Sonic 2.5

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Slow the Snail, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    Latest image (Jun 20, 2020):

    [​IMG]

    Sonic 2.5 is a project my brother and I always daydreamed about. Today I was looking at my old projects to later make a video of my game-making journey, and some of the oldest files I still have are from this concept, back from August 2011.

    When it came to deciding which classic game was the best, there was no argument, it was both Sonic 2 and 3. To us, Sonic 2 had the best music, levels, and nostalgia, while 3 had more characters, power-ups, transformations, cutscenes, level transitions and it's overall an evolved form of its predecessor. So if we made a Sonic fan game it had to be a mix of the two.

    Unfortunately, at the time we didn't have too much experience in making games, so we moved on to other projects and Sonic 2.5 ended up being shelved indefinitely.

    Still, I feel the few stuff that we did make seems to have aged just fine even though we had no idea what we were doing.

    [​IMG]

    Sprites from Sonic 3 and 2 on the sides and 2.5 in the middle. The only difference between the middle ones is the eyes. Not sure what looks better... Pupils 1.5 pixels wide is not an option :)

    For the stages, our approach would not be to create something completely from scratch but use the backgrounds of the Sonic 2 stages as inspiration. As if Sonic was revisiting the same island, but different places only previously seen from afar.

    [​IMG]
    For example, stage 5 would be Red Mountain Zone, a stage with metal highways that linked the cliffs seen in HTZ backgrounds.

    [​IMG]
    I made this mockup for the stage a few years later as a pixel art exercise. It's clearly out of proportion compared to Sonic 2, because I had no image as a reference while drawing. The hot weather would probably need to be changed into something more akin to HTZ.

    Other ideas for stages, from my spreadsheet:

    1 - Emerald Hill turns into Grey Hill, as some of the land has been covered with metal plating similar to CPZ. The animal friends you usually rescue from inside the badniks are being captured as you traverse the level (again you are seeing a familiar story but from a new perspective).
    2 - IronFalls - Tubes carry all sorts of materials that are seen on other stages (Robotnik uses this network of tubes to feed materials between stages).
    3 - Mud Temple - Flammable mud (Sonic Mania stealing our ideas :V).
    4 - Midnight City - Gimmicks turn on and off with blackouts.
    6 - Haunted Mine - Has 2 planes, warps horizontally (like Metropolis, but in the other orientation).

    As for overall gameplay, we wanted to explore the in-between of Super Sonic and Hyper Sonic, as each was introduced in one of the source materials. From that came the idea of each emerald giving a special temporary power from Super/Hyper Sonic, until eventually Sonic collected all 7 and completed the transformation.

    But having 7 transformations would be too much, so we decided that instead of transformations the game should have a new shield, the Emerald Shield™, with 7 color variations. So if you get the red shield and you have the red emerald, you have access to new abilities (and some visual effects indicating the shield is active), otherwise it's essentially a regular shield, like in Sonic 2.

    From the spreadsheet:
    Red Haste- Increases acceleration. Move: Diagonal air dash (up or down).
    Yellow Rise - Faster when going uphill. Move: Double Jump.
    Green Magnet - Attracts rings (weaker than Thunder Shield). Move: Insta-Shield (increases magnet range).
    Cyan Spin - Less friction when rolling, invulnerable roll (Mighty in Mania ;)). Move: Downward Dash (like the Water Shield, but instead of bouncing, dashes forward when you touch the ground [I'm looking at you, Drop Dash]).
    Blue Dash - Instant Spin Dash, higher speed cap. Move: Air dash (same as Fire Shield).
    Purple Flash - Move: Flash (destroys small enemies full screen, like Hyper Sonic).
    Grey Strike - Move: Homming Attack - a bit different from Modern Sonic's. You don't bounce off of enemies with this move and you can use it on enemies that are above you.

    It can look like a bit too much having all these power-ups... Only after playtesting on actual levels we would be sure it's not too overwhelming, but that never happened :)

    Anyways, thanks for reading if you got this far. Maybe someday we come back to this project, who knows :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
  2. ZodiacPrince

    ZodiacPrince

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    This sounds really neat. I'd love to play it if you ever got a build of it running. That said, I'm personally not too big into the shield concept, but that'd just because it's hard to make a complete picture in my head of how it would function.
     
  3. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    For sure the shield concept is the one I'm the least confident about, mainly because there's too many.

    I've been developing in pico-8 for a while now and made this little mockup as a pixel art exercise.

    [​IMG]

    I'm considering minifying the whole concept into a small proof-of-concept for Sonic 2.5 with 1 or 2 stages.
    Making a full fleshed-out fan game is too far away from the realms of reality for me right now, so maybe this could be a good way to test the emerald shields idea and iterate over it until it feels good.
     
  4. ZodiacPrince

    ZodiacPrince

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    I'm not a coder but I've used game dev tools like RPG Maker and Game Maker 8 and I can certainly tell you that it's easy to overwhelm yourself with ambition. You start thinking, "Oh, this would be cool!" Then you start working on that, and another thing, etc... And eventually you realize that it's now too much work keeping all your parts moving the way you intended and you can't progress any more until you bug test all of it in every area and make sure it'll mesh together properly. Then you realize you should downscale but it hits you that if you try to remove anything it could completely break the game because of what you've added to it.

    At least, that's how my projects have turned out. xD My point is, yeah make a super simple prototype as a proof of concept and slowly build up from there. If your base level concept isn't any good, nothing you add will suddenly make it good. Put your all into making one or two good levels. If you can hit hard with your first public showing you'll have a foothold!

    Sorry for being preachy, btw. I tend to ramble sometimes, lol.
     
  5. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    Yeah, I already made that mistake once. Luckily on a fairly small 2-week project, but it was enough to learn my lesson :P

    That is some good advice right there :)
     
  6. ZodiacPrince

    ZodiacPrince

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    I can see this being a good fan-game, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you take it. If you want some help with testing I have nothing but spare time, so I'd be happy to send you some feedback. Just let me know! :D
     
  7. Ben™

    Ben™

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    This is an interesting concept. I like the custom Sonic sprites as well. Personally, I prefer the second design (2px eye). Sonic in Sonic 3 looked a bit cross-eyed, and the new custom sprites you've made fix that and make what is (in my opinion) the best 2D Sonic sprite I've seen. I'd talk (let's be real here, whine) about becoming a tester, but not only do I have less time than usual, I've also learned through prior experience that tester positions shouldn't be open until there is at least some playable material to test.
     
  8. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    Thanks, Ben!
    Lack of time is not much of an issue. If someone plays once and gives valuable feedback it's just as helpful as someone dissecting small details. It's just different types of testers for different purposes. I have no idea when this project will see some actual progress though. I tend to always be juggling more projects than I can handle lol
     
  9. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    [​IMG]

    I'm working on the pico version now.
    I'm using Emerald Hill as a reference, later it will be changed into its own thing.
    There are a bunch of things I just slapped together to get it done before the weekend (small individual tiles should be larger chunks, the grass is too short on the flat surfaces, Sonic shouldn't curl when going off ramps, Sonic animations are not synced to velocity, etc). Lots of WIP stuff.

    The physics engine is almost done, just lacking rolling and spin dash mechanics.

    Also, the gif is 30 fps, while the game runs at 60, so you can expect it to look a bit smoother in-game.
     
  10. Aquova

    Aquova

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    Excellent! I've seen some of your Pico-8 work before, and it's quite impressive. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
     
  11. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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    New area:
    [​IMG]

    Red shield:
    [​IMG]
    • Red shield air dashes downward diagonally;
    • If you hold up when air dashing, you will dash upwards instead;
    • The shield looks bad because the gif is 30 fps, while the game is 60 fps;
    • The dash graphics will be added later;
    Some silliness:
    [​IMG]
    Sonic Hawk Pro Skater?
     
  12. Yoritoshi

    Yoritoshi

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    Cosmic Boll
    Making him roll in midair like that fits so well I'm surprised I don't recall seeing it anywhere before.
     
  13. Slow the Snail

    Slow the Snail

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  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    quipu two metres apart
    I noticed this the other day - it's quite impressive. And also probably the shortest demo I've ever seen at SAGE ;)