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Sonic Adventure Generations

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Dude, May 6, 2012.

  1. Blivsey

    Blivsey

    Charismatic Sonicaholic Member
    Caught another bug. One of the jump pads after EC's first checkpoint sends you over the orange rings instead of into them. I think it's one on the left.
     
  2. synchronizer

    synchronizer

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    Will you be remaking Red Mountain as well?
     
  3. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Played the mod. If it shows anything, it's that unless you are heavily modifying it you shouldn't use the Sonic Generations engine for such open levels. I think the mod is a good experiment and it seems like you did put effort into it, but it just doesn't work well with the engine. I can barely see what's coming due to the camera and it might also not be the best idea to use textures from 15 years ago.

    Not that you should stop making this of course, I think it's an impressive mod. But you should keep the limitations of the engine in mind. While the levels are re-designed to work in Generations, I don't think you designed them to work well in Generations.

    edit: I do disagree with Josh that 3D Sonic should be really forgiving. It doesn't have to be, they did it in Generations to get past all of the engine's flaws. If there ever is an engine in which Sonic controls well in 3D (hopefully Sonic Lost World's engine) it won't have to be.
     
  4. Josh

    Josh

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    Let me clarify... REALLY forgiving may have been the wrong phrasing. What I was thinking of was that making a successful jump from 2D to 3D meant that you needed to make your game more forgiving. 3D is exponentially more complex than 2D, and it was important to put safeguards in place to deal with that. Mario got an open world and a life meter. Link could lock on to enemies. But Sonic? Sonic got a homing attack, but he also got WAY faster and much less precise. 3D Sonic followed the marketing hype that Sonic was all about SPEED, and used the game to show THAT off at the expense of playability, ESPECIALLY for a new player.

    That doesn't mean the Sonic Adventure games were BAD, per sé. But it is in large part why they were so polarizing at the time, and why they're aging so badly now. It wasn't until Sonic Unleashed, an entire decade later, that they started to figure out how speed-based platforming could even work in 3D.

    I don't think the result is exactly a limitation of the Generations engine. That'd be like complaining that the Source Engine isn't giving you a good 2D fighter experience. The Hedgehog Engine wasn't built with speedy open-world platforming in mind, but rather with incredibly fast, albeit more linear level design. Trying to cram the former into it is quite a challenge, but after a few more plays, I do believe it's possible. Once I stopped trying to play it like Generations and thought of it like SA, it was amazing how well the game started coming together.

    So all I meant by "more forgiving" was that the levels should be designed so, for example, you don't have to always hold forward to end up where you need to. If you blast off in the wrong direction, you'll fall to a lower path (which awesomely happens quite a bit anyway) or be blocked in by a fence of some sort. Just a bit more focused, a bit more clear. If I'm frustrated, I want it to be because I'm lacking enough skill to get through a challenge, not because of awkward level design.

    EDIT: Oh, and while I haven't watched it in a while, this video was most definitely on my mind for this post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW-nMRZGpgA
     
  5. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    >Hedgehog Engine
    >Anything about gameplay

    The Hedgehog Engine is a graphics engine.
     
  6. Rosie

    Rosie

    aka Rosie Member
    Sonic Unleashed and the games of its ilk can't really be seen as good platforming in 3D, because really whenever platforming turns up the game switches to 2D.

    Dude, your work is excellent as always. I'll give the mod a go once I can afford a decent graphics card. I'm interested in a couple of things though; why do you tend to focus on SA1? Does it have some special meaning to you? And, are there any plans to add in Ryan Drummond?
     
  7. ItsBrieDude

    ItsBrieDude

    my brain is the spinning seal gif Member
    More Bugs here.







    Dat Collision, Dude.
     
  8. Josh

    Josh

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    Haha, right, thank you. I think I was just tired of typing "Sonic Generations engine" so many times.

    What's the entire first half of Crisis City?



    Controlling your movement and jumps is essential, here. That's platforming. But everything's extremely clear from where you need to go to where each path splits. The platforms tend to be quite wide to accommodate the speed you can use. If you fall, it's likely you'll take a hit in the lava and be able to jump back to safety rather than dying from a minor mistake. There are plenty of other examples, but Generations definitely made platforming in 3D work. It's not ultra-precise unless you put a lot of time into it, but it does work. And if you DO sharpen that skill? The air boost, the stomp, the way you can ascend off enemies, the ramps... everything about it can come together to let you pull off some really slick things.
     
  9. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Yeah, the engine allows for platforming. But only platforming that gets around all of the engine's flaws. You never have to stop during the 3D platforming parts and you never have to look further than what's right in front of you. When Sonic slows down it isn't fun to control him anymore, because the controls and camera aren't meant to be used for that kind of gameplay.
     
  10. Mr Lange

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    Dashtube thank you for those videos. ALL OF MY IMPRESS.
    Mystic Ruins, that was well done. The way you start it off like it's going to be a new map, but then it transitions into the original area giving the impression we just traveled through a never before seen part of the territory, oh my god. That interaction with the Egg Carrier. The expanded areas leading around the originally unreachable other side of the map. And when Sonic was headed towards the entrance to Lost World, I was like OH NO HE ISN'T. Not only did it happen, you had a large area dedicated to a mini Lost World remake. It was very large, had recognizable sections, and somehow believably lead back outside the temple. That is impressive, but what really captured me was the fact that despite the massive scale of the level to meet modern level standards, it was somehow perfectly believable that everything was taking place in Mystic Ruins. My belief wasn't shaken because of the size or level design. Everything about it was handled masterfully. I couldn't ask for a better modern level interpretations of Mystic Ruins, aside from two things; the graphics, which are excusable in this case, and a fair amount of the jungle area which was notably absent.
     
  11. GeneHF

    GeneHF

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    I mostly agree with Tim where this is a very ambitious project (and the idea for Mystic Ruins is neat), but it really shows the flaws of the engine when trying to do expansive 3D areas. Until now, the best example we had was that one DLC stage in Unleashed in Arid Sands.

    This is, of course, no fault to Dude. He can only do so much to try and tame the engine. I do feel there are still quirks in level design (already pointed out by Blivsey) that shouldn't require turning on Navigator Mode just to see them coming, but I'm confident that'll be cleaned up as the project progresses.

    I won't bring up more about the textures, since that's something that may be far beyond the scope of the project for now and would require a fair bit of work to touch up further.
     
  12. DustArma

    DustArma

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    I highly doubt that, it looks like it handles much like SA1/SA2 but without its floatiness, in fact it looks like platforming in 3D will be even harder this time around.
     
  13. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    Maybe when you watch it. People who actually played it say the controls are fine.

    Anyway, this topic isn't about Lost World.
     
  14. Dude

    Dude

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    I've been getting many of the same questions from lots of people, so let me take the time to answer some of them:

    - Why are there so many invisible walls?
    - Why do the levels look like I can explore, but then I can't?
    - Why are some of the collision areas sloppy, and not matching to the visual world?

    I'm trying to find the right balance between exploration, preventing people from getting lost, having a sane amount of playfield space (to keep item layout time reasonable), and preventing people from breaking the levels in ridiculous amounts of time. Some of these goals have contradictory solutions so attempting to find solutions that balance them can be difficult. Also, Emerald Coast is the oldest level and at the time I was worried about file size, so I tried to make as little collision data as possible. I also didn't know how to do vertex-snap in 3d studio so getting separate models to butt-up against eachother took forever and many times I just let it be imprecise. Emerald Coast used to be much more open in terms of collision, but this made it hard for people to know where to go, or if they flew off-track they had a hard time getting back to the main path, mostly because I hadn't placed nearly enough camera objects. I am patching Emerald Coast using Blivsey's video as I write this, so don't worry, I won't let it stay sloppy like this.

    - Why are the sound, music, and textures not up to the same level of quality as the 3d worlds?
    - Why is this project taking so long?

    To answer why the quality of the assets varies so highly, one needs to know how the team is structured. There are a few core members of the team who work on it frequently, but for everything else we have transient contributors who make a piece or two, contribute it and then disappear. This is fine, but it also means that most of the time I am the only person working on the project and I'm limited in skillsets to what I can do. This is one reason there aren't more custom animations - plum makes far better animations than I do, so I usually don't include ones that I make. This is also why the project is taking so long. I work on this way more than I should (because I love this project alot), but most of the time it's just me and Stevingesus. I really gotta thank him though, he really does alot and is almost always available. I've also been trying to start an indie game studio with my friend and programming 2 games, developing an entire engine and toolkit, designing mechanics AND playtesting those games while working on this really maxes a person out. There's also that this was designed to be a long-term project from the start, it's purpose is to expand my skills as a game designer and tool developer.

    - When is the next update?
    - Why do the layouts appear to be designed for teenage ninja cyborgs instead of regular people?

    Probably the next hacking contest. Hopefully we'll have more devs on the team as more people learn how to use glvl and create levels. The layouts are the way they are because up until recently I was the only playtester. Your videos and feedback help to change this, so thank you everyone who has been so kind to send me their play data. I hope everyone enjoys the mod and thanks for playing!
     
  15. Blivsey

    Blivsey

    Charismatic Sonicaholic Member
    And with this, I have finally done something important for the Sonic community.

    Also, whenever I finally figure out how modding works... :ssh:/>
     
  16. ItsBrieDude

    ItsBrieDude

    my brain is the spinning seal gif Member
    Hey dude, did you see my other post with the Mystic Ruins bugs? I found two more. One possibly game breaking, and one that's all GOTTA GO SLOW MAN.



    GAME BREAKING LOL:

    [media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmsMEyD1jLs[/media]


    GOTTA GO SLOW

    [media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z40yc80pnYE[/media]
     
  17. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    I think this is a phenomenal idea, and a great project, but I think the biggest universal issue is the camera. The camera path needs to be perfectly crafted to each section that allows enough viewing of the upcoming obstacles to react to them Windy Valley suffers the most from this, and if the camera was catered to each section specifically, it would be much more playable.
     
  18. Blivsey

    Blivsey

    Charismatic Sonicaholic Member
    If there was one major suggestion I could make above all others, it would be to use more camera. Vanilla Generations almost always has some sort of camera angle going on, which keeps it away from Sonic. More importantly, Generations usually keeps the camera higher off the ground than the default setting, so it doesn't get stuck in the ground like it did near the end of my Emerald Coast video. I don't know how much support there is in GLvl for camera objects, but they're definitely really important.

    ...This is all just observation, of course, since I still haven't delved into level modding myself, heh.
     
  19. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    I would rather you just let everything be open and allow people to explore. The levels are so much more fun an interesting that way and have more replay value. If the concern is about players getting lost or taking a dead end route, just have visual cues in the scene like patterns on the ground or some simple signs that point the way. Among my greatest frustrations in games are misleading open areas loaded with invisible walls, and the levels you got going now are drowning in these.
     
  20. Josh

    Josh

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    I fucking love you, Dude. I take back every negative thing I've ever said about the hack.

    Moving on...

    I disagree. I absolutely love how focused Generations' levels are. I like linear game design. I'm far, FAR more likely to replay something like this than to slog through a more adventure-oriented epic. And from a level design standpoint, having it be too open leaves a lot more room for error while speedrunning... which is my primary concern with this stuff. Personal preference, I know, but I feel like aside from some of the invisible walls, he's striking a pretty good balance so far.