Project Direction

Discussion in 'Project: Sonic Retro (Archive)' started by Tweaker, May 6, 2009.

  1. Overlord

    Overlord

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    This sort of approach to the problem is something that should have happened from the beginning - removes the whole OMG ONE PIXEL IS OUT OF PLACE issues straight away.

    And for what little it's worth, a "Sonic 4" most likely would have been on Saturn, some time around launch, but seeing as obviously this isn't doable a Megadrive version could also have been released in late '95/early '96 (see how late SMB3 was on NES, compared to SMW, which would have basically been Sonic 5), so a MD ROM would make sense - and here's why it works for us:

    * Many hackers in the scene who know the ins and outs of the hardware
    * A solid engine to port off (like S2 was built off S1 and S3&K was built off S2, an S4 would have been built off S3&K
    * Known limitations to work at/around
    * MANY well-established community artists
    * EXPERIENCE ON THE PLATFORM

    The only hack to date that has worked well and had multiple team members has been Megamix, a game unashamedly based off the S1 codebase. Imagine if you will a Sonic 4 based off the S3&K engine, complete with S3&K style mini-cutscenes, that builds on that game and takes it further.
     
  2. Mikel

    Mikel

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    My Personal Thoughts.
     
  3. Phos

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    So lets see, positions that I think will need to be filled:

    Director
    "Producer" (Maybe, think we need one?)
    Lead designer
    regular designers would just be members
    Lead Artist (I nominate Rave, for actually making something that almost looks finished)
    Same deal for regular artists
    Lead programmer
    Programmers would probably need to be accepted by the leadership
    Music director
    same deal with the designers and artists.

    Something that I think was kind of glossed over was the importance of requesting that people actually state that they're interested in doing X/Y/Z for the project and getting an assignment, rather than just "lurk the project forum for a while, then post some random thing that we don't actually need"

    In all honestly, I think that the platform this should be on should be decided upon by the leadership after they have been decided upon. And please don't complain about the director actually directing.
     
  4. Andlabs

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    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    I could do any of these; but of course I would like to help write music as well.

    That's an interesting idea. But rather than giving an assignment, just have them pick and choose certain badniks/objects/levels to work on.

    Given the right programming, it could run on any platform. (Well, maybe not Atari 2600 =P )

    That's just stupid. It's a project, not the United States government. The director is supposed to direct, and he is trying to do so for the betterment of the project.
     
  5. Shadix

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    While I doubt that Community Projects work at all in an online setting where noone is required to take responsibility for themselves, what I'm saying is that the way the community contributes to the project should be handled in a different manner. Like, the community promoting representives to develop the game.

    Think of it like government, we elect people who have authority because if the public had direct authority nothing would ever get accomplished. The community should still have a say, but at the same time, those elected into those positions should have the directive to do their job without having every ounce of their work scrutinized every step of the way. In order for shit to get done those who have these positions need to be able to design content and whatnot without having the community deliberate for hours over miniscule details.

    Have community auditions, have people post detailed resumes of their work and what they've done in the past, etc. This should be like a job interview if you're serious about it. Set project goals, deadlines for content, put your new members through trial phases to test their commitment and ability. You need people that want to work towards this goal, not people that want to have a little fun and boost their egos.

    Plus, by having a consistent team, it alleviates the bound inconsistency problems that are currently plaguing the other big community project here.

    In a sense you could I'm saying that it should be more of a community-sponsored project rather a directly community involved project. You can bitch all you want, but when this game hasn't got anywhere in another year because your sticking to this whole "WE CAN DO THIS AS A COMMUNITY" idea you guys are going to have noone to blaim but yourselves. IIRC this project didn't even become a community project until whoever was in charge original got a hardon at the idea of having an entire community under his control after being a pretentious, passive-aggressive asshole to other communities where these games are commonplace.

    The only reason I even bring this up is because I've ridden this community-driven rollercoaster too many times in the past, being a veteran member of the fangaming circle. It traditionally happens whenever someone gets the bright idea to try to make a 3D Sonic fangame, but this isn't too different. It always seems like a grandiose and great idea in concept but never works out in execution. (like communism)
     
  6. STHX

    STHX

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    Well, guess its time to give my point.

    The easy answer would be "depends on what we plan to do"
    But this means we must decide what we plan to do.
    This project started as an attempt to create "Sonic 4". At first, it was a great idea, however 2 things bugged me with this:
    1) I don't think is right to think to do a "Sonic 4", because we are not SEGA, and we are not Sonic Team (and don't forget many other "Sonic 4" already exist)
    2) As a name, Sonic 4 could also limit our freedom with the project (depends on how far we could try to go)

    However, if we intend "Sonic 4" as something like Mega Man 9, but with a different name, then the Genesis should be our main platform.
    But, if our intention is to create a plausible sequel to S3K, the situation becomes complex. It is unlikely SEGA would have made Sonic 4 on the Genesis, and considering the 32X bombed too, Saturn seems the only solution. In this way we could still make a 2D game, but with the Saturn limitations.
    Of course, there is the last choise: nor one, nor the other, but something completely different. Basically, the PC, using an existing engine (like E02)

    Each one of these choises fits a tipe of game, but no one is perfect.
    Genesis (or one of its add-ons): the Mega Man 9 way (a new game, but with the exact engine as the original)
    Pros - Its the original platform
    Cons - Not easy to do something more

    Saturn: A true sequel (2D game, but with the Saturn limits)
    Pros - High quality music and graphics
    Cons - How many here knows how to program for the Saturn? (and don't forget: if SEGA actually made a Sonic 4 for the Saturn, chance is it would had been in 3D to counter Mario 64, but this is too far from our idea)

    External Engine: A game like the classics, but also something more (A game with the classic style, but without the Genesis limitations and a wider array of options)
    Pros - High versatility
    Cons - Will not work on the real hardware. Many decisions, many choises

    I think this is the most important point to clarify before anything starts.
    What is our objective? What do we want to create? How far we could try to go?
    Only after this we will know what platform better suits our needs.

    Again, there is an easy answer and a complex one.
    Easy: The limits of our platform
    Complex: Depends on our platform and on what we plan to do during and after

    The problem doesn't exist with the Genesis (and doesn't exist with the Saturn, since, if we must have Genesis limits, then it is better to do it on the Genesis from the start).
    So let's make an E02 example.
    Let's say we follow the Genesis limits. When the game will be complete. someone could port the whole game, or the important parts on the Genesis. This won't require much work, since the game already follows those limits.
    If the game doesn't follow those limits, then porting it to something else won't be easy without altering the graphics and the music.

    This example is extreme, but it explain the point.
    The best solution is to follow the Genesis rules. Further on the development, we may dacide to change them.

    Controllin a limited number of contributors is easier than controlling a whole forum.
    However, if contributions become limited to just a restricted amount of members, then this won't be a community project anymore.
    I guess there is a need of a core team which handles the decisions and sets the proper style for the game. But every member should have the chance to contribute.

    One leader won't make it alone.
    But too much will cause even more problem.
    Let's analize how a game is made of:

    There is a general idea on what to do and a set of rules that the contributors must follow. One member should be the main leader. and its main role should be to organize the project, the targets and the contributions. Every final decision will come from him/her. The leader must resolve internal arguments as well as stimulate others to help. Its the most important role, and it should not be underastimated (and don't forget: if the project has problems, many will claim the responsability on him/her. This role is full of responsabilities)

    Then, there is the graphics. The style of the sprites is unique in a Sonic game. There is the need of someone who can give directions on how to follow this style. He/She will also probably be the one behind the Characters sprite sheets, or at least the one who will make most of the things for it.
    There could also be a second one specialized in level art.

    Then, there is the music. Not every song can be a Sonic song. The songs in the Sonic games are unique, so I think that a leader of the music area is needed. His/Her role must be, beside the one of main composer, to valuate which songs really follows the set style of the Sonic songs and which not.

    Then there is the programming. I guess the main programmer will take this role.

    Last, there is the concepts. Be careful. We are making a new game, and so there is the need of a concept leader. A new game is made of concepts. Badniks, stages, bosses. All these things must be decided before others can start putting them in the game. The concept leader must valuate every idea posted, and chose the ones which fits more with the style of the classic games.

    In the end, we may need:
    General project leader/Producer
    Sprite artists leader & Level Artist leader
    Composers leaders
    Programming leader
    Concepts and ideas leader

    The last role could also be made by the main leader.
    I can't give any nomination, because I can't deny the fact I'm also interested in the project leadership.
    I'm new, but I too have a clear idea on the project direction.
    I'm also a spriter, so I could help in that part too. Or there is always the concepts leadership.

    Everything I needed to say, I said it before.
    If there is something I can do to help the project in any way, I'll be gladly to help, and even to accept any leadership role. I too have a clear idea on how I see this project, and I'll love to see all of us working together to make it real.

    One last thing I would like to repeat: Don't rush. Not at this point. This is a crucial moment for this project, and rushing now could bring the whole project to its doom. If time is neede to bring all things to a set point, then let's use it, or we will regret.
     
  7. OSM

    OSM

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    I can definitely help with some concept art of some badniks and level designs. I'll also try to get back to helping with Sonic's sheet.
     
  8. Hodgy

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    Games programming :)
    STHX pretty much has it right to be honest.

    I love these community projects but I cant really contribute anything :ohdear: I cant sprite, program for the genesis or make music :(
     
  9. Andlabs

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    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    Be wary. If I recall correctly, this was the most controversial part of the project. So call me crazy, but I think Sonic's sprite sheet should not be high priority.
     
  10. Phos

    Phos

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    That doesn't make any sense at all.

    Honestly, the way the sheet was going, it was kind of ugly. OSM's idle sprite was nice, but the standing/walking/running stuff didn't look right at all.
     
  11. test-object

    test-object

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    Clever ideas are always more then welcome. Don't tell me you've got no ideas, do you? :)

    What? Are you joking? The most controversial things should ALWAYS be handled first, presto. :psyduck:
     
  12. Andlabs

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    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    <!--quoteo(post=307800:date=May 10 2009, 04:35 AM:name=test-object)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (test-object @ May 10 2009, 04:35 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=307800">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->What? Are you joking? The most controversial things should ALWAYS be handled first, presto. :eng101:<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->We tried that, twice.
     
  13. CyclopsCaveman

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    Discussed:
    - Project leader(s)--nominations and decisions
    - Intentional limitations—yes/no
    - Anything else of direct relevance to the project as a whole

    If Project Retro is going to head in any sort of direction, it needs capable leaders that can handle a project as titanic as this. Those leading need to be able to oversee the entire project quickly and easily, and there needs to be a checks and balances system in place, so that one person won't just put everything they like in and trash the rest simply because they don't like it. At least three people should be used to eliminate bias, and they should be from a different spectrum from the userbase each. If the users are decidedly different and not just people who think that Genesis is the best and we can't do anything above Genesis because anything above Genesis sucks except Sonic Adventure, we can have a balanced decision-making process that puts quality material in the game.

    Limitations on Project Retro should only matter stylisticly, if the artists are better at making pixel art, and the art turns out better pixellated, then we stick to 2D or 2.5D to make sure the project works. However, since we're going to be releasing this fro pcs, we should manage the project much diiferently than if it were on genesis. We have the ability to have high quality art and music, as well as loads of effects that the original Genesis games never had, and we haven't been able to jump on them. The project would be better as a whole if we could take what we're no longer limited by, and use that as a means to a much better end than SAWNICKZ FOURH.

    The Project should also move in a very futuristic direction from the 2D Sonic games, we can have so much more than what we want to have and make the game decidedly better than it can be, and we're automatically taking it and using it to jump up to the next level. We're letting what we think will be fun drag us down, and in the end we'll just be making another generic hack of Sonic.
     
  14. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

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    I know I haven't done jack with this project except propose an autumnal-themed stage (which got nixed when Chimpo became project leader - not that I'm bitter, it was a smart idea to focus only on the one zone; I could simply repropose it later on), but I'd still like to toss in my 2 cents:

    <!--quoteo(post=306601:date=May 6 2009, 02:48 PM:name=Tweaker)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Tweaker @ May 6 2009, 02:48 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=306601">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->- Target platform/engine being used<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->PC, honestly. Making it just another Genesis game - or rather, a Sonic hack... how does that set this apart from the bazillion other Genesis Sonic hacks that have been produced? What would make it unique? Don't tell me "community-developed" would be the only thing.

    <!--quoteo(post=306601:date=May 6 2009, 02:48 PM:name=Tweaker)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Tweaker @ May 6 2009, 02:48 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=306601">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->- Intentional limitations—yes/no<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Maybe. I wouldn't push it as far back as Genesis graphics, sound, etc, especially when, honestly, much better alternatives exist (64 colors vs., say, VGA's 256; FM synths as opposed to full-out MOD music or MP3s; etc), but intentionally limiting a palette to a few shades per color (or at least developing some sort of swatches) would probably be a good idea.

    Also, if it's possible to do crazy 3D effects (well, comparatively crazy to what usual 2D Sonic fare is), similar to what Chaotix did, I say go for it. It's not like it wouldn't be stylistic - Sega always had a tendency to flaunt all the crazy things its new hardware could do. I know that, if we're not doing a Genesis hack, then we're leaning toward E02, for good reason; and not being up-to-speed with E02, I don't know if it supports funky things like that or not. If it does, though, definitely go for it.

    Abstaining from the rest, since I can't offer an opinion worth beans on any of the rest.
     
  15. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    <!--quoteo(post=307941:date=May 10 2009, 02:03 PM:name=Andlabs)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Andlabs @ May 10 2009, 02:03 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=307941">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->We tried that, twice.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    You guys tried it. I ignored it.

    Fucking retards don't know about placeholder art.
     
  16. CyclopsCaveman

    CyclopsCaveman

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    <!--quoteo(post=308109:date=May 10 2009, 10:12 PM:name=Chimpo)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Chimpo @ May 10 2009, 10:12 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=308109">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=307941:date=May 10 2009, 02:03 PM:name=Andlabs)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Andlabs @ May 10 2009, 02:03 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=307941">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->We tried that, twice.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    You guys tried it. I ignored it.

    Fucking retards don't know about placeholder art.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Then we could use something simple to represent Sonic until the end of production. Say, a stick figure colored blue. This way when Sonic sprites become #1 priority, it will be later rather than sooner, so that the sprites can be designed to look good around the game, rather than game around sprite.
     
  17. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

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    Just use the S3 sprites as a placeholder for now, it has most the animations you would want. S3 used S2 for a while.

    This should totally be built off the 32x S1 port that drx made. It would give you more colors for levels and other stuff.
     
  18. CyclopsCaveman

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    Why don't we just

    You know

    Use real limitations for PCs rather than made up ones to satisfy some fucktarded need for nostalgia.

    Seriously you guys are blinding yourselves by thinking that it has to be close to the original Sonic games or it's "bad". That's terrible thinking and it needs to stop right now.
     
  19. The Shad

    The Shad

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    Well at this rate it doesn't matter because we'll still be talking at each other in a month over this same shit.

    Maybe I need to declare myself a leader and break out the whip so we can get back to attempting and failing to be productive
     
  20. Andlabs

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    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    <!--quoteo(post=308151:date=May 11 2009, 01:07 AM:name=CyclopsCaveman)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (CyclopsCaveman @ May 11 2009, 01:07 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=308151">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Why don't we just

    You know

    Use real limitations for PCs rather than made up ones to satisfy some fucktarded need for nostalgia.

    Seriously you guys are blinding yourselves by thinking that it has to be close to the original Sonic games or it's "bad". That's terrible thinking and it needs to stop right now.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    I suggested we don't talk about limits until later in the project, when we have enough to sift through decisions and see which are best.

    I think it's time to stop talking and start establishing the project leader and the concepts (levels, etc.). I already nominated myself for a leadership position.