Discussion in 'Project: Sonic Retro (Archive)' started by Retro_Stew, Nov 9, 2008.
Amy could just appears as a cameo in sound test or something like that...
Let me reiterate; these are in no way shape or form the designs being used.
However, what I have done here is show a little development that can be done to emphasize the differences between Sonic and Knuckles' character with only very small changes. Here's what I have done;
Basic construction - I've stayed fairly true to the "classic" Sonic spine shape, and given him the longer legs of the new look, to accentuate his sheer speed. Also, his pose is designed to look like he could blast away at speed in a second. Knuckles has a larger body than Sonic to give the impression of a heavier character and his limbs are generally thicker. Also, I have made him shorter than Sonic, a little personal thing; I supposed his short stature would explain some of his fist-flyin' fury. Napoleon complex, anyone?
Facial expression - Sonic has the larger eyes for more "cartoon appeal" - given that he's the main character. Plus, the eye shapes (In general, not the pupils) come away from the center of the face in the same manner Disney used to construct their cartoons in the 40's -- it was theorised that this gave them more appeal. I have also played down the 'tude and smirk from recent designs because it irritates me. Knuckles has narrower pupils to make him look angrier, plus a very pronounced smirk; this guy can and will fuck you up. Also, I shortened the dreadlocks so they don't draw so much attention away from his face.
Altered outfits - Both outfits I have altered in ways to make them a subtly different, and also asymmetrical, a thing I think we should really go for (Because, depending on the proposed platform of this project, it should be nothing really to have L/R sets of sprites, right?). Sonic has shoes that look like they could grind (I admit, I liked this in SA2, and wouldn't mind sparing use of grind rails in P:SR personally), and I have stolen the ankle-bandana from John Bender, a character in the John Hughes Movie, The Breakfast Club; from whom Bart Simpson got his catchphrase "Eat my shorts" and the alcoholic robot in Futurama got his name. You want real attitude? Get it from somewhere genuine, not a fucking Nike smile. Knuckles on the other hand, now has a neckercheif in place of the unexplained crescent chest decal (I admit, I liked Knuckles' cowboy hat in the OVA) and a spiky bracelet to make him look more of a beserker. His shoes are now practically half metal (Not that you'd see this without colour, so I added the rivets) to make him appear heavier.
Now, whether these get seriously considered or not, I want you to take into account the depth in which I thought of these changes. Because in good character design, NOTHING IS DONE WITHOUT A REASON. The roundening-off Amy's spikes up there, and the subtly-changed costume (And lovely colours. Did I mention those?) made me think that as a community project we can probably be a little less precious about the characters and actually do their personalities some justice.
I don't propose any sweeping, radical changes. I just think it should be looked into. Your opinions, gentlemen?
Well, this is original, fresh, new, but I'm not sure if this is what we want.
Reminds me the new style of crash bandicoot... kinda "badass"
Or the new looney toons...
I don't know how it reminds you of those monstrosities, but I feel rather insulted.
Like I said, I'm just providing an example of the sort of thought that should go into character design.
Thinking about it, I am rather insulted. Those Loonatic things are fucking awful. Angular geometric shapes for no rhyme or reason is precisely not what I was doing at all; there may be some surface similarities (I can notice one; an off-center mouth/grin) but beneath the superficial, this is the opposite of what I did.
I wouldn't say your design is awfull, because it's kinda great, but look at the sonic face (and especially the eyebrows)... He looks a little like frankenstein
Hmmm, I see what you mean. I forgot to mention how little time I spent on these. 15 minutes before bed last night, scanned them this morning quickly. As I've said, though; I'm not seeing these as serious designs (Although, to be fair I might fight to have that ankle-bandana included, I love it. XD) more as an example, with the accompanying text, of the sort of thought that should go into this.
Not just the main characters either, the shapes and forms of badniks should emphasize their behaviour as well. Had I more time, I'd explain a thing or two about colour usage as well, I have a lot to say about that.
I might try a Sonic concept art, too. But Isn't it too late to think about that? I mean... The sprites are already done, and they are good. Quite good.
Well... I tried :|
Why would we do changes like these? Isn't it..."fan-game-ish"?
Shouldn't the main objective of this game to revive old-school Sonic?
Old-School Amy is one of the first things that you remind when you say Sonic CD - the most retro-ish Sonic game. I really think that Amy should be involved at the plot - of course, being kidnapped by Eggman. But what I really would like is that she would be unlockable after beating the game once. An extra, harder mode, because some of her abilities are limited.
Actually, to come to think of it, I think that this project is leaning too much onto Sonic 3 & Knuckles' direction. Too many environmental zones, few industrial zones, the art style is COMPLETELY directed into Sonic 3 & Knuckles direction, we should base more on other games of the hedgehog and even innovate more.
We might not have enough industrial zones as of yet but so far we've only been working on the first couple of levels, there is still plenty of space to fit more in, also whos to say we can't add somekind of mechanical element to the levels we already have.
As for Amy being used as a hard mode I feel we should instead expand on the differences between the main Sonic/Tails/Knuckles gameplay. Ever since I was a kid I always saw sonic as being 'normal' mode with tails being 'easy' (same as sonics but with the ability to fly) and knuckles' game as 'hard' due to the fact he can't jump quite as high (although a shorter game). I say if you want hardness levels then increase the degree of difficulty of each ones various routes.
I feel like im always criticizing your posts but its frustrating to see time and effort put into decent well made work for a subject that not too many people are keen apon when it could be put to much better use on something thats likely to be in the game.
Some of your post I couldn't understand because you type without much punctuation, and some of your words seem misplaced or mispelled.
Please do explain yourself, specially on the last part.
I find it hard to switch between writing on my dissertation and casual conversation.
Anyway the main point I was making was...
Tails = Easy mode
Sonic = Normal mode
Kuckles = Hard mode
Rather then add in Amy for an extra hard mode why not just increase the difficulty between the characters we have.
And in the last point I was just saying how I find it frustrating that so much work is put into ideas that seem to have already hit a dead end, rather than putting the talents towards improving content we already have or are likely to use. Thats not really a complaint just an observation.
Oh I got it, but I wouldn't really care putting Amy as a playable character, but I think it would be essencial to put her as one of the plot keys. And yeah, I kinda agree with your observation.
Anyway, now that I'm on vacation I'll be able to help more with the in-games graphics, I'll see what I can do.
Personally, I find it easier to play as Knuckles, because he can climb walls and glide. Tails can fly, but this is limited. Sonic can only jump, but he can... well, wall-kick. Not much compared to the others.
Amy as a playable character probably wouldn't be able to do any of these. Which is what would make playing as her hard.
As for the zones... I agree. Most of the zones are very organic, with very little mechanical zones. Sonic 2 has Chemical Plant as the second level! Going with the current zone scheme, why don't we have, say, an abandoned base-type zone for one of the first few zones?
Say, in act 1, the light could all be dim, and it would be very dark. As you progress further, some parts have fallen underwater due to leaks. All the mechanical objects have been deactivated. At the end of act 1, a robot or something sees you, and activates an alarm. You fight a miniboss, like a guard robot, and in the second act all the machinery is activated and the lights are on.
But that's just a random idea. What do you think?
You know what could be cool? Something like a ruined Eggman base. Imagine Scrap Brain 1 or 2 years after Sonic 1, how much could it have changed? I imagine it like a ruined base with overgrowed vegetation coming trought walls and floor, without some of its gimmicks broken and other which still manage to work (althought they din't work very well, for obvious reasons).
@Jayextee: I hope you don't mind me commenting, but I feel some constructive criticism is warranted for those redesigns of yours.
I'll start by saying that they're not particularly BAD as such but they are somewhat... conflicted. Some of the ideas don't particularly mesh well and for some unexplainable reason they give of an Archie comic vibe.
One thing that particularly bugged me was that ankle-bandana. A unique concept, and I applaud the idea of asymmetry in sprites (for the sheer fact that Genesis Sonic is known for pushing system limits and we're trying to design this with Genesis standards in mind), but the idea of a random and somewhat lonesome ankle-cloth seems contrasting with both Sonic's design and his personality. Sonic is a minimalist, in both character design (with the simple, recognisable shapes and such) and in-game personality (he runs wherever he chooses with nothing to hold him back; that cloth would be nothing but an annoyance to him and an unneccessary accessory), so the cloth added on seems almost as if it was added simply for the sake of adding it. Plus as far as I recall the only time Sonic ever accessorises is for functionality purposes (I.e. Bounce Bracelet).
Also, just out of curiousity, is there any reason why you made Sonic look so... angry? Or why his limbs look unnecessarily stretched? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that's just your drawing "style".
We're not reinventing the wheel, we're just thinking of new ways to use it. Design changes are always a nice thing to see but they shouldn't be over-played. The thing with Rave's changes to Amy is that within her character, all of those changes look very natural and aren't at all over done or out of character. If you push too hard to make changes you'll only end up changing too much.
But I'd like to see the asymmetry idea kept, just not in the form of that God-awful ankle-bandana.
Hey, I think I read somewhere in this thread about a save feature like that in S3K. I'm assuming that includes the ability to select a stage to start from upon completing the game on that paticular save file. But what about 4a and 4b? How would that work?
Well, I thought of this: When they come to 4 on it, it'll default to whichever one they played through originally. Then if it's 4a, they can press the "c" equivialent to change it to 4b, and vice-versa.
The ankle-bandana was a purely arbitrary addition for no other reason than I loved it when John Bender in The Breakfast Club wore one. Your reasons why Sonic should not wear such a thing are exactly the sort of reasoning we need here, thanks for that!
As for the angry Sonic with stretched limbs, I stated that his general shape and pose were quite extreme to accentuate his speed, and again I state: I'm not proposing any of these changes, but to get used to the kind of thinking behind them. By questioning everything I've done as well as you have, you're showing that you could probably design a much better thing than the quick example job I whipped up there (And that's something I wouldn't mind seeing).
Again, I'm repeating myself. We aren't necessarily redesigning the characters here, this is an important exercise that will carry on into other design areas of this project. Think about this; if everyone designing badniks (As an example) had the principles of character design already in their heads (From exercises such as this), we'd see much better designs, full of character. I also went for some changes I knew would be unpopular (Although I expected Knuckles' neckerchief/spiked bracelet to come under more fire, hahahahah) to try and encourage the sort of analysis and discussion that this project needs.
Whether or not we use any redesigns or not, I think this should be done anyway, for the reasons outlined above.
I wouldn't be so sure of that.
I've never been very good at drawing people/characters.
But then again, the only way to improve is with practice so it couldn't hurt to try, right?
I quite liked those additions. They weren't out of character as Sonic's redesign was and we've seen Knuckles partake in much stranger accessorising (Cowboy hat anybody?).
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