Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board: The Evolution of "Classic" Gameplay. - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board

Jump to content

Hey there, Guest!  (Log In · Register) Help
  • 5 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Last ►
    Locked
    Locked Forum

The Evolution of "Classic" Gameplay. Where to go from here?

#16 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:21 PM

  • Posts: 370
  • Joined: 06-August 17
  • Gender:Male

View PostPrototype, on 12 October 2018 - 03:45 AM, said:

Also, given the tendency to introduce new characters, I wouldn't be averse to them adding another female character to the roster. We already have five male playable characters, and perhaps they need to expand the female side of the equation.

I'm gonna stop you right here. Female characters are fine but "expand the female side of the equation" is just BAD. You are then just having female characters for the sake of having female characters instead of making characters people actually want to play. Amy gets consideration because people actually like her and her hammer dependance can lead to some interesting gameplay. Generic Female Seat filler #2278 who is just Sonic with a hat and a vagina doesn't. If you need a solid example I suggest watching the old Megaman cartoon which gives us one of the best representations of Roll period
https://www.youtube....bwjzy1JSahBnGAa


That said, if we are gonna talk about potential female inclusions:
Amy "Rosy the Rascal" Rose
Honey
Tiara Boobowski (if Chris Seen gives the okay)

Outside of a whole new character (who would probably see pertinent backlash if she skipped in front of Amy) or say a loaner from Freedom Planet, these are the only options.

Quote

More collectibles would suit me fine. Maybe bring back the Flicky system from 3D Blast.

But what would be the purpose? Red Rings in Sonic 4 have ZERO purpose beyond the achievement. Sonic Forces recycles the collectables as padding (after you get all the Red rings, you have to get the five numbered rings, after that you have to get the moon ring, it is just an excuse to replay the level). Outside of a separate mode, such collectables only serve to slow things down...Which is what happened in Sonic Unleashed.

#17 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:38 PM

  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 13-August 17
My desire for a new female character stems from my former stepdaughter, who loved the Sonic aesthetic but was really disappointed that she couldn't play as Amy in Mania, combined with the fact that I'm not really a fan of the characterization of Amy whose only character trait is that she loves Sonic. You disparage the idea of "Sonic with a hat and vagina", but for the most part that's all Amy Rose is. She's the Minnie to Sonic's Mickey. I just think the series needs a more positive portrayal of characters that girls can identify with. That's not to say they can't identify with male characters, but having seen the strong desire of a child to play as "a girl character", it would be nice to have characters that weren't entirely defined by stereotypical portrayals of women.

Hell, even Tiara Boobowski, who has never appeared in a game proper literally has the word "boob" in her name. That's like calling Tails "Miles 'Dong' Prower".

On the subject of more collectables, I think it would be fun. They wouldn't be necessary to progress, but they could grant benefits like powerups or new levels outside of a simple arbitrary "achievement" or 100%-ing the game, in the same way that Sonic CD had the projectors and things scattered about. They could influence the ending cutscene outside of a basic "good ending" and "bad ending", meaning it wouldn't entirely be predicated on only Sonic getting the Chaos Emeralds.

Either way, I don't think that things like the Red Rings are inherently bad. In Sonic 4/Sonic Forces they are just padding to the otherwise lackluster levels. I don't think that would be a problem if they were a part of well crafted, entertaining levels like in Mania. Use them to add something more rather than simply relying on them as a crutch for barebones gameplay. For example, I found that exploring the levels to find the special stage rings quite entertaining. It was fun to find them, and you got a fun special stage for finding them. That can only be a positive, right?
This post has been edited by Prototype: 12 October 2018 - 03:59 PM

#18 User is offline Dr. Mecha 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:44 PM

  • Posts: 1073
  • Joined: 24-February 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dallas, TX
  • Project:3d Models
For 2D classic Sonic, what LaughingCow said.

For 3D modern Sonic, bring back the rolling physics and move sets from Adventure. To hell with boost, I want my rolling dash back scratch that, mix the rolling with the boost for once and see what happens.

Also, get rid of the 2d sections.
This post has been edited by Dr. Mecha: 12 October 2018 - 07:09 PM

#19 User is offline Laughingcow 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 04:46 PM

  • Posts: 370
  • Joined: 06-August 17
  • Gender:Male

View PostPrototype, on 12 October 2018 - 03:38 PM, said:

Hell, even Tiara Boobowski, who has never appeared in a game proper literally has the word "boob" in her name. That's like calling Tails "Miles 'Dong' Prower".

....Sigh. You've killed your own argument.

Now if we are gonna address the actual title which is "The evolution of "Classic" Gameplay", then I am gonna point out that adding characters in no way evolves the Classic gameplay with the Modern Sonic series being a perfect example of why just adding characters ultimately adds nothing. I myself personally mention Amy because she has a defining GAMEPLAY quirk in her hammer that could be used in some form with the level design and because she is my favorite character. If you are judging based on things outside of gameplay such as "characterization" then you aren't talking about gameplay. Perfect example would be how Splatoon began as a bunch of blocks shooting each other with paint.


#20 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:05 PM

  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 13-August 17
Poor attempts at humour aside, I do think there is a danger of character oversaturation, and that adding new characters might not necessarily be to the classic revival's benefit. But I do recognize that it was a trend that wasn't started by Adventure, and that the problems with Adventure's addition of characters lied more in how different each style of gameplay was, whereas a defining aspect of the classic-style gameplay is that for the most part all the characters play very similarly outside of movement differences and different abilities functioning within the same core engine.

I do acknowledge that I kind of got off-topic with gender representation discussion, but if additional characters are considered in a way where it's "what could it add to the gameplay" like Pengi's suggestion of a character that functions better in the water, then it's not without merit. Otherwise you could argue that adding Ray and Mighty to Mania ultimately added nothing, which I strongly disagree with, as their movement differences made replaying the game much more fun.
This post has been edited by Prototype: 12 October 2018 - 05:14 PM

#21 User is offline saintminya 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:58 PM

  • Posts: 208
  • Joined: 05-February 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Project:music production, mental archiving.
Gotta echo the call for an aquatic character if a new character aside from Amy were to be added to the roster. It doesn't have to be new new charcter. Like Pengi said, Vector could be tweaked to fit the role. He might be OP though, with swimming, swoop-gliding, and climbing... Same could be said for Espio. Though if it was a brand new character, I nominate a froggo.

Would be especially interesting for an Encore mode; choosing between flight or climbing, speed or swimming, power, etc.

I too enjoy collecting anything and everything in an act. So Red Rings are fun, but still really only as fun as the Act itself.

#22 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:39 PM

  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 13-August 17
I think S3&K did well in adding a variety of bonus stages, and janky physics aside, I was really glad to see the pinball bonus stage in Plus. I would love to see multiple bonus stages in a new game, dependent on how many rings you had when you hit the starpost. I feel like Mania was a step backwards from that, albeit remedied a little with Plus. Though I can't say I wasn't a fan of the whole Blue Sphere medallion unlockable thing they had going on, at least on my first playthrough. After I'd already gotten the medallions there was no incentive for me to replay them.

Bonus/Special stages are where they can experiment and add new styles of gameplay, because they're not the main game itself, thus avoiding a "wahh, it's different!" situation. Mania's special stages are now my favourite special stages of the entire series. I wouldn't say no to a combination of the Mania special stages and the Chaotix special stages though. There are many combinations that could lead to fun new experiences.

I wouldn't exactly call something like that new, or moving forward, but it is an aspect of the games that I would like to see evolve naturally and maintain some level of freshness even in a game that maintains it's identity via the continuation of momentum-based gameplay.
This post has been edited by Prototype: 12 October 2018 - 07:45 PM

#23 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 13 October 2018 - 06:20 PM

  • Posts: 399
  • Joined: 01-June 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bilbao, Spain
  • Project:Too many of them
I've been delaying posting here because I know I'd write a really huge post, and I'll probably forget something I had to say nonetheless, but, well, here we go:

I've been thinking a lot about this, as I have an absurd list of fan projects in which I try to experiment with new things or improve the existing ones. My conclusion: classic Sonic hasn't that much space for real evolution, as it was a quite refined concept since the beginning, if only because they had such a talented team in charge of making a game that had to be also a tech demo of the full power of the mega drive, and they really put a great effort in fulfilling all expectations. Sonic is an easy thing to play for the user, yet a complex thing beneath, and that required a lot of balance that, as laughingcow so eloquently explained in his thread, easily breaks apart in the wrong hands. I think that, for the most part, the best you can do is improve and to some extent expand on what we already have, in other words, using the tools we have in an innovative way instead of trying to creat an unlimited number of new ones without thinking what are we really doing.

What can be always exploited to give a new game also a new feeling is the level design; a different design philosophy or intended goal changes things a lot, or just think how different feel the classic titles from each other. Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 provide such a different experience, even if the second one didn't add that much to the gameplay the first one already had... But we have that even inside the same game, so I think a good combination of varied level designs already gives enough reason to play a new title that doesn't add that much to the existing formula.


Anyway, since the topic's about evolving, The easiest thing to add are new characters and shields, which in both cases translates in double jump skills. This must be handled with care, though, to avoid creating redundant or useless abilities. I have found some interesting results in thiat regard, and yet, I didn't figure out something like Ray's glide, well, at least not so refined, so I'm sure there's still a lot to discover in this department.

Shield interaction was really interesting in Mania (I didn't knew about bubble shield protecting from chemicals, lol), but new shields also have to protect against different kinds of hazards, so there's room for experimentation if we start thinking about new types of hazards and new shields that work with them. Of course, there are a lot of already existing hazards that don't have an official shield protecting against them (spike shield's only in fangames, for example, and there's not guard against laser beams).

For characters to be something else than Sonic clones with a different double jump skill, more variables could be added, or more often applied. We already have the reduced jump from Knuckles (not very fun, but it's there), but we could also add character size for branching paths and an impact in physics. If Big the cat was in a classic game and be able to spin there, he wouldn't fit in, say, the standard tubes from chemical plant, but there could be a different kind of tubes that only by completely "filling" them (Sonic doesn't block it to cause a reaction, but Big's size is OK), would activate them and bring character-based branching paths . Of course, there's also max speed, acceleration, braking... I prefer simpler things, anyway, so I didn't like Mighty's shell and shockwave mechanics, I wouldn't go that way again to create a new character. We're discussing gameplay, so I'll leave aside my preferences on the look and background of new characters.

Aside from elemental shields, it's hard to tell if there's any meaningful power-up to add: maybe things like those rocket shoes from Sonic Chaos, or boosters for the characters skills, such as having extra time to fly as Tails without getting hurt, or Ray hitting enemies with his head when gliding as if he was spinning. There are enough types of protection in the classic games (rings/shields/invincibility), so I wouldn't add more on that side, so it looks like only character-specific power-ups have any chance to shine along with the expanded shield roster.

Ok, now that we've covered the basics, let's go to the big thing: the Chaos Emeralds, and what's not the Chaos Emeralds, the Time Stones. If there's room to evolve, these jewels and the way they've been used are the key for said evolution. Besides good endings, these mystic gems have given us either the power to become super/hyper (a character-based reward), or the chance to travel to a different time (a level-based reward). Super Sonic essentially gave us both powerups with a time limit, which affect the basic gameplay, reformulated in a way that gave rings an additional purpose and a way to keep said power-ups forever. Hyper Sonic gave a double jump skill to super sonic who had none, one that would be the most radical one, as it both destroyed everything that could be destroyed and launched sonic in the chosen direction at great speed. Sonic CD itself gave us different reworks of the same level, plot reason being the presence of the time stones, which gave us the best future once collected. We also had the chance to get this result through some questing, which rewarded exploration and give us a different goal other than crossign the finish line. I mixed things a bit with this last sentence, but it was necessary, because...

If we really want new experiences in a Sonic game, we have to focus on these level-based rewards, with exploration and alternative goals being the main purpose of the gameplay. Some people don't like Sonic CD, but it's usually because of the level design, and that game was the only official one to be played differently and still be a Sonic game. Also note that we don't need the chaos emeralds to be the plot device that unlocks the good ending, and a lot of people have expressed there's room for fun without super sonic being the greatest reward or an available one, but, even if the CD style doesn't fit someone, we have a fan example of what can be done with Sonic out of the standard formula: I'm talking about LakeFeperd's Chrono Adventure, which gave us a Metroidvania style game that turned really good for the most part. Idon't know people's opinion about that game as a whole, but it's excellent as a sample of what can be done with classic gameplay.

I'm keeping sekrit what I have already found and done for my projects, but I can tease you that I have a sequel to CD with more time zones, with each kind of them having specific mechanics, and varying ways to affect the future time zones, with time stones and those ways being complementary goals rather than alternative ones. I have a bunch of new elemental shields, an expanded lore beyond the chaos emeralds, the master emerald and the time stones that actually affects gameplay, and no, not really new characters, but I've been working into harmlessly adapting modern characters to the classic lore and gameplay, also considering an equivalence in double jump skills between elemental shields and characters (spoiler: Silver could perform double jumps and attract rings like electric shield does thanks to his psychokinetic powers). Amy is a special case, with three alternative conepts for her gameplay, but those are on an early stage for the most part. I have special plans for Tiara Boobowsky too, and character adaptations from other franchises to the Sonic gameplay... A lot ot plans, as I said, but that's a different topic.

I'll finish this saying what I said at the beginning: the real evolution for classic gameplay is making good use of what we already have seen and done, with the main formula being hard and unwise to change, and not really necessary since we have still so much to toy with, specially on the level design department (I haven't touched bonus stages, but those are alternative level design after all). it wouldn't be the first franchise that stays alive and kicking by doing so, either. I hope it's more than wishful thinking and we can see this and contribute to it.


#24 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:00 PM

  • Posts: 11064
  • Joined: 11-January 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Wiki edits:18
I'll be honest and say that, while I like how they were implemented in Mania, I'd exchange Ray and Mighty for Amy as a main character for the next Classic Sonic game.

Not that it wouldn't be cool to see them again as DLC/bonus/extra/whatever.

#25 User is offline doc eggfan 

Posted 16 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

  • bona fide games journalist
  • Posts: 9000
  • Joined: 19-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ACT
  • Project:GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
  • Wiki edits:2
To me, the original game is the one that holds the most magic. Maybe I'm just one of the few fans left who nostalgically remembers a time when there was only one game and the sequels had not arrived yet. Many contemporary sonic fans were introduced to the series from Sonic 2 onwards (or in some cases, Sonic Adventure onwards) and have expectations that extra characters, gimmicks, special moves, and the spin dash are all integral elements to Sonic gameplay. In many ways they are, and they do add life and colour and value, but in other ways they dilute what was special about the first game.

Momentum had to be earned and sustained, and these lessons were hardest learnt in the first game. I know there is lots of banging on about physics and momentum, but it is important. Take the half pipes in Spring Yard Zone. In your first inexperienced play through, you would slip and fall in, collide with the spinning spiked ball and lose your rings. You'd madly scramble to grab one back, try to get out and fail, and get hit by the spiked ball again. You would rinse and repeat this several times, and maybe you'd fail to grab a ring and die, restarting the level in frustration, or maybe you'd start to learn from your mistakes, and start to figure out how to time your jumps, build momentum like a skateboarder in real-life half pipe, and earn your freedom to a euphoric sense of accomplishment. This level design element wasn't meant to cause frustration, it was there to teach you how to "get good." Once the spin dash was introduced, this kind of trial by fire and level interaction was lost. Salvation was no longer earned, it was gifted on a silver platter. I'm not sure this was the right path forward. Sure, it made things less frustrating and easier, but it also made things a little more shallow. Does the game really need to be any easier when the ingenious ring system is effectively an infinite health bar?

Lets try an experiment where we strip it bear and just keep the core elements: Levels with loops and curves, one playable character who runs fast and can gain momentum by rolling into a ball, dispatches enemies by rolling and jumping, collects rings for health, extra lives and points, interacts with the environment for going fast (springs) or solving simple puzzles (heavy block on switch opens gate), and collects emeralds for the good ending. No spin dash, no extra playable characters, no extra gimmicks or elemental shields. Just the original basic elements. What now?

Lets return to the original design documents. I don't think any Sonic game has ever captured the essence or the majesty of Naoto Ohshima's and Hirokazu Yasuhara's original drawings
Posted Image
Posted Image

I'd like to see the first game remade into something more like these drawings brought to life. Lets not be limited by a 16-bit (or 32-bit) pixel art aesthetic, lets go all out and revive the original promise of an interactive cartoon. Lets animate Sonic as adorably as he's depicted here, complete with the spiky spiral rolling animation. And lets bring back the trippy fantasy elements and the highly stylised art direction that was evidenced in these original conceptions. The first game had a gritty realism and a theme of environmentalism versus industrialism. I'd be happy to see this theme dropped in favour of something more fantastical and dream-like, taking inspiration from games like NiGHTS, Dynamite Headdy, Fantasy Zone, and Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars. Drop the robots and the badniks and bring back the sentient hand enemy, or even the dog from Alex Kidd who barks the letters BOW WOW at you. Make it more like Alice in Wonderland (with a Professor Asobin cameo). Remake Scrap Brain Zone into ClockWork zone with wooden cogs and childrens blocks and lego bricks. Drop Robotnik and bring back the very original Eggman, the court-jester-like mad-man complete in his original pyjama outfit.

I think this approach and change in art style and theme could lead to some brand new and interesting level design and gameplay concepts and elements. I would hope it would recapture the same lightning-in-a-bottle feeling I have for the original game.
This post has been edited by doc eggfan: 16 October 2018 - 02:12 PM

#26 User is offline HedgeHayes 

Posted 17 October 2018 - 08:22 PM

  • Posts: 399
  • Joined: 01-June 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bilbao, Spain
  • Project:Too many of them
While Sonic 2 is the first game from the series I played, I find Sonic 1 a lot more enjoyable for replays, just because of that magic and the extra effort. I got used to try doing things without the spindash in games with it, as long as it was something special like the U-shaped pits where you had to run back and forth the earn some momentum and start rolling for speed and height to exit the pit. The 1-up at the beginning of SLZ1 is the moment where I noticed the lack of spindash the most, as it gets a bit tricky to backtrack to get it without instantaneous momentum gain, yet I liked the challenge of going back up without that turbo-boost. I wouldn't go as far as to have the hand-with-face enemy, but I'd love that Star Light Zone from the sketches with big stars and more of a rollercoaster theme, and all the other zones, of course. There's also a lot of gimmicks from the sketches that are yet to be introduced in games, like the one you posted, and those would be true changes in gameplay itself.

#27 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 18 October 2018 - 07:10 AM

  • Arriving four years late.
  • Posts: 4712
  • Joined: 23-June 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lincs, UK
  • Project:TurBoa, S1RL
I never understood the whole "navigating loops etc. without a spindash is a challenge" thing.

You hold left for a second. Then you hold right for two seconds.

That's not a challenge, it's a three-second wait before I get to some actual gameplay.

#28 User is offline SuperSnoopy 

Posted 18 October 2018 - 12:14 PM

  • I prefer Sonic Advance to Sonic 2
  • Posts: 319
  • Joined: 29-June 17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:France
  • Project:Learning how to fucking draw

View PostDigitalDuck, on 18 October 2018 - 07:10 AM, said:

I never understood the whole "navigating loops etc. without a spindash is a challenge" thing.

You hold left for a second. Then you hold right for two seconds.

That's not a challenge, it's a three-second wait before I get to some actual gameplay.

I agree with this, and I also want to say that I disagree with the "you have to earn your speed in the classic games" argument.
The spindash give you near maximum speed instantly, so much for earning it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The only game without the spindash is Sonic 1, and as DigitalDuck said, it's not the most exiting game because of it.
I love Sonic 1, but I would never replay the spindash-less version.
This post has been edited by SuperSnoopy: 18 October 2018 - 12:15 PM

#29 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 18 October 2018 - 05:50 PM

  • Official moneylender for the Coalition of Muslim Drug Dealers
  • Posts: 1165
  • Joined: 18-November 11
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sega of Darkest Peru
  • Project:college courses and holding crusades against anime trash
Honestly I see the opposite of loop argument more often than that, with people just saying the structures are entirely pointless. I don't think they are a challenge but if you're familiar with the Genesis gameplay they're a pretty good example of the physics those games are built on.

And the comment about the classic spindash wasting the idea of building speed--nah man. Not even close.

I can acknowledge that the spindash streamlined the process of building speed, but I really don't agree with the occasional narrative that the mechanic entirely re-wrote or made redundant the philosophy of the original games. There is some actual balance that went into the spindash's design and incorporation into the gameplay that I think a fair amount of people are either oblivious to or pretend does not exist/matter. The levels aren't built for players to just use it anywhere without risk and/or the move itself has specific limitations (can only activate on flat ground, player needs to be at a total standstill to actually use it, speed varies on how long the player charges it, and its locked rolling jump --CD/Mania notwithstanding--, among other things) that the original rolling mechanic doesn't have.

If you want an actual "spindash2win!!!" that gives you top speed and disregard for balance to the point you can use it alone to eat through the level design, go hit up the spamdash spindash in Generations or the Rolling Combo in Epi. II.

...

As for the actual thread topic, there has been some ideas I've floated or repeated from other users over the months/years about what new ideas I'd like to see taken with the Genesis gameplay, but I'll have to come back to post it later.

#30 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 19 October 2018 - 05:46 AM

  • Arriving four years late.
  • Posts: 4712
  • Joined: 23-June 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lincs, UK
  • Project:TurBoa, S1RL

View PostYeow, on 18 October 2018 - 05:50 PM, said:

The levels aren't built for players to just use it anywhere without risk and/or the move itself has specific limitations (can only activate on flat ground, player needs to be at a total standstill to actually use it, speed varies on how long the player charges it, and its locked rolling jump --CD/Mania notwithstanding--, among other things) that the original rolling mechanic doesn't have.


The spindash can be activated on sloped/curved ground too, in Sonic 3K you don't need to be at a total standstill to use it (although you do need to be moving slowly enough to crouch rather than roll), and the original rolling mechanic also has the locked rolling jump.

The key thing that makes it fit with classic gameplay is that the spindash puts you in a rolling state - as such, although it's an instant start, it still requires skill to maintain the speed you get in most instances. Compare with the Peelout, with which you have full control the moment you let go and can maintain the speed as though you'd reached it normally.

  • 5 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Last ►
    Locked
    Locked Forum

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users