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What's critical of a good sonic clone game?

#1 User is offline Alehbeer 

Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:40 PM

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So I want to know what you guys think are important or even critical parts/attributes of a sonic-like game. Back in the heyday of the genesis/megadrive there were tons of 'sonic clones' being produced, but relatively few were successful. Sure the game needs to be 'fast', but what if missing would make a 'fast' game unplayable, for example?

#2 User is offline Caniad Bach 

Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:44 PM

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This:

http://info.sonicret...c_Physics_Guide

#3 User is offline KazeSenshi 

Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:30 AM

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And a great soundtrack

#4 User is offline Cyberblade 

Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:29 AM

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I don't necessarily think it's perfect physics or a great soundtrack to make a good Sonic clone. I find the Sonic games fun for their gameplay offering so many options. You can play the game very fast, or take things a little slower and easier on yourself. Either way you play the game keeps things fair and in your control. When you get hit its often because you were trying to go too fast for your own skill level and rarely ever feels unfair about it. Granted, its things like this that the modern games have been sorta faltering on for a while now.

What makes a good Sonic type game is that exhilaration from going really fast through a ton of dangerous obstacles because you've gained the skill to do it. Very few clones have ever been able to properly get this balance right, as its very easy to make things too cheap or too easy to go fast. It's a very fine balancing act to bring together the clean physics, reflex gameplay, and precise level design together into a fun game.

#5 User is offline Alehbeer 

Posted 25 November 2011 - 10:57 PM

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Thanks for your thoughts on this.

View PostCaniad Bach, on 15 November 2011 - 03:44 PM, said:


That link has some interesting information. Not sure where I should ask this, but a lot of the variables that site lists which describe values on a signed range up to 16 - is this a function of 4bit registers (as in 2^4 values)? Or is this making use of some shifting since its a 16bit machine or just convenience? I am not sure if the processor they used for the MD treated addresses, optcodes etc. the same.


View PostKazeSenshi, on 16 November 2011 - 09:30 AM, said:

And a great soundtrack

Yeah, I'm a big fan of chiptunes.

View PostCyberblade, on 16 November 2011 - 10:29 AM, said:

I don't necessarily think it's perfect physics or a great soundtrack to make a good Sonic clone. I find the Sonic games fun for their gameplay offering so many options. You can play the game very fast, or take things a little slower and easier on yourself. Either way you play the game keeps things fair and in your control. When you get hit its often because you were trying to go too fast for your own skill level and rarely ever feels unfair about it. Granted, its things like this that the modern games have been sorta faltering on for a while now.

What makes a good Sonic type game is that exhilaration from going really fast through a ton of dangerous obstacles because you've gained the skill to do it. Very few clones have ever been able to properly get this balance right, as its very easy to make things too cheap or too easy to go fast. It's a very fine balancing act to bring together the clean physics, reflex gameplay, and precise level design together into a fun game.


Good points. I am curious what your opinions of Donkey Kong Country are.
This post has been edited by Alehbeer: 25 November 2011 - 10:59 PM

#6 User is offline Sparks 

Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:53 PM

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I think one of the most important factors is the levels design and layout are Sonic-esque. A good engine doesn't mean much if you don't have well designed levels (and of course, the opposite is also true). For each zone a fan gamer is making, they should probably study the design existing zones with the same level theme (ex: if you're making a water zone, look at Hydrocity and Labyrinths layout, maybe even expand influence to Aquatic Ruin or Ice Mountain).

Another thing is gimmicks, levels always need to be plentiful of gimmicks. A fan game level that delivers this perfectly in my opinion, would be Dimensionwarped's Madcap Grotto Zone.

Lastly, I'd advise fan gamers (and hackers) to not just copy existing things, but to innovate as well. Bring things to the table that we haven't seen in Sonic games before.

edit: I entered this thread thinking you meant Sonic fan game clones, but eh, everything I said still applies to any game I guess. :colbert:
This post has been edited by Sparks: 26 November 2011 - 01:27 AM

#7 User is online steveswede 

Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:43 AM

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View PostAlehbeer, on 15 November 2011 - 03:40 PM, said:

Back in the heyday of the genesis/megadrive there were tons of 'sonic clones' being produced, but relatively few were successful.


What Sonic clones are you referring to? The Sonic games don't own the rights of the platform genre so make sure you're not confused about platfrom games in general.


As for the most important factors, I would consider quite a few but the one that comes out on top of them all is controls. It's the reason why the likes of the original Mario, Classic Sonic and the Street fighter II games are still highly playable today because they are so good. The perfect physics comment is really more of a back lash of the endless debate over that car crash of a game Sonic 4 because some people here are quite happy to just have something new to play. But I ask you this, think 10 years from now what games are still going to be played? You only have to look at the popular retro games to know that the majority that are have great controls. Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles will more likely be played by people 10 years from now than Sonic 4 and I have a feeling in years to come people might even dismiss that as an official title (because I do now and I don't think I'm the only one).

#8 User is offline Uuni 

Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

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As a clone, you'd probably be trying to make it unique amongst other similar fangames, right? I'd say giving it a unique story and atmosphere might help with that.

#9 User is offline BlazeHedgehog 

Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

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I see it as the elements that make up any good game, really.

Solid, responsive, predictable controls. Good level design that properly utilizes the player's skills, and silently and intuitively teaches them how to use certain abilities (in this case, things like rolling in to a ball, how momentum works). A game that does not overstay its welcome - every level contains a new twist, with as little repetition as possible. A distinct and unique art style with likable and endearing character designs.

Think about what sets Sonic apart from most other games specifically. The game's pinball-esque physics are pretty much the big thing. That and the game's 90's attitude.
This post has been edited by BlazeHedgehog: 31 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

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