Dear Retro

Discussion in 'Project: Sonic Retro (Archive)' started by Chimpo, May 4, 2009.

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  1. Thundertimi

    Thundertimi

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    Sonic Retro (Artwork team)
    You have nice attitude and you are interested in this project, so yea.


    (Everyone add yes or no to next your post and 8 x yes = We have a winner)
    Fine?
     
  2. Metal Knuckles

    Metal Knuckles

    HAVE SOME FUN WITH MIKU Member
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    Shadow Alpha, an awesome hack of Sonic 1
    Question: If I were to design, say, a dessert style level graphic set, could it be included in the project, or are all the level slots occupied already?
     
  3. Ritz

    Ritz

    Subhedgehog Member
    I'm sort of astonished that people are actually treating project leadership as if it's the central issue at hand. You all realize that the reason Chimpo bailed on you in the first place is because he and OSM were essentially the only two people actually contributing to the project, right? Aside from their work, we got two badniks, some concept art from that one hotshot pixel newbie dude, and whatever else Rage did; everyone else who made the effort probably would've done better with construction paper and nontoxic paste. You people should be role-calling for what little talent is actually present in the community to see if a project like this is even still plausible before you get your dicks jammed in the toaster for the fourth time.

    Unless, of course, Jan and Rage are content working their asses off, with the rest of you either bitching over pixels or lapping up whatever shit McGuirk heaps in here because it's the best you can hope for after alienating every other talented artist on the board.

    <!--quoteo(post=305803:date=May 4 2009, 07:37 AM:name=STHX)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (STHX @ May 4 2009, 07:37 AM) [​IMG]
     
  4. Stealth

    Stealth

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    Sonic Mania, HCGE, Sonic Megamix, SonED2, [...]
    Fuck you, too, sir.
     
  5. Ritz

    Ritz

    Subhedgehog Member
    Baww, don't get indignant on me now, Stealth! Let's face it: I asked you a simple question, and you practically told me to go fuck myself and proceeded to drag me through a 5+ page tirade about how self-evident your engine was and how anyone who couldn't figure things out on their own was scum and didn't deserve the privilege.

    Note that this is the worst possible time and place to start another shitfest, though. Careful, now!
     
  6. Stealth

    Stealth

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    Sonic Mania, HCGE, Sonic Megamix, SonED2, [...]
    Yum, delicious bait

    Since I know you're talking about what went down in this thread, might as well link it since you feel it's relevant. It may well be, but consider- most of this "tirade" had alot to do with issues I took with something Rolken said. Also before I got the chance to respond to your first post, you completely blew off other people with valid points. I was already annoyed, and I didn't appreciate one of my friends being talked to like that. But here's the thing about that, too - Neither of us were actually trying to be antagonistic (I know this because I was told, and to an extent, we have a similar manner of speaking). I personally used words like "(in)competent", "stupid", and "blind", sure, but they weren't actually directed at anyone, and I did answer your question. I also repeated something you said, but that was a failed attempt at humor - you may or may not see that I was attempting to converse in a civil manner with other people in the area. You got the impression that I was actually trying to insult you, and from there it blew up harder than it was already going to. I'm blunt, though, and that's something that's not going to change. I'm sorry that I gave you the wrong impression (and yes, it was wrong, but yes, I'm also sorry). Don't know that you care, but obviously it's still an issue for you

    Unfortunately for me, I was wrong in a way - I can improve the Documentation. As I've already mentioned in the "programming" thread, I've written brand new documents for the player system in revised HTML form, which I'm using as the basis to update all the rest. It's still true that (considering how I've qualified this statement time and time again by stating that added features from Demo 6 and above still have yet to be properly documented, are used with comments in current scripts) all of the information is there, and it's still true that all of the files are named for their exact purpose, but it can't hurt to tweak their layout some and add some cross-references. I still don't see how "getting started" is or was an issue, though (the original "General Editing.txt" laid out the basics of what's available). It's a super-vague question in the first place, one that's nearly impossible to answer. With the docs and example scripts there, if you don't know what you want to attempt to do, I don't know how to help you. The best way to get an answer is to ask a question that has one
     
  7. Rolken

    Rolken

    Tech Member
    In computer science there is a common piece of advice: premature optimization is the root of all evil. It seems to me that both of these communal projects suffer from the artistic equivalent of that. Whenever a new piece of artwork comes up, there is no tangible payoff for providing it; instead the community descends upon it and gives critiques for the next few days, sometimes even attacking the contributor for not providing something in exactly the right way. Even if those critiques are in good faith (as they generally are), that kind of reaction doesn't encourage a new contributor to continue contributing.

    Compare to the most successful communal project, Wikipedia, and the difference is stark. Wikipedia was successful primarily because there was no barrier to entry: anyone could edit a page and see consequences immediately. There is still a refinement process, but it is much looser in that a) most of the time it still validates the original contribution by leaving its impact on the page in some form; b) there is no expectation of ownership of one's work; as such c) refinements come more from the broader community than the original contributor. Graphical projects like this have the obvious distinction of requiring a certain degree of skill to contribute anything at all, but I think the core elements regarding the shape of the community and the effort->impact->accomplishment reward system stand.

    What I'm getting at is that I don't think you will ever have a successful project until:
    • You have a working engine (which itself should be open source so people can contribute to it)
    • You have a programming lead who designs the engine modularly so that the work can be shared robustly
    • People can plug their work into that engine easily so that they as individuals can enjoy their own work and the community at large can see tangible progress
    • A proper database of artistic contributions is devised for integrating work into that engine and discussing it in a more robust way than flavor-of-the-month megathreads
    I am happy to hear constructive opinions regarding my interpretations. Nonconstructive responses will be ignored. Also, my appearance here is not related to references from/about Stealth. Void where prohibited. Cash value 1/20 cent.
     
  8. Stealth

    Stealth

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    Sonic Mania, HCGE, Sonic Megamix, SonED2, [...]
    As my reference wasn't made with any actual malice or anything. I hate doing that but I feel like I have to sometimes

    On-topic, what you're saying makes sense. In the sense of "payoff", I was kind of pushing for that when I made this post, originally. It was a demonstration and step-by-step instructions on how I did it, and nothing really came of it

    I have a feeling there are people who will chew my head off for me saying it myself, but E02 and "Mettrix Engine" mostly fit these criteria. It's frustrating to know that and have things still turn out this way when it's already been chosen.

    "Mettrix Engine" is "open-source". It can't exactly not be. E02 isn't and won't be, but by its nature this project wouldn't need it to be. Anybody can add to and modify the actual game

    That, and the way E02 works, make the game "modular" in that you can develop parts of the game (different levels, enemies, bosses, gimmicks, etc..) independently from others

    It's as simple to add new work to the complete package as it is to create it. Scripts plug right in, Object graphics load from PCX files given the location and dimensions, and level graphics and layout can be imported with the level ripper, which functions by the command-line or the Windows launcher program. Already-functional "Zones" can be copied and modified easily to speed things up

    If someone isn't able to make sense of a particular piece of documentation, I've said before elsewhere that I can answer legitimate, specific questions. I just don't work well with generalities, but I am aware that SOME things are a bit more complicated than they seem to me, and it's not impossible that I missed something. I know that the demo post I referenced wasn't written too terribly well, in specific, but it still should have been a huge head-start. Is there something more I need to do?

    This all does nothing in terms of ownership and criticism, though, or in terms of storage. If you really wanted continuous live updates as in wikipedia, though, maybe SVN would work? It would still take more to manage properly than wikipedia, though, obviously

    If there really is a problem I'm missing with all of this, then it needs to be worked out one way or another. If the engine choice is up in the air again, then there's this for your consideration
     
  9. Jan Abaza

    Jan Abaza

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    The level slots are occupied by:
    1. green Indigo Island
    2. city/speedway Vertigal Vine (? ugly name, needs change)
    3. desert Sulphur Soil
    4. ruin/water ??? (scrapped art)
    5. green/speedway Frond Forest
    6. snow Cold Chasm
    7. green/factory Mercury Mire
    8. factory Clock Cork
    9. green/speedway Hepatic Hill
    10.cave Coal Canyon
    11.desert/factory Seizure Sea
    12.green Symmetric Slope
    13.water Rainbow Reef
    14.speedway Techno Track
    15.factory Fear Factory
    16.city/factory Egg Empire
    17.xtra Chaos Core

    Of these, 2, 3, 4, 6 are completley open, so if you make stuff for them, it'll probably end up used. I'd discurage any work on the rest until we have a working demo of level one done, though.

    ...well I kind of am, othervise I wouldn't be volunteering for the job, now would I?
     
  10. STHX

    STHX

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    The world of Trophies
    Sonic In Mushroom Kingdom
    If you allow me, could I ask some questions?

    What's the policy related to the sprites?
    Specifically, what style we should follow for the Sonic sprite?

    If this is going to be an hack, we may not afford to use a whole palette line only for Sonic, since we never know when an additional color may be needed. So, what is your suggestion for the total number of colors to use?

    Also, I suppose we are going to make a custom sprite for this game. Should it be similar to the other Genesis ones, or we have a bit more of freedom (of course it is obvious it must follow the proportions of the other sprites. I just need to know if there is a limit in the number of tiles it will have)?
     
  11. Banoon

    Banoon

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    Yeth (hack)
    Hm...

    Why not just finish Sonic 2 HD and make Sonic Retro using the S2HD engine?
     
  12. Because LOst's engine is

    A) Awful
    B) Intended for badly done "HD" remakes, not games with a comparable resolution to the Mega Drive
    and C) Meant for somebody elses' project and doesn't give us the right to barge in a take it for our use.
     
  13. Rolken

    Rolken

    Tech Member
    It's been awhile since I checked up on this, so I had actually forgotten that E02 was being used for this project. I think I was recalling the S2HD tech demo in my last post (on preview, I see replies confirming that).

    But while assisting with technical questions and difficulties is good and necessary, I don't think it will suffice to draw in the class of people who hear about the project somewhere and find the concept interesting but don't know enough about it to invest in it from the start. The key to Wikipedia is that noticing the 'edit' button at the top of a page is all that's necessary to start contributing and overcoming the initial state of ignorance and apathy towards the project. Most initial edits suck, but that sort of organic experience is what draws people in and gets them to learn more and (sometimes) start making edits that don't suck. For whatever reason, in my experience a lot of people find the very idea of starting to learn something new or do something unusual without that kind of intuitive automatic guidance incomprehensibly offputting, even when they're perfectly capable of understanding it.

    So if I were to make a specific suggestion, it would be to allow assets to be managed in ways that allow people to mess around with stuff in interesting ways - even if they have no idea what they're doing (and they won't) - and progress from there. For example, if a user is messing around in a level editor and he clicks on an item, a list of options appears somewhere with buttons to do things like change an object frame/animation to an image/anigif file of your choice, with another option to send your new image to the Retro server for others to check out, and another option to see what images people have already uploaded for that particular object and import the ones you like. The results are guaranteed to be terrible, and 90% of users will never get past making terrible stuff. But the 10% that do will be the people who go on to make these kinds of projects work. When you get the user past the "testing the water" stage and he's interested, you can start introducing him to the particulars of the different projects, what your goals and philosophies are, how creations are judged, guidelines and etiquette, etc etc.

    Ultimately, this is all hobbyist stuff done for personal entertainment, so you have to treat it like a game. Nobody reads game manuals; modern games teach you to play as you play, and scale up as you get deeper. The iPod beat the Nomad, and so on. Even requiring the user to download an executable is a test of faith.

    As a personal anecdote, I run a Sonic rankings competition website. Prominent registration and login prompts are at the top of the page. I put a big shiny 'Submissions' button on the left, so anyone reasonably attentive who pokes around the rankings and is interested in participating will be drawn to it. They're prompted with a list of games, and then prompted with a row of levels and boxes to plug their times in. 700 people have submitted at least throwaway stats, of which about 100 people grew to be regular competitors, and 20-30 seriously push the standards.

    I also coded a flexible skinning system which can do lots of things with CSS/images alone and just about anything with PHP, and offered to help people learn it. Many people expressed interest; few inquired; ultimately all the skins have been made by me with GerbilSoft and F-Man's help cleaning up my original terrible code. People just don't operate that way. I don't really understand it either because frankly I operate more like you than them, but that's how it is.
     
  14. roxahris

    roxahris

    Everyone's a hypocrite. Take my word for it. Member
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    Doing anything at all
    Personally, I'm all in favour of Jan being the leader and stuff...
    ...except for, you know, the no-spindash nazi purist side of him, which gives me nightmares whenever I go to sleep :colbert:

    And now, tl;dr time
    Chimpo MADE the Sonic sheet
    Irrelevant.
    a) it's spelt roxahris
    b) it is not spelt with an uppercase R
    I don't understand you.
    You speak as if were were explictly told "Okay, guys, make my game for me to THESE guidelines", but in reality, Chimpo was considerably open-minded. Within the restraints of strictness, of course.
    See what I mean by "everyone has a different vision of Sonic 4"?! You think it should be done all Megadrive-y, little to no story... like that! But Chimpo, and others have a different vision. They just want a little bit of story. Some want a lot of story.
    Also, I thought that the general consensus was that the Advance series were closest to the classic series than anything else?
    oh you got it right that time except for the capital
    No. You will be. See, you're being a douche about this; it's all serious business and "BAWWW WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THIS PROJECT GTFO" from you. I didn't abandon the project; I watched it. And let me tell you, I saw the same every month I checked in. Except for a few small posts... no activity.
    Anything is possible, within the reaches of logic.
    Haha. Of all the things you choose to say "this isn't possible on a NES" to, you say the online mode. Someone hasn't heard of the Famicom modem...
    On the other side, the music tracks have pretty much all been converted to NSF, or so I've heard. Thus, your comments about impossible things is the sorta silly, uninformed comment I'd expect from... well... you. Capcom was amazing at NES music, and.. they still are, it seems.
    You're not open minded, are you? No, thought not.
    Bankswapping. CD swapping. Stuff like that. But with a CD, you don't NEED lots of space for game data anyway; just audio. Sonic CD had cutscenes and lots of speciles dynamic tiles and shit. And lots of duplicated data.
    Someone's never played Rockman 2 Endless, Rockman 3 Endless, and Rockman 5 Endless. (
    Hell, I'm sure some random Japanese hacker is slaving away in secret on a NES version of MM9 that will be eventually released on a random 2ch thread and then lost for all time.) Also, Megaman games don't use chunks, genius.
    It's times like this when I wish Retro had the other type of spoiler tags too; the ones that open and close and save heaps of space. You know the ones.
     
  15. jman2050

    jman2050

    Teh Sonik Haker Tech Member
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    Screw it, I don't find myself the leader type, but I have to believe I can do a better job than what's been in display on this project so far. So I'll volunteer and see how that goes.

    Thanks for your troubles Chimpo, I'm sorry it didn't work out the way it should have.
     
  16. A decision such as giving Super Sonic green eyes will make a difference here, becuase he could only have green eyes in S3 as Sonic's sprite uses only 3 shades of blue instead of 4 in Sonic 1 and 2.
     
  17. Dr. Mecha

    Dr. Mecha

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    3d Models
    Sadly, we're still at the planning stages. So It best to have a general idea of what we want out of the game before we start programming.
     
  18. You don't need masses of planning to create a generic Sonic engine with accuracte physics and other elements from Sonic 1-3K
     
  19. jman2050

    jman2050

    Teh Sonik Haker Tech Member
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    Even moreso because we already have one
     
  20. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    Atomic Sonic Part II
    Don't worry Tuxedo Mask, I'll always love you <3
     
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