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As far as mechanics to attain momentum, I’ve long felt rolling was one of the weaker ones.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Technically Inept, Jun 3, 2022.

  1. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Not the same at all, it's more of a matter of difficulty and having a bigger focus on what you can exploit from the level layout vs. what can you exploit from the player character. I'd see it as a similar discussion about the reward of mastering the U-pits through physics instead of just spindashing out from them.
     
  2. Taking more mechanical and technical skill to utilize properly.

    Already a thread about this. Actually, getting at what I already expressed in it.

    I see that you did not read as carefully as you thought, as I provided examples in the very first post here. And if you read carefully, you'd know what my issue is and be able to gather that boost pads are the exact opposite of what I have in mind. It seems to me that while everyone else here as been expressing understandable and well founded arguments, you are simply seeking to annoy me.

    There is a lot to unpack here.

    So I say that rolling is one of the weakest ways of attaining momentum. You interpret that as me saying the player should automatically attain momentum, comparing it to Mario saying you should automatically be able to overcome obstacles. That's...

    Wow. Why was this liked and agreed with?

    Well, you failed. That was indeed rude, and very condescending. And actually, it showed a lack of comprehension of what I actually said. I will disregard anything else you say from this point unless it's an actual argument.
     
  3. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    idk man i like to roll really fast in sonic 1 on those little hills and slopes and those loops and it's more fun to see how high i can go with jumping and rolling in starlight and spring yard i dont see why it could be considered redundant or weak

    how can this or other parts in sonic not be fun?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  4. They can be for the results they achieve. And when used in tandem with other mechanics in a way you described, they can be fun in themselves. I just wish the mechanic itself was more invovled
     
  5. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    "more involved"? it... is, though? idk i can't recall a moment in either sonic 1 2 or 3 where i wasn't rolling into enemies and items very often to quickly get rid of them and feeling dissastified or wanting more. casino night hill top and ice cap from the top of my head had a LOT of rolling and sliding

    even iirc sonic adventure has plenty of moments where rolling down slopes and hills using the spindash can get the player nearly anywhere and defeat enemies well (red mountain's second half and windy valley come to mind). i must be playing sonic differently but i can't fathom sonic WITHOUT rolling without it being a janky Pac-Land of sorts
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  6. LockOnTommy11

    LockOnTommy11

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    What more mechanical or technical skill do you need to utilise the existing move set?

    You say rolling is the weakest way to obtain momentum, but what other ways are there? You either keep running and (usually) hit a speed cap, or you roll and gain near infinite speed, whereby you are less prone to attack and can destroy obstacles, in turn keeping the flow of the gameplay and reducing your level time. One could say that running allows more control as you can (somewhat) control your jump, speed dependant, but like, that’s literally the mechanic. I’m not sure what there is to analyse about it as the benefits of running vs rolling are evident to players some way into playing any of the classic titles. It seems clear that neither one is particularly more beneficial over the other, but are equally context dependant.

    On that basis, my post was to really query … what the point is? I still don’t understand what your original post is alluding to, having re-read multiple times. It just reads as a reaction to people supposedly begging for the return of rolling, and then a vague dissemination of the fundamental mechanic of the classic games in a very dismissive fashion.

    I think my main issue with your post was here:

    You bolded what you assume people who like the rolling mechanic must think, rather than just waiting for someone to answer, which came across as fairly ignorant and baiting. As a huge fan of the classic games, you must then forgive me for feeling a little irked at your post, and posting my strong reply to you.

    I would strongly urge you to stop simply experiencing classic Sonic via fan games, sit down and replay the classic games, giving them a good go both through standard and time attack modes. As easy as it is to press down, it’s about when and where you do it, and then being able to get out of the roll without injury or death at high speed, if and when needed. I can’t think of any comparison of a video game move that is as simplistic, yet as exhilarating and fun as that, perhaps barring the Super Mario World cape.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
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  7. In Classic Sonic, there is no other way to gain momentum besides the loop cutting thing I mentioned. That is exactly my issue, and exactly why I pointed at things outside Classic Sonic. Don’t get caught up over words and miss the point. Or would it satisfy you if I deleted the
    -est on weakest and just said rolling is a weak way of attaining momentum.

    On hills it’s a good idea to roll down, it really doesn’t take that much thought to determine. The only thing being “tested” as you mentioned is “knowledge.” Precision? Timing? Complexity of inputs to input in sequence? It’s not there.

    I’m not sure how else to explain this. I’ll provide an example. Not a good one, but an example.

    If you had to reach a certain point on a downward slope, not before or after, to begin your roll and then you’d have to end it at a specific time in order to get the maximum benefit that is an example.

    This is a (poor) example of how rolling could utilize such things.

    Well, maybe it isn’t that poor. If you had to be at a rather specific speed, no higher nor lower, in order to land a jump onto a platform, neither under or overshooting it, it could have application there. You would want to start and stop rolling at the exact time to be the right speed.

    This is a way it can take more “skill” than just “hey here’s a downward slope, let me press down.”

    But there is nothing like that in the Classics. Ironically, the only time I have experienced something kind of like that is in a romhack called Sonic VR. (And something similar in Trackmania, a platform racing game, but that’s unrelated)

    And for the record,I can do without your assumptions. I have played through the Classics I don’t know many times. In fact, there was a period where the only game I had was 3K.

    Super Mario World’s cape at least takes a feel for rhythm of timing to execute properly. That’s not really the case here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
  8. Palas

    Palas

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    I'm having an extremely hard time figuring out how Sonic doesn't take a feel for rhythm to execute properly. Not rolling alone, but I mean -- take Spring Yard... I think Act 2? as an example. If you want to end up on the highest possible route, you have to do a series of extremely precise jumps to kill like four badniks on a row without falling to the ground, and that's only possible if you roll early enough on the previous slope. You can't miss. It takes a lot of skill.

    And even then, what for? That's some high end ass play there, which will reward you with one hell of a shortcut. The average play still finds value in rolling, and maneuvering it properly, because then you simply have to deal with as few hazards as possible. But there's a whole spectrum of skill and knowledge there. Needing to be at the right speed not to fall off a floating platform as soon as you touch it is something I remember happening VERY often in the classic games. Either that, or you'd need to jump as soon as possible not to lose the momentum, even if you're not sure what to do with it.

    So at this point I just... feel we play very, very differently, on a fundamental level.
     
  9. I am tiring of this.

    i didn’t say Sonic in general doesn’t take a bit of rhythm and timing to play. I’m talking about the mechanic in the title.

    Be the right speed so as to not fall off a platform? Want to provide an example?

    First thing that comes to my mind is Marble Zone in Sonic 1 in the section where you have to jump on the descending spike blocks to avoid falling to a lower part of the level.

    I can accomplish this by simply going from holding right to tapping right and jumping. This is not what I have in mind in trying to get to a precise speed so as to not over or undershoot jumps. But, frankly, I am not sure if you’ve played any example I can point to so…

    whatever.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
  10. Pobert-Eii

    Pobert-Eii

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    honestly this. i have read this thread many times while trying to make a response and either my reading comprehension is really bad but right off the top of my head i can list many solutions to the problems and criticisms presented here...? and every response here is mainly greeted with a "no no not like that". i'd love to see a visual explanation of this issue because i'm unable to see how rolling in Sonic games can be a detriment or bad in regards to momentum or speed. the only game that i can think of where rolling is actually BAD is Sonic Spinball... and even then it's because the rare moments where sonic can roll and jump are very cramped and danger laden
     
  11. Okamikurainya

    Okamikurainya

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    I think Knuckles Chaotix had a good idea, adding a sort of slingshot to the game... It was just bogged down by the troubling aspect of the second character, the dead weight.
    Without the second character it could become a very interesting mechanic for puzzle platforming, combining with the other aspects of the franchise to aid you in gaining momentum with careful thought and planning.

    I was looking at Tangle the Lemur in the IDW comics the other day and thought that she could probably pull it off design wise and concept wise. Her tail acting as both the ring tether and as the other character, just without the weight.

    It's easy to look at just one aspect of the moveset like rolling and say "Hey... this is the weakest for me in such and such way..." But it IS just one aspect.
    It's the combination of a variety of mechanics that makes the final gameplay style a strong one.

    Physics
    Level design
    Moveset
    Player skill
    Even the level sound track...

    All these blend together and shape how you approach the level, how you gather momentum within the level.

    Just press down for rolling? No, it doesn't work that way. The OP mentioned Lilac's dive kick attack, you could say that's just pressing a button to gain momentum in the exact same way. Both options require the correct location and the correct situation.

    The removal of rolling can also add a different depth to the game. Amy's Sonic Advance 1 moveset changes one's entire approach to the game and it can be a really interesting breath of fresh air, but it also doesn't necessarily mean that rolling is a weak mechanic.

    If it were my choice, we would have a myriad of options available for how we choose to traverse a level. I think I actually started to think that way because of all the ways to approach the Classic style games. I don't think of any of the mechanics as necessarily weaker, I think some may just be less suited to my tastes or personal skill.
     
  12. LockOnTommy11

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    My assumption that you had not recently played a classic game was based on your comment here:
    Areas where players “get something out of” rolling examples off the top of my head:

    Green Hill Zone - Act 2 and 3 has areas that specifically require you to break blocks to proceed, and speed is required.

    Starlight Zone - if you are not rolling, you drop down the floors as you don’t have enough speed to pass gaps. Rolling also allows you to access higher areas.

    Scrap Brain Zone - there are enemies that need to be destroyed in tight spaces that you should roll to do so.

    Chemical Plant Zone - rolling allows you to bypass parts of the level by then jumping out of the roll.

    Aquatic Ruin - rolling stops you sometimes needing to backtrack and use springs.

    … and many more examples of rolling that don’t require spin-dashing and can be achieved by simply pressing down when running.

    A good example of a move that the player can do to give themselves manual momentum (I.e, not based on terrain) is Sonic’s dash in the Advance games, which requires jumping and then pressing the directional input twice in the same direction with rhythm. This however proves to be more of a hinderance if not using sparingly, as there is no way to curl back into a ball and leaves one open to injury. It also goes at odds with the terrain if not used well, meaning that the character will likely hit the many hills and loops at odd angles and end up stopping or having to try and regain momentum. I say this as someone who has played those games to death multiple times and quite possibly in the top ten for some level time attacks.

    I don’t think rolling is weak at all, I’m fact, given the simplicity of it, and the way it balances out the game, I’d say it’s possibly one of the most innovative, interesting and concrete designs for a video game. I would think the majority of people here would agree.
     
  13. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    How would you improve the roll mechanic? If pressing down while at speed is too simple, what would make it a more interesting ability to use?
     
  14. Palas

    Palas

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    But rolling is very crucial to the mechanics. Sonic takes sense of rhythm and timing because so does rolling.

    Marble Zone is an example, but the other one I can think of right now is Stardust Speedway, the entirety of it -- although Act 3 especially so, in that part by the middle-end where you have to roll and possibly jump at a specific time and at a specific speed to successfully reach the platforms in the air and not have to deal with Metal Sonic flying at you anymore. But the stage does that so often that it used to get a lot of negative comments over how you lose control of Sonic and are constantly launched off from platform to other platform. People take it better nowadays I guess.

    I also think Green Hill, of all things, is a good example. In the S-tube section, if you take both, you'll be able to get a lot of rings -- but if, and only if, you control the resulting speed well enough to kill the incoming badnik to stay a couple more fractions of second in the air.

    Now, keep in mind, I understand the actual rolling here is as automated as classic Sonic gets. However, there's something beautiful happening here: if you don't trust Sonic's roll, if you hesitate even for a moment, you won't get enough speed. If you die, you'll respawn in the spot between the tubes and won't get enough speed again. If you miss the badnik, you won't get as many rings. You have exactly one chance. It's exactly what you want, if I understand correctly.

    And yet, it's trivial. You don't need any of this to proceed. It all lasts for maybe 3 seconds. You'll just get some other part of the stage if you don't get those rings, and even if you do, you'll see there was a way to get even higher, but only if you stopped running before and hopped on the floating platforms before the loop. In a hypothetical Green Hill that had a giant slope leading up to this part, it wouldn't matter how you rolled but where you did it and how you used the terrain (as is the case with the Master System version, by the way). Attaining momentum is so organic, indeed so trivial in Sonic, that we forget what you have to use it for, and that's what really matters here. The strong aspect of the motion play is not how you execute rolling, but what you do with it.

    Take any of it away, and you'll take away the emphasis classic Sonic has on using the level geometry to your advantage in any way you can, at any given time, even if ever so slightly.
     
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  15. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Umm... Everything is heating here and I think there's a lot of misconception on both sides, but particularly on the replies to the original poster because you're adding a lot of unrelated things to the conversation, so, if I understood well, I'll try to help with that:

    - First of all, the OP isn't discussing the fun or any other outcome of rolling besides its involvement in gaining or keeping momentum.

    - The OP isn't suggesting rolling needs improvement, nor does the OP suggesting rolling is out of place besides maybe expecting something else replace it as a tool for momentum management.

    - What OP do seems to like is to read subtle details on the level layout and find clever ways to utilize them with or without rolling, by comboing precise or smart inputs and design quirks in environment.

    Now, while I may or may not agree with that, I think the OP prefers something like Jet Set Radio more, where using the sprint button at the right moment is usually harder than ducking downhill and letting go, where sometimes you won't get a jump far or high enough unless you jump at the very ledge, something that could be also in Sonic games since running and jumping on ledges is already there and even sprinting if you make just a quick push of the boost button in later games. To the original poster, rolling seems to be easy mode, an overpowered in-game cheat, and that removes some merit from it. That's all (well, if I'm right interpreting the OP's words, of course).
     
  16. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Overpowered in what way? I'm willing to hear this out but I'm not seeing an informative take here that prompts a shift in perspective. It'd make more sense, I think, if the points were illustrated with an example of some kind.

    Bringing JSR into this feels like a massive apples v. oranges scenario. Not to mention I'm a massive JSR/JSRF geek and I've never had any more trouble "sprinting in the right way" than I have "rolling in the right way". On one you pull the trigger, the other you press down. That's not appreciably different, to me.

    So I ask again...if rolling is inadequate as is, how should it be changed?
     
  17. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    Again, the issue here is a matter of perspective. When I said:
    It was because I more or less see it the same way as you do, but the OP is asking for more complexity. Imagine Green Hill had random patches of bare soil in different places; now, if you roll on grass, the irregular ground is harder to traverse in ball form and makes you move slower, but the brown areas are flat and have a good grip, so you in fact roll over them faster (sort of like playing SCD special stages or mario kart). The skill wouldn't just be in rolling when it involves speed, it would be in rolling only on brown ground and jumping when it ends to land again on your foot on green ground or get to the next brown patch with said jump to roll again. Is this overly complex? Maybe, but it's the kind of challenge the OP wants when using that mechanic for speed.

    Oh, and maybe the JSR(Not F) was poorly explained, but that game always felt a lot like Sonic to me and is indeed harder to master. Bantam Street with all those aerial wall jumps from one advertising sign to the other and the big wall with very small angles to take advantage of are not only hard, but also quite the stuff Technically Inept is asking for.
     
  18. LockOnTommy11

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    I think the post was really aimed at OP, but you make good points and the best effort to explain and expand on the potential ideas thus far.

    It still however just feels like the original post is trying to expand the concept of Sonic and create a similar, but more unnecessarily complex game. It reads as an unwarranted analysis of a retro game, attempting to tack on complex design initiatives that are simply not required. In this case, one has to consider the design of the game, the concept and intentions of the design teams initial plans vs the reality, and Sonic comes pretty close, if not exactly, how it was designed to play. It’s highly accessible, intuitive and fun without the need for more than one button. Additionally, there’s been no concrete suggestions from OP on how they would add such functions to the game.

    My own suggestion in this vein would be, to roll, that the player could roll the joystick (if it wasn’t a D-pad) clockwise or counter-clockwise rapidly in order for the character to recognise the input and enter a roll based on the direction of the input. The character could then continue to roll in that direction until the input is either slowed enough for the game to recognise, or stopped completely.
    This could work to slow or speed up rolling when descending, depending on player direction input, and would give the player more control of Sonic during the - what the OP might consider - mundane few seconds where simply pressing down does not give them “something”.

    I’m not saying my idea is a good suggestion, I’m just attempting to provide an example to at least show I’m trying to understand their intent.

    To close my opinion on this, people don’t like pressing down to roll because ‘HURR DURR NOSTALGIA!’, people like it because it makes sense.

    It doesn’t need changing, in the same way that I don’t need an elaborate and complex system of wires and pulleys linked to hammers, marbles and dominos attached to my toaster to turn it on from my bed in the morning, when I can simply walk downstairs and flip a switch.

    Disclaimer: I would like to add that I’m really not trying to annoy OP, but when you post a comment about design flaws and how you’re certain of the well-roundedness of your opinion, especially if it’s likely to be unique or controversial, it would really help to provide examples to back it up and further the conversation. It would also be a good idea to avoid what could be considered baiting comments based on assumptions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
  19. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Oh, I agree with you, but sometimes I find the urge to try and find the words someone else doesn't find to help them explain their point a little better if I get what they mean and others don't or simply they need help to put their thoughts in order. I know it's not my duty to do so and it may even be even intrusive, but when things heat up I find it a good way to take the conversation back to where it was intended.

    I almost 100% agree with you and with everyone else that this is overcomplicating things where they shouldn't, only arguing that this food for thought can lead to innovative ways to improve the existing formula and, while my example maybe too much for a classic Sonic game as they are, some occasional gimmick could work. Imagine, for example those snow piles in Icecap that slow you down: what if they were made so approaching them in a way is bad for speed, but approaching them in a different way actually means gaining some acceleration? There's always room to do interesting things.

    Btw, your suggestion about circling inputs is more or less the way SegaSonic Arcade worked, and the biggest complain about its emulation is the game's too different and easy if you don't have a rolling ball controller, it needs the frenzy of rolling said ball more and more to be fun and a challenge.
     
  20. There is a reason I chose this username.

    Not going to lie. i gave up on the thread, which is why I have not been responding. But it seems people are not only trying to understand what the heck I am saying but some are actually doing so.

    That's great. Ready to try again now. But before I do, I need to get something out of the way: An apology.

    There was a statement in the opening post that was problematic, and I know it's problematic because it's been brought out several times now.

    I didn't fully understand this mechanics appeal. I should have sought to, rather than just writing it off as only being liked by "nostalgia." Heck, even if I said the same thing just in a different way it would be better. Like, "I've tried to understand the appeal of this mechanic, but I don't see it. I can't help but feel the attachment is due to some sentimental value. Correct me if i'm wrong."

    Basically the same thing, but more respectful. I apologize. I'll try to be more careful with stuff like that in the future.

    Also, when I say "get something out of it" that was really freaking stupid choice of words. I am not saying there is no benefit, I mean i get little INTRINSIC SATISFACTION from it.

    Now...

    For one thing, i am seeing people talk about "optimal time" and "when to roll" and knowledge of what the consequences might be gained through knowledge of the physics system.

    It does take all these things. You are right. I have an issue with that statement, though. The first two skills exact, "optimal time" and "when to roll." And that's why I keep taking issue.

    Put simply, it's the size of the timing window. Personally? i feel in many cases it's too large. Like these declines and hills are pretty freaking big in a lot of cases, and you can begin rolling pretty much any time on them to get the momentum, and so it provides a large timing window of when to roll.

    So large in fact that, in my opinion, it might as well not require timing at all. I don't really feel my skills in that way are being tested.

    Childish also brought up it's role in runs that give a good sense of flow. I agree with that.

    He also brought up how with the ability to uncurl, you could potentially have a rhythm to going through. Uncurl right when you reach a plain/goiing uphill to immediately curling up when you reach the top of the hill and going back down.

    Sounds cool.

    I expressed the feeling that it feels "automatic" which isn't really true. You do have control and influence. It's just that I can recall times playing 3K and especially Mania where it feels like i press down and the momentum carries me a bit farther than I feel it should before I have to engage again....

    ...probably moreso a me or level design issue than the actual mechanic.

    I also expressed that having to hold the button like in GT rather than just press it and then do nothing gives the mechanic a different, slightly more engaging feel, but that's irrelevant.

    Rolling is a way to crash through enemies that pop up on screen, a safety net. Cool. We got a reaction based challenge. But if we could narrow that timing window any, maybe by making a move that you have to use right as you go into an enemy (like the insa-shield. God, I love that move) rather than quite a bit before it, I'd personally feel that is more intrinsically satisfying to me. But...

    yeah. Rolling is a fine option for this.

    Some people pointed out the experimentation aspect of it. (WHat happens if I roll here or jump here this time?) Also cool.

    People get more intrinsic satisfaction out of this stuff than I do. That's a me problem. Not a problem with the mechanic. I get it

    Palas, I'll confess I have no idea what the heck you were talking about in Spring Yard. And LockOnTommy11, I'll admit you lost me on that last post, too.

    Now, am I missing something here? Something I misunderstood? What am I completely freaking wrong on or what am I saying that makes no sense?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022