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Sonic Forces Thread

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Blue Blood, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. TimmiT

    TimmiT

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    Anyone here remember that time when someone in here said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the boost gameplay and that it can't be improved and should be kept as is?

    Cause I sure don't.
     
  2. Covarr

    Covarr

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    Nobody's said that, but plenty of people have suggested that it's entirely irredeemable. My point is that it should be iterated upon and fixed as opposed to being thrown out, which people were suggesting. Maybe I could've made that clearer; I agree with most of what you've said throughout the last several pages of this thread.
     
  3. TimmiT

    TimmiT

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    Oh, I was more talking about people acting like people here acted like they shouldn't be criticising boost gameplay at all. While nobody has even come close to implying that they shouldn't.
     
  4. Sean Evans

    Sean Evans

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    And yet instead of opting to discuss and potentially reach conclusions, or even see the discussion from different perspectives, the arguments generally devolve into petty retorts like, "You aren't a game designer" or "It's not like you work for Sonic Team". How is it fair for a single party to provide potential solutions without welcoming the possibility of backlash and opposition. This only became a circlejerk because it keeps going in the same pointless direction every time a potential point of debate is brought up. And it's not like all of them have been people shouting that the boost is broken or doesn't work. Some people have provided legitimate reasoning for why they feel certain "improvements" to the formula wouldn't be feasible. Some have backed those reasons up with facts.

    Of course there is always the potential to improve the boost formula, but some of the suggestions made would lean towards an even more strict development structure than there is now. Stages that aren't as railroaded and automated place a larger emphasis on player utility. The player being given the freedom to apply their abilities to multiple situations or in a single situation multiple different ways. Sonic has no such utility or nuance to his current control scheme, as everything currently is intended to work in very specific ways. Why would a player need to apply something like quick stepping unless the scenario specifically called for it, especially if they were given much better control? Part of the reason the boost works, as many have previously pointed out, is that it's tailored towards the intense, beautiful speed that can be achieved while playing the game, carried out through the careful implementation of automation and scripts to allow for such gameplay to even exist. You take these things out and the experience must now rely solely on the core mechanics, which already rely heavily on the railroaded level design. Flesh out the level design and you start to see how cumbersome and weird Sonic is to control, which combined with the absolute lack of camera manipulation, would suggest that improved player control would be a priority. But part of the reason most of Sonic's abilities function the way they do is because of the stiff control, and focus on forward movement. So now what? Do you establish scenarios where the player has to use those moves just to give them purpose, or axe them because they muddle up the control scheme? Everyone points to levels like Seaside Hill and Sky Sanctuary as proof that more open levels can exist, but I just don't see it. Especially when both of these levels have bits of absolutely strange and archaic design that feels so out of place.

    I'm not saying that you can't improve it. You just provided a potential solution, and I have provided a counter to that solution. I'd like to be proven wrong, but if the discussion just becomes more of the same, then what's the point?
     
  5. synchronizer

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    Didn't Sonic Unleashed have manual camera control, only for it to be removed in Generations? I remember noticing that before.
     
  6. Sean Evans

    Sean Evans

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    I remember that being the case for things like Hub Worlds and the Werehog, but not the Day stages. But even then, there's an extensive usage of prepgrogrammed camera angles that force the direction the player looks in. This was also an issue in the Adventure titles, and it's part of why the camera is so bad in those games. Rather than fix the issue by mitigating the automation, opening up the environments, and providing failsafes should the camera get caught behind the level, they just give up and remove control of the camera entirely.
     
  7. Plorpus

    Plorpus

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    I think it's entirely reasonable to criticize or defend it but neither side of this debate is giving an inch and the thread at this point is just going in circles.
    ....I guess there's nothing else to really talk about though.
     
  8. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Yeah. Camera control was removed in Generations (and was never in Unleashed Wii or Colours because of the controllers). In Unleashed, it wasn't particularly useful out side of very specific circumstances when looking for medals, in the hubs or in the Werehog stages. But when you dotry to use it in the boosting levels, you kind of notice just how automated/scripted it all is. Sonic is very, very often on a spline which will make him follow a set path by turning automatically. If you rotate the camera say 90 degrees, Sonic's movements won't match your directional inputs at all. I think that's why it was taken out of Generations. If you manage to get the camera to face the wrong way (pretty easy to do under the breakable bridge in Green Hill), you'll notice the same problem.
     
  9. Gestalt

    Gestalt

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    3D Sonic-titles have yet to pull off what 2D Sonic-titles pulled off and boosting needs more depth: the moment Sonic takes off he's at max speed. In this moment, tapping the analogue stick makes him face the direction the analogue stick is facing. Causes 'flying-state' where it's possible to point Sonic towards any direction you want except up and down.

    At this point, levels serve 100 % eye candy and Sonic Team could easily put emphasis on planning out moments such as Badniks chasing after Flickies or Big the Cat lurking around a corner. We could have hub worlds that are located within a stage (I mean why not?). When you get there the timer fades out.
     
  10. Beltway

    Beltway

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    I don't really agree with this. Most of the boost levels we've seen so far are pretty linear and automated in nature. Some Generations levels did get a bit better with linearity with having additional paths, but they mostly amounted to breadcrumbs / shortcuts adjacent to the main path, rather than genuinely independent routes.

    Moreover, while I agree that linearity and automation aren't restricted by the engine, I do think they are beholden to the overarching game design. Maintaining a constant pace of breakneck speed is arguably the backbone of the Boost playstyle, and I do think linearity and automation, while likely being more overplayed than needed by the designers, are consistent with that philosophy.

    We've already seen through Sonic 4 the results of a game supposed to represent one playstyle, built by designers who were only interested in making games of another playstyle. The game could have been filled with branching routes and have minimal automation, and it still wouldn't change the fact that the developers were more interested in constructing a game around the homing attack and/or co-op moves, instead of momentum-based play.

    With that said, it's Sonic Team. I don't think have they really know how to, or care about, properly developing a formula they have for the better ever since S3&K. Adventure they ran into the ground, the Boost (and to a lesser extent, the Storybook spinoff series) has been mostly stagnant, and Lost World was a complete one-off altogether. Meanwhile, Sonic 4 itself is an example Sonic Team's nonchalance of even preserving a specific playstyle for the aforementioned reasons, despite Sonic Team not being solely responsible for developing it.
     
  11. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    In the classics, surfaces like slopes and loops mattered. You had to fight gravity to climb them and gained speed by going down, with the player having various means to control and amplify Sonic's speed naturally. Clearing a full loop required speed that you had to build up, and Sonic would be affected by natural forces all the way through.
    With boost, all of that is meaningless. Boosting on hills, walls, through loops, it is all effectively the same as just running on flat ground. The boost neutralizes all forces, eliminates ebb and flow and renders the environment meaningless, which is what makes it nothing more than eye candy. The only things that matter then in the gameplay are the timing of binary actions such as a jump, slide, quickstep, etc. Only certain sections, particularly 2d ones, work without boost. Not using boost or trying to take control at any other time leaves the game unplayable. To top it off, the game automates a lot of sections anyway, further reducing any substance in the gameplay. And ironically, this is not really compatible with boost because the boost ability and elements that force Sonic's speed and movement function independently and don't really make sense used at the same time. Both things already flatline Sonic's momentum trivializing the environment and gameplay, so the only point in say, boost pads and ramp launchers, are to impair the boost's effect and slow Sonic down, so even the simple fun the boost does give is constantly muted and wrestled from the player.
     
  12. Atendega

    Atendega

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    ...You didn't "win". You did an utterly shitty job.

    Congratulations. You've entirely missed the point of the Boost gameplay style. The primary goal isn't just making it to the end. It is, depending on the game:

    Unleashed / Colors - Taking routes and performing actions that give the most score while making it to the end as fast as possible.
    Generations - Optimizing your route as much as possible to get the best time.

    By demonstrating your ability to clumsily stagger your way to the goal of the first stage, you've proven absolutely nothing.
     
  13. rebelcheese

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    Does anyone want to get the aloe vera or should we let this linger?

    I'm not the biggest fan of the Boost gameplay either but to say it does not take skill to use properly is disingenuous. Sonic Generations was my first Sonic since Sonic Rush and using the Boost properly in Modern Sonic takes a lot more than just holding down a button. It's knowing when to hit the button and controlling Sonic with the button held down, and that's not a skill everyone can pick up right away.

    So in short Atendega is correct.
     
  14. If you took 30 seconds to read the description, I only used one input for nearly all of the video. Holding the boost button. The only time I didn't, is when I had to realign myself. You did an utterly shitty job reading.

    Congratulations. You've contradicted yourself in two back to back sentences.

    Unleashed and Colours? Score? You mean the score that does absolutely nothing? And the time attack? Which also is completely redundant? Oh shit I saw Sonic breakdance instead of give me a thumbs up. Cool!

    By demonstrating your flawed logic, and inability to put together something that holds even the slightest bit of water, you've proven that boost logic is as sturdy as Swiss Cheese.

    It's hardly a gameplay "style" when 95% of the time I was holding one button. And it isn't just in the first level. The good majority of the game plays itself. That's the problem with boost. You don't _do_ anything. That's not gameplay style, that's not even gameplay.

    Is it? I can do every single level in Unleashed. Maybe show an input. It really doesn't take any skill. I've handed Unleashed to a 6 year old and had them beat the day levels like it's their peanut butter jam sandwich.

    That's cute, but you can't clump together a 2D and a 3D game. Rush/Rush Adventure were side scrollers. If you boost, you'll hit a wall, or an enemy. Or, you know, you actually run out of boost.

    My video proved otherwise. And those 6 year olds proved otherwise.

    Edit:

    tl;dr, your argument is invalid. You can't polish a turd.
     
  15. VectorCNC

    VectorCNC

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    Over in the Mania thread we have people ready to kill themselves over inaccurate plumbing and a black pixel, and over here in the Forces thread we have people ready to kill the franchise over an alienating niche play-style that can't support a title on it's own and is so unplayable it plays itself...

    *tosses lit match and walks away...
     
  16. The Prof

    The Prof

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    Is the point of boost gameplay not to try to challenge yourself to do perfect, silky smooth runs of the levels? That's is basically what the point of Sonic has been since the first game (albeit S1 also had a significant platform element). EHZ is hold right to win with very few exceptions, as is GHZ if you jump over enemies. Sonic's not meant to be a hard game, it's always had kids in mind. The challenge is in learning to master the levels and that's where the satisfaction comes from.

    Forces using boost gameplay is only automatically bad if all the levels are straight line zones. We can't really tell that from what we've seen, as that was an insignificant portion of a level, and clearly meant to show the level's visual theme, not its design. If they put some thought into the level design though, it can be fun.

    The fact classic Sonic's in there is also not terrible. He seems shoehorned, yeah, but he won't ruin the game. Sega's proved they can make fun levels for him with Generations. The section of sandy GHZ we've seen isn't too promising, but it was just one section of what I assume will be the first level, to re-accustom the player to that style of gameplay.

    The other playstyle remains to be seen, but hopefully it isn't shockingly bad. If it's even playable, we could have a mediocre game at worst, and a pretty solid one at best.
     
  17. Deef

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    I disagree with that. I think the vast majority of replays of classic Sonic levels were not made for the sake of learning to perfect runs. Score attacking is a crutch the classics didn't need.
     
  18. TimmiT

    TimmiT

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Member
    lol

    You're half right there. Yuji Naka has said the levels in the first Sonic game were designed in mind with the player trying to complete them faster on later playthroughs. But score attacking wasn't the incentive (or "crutch") it used. There wasn't a save system. So the player trying to get back to the spot they last stopped playing as fast as possible was the incentive for speedrunning the game.

    Said incentive was lost once Sonic games started having save systems, and the first two games could be played in emulators with save states. So score attack is now used as the incentive instead.
     
  19. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    You're mixing up "primary goal" with "replay value".
     
  20. Atendega

    Atendega

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    I know you weren't trying, you dip, I know how to read :v: I'm saying that just the fact that you can beat the stage that way doesn't prove anything. I'm not insulting your skill, I'm sure when you actually play the damned thing you do far better.
    I would argue that in this case replay value is the primary goal. Boost levels are designed in a way where you're very unlikely to get the best route the first time. It's more memorization than it is reflexes. This may or may not be a positive thing, depending on your tastes, but I enjoy squeezing as much speed out of the level as I can.