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Important Project Structure Discussion

#16 User is offline Tweaker 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:59 AM

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View PostJordanime, on Nov 21 2008, 12:52 AM, said:

If the idea is to create another Sonic title in the style of the Genesis titles, then I don't think it's that much of a stretch to call it Sonic 4, as it would be the fourth Sonic in that line...well at least that's what I'd like to see.

Except it would, for the reasoning I already put forth. You can't throw away the point based on your personal preferences—that's not how a debate works. There are specific reasons for it not to be called Sonic for, either in concept or in execution, and both of us have raised those to you. I think it would be wise to simply drop that particular subject and maybe try and argue something more related to the actual design.

For example, muteKi raises some interesting points—are we doing pure Genesis limitations, or are we going to try "extended" Genesis standards? For example, multiple layers of background scrolling, sprite scaling and rotation, full-color fade-ins/fade-outs... etc.

#17 User is offline Jordanime 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:10 AM

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Quote

Except it would, for the reasoning I already put forth.


I don't think the reasoning is that fantastic though, and I've made several counterpoints to the contrary. There never was a game called 'Sonic 4' that ever made it to market. Many of the key developers left after the competition of Sonic and Knuckles so to say that Sonic Adventure is somehow "Sonic 4" just doesn't make very much sense to me. So to say I'd like this to be a reasonable projection of what Sonic 4 might be isn't an invalid argument.


Quote

There are specific reasons for it not to be called Sonic for, either in concept or in execution, and both of us have raised those to you. I think it would be wise to simply drop that particular subject and maybe try and argue something more related to the actual design.


I'm not saying "Call it Sonic 4", I'm just saying the game should be a reasonable projection of what a fourth Sonic game would be on the Sega Genesis. That's what I'd like to see, and that is an actual point about the design.

Quote

For example, muteKi raises some interesting points—are we doing pure Genesis limitations, or are we going to try "extended" Genesis standards? For example, multiple layers of background scrolling, sprite scaling and rotation, full-color fade-ins/fade-outs... etc.


Me in my first post you all misconstrued said:

My thoughts are that it should have a faithfulness in spirit, but not necessarily limited to what the Genesis could do. There's no reason for a cool game design idea to get the axe because the Genesis couldn't do it. There's also no reason to set up a bunch of technical roadblocks to achieve something that could be done much more easily.


Anyway, I'm through belaboring the point, and just for the sake of not stirring the pot, I will refrain from using the word "Sonc" and the number "4" side by side.
This post has been edited by Jordanime: 21 November 2008 - 01:13 AM

#18 User is offline Stealth 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:58 AM

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Jordanime - In summary, this is the real problem:

Quote

Stealth: This project doesn't seem to have any real direction, so some very specific decisions need to be made about what exactly we're doing
Jordanime: We're making Sonic 4
Stealth: That statement has no real universal meaning. I was asking for specifics about handling core aspects of the project; That really doesn't answer anything
Jordanime: Shut up yes it does you suck

Is my meaning any clearer, now? This has been the problem all along: near-complete ambiguity

View PostmuteKi, on Nov 20 2008, 09:53 PM, said:

Well, in terms of graphical capabilities, I'd like to see fairly light color restrictions in the game -- I'm not sure how many colors the Saturn could produce at a time, but I think that artistic thematic unity and direction should end up being a limiting factor in terms of how much is on screen at any one time rather than trying to impose artificial hardware restrictions; I don't want my eyes bleeding, but I don't want excess dithering where there doesn't have to be.

Similarly I'd love to have more than one background layer. I guess if I had to make any sort of statement on what I'm looking at in terms of quality I'd have to say that it would be something like the Saturn/PSX version of EWJ2: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=SxNRyXrvi8s
I think that the game could afford to be more colorful than that, though.


That's probably a fair comparison. In terms of what's already been said, E02 still does palettized graphics, but it's 8bpp (any graphic can use any combination of colors from anywhere on the palette, as opposed to the palette line restriction of the Genesis), and has a full 256-color palette. Palette swapping mid-level is also possible, so you can have more colors per level, just not with all on-screen at once. Also, as many scroll layers as are necessary can be displayed at once, and each can be enabled/disabled at any time (such as swapping backgrounds). As far as other things I've seen come up, it can do "translucency" for water, but it's actually done by manipulating the palette (the palette is cut in half, and mirrored with "water colors"). There's no "real-time" translucency, and additionally, no scale/rotate. This is pretty much where finding the appropriate platform and establishing it's limitations comes in

#19 User is offline Jordanime 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 02:31 AM

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Quote

Stealth: This project doesn't seem to have any real direction, so some very specific decisions need to be made about what exactly we're doing
Jordanime: We're making Sonic 4
Stealth: That statement has no real universal meaning. I was asking for specifics about handling core aspects of the project; That really doesn't answer anything
Jordanime: Shut up yes it does you suck


Oh, sorry, I forgot that's exactly what happened, boy am I an ass. ;)

---

I have a question, though. Who is in charge of what with this project?

#20 User is offline Stealth 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 02:42 AM

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View PostJordanime, on Nov 20 2008, 11:31 PM, said:

Oh, sorry, I forgot that's exactly what happened, boy am I an ass. ;)

As long as we agree :P

View PostJordanime, on Nov 20 2008, 11:31 PM, said:

I have a question, though. Who is in charge of what with this project?

Phoebius, QJimbo, and BJCharles are "Project leaders", or however anyone wants to put it. Rika seems to be active enough in that sense, and may effectively be "lead artist" at this point, but I don't know if he's "officially" anything. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be anyone directly in charge of anything. At least one of them needs to start making some substantial comment on this

#21 User is offline Phoebius 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:41 AM

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View PostStealth, on Nov 21 2008, 08:42 AM, said:

View PostJordanime, on Nov 20 2008, 11:31 PM, said:

I have a question, though. Who is in charge of what with this project?

Phoebius, QJimbo, and BJCharles are "Project leaders", or however anyone wants to put it. Rika seems to be active enough in that sense, and may effectively be "lead artist" at this point, but I don't know if he's "officially" anything. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be anyone directly in charge of anything. At least one of them needs to start making some substantial comment on this


I'm not a leader anymore. I'm not good at that. I just wanted to be moderator to "transfert" the work here.

#22 User is offline Mobiethian 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:28 AM

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View PostStealth, on Nov 21 2008, 02:42 AM, said:

Phoebius, QJimbo, and BJCharles are "Project leaders", or however anyone wants to put it. Rika seems to be active enough in that sense, and may effectively be "lead artist" at this point, but I don't know if he's "officially" anything. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be anyone directly in charge of anything. At least one of them needs to start making some substantial comment on this


I believe that Rika should be "the" lead artist but he can't do it all alone. As he mentioned before, we need more pixel artists to do zone art.

We should probably keep a list somewhere of project developers/coordinators and possibly create a new recruiting thread too? - Without a validation setback of course. I can handle taking charge of the project coordination, but I don't want to do it alone. Stealth, are you interested in joining me with the project coordination?

#23 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:55 AM

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Can I throw some hot water into an already close-to-boiling pot?

I'm completely with Stealth on this, for all points he has made; but I'll add more.

Here's a thing I'm sick of bringing up and being ignored (Either partially or totally, depends on the subject, and how heated people are about it); RESEARCH

Now, it might seem like a real boring thing to do. In fact, I personally hate doing research at uni, but it doesn't stop me from cramming in reams of sources and inspirations for my art, because I do appreciate how important it is.

Research into the various inspirations for Sonic (Felix? Mickey Mouse? Michael Jackson?) and a little deconstruction of the character and key themes will help to make other characters (Note: A badnik is a character albeit a minor one. This is relevant.) fit into the whole 'universe' better. This is a thing I think even SEGA themselves have either forgotten or lost sight of, looking at those 'Eggman Robot' piles of generic shit in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Rush.

Research into the various graphic design elements that make up the presentation (Art Deco? Constructivist? Pop Art? Bauhaus and Surrealist leanings?) would be more than handy for designing title cards and the like which not only fit in well with the general look, but use those same researched themes and principles to bring forth a fresh look whilst remaining cohesive.

Research into the various Real World ™ inspirations of existing Sonic locales (And I'm talking about every fucking game. As Stealth has said here, and I remember saying early in the "S4" brainstorming sessions, do not discount a single official thing -- even the bad can be valuable tools by way of example; what to avoid, etc.) and, again, deconstructing them. Is the chequered pattern in Green Hill Zone merely a hardware-limited decision (A cursory look at the repetition and obsolete tiles in the 8x8s tells me "no") or a stylistic choice?

Research into the popular styles and fashions when Sonic originally came out, how the games changed with the Real World ™ pop-culture climate and how that could be repeated in a modern context without simply giving an unwilling hedgehog a fucking gun.

And I would like to say what is, to me, the most important thing: This project needs to be as fresh as it is familiar. Strange new ideas absolutely should not be shot down, but discussed. At length.

I would go so far as to request an in-subforum rule: There is no such thing as tl;dr here. Can't be bothered to read a lengthy post for analysis and feedback? Then your opinion is ill-informed, and defaulted as a result of this.

I say this, because if the project ends up as a fan reprisal of Sonic 3 and Knuckles (And believe me, a large part of the group here seem to want exactly that), we'll be selling the collective talents assembled here extremely short.
This post has been edited by Jayextee: 21 November 2008 - 08:00 AM

#24 User is offline Tweaker 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:25 AM

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With the deparute of Phoebius from the project coordination team, I would like to seriously suggest Jayextee for the job. He was an excellent cantidate to do so for S2HD, and I have no doubt he could do an even better job on this project. He's totally on board and really know exactly how we need to plan this game out for it to be as good as it can possibly be.

Anyone agree?

#25 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:36 AM

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Well he was already a "sonicologist" on the old board, but I'm pretty sure he was offered a leadership position he turned down (I could be wrong) and then didn't post much on the Sonic 4 forums either.

I wish I could be more active but I've been swamped lately with university work (final year) so I really don't have the time right now.

#26 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:43 AM

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If there is an agreement on this I can update you in a week as to whether I can or not. I'd love to, but this seriously depends on whether this time we've actually got the Internet sorted out at my place yet.

I turned down the position this summer, mainly because of RL drama issues. I won't go into them, but this summer was a mess. I'm in a better situ right now.

#27 User is offline Qjimbo 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:31 AM

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Well in that case, I have no objections ;)

#28 User is offline Phoebius 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:48 AM

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Yeah, you would make a good leader.

#29 User is offline Ultima 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:59 PM

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I think a design document is a very good idea.

http://www.gamasutra...217/ryan_01.htm

#30 User is offline GameNerd Advance 

Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:43 PM

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I think we need to break from the whole "If they actually released Sonic 4" ethos.

Sonic Adventure was the natural progression of the series. It continued the Angel Island saga, gave it a fitting finish, and continued with many themes of the series. To simply wedge a stand-alone game between S3K and SA and trying to pass it off as "natural" would be sheer ignorance.

As a part of the series we need to design this as if it was a sort of breakoff game like Sonic CD or Chaotix.

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