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Sonic 3 HD

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Relick, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Dario FF

    Dario FF

    Tech Support Hotline Tech Member
    I'm gonna pitch in and be an Allegro fanboy, and add Allegro 5 to the recommendations. Sure, some people will say the requirements are a bit bloated given that it needs a GPU, but aren't XNA as well? Besides, you get cross-platform portability across Windows, Linux, and OS X without having to touch a single line of code(I just did a little game for a competition on their site, and it compiled fine across all 3 platforms), supports GPU acceleration using both OpenGL and D3D drivers, OGG playback and various other sound formats supported, and incoming in version 5.1, native support for fragment/vertex shaders and even video playback. Heck, it even ports to iOS, and an Android port is in the works.

    You got every drawing, blending, input, sound playback, events, threads, routine already implemented in there as well. Here's a friendly link to the manual so you might consider it. All with distributing a library that doesn't require any external installers or ANY dependencies at all if you compile it right. There's also support for PhysFS integration, which allows your team to pack all game resources into a simple .zip file(you can change the extension), and read everything directly from there.

    Of course it would be in C/C++ then, but seriously, killing cross-platform compatibility IS an issue to consider. How many people were asking for a Mac version of Fan Remix when it released? Distributing an A5 game on Windows just takes sending a single(or a few) dlls that don't take beyond 2MB in the same folder. Similar with the rest of the platforms, although you can leave them easy enough instructions to compile it on their own.

    I know XNA and C# are great tools, but if your aim is to reach a wide audience as possible, I think I already pointed out what's better. (Cross platform compatibility + Easy and Light Distribution + Using open file formats such as PNG, OGG, etc.). How much people didn't even bother to download your pre-demo because of the requirements? Pretty sure it's a sizable bunch of people to consider.
     
  2. Conan Kudo

    Conan Kudo

    「真実はいつも一つ!」工藤新一 Member
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    The main reason I didn't mention Allegro 5 is because the API is still not frozen for it. Other than that, it is an excellent alternative to SDL and OpenAL.
     
  3. Dario FF

    Dario FF

    Tech Support Hotline Tech Member
    API is frozen since 5.0 actually(which had its final release this year, and some bug-fixing releases later). They're just adding features from 5.1 onwards now. Besides, they're not really the kind of people who would kill compatibility entirely in a minor version, as any minor versions tend to be backward compatible with the last major one. (4.0 and 4.2 api is compatible with 4.4 for example).
     
  4. Conan Kudo

    Conan Kudo

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    Ahh, I wasn't aware of that. That is good to know, though.
     
  5. Elratauru

    Elratauru

    Little Shiny Emurralds Member
    It was a quick example, though I said that maybe that would fit Sonic 2 art direction a lot more than Sonic 3's... Also, yes I know, I'm not a fire/particle artist...
     
  6. winterhell

    winterhell

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    In the beginning I was using Allegro 4 for 2D and it was good. Then I switched to OpenGL/C++ for 3D. It worked fine everywhere, but when Vista came out, my OGL projects suddenly either stopped working or were rendered incorrectly. Similar problems on other platforms started, like MacOS.
    What should I use for 3D that is multiplatform and It's guaranteed to work everywhere in the next 5 years ? And please don't point me at engines like Unity but rather at an API .
    For 2D only I agree probably Allegro 5 is a wise decision.
     
  7. dsrb

    dsrb

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    Yeah, as I said, it's pretty good in its own right! :) But it's too pristine and candy-like for what I, and I think (hope?) a few others, imagine S3&K would be like if done with today's technology, and in that respect it's basically just a slightly better done extension of the style this project currently shows—which is what a few of us aren't sure about. Even the small sprite looks as though its shading might have been meant to be more matte-like, although the small size and limited number of pixels makes it difficult to make any confident guess about the artists’ intentions.

    What you said about reimagining is perfectly correct, but it might take something a bit different; that's all I'm trying to say. I'm not questioning your artistic ability, here! (And as for the flame, I meant how it almost looks upside down, with tails at the apparent source rather than at the end! The actual design is fine—for this particular style. :P)
     
  8. Elratauru

    Elratauru

    Little Shiny Emurralds Member
    Yeah, the main problem about S3&K Style is that the concept art is pretty simple-shaded:

    [​IMG]

    Gallery:
    http://info.sonicretro.org/Category:Sonic_%26_Knuckles_Enemy_Art

    Maybe with a few more metallic touches, and less shinyness than my example they may be able to come up with a similar style... But again, the sprites used a lot more contrast than that...
     
  9. XNA's not that difficult to port, it just does a lot of the lower level stuff for you. For the most part you could take the logic and move it over to whatever you want without too many issues... You'd just do more coding that XNA saved you from doing in the first place. Also, I'm not totally sure why you'd harp on portability and bloat and then suggest SDL over OpenGL but that could be my own biases
     
  10. Dario FF

    Dario FF

    Tech Support Hotline Tech Member
    Ogre3D is a cool engine and handles most of the complex stuff for you with the little time I spent learning to use it, and it can also be integrated with Allegro 5 since you can just give it the display A5 creates as the render window. Pretty sure you can even use the 2D Allegro 5 routines on top of it. Ogre3D covers you for doing a simple 3D engine with just its own API, but it does have its own Mesh format and Material. Most of the files are human-readable anyway, and there's plenty of plugins for every popular 3D editting suite out there to make mesh exporting incredibly easy, with the skeletons and animations as well. Commercial games have been done with Ogre3D, a quick example I can mention is Proun.


    From their features page:
    I should mention that Ogre3D on its own just has the basic features of what you would need for a 3D engine. Any stuff like input, sound, etc., should be handled by another libraries. That's where Allegro 5 can pitch in luckily.

    My only gripe with it is that the entire API is C++-based, and I never like a library pushing down my throat to design my program around that. But given that you seem to be used to C++ already, I don't think that'll be much of a problem.

    If using an already made engine isn't the answer, Allegro 5 uses either D3D or OGL as drivers, so you can just use the regular OpenGL routines with it if you want.

    Distribution of an Ogre3D game is a bit more bloated though, but doesn't require any other dependencies AFAIK. The current editor I'm building is using Ogre3D, and I must say it's quite a great engine to work with, even if my experience so far is really limitted. I would recommend waiting a bit for the 1.8 release though, since it's bound to come sooner or later, although there's a release candidate on the page.
     
  11. winterhell

    winterhell

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    The game DOES work on Windows XP , and the choice currently is either XP and up and having XNA and .net 4.0, OR Vista and up and .net 2.0 (ironically). But seems like nobody is using XP I'd ditch its support for less dependencies.

    P.S. can I use Shader Model 3.0 on multiplatform Allegro 5 ? If yes then I'll consider it.
     
  12. Dario FF

    Dario FF

    Tech Support Hotline Tech Member
    It's Direct3D / OpenGL driver, and it will create the context for you. Anything that you can do with that, you can do it with A5. :v:

    Shameless plug example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g66hvZs8d1k
    All 2D using fragment shaders on A5. Use CG, GLSL, whatever you want.
     
  13. Clutch

    Clutch

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    This is going to be long winded and a bit behind. I apologize in advance.


    Here's what I recommend about approaching character sprites for something like this:


    If you actively approach this as a matter of just retracing the original sprites at a larger resolution you will fail.

    Don't focus on what a sprite would look like if it were higher resolution. Focus on the hypothetical: What would these artist have done if they had high-end hardware back in the 90s, or designed it now with the same gameplay?". The line between concept art and final game assets would blur quite a bit more. This is why, despite how I think Sonic 2 HD looks...alright now, I found it pretty staggering how much debate their was between whether or not they should follow the designs as depicted in the game, or as depicted in the concept art and manuals.

    [​IMG]
    The original sprites are nostalgic, but they aren't perfect. There are loads of perspective flaws that blurry CRTs and imagination could hide, some even seem deliberate just so a player could judge what the hell he was looking at in the early 90s. Sonic 1/CD has a noodly arm and ball hand, and his torso is out of perspective with his head. Sonic 2 has all the problems of the first with some questionable shading choices. Even as someone who likes the sprites in Sonic 3, I can say his proportions are exaggerated and his massive hand simply doesn't work if you just retrace over it. To top it all off, the Genesis palette used in the games isn't always the best, often making things look dimmer or more saturated than they should, often with dull skin tones, grey in place of white, and reds that could be described as eye-searing.

    On a personal note, you know what says "Larger, more appealing 2D Sonic" to me?

    this.

    [​IMG]

    Don't misunderstand me. Those graphics are small and this particular set of animations couldn't carry a game, nor were they meant to. They weren't designed for a game, they were designed for fun little cartoony breaks in an otherwise mundane slideshow. And that's why I like them. They don't look like game sprites. They follow a basic model and are fairly consistent about it throughout. Whether or not you like this specific interpretation of him, Sonic looks like a character who exists in the space, not an approximation of one.

    Ideally, I'd look at Sonic art from around that particular era. Safe range is probably any Japanese art from Post-Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles Collection inclusive titles (including Sonic Jam and oddball titles like Drift). Find a style to work with, and recreate the sprites from there. Follow the basic flow of the sprite animation and make sure it animates to work in the 3D space, but don't sacrifice aesthetic quality for the sake of being a pixel off to the original. I feel like that's missing the point.

    Or you could go the full 3D route like Fan Remix/Generations, as that's been quite explicitly stated to be what the team was trying to replicate back in 1991 (hence checkerboard hills and origami trees with high contrast color). But please, don't just pre-render everything. It worked for Donkey Kong Country because it was replicating something that simply could not be done at the time. There's no such excuse anymore, and the Sprite/Polygon mixing is one reason I can't stand Sonic 4's visual style.


    For an industry example that echos what I've been trying to say, The process of working on the original Earthworm Jim. Despite the miniscule resolution they had to work with, they approached it more like making frames for an animated film rather than a video game sprite. Jim had model sheets and animators required to stick to them so he'd maintain a degree of consistency. Even though the detail is lost and the game hasn't aged the best, you still see that level of work evident in the game itself. Jim's motion is fluid and believable.

    [​IMG]
    More here.

    Compare that to the HD remake which didn't involve the original staff.

    [​IMG]

    It looks higher resolution, but what the fuck am I looking at?

    Conversely, look at the Toki remake/remix:
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owQg9CRJgN0[/youtube]
    It speaks for itself.
     
  14. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    I DONE MAKED GAMES.
    What Clutch said for the sprites. OH GOD, WHAT CLUTCH SAID.

    As an aside; going for a cel-shade cartoon look might not be exactly what people would have in mind for a S3K upscale, but fuck 'em. I say do it, even if only to put some welcome distance between the look of this and S2HD. ;)
     
  15. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

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    I'm using XP. If I upgrade to Windows Vista/Windows 7 I'll lose my ability to capture video from game consoles as my capture hardware doesn't have drivers for it.
     
  16. Fred

    Fred

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    Sonic 3 Unlocked
    ...How many people did you ask!?
     
  17. .NET 4.0 and XNA -- "standards have changed". It's like complaining that something requires a newer operating system. 7 and Vista, is fine, XP is dead, has been for a long time.


    As for standards, the entire community goes batshit when they see something that's below their impossibly high standards. How about contributing some POSITIVE criticism? Reporting bugs, suggesting tweaks, not going completely hostile and shooting whoever they don't like down. I agree—this needs work, but I'm not going to be a complete asshole about it.


    On a side note, I'd hate to see minute nitpicking at what x or y looks like. Have consistency, have it look good, but please don't start nitpicking, this is going to slow things down to a crawl.
     
  18. Damizean

    Damizean

    As classic as rock Member
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    A note, if you guys want to go for the full 3D route as Clutch suggested, I can share what I have of my engine so far. I have no uses for it right now, until Pelikan is able to resume work on SFR.
     
  19. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Working on my art!
    ^^^ THISSS x 1000. Use Generations classic models... make one for Knuckles, and make level models for a truly awesome Sonic 3 upgrade
     
  20. Relick

    Relick

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    C++/DX10 Engine (not sonic related)
    You got any of it in action? I'm interested (no guarantees yet though).

    I'll admit it would be awesome, but I'm not the project leader here. Without disappointing a lot of people I wouldn't be able to easily make that happen.