New Sonic Engine Coming...

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Mercury, Dec 9, 2009.

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  1. Mercury

    Mercury

    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    I'm not sure how many of you have encountered a humble little programme called <a href="http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Extractor#Sonic_Extractor_8-Bit" target="_blank">Sonic Extractor 8-bit</a>, but there's something you should know about it.

    I had intended it to be a fully playable remake of Sonic 1 8-bit, with the ability to switch between the SMS and GG versions, as well as view the maps. It would have improved physics, ring loss, spindash, yada yada yada.

    Needless to say, teh nOOb's delusions of grandeur fell apart because of the sheer amount of tedious busywork involved in porting each level's tiles, objects, music and behaviour.

    However, that isn't to say much progress wasn't made. I had basically completed the engine.

    The reason I bring all this up is because I am announcing that I am working on an editable Sonic Engine, made in Game Maker 7. Its intent is to be an alternative to ROM hacking, for those whose ambitions surpass what the Mega Drive is capable of. I plan on having videos and demos soon.

    As an early morsel, though, I present a hastily compiled example of what Sonic Extractor 8-bit might have been, as a taste of things to come.

    And the purpose of this thread isn't merely to show off, but to gather data. I welcome all suggestions for features you'd like to see in an editable Sonic Engine. Of course I can't promise to include them all, but I'll do my best to keep the reasonable ones in mind. It wouldn't do any good to release a Sonic Engine that nobody wanted to use to make a game. (Oh, and I also wouldn't mind suggestions on what to call the engine.)

    Anyway, here's the <a href="http://host-a.net/MercurySilver/Sonic%20Extractor%208-bit%20(Playable).zip" target="_blank">SX8B 'Playable Version' DEMO LINK</a>, for your entertainment. I'd post pics, but it's late, and they'd only look like Sonic 1 8-bit, anyway.

    Over the next few days I'll get the video logging feature polished up, and hopefully you'll see Knuckles with his full moveset clambering about a zone full of loops and moving platforms. Thrills and chills!

    EDIT: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7fsV3I54DE" target="_blank">Video</a> and partial features list:<ul><li>customisable keyboard, <I>and</I> joypad support (optionally, analog stick emulates Dpad)</li><li>place objects and tiles with mouse (snap to grid, grid sizing and view settings)</li><li>real-time variable, expression watching</li><li>save and load created zones to txt files</li><li>three playable characters, built-in</li><li>record input movies, then playback and even convert to video files</li></ul>
    <b>UPDATE:</b> <I>Feb 10th, 2010</I>

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM7wRc5cjvA" target="_blank">New video</a> to show off the latest feature. I rewrote the engine so that the solid objects are scalable. This saves memory and makes it much easier to snap zones together. Even when snapping to an 8x8 grid, I can approximate Starlight Zone pretty damn closely.
     
  2. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    I was expecting a piece of shit.

    I was surprised.

    This is awesome.

    Physics feel just like they should and camera isn't awful like all those other games. Any suggestions I would have to offer would probably be things only I would want.

    Excellent job, I hope to see more.
     
  3. MarkeyJester

    MarkeyJester

    My predecessors have nothing on me. Tech Member
    Ah this is pretty cool, I like the idea of being able to toy around with the game while editing it in Debug, well, placing bumpers everywhere was fun, and I've found that the physics are nicely accurate to the original S1 8-Bit game, I love the fact that you've put the SEGA logo in there just like the original.

    A few issues I'd like to address however are:

    -> +**(Nevermind Chimpo explained this one)**+
    -> It's a little difficult to find where all the settings and controls are (I.e. when trying to edit it), it took me a while to find out how to toggle between debug and normal game.
    -> In full screen the game appears to lag like mad (Might be just my computer)
    -> No sound

    But as you've stated, it's obviously in wip stage, so I'll trust they'll be attended to soon enough, I would like to ask something though if you wouldn't mind, With this, would we be able to do something like... Improved graphics, high quality sounds, or anything going far beyond the 8-bit system? Because the fading to white and back seems extremely smooth.

    Well to sum it up, I love this so far, I might put this to use and make something out of it (Once it's complete of course), awesome work =)
     
  4. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    Jump button is 1 on the number pad.

    I don't have an issue with the game slowing down in fullscreen mode. Then again I built my thing to run anything recent so yeah.
     
  5. Mercury

    Mercury

    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    Actually, the physics are sort of a cross between the 8-bit and 16-bit versions, in an attempt to improve on the (in my view) deficient 8-bit engine. This results in Sonic jumping a little higher than he should compared to the environment.

    Also, my bad - I should have included a help file, but I had already made the zip for other purposes and didn't get around to updating it.

    Space Bar enters debug mode. Numpad 1 is jump, because I like having it under my right hand like a joypad. Obviously all the buttons and so on will be customisable in the finished version. At the moment, it should also work with a PC joypad, if you have one.

    As for improved graphics, etc, this only looks 8-bit as a matter of style - it's fully upgradable (resolution, animation frames, etc). The version I'm currently working on is made to look like (and play like) the 16 bit games. The only reason I put this up was because it was already slapped together, and I was too impatient to wait for a proper demo to show off.

    The lack of sound isn't a bug, I hadn't put any in at the time (no good way to rip SFX from the Game Gear).

    Sorry about the lag, it seems to be Game Maker's problem, it happens even with most objects removed. I'll be checking into optimisation, as well as the ability to switch off the v-syncing, which tends to make it work harder.

    Also, thanks for the "awesome", Chimpo, it means a lot to me. I want to work much harder to see this to completion!
     
  6. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    This is very, very cool.

    A shame it's made in Game Maker instead of a proper programming language, though, with all the limitations it implies.
     
  7. Tweaker

    Tweaker

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    Wait, wait, hold on... this entire thing is made in Game Maker? It's actually <I>correct!</I>

    Wow. I think you might be onto something big. Superb work so far; looking forward to your more developed engine in the future! :)
     
  8. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

    tails is still a girl Member
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    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    <strike>...How do I jump? Where's the music?</strike>

    Need to lern2read.

    This is pretty good! Now that I know how to jump, I'm going to give it another try. :v:
     
  9. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    <!--quoteo(post=382729:date=Dec 9 2009, 09:10 AM:name=ICEknight)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ICEknight @ Dec 9 2009, 09:10 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382729"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->This is very, very cool.

    A shame it's made in Game Maker instead of a proper programming language, though, with all the limitations it implies.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->


    <!--quoteo(post=382733:date=Dec 9 2009, 09:35 AM:name=Tweaker)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Tweaker @ Dec 9 2009, 09:35 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382733"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Wait, wait, hold on... this entire thing is made in Game Maker? It's actually <I>correct!</I>

    Wow. I think you might be onto something big. Superb work so far; looking forward to your more developed engine in the future! :)<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    facepalm.jpg

    You guys have either never used Game Maker or haven't seen the incredible things that can be done with it. It provides a simple framework for losing a lot of the initial, annoying work that has to be done just to get sprites displaying on the screen, etc. and is a perfect tool to allow individual people to write functional games and focus on the details instead of spending months wondering why they can't get their PNG to rotate right. Through the use of GML, you can write your own incredibly complex collision engines, and while GM is certainly not efficient by any means it is certainly is hugely useful for these specific purposes.

    TL;DR - Stop being playa haters, 'yo.'
     
  10. Techokami

    Techokami

    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
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    <!--quoteo(post=382729:date=Dec 9 2009, 06:10 AM:name=ICEknight)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ICEknight @ Dec 9 2009, 06:10 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382729"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->A shame it's made in Game Maker instead of a proper programming language, though, with all the limitations it implies.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Agreed. I mean, you could have used Lua or .NET scripting in MMF2. At least that way, your code could be used outside of MMF2. GML is locked to Game Maker.

    And yes Lostgame, I do know that Game Maker is capable of making amazing things (Spelunky is awesome)
     
  11. Lostgame

    Lostgame

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    <!--quoteo(post=382745:date=Dec 9 2009, 10:29 AM:name=Techokami)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Techokami @ Dec 9 2009, 10:29 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382745"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=382729:date=Dec 9 2009, 06:10 AM:name=ICEknight)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ICEknight @ Dec 9 2009, 06:10 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382729"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->A shame it's made in Game Maker instead of a proper programming language, though, with all the limitations it implies.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Agreed. I mean, you could have used Lua or .NET scripting in MMF2. At least that way, your code could be used outside of MMF2. GML is locked to Game Maker.

    And yes Lostgame, I do know that Game Maker is capable of making amazing things (Spelunky is awesome)
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    So why are you guys bitching about it? I don't get it. Is it just that you think you're 'better' than him because you'd do it in a 'real' programming language? There's no harm in it, and it doesn't take away from the fact that the engine itself is great, and still took a lot of effort to make.
     
  12. Techokami

    Techokami

    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
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    <!--quoteo(post=382775:date=Dec 9 2009, 10:10 AM:name=Lostgame)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Lostgame @ Dec 9 2009, 10:10 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382775"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->So why are you guys bitching about it? I don't get it. Is it just that you think you're 'better' than him because you'd do it in a 'real' programming language? There's no harm in it, and it doesn't take away from the fact that the engine itself is great, and still took a lot of effort to make.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Uh? It's great to see him making the engine in the first place, but my concern was about portability, in an effort to see his work be usable on things other than Windows PCs.
     
  13. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    <!--quoteo(post=382739:date=Dec 9 2009, 07:02 AM:name=Lostgame)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Lostgame @ Dec 9 2009, 07:02 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382739"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->facepalm.jpg

    You guys have either never used Game Maker or haven't seen the incredible things that can be done with it.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    In regards to Sonic games, everyone so far has made nothing but shitty Sonic clones.

    Yeah yeah, potential and shit. None of that means shit when a majority of the projects out there still feel inaccurate. Now we're actually seeing something on the same level of the originals so you can't blame us for being surprised.
     
  14. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Well, I must say I like the accuracy of this, as well as the changes (camera fix, ring loss, spindash, Peelout etc.). A bit disappointed by only 2 acts (c'mon, you could've at least put the boss in too!), but since this is only an engine, that doesn't really matter.

    The problem with Game Maker is that it tends to give large, unoptimised files, and as said above, has compatibility issues with some computers. However, once the engine is fully functional, given that most of the collision detection etc. is scripted, it shouldn't be TOO difficult to convert to another language. Of course, it'll take some time to do this.

    Looking forward to the 16-bit engine.
     
  15. Bareirito

    Bareirito

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    Oh, my God!

    I'm quite surprise of what you've done.

    I played it and it's awesome. I liked the spindash and I liked that now you can retrieve your rings when you received damage.

    I noted that green chaos emerald, so I'm going to ask if the 6/7 emeralds will have a different color.

    Beautiful engine!
     
  16. Cinossu

    Cinossu

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    While I love what you've done here, I'm not going ape-shit like everyone else is.

    Yes, it's an amazing thing you've done, but with it feeling like the engine of the Master System/Game Gear games.. ehh, I don't think so much so. There are many discrepancies, such as with rolling down a hill, with running speed in general, etc. (things like the spindash and ring loss are a lovely touch, though).

    However, I am looking forward to where this goes. :P Keep up the good work, just needs a little more refinement.
     
  17. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Game is pretty decent, I'll give it that much. As far as sonic games go, it's pretty good and I'm sure the engine is just great blah blah blah.
    And it does run under Wine, albeit with the minor issue that it eats up the entire screen with blackness and then has the game itself only take up a tiny corner of the screen. Better than most game maker games I've tried, I'll give it that much.
     
  18. Mercury

    Mercury

    His Name Is Sonic Tech Member
    <!--quoteo(post=382879:date=Dec 9 2009, 10:47 PM:name=Bareirito)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Bareirito @ Dec 9 2009, 10:47 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=382879"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I noted that green chaos emerald, so I'm going to ask if the 6/7 emeralds will have a different color.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Yes, I had planned them all to be different colours - I didn't like that they were all blue/grey in the original.

    Now - since this is sort of confusing, I'll try to make it properly clear this time. I am not working on making Sonic 8-bit playable anymore* - this demo was posted merely to show off the engine. The engine is based on the 16-bit games, so it is <I>not</I> accurate to Sonic 8-bit, and was not intended to be.

    The engine is progressing, and here is a video of its current state, playing as Knuckles: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7fsV3I54DE" target="_blank">here it is</a>.

    Don't be shy about asking for features. Even if it's something you think only you'd want, I still would love to hear about it. I like a programming challenge, and you never know what I might be able to pull off.

    <I>*if there is enough demand, I might finish snapping it together in the future, time permitting</I>
     
  19. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    A fighting system like Henry Hatsworth for Knuckles.

    Upgradeable abilities obtained from items.

    Doors or teleporter that lead you to other areas rather than the level ending via signpost.

    You know, basically turn it into a Metroid game but with Knuckles.

    You won't add any of these.
     
  20. nineko

    nineko

    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    <!--quoteo(post=383208:date=Dec 10 2009, 12:59 PM:name=Chimpo)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Chimpo @ Dec 10 2009, 12:59 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=383208"><img src="public/style_images/retro/snapback.png"></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Doors or teleporter that lead you to other areas rather than the level ending via signpost.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Hey, these were in GG's Scrap Brain Zone, and since he said he's going for an 8-bit feel, I wouldn't be surprised to see them implemented.

    As for the engine itself, I haven't had a chance to try it yet, I'm sorry, I'll probably do that on saturday.
     
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