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Sonic: Ascension Development Thread

#1 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:28 AM

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THIS GAME HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND I WILL NO LONGER BE DEVELOPING THE GAME

DOWNLOAD VIA TORRENT IS AVAILABLE HERE: TPB KAT

THE GAME CURRENTLY REQUIRES THIS IMPORTANT FILE: Mediafire After installing the game, just run this and click on 'yes' and the game should be working.

Sonic: Ascension Original OST - Listen to them by clicking the link beside the names!

Bonzamego - LINK
New Empire City - LINK
Agent Kellan's Theme - LINK
Calypso Bay - LINK
Amy's Theme - LINK
Lonely Listener - LINK
Warm Night - LINK
Dragon Road *NEW* - LINK

Sonic: Ascension is a 3D fan-game made with UDK and a heavily modified version of Sonic GDK. The game is mainly oriented around puzzles and adventure as he travels to all different environments and real-life landmarks.

This is a bit of a plot summary: 4 years after Sonic left Soleanna, Sonic decides to come back as he couldn't last without having Princess Elise by his side when a few days later everything changed drastically. Dr. Eggman designed a time-travelling machine that was going to send him into the past and change the course of history as he had a better plan for killing Sonic. As Dr. Eggman was typing the command on the time-machine to go back in time, Tail's Tornado that was flying over his base interfered with the controls, sending all living creatures in Mobius, 40 billion years in the future. In 26 billion years the universe planet Mobius was in had collapsed and ignited the big bang that contains planet Earth, being placed directly where planet Mobius was. When everyone reached the end of the time travel, they found themselves in a huge forest (What we know as the Amazon Rainforest), Dr. Eggman tries to use the time-machine again but realizes that in our Universe, a certain element known as 'Flunxent' didn't exist on the periodic table. But they find various pieces of land from planet Mobius that must have somehow time-travelled as well, that would contain the element known as 'Flunxent'. They go on a massive search for 'Mobius land' that has time-travelled which is the main objective in the game.

The game has at the moment 3 different types of gameplay style including 'Investigation, 'Rush Hour', and 'Battle'.

The Investigation type levels mainly revolves around searching through environments and searching for clues that advances you through the levels, as well as figuring out puzzles.
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The Rush Hour type levels are generally direct paths that the player runs through and must avoid obstacles and traps, and Sonic runs forwards at all times as he must reach a destination very quickly. (The level shown is unfinished, a few graphical glitches will be gone and more environmental props will be in the level.)
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The Battle type levels generally consist of 'waves' of enemies and bosses that Sonic must defeat, he will pick up weapons (not yet implemented and require assistance) as well as adrenaline that will give him an extra boost and loose only 30% of rings when hit.
I have not created any battle sequences yet but will be done in the future.

Here's a little teaser of one of the cutscenes! Is this a showdown? Something ordinary or what?
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At the moment I have been creating music for the game, and it would be great to have someone on-board who knows more about composition etc. But here is a song from the Forest Investigation level.

A bit of background on this project: This originally started out as an idea a bit over a year ago, I later found Sonic GDK and realized it was like a little extension to UDK, which I have been using for a bit over a year and I am fairly confident, although it would be awesome to have someone help me on the scripting side of things. I have only 1 voice actor so far, Andrew Hamblin, who is voice acting Sonic.

Unfortunately at the moment, the game's system requirements (on max settings) are quiet high due to the high fidelity in the graphics, a GTX 660 Ti can manage about 30-40fps on an average stage but some stages such as the forest goes down as low as a staggering 18fps (need help with turning trees that are far away turn into billboard trees). I hope to release a demo of at least one of the stages in the next few weeks, but before I can do that, I need to buy a new heatsink as my CPU (FX 8350) overheats in about 10 minutes (basically a crappy fan in the computer for the less tech-savvy). Any input would be appreciated, as well as help.
This post has been edited by Zetaneko: 02 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

#2 User is offline Ell678 

Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:29 AM

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I love it! I like the original ideas you have here, and a 'puzzle' orientated Sonic game does sound rather good, providing the level design is up to scratch. The first screenshot is gorgeous. My only criticism is it doesn't look like any assets are new. I can't complain about that of course, a lot of my own UDK project is using stock stuff, but you can find a lot of free assets out there. For the trees, look for a program called Forester, it's very good for making trees quickly and is very customisable.

As for the tech side of it, I'm using an Nvidia 780 as my graphics card. Even when an area has been made very innefficiently, it still holds it's own and my levels rarely drop below 60fps.

You seem to have a good grasp on the tools, I can't wait to see more!

#3 User is online Felik 

Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:20 AM

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I don't want to vainly raise my expectations so please tell me are controls gonna be good ol' keyboard + mouse we know and love or it actually is going to control like a Sonic game?

#4 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:53 AM

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Ell678, are you talking about Forester Pro by Hptware? I've seen a few examples of it and they look gorgeous for a quick and efficient program, and it's just outright cheap, $20!
I'll upload a WIP video of one of the puzzles soon, I just have to fix up some of the little in-game cutscenes with the puzzle, it's basically moving 3 statues to a position where they all fit which opens a gate, and you have to find little levers hidden in places and you have to pull them in order, sometimes the incorrect cutscene plays but I'll be able to fix it, just requires a lot of patience haha, my Kismet is coated with different actions, events and such.

As for the controls, I'm undecided still, but at the moment the controls are just Sonic GDK's defaults, so WSAD movement, mouse aim, left button to jump and right button to crouch. But as soon as weapons are implemented I might need to swap the jump button to the space bar and crouching to Ctrl or C, depends on what one feels more comfortable, and then shoot with left click aim with right click. The weapons that I've planned wont be actual guns, but more slightly cartoony weapons like laser shooters, laser explosives etc.

#5 User is offline winterhell 

Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:23 AM

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For a CPU heatsink its highly recommended that you use CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo or one of its cousins. Great performance for a low price. I've used the previous model 212+ for core i5 2500K overclocked to 5.0GHz.

You might want to check where is your bottleneck, is it the CPU (it overheats)? or the actual GPU.
At what resolution are you getting those 30-40 fps ? When you lower the resolution several times, does it skyrocket or still hover around 40-50?

#6 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:58 AM

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I did a check with SpeedFan and GPUTweak and it seems to be my CPU, on idle the temps are something ridiculous like 73 degrees, when I build lighting it quickly escalates to about 87 degrees before it shuts down, while all the LED lights on my case are still on, and unable to turn it back on until it cools down. I have noticed though that I do hear a buzzing noise that occurs only when the fan is at high rpm, I notice it when my CPU is at a high temp and also for about a minute when I turn it on, I think it could be a faulty bearing or something in the actual fan, but coincidentally the Hyper 212 Evo was the heatsink I was looking at purchasing through PC Case Gear since I live in Australia. The GPU stays fairly cool ~50-55 degrees tops.

As for the FPS lag, I get 30-40 fps on 1920x1080, lowering it down to a puny 640x480 only changed it by about 5-10 fps quicker. Although it only occurs on select stages that has a lot of foliage, but I'm going to add LOD changes on the trees, as the average polycount when you get a full view of the forest is about 23 million polygons, which is absurd compared to Crysis 2's 2 million polycount on average. And I also want to have the trees fade out (or cut to) billboard trees, so basically change them into 2D planes with a texture of the same tree, but would be almost unnoticeable in the far distance, for example looking at Unity's Billboard system, it doesn't affect the visual quality that much and saves you a massive amount of fps, not to mention that Skyrim has them as well.

#7 User is offline winterhell 

Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:25 AM

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While having many times more polygons on screen than actual pixels is not optimal, be advised that the low performance might actually be caused by the number of objects and not the polycount. That stresses the CPU as opposed to the GPU, which could explain why your CPU is overheating while the video card is relatively cool.
I've seen older cards push 2 billion triangles per second.

#8 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:02 AM

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I'll look into it a bit winterhell, but I did check and when playing the actual map and editing it etc, the CPU does stay quiet warm, but then when I go to build the light with lightmass, that's when it really starts to over heat. Another issue could be that the forest map has 2682 objects so far...

Apart from that, I would say that the forest map is about 70% completed, and when it's finished I'll package it as a demo, and I will add a edit to the first post with little clips from the voice actor so you guys can hear what to expect in the game :)

#9 User is offline Ell678 

Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:35 AM

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Are you using the foliage tool? I could never get the thing working correctly until recently, and going overboard with it just tanks my machine. I mean, my Forgotten Ruins level only slowed down badly in certain areas, but they were usually areas where there was a lot of stuff going on. Obviously, there is only one screenshot of your forest level, so I can't really say if it is more detailed.

#10 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 20 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

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I'm not using the foliage tool as it isn't optimized, all the assets are hand-placed. You can see some more detail in these screenshots.

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#11 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 22 March 2014 - 07:51 AM

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If anyone want's to listen to one of the songs, here's a link to the Victory theme, it plays after completing a level, but only on certain stages where it suits the environment. I hope you guys enjoy it! And I also know there is a few spots to fix in it. If anyone wants to download this, just click the link. On another note, a demo of the Forest stage will be available by the end of next month, but be wary that it probably wont be fully optimized yet and requires 800~mb hard drive space. The intro cutscene is pre-rendered and is about 200mb, and the textures are at a very high resolution.


This post has been edited by Zetaneko: 22 March 2014 - 07:52 AM

#12 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:16 AM

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Sorry it's been so long since I last updated this, progress is going quite well, especially for a one-man army. I'm actually not that pleased with the 'Victory' song in my game, but soon I'll be starting to upload finished soundtracks onto my skydrive.

As well, I think it's about time to get some people on board with the project, if someone is at an intermediate level with using UnrealScript, or a good animator, could you PM me?

On another point, I'm having issues with UDK's lightmass where it basically makes all the shadows (except for 1 castle) a huge bunch of blobs on the ground, I wish I could show screenshots but I didn't take some before I closed it without saving (because it was worse than unlit, seriously!) I used the production setting in lightmass but it still persists with blobby shadows each blob about 3x3 metres.

Heres some screenshots, this is a part of the introduction where it basically tutors you on the controls of the game.

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Princess Elise still has a bit of work to do on her model.

#13 User is offline TimmiT 

Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:40 AM

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OH GOD ALL OF THE BLOOM.

#14 User is offline Zetaneko 

Posted 07 April 2014 - 03:18 AM

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Haha. It was just an artistic choice to have the bloom, because he is remembering an event from the past and the brightness just gave it a bit more of a cheerful, almost unreal happiness feeling, which is what I wanted to show in this scene.

#15 User is offline TimmiT 

Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:06 AM

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View PostZetaneko, on 07 April 2014 - 03:18 AM, said:

Haha. It was just an artistic choice to have the bloom, because he is remembering an event from the past and the brightness just gave it a bit more of a cheerful, almost unreal happiness feeling, which is what I wanted to show in this scene.

You want to blind the player with happiness? What kind of cruel person are you!?

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