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Sonic Mania (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

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

  1. Turbohog


    I second reopening the bug topic. It would be nice to have a centralized place for all bug reports. Even if they don't all get fixed it would still be a nice reference.
  2. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    With the PC version I can finally get a better look at the sprites. I love how absolutely EVERYTHING has more frames of animation to look smoother. Actually, while playing the Switch version, I thought I saw a second, intermediate walk cycle for Sonic and Knuckles. Thanks to AnimGet, I can confirm that there is.

    A message to all indie devs (that they'll never see): 8-bit style graphics are certainly nostalgic, but if you want something truly beautiful, aim for this quality of graphics.
  3. Glaber


    Has Beaten Sonic Genesis for GBA Oldbie
    You must have never played a blue sphere stage from locking on with any genesis game that not sonic 2 or 3. the Blue Sphere Game (Sonic 1 & Knuckles) had some really crazy designs where sometimes to get a perfet, you had to jump over 2 RED Spheres.
  4. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    There are two steps to getting a non-xbox, non-playstation, non-steam controller working in steam. First, let me explain a bit about how the steam controller API conceptually works. The entire point behind the API is to abstract the controller input between the game and the controller. The chain of inputs winds up looking like this:

    Code (Text):
    2.  physical                                          STEAM                    Computer
    3. {Controller} -> {Steam Controller Definition -> Game Controller Mapping} -> {Game}
    The idea is that steam intercepts all controller inputs before the game can even see it, and will change it to other inputs, which are then sent to the game. Those other inputs can be any keyboard or mouse input, or XInput inputs. XInput is microsoft's controller input standard, it's what the xbox 360 and Xbox one controllers use, and most PC games use this as well. That means you can take a non-XInput controller (usually using direct input, like the saturn controller you are using) and use the steam controller mapping to transform those inputs into XInput, which Sonic Mania recognizes. This saves time for developers, who can now target XInput by itself, and be assured that players can make their non-xinput controllers send xinput commands. Similarly, if a game has absolutely no controller support at all, you can also use the same mapping devices to have you controller send mouse or keyboard inputs, thus creating controller support where there was none before. All that's more advanced than you need to know, but it's good to have an understanding of the process.

    The way Steam makes all this possible is a two step process. First, it needs you to define the controller into terms it can understand. I'll walk you through step by step how this is done. First and foremost, you need to tell steam to start paying attention to this controller. To do this, plug the controller into your computer with steam running. For good measure, unplug all other controllers at the same time -- in some instances, trying to define a controller with multiple controllers plugged in can make things go wonky. With just the controller you want to use plugged in, you need to go to the steam controller settings. From the desktop, you click steam -> settings -> controller -> controller configurations, or in Big Picture Mode, you click the cog in the upper right corner on the splash screen, then go to controller configuration. You'll see this:


    Check "enable generic gamepad support" and you should see a controller pop up underneath, which should read something like "Generic controller." Steam will pop up and ask you to define the controller.

    What this means is that steam needs to know how to interpret your controller, so that the menus it uses to map commands from that controller to inputs sent to the game can be seamless. To do this, Steam tries to make sense of your controller as though it were an Xbox 360 controller, and that's the step you're being hung up on. It should be a menu that looks like this:


    The reason you do this, is because when you later on want to tell games how to interpret your inputs, the menu looks like this:


    Obviously your controller doesn't look like this (and, for the record, this is an issue I've passed onto valve -- that not all controllers look like xbox controllers and it can be confusing, and it's something they're working on) and so you need to tell Steam which buttons on that graphic map to which buttons on your controller. So the screen you're stuck on is you telling steam how your saturn controller maps to a generic xbox controller. They use terms to help you understand how steam uses buttons. For example, the "A" button on an xbox controller (which is the bottom button on the diamond button cluster on the right) is generally used as the "accept" button in steam menus. So when you map your saturn controller, you should be mindful that the button you map to "A" on the xbox controller, will also be the button you use to say "ok" in steam menus. I generally use the "A" button on the saturn pad for this. Likewise, the "B" button on the xbox controller (left button on the diamond button cluster on the right) typically is used for "cancel" or "back" in steam menus, and I typically use the "B" button on saturn pads for that.

    Be aware that you don't have to map every button in this menu. If your controller only has, say, 4 buttons total, then obviously you can't map them to every button on the xbox pad. All this means is that those inputs are ignored. You don't have the equivalent of a "right analog stick," so don't worry about mapping it. As to your question about "hat #", in PC terms, because of legacy joystick stuff, d-pads are generally referred to as hats, as opposed to analog sticks. Hats are usually 4 buttons (up, down, left, right) and referred to by numbers. So hat 1 likely refers to up on your d-pad. It's smarter, however, not to map d-pad buttons in steam, but rather to map the xbox analog stick in this menu to the d-pad. To do so, click "left analog stick X axis" and press left or right. you'll note the input as "X axis." Then click "left analog stick Y axis" and press up or down. you'll note the input as "Y axis."

    Once you have all the inputs on your saturn pad mapped, press escape on your keyboard and you'll see a button at the bottom of this menu that is called "Save." click that, then enter a name for your controller. After you've done this, it's wise to reboot steam and unplug the controller. Once steam reboots, plug the controller in, and you should see a new message asking you to register it to your account. This is because steam saves configurations per game, and uses your account to determine which configurations to use. Register the controller to your account, and now you're ready to use the controller with steam.

    You're still not quite done yet, however. We've told steam how to recognize the controller, now we need to tell each game how to talk to steam, so that steam will know how to send controller commands. To do this, you need to go to the game controller configuration screens. To do this, from the desktop, right click on sonic mania and click "edit game controller configurations." Or, in Big Picture Mode, select Sonic Mania, then under "launch game" you'll see a header called "manage game":


    Under Manage game, you'll see "edit controller configuration," select that and it'll bring up the controller configuration menu, like so:


    This menu is really, really powerful. I could spend literally days going over all the options on this menu, but it can do a TON of things. It can add radial pop up menus to games, it can create button chord combinations so that pressing multiple buttons do different things, you can do mode swithcing so different screens have different button layouts. You can edit every single input on your controller through this menu. For the sake of brevity, I'll just go over the essentials. Sonic Mania is sort of unique in that Taxman defined action sets for the game, so it looks slightly different from the above menu. Essentially, Sonic Mania already tells steam which commands it has available. You can select an button or stick or anything from the above, and you should get a menu that looks like this listing all available actions in the game:


    For games that don't define actions like this (for future information), selecting a button brings up something like this:


    On the left is mouse inputs, meaning when you press the button you just selected, it'll send that mouse command. In the middle is keyboard commands, meaning when you press that button, it'll send a keyboard command. And on the right is an Xbox controller, meaning when you press that button, it'll send an Xbox command. If you want multiple buttons mapped to the same input, you can press Y, and it'll allow you to map multiple mouse inputs, keyboard inputs, and gamepad inputs to that single button.

    Additionally, if, as someone said earlier, something has screwed up and you have no inputs mapped by default in Sonic Mania, you can have it automatically populate the controller for you. To do this, from this screen:


    Press Y and it'll bring up a list of presets like so:


    Taxman has an official preset under "recommended." Additionally, when you create a controller configuration, you can upload your configuration to valve's servers from this menu, which will let other people download your preset without having to do work. I have an SLS Sega Saturn controller preset under "Community" as "SLS Saturn."

    This should be enough to get you started with the steam controller API. It is extremely powerful, and I'd recommend really diving in for more complex games, because it has let me play games that are usually flat-out impossible to play with a gamepad just fine from my couch. If you're really interested in learning the in's and outs of the API, give this series of tutorials a look:

    Give me a minute, and I'll post my SLS Saturn Controller definition in case you're still confused.

    EDIT: My SLS Saturn pad defintion:



    You'll notice I recommend mapping what is the start button on the saturn pad (button 8) to guide, rather than start. That's because the guide button is really more like the "Steam" button. Steam itself uses that button for a toooon of things, and it's generally one of the most important buttons. I actually thought it always had to be mapped, but today I learned you can forgo mapping it. Still, I'd highly recommend you keep it mapped, because it's useful for a lot of features.
  5. jubbalub


    Sonic Mania fanboy Member
    Sonic Mania: The Misfits Pack, The Binding of Isaac: Deliverance

  6. null1024


    Most indie games don't look like ass for "stylistic" reasons, they do it because they're too broke to hire anyone to do visuals on the level of something like Mania.
    Making faux "8-bit" visuals is cheap and easy.

    Doing something as nice looking as Mania is still way higher budget than the vast majority of indie releases and would require money that a lot of these teams don't have (in fact, in some cases, the art budget is basically nil).
  7. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    Quoting for a second page.
  8. That makes a lot of sense, and pretty neat! Thanks for that info
  9. Beat me to my own video, damn you're fast!
  10. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    Most things people call "8-bit graphics" aren't 8-bit. In fact, they usually are a fair bit more utilitarian than Mania's graphics, because they are actually 32bpp at their base. Mania actually uses a palette, something modern games usually do not use. I myself have an engine I've written that uses shaders to simulate a palette, and let me tell you it took tens of thousands of lines of low level openGL code to accomplish. The term 8-bit graphics is and of itself rather meaningless. In fact, I'd say Mania likely uses true 8bpp graphics.

    In short, most indie devs probably don't even have the requisite knowledge to do the style of graphics Mania uses, and that's before even getting into talent and ability to make aesthetically pleasing sprites and tiles. anachronically, these old style graphics are actually very hard to do with modern hardware.
  11. Montblanc


    All this time I tought they were giving you a single mistake as valid to complete the bonus stage :/

    And speaking of them I finally unlocked the mean bean mode and holy shit, not doing this ever again even if I lose my save, I really suck at blue spheres!

    By the way, this happened in GHZ Act 1 when I tried to jump at high speed in order to avoid the second S tunnel (and go back to the lamp post) when I was collecting the last medallions I needed:

    I don't know if reporting the bugs here is useful at all so it's the last one.
  12. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    That mostly reminded of something that Tommy Tallarico would make, which as awesome as it does sound (both that track and Tallarico's music + - , not Sonic CD's US soundtrack =P   ), I don't think it necessarily fits a SoJ-styled Classic Sonic game (would fit in a Modern Sonic game, would fit in a soundtrack).
  13. Frostav


    I know, they did that for all of the stages, but from what I can tell, SSZ and MMZ's layouts in this game are basically 100% brand-new, since the level design in CD isn't conducive towards Mania's straight-forward design. SSZ in particular excised an entire gimmick from the level (path swappers), the ONLY classic level in Mania to do so!
  14. Ravenfreak


    I dunno what I should put here. Tech Member
    O'Fallon Mo
    Hacking Sonic Drift, Writer at Sonic Cage Dome
    I cannot get a perfect on the blue spheres stage that only has 4 blue spheres. >_< It's the last stage I need to get a perfect on to get all gold coins. Other than that, I finally got all the chaos emeralds as Knuckles, and just need the last one as Tails. Then I plan on starting a Sonic and Tails save.
  15. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    An aside, all that controller definition stuff doesn't apply at all if you're just using an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation Dualshock 3, Playstation Dualshock 4, or Steam Controller, because Valve has official definitions for those that automatically are used. You still need to enable Xbox or Playstation controller support from that menu, however, as seen in my pic.
  16. STHX


    SEGAAAAAAAAA?!? Member
    The world of Trophies
    Sonic In Mushroom Kingdom
    I don't know what's the correct way of doing it but I got a perfect by walking backward by hitting a bumper until I got the first group of rings before the first blue sphere without collecting the sphere (that's why you need to walk backward), then it's just a matter of circling the stage in the other direction.
  17. Mr. Cornholio

    Mr. Cornholio


    Haven't posted here in a while, but I just wanted to pop in quick to send some more words of praise towards the entire development team for their efforts. I adored the game and wrote a Steam review quickly glossing over what I had enjoyed about it.

    It's a Negative Review for the time being due to my distaste for Sega choosing to include this (seemingly) last minute. I was pretty hesitant to do so since I enjoyed the game tons and I didn't want to give the developers the wrong impression, but it seems pretty obvious to me even they are disgusted with the choices made here. Again though, this game was amazing. Easily one of the best platformers I've played in a while.

    For some context, I'm relatively young here (20 years old). Having only played the original Sonic games on my GameCube and Xbox with Mega Collection and Mega Collection Plus (and Gems Collection later on if we want to count CD), I'm probably not as nostalgic for the original titles as much as the people are here. Most of my memories with the classics were screwing with Debug Mode, abusing the Super Monitor in S3K to get an overpowered Sonic, getting stuck due to a jump in Marble Zone Act 2, and Chemical Plant Zone Act 2's water section giving me PTSD until I conquered it with Knuckles. They either all dealt with me getting screwed over early, or playing the game in a pretty cheat-sy way.

    I did eventually end up beating these titles legitimately, but that didn't happen until a couple of years later. Despite my lack of progress with them originally, I could still tell these were great games that had a lot of charm going into their development. I can say Mania has the same thing going for it.


    • Using the Retro Engine, the game is incredibly accurate to the Genesis originals in terms of physics, which were already really good. Sonic's controls still very tight in that he quickly builds up speed, but can always stop right on a dime if the player requires it. It still feels very unique in comparison to most other platformers even to this day. There is a sense of speed with the character's movement other platformers haven't quite nailed.
    • Drop-dead gorgeous visual presentation. Easily some of the best pixel art I've ever seen in any video game. Pretty much every character's movement is incredibly smooth and oozing with charm, complete with rather complex character palettes. It's an absolute joy to watch in motion.
    • Tee Lopes's work for the most part is pretty great in this game. Both boss themes, + - Metallic Madness Zone's remixes   , Starlight Zone's remixes, and Studiopolis are the highlights of his work here.
    • Incredibly expansive level design. The game feels like it took design guidelines from CD and S3K, with multiple pathways designed for each character and to let the player experience a different scenic route each time they play through a Zone. It's a very important feeling that I feel even the more universally praised Sonic Worlds engine Sonic fangames don't quite nail (but are still amazing in their own right).
    • A couple of really outstanding boss fights that are some of the best in comparison to the Genesis trilogy. I understand this is a bit of a controversial statement and I can understand that (some bosses were a bit questionable in terms of design choices), but I give the game credit for trying to stray away from the "the boss is always exposed" scenario a lot of the Genesis games suffered from.
    • A surprising amount of replay value. Time Attack Mode is a great addition taken from CD that I know people will really enjoy, and Competition Mode's inclusion was a useless but cute throwback to Sonic 2's multiplayer. What really impressed me + - was the alternate ability sets you could unlock for Sonic and the half-joke "& Knuckles" option   which gives the player a decent reason to replay the game even if they've already completed it as Sonic at least once. + - The medals apparently unlock a couple of more goodies I never got to like a Sound Test and whatnot.   Maybe it was because I went into it blind, but it's nice they have a small little system that encourages some replay value, when S3K's biggest incentive to replay the game was with different characters or a playthrough from the start with the Super Emeralds recovered.
    • The recycled Zones rarely felt like they were just there to invoke nostalgia. Each had a number of new gimmicks and expanded upon the original's ideas just enough to feel fresh. + - Oil Ocean being one of my favorite examples as it was one of my favorites design wise from Sonic 2. The pollution felt like a better spin on the ghost gimmick in Sandopolis, and the submarine sections actually gave a better feeling that this was an expansive body of oil that I was going through. Chemical Plant's green and blue slime was also another pretty cool idea.  
    • It's a small thing I haven't seen touched on much, but I actually really adore the use of really low-polygon 3D in the Special Stages and in a couple of other areas (like + - the Robotnik monument in the Metal Sonic fight   ). It really helps the 90's feel they were going for and looks like it'd belong on the Sega Saturn.


    • The lack of original Zones is a bit of a bummer. While the remixed ones are fantastic, it's a shame that Studiopolis and + - Press Gardens Zone   don't get more original followups. If there ends up being a "Mania 2", I'm seriously hoping Sega throws out request to remix a couple of old stages. Forces also reusing Green Hill Zone makes it's inclusion here as the first Zone a bit of a bummer, but hopefully that feeling will disappear once Sega stops using the Zone as a nostalgia clutch.
    • Some of the Zones almost felt a bit too long. Near the end of the game, I noticed I was usually clocking in close to 8 to 9 minutes per act. I managed to get one Time Over in + - Flying Battery Act 2's boss   , but that's about it. Maybe those time estimates are more of an exaggeration, but it seems strange when coupled with the Time Over feature returning from the Genesis games. I was honestly hoping that would've been gone since Jam gave you the option to toggle those off and 3K took the level sizes to much more complex levels. I never felt it was something that worked well in the Genesis games. Or maybe I'm just still salty after all these years that I usually Time Over in Sandopolis Act 2. :v:/>/>/>/>
    • A couple of the bosses do feel like they're a too tedious to expose the weak point to or aren't explained well enough. + - With Flying Battery Zone's Act 2 boss, I figured it had some to do with the spikes, but the bug(?) where I had a high chance of going through the bumper on the spider's body led to my eventual Time Over. Metal Sonic's weakpoint was a bit obnoxious since the time window you had to smack the Silver Sonic's into him was pretty small and it took multiple bounces usually to get them to run into Metal Sonic.  
    • It's a bit of a bummer that the secrets I mentioned earlier can only be used in a "NO SAVE" file. I'd honestly love to have a save + - consisting of Tails & Knuckles   . It seems a bit strange that it's restricted to that?
    • The Denuvo DRM was an absurd reason for delaying the game. Though it's not confirmed to be the reason for the delay, I'm having a very hard time believing it was for other reasons. Very scummy on Sega's part to include it.

    This post might be a bit sloppy as it's getting late and I should head to bed, but even the DRM isn't enough to sour the experience for me. That's how good it is. I'm still leaving a negative review on Steam in hopes of getting Sega's European division to consider removing it, but I'm still going to have a blast with it either way. This game was worth the wait I went through.
  18. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    + - when silversonic ducks and starts revving his spindash, spindash into him. He'll always fly at the right angle to hit Metal Sonic. it's a free, wide-open hit, with a large timing window.  
  19. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher
    + - But only if you have revved the Spindash once, if I remember correctly? Also, why are we using spoiler tags in the spoiler-d topic? =P  
  20. Cooljerk


    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    When Overlord first split this topic, he asked people to be considerate and still use spoiler tags. The implication is you can talk about spoilers here, but should still be considerate, where as all discussion of spoilers in the other topic, even if you use spoiler tags, is prohibited.

    Besides, it takes like less than 5 seconds to use spoiler tags and can help spare some unlucky soul some grief.