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Is it essential to have a timer in Sonic games?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Gestalt, Jan 15, 2023.

  1. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Fans seem to be divided into two camps: those who like the Starfall Islands, and those who think they look like a bunch of stock assets mashed together. Because of that, I think the next game should take place on one of the islands from the earlier games and maybe try to go for the full open-world experience. It's 2023, I want everything on one big map! Problem: that alone wouldn't be Sonic-y enough without the arcade-y elements the series is known for.
     
  2. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    What do those complaints have to do with a timer? That's an aesthetic complaint, not a mechanic complaint.
     
  3. kyasarintsu

    kyasarintsu

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    I don't think a timer is necessary at all. Score is a good-enough reason to motivate faster play, and there realistically aren't any diabolical traps to time you out anymore.
     
  4. I didn’t realize the Colors timer functioned in that way (freezing the score). I think that’s a much better system than just time overing considering the games don’t reset the clock upon dying.

    IMO, a Sonic game should constantly push players towards improvement by making the hardest paths the fastest, most fun, most stylish, and most rewarding in terms of score. I say it as if it’s easy but Sonic Adventure 2 was pretty close. The problem, outside of the general level design being a bit restrictive, was that too often scoring elements made you slow down. Unleashed also had a pretty solid rank system that requires a nearly flawless run for an S rank.

    Some kind of timer is an essential component to this. Like I stated, I don’t think time overs are necessary though. There are a lot of times where I run through certain sections and then purposefully die so I can test routes. If the timer continues as it does now, that would limit how long I could do that for which would be annoying.

    This probably isn’t a new idea, but while writing this I realized Sonic could really benefit from a section practice mode like in rhythm games. Implement a stage practice mode and let players drop a marker that lets them respawn from there directly so they can practice certain sections over and over to improve their times.
     
  5. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member
    I interpret them as "please change the art style to something like the levels from Sonic Generations." But that probably would feel too tacked on. Without the arcade-y elements (timer, score system, catchy and energetic soundtrack), it would be just a game of mindlessly cruising around. Unless you make it work somehow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2023
  6. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    I don't see how you came to that interpretation. It's pretty obvious people just find the look of the open world to be bland. That has nothing to do with lacking "arcade-y elements".
     
  7. Gestalt

    Gestalt

    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Maybe I'm wrong then. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway, I still have no clue how a timer in an open-world could work. The challenges in Sonic Frontiers don't count, because those have more of a countdown.

    It would feel super weird when you enter an area of the map that's supposed to be the Action Stage and suddenly a timer pops up and the music changes. But maybe that's just me.
     
  8. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    In a game about speed, a timer allows for having fun with Time Attack modes.

    For a more exploration based game, the timer is less important though.

    Games could always follow the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 model and start a timer when you begin attempting a goal, then you'd be able to have time attack modes for just sections of open world games.
     
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  9. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    This reminds me of how Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts handled its overworld. I think it could work. When you enter an "Action Stage" area, a small exclamation mark appears on the screen indicating that when you press a certain button, the Time Attack mode starts and you get teleported to the beginning of the "stage". When you press nothing, you remain free to further explore the area, maybe practise the course for a bit. It wouldn't be as bombastic as in previous games, perhaps more something in line of LW, but I could see that working.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2023
  10. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    It was good enough for Sonic Jam...
     
  11. Palas

    Palas

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    Eh, I never liked this approach. Improving becomes a conscious effort, rather than an organic feature of continuously playing the game. Pushed to the extreme, it means strolling through the easiest path will get you to the end, albeit with terrible score. The classics handled it better: the slowest path is the hardest, by virtue of being slow, so it means you can't maneuver as much and will end up dying. Either you get better in order to access to the (generally upper) fastest -- and less cramped -- path, or you get better and forcefully acquire enough skill to make your way out of the slowest sections, or you'll just simply die and have to try again. You have to really beat the stages rather than learning what you're supposed to do.
     
  12. That’s odd because I was thinking of the classics when I wrote that. I don’t know if the slow, bottom paths in those games are actually harder or just seemed that way because you only end up there when you are just starting out and suck lol.

    Maybe instead of hardest, I mean “demanding,” as in they require more active participation and faster decision making rather than, “tricky platforming” (like Chem Plant).
     
  13. Palas

    Palas

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    That's fair, in that way: if you make a mistake, you'll be thrown into a slower path. But really, in order for them to be faster, they're most often the top of the huge blocks that make up the platforming below. Aquatic Ruin, having water below, might be the most obvious example.
     
  14. That’s what I always think of actually. I don’t think I ever made it to the upper section as a kid. I didn’t have the patience or motor skills to navigate the moving platforms in the beginning lol.