QUOTE (CyclopsCaveman @ May 12 2009, 01:21 AM)
Also, how big can the game be when we put it into E02? Depending on how big it can be, we could have a better possibility to add more scope to the game than previous Sonic games, maybe even work out branching level and story paths.
This was a hot debate since the days of the Sonic 4 forum.
If I remember correctly, Cinossu (or I believe it was him, if he went by the username Mark on the old forum) came up with the idea for the first time.
I always appreciated this concept, because, if you think about this, maybe it is a possible evolution of the series.
First, probably most of you know Spring Yard Act 2 has a second Signpost hidden above the normal one. In that game, the area before it had tons of rings, more than enough to reach the number of 50 even if you had nothing.
I always wondered: what if that signpost actually took you an alternate 3rd act? What if you could go to a different 4th Zone after that?
But this didn't happened, and, if I remember well, only Collision Chaos had another 2nd signpost.
However, the idea of completely different paths or acts for different characters appeared in S3&K.
While Sonic and Knuckles travel to the same zones, most areas are accesible only to one of them.
Now what if they actually completely different acts and Zones? Wouldn't it be better for replayability?
Now this is my idea: Combining both things and making a Sonic game where there isn't a linear path of zones.
The game must play like a true Sonic game: you start in a tropical zone, and you end in the final base. You must be able to finish the whole game in 2 hours or 2:30 hours maximum (if you speed up you can get better times in S3K, but I like to keep my pace when I play, so this depend on the player).
However, there isn't a set amount of Zones. The zone where the player will go depends on the path he/she takes during the playthrough.
Example: In the second zone there could be more than 1 signpost. The second one, which could be more hidden than the normal one, brings the character to a different Act 2, which, when complete, will bring to a completely different 3rd Zone. This could then bring to a completely different final zone, and so to a completely different ending.
So, even if the game will play like a true Sonic game, the final objective is different. Completing at least once all the acts of the game.
How can this be done and not being repetitive?
Example: Let's say you decide to play as Sonic for the first time. Just like Sonic 3, if you stop playing, you can restart from the zone you were. When you finish the game, the save file you used becomes free, and you will be able to replay any of the zones you completed during your first playthrough, but only those. If, when you are replaying one of those zones, you find an alternate path, that save file will be locked to the new path you discovered (like if you were playing the game for the first time) until you return to an already completed path or you complete another ending. After then, the save files returns free, and you can now chose to replay from every Zone you completed in any of yours playthrough.
In this way you won't be able to cheat and must complete all the stage to freely replay every Zone.
We could put another limit linked to the Chaos Emeralds. Basically, when you are replaying the game, you keep all the Emeralds you collected in your first playthrough. However, in order to make the alternate exits to appear, you must have the exact amout of Emeralds you had when you first played that zone. This can be done by selecting the numbers of Emeralds you'll start from the file select menu (this could also be useful if you want to se the bad ending or if you want to be sure you'll not transform into Super Sonic during a free play)
But how can you know there is an alternate exit in a stage you already completed?
We could ad a trial mode which lets you replay the single acts of the zones you completed (think about Sonic CD time trial mode. Of course, the best time will be saved, and maybe even the ghost). This mode will appear like a map of the island where the game takes place (or multiple maps if the game has more than 1 island).
At first, the whole map is blank, with only the first zone on it. Every time you complete a zone for the first time, that zone will appear in the map, and you will be able to play it when you like. This map will show the path you used during your playthrough, however will also show the paths you missed. So you can use the map to know where are the other exits you still haven't managed to find (let's say this better: it will tell you if an act has more than 1 exit, and if you found it already. It will not tell you exactly where the exit is).
So the true objective of the game will be to complete this map.
Be aware. I never used the term secret exit. Secret exits fits in a Mario game, not a Sonic one. The main objective is to run through a Zone, not exploring it. Of course, if you want to explore a zone you are free to do it, but most of the players prefer to speed trhough a Sonic game. That's why I say "Alternate exits". Of course, some of them may be harder to find, or may bring to harder stages.
Different characters may have easier or harder acces to some of these alternate paths. Actually, some of them may be accesible only to a specific character. Knuckles could break through harder walls like he do in Sonic 3, and Tails may reach some areas by flying.
Actually, Knuckles may even start in a different place than Sonic. If you think about it, it makes sense if Knuckles fiirst stage is located on Angel Island. Even if he still reaches Sonic & Tails' path, it makes more sense if he starts in a different place.
So basically, my proposal is to go through this way. In this way, the game won't have a set amount of Zones, and we will be able to experiment many different kind of zones. Also, choices will be easier: 2 good ideas for the final zone? They can be both in the game. 2 different composition for an act 2 music? One can be used for Act 2, another for the alternate Act 2. 2 similar but still different concept for a Zone? They can both be in the game.
We will be the only limit.
Of course, something like this may be impossible to do for the Genesis, and I don't know if someone can do this for the Saturn.
To me, a noob in programming, E02 appears the best choise, because it is technically unlimited (I know this isn't true, but surely it is less limited than the Genesis).
This is something one man alone will never be able to do. But even 10 or 20 people can't do this. Only a whole community can make something like this. This is why I think this is the best way: Take the original idea posted by Cinossu and use it as a base for our game.
I don't know why, but I think split paths could have actually appeared in a Sonic game. But classic Sonic died, and modern games went on a different road.
This is my suggestion for the project direction.
I, STHX, candidate for project leadership, but, unlike the other time, I explained my concept and proposed a direction. Only if we work together we will be able to do something like this. This is the best thing to do, in my opinion, because it will play and feel like a Sonic game, but will also be something more.