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Main Character Art

Discussion in 'Project: Sonic Retro (Archive)' started by Retro_Stew, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. DimensionWarped

    DimensionWarped

    Erinaceous! Oldbie
    KISS please. Old School Sonic games never demanded that you go back and replay levels. Ergo, it makes more sense not to try and force players to have completed certain segments to access certain areas in previous levels. Provided that the levels are engaging and contain enough variety and choices on their own merit, having excess crap like that isn't necessary (and generally doesn't sound that exciting). Rather than directing your effort at making paths that open up with emeralds, spend that energy making more levels instead.
     
  2. Amistat

    Amistat

    Member
    Fair enough, just throwing it out there.

    I'm currently having a hard time judging what the direction of the project is; some ideas trying to build and evolve the classic games are being approved where as some ideas similar are being shot down.

    People seem to be against anything that'd add replay value so far. While it's true that the game should be worth playing for the levels themselves, it's always nice to unlock things and feel you've earned something. So far that concept is being totally ignored beyond the standard chaos emeralds that we're used to.

    I get that we're trying to make a retro feeling game, but the idea that the games would have moved forward so little feels odd. I mean the jumps have been fairly impressive between the 2D games:

    Sonic 1 - The start.
    Sonic 2 - New character, spindash, plot, new level structure (2 with boss at the end of the act), Super Sonic, 3D special stages etc
    Sonic 3&K - New character, extended plot, new level structure (1 large zone split into 2 parts...kinda), Super Emeralds, New abilities, elemental shields, alternate character routes and bosses, save feature, bonus stages etc etc
    Sonic CD - Ramped up grahpics, 2 new characters (although unplayable), time travel, new moves, time trials.
    Knuckles Chaotix - Partner play, random zone selection, size changing monitors, whole new cast and abilities etc etc
    Sonic Retro - Ramped up graphics, more shields, branching level structure, possibly a world map, minibosses.

    Doesn't that seem a little slim to anyone else? I'm not trying to belittle the efforts of anyone here, far from it. I love the work being done but it seems like we're sticking so close to the original formula we're terrified of trying anything new and actually allowing Sonic to progress. It's been shown that they wanted to build on what they already had with Crackers and Chaotix. While it's true the games weren't all that great as the choices they made were pretty lame in places, but it does show a form of development none-the-less.

    Now I realise I'll be unpopular for saying this, but it has to be said. It's true not all new things will be appropriate or good, but something simple that adds replay value can't be a bad thing surely? Everyone is planning to finish this project, play it once then not bother any more? O.o

    The old games never forced anyone to replay anything this is true, yet we did. Adding something like the Emerald Doors would not be forcing players to replay either, it'd just be a bonus if they really wanted to try everything out and get the most out of the game.
    Sonic3&K never forced anyone to replay the whole game as the other characters but we did, why? To see the new routes and try new things! I doubt anyone finished it with Sonic then said "Hmm, Knuckles and Tails have new stuff I can do...nah. I'll redo Sonic." rinse, lather and repeat. If there's some incentive to replay levels they already have, people will generally do it for the sake of exploration and curiosity, and often have a blast doing it. Especially if they get some sort of reward for doing so!

    Not all replay incentive is good, the challenges and junk in Sonic Rush Adventure were pretty terrible and a blatant attempt to add replay value for the sake of it. The main problem with them is they offered no real reward. If for example you could unlock Tails or Knuckles by doing them all, I bet a lot more people would have bothered giving it a go. Both for the sake of curiosity, and for the sake of completeness; no one likes thinking "There's another character I can play as, but I can't use them yet." It drives them to keep going so they get the most they can out of the game.

    By sticking so close to the original formula, we're passing up some old school gaming techniques that could truly improve the game and drive it forwards.

    Is anyone else feeling the same way? o.o

    To clarify, this isn't a rant because my ideas get shot down (it's not even supposed to be a rant) as if they're not right for the project, they're not right for the project. It's no biggie; I generally jot down any concept I can in case it is useful in some way and inspires something better. I'm just a little lost as to why new things do seem to be rejected so often as they're not like the old games.

    What completely new concepts have been accepted for this project?
    So far I know of branching level play and two new shields for the mix. Everything else seems to be slightly adapted versions of what's already come before, it's a safe route, but one that robs the project of so much potential. We've seen great ideas in other hacks that have worked out great, level hubs, extended cast of characters, even some more complex systems like Mighty's shield swapping system from Megamix slotted well into the standard gameplay and added a new level of depth to the game.

    So uh...yeah...not actually sure where I'm going with this...just rambling really :)

    *vanishes in a puff of smoke*
     
  3. Matwek

    Matwek

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    I think people are keen to add more content to the game but the idea of 'unlocking' new things just doesn't feel right.
    S3&K may have added extra content in the form of new characters to play as, seperate routes and bosses and the added extra of having to find 14 emeralds, but all of this stuff was playable from the outset. You didn't have to complet the game to unlock knuckles and you didn't need extra knowledge or routes to get all the emeralds, if you spent the time you could get them all on the first play through. Like wise Time attack modes and 2 player modes were always avaliable from the start, the only thing that could possibly be classed as an unlockable is being able to replay levels after you finished them.
     
  4. roxahris

    roxahris

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    So what you're saying is that a gimmick is a major feature? Personally, I think your emerald doors concept, while nice, isn't the sort of thing that would fit in a Sonic game. Sonic games shouldn't involve needless backtracking to unlock stuff.
    If you're calling Super Mario World Sonic and Knuckles, you must know nothing about the Mario series. You have also missed out Sonic CD. I'd rather equate them like this:
    Super Mario Bros. = Sonic the Hedgehog
    Super Mario Bros. 2 is kinda tricky, because it's wasn't a Mario game to begin with. It doesn't really fit well, but let's just say it's equal to Sonic 2.
    The Lost Levels might be closer to Sonic 2, but Sonic 2 isn't that hard. Hehe.
    Super Mario Bros. 3 is a big Mario game, with lots of secrets, and levels. So really, I would put it next to Sonic 3 and Knuckles.
    Super Mario World is rather different from Super Mario Bros. 3. Many of the new ideas in that game aren't in this one. It was on a superior console, though, so the graphics, along with various other things, were upgraded. So really, it should be more equal to Sonic CD.
    New Super Mario Bros. is basically a new game built off new and old ideas from the varions NES/SNES games. There's many powerups, an overworld, various worlds... it even has a diverging path in the level/world order, so it's pretty close to Sonic 4.
    Sonic Neo, however, I would say it's a horrible name. NSMB specifically points out that it's a new game from an old (sort of) thing. However, there's no need to go into detail about names, because the name of this project/fangame has been decided to be Sonic Retro.
     
  5. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    That's true, S&K vs World was a stretch. But yeah, just throwing it out there. I don't really like Neo either. But I'm not big on Retro at the same time. I don't really care, it IS jut a name.
     
  6. Retrogamer

    Retrogamer

    1996: Sonic flips the birdie. Member
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    I was playing Revenge of Meta Knight on Kirby Super Star, and I got a brilliant idea for the final boss from it. At the end of Revenge of Meta Knight, Kirby and Meta Knight race to get off the Halberd before it plummets to the ocean. If you fail to escape in time, you die.

    If a player were to collect all the Chaos Emeralds and beat the final boss, Sonic would go super to finish off Robotnik. But the destroyed mech self-destructs, and Robotnik gets into his Eggmobile and escapes, as Super Sonic follows.

    Your goal would be to escape from wherever you are. The explosion is following you and Robotnik, so speed is priority one, while avoiding various obstacles. If you were to get caught in the explosion, you'd instantly die. You start with 50 rings, and if you transform back to regular Sonic, who isn't fast enough to escape from the explosion, you'd also die.

    What do you think?
     
  7. roxahris

    roxahris

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    I thought of something similar to that some time ago.
    I really like that idea. It's like Sonic 2's ending, but interactive!
     
  8. Phoenix

    Phoenix

    Has really been far even as decided to use even go Member
    I like it, but it almost feels like Crash Bandicoot in a way, right? I'm talking about other games too much, aren't I?
    I don't see much point in this. The ancient Echidna holdings thing is pretty cool, but the part about fighting Fang isn't my most favorite idea.
    That's another pretty good idea for this, and sounds sort of like a thing that would happen with sonic.
    Also, 100 cups of coffee!

    S3K.

    A little bit like the ARK in SA2 combined with the Death Egg Zone boss on S3K, right?
     
  9. Mobiethian

    Mobiethian

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  10. DTX

    DTX

    A fellow w/a name fit for nary a man save himself Member
  11. muteKi

    muteKi

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    When I first saw it I didn't like it as much, but I do now. While I think we should in general shy away from overly crazy futuristic fonts, it's probably okay in this context, and does as noted remind a bit of the old Genesis logo.
     
  12. Amistat

    Amistat

    Member
    I know we're focusing on the current zones for now to get them up to the best quality we can, but after destroying my sleep pattern and emptying my coffee jar due to Fallout 3 it sparked the little elves who live in my mind to start drawing up plans that would eventually develop into an idea.

    ...told you I've been drinking a lot of coffee >_>

    For a later level what about Möbius Wastes. The name conjures up nostalgic images of the planet Mobius continuity that I know I wasn't the only person that believed in it at the time, and the name also serves as a clue to the level structure.

    The level is a desolate wasteland area, desolate brown dirt as far as the eye can see with a crumbling cityscape and distant mountains shrouded with fog in the background.
    Clever use of parallax backgrounds (and foregrounds) could really give the impression that this place is vast (if the plane Sonic actually runs on is just the "baseline" so-to-speak of the parallax so it appears he's on 3D flat ground instead of the usual 2D plane, or at least at the ground level anyway).

    Anyway, enough of the aesthetics, the real point to the level, and the thing which makes it stand out against regular Sonic levels, is the looping.
    Many levels have used a vertical loop where falling off the bottom makes you pop out the top (unbeknownst to the player at least) but none have had a horizontal loop.

    Combined with the level name I think you can see where I'm going with this...

    By simply running through the wasteland the player will get deja vu, or at least feel like they're running down a corridor in an episode of Scooby-Doo, as the layout appears to just loop (to keep some for of illusion up for any amount of time, no ring boxes could be placed in these areas as they leave debris and enemies would have to re-spawn).
    To actually progress through the level the player would have to use certain routes.

    For example, the player holds right and just runs on across the relatively flat wasteland. After three minutes or so they begin to realise they've already been through this bit.
    They explore a little more and discover a route through an underground bunker (in which ring monitors could safely be placed), when the emerge they're in a new part of the wasteland. They continue on, after a few minutes they discover again that they're stuck in a loop, just a new one. Every couple of minutes they seem to pass the exit of the bunker they came out of.

    The level could have 3 or 4 sections of looping ground with various routes that will allow access between them to progress onwards.

    The level could play with the things that have been set in stone previously; not all springs will work, some break as you jump on them (even breaking the ground beneath them to open routes), loops (the kind you run through) might crumble as you run up them, turning them into ramps, etc. It could be a lot of fun and give several "ha ha, oh wow" moments for the player as the loop they just spin-dashed into breaks apart and Sonic is propelled into the air instead of rolling smoothly through it.

    So uh, yeah, another random idea :psyduck:

    *whistles and goes to play Fallout some more*
     
  13. Dan Genesis

    Dan Genesis

    As it was predicted. Plus, this is like some cute Member
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    Top Secret. Bitch.
    KuroKomix LPs and Blog.
    You're my hero.

    Can you say "Robotropolis"? Also, I believe it would be properly spelled "Mobius" going off a) that's how it's always been printed in the comics and b) ö is used in German as representation of pronouncing an "o" as if an "e" were following it, which in this case would result in "Moebius", which is what Scourge (formerly Evil Sonic) renamed the Anti-Mobius after conquering it apparently single-handedly.
     
  14. Phoenix

    Phoenix

    Has really been far even as decided to use even go Member
    Well, for one the level idea is a great concept, especially the breaking springs and loops, although it reminds me of something that is only encountered once on AIZ act 2 (and with a lot of searching). Did this idea by any chance come from the breaking vine swing?

    Also, the ö in Möbius is correct, seeing as the word came from German. I don't know why they named the planet that, though, since a Möbius strip is a strip of paper or some other material that has one side while appearing to have two.
     
  15. Amistat

    Amistat

    Member
    The idea of breaking objects the player is used to didn't really spawn from anything, the idea of a crumbling level seemed to fit with the idea :P

    Thinking about it now though there have been other times when similar tricks have been used; as well as the vine, swinging platforms in both Aquatic Ruin and Ice Cap have both broken to make new uses for them (such as the AR one turning into a raft).

    I like this idea, it keeps the player on their toes a bit and shakes up the gameplay. When the same objects appear as a staple throughout, it doesn't hurt to mess with them a bit to avoid monotony. One of the base concepts of games is the training of the player (here comes the psychology bit! :( ); if they break a certain container and it holds a certain item, they're going to be inclined to break the same type of container and expect a similar item throughout. Suddenly changing the rules can cause their brain to kick in again rather than act on autopilot (we've all been there right?) and makes them re-engage with the game and take more notice of what's around them. Something like this is also vital to prevent a potentially barren looking level from being considered dull.

    As for the Möbius thing, as far as I understand the meaning, it's essentially something that has no end, such as the Möbius strip. With a potentially endless level (if they player's an idiot anyway) it seemed to fit.
    The original concept was Endless Wastes, but Möbius seemed to fit nicely and tied in with the warm and fuzzy nostalgic feeling that still dwells somewhere within me.

    Other potential names could be; Eternal Wastes, De ja Desert, The Wasteland, Desolate Valley, Dust Hill (:() and uh, well anything else sufficiently lonely and empty sounding (Lonely Landscape?).

    A quick edit to show ideas for the Wasteland springs;

    [​IMG]

    1) Regular working spring. Certain ones of these could just compress into the base instead of springing up though, serving no purpose other than to annoy and flummox the player =D
    2) A selection of heavily damaged springs, they act just like solid scenery.
    3) A spring that's already lost it's head. It just sways in the breeze.
    4) Appears to be a regular spring, but upon jumping on it, it bounces up...and the head goes flying off. Sonic can either be sprung properly (essentially a one-use spring) or fall off as if hit but loose no rings.
     
  16. Rokkan

    Rokkan

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    I like the spring idea, but it wouldn't be very nice to appear every level. Say, putting it on the Underground level and the last level.
     
  17. Amistat

    Amistat

    Member
    Well it's not intended to be put in every level, only the potential wasteland level I pitched where everything is old and decaying.

    If it were in every level it'd defeat it's own purpose; it's not a break from the norm if it is the norm =P
     
  18. Jayextee

    Jayextee

    Monochrome Cat Game Guy™ Member
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    Sketchdump:

    [​IMG]

    I spent an hour doodling Fang for ideas. Although there are things here I like (The long coat wearing, fist-pumping Fang, hell yes) there is not enough experimentation here. I have posted this as an example, and an exercise.

    Now, who's going to one-up me? I know you can! :(
     
  19. Rokkan

    Rokkan

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    Eh, I don't think that Fang should get re-designed, his design is quite good enough. Except for the napkin, I think a red napkin on his neck (???) would suit great.
     
  20. Matwek

    Matwek

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    I do like the Jacket, maybe it could be used durring an in game cut-scene as he throws it off to reveal himself. Very metal gear solid 2 like