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Sonic Frontiers Thread - PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MykonosFan, May 27, 2021.

  1. RikohZX

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    I also hate the argument that newer/younger audiences will struggle and hate any real form of physics in 3D, when a lot of us grew up with the Adventure games. Far from perfect and automated in their own ways, but to this day many people still preach for a return to Adventure for a reason.

    Super Mario Odyssey has more physics than a Modern Sonic game and no one complains. Stop with this broad statement stuff implying this stuff can't work when both other notable studios and indie games have proven it can, just no one has managed to hit a sweet spot yet. I also know level design is a nightmare for this stuff, but I think part of that problem is the hunt for HD/next gen graphics with beautiful environments. We should really harness the power of the abstract and simple more, it almost always looks more striking.

    But hey, AAA development hates simple.
     
  2. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    It's not that they CAN'T implement momentum based physics, it's that they don't WANT to. It's not in their cards. That's a whole different can of worms.

    Also sometimes I think people forget that this is a very small subsection of people who play Sonic games, and we don't speak for everyone lol
     
  3. Andrew75

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    Nintendo Pumps out extremely polished modern classic Mario after modern classic Mario masterpiece, in the meantime......
    Sonic gets kicked around like an abused little child.

    Lately it seems like Sega's literally just dragging Sonic kicking and screaming on a rope threw the shoddily assembled levels as he tries to cling to the nearest tree root or clump of grass, All while rolling around dodging shit on the way to his next broken adventure. This with a bunch of quality-blind fan children running behind yelling at the tops of their lil lounges…." Looook Mommy! it’s Sonic! Mommy, Mommy! Buy me Sonic! Because its Sonic and he's sooo cool because he's blue!!"

    5 years later, little has changed.
    This time they got Sonic tied to the back of some redneck’s pickup truck that's recklessly spinning out donuts. All the while poor Sonic is being slung hither and thither haphazardly over some hills with jagged rocks and obstacles strewn randomly about.
    Sonic wishing for god to end his miserable, insufferable, and sorry existence.

    Oh wait.. There is Sonic Origins. Poor Sonic gets a brief break, thank god!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  4. Shaddy the guy

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  5. Beltway

    Beltway

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    I thought we would had learned from the Sonic 4 days about making momentum-based physics out to be some impossible feat of God nobody could understand or reproduce for the modern day, or slamming fan projects that proved otherwise as a means to justify downright egregious design philosophies.

    If anything, seeing these arguments still being made is insulting now that we live in a timeline where Mania exists. This was the type of rhetoric used by people to paint Taxman/Stealth and company as incapable of making a good Sonic game if they were ever given the chance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  6. Aesculapius Piranha

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    I mean, for the most part I *like* what I see so far but have to disagree here. There are plenty of open world games where you can go fairly fast (and maybe more importantly make you feel like you are going fast) and still seem sizable enough, though most that come to mind involve car/planejackings not running around. There are technical challenges involved but that is true of almost any game, and there are games that have already more or less done sonic physics okay in 3D. Heck, adventure didn't do a terrible job of it way back when. For momentum people cite monkey ball often enough for reasons. There is definitely room to improve in a good way.

    For this game I am happy to see Sonic Team iterating toward improving the flow of gameplay with an open world. My biggest concern is a possible lack of a feeling of progression since obviously Sonic isn't a LoZ game and that the story won't feel compelling enough to drive a person to explore an open world. But naturally these are just concerns and say nothing since the only reason I have to feel this way is gameplay trailers showcasing very little, and remembering that the story in Generations was background noise.
     
  7. HEDGESMFG

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    https://speeps-highway.tumblr.com/post/168550584260/beta-windy-valley-or-final-windy-valley-d

    Sega had what people wanted nailed down with Windy Valley Beta in SA1, but this post also summarizes why it likely failed and was redesigned entirely, and why Sonic will always struggle to translate into 3D on a level that matches the strength of the classics (Though I do believe Generations pulled that off, albiet with linear paths, the boost engine, and scripting).

    3D open environment momentum based Sonic is just...

    - Too taxing on consoles.
    - Too hard for many to play and control. 3D Sonic with classic physics and NO scripting does NOT have the "pick up and go" appeal that 2D did. It's way, way more skill based than just managing left, right, up, and down.
    - Too time consuming and costly to develop and also keep on mid to lower end consoles.
    - Too easily broken by actual high speeds without scripted environments.
    - Making a momentum based full boost speed sonic game last long enough to feel like it's worth 60-70$ of gameplay time (I.E., more than 3-4 hours of single player gameplay)

    If just one or 2 of those issues (player skill, console performance, time and cost, ease of breaking the map) was a problem, the whole challenge could be overcome eventually. But when all of those are a factor every single time a new 3D sonic game needs to be made, overcoming all of them at once is a monumental challenge for almost any game studio, let alone one with Sonic Team's logistic challenges. Frontiers is actually attempting to balance all of those issues, but has made compromises on scripting, speed, and controls to address and balance these issues, like it or not. From a purely design POV, that is not an unreasonable decision at all.

    There will never be a 3D Sonic without scripted set-pieces. It just doesn't work as well for 3D Sonic's target demographic. Frontiers looks far better than Forces ever was and the fact that people are being as negative as they are on this shows me that no one understands how difficult creating a fun, mainstream, playable open world Sonic game actually without it being either seriously visually downgraded, or made on high end PC hardware that's being taxed heavily just to deal with draw distance challenges alone. Virtually every example I've seen is either a glorified tech demo or a visually flat Adventure ripoff, Speed Simulator included.

    Would I mind, or dare I say do I want good rolling physics? No, I don't mind, and yes I want them. But I think people here severely underestimate how much they will destroy map design in 3D, and how bad Sonic's speed is for open world gameplay in a massive 60-70$ console release in general. It's almost certainly beyond what Sonic Team can do, but I've yet to see anyone else get close either.

    2D and 3D design are worlds apart and not at all comparable, and Mania solved the problem by going back to the exact same retro engine with pixel perfect 2D sprites, something that still hasn't quite properly been fixed in any 2.5D attempt (although I'm more certain that it 'could' be done with enough skill and effort. Again, Generations classic stages came close, and even Sonic 4 Ep 2 was a massive engine improvement over Episode 1.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
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  8. MontiP

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    You know I now wonder if making Project AXSX ended up being good for your sanity.

    Honestly, I think we should all just relax a bit and wait until the next bunch of news come, that being next Tuesday, and enjoy a bit of Origins news or something else in the meantime.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
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  9. FunkySpaceAlien

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    Just an update, I no longer believe in this theory.

    I was watching some random reaction video and I noticed from behind, Sonic's head looked very wide.

    [​IMG]

    But in the showcase with the normal gameplay camera, his proportions are normal.

    upload_2022-6-4_22-9-13.png

    With what Landy on Twitter pointed out, this is a case of camera trickery.

    I can see them changing the quills, but making him wide too? Wouldn't make much sense.

    Ultimately both shots are probably from the same build. Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up, my bad. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
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  10. RikohZX

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    Maybe "too taxing for consoles" wouldn't be much of a problem nowadays if the Switch wasn't going to have to run Frontiers at like, 720p or less. PS4 Pro or Xbox One X is what I presume is running this gameplay footage for it to be rather unstable yet still push 4K, but the severe amount of issues and pop-in make me think it's a lot more to do with the engine's optimization than Sonic traveling in the open world specifically. Link tearing across Hyrule on a paraglider via certain glitches has loading issues by principle of going across the game world too fast, but nothing quite like what I see in the Frontiers footage happening mere feet away from Sonic.

    PS5/XSX should be able to handle this all like a champ without issue, but that's not what Sega has to target and would be unviable to anyway since most people can't really get the systems still. Capping the game's bottom on "playable" by 2017 hardware standards that even some phones outstrip is part of the problem but not all of it unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  11. foXcollr

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    Between that and the constant buzzphrases being thrown around, this is a really rough car ride.
     
  12. HEDGESMFG

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    It's worse than that, as even if the game was a PS5 exclusive, the expectation for "Next Gen" visuals and the cost to develop them would be at direct odds with what the hardware can actually achieve. Fast moving gameplay with high end visuals and are computationally incompatible goals that require serious compromises (linear tracks, limits to control types, scripted visuals) to achieve with a high frame rate. The faster Sonic is, the more quickly assets load, the more ram (for texture memory), GPU (for high polycounts that load quickly in real time), and CPU (for enemy AI and scripted animations and events) all must be taxed simultaneously, at a rate far more rapidly than any other 3D open world game will typically do. Skilled programmers can get around this, but not without major compromises. You see it when you glitch out the speed on the vast majority of open map games, they just fail to handle it every time and pop-in always becomes an issue after a certain point. Your Zelda example misses the fact that the game becomes almost unplayable when doing those kind of glitches for 99% of the playerbase. Add in skill based gameplay to that and try to eliminate glitches, and you run into far, far more problems.

    I'm not saying Frontiers couldn't be better visually without the lower end consoles to hold it back, I'm saying creating a game like Frontiers is far harder than anyone here realizes and the fact that the first thing people are doing is trashing it shows how out of touch with reality people's expectations are for 3D Sonic. Frontiers is actually a pretty impressive technical accomplishment, and designing it to be anything else than what it is right now is far harder than I think anyone here is willing to grasp or admit.

    Does the gameplay look boring and uninspired to you? Sure. That's fine too. Could it be better? I'm sure it could, but I'm not actually sure 'how' much better it could be without going back to leniar Generations 3 tiered stages with partially scripted paths.

    But maybe that's why they never made an open world Sonic game until now. Because this was always going to be one of the results of trying to balance all of those problems.
     
  13. Beltway

    Beltway

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    Let's be frank, if 2D and 3D game design were truly incompatible, the 2D games would had never started fully emulating all of the design decisions that were created in the 3D games, let alone completely ditch the "only workable in 2D" momentum physics that they used to have. The 2D games have been able to handle properties created for and always justified for Sonic's 3D gameplay like the homing attack without the entire game falling apart, as it's constantly implied the reverse would accomplish.

    It has less to do with the limitations and results and more to do with the intentions. Other studios, let alone the fangame community, have to able to produce such elements in their games without much fuss. Sonic Team just doesn't wanna.

    Emphasis on that last point--the only reason we were able to get new official MD projects like Mania, Origins, and the mobile remasters at all is because people in the community had to start making that shit themselves. Taxman with SoA had to approach Iizuka about making a new MD game with his Discovery pitch, rather than the other way around. Sega in 2011 would had never bothered to release a version of Sonic CD that was anything other than an emulation; no physics fixes, no widescreen, no Tails.
     
  14. Mookey

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    Maybe Sega's plans with these trailers was to confuse people into submission.

    I mean if that's the case kudos to them, it seems to be working.
     
  15. HEDGESMFG

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    The homing attack removes control from the player, which is why it exists in 3D. It's a mini-scripted event. 2D Sonic physics fans don't like it for that exact reason. The fact that it 'can' work in 2D and still be fun has nothing to do with why it was needed in 3D at all.

    2D Design and 3D design are not comparable. At all. They have massively different sets of problems in every single way.

    And once again, producing "elements in the games" (read, tech demoes and a small number of stages) is not the same as releasing a AAA major console release with a targeted demographic comparable to Nintendo gamers, even on just one platform.

    To put it simply, the 3D Sonic fangames, as impressive as they are, are not player friendly to a mainstream audience. They target hardcore sonic fans, often with years of experience with the gameplay style, and even THEN some of them are actually quite hard to pick up and master, and often have difficulty/balancing issue and TONS of bugs. I've played quite a few of them for many, many years. They are not the stuff of mainstream releases the same way mania was.
     
  16. Andrew75

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    I seen a lot of talk on here saying by adding classic physics wouldn't mesh with Frontiers.( modern doesn't mesh with classic ect ect)
    coming from working on fangames myself like Project AXSX and using Sonic GDK that both have the classic physics in 3D worlds (if using the classic mode pawn in GDK)

    Classic can mesh well with automated, i'll explain, yes even with homing attack...
    I think that the way Frontiers is set up would work with the classic physics even with how the environments are set up currently, You'd still have all the same automated crap like the grind rails and the wall climb and enemy battles. But with proper physics in place for running around and moving between the automated interactive features, I think that it would better stimulate the player deep down in the backs of their minds and hearts, and produce a lot more "happiness and satisfaction". gameplay wise. (all the little things count!)

    Having classic styled physics would also boost general animation quality and believability for the character's movement for environmental interactions. For example, if the player is running very fast, and lets go of the control stick, Sonic would drift a little more slowly to a complete stop and would feel more natural, believable, and rewarding..... as the players could just let go of the stick to gradually coast to a stop , or hit the opposite direction to put on the breaks. (yes this works in 3D and is very comfortable with how its set up in my own project (even in tight areas and near ledges). (the controls are just as comfortable as playing the 2D games)

    I think that "Not all" but most 3D fangames don't quite got it right either, With most of them showcasing sprawling rolling hill areas where the player can run around endlessly with nothing else to do except show off as a proof of concept. (with concepts proven mind you)
    this is just a personal opinion but The aspects where the player runs around endless with no clear goals in mind should not be emulated if producing a full-on retail Sonic game.
    Without playing Frontiers yet.... and just guessing by watching the videos. I think forces tries to emulate the "proof of concept" OpenWorldyness of fangames or other open world games. Except it seems like the designers randomly toss in a lot of random crap to try to fill the open world environment. and maybe it will work but it wont feel like Sonic. maybe it'll feel more like Ginshin Impact or Zelda BOTW.

    Now, i love games like Genshin Impact, and open world games for that matter, and maybe ill love this game too. I'm just a Jaded Sonic fan who was hoping the next big game to be an actual Sonic game. and not another off course "Sonic Boom."
    If we think of it as an open world game with Sonic tossed in and not a platformer. Maybe it will work out better for us even as Sonic fans.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  17. Ritz

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    Might as well also note that loops have been implemented multiple times in SRB2, the main holdup is that nobody's going to draw all the sprites needed for 360° movement.
     
  18. Snowbound

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    Frontiers doesn’t look fun to play and frankly it’s not what most fans wanted. It looks like a weird unsatisfying in-between of the boost and adventure formulas without understanding what made either good thus disappointing fans of both styles. This has made people talk about what they wanted in the new game, which for some was classic momentum physics. Maybe classic momentum physics is impossible in a open world game... but I’m sorry it is possible to have a new combat oriented gameplay style with better physics than what we are currently seeing. To be clear: I didn’t say classic physics in the last sentence; I said better. HEDGSMF raises some good points; points that we don’t want to hear but are necessary for understanding why Sega believes this footage is impressive. I initially had more to say but I’m gonna cut myself off here. It’s time to disengage
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2022
  19. Andrew75

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    We wanted Sonic, and got Sonic Impact instead.....
    Edit: (Not the Sonic fangame by the same name.... meant Genshin Impact + Sonic jk)
     
  20. RikohZX

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    I think people are mostly just disappointed that after Sega tried to hype this up in December as an open world game but with only vista views and no gameplay, fans thought this might have something more than just more Boost Sonic gameplay after all the attempts by the devs to make it sound like a revolution for Sonic, among other stuff.

    Instead you've just got Forces Boost Sonic with Unleashed Hub boosts, and what looks like a boring environment that doesn't come together well at all, awkwardly pretzeled into trying to cooperate with Boost Sonic mechanics. It got people's imaginations running for how it could be better and grew from there once the majority started voicing opinions that this kinda looks like butt.

    Not even the leaks actually discussed exactly how Sonic felt or controlled. But once you see it, you just know it's not right.