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Make me a demo game!

#1 User is offline Gen 

Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:30 PM

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To help better understand the needs of the community, I'd like to get a discussion started regarding a demonstration game to showcase what the engine can do. Consider this a sort of "choose your adventure" style thread.

This will not be a full fledged game, just a playable demo for users to better grasp what the engine is capable of.

Things worth talking about:
What would make the demo look pretty?
What hardware should it be targeted for?
What gameplay style should it follow?
How can we showcase specific feature sets with this demo?

Things not worth talking about:
How many zones should it have?
Should it feature special stages?
Which of Sonic's friends should be featured in the game?

The good points about having a demo, is not only does it show what users can do with the engine, but also provides a small pool of example content for users to look at and help them build their own games with the engine.

In terms of levels, there should be at most one zone with at least a single act.

To get things rolling, let's start off with a gameplay style question: 2.5D or 3D?
This post has been edited by Gen: 17 April 2012 - 01:25 AM

#2 User is offline P3DR0 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:33 AM

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What would make the demo look pretty?
Psychodelic theme like the classic games, instead of tall and straight palmtrees, make it like Sonic CD, large, weird shaped, etc... Maybe not always straight, make 'em curved, making loops in their branches, etcetera. I guess for the demo to look pretty it needs to have the psychodelic theme, cool stuff like lighting, god rays, textures, etcetera can be discussed afterwards when we decide what should we do as a stage for this demo. A forest, a beach, a city, a temple, ruins, etcetera...

Quote

What hardware should it be targeted for?
Mid-term I guess. People usually have awesome hardwares but there are a few people who still have 2006~2005 computers, I would like to say "fuck 'em" but we can't, I guess. So mid term, not too much H-fucking-D with graphics that will make your eyes cum, but neither N64 graphics.

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What gameplay style should it follow?
If we can do both (modern and classic) I guess that would be neat. There are classic and retro gamers, and should be cool to see how the engine handles both.

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How can we showcase specific feature sets with this demo?
With a good level design, I guess. I'm not really sure what did you intended to say with this "question", but I guess that anything can be shown with a good level design, good enemy placement, good gimmicks, etcetera.

#3 User is offline acrazyplayer 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:49 AM

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My vote would go towards 2.5D mainly because that is what I prefer playing, so that's what I would prefer making.

The demo would look pretty if it was "full HD", used one of the good AA techniques that isn't too taxing, and had gorgeous lighting effects.

Gameplay style - Classic Sonic, because again thats what I like playing.

Showcasing these features could probably all be done in a nicely edited video going through point by point of what people see in the demo and what would interest them.

For example the video could be something like "Introducing the Mobius Engine! Use your own assets! (show some newly made artwork outside of the demo and then inside the demo) Customize your levels with our "in game" editor! (throw stuff around in the level)" and so on.

#4 User is offline Candescence 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:11 AM

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Quote

What would make the demo look pretty?

Good question. Depends on what kind of setting we're using. If we're doing the typical 'green' zone, I want to see lots of grass, great lighting, and wide open spaces to run around in.

Quote

What hardware should it be targeted for?

The game should be playable on mid-end systems, but should allow for more intensive visual effects for those with the hardware.

Quote

What gameplay style should it follow?

I personally believe that we should do a fully-3D level, because I believe having a 3D engine while limiting ourselves to a 2D gameplay style ultimately defeats the purpose. One of my biggest gripes with the Unleashed style of gameplay is how it uses "2.5D" far too much, in order to compensate for what I believe in the designers' inability to create any kind of well-designed, deep 3D gameplay.

Instead, we should be focusing on creating fully-3D gameplay and design that can stand on its own two feet, designed with the original "classic" core design principles, adapted to a third dimension. Anything less would simply be limiting ourselves to what we're capable of.

Quote

How can we showcase specific feature sets with this demo?

Good level design, basically.

#5 User is offline Aerosol 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:24 AM

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If it's a demo, shouldn't it be focused on...demonstrating? A little of this, a little of that.. Have a wide open 3D sandbox, but have a 2.5D section too, to show how well it works.

#6 User is offline Candescence 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:37 AM

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That's... Actually a good point. Why didn't I realize that? Having bits of both is totally okay, in that case. :)

#7 User is offline winterhell 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:38 AM

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Having Generation's requirements for the video card is reasonable. The game is very playable in 1920*1080 on a 2006 video card.
As for the RAM and CPU, the requirements are going to be lower as the engine will have less assets and so on.

#8 User is offline Spanner 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:18 AM

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Just to please everyone, I suggest that the following is made in terms of levels:
  • One act with purely 2D gameplay.
  • One act with purely 3D gameplay.
  • One act with both 2D and 3D gameplay parts like Unleashed, Colours and Modern Sonic Generations levels.


#9 User is offline Candescence 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:28 AM

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Alright, I give thumbs-up to SOTI's suggestion. Three acts to showcase all three types of gameplay is good enough for a demonstration level.

#10 User is offline Sofox 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:24 AM

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I agree.
The thrust of this engine has been towards modern Sonic games, so mixing 2.5D and 3D seems like the best combination for the demo. Sonic Colours or Sonic Generations style.

In terms of computer specifications, I say as low as possible. Obviously optimising while it's still in development is a bad idea, but we should always keep in mind that for every extra bit of power we require in the engine, another set of PCs will be cut off from playing the game. The most successful PC games of all time were capable of running on fairly low end (for the time) systems (Half-Life, the Sims, Myst, Minecraft, etc.), meanwhile the sales of the high-end Crysis were so low it forced the developer to go to console development.

In terms of what makes the levels pretty: Vibrant colours, nice art style, and preferably a level that hasn't been overused. If we could get an artist to design a new level that would be cool, but we could also go for remaking a more underrated level (I've loved Star Light Zone, but not enough colours and people may be sick of urban levels from Generations). Ideally, it would feel like a Sonic themed level, but be different enough to have it's own identity.

Level objectives: Defeat the badniks, get to the end of the level, run fast: Keep it simple.

Level design: Some open fast paced areas and more intricate places requiring platforming. Allow a few slow moving sections to be skipped if the player is skillful enough (a Sonic gameplay standby)

Showoff features: I'd be hesitant to put in specific show off features unless we know specifically want features we want to promote. Overall, the features of the engine should be shown off already: Good quality 3d, Sonic physics, Title screen & level system, running on multiple platforms, and actually playing as Sonic. Our core feature is letting people have an open source Sonic 3d engine, and as such our feature may be more the quality rather than anything specific.
Having said all thought, a nice big cinematic background animation could be used judiciously.

Just my thoughts.
This post has been edited by Sofox: 17 April 2012 - 08:25 AM

#11 User is offline Candescence 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

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View PostSofox, on 17 April 2012 - 08:24 AM, said:

The thrust of this engine has been towards modern Sonic games,

Not really. The thrust has actually been towards allowing the potential for any kind of Sonic game that can be made.

#12 User is offline Azu 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:27 AM

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I'd just show off he basic things. Like the Sonic World base engine or Damizean's test release of his Egg Engine. However, maybe add some springs and a few boxes.

#13 User is offline Falk 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:39 PM

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Essentially this really could be two stages: A physics/camera/movement demo, and then a graphical capability demo.

Especially considering how anal the community is about physics, I could foresee the iterative feedback process of that being a lot more elaborate anyway.

#14 User is offline Raz 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

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No doubt this engine will be capable of the usual staple of gameplay features. What would sell me on the engine is demonstrating how -easy- it would be to design a level.

Showing off the interface, how quickly props/gimmicks can be wired together, how easily certain aspects can be tweaked- that's what I really want to see anyway. Show people that there's not a long distance to go between download and homemade level, and I think you'd have raving fans.
This post has been edited by Raz: 17 April 2012 - 04:53 PM

#15 User is offline Gen 

Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:10 PM

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View PostRaz, on 17 April 2012 - 04:50 PM, said:

No doubt this engine will be capable of the usual staple of gameplay features. What would sell me on the engine is demonstrating how -easy- it would be to design a level.

Showing off the interface, how quickly props/gimmicks can be wired together, how easily certain aspects can be tweaked- that's what I really want to see anyway. Show people that there's not a long distance to go between download and homemade level, and I think you'd have raving fans.

It'd be kinda hard to pack that into a demo game. That would be more for a video demonstration than an actual demo people can play.

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