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Sonic Boom

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

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  1. I liked it. The engine was the best part - I can really see it being used for a lot of things. Unfortunately, I felt that the level design was a bit... sparse. I don't know, but it all felt rather samey to me. Maybe that's the angle they're going for on this level, but as a test and the only thing I have as a benchmark, it felt rather abandoned. I did like the music, though, a lot, and I haven't got past the second boss, so I only have videos to show me how interesting Act 3 is.

    Wow, literally?
     
  2. Phos

    Phos

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    Not to be rude, but is this a joke? If it isn't, you might be (somewhat) relived to know that I don't.
     
  3. snkenjoi

    snkenjoi

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  4. The Shad

    The Shad

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    I gave the game another play through today. Still not meshing with it, too well. Just watching Tweaker's video, there were a ton of spots where it was just like "how the hell where you supposed to see that?" and it's exactly that way playing it.

    I finally got past Gorbichev and I still think that's ridiculous for a first level boss and if it just gets harder more ridiculous, I'm not interested.

    Act 3, It Was.. It was cool. My biggest complaint was that there are loops in a level where you're being chased by fire. That really isn't necessary as if you fuck up once, you're fucked completely in this act.

    I will concede that this is a technically impressive hack, but is it the best hack, gameplay wise, this community has to offer? I'll respectfully disagree and leave it at that.
     
  5. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    Re: Rolling on the ceiling. I only rarely ever desire rolling in this game, rolling - even down slopes - usually ends up being slower than just running through it. That being said, if I ever catch myself above an electric bed thingy, I know to roll, and I figure after the first time it becomes a non-issue because you learn from that shit.

    I took it upon myself to attempt to go through this game with as little jumping as possible. Acts 1 and 2 just ended up being sucky play-throughs, I'll not try the no-jump challenge again on them. Act 3, however, is practically trivial! Hold right the entire time and at three specific places I did a mid-air roll followed by a mid-air jump. Aside from that, RIGHTSVILLE, MAN.

    Not pictured at all, but
    On a whim, thinking of GoldS's Sonic 3 and Knuckles glitch videos, I figured, "Sonic can get off screen.... and offscreen objects don't interact..." and came to the realization that if it is possible to get one of those doors that only open if an enemy is destroyed juuuuuuuust off screen and you have the space to do a peel-out, it is possible to glitch through the door. I have not yet done this outside of one location, but I figure it could be applied to just about any object which acts as a barrier. You're probably already aware of this though.

    That's not to say I didn't have fun, it's just I had less fun by not jumping than I did by jumping. Also, as far as I'm concerned, Acts 1 and 2 are definitely not hold-right to win ventures.
     
  6. Sonic Boom

    Sonic Boom

    Member
    Well I decided to give a hand at this and waited to complete the demo before giving my thoughts...

    This hack is nothing that I was expecting, it's absolutely different from any other Sonic hack I've played. The best way I can describe the feel of the physics is that of a fan game (for the PC), which in this case isn't a bad thing. It was pretty neat speeding throughout the acts though the electric beds could be a pain at times. I certainly hope to see more variety in the other levels that have yet to be shown.

    The level art left a little more to be desired, especially the background art. It's definetly a good start, but the background felt as if it was lacking some activity. The foreground was not as much of an issue considering all of the obstacles present. The character art was very impressive among the bosses. Their facial expressions really captured the mood and overall tone of the battles.

    Aside from a few tracks, the music was nothing short of superb. The style seemed very fitting and really got me amped during the boss fights and Act 3's speedy escape. The rest of the tracks leave me looking forward to the rest of the game to come.

    Overall, I really liked this demo and will keep a eye out on future progress. This is definetly one of my favorite hacks to come from within the community. Keep up the good work, guys. =)
     
  7. Chaud

    Chaud

    Member
    I know this post was written for Tweaker, and I know even more than he doesn't need "help" to comment on anything, but this is a point that I find interesting to discuss. Remembering what he said:

    The question, therefore, has nothing to do with "fun". This is a common type of argument used in respect of any work. If a movie isn't fun, it's not a good film; if a song is boring, it is not good music; and of course, if I don't like a game, it's not a good game. But it isn't kind of obvious that there is no inherent relationship between the act of "liking" something, and the "quality" of something?

    The question, isn't whether someone likes something or not, but the fact of being unable to recognize the qualities of something independent of your taste. I tried to play Sonic Boom last night, and played a little more now in the morning. But really, I cannot find it very entertaining. Sadly. But nevertheless, it's clear in my mind that the game wasn't made for me, it's "not the kind of game that amuses me", although very well done.

    A more clear example. I don't like classical music. I enjoy more listening, for example, to a band like Linkin Park. (Don't kill me. Please.) But you will not see me speaking ill of classical music, or saying that Linkin Park is superior in any way. Because it isn't true, I can understand the qualities (and defects) of something independent of my taste. So this is a distinction that isn't often made when someone criticize something. To what extent something is bad because it is poorly constructed, and not "because I don't like it"?
     
  8. Tweaker

    Tweaker

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    That is exactly what I meant. Thank you for clarifying. :)
     
  9. Xkeeper

    Xkeeper

    lgkdfvlbjepasvdjzcvpaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Researcher
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    Long story short:

    "It's technically impressive, but it's just not my cup of tea." = :thumbsup:
    "This hack is crap because I do not find it fun." = :argh:


    Personally I don't find it fun to play either, but it's still pretty impressive for what it accomplishes.
     
  10. roxahris

    roxahris

    Everyone's a hypocrite. Take my word for it. Member
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    To avoid making an amazingly long post detailing my thoughts and praise on/of every part of this hack, I will simply say;
    It was fun.
     
  11. Stink Terios

    Stink Terios

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    Two days ago, I saw the contest results and was a bit anxious for playing this.
    So I played it yesterday and today and came out to a conclusion: The potential of this hack is over the roof!
    The changes to the physics are amazing as well as the new moves, the bosses are really hard and really well-done (I also like how the second boss is named Gorbichev =P)

    However, there are many, MANY level design flaws in this hack, and those flaws REALLY can piss of people since they are unpredictable. I will make a video pointing those flaws in November (I can't do it now because my current computer is a 7 year old Win98 PC)

    The "running out of the screen" feature is also problematic for reasons already pointed out. However, I'd like it to not be removed, since glitches are fun. You can also phase through the floor sometimes when doing an aerial move while going too fast, thus making you able to zip through the stage Mega Man style.

    Even with all those flaws, this hack is amazing and has amazing potential. If the flaws are fixed, it will put every single Sonic game to shame.

    I would put S2RR above this hack on it's current form however.

    EDIT: On the subject of music, the bosses's musics are really good and fit well in the mood of the battles (specially Gorbichev's. Never noticed how good MMX7 music was). The music for the stages are pretty unfitting in my opinion.
     
  12. iojnekns

    iojnekns

    trouble keeps you runnin' faster Member
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    I just can't tear myself away! Apologies in advance for the wall of text, but theres a lot of people to reply to!

    Jayextee, I know you aren't trying to piss on my chips or anything, but I think 'rote-learning an obstacle course" is a little unfair. The challenges in designing a stage that takes place at 360 m/s for the duration are, frankly, unreal. Completely leaving aside the fact that our sonic covers the width of sonic 2's maximum level size in 20 seconds, meaning that I could easily spend a couple of hours in the layout editor for 6 seconds of gameplay, even the slightest obstacle causes massive problems at those speeds, and players acting in perfectly innocuous ways that we simply didn't anticipate might result in instant death. Having no obstacles makes the level very boring. We made every effort to try and balance this out, employing a variety of design techniques and even incorporating flashing warning signs to give the player a heads up to the impending danger. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.

    Phos: Actually, yes. You seem almost personally offended that we inflicted this hack on you. But thats okay, its not for everyone. snk and I set out to make a sonic hack that we really liked. We succeeded. We aren't trying to win a popularity contest or please anybody but ourselves. We both love this hack and will continue in our own direction regardless.

    ColinC10, I'm glad you like your birthday gift! Honestly, you were one of the people whos reactions I was particularly looking forward to. I was grinning from ear to ear when I read the "eye bleedingly epic" stuff. I actually didn't anticipate that players would use save states, a bit of an oversight really. I don't use them, and I sort of assumed that by the time a player reached Gorbichev they'd be getting on the way to becoming a seasoned player, having replayed the acts repeatedly until they were comfortable with the gameplay enough to reach the bosses without being beaten to within an inch of their lives! But you need not worry. We planned from the very beginning to throw you in at the deep end in the first level, its sort of supposed to represent us catching up with Sonic at the end of his last adventure. The next zone he'll be back in friendly turf, so the gameplay will reflect that - it wont be anywhere near as combat oriented. If anything, this release is our "hello world" of ROM hacking.

    A few people have commented on the art. As I said earlier, this is my first try at drawing anything. That doesn't make you incorrect, I'm simply saying, be gentle! I'm not the best artist in the world, but I'm all we've got, so we're just going to have to make do. Honestly, when I look over this and some of the other zone's art, I can scarcely believe they were done by my hand. So yes, I'm sure it could be prettier but for me, its a towering achievement. As for the title screen - well, there are lots of things we'd like to do, and theres only a few of us and so many hours in the day. Its taken us a very long time to get where we are now, and even then we weren't totally happy. There are still things each of us would have like to have done, or improve but in light of us winning the contest it felt unfair to hold out any longer. We could have easily sat and worked on this first level still for another one or two years, I suspect, but I'm itching to move on. Its still the most radically different title screen I've ever seen, even if it isn't THAT dynamic. We chose to focus on the parts of the hack which were actually 'played' rather than spend it agonising over screens and cosmetic details like this.

    Sparks, I liked your first point of the 'pro' list. This is exactly what we were going for. Also, not directly related, but your comment about speeding up just reminded me. I can't believe no-one has commented on the fact that even when capped, Sonic walks at a modest 60 metres a second (give or take.) Always tickled me, that did.

    Overlord, I thoroughly enjoyed your play by play.

    Cinossu, enjoyed reading your thoughts - I totally agree with you regarding the rollbugs - I adore them, but I would have liked to give them at least a paint job. Perhaps that will be revised in future editions. Regarding the camera - that is the result of snkenjois first foray into creating custom objects and believe me, when he first set about trying to do it, we were both clueless, noobie hackers. It might not be the most interesting enemy in the world, but at the time we were immensely pleased and what it represented to us is that we were able to do something like that. I've said something to this effect somewhere up there ^^ but its sort of like a "hello world" in badnik (and in trying to draw an enemy.)
    I was looking forward to hearing from you, and the reason is that big crab walking around in your sig :) I don't want you to think we were deliberately trying to slap dicks with you by making giant badnik bosses, heh. I think we both came up with the concept independently.

    JoseTB, well spotted, those spheres are were the inspiration came from.

    Sonic Boom, I think its brilliant that you responded. :) A few people now have said the physics feel like a fan game, which is strange to me. They are exactly the same as standard, albeit with all the values cranked up to 11.

    I think I've probably missed a few things and theres a few questions I haven't responded to, but I don't want to bore you all completely to death, and I'm out of time for now, so I'll end here. Just want to say to everyone that has been saying nice things about the hack, this really, really, really means the world to me. Propz are the fuel that feed my fire, so thanks for giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I look forward to reading more responses.
     
  13. Guys, I signed on this forum after years of silence only to say this : your hack is super !!!

    It's not perfect, nothing is perfect, but I see a lot of potential in it : it just doesn't seem a sonic hack, but a whole new game.
    Sonic's new moves and the idea of a ring price for each of them are very funny, the only feat that I didn't use except for one time is the walk/run toogle. :v:
    The arts are essentials but functionals, it's easy to recognize a smashable object from a trap, but again the emphasis is on sonic : I found the new arts of the hedgehog impressive, particularly when he's electrocuted.
    The sense of speed in this game is exceptional, compared to other hacks it 's like sonic rush compared to classic sonic games; hope you enjoy the ds titles, but if not yet I can say that in sonic boom I never runned in a deadly trap, and that's for me a very good goal :) ; aside from stage 3, and that's intended to be so.
    Speaking of stage 3, it's something massive, it reminds me of my favourite level in megaman zx (the lava one in sector k), but with something more in terms of speed. Very, very difficult (I had to use savestate, I have to say that), but also amazing : seems strange to me that until now the idea of a wall of fire with sonic ahead running for life at maximum speed was never used. (marble zone section in the tunnel filling with lava is definetely slow)
    Last, the bosses. Actually very hard, but I managed to beat them without save states. But this isn't the point, the point is that they are memorable : orbinaut is one of the universally more loved/hated badniks, and the idea of using a giant one is great; the music is fitting and, more of all, the attack patterns and animations in the second clash are incredible. Seriously, gorbichev showed me something without low frame rate that I thought was impossible on ye olde genesis, until now.


    :words:
    So, if you have readed and/or appreciated just the half of what I have wrote I'll be happy, 'cause you'll be more motivated to work on this brilliant hack.
    Just tune down the difficult for a release with more of a single zone, and I think that the negative feedbacks will be much less than now.

    Good work and go on :thumbsup:
     
  14. nineko

    nineko

    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
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    So yesterday I downloaded Sonic Boom and I played it. I was unsure if I should post my thoughts about this or not, but in the end I decided it's always a good thing to be honest, so I will, even if most of the development team are my friends.

    If you want to avoid a tl;dr, let me say straight that I didn't like this for the most part. I have to agree with many of the complaints brought up earlier in this thread.
    I'm not a fan of the new moves, in particular I believe that the kick is definitely useless, despite Tweaker trying to use and abuse it in his gameplay video (ironically enough, in one of his failed act 3 attempts, he died because he jumped into a slope while kicking, thus getting blocked there). In fact I could beat the game without using it a single time. And yes, I got used to the controls, but I found myself using only the double jump amongst the new set of moves. It was enough to reach most of the secret areas, including a lightning shield and some 100-rings boxes. Furthermore, the kick is buggy. While I was still practicing, I found myself jumping inside the ground, below spikes, between springs, and this happened to snkenjoi himself at least once in his video too. Getting inside the ground allows for the wall-zipping technique used in many TASes, it's not good when you can do that without tools though.

    I do agree with everyone who said that the levels are lifeless. This is a bad brother of Star Light Zone. Few badniks, many inanimated objects you can't even attack. I guess snkenjoi has a fetish for the rollbug or something, but come on, of all the badniks you could port you didn't pick the best one, in my opinion. There should be more variety in the badniks, at least in my opinion. The main difficulty factor of the layouts is that they tend to damage you when you least expect it with the layout itself. Spikes where you're supposed to accelerate, springs which bump you into spikes, and many other things which can easily fall into the "cheap traps" category. I'm not good at layouts but I didn't enjoy these for the most part. And as I said I explored them to an extent. It seems they're focused on giving you high speeds and increase your e-penis with a speed meter, but as soon as you gain a high speed, you either bump into something you couldn't see, or get pushed into the ground for the aforementioned collision issues (which exist also when you don't use the kick, sadly). I'm not going to learn the levels by heart just to know where to jump, I'm sorry. This is a massive hit in the entertainment department, in my opinion. The levels aren't enjoyable by the occasional player. I'm just going to say: act 1, checkpoint, spikes. Come back to life, spindash, die. Meh. There's no point in focusing on speed if you can't, like, focus on speed.

    Also, nice work at setting the y position for Act 1's boss to be the same as the height of the platforms, thus making you unable to hit him by jumping when you're on those platforms. Or even better, making you die if you walk down those platforms when the boss is right next to them. For some reason they don't look like something you would be able to stand on, yet they are.
    Act 2's boss isn't hard per se. There's a difference between hard and bad. A boss which can give you an OHKO at any time by just squashing you at the ground isn't hard, it is bad. Besides, I could beat it at the third attempt the first time I played, and at the second attempt the second time I played. Yes, I played it again, I wanted to have fresh ideas in my mind while writing this post. But this doesn't imply I'm going to play it any further time, I don't have fun.

    Act 3 stands out from my highly negative critique instead. That one was different, it was fun to play through it. Though I could beat it at the second attempt the first time I played, so even its replayability isn't high for me.

    The difficulty level is just unbalanced. This is more bad, boring and repetitive than "hard".

    As a Tech Member I can only be very impressed by the incredible amount of superior skills used into this hack, but I can't help but feel that it gone in a completely wrong direction. So much potential, but executed this bad.

    Yeah I wasn't sure if I should have posted or not, it doesn't look good to say bad things about a hack in which you're credited, but there's nothing I can do if I don't like this for the most part. I might be biased but I like many of the songs, though.
     
  15. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Working on my art!
    True however it's pointless that you have to do that in the first place.
     
  16. muteKi

    muteKi

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    An interesting example. What's to be made of stuff like this song, however? It's rather hissy and noisy. Though the melody is interesting there are other songs that sound remarkably similar that lack the headache-inducing tones that this song uses (consider immediately the Sega CD Bios v2.X startup music).

    Ultimately there is no accounting for taste, but that doesn't mean you can't necessarily say that X is almost certainly better than Y in a number of cases, especially when X and Y are similar. Roger Ebert made mention of such in a review and though I don't think he explained himself very well in what he meant, what I assume to be his point can be made very clear here!

    To my mind, what Act 3 is trying to be is the Funny Angry / Twin Freaks stage from Dynamite Headdy. However, by greatly limiting the player's reaction time and not always doing a very good job of directing the player's path, it becomes a lot harder. Despite not going at 700 miles per hour, that level in Headdy was intense and exciting, both challenging and yet a bit fairer. There were a number of large spike pits to jump over; though the path was mostly flat it was not without its challenges.

    Another excellent example of Act 3's mechanic done properly is in Stardust Speedway Zone in Sonic CD. Note that the race only really has one or two routes, the latter of which takes place on high-reaching platforms which are hard to get to but are potentially faster and safer than the lower routes. The battle is also not without its challenge, either. In addition to keeping a pace so as not to be hit by Metal Sonic, one must also not go so slow as to get trapped by Eggman. Getting hit by Metal Sonic increases the risk of this happening, too.

    Instead, here the Act 3 is somewhat questionably laid out. There are a number of paths in the level that seem to go absolutely nowhere. It is open, certainly, but there is no room for exploration. The openness is merely an illusion, one that doesn't really add anything to the game experience -- paths going the other direction clog up the level layout since they cannot be used.


    I do also want to say this much as well:
    Perhaps that is the problem with them, then, in a manner of speaking? Not that the physics engine itself is too broken, but that the people designing the games want too much speed, and thus the controls suffer?
     
  17. I'm not gonna lie, this game is sweet. It's definitely good that there aren't any lives currently, and I can see why it has been in development for so long. I cannot for the full version, keep this up!
     
  18. I have just hit my first major bug.

    While I fought the 2nd Boss, the game crashed to a blue screen with a single tone and these words:
     
  19. Spanner

    Spanner

    The Tool Member
    Even games can have BSoDs. :)
    What emulator did you use?
     
  20. Glisp

    Glisp

    That one weird guy that does stuff. Member
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    None at the moment I'm afraid.
    I must say from what I've saw and played of it, I find it quite impressive. The only thing that really was odd for me was the almost complete lack of Sonic music (disregarding the opening and ending sequences.) and almost complete use of Megaman music (not that there is anything wrong with that. Its just different from what I'm used to seeing in a hack.)

    Probably the most visually stunning thing I saw was act 3 of Power Plant Zone. The whole fire thing was absolute genius. It kind of reminded me of a stage from Rocket Knight Adventures adventures a little. Overall I find this hack fucking awesome. The fire thing in act 3 is what won me over. Keep up the good work!
     
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