Sonic Month 2019: Sonic 2

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by drx, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Blastfrog

    Blastfrog

    Frog blast the vent core! Member
    On that note, its first palette line is almost identical to Green Hill Zone's from Sonic 1, save for the sixth index being replaced with a duplicate of the darkest yellow, since that's where Sonic 2 moved it. See for yourself:

    [​IMG]

    As far as I know, no other Sonic 2 level had borrowed palette lines from Sonic 1. It does suggest that Hidden Palace was made very early, if nothing else.
     
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  2. Travelsonic

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    I wonder if any internal builds beyond the Beta 4-7 exist that fall anywhere between Wai and Beta 4 - and what they could, or couldn't hold information-wise. Honestly, irrespective of how tight or slim our chances are, it'd be cool if the hunt continued focusing on such builds (rather than what a couple suggested in DRX's stream, that the end of Sonic 2 prototype hunts has been reached)

    Also, the change in object stage wrapping behavior specifically for HPZ. The engine already had the capability for vertical wrapping (Sonic 1's Labyrinth Zone for instance), and Sonic 2 had at least Metropolis Zone with wrapping enabled IIRC by the Wai prototype at the very least.
     
  3. Hez

    Hez

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    It does if anyone can grasp the concept of development teams. If they were on the fence about it, they probably told each team to compensate for it in the case of if it did make it in. Worse case, when code merges happened for another build happened and it either ran over the maximum amount of space or conflicted with something else, it got axed. Otherwise, they wouldn't mess with it.

    Basically...

    Person A: Yo, how many zones am I coding for the level select icons?
    Person B: Do the following, if we have time we'll include this zone too
    Person A: OK will do.
    Person C: Hey Person A, as far as title cards go, is this the final layout?
    Person A: Yeah, and if we don't finish this zone in time it's no big deal, its just title cards and no one will notice.

    EDIT: This is also why other variations of zones, and all COULD exist in code somewhere, but never had made it into a build. Hell, Cyber City might exist in all forms except having an object layout or something. Unfortunetly, unless we can break into Sega's archives (if they even still have them) we'll never know.
     
  4. Part of the reason (actually, more of the main) HPZ isn’t in the final game is because STI wasn’t satisfied with the level design. IMO your “test level” claim doesn’t really make sense because it contradicts what the developers have said about it. The decision to cut it came like a month before the game was released. It was in development since late 1991; there’s no way it was just a test level they just forgot to remove. What I’ve gathered from interviews is that it was something that worked better on paper than in execution.
     
  5. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Nope. It was stopped between 8/21 and 9/14, as the last changes were made in the prototype this topic is about, but has its assets missing entirely and can't be selected in the level select in the next prototype we have (aka the "gamesmaster" prototype), which is considered one of the final alphas this game could possibly have. This is also notably the first proto we have in the timeline that uses the final Casino Night Zone assets too, indicating that HPZ was scrapped entirely before or around the time CNZ got redone.

    [​IMG]

    So, last set of changes: August 21st. Assets are gone and the level can't even be picked without hacks by Sept 14. The game came out Nov 21. It could've been as scrapped as far as three months before the game came out and while other stages were still having major changes done, and stopped existing once the bones were finalized so to speak. This seems to me less like a last minute cut and more of a cut that was made once there was even a basic concept of the final product hashed out.
     
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  6. I didn't mean "release"; that was poor wording on my choice. The game was completed at the end of September and only came out in November because they needed time to manufacture the cartridges. So yes, that's roughly a month before it was finished. Also, there were changes between August 21st and September 14; the leftovers in the final game show that the objects that made Sonic roll in tubes and slide down water were implemented at some point in between. There were also others, like the implementation of a title card.
     
  7. Wouldn't the game have to go final around September anyway, to allow time for pressing the ROMs, assembling the package, and shipping the end result during October and November?

    EDIT: I somehow skipped the above post - I'm not a very smart man.
     
  8. Multi Battler

    Multi Battler

    puniboy 4 president Member
    More like “Man, I don’t know what to make of it. Genocide City Zone? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Maybe I should start with something simple. Let’s see… Hidden Palace Zone? There we go!”

    I know it might sound like I’m a pro, but in reality I’m just a huge noob. :specialed:
     
  9. Hez

    Hez

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    I can actually totally buy that as well, and could assume it was used primarily as a testing site because of how linear and basic the layout was. I also didn't ever imply they forgot to remove it, I full heartily think they had intentions (if time allowed) to redo it and make it a full level.

    I am still going to go back to my rant on how nobody here can still grasp the concept of development teams and code merges. They could have made the decision to scrap the level at any point in time, and still ended up having (to what appears to us as) more work done on the level in the final build. That is because development teams work at different paces. So, for the sake of this example, AT THE TIME THE DECISION WAS MADE, the team tasked to finish up the level select screen could have been weeks ahead of the other teams. It would be completely pointless and stupid to have them take things out and risk other things breaking just to try and wipe any proof of a level existing, opposed to keeping it as is (knowing it works, and not introducing more bugs) and merging the code with everything else at the time a build is needed. So this is why you will see things like tubes working, level wrapping implemented, etc. Removing it is a bigger risk than keeping it as is.

    Basically if my core job was to create a level select screen and at the time I was given a certain amount of levels that were to be on screen, I'd do just that. If I was told a level was cut, I'd do the most least evasive way to remove it. Removing the level icon probably would have been more work than it was worth, and no one would see it, so it was left.

    If my job was to put level wrapping code in a list of level slots, I'm going to do that.
     
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  10. Dissent

    Dissent

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    Do we know that HPZ wasn't being iterated on in a separate EEPROM that was used as a test-bed and never merged back to the main ROM? It would make a lot of sense to me to do things this way and solves some questions imo.
     
  11. Billy

    Billy

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    Actually, while we're on the subject, do we know how the developers split up development on the game? I don't think automated source control methods were quite as ubiquitous back then -- In an interview with John Romero he mentioned that source control "didn't happen", and that they just split up the files and made sure to only have certain people work on specific files. Of course, they were programming in C on NeXT computers, so definitely a different environment.

    EDIT (many days later): Another account, this time from Chris Sutherland of Rare, who mentions passing floppy disks and literally pasting other peoples' code into his, while working on Donkey Kong Country.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020