Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board: General Project Thread & Feedback - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board

Jump to content

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

General Project Thread & Feedback Discuss ideas or issues not pertaining to specific threads

#16 User is offline steveswede 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:08 PM

  • Posts: 4347
  • Joined: 13-April 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Birthplace of Lara Croft
  • Project:Bowel reconstruction
  • Wiki edits:6
@Canned Karma

Be prepared for times like this in the future. This is the second time this forum has become stagnant. And this time is worse than the last one. It has taken years to get where it is now. And the idea of a HD version of Sonic 2 is no longer fresh and exciting to people. The more you push the date back. The more people lose interest and won't bother taking part.


Scrap the attempt to get Hill Top Zone in there. Set the date for the release of the Alpha.


Also I know that you have set guidelines for what art needs to be done. but You should consider having individual topics for each zone so people can upload their concepts. I would have said to do that after the alpha release. But I feel you should do it now to get contributions being submitted again and bring life back in here. After all. It's going to speed up the artwork for the other zones. Not only that but MaximusDM pointed out that the art standard the Sonic HD staff is after is intimidating. So let people upload their concepts and then the Sonic 2HD staff can perfect the submissions.

#17 User is offline MaximusDM 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 04:39 PM

  • Sonic 2HD - Concept Artist
  • Posts: 325
  • Joined: 30-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massapequa, NY
QUOTE (Canned Karma @ May 18 2010, 11:43 AM)
A common theme is that people want to see things the staff has been working on. Fair enough, I'd want to see what's been going on too. I've talked with some of the other staff members, and we're going to be showing off some of the assets we're currently working on for you guys. That said, understand that we're going to be frustrated if we show off what we're doing and the community here continues to stagnate. You've all hit on a general lack of motivation being a reason behind people being more proactive. The staff will feel much the same way if our in progress assets don't serve to get people moving again.


I'd fear the same thing if I was in your position.

Because I think when you release something, while you,staff members, or users may think that is the solution. It is likely just going to blow up more controversy. Because the likelihood of a user not satisfied with your progress is very high and its going to blow up.

Then there are going to be users that don't like a piece of artwork that you have finalized internally and its going to anger community members when they have no say about it because whatever work staff members do gets into the game. It just seems unfair on the users end.

Yes, I understand your position and how you likely spent many revisions internally and changes and you got to your final product. Especially for consistency in art style purposes and that's all good. But no one is really seeing that progression except staff members.

So releasing a bunch of art work, will undoubtedly spark discussion; Will it spark contributions? I'm not so sure.
I feel it will just spark more MEH between users and staff and there will be pages of posts with bickering and then more dryspell of user activity until another staff post.

I mean look how many people popped up and posted just because you posted Canned Karma.
Just goes to show you that there ARE users lying dormant just waiting for progress.

#18 User is offline zemulii 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:06 PM

  • Posts: 312
  • Joined: 26-March 09
I actually think controversy would be good for the forum in a way. At least it will draw people. At least things will start happening. And of course their are ways to deal with people that do get a little out of hand wink.png.

Work getting finalized internally:

Honestly I don't think it's community members place to complain about things like that. I don't see anything wrong with suggestions, but if something has been finalized by staff then it's finalized - end of story. The staff run the project, we help. Arguing about things like that will only hurt the project and I personally think that if that does happen... the mods of the forum should step in.

Now if work was shared before it was finalized, then of course we wouldn't even have that problem. But that's something that can be improved upon in future. Giving the community just a little more say gives us a sense of importance. Which we need else we just end up wondering what the value in us being here is. Of course you don't need to pay any attention to useless suggestions. You don't need to reply to every post. But putting your work out there at a more early stage at least gives the impression of a more community minded project.

As for sharing work and finding the community doesn't magically just jump into life and start contributing all over the place - I just hope what you mean is not another case of showing a few good posts as a one off and then leaving it at that for another few months. There needs to be a more continuous stream. Not constant... but enough that when people DO come back to the forum, something new comes up before they lose interest. So I don't think releasing a whole lot at once is the answer. It's more of a delicate exercise of sharing enough keeping the ball rolling, but always having something left to show in case you need it!

And on Maximus last point... exactly, I'm pretty sure there are quite a few more like me, just hovering and waiting for something interesting to happen. I for instance like to critique other people's work - it gets me thinking "art", and into the right mood to get my own work done. Without activity of any sort, that motivation is gone. So yes... in a sense I rely on others... probably a bit too much. But at least the staff have each other, so are unlikely to have that problem.

I also understand that the response you got from the forum overhaul must have been a little underwhelming as well. I felt so. I'm not going to complain of course because all I've done is half a chicken... The forum overhaul was good news. The database overhaul? I thought it could have been done better. It sure is more simple. And it leaves little room for misunderstanding the project targets. But leaving out everything else I think was something of a mistake. I don't think shutting out contributions of anything but the project targets was a good idea. Any contribution is going to be helpful in some way to the project at some point along the way anyway. Anyway, overall the change was positive. The problem was that the only involvement from the staff after that point (apart from an emblem from Gambit?) was in guiding contributors. It was all just a little too "one way". It gives the impression that our input is of little value, which I don't think is in the spirit of the project (or what I personally feel it should be).

And another point that just came to mind. You may think it's all well and good to give one or two examples as reference for style... but does any artist or designer just work off one or two references? Not often I don't think... It's far more effective to draw inspiration from as many references as possible. It would only be beneficial to everyone involved to have a bit more variety on show.
This post has been edited by zemulii: 18 May 2010 - 05:22 PM

#19 User is offline Canned Karma 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:26 PM

  • S2HD Project Manager
  • Posts: 806
  • Joined: 16-July 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:Sonic 2 HD, various 3D work
  • Wiki edits:1
I think it's pretty obvious by this point that we're not afraid of controversy MDM wink.png It's controversy that does delays, or worse yet, halts progress from being made that becomes a problem. When people take the time, as you and a couple others have, to lay out their thoughts intelligently and give us good feedback, everyone wins. People sitting around lurking waiting on progress may not be trying to slow the project down, but without the feedback things will not change. It's really that simple.

The staff has done zero work on HTZ to give the contributors here the chance to create the pieces to be included in the final game, from start to finish. I'd say that solves any problem of people not having a say over art rather well, wouldn't you?

Zemulii, we gave the community an entire zone to build, critique, and polish. Don't tell me that's not a prime example of giving you a sense of importance. You guys would most definitely be getting a say in that, it's the whole point of the goals we've set. We work from the concepts that we've asked people to provide. When someone makes a great concept and others follow it up with a variety of submissions, progress is made. That hasn't been happening lately. You don't think the goals we've set are appropriate. Alright, but I'll have to disagree with you there. If people want to adopt an "I don't like the goals right now so I'm just going to take my ball and go home" outlook, then they're really not doing the project any favors with that attitude. People were free to work on just about anything prior to March, and the work was all over the place. That's poor project management.

As for a stream of work from us, there will be things posted in the near future. It will not be a huge dump, because I agree that is a terrible idea, no matter how appealing it might initially seem to some.



#20 User is offline zemulii 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:18 PM

  • Posts: 312
  • Joined: 26-March 09
For sure Hill Top Zone is a big task wink.png. I don't know... personally deadlines have never been a great motivator for me. Perhaps that's why I always underperformed at school... It feels a bit weird to have a deadline. You know, when I think about it, a community project sounds like it should be fun and open. Not necessarily disorganized of course (that's the project part). Whereas the new system makes it feel almost a little too controlled. I realise everything was rather messy before, and little of what was being done seemed to be getting anywhere... but I think at least everyone felt like they could be a part of it.

Still, I wouldn't want to go back to that. If we can get the new system working, then it can be a lot better. Have a look at this:

http://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?s=&...st&p=429571

and then this:

QUOTE (Daveydude @ May 18 2010, 10:02 PM)
At the moment it almost feels like there is no work to be done until someone else is finished.


You can see where people could misunderstand the original post. It looks like each asset is already taken by the named artist. Many of which we haven't seen in awhile. I think it needs to be more clear that they're open to different interpretations. There shouldn't be anything stopping someone from starting their own version. People could be put off by this.

As for the S-Tunnel... Gambit will be working on that won't he? I mean it's practically GHZ level art. I may be contradicting myself in some way or other but I don't think that should be open to the community.

It's not so much that I don't like the goals. They're fine, and I think it's a good idea to have a specific target. Just maybe be a little more open to other contributions. Think of the Nebula. It started out looking rather unusual... but the community really got together and helped and it's improved to the point that I really quite like it! But apart from that, I think it got the community going in other ways. Even if the Nebula itself wasn't part of the project targets (to be fair of course, I believe it started out before the forum overhaul), the activity from the community inspired others into doing their own work. The frequent revisions invited others to have a say. People love to voice their opinions. It just got things moving.

Of course then you get these valuable members (who seemed to have the sort of commitment I've longed for all my life) randomly deciding to have long breaks and everything goes quiet... Of course that's only natural, everyone needs a break wink.png. The staff have the ability to inspire the same kind of activity and community spirit. But it's just not happening. And that's why... umm, nothing is happening... Staff and community must work together!

Maybe that all sounds a bit stupid. I'm not so sure I got my point across so well :S. I'm sick of typing so I'll leave it as it is.

Anyway, why can't the staff come up with concepts too? I mean I'm sure you do, but we haven't seen any, so it doesn't help us in the slightest.
This post has been edited by zemulii: 18 May 2010 - 11:25 PM

#21 User is offline Gambit 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:35 PM

  • Sonic 2 HD Staff - Level Artist
  • Posts: 711
  • Joined: 11-March 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:Sonic 2 HD
  • Wiki edits:6
Yeah, I'm gonna be doing that S-tunnel. I figured I'd just shoot it up there if someone wanted to try their hand at it but now I'm fairly certain nobody will or wants to simply because it's a pain-in-the-ass. I'm not sure when I'll do it, but I'll probably post it when I do.

#22 User is offline Andlabs 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:39 PM

  • 「いっきまーす」
  • Posts: 2175
  • Joined: 11-July 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
  • Wiki edits:7,061
QUOTE (zemulii @ May 18 2010, 06:06 PM)
And another point that just came to mind. You may think it's all well and good to give one or two examples as reference for style... but does any artist or designer just work off one or two references? ...

This is something similar I was talking about with Gambit in IRC yesterday morning about. I hope no one here is getting the idea that they need to rush to match the stylization Cerulean Nights showed with the chomper a few months ago. Disregarding the references, if the problem is that people are afraid that their contribution is rejected because it doesn't match the chomper, I'm afraid that'll have to die. It's probably unlikely, but still. I'm only giving out my thoughts here, but Gambit said he said a few times that you didn't have to do the style, only that it was preferred, so...

I'm going to go with King InuYasha and say that testing is the reason why Hill Top Zone is being stalled, even though (at least for me) college testing is over, so I am hoping more contributors over 17 soon.

I'm also going to add Sonic 4. This deadline comes right when Sonic 4 is just about to be released, and with all the hype surrounding it in recent months I'm certain it's enough of a distraction (look at the threads). You can add to that other projects like FreeRunner and Classic that are eating posts, so I'm really trying to say this has been an unlucky timing for everyone who's seriously committed to the project.

What I do suggest you do is push the Hill Top Zone date back at least one more month and a half and open up a space for another zone, probably something like Oil Ocean or Aquatic Ruin to encourage people who want to do level art to get started.

I have no artistic talent whatsoever when it comes to graphics, and you already have people nailing the music, so there's really not much I can do to contribute at this point unless it's on a side of programming that isn't graphics related. I'm just sharing my thoughts here.
This post has been edited by Andlabs: 18 May 2010 - 11:41 PM

#23 User is offline zemulii 

Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

  • Posts: 312
  • Joined: 26-March 09
What surprises me is that people are quite reluctant to just put out concepts. I mean, concepts don't need to fit a particular vector style so they're quite easy. They can be anything from the quickest, sketchiest sketch, to a 3D model. Is it because people just want to have something of theirs in the final product? I don't really understand it... I never really saw a lot of that Sonic Retro Sonic 4 project; but I'm sure I remember a lot of sketches and MSPaint mockups. What's different here? It's something anyone can do - I thought it would be a reasonably popular way to contribute.
This post has been edited by zemulii: 18 May 2010 - 11:53 PM

#24 User is offline Andlabs 

Posted 19 May 2010 - 12:01 AM

  • 「いっきまーす」
  • Posts: 2175
  • Joined: 11-July 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Project:Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
  • Wiki edits:7,061
QUOTE (zemulii @ May 19 2010, 12:52 AM)
What surprises me is that people are quite reluctant to just put out concepts. I mean, concepts don't need to fit a particular vector style so they're quite easy. They can be anything from the quickest, sketchiest sketch, to a 3D model. Is it because people just want to have something of theirs in the final product? I don't really understand it... I never really saw a lot of that Sonic Retro Sonic 4 project; but I'm sure I remember a lot of sketches and MSPaint mockups. What's different here? It's something anyone can do - I thought it would be a reasonably popular way to contribute.
That's another thing. I'm pointing my entire hand at this once immensely laughed at, now immensely laughed at notion of adhering to the original pixels, since we actually have original pixels this time, but all the contributors seem to think that it's the only way to go. I mean for fuck's sake, THIS GUY. He has the right mindset, and even staff members say so. Plus you have the following scanline99 quote:
QUOTE (scanline99 @ Mar 15 2010, 09:13 PM)
We have ensured that Sonic 2 HD as a package stands up against the finest presentational examples in this high budget HD-era of video games. To re-iterate Vincent, this has a resounding effect on the way we must go about revitalising Sonic 2's graphical assets, meaning that we cannot simply re-hash old sprites, but actually harness the additional resolution afforded to us to realise more accurately the vision intended by the concept artists as well as taking a degree of the creativity into our own hands where needed:
Consider shining more light on this ideology as well.
This post has been edited by Andlabs: 19 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

#25 User is offline MaximusDM 

Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:32 AM

  • Sonic 2HD - Concept Artist
  • Posts: 325
  • Joined: 30-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massapequa, NY
I created to what I believe are well made concepts for Aquatic Ruin Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, and Oil Ocean Zone. With Hill Top Zone and Emerald Hill pretty much completed zones, there is no point for concepts. Aquatic Ruin Zone is a zone that I wasn't exactly inclined to touch because it isn't exactly something that lends itself to 3D easily. That leaves:

Casino Night Zone
Mystic Cave Zone
Metropolis Zone
Sky Chase Zone
Wing Fortress Zone
Death Egg Zone: If that even counts with many assets from Chemical Plant I could put this together without too much effort. Then again, I don't know what sprites I would need so it might be a lot more work that I'm writing it off to be.

With the pace of Emerald Hill Zone I don't think we will be needing concepts for Casino Night Zone for a while. Yeah, someone could throw it together, but it would be eye candy that would come of no use until the zone is actually being made. So it sounds like an off-topic waste of time to be working on concepts for zones that are not even on the plate at the moment.

#26 User is offline Cerulean Nights 

Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:44 AM

  • Sonic 2 HD Sprite Artist
  • Posts: 140
  • Joined: 09-February 10
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, OR
  • Project:Sonic 2 HD
  • Wiki edits:1
MaximusDM, something that does lend itself to 3D in HTZ is when the blocks are broken. If you could get something mocked up in order to help make a smooth 3D animated block, it would be very helpful I'm sure. Just because the final blocks won't be 3D renders does not mean they can't have the right perspectives in 2D.

When we are talking about concepts, it doesn't have to be a screenshot mockup of the zone. It can be concepts for single objects as well. You have modeling skills which could be very helpful in a number of ways. You could make a few different renditions of pine trees to get peoples' ideas going, and to use as a base. You could make a model of the ghora to ensure his eye perspectives are right. It's entirely up to your imagination.

#27 User is offline bobdobbs 

Posted 10 June 2010 - 11:59 AM

  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 02-June 09
Been a lurker for a few years... gonna post now smile.png

Openness is definitely key... to keeping people interested - as well as being able to see how well progress is going.


Have a look at OpenTTDs graphics replacement thread:

New Graphics - Blender ".blend" http://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=14549

Anybody can come in and put graphics into that thread - they then get constructive critisism until they get good enough to go into the game.

[EDIT] Also - it took them 5 years to replace the graphics, not these new HD graphics their doing, just the normal ones... S2HD is also in it for the long hall... if anything you might want to make it even more high res than it is right now! smile.png [/EDIT]

Some suggestions:

Make the targets more 'soft' so that anybody can submit a graphic for any level. - For openttd they have a wiki, so you can see every graphic that needs to be done and has been done - perhaps something like this would be useful.

Consider having a running total: 330/6000 graphics done.

Consider including unapproved graphics in the game, but have them in black and white to show their placeholders. - This way progress is more visible.


Release demos more often "release early, release often" is a good mantra, making a new version of the demo available every one or two months has the following advantages:
- Code is kept in a working condition
- Interest is kept up as people check for the new version (seeing what new artwork is there etc)
- A lot more testing of the code and finding bugs
- Some small proportion of the people testing it might be tempted to actually contribute.


In summary: Increase visibility of progress, release demos more frequently, lower barriers to entry (allow people to submit graphics outside the target) - but not at the expense of quality.
This post has been edited by bobdobbs: 10 June 2010 - 12:04 PM

#28 User is offline Meph 

Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:22 PM

  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 08-April 09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United Kingdom
  • Wiki edits:4
To be fair though, OpenTTD is an open source project, whereas this is closed source. smile.png But those are still some good suggestions.

QUOTE
Make the targets more 'soft' so that anybody can submit a graphic for any level. - For openttd they have a wiki, so you can see every graphic that needs to be done and has been done - perhaps something like this would be useful.

We have something like that. wink.png

QUOTE
Release demos more often "release early, release often" is a good mantra

The first alpha will be released soon.

#29 User is offline subsubstantive 

Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:20 PM

  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 04-June 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Wiki edits:2
How soon? An alpha release will likely create A LOT of new interest in this project. A release of the first Zone would be BIG! There would likely be a few articles written on it, and it may be featured on other sites. There is great potential to attract some new talent here.

#30 User is offline Hamneggs 

Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:45 PM

  • Official Breakfast of S2HD
  • Posts: 303
  • Joined: 23-January 10
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:TEXAS
  • Project:Networked lighting
QUOTE (subsubstantive @ Jun 10 2010, 03:20 PM)
How soon? An alpha release will likely create A LOT of new interest in this project. A release of the first Zone would be BIG! There would likely be a few articles written on it, and it may be featured on other sites. There is great potential to attract some new talent here.

Has anyone thought about creating a Facebook page for S2HD, then promoting the nurples out of it? Heck, the general user-base of Facebook shares hordes with those who would be interested in this project.

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

2 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users