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A Change in Direction for Sonic Next Genesis

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by ProjectFM, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. ProjectFM


    Orono, Maine
    Sonic Next Genesis
    Original post from SSRG

    Since the start of this year, progress on Sonic Next Genesis has been slow. Recently, I figured that this hack is never going to get finished until I start planning out how I will finish it and allow myself more room for creativity. As a result, I am going remove the limitation that this should be based on Sonic '06, a game I have never finished nor played in ages, and try merging it with another project I was thinking of starting after I finish this hack. Doing this was killing two birds with one stone.

    My first action in this process is sharing out how my hack has been going so far and then questioning the community about what they'd like, didn't like, and where they'd like to see this hack go.

    So, here's the hack, with the addition of some awkward commentary:

    Here are some changes I'm planning:

    1. Discarding any ideas I've had that are based on elements of Sonic '06 that would be difficult to pull off in a fun way (such as its enemies, bosses, Elise, and DDZ's billiard balls).
    2. Reducing the zone count from nine zones to something more manageable
    3. Adding a new story. The gist is that Robotnik is some super engineering artist guy who invades Sonic and friends' planet (or possibly island) in order to create his planet-wide masterpiece. Sonic and friends will try to stop him because Robotnik's actions are hurting the ecosystems and so the badniks will be construction-themed. Also, the story will result in zones looking more fantastical over time rather than industrial.
    4. Having shadow/highlight mode used in most zones to use its affects. Additionally, making all the blocks high priority can allow me to add objects in the background to add more effects (such as a sunrise/sunset).
    5. Adding a forest zone as the first level based off the artwork shown in the video.

    And here are the questions:

    1. Based on what you've seen from the zones and any assumptions you can make about the zones' themes, which of them should I remove?
    2. The current soundtrack is made up of music ported from other games using the SMPS sound driver. Should I spend the extra effort to remake the soundtrack? If so should it be ported from MIDIs that are: a. created by others b. created by programs that extract music from games (could be from GBA, Genesis, Arcade, etc.) c. created from my own compositions?
    3. What characters would you like to see added/removed? They could be any character from the franchise that has been playable in a platforming Sonic game (so no Babylon Rogues).
    4. Should the character pairings be static (Sonic always with Tails), depend on the story (perhaps Sonic is alone, then meets up with Tails midway through), or be completely optional (Sonic can be solo or with any character in the game)?
    5. Do you have any critiques for the changes I've planned? Do you think this is still too ambitious and I need to scale it back? And if so, in what ways?
    6. Should I keep the mach speed sections to keep the gameplay varied or do you think they couldn't work well in 2D?
    7. How do you feel about the name? Should I rename it and change the title screen text?
    8. Can anyone recommend a useful, free or cheap program that can be used for editing pixel art? I've been using Gimp, but it doesn't have much of a pixel art focus. As a result, stuff such as animations are difficult to work with and I can't move anything without cutting and pasting it first.
  2. ExecByte


    Sonic: The Lost Worlds
    Looks really good.

    One thing that looks a bit off is that in the level that has the background with the rocks in the water, it looked like the rocks are moving with the water constantly.

    For some of your questions:

    2. Redoing the soundtrack would be good but, if you do, my recommendation would be to do it after everything else is done. I think level layouts, graphics, sprites & other effects are more important. If anything doesn't get done, I'd rather see a finished game with reused music than an unfinished game with original music.

    6. Some speed sections are fine but I don't think they should be too long.

    8. I used Tile Layer Pro when I was working on my hack. GraphicsGale might be good too but I haven't really used it so I can't say for sure.
  3. ProjectFM


    Orono, Maine
    Sonic Next Genesis
    Copied from SSRG

    I guess the forums have been slow lately.
    Here are my new level plans with working titles. Stuff gets more mechanical as the levels go on.

    Grandiose Greenwood Zone - A new forest-themed level with water
    Ocher Ocean Zone - What was originally Wave Ocean
    Windblown Winter Zone - What was originally White Acropolis.
    Treacherous Transportation Zone - What was originally Radical Train.
    Raptorial Rainforest Zone - What was originally Tropical Jungle with the addition of enormous unnatural plant life.
    Cismontane City Zone - Sort of based on Aquatic Base. It is the main attraction of the area with buildings and odd structures.
    Magisterial Magma Zone - What was originally Flame Core. It is a geothermal power plant that is the source of electricity for Robotnik.

    I really like my soundtrack, though I will add a new one near the end of this hack's production. That way it doesn't add to all the other stuff I want to work on now, my skills will be more developed, and I won't get tired of listening to the new soundtrack repeatedly.

    I'd like to add Blaze. Other than that, I'm just going to stick with what characters are already in the game and develop their move sets.

    Character pairings will be able to be chosen by the player, though if I think of a good addition to the story that involves characters changing their pairings, I'll switch to that and add the player's choice as a post-game option.

    I'll keep the mach speed sections and possibly slow Sonic down a bit to make obstacles easier to react to.

    I'll keep the name for now. I've been fine with it for 3 years anyway.

    ExecByte recommended GraphicsGale, so I'll give that a try.
  4. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    You people really take the double first letter thing too far. Not only in this project, I mean, people stick to much to that not-a-rule and then try to add to the mix as much originality (I guess?) as possible. "Treacherous Transportation" could have been something like "Techno Train" and everything would have been fine and dandy.
    Other than that, it looks nice and has a lot of work on it. Keep up that good work!
  5. ProjectFM


    Orono, Maine
    Sonic Next Genesis
    I named them that way because it creates a more unique and catchy zone title with little more than a google search for adjectives that start with that letter. In fact, I went further by copying the first two letters for both words. Besides, what sounds more intriguing: Large Forest Zone, or Grandeose Greenwood Zone? Also, I like using rare words since it gives the zone a unique name rather than one that can be easily confused with a zone from another hack. Of course these are just working titles and changing the zone names later on would require little effort.
  6. Lostgame


    producer/turnablist. homebrew dev. cosplayer. Oldbie
    Toronto, ON
    The O.I.C.
    Umm, I don't want to burst your bubble, but unfortunately you just kinda proved HedgeHayes' point, here. How about 'Greenwood Forest' zone?'s spelled 'Grandiose.'

    For better or worse, you just showed us all why don't we use big and rare words. Simply because they're usually awkward as heck.
    So awkward, in fact, that you can easily misspell them, making them quite difficult to make catchy or memorable.

    Furthermore, the amount of space on the 320x244(?) pixel display of the Genesis makes it super intense to try to fit that amount of text on the screen.

    Your hack looks great, but I've gotta agree. Drop the alliteration, make it short, fun and catchy.

    Liking the art (minus the custom Sonic sprites, just never a fan...I'd always like the option to use the original characters in new levels) and the concepts.

    Keep it up! :)
  7. Creature SH

    Creature SH

    Titanic Trees Zone. There, solved it.