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Sonic Boom

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by iojnekns, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. iojnekns


    trouble keeps you runnin' faster Member
    <div align='center'>
    This is the first public release of Sonic Boom. It contains the first level of the game - Power Plant Zone. We are very proud of this hack and hope you enjoy playing it half as much as we enjoyed making it. I could talk endlessly about it, but 'll spare you the essay - I love this hack and having just recieved all kinds of praise at the Seventh Annual Hacking Contest, it seems like other people do to.

    Be warned, we set out to make a game that did justice to Sonic's speed and agility - it is very fast and not particularly easy but since this release only contains one zone, it seemed a good idea to make it quite challenging, something to get your teeth into. Its packed with surprises right to the end. The key to mastering the gameplay is getting comfortable with the arsenal of new moves at Sonic's disposal.

    I encourage you to ask questions, share your views, tell us about your reactions to the hack, fastest times or close shaves. By the same token, feel free to record videos, if you feel the need, I know I'll be posting some in the coming days. I would ask you not to dwell too much on any bugs you find (not that there are many) - I know I personally have played this almost daily for the last 3 years, I don't think theres a single bug present that I haven't seen, so you can take it for granted that we are aware of them. I'd also add that whilst we've gone to lengths to deliver a polished product, it is still work in progress, so things will be subject to change in future releases. The general plan is to post a level at a time, though thats not to say we haven't already started other zones. Oh, it works on hardware too!

    edit: no fingers? allow me to play for you!

    Big shout out to all the rest of the gang. I adore the lot of ya!
  2. snkenjoi


    Tech Member
    <div align='center'>Moveslist</div>

    Code (Text):
    1. In the air and in a ball;
    3.  -Flying Kick (A) Cost: 5 rings
    4.  -Double Jump (B)
    5.  -Diagonal Dash (C) Cost: 2 rings
    6.  -Dive (Down) Cost: 1 rings
    8. in the air and not in a ball;
    10.  -AirRoll (Go into a ball) (Down)
    12. On the ground and running/standing;
    14.  -Walk/Limit Speed (Hold A)
    16. On the ground and rolling;
    18.  -Stand up (Up)
    <div align='center'>Download

    EDIT: Watch me play through it</div>

    I can't believe I'm making this post. It's been over 3 years in the making and the time is finally here. There are so many people to thank, I'm so sorry if we omitted anyone from the credits.

    There are a few people I want to specifically thank. Ever since I've started learning to modify sonic games, I've hung out with Malevolence. He's taught me so many things and we've shared a lot of knowledge and resources together. We both learned the tricks of the trade at around the same time and it's been a pleasure learning with him. Look out for future collaborations between us!

    Then there's qiuu. There are so many things to say about him that this margin is too small to contain. He's shown me how to achieve impossible things, and contributed untold amounts of code and knowledge to this project.

    Obviously, I have to give shouts to Tweaker. Not only did he do the music, he taught me how to move.w #-$800,x_vel(a0) when I knew nothing at all. Thanks for getting me onto the bottom rung when I was lost, man.

    Aside from this, I just generally have to thank the techies. They've pretty much all helped me out and taught me things when I'm lost or stuck. People like, FraGag, MarkeyJester, Marc or TmEE have all been vital in this project's development.

    I'd love to write a paragraph about everyone, but I don't want to be typing here forever - MKAmeX and his fantastic artwork, roxahris who was there right from the beginning. Where would we be without Stealth's SonED2? The list goes on and on. In short, thank you to each and everyone who helped us get to where we are today - you know who you are. Everyone in SÆGA has contributed to make the hack what it is today and I really really appreciate that. You should too! :)

    Lastly, iojnekns. It's been hard going but we made it here in the end :D. This would never have happened without you. Thank you.

    See you in Knothole Knight Zone!
  3. Andlabs


    「いっきまーす」 Wiki Sysop
    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    I'm playing it without audio as it's too late at night right now, but this has instantly become one of my favorite hacks. Great job guys.

    Edit, just listened with music. Lots of Megaman (which is always a good thing =P ).
  4. GT Koopa

    GT Koopa

    Elgin, IL
    Flicky Turncoat DX, T.L.W.S. Vs M.G.W.
    I'll test it to see if it works with the regular Mac Genesis emulators.
  5. Dude


    Tech Member
    Southbridge, MA
    Random VR/AR trash
    The only, and I do mean only complaint, is that the level art seems abit lifeless compared to some other things...

    However, in every other factor, this was intense. Especially the 3rd act. Oh man the 3rd act was awesome. And the character art was amazing!.

    Definitely one of my favorites. Cheers mates.
  6. Tweaker


    Sonic Boom. What can I say about Sonic Boom?

    I love this hack. I absolutely adore it. I'd loved it ever since I first played it after the end of the last hacking contest. snk and ioj—two dedicated, upbeat, talented dudes—showed their true potential with this literally out-of-nowhere ambition that not only sounded fantastic when speaking of its future plans, but looked and played fantastic in their working proof of concept. All the way back to when snkenjoi had made a topic asking about implementing a walking feature into a Sonic game and showed me the resulting proof-of-concept, I knew something special was in the works. After over a year of me following its progress and up to three years of overall development between just those two, I can say I'm immensely proud of what it has become.

    What can I say about the hack itself? Sonic Boom isn't a hack—it's a whole new game. I know that's a generic, sort of cheesy line to throw about to describe a Sonic mod with such a wide array of changes, but this completely and utterly fits all of that criteria that such a term would encompass. When you play Sonic Boom, you don't think "wow, this is a good hack of Sonic 2," you think "Holy shit, this is a brilliant game!" There are so many engine edits, so many aesthetic changes, so many unique objects and concepts—you can't possibly draw its origin to any other Sonic game in particular with absolute certainty. It's not Sonic 2, it's not Sonic 1, and it's not Sonic 3—it's Sonic Boom. And trouble just keeps you runnin' faster, as both the title—and later, the levels—will make very clear as soon as things start.

    Level design? Phenomenal. iojnekns is an absolute genius when it comes to level design, as the first stretch in Power Plant Zone will make crystal clear. The level design tries to focus on speed as the main element of the game, but it doesn't do it in an in-your-face, obnoxious sort of way; instead, it opts to provide both the intense speed that tiles with such brilliant flow would allow in addition to a multitude of alternate routes, paths, and even some hidden goodies that only the observant player will be able to trek through careful observation and a good balance between tearing through the level and stopping to admire the brilliant foreground art. Objects are brand new and unique to the zone, including the seldom-appreciated Rollbug from Sonic CD as well as a new incarnation of the widely-revered Orbinaut badnik. In addition, beds of electricity ala Death Egg from Sonic 3, as well as security cameras with lasers join together to provide an intimidating, frantic environment through which Sonic must escape as quickly as possible. This proves to be an increasingly difficult task as you traverse through the latter two acts.

    From a technical standpoint, this hack literally excels. As I mentioned earlier, Power Plant Zone—and by extension, eventually the rest of the game—is literally drenched in brand new objects specific to the new zone. Unlike most hacks which simply reuse objects (albeit in creative ways), Boom goes above and beyond to ensure that the player is getting a fresh experience with little recognizable elements from Sonic 2 intact. In addition to the bock standard new objects, Sonic has several new moves detailed in the first post which—at the cost of rings—will allow Sonic to navigate in much more versatile ways. Normally, this would be a problem, considering that some bits of the levels very much call for Sonic's new moves; however, rings are made abundant in the levels to offset this potential flaw in design. In addition, the lives and score system are abandoned in favor of a more realistic approach of "try until you win" that skips the semantics of game overs and other hindrances. Score is replaced with a very neat speed counter which measures Sonic's inertia as you play through the games. In addition, bosses have a very slick looking hit counter, and cutscenes are abundant throughout the game where they're appropriate to the story.

    Oh yeah... the bosses. Did I mention the bosses? Because if I didn't, the bosses are fucking insane. Starting out with a very reasonable learning curve, King Orbi—the fiend that he is—presents the first solid challenge of the game, getting very much in-your-face and dickish at times. He moves around the arena trying to hit Sonic with his spinning... uh, things, and can very much be an asshole when he needs to be. The first battle is easy in comparison to the second, though—King Orbi MkII (aka Giant Orbi, aka Gorbi, aka Gorbichev) is a bitch and a half. With a good 16 hits of damage required to defeat and some insane attack patterns, Gorbi not only drastically raises the bar when it comes to custom bosses, but it shows that far more is possible technically than we apparently give ourselves credit for—both technically and graphically. And god knows once you beat Gorbi the trouble doesn't end there—Power Plant Act 3 is batshit fucking insane, involving some frantic music and Sonic running fast as fuck from a gigantic wall of flames. Seriously! I could not make this shit up. This is gold!

    Speaking of music, while I'm more or less tooting my own here, the music is fucking awesome. When snk and ioj first came to me about the subject of music in Boom, I wasn't really sure how I could help; after all, there wasn't much in the realm of style that I had to use as a reference at any point in time, and the suggestions they'd given me up to that point were kind of vague and out of left field. However, I finally understood the vibe they were going for after roxahris finished the tune for the first level—epic thrashing metal grunge shit. As I thought about what fit under that criteria, an obvious. more or less perfect idea came to mind—the Mega Man X series. Whenever I remember playing that series, I remember these totally hardcore, action-packed epic rock melodies that stood out in your mind and set the mood of "Fuck yeah, this is badass" more or less perfectly. After showing a few examples to iojnekns, it was settled—this was the vibe to go with. After picking out my favorite tracks from the series, me and my partners SOTI and nineko got to work and imported a literal mass of tunes—sometimes several a day—in the aim of providing an ample selection of music to fit the game at any given moment. From the tracks that are made use of, I think you'll be quite pleased—they portray the vibe of the game perfectly, imo, and I don't think we could have done a better job with it. It really adds to the feel things in a positive way.

    Graphically speaking, Sonic Boom looks absolutely fantastic. Sonic has a brand new set of sprites based off a mixture of Sonic 3 & Knuckles with a bit of an Adventure-era-influenced coat of paint, the objects have brilliant new art that fits the darkened sort of feel of the game very well, and the level art is absolutely superb. Combining the slick feel of Chemical Plant Zone with the metallic, eerie vibe that comes with a Power Plant—maybe in the reign of Flying Battery Zone—Power Plant brings together a combination of aesthetic properties that, while quite different from your traditional piece of Sonic art, is still undoubtedly and utterly a Sonic level. The background is brought to life with scrolling deformation that is very much in the reign of levels like Flying Battery or Secret Base Zone, and give you a brilliant sense of movement amongst a vast jungle of industrial steel and other elements. In addition, the bosses also look fantastically; specifically, Gorbichev is an utter rainbow of graphical prowess, with its subtle inclusion of the Eiosian spheres hidden within Sonic 3 in a way that feels very much like some of the graphical effects in Gunstar Heroes. Fantastic stuff.

    I could go on and on talking about how much I adore Sonic Boom—it's that good. And as if it wasn't already good enough, only the first level is done! I can only imagine what brilliant things are to come in the future from this brilliant piece of work, and I eagerly await future releases with the kind of giddy anticipation I haven't had since the release of the most brilliant games I have ever played throughout the entirety of my life. Fantastic work, guys—never give up on your dreams! :)

    By the way—for those eager to get a sneak peek at the new upcoming things in the game, feel free to take a gander at the sound test. Not only does it have a neat little equilizer with full tagging, but we made sure to make every piece of completed music available to the public. There are a couple of tracks from Megamix sitting around in there, but feel free to ignore them—I just threw them in as filler. ;P

    Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did!
  7. MarkeyJester


    Nothing's Impossible Resident Jester
    Urgh, just as I was about to reply with something solid, Tweaker beats me to the punch lol, I'll just say Awesome work guys as I know how much hard work you've put into this, and it has payed off greatly, The design, music and programming all fits together perfectly, and I have came across virtually no bugs, Awesome!
  8. Ravenfreak


    2 Edgy 4 U Tech Member
    O'Fallon Mo
    Hacking Sonic Drift, Writer at Sonic Cage Dome
    This is really awesome guys, great work! ^^
  9. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    I agree with the lifeless part. However I'm not sure what to think of this yet. It's really hard. However I give you guys credit. The art direction may not be top notch (I'm not a huge fan of the Sonic sprites. They seem like an uglier version of Sonic 3's) but this is a technical achievement beyond all means. That boss is not only original but hard as fuck (Oddly I got the farthest on the Act 2 boss going in with 3 rings compared to when I went in with 200+. Can't explain that).

    I'd love to play more, but homework calls. Great job :D

    You guys get special praise though. This is the first time I played a hack and had trouble figuring out exactly which Sonic game was used as a base. Like Megamix is quite obviously a Sonic 1 hack, and Cybernetic Outbreak is clearly a Sonic 3 and Knuckles hack. But this, if it weren't for seeing some incomplete sprites and the title card, I would still probably be clueless.

    I have a question though. Why did you make Sonic feel so weird while moving him? His acceleration and jumping stats remind me of some kind of fangame.
  10. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    I'm a bit underwhelmed. The King Orbi boss legitimately impressed me, but that was about it. Act 3 seems more frustrating than anything else (the level design is cumbersome -- there's not a lot of good flow; obstructing obstacles are perhaps too unforgiving). Ultimately it comes across as though that level was designed and then the pressure from the flames was just tacked-on. I think it's a good idea, mind, just rather poorly executed here.
  11. TmEE


    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
    Estonia, Rapla City
    T-04YBSC-A !
    some people just doing like challenge, hehe
  12. Dude


    Tech Member
    Southbridge, MA
    Random VR/AR trash
    Actually now that I think about it, there were some spots where king orbi (the second one, not the first one) cheapshotted me... alot. Being such a large object with a swirling deathvortex around him was ok, but the fact that he sometimes pushes you into a corner and then just keeps pushing until you die kinda sucks. I think instashield would make the orbi bosses a little more fair. But that's just my 2 pence.
  13. Phos


    Going for the high score on whatever that little b Member
    Not a fan. I think I'd rather leave it at that. I will say that I agree with OSM.
  14. HighFrictionZone


    Hi. Member
    Katy, Texas
    I found the technical changes, music, and art to all be amazing feats to be sure, but they weren't really my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I pushed on through Act 1 and Act 2 and my response generally ranged anywhere from "neat" to "pleasantly surprised" (as in, I see it and it is good, but it is nowhere near the oh-my-god-awesome vibe that I was getting from the hacking contest results).

    Then Act 3 started.

    This in itself caught me by surprise since I didn't really expect there to be an Act 3. After the initial shock of what-just killed me, I tried holding right this time, and was treated to the most EPICALLY AWESOME ESCAPE SEQUENCE I HAVE EVER PLAYED. I was on the edge of my seat! It was AWESOME. Before the escape level, I merely thought of it as a well-executed game which just didn't really strike the right chord with me. After, I was won over. I still feel a little iffy on some aspects, but I get feeling that when I see the bigger picture (er. when more content is released), things will click better. As is, it is a well-executed start to what looks to be an awesome game.
  15. The Shad

    The Shad

    ↑ & ↓ & ↻ Oldbie
    Eh, I can't say I'm too thrilled playing this. It seems like every step I take, I'm getting hit by something out of nowhere and really, there's a "slow down" button for this game?

    I'm trying to give it a chance, but I'm just not digging it. I notice people with more of the technical knowledge and shit seem to love it, though. Maybe I'm missing something. I don't know. I'll keep trying, maybe it'll end up how I did with S Factor where I didn't like it at all at first, but then came to adore it.
  16. Chimpo


    Why is Tekken 6 afraid of Tekken 7? Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Aiming for Genbu!
    This was incredibly underwhelming after this ended up winning the hidden palace trophy and some positive post hyping this up to be the next big thing.

    I tried a build with just act 1 and I was expecting some great improvements over the last time I've played this game. Especially if it was getting such great praise. To my surprise, it just added 2 levels with more of the same problems and an even more annoying boss.

    I can perfectly understand trying to capture Sonic's speed, but the way it was handled in this game just doesn't give the player much interaction unless they know the levels by heart. And considering how the level design is so cluttered to fit as many loops and slopes as possible, why bother when you can basically let the game take over. Some areas are nice, but it would have been better off spreading them off throughout the course of an entire game rather than cluttering them all up in small sections. The new moves seem entirely useless. Maybe useful in advance play, but overall can be ignored, but seem to be required for the boss. The way the boss is design would be brilliant for any other game that isn't Sonic The Hedgehog. Sonic's greatest ability is also his greatest weakness, which we all know as being able to use his body to attack, but when you can't seem to get a clear shot at the boss unless you exploit its behavior it ends up being an annoying boss battle because you're trying to play it safe. The art itself is pretty lifeless, with Sonic being easily lost in the background if it weren't for his shoes or muzzle and arms. Being a blue hedgehog, you would think he would stand out easily against a dark simple background, but that's not the case here. While I have no problem with the music choices, this hack just further proves that merely picking everyone's favorite songs and slapping them in doesn't always mean good. The conversion quality is low and you're better off just muting the sound altogether.

    No doubt, on a technical standpoint, this is an impressive hack. As a game though, it's not very fun and just ends up falling flat.
  17. jey


    I just want to say AWESOME work guys, so glad to see this day come after all the hard work
    I remember back a few years, when snkenjoi was just getting into this... damn has he come a long way.

    CONGRATS on the first public release of Sonic Boom!
  18. Ayla


    I shat on your desk ^^ Oldbie
    West Linn, OR
    Hacking Contest, StH Overlooked, Personal Indie game
    I had a feeling this would be a game people would either love or hate. Honestly, the foreground wasn't phenomenal in my opinion, either, but the technical prowess, level design, epic boss sequences, and the seer intensity of act 3 sold the game to me.

    Since I couldn't go into details in the hacking contest post, that's what sold the game to me. Bosses got a 10/10 score. Level design got a 10/10. Tech got a 10/10. music got a 10/10. Art got a 7/10 on my end. Sonic Boom was the closest a game has ever come to getting a perfect score in the contest for me and, to paraphrase Scooter, "like it or you hate it, I don't give a damn."

    Anything else I had to say about this game was tl;dr'd by Tweaker.

    And yes, tweak. I read the whole thing.

    Over time people will see this game for the masterpiece that it is. Sure, it's challenging and you have to learn new moves and the mechanics of the game. For those that didn't appreciate it, I'm sure that's the reason you didn't enjoy it. Either that or this creative take on Sonic isn't the direction that you want to move in. Retro Remix and Sonic Boom are incomparable. In fact, all the other hacks and Sonic Boom are incomparable. Sonic is not meant to be Sonic Rush. Sonic is meant to be a myriad of speed and challenge. Thought and quick reflexes. Platforming 101 right there if you didn't know. Yah. It's hard. There's a reason there's no life counter.

    Even if you hate the game mechanics, Sonic Boom broke new ground in the same way all the other placed winners of the 7th contest did.

    Moral of the story? Like it for what it is or don't. Sonic Boom is fucking brilliant.
  19. Ritz


    Subhedgehog Member
    Well, what can I say? This is certainly an impressive hack, but it seems that whenever it does something right, it only does it partially right. I've never been a fan of hacks that dramatically and artificially increase the speed, and though I appreciate that this is hardly a hold-right-to-win deal, it's still just diluting the game. I can't even rate the level design because it's tailored towards providing flow and flourishes, so the game just sort of blends into one big indistinctive and overwhelming mess; can't enjoy the levels because there are no platforming segments or distinguishing gimmicks, can't enjoy the speed because I'm afraid I'm going to launch myself into a hazard, can't enjoy the new moves because I don't know where and when it's appropriate to use them, and they're hardly necessary, anyway.

    Not much to say about everything else. The music is lame, there were only a handful of tracks I cared for (Spiral Pegasus, Bloody River and the MM9 tunes in particular). The songs all sound entirely too similar because no one is ever willing to get creative with the instruments, though that's something the whole community seems to be struggling with, and there's just way too much MMX in here. The art is bland straight across the board. Gorbi is the only thing in this hack that looks remotely appealing to me, but there's not much to be said there when his design is so simple.

    And so long as I'm on the subject, Gorbi is easily the breakout star of this hack and I'd have played it just for that. Very well done, but even then, I definitely think he needs to be reigned in a bit, as he just seems impossible to beat without either taking damage or coquettishly biding your time for the rare opportunity to strike. Also, he shouldn't fling himself at you at max speed without some sort of indicator, and he shouldn't hold his helix shield for, like, 30 seconds at a time. Oh, the minion orbs should be completely vulnerable from above and below. I really don't want to know what you're going to come up with next if this is your idea of a 2nd boss.

    So, yeah, nice attempt, but some compromises are going to have to be made here to win me over. Looking forward to the next release, anyway.
  20. Phos


    Going for the high score on whatever that little b Member
    I don't enjoy it because of the prevalence of cheap hits and messed up controls. Also, boring.
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