oval-shaped). That is to say, neither system has "square" pixels - your game does.

#5 User is offline MotorRoach 

Posted 15 July 2016 - 04:03 PM

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I'm personally really liking what I see in here. Other than what's been said already, I just kind of have some nitpicks on that Aqua Planet Zone. I feel like the fog effect is unnecessary, because it's not really complementing that much to the level, and it just kind ruins the MS effect... in my opinion, at least. That and the clouds at the top of the background are moving a tad fast, and I feel the clouds that are further away could be in a separate layer, to move in a different speed from the clouds at the front of the background.

But yeah, those are my two cents. Hope that comes in handy.

#6 User is offline MathUser 

Posted 15 July 2016 - 05:32 PM

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I don't know what your fan project is or is called. Seems to be a master system game redesign/sequel. I like the way it looks though. I'm glad you used the music too. That's the best part of the original game.

#7 User is offline Justin Cole 

Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:31 AM

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Really great and helpful feedback everyone! Everything said is very helpful and I take everything said into consideration. I'm a bit new to parallax scrolling and have looked up several articles covering the topic. I get the concept, but its not quite where I want it to be. I don't know much about the Master System scaling. Although the game has 8bit graphics, the idea of this particular project is to advance the Master System games with parallax scrolling, bigger levels, larger views, new gimmicks, soundtrack options, bonus features, and particle effects. In a nutshell, this is a re-imagining/remake of the 8bit titles' stages. I did at one time want to scale it down, but with Game Maker's advanced programming language, it can excel in ways the Master System/Game Gear couldn't.

By the way, the Sonic game is currently a Sonic Generations fan game that only focuses on the 8bit Zones, thus this is the reason there is such advancement needed to give it a Generations feel and atmosphere. Although the 8bit Songs are used, there is a Custom Soundtrack Option the uses many of NicoCW's Soundtracks and various remixes. You can import any song you want to the Music folder (similar to how Generations allowed you to listen to any song in your console system).

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback. One cannot improve without critique. With this being my 3rd attempt at making a Sonic game, it towers over what I used to make XD. I still have my original attempts if anyone is interested.
This post has been edited by Justin Cole: 17 July 2016 - 11:39 AM

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