Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2 Launches

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Shadow Hog, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. RikohZX

    RikohZX

    Member
    382
    3
    18
    And if you wanna be technical, on a souped version of an engine that doesn't even have actual 3D rendering in it to boot, all the 3D mapping being source port work just for the game and/or clever mapping tricks discovered over the years on a 1993 engine (older than Sonic 3) at that.
     
  2. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Zaphod's just some guy, you know? Member
    377
    8
    18
    Beaverton OR
    Thinga Comic
    Okay I'm trying to get the emblems in Deep Sea now, how the hell does the weird door button puzzle work? I just spent like an hour flying back and forth through every route trying to decipher what the fuck the hint means and I still can't do it.
     
  3. W.A.C.

    W.A.C.

    Member
    4,531
    1
    18
    I'm enjoying SRB2 2.2 quite a lot, but I find it obnoxious that analog mode was removed from the game. I made a post about it on the official SRB2 forum: [LINK] It sounds like they're unwilling to bring back the mode, but we could at least explain what aspect of analog mode we want returned in the game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  4. Now that I've played around with the new "default" mode, it readily addresses all of the problems I had with older versions of game, when not playing in analog mode, but it does still have the issue of not adjusting the camera and turning/strafing simultaneously when turning with the analog stick. (A thing that has long since been common in 3D platformers.)

    That's literally all I wanted from analog mode, the new system has everything else I could have asked for. More modern platformers might be a better frame of reference to achieve that with a revised "analog mode" that behaves more intuitively. Analog mode saved me from having to turn the camera, at least not constantly. Turning the camera was simply a compliment to that existing system, filling in any of its shortcomings.

    I'd only have to turn the camera with the triggers if I needed to use Sonic's ability with more precision, (Character abilities in SRB2 only work in 8 directions instead of all 360, so you have to aim forward or else.) or make a dramatic turn around for more precise platforming in any other scenario. And for making turns along curves that were less dramatic, sometimes it was fun to just hold forward and let the triggers do the turning.

    All of that said, it's still leagues better than the likes of Croc 1 or Tomb Raider 1, with their slow tank-like turning, and only ever allowing you to see the character's backside; that was my sticking point with the old way SRB2 handled movement outside of analog mode. (Because it behaved exactly like that, but worse because of the camera twitching and lagging behind in third-person.) You will have to adjust the camera constantly to get around, however, that's the only caveat left here.

    Because I've always played SRB2 like how I did with Sonic Adventure 1, this doesn't change everything for me. I'm just stuck with figuring out how to bind the camera controls to the triggers, so I can still jump and spindash with the face buttons like normal, while adjusting the camera as I go; jumping and spindashing with the triggers instead sounds unorthodox and unintuitive to me.

    So, tl;dr: I think the team have done something right here, but there would be no harm in keeping analog mode at least as a console command until they can replace it with something more modern, and less "disorienting", as they themselves described analog mode. I disagree to the idea of it being removed entirely without a replacement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  5. RankoChan

    RankoChan

    I'm bored, k? Member
    468
    8
    18
    Some random RPG project.
    Analog mode is my preferred control method. It's much more natural to me to have my character move in the direction I want them to move, rather than where the camera wants them to. An auto camera means less manual adjusting of the camera too.

    All analog mode needs IMO, is the ability to move the camera left/right via trigger buttons at a decent speed (the game doesn't recognize my xbox one controller's triggers currently), a camera reset button, and a way to lock the camera onto a target during boss fights at the push of a button (like in Zelda).
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. That's also how I played analog mode, with the triggers bound to the camera turning, and bound camera reset to the B button on the Xbox 360 controller. It felt nice and intuitive, there's no challenge the game could throw at me that I couldn't do with relative ease, especially once I figured out that analog support favored Xinput devices in particular.

    (For some reason, the game treats analog sticks on DirectInput devices as digital buttons, which is what makes analog mode feel "slippery" and gross, so I'm fairly confident the data that the devteam collected about new players may be skewed.)

    I don't understand why so much time and energy was spent on deciding to remove it, and collecting evidence for why they can justify removing it, instead of using that time to provide a compelling replacement. Analog mode was honestly aging and needed some attention, but it's like no one in the community has any idea how a third-person camera for a 3D platformer works, and also don't care to do the research and experiment to fix it. The team adamantly prefers their keyboard/mouse controls and they're forcing everyone to use it now.

    They knew its removal would receive backlash
    , so unless someone else steps in to replace analog mode with a compromise that makes everyone happy, the game will never be comfortable for me to play again, and that makes me a little sad.

    Like, the only way I've been able to play SRB2 2.2 thus far, in a way that makes some sense for me, has been to use the Steam's controller's touchpad for turning, with slightly higher X axis sensitivity than default, and clicking the touchpad to jump. It feels so alien and is ultimately not applicable to everybody, now that Steam controllers are no longer in production, but it's what I'm doing to adapt.

    I don't have the desk space to move my mouse more than one inch at a time, so I didn't know what else to do. I don't like using a keyboard/mouse to play a 3D platformer, and I couldn't if I wanted to.
     
  7. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    I'll find the old avatar eventually Member
    12,329
    88
    28
    Working on my art!
    It's really weird how stubborn they are on analog removal. Would it have required any effort to just let it stay? But they canned it and then they're like "please let us know why you don't like this feature removal, but we're not bringing it back we're just putting it in our spank bank"

    What is that?
     
  8. RikohZX

    RikohZX

    Member
    382
    3
    18
    Personally i'm adapting to jump and spin on the shoulder buttons so my right thumb can adjust the camera with the stick on the go. Before a co-op session died out I did surprisingly well on a Red Volcano first run with this set-up, but then i'm not using one of the mainline controllers out there.
     
  9. Azookara

    Azookara

    take it from me, little buddy Member
    2,996
    28
    28
    Meowth's party
    hoboagogo?
    People who've played the game in a vacuum forever and ever are god-mode at controlling it with the traditional scheme, and (at least for the first few days) had a hard time hearing out people who play literally any 3D platformer that's not SRB2 and want to play this game. lol

    It seems like although they're really against bringing back 'analog mode', they're (after being barked at enough lol) now willing to listen to the reasons people liked the mode and are looking into making a new equivalent to it for a future patch. Now I still don't know why just updating analog mode as it were is such a sin, but hey if they're actually gonna do something about it who am I to complain.

    That is, if they don't last minute change their mind and give everyone who wanted it the bird anyway. Who knows..
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  10. If they really are going to produce a much better alternative, then we have nothing to be mad about, really, but in the meantime, I found a dumb compromise that almost feels like analog mode with aggressively better turning, all thanks to the existing good changes to the "default" movement system I mentioned earlier:

    All I did was bind the horizontal camera axis to my Xbox 360 controller's X axis, along with the movement axis also being on the X axis, and, well- I'm able to play the game in almost all of the ways I could with analog mode before, and turn on a dime, which I couldn't do in analog mode. I'm blazing through the levels with this controls setup right now.

    It obviously feels more rudimentary than modern platformers that let you strafe around within a limited range before the camera starts turning, but being able to strafe and turn at the same time at all is so, so much better than nothing. I went from running into every other wall with the default control scheme, to competently navigating the levels. The only caveat is that it doesn't work well with Knuckles' climbing ability, you'd probably need the shoulder triggers dedicated to strafing just to make that work.

    I don't even need the triggers to compliment my turning anymore, I can simply play the game with two buttons and one analog stick; nothing more. Some keyboard/mouse only players will naturally find that disgusting, but my preferences for 3D platformers are contented at the very least. Maybe some of y'all might like that dumb workaround while we wait for a better take on analog mode.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  11. Delta

    Delta

    Oldbie
    I'm not a controller person myself, but I can kinda see where people are coming from. Reportedly, the devs have done a lot of research and playtesting in regards to controllers, and they insist that the old analog mode is not worthwhile to keep. So I'm not sure what can be done about that. I trust that they actually did some playtesting, but I don't really know what to think beyond that since I don't have much experience playing that way. I just hope everyone gets a chance to play it fluently.

    Because... one thing I'm noticing when playing this is how fun it is to just run around the levels. Slopes seem like such a basic thing, but they add both a nicer aesthetic, and positive gameplay effects as well. Much like in classic Sonic games, they interact with player physics in an interesting way (though it's not quite as polished yet). Jumping while running up an incline and getting a significant boost from it feels really, really good.
     
  12. Dark Warrior

    Dark Warrior

    Gamera - Friend of Children Member
    19
    1
    3
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Sonic Robo Blast 2: Junior Dev Member
    Stubborn isn't quite the right word. How about "Adamant that this is the correct decision."? We knew when we made the decision that it was going to ruffle a lot of feathers, but you're operating on some pretty bad assumptions, including that analog in and of itself wasn't a problem and that the point of the thread you're talking about isn't to figure out what benefit analog is giving so we can extract it and leave the shit it generates behind.

    Blaze posted a response on our forums and 2 devs responded with very detailed outlines of what's going on and why. I suggest reading that to see for yourself the reasons we did what we did.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  13. What I find odd about this whole thing is how much extensive dialogue it's created. People are hardly talking about the game for analog mode's removal, at least between these forums and the SRB2 message board. I'm seeing massive, lengthy forum posts that are dense with more text than I've taken the time to read, and even I've written multiple paragraph posts myself. The arguments are so hot, some people are borderline running the risk of a temp ban over there.

    Was all this perfectly useful free time, wasted on what is undeniably an unproductive debate against people who aren't listening to you and don't know when to quit, worth removing analog mode cold turkey without waiting until a later date to replace it with something more modern, that has none of analog mode's age? I feel like some of the heat could have been spared if talk of a replacement had happened from the start; a lot of people, including me, were under the assumption that it would be removed entirely with no planned official alternative.

    In the meantime, I've found a workaround for myself that meets my needs, so I'm fine waiting, and I know y'all were prepared for this backlash, but- from the looks of things, people may stay mad about this for a while. Are you still fine with that, or do you find it all funny?
     
  14. Dark Warrior

    Dark Warrior

    Gamera - Friend of Children Member
    19
    1
    3
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Sonic Robo Blast 2: Junior Dev Member
    People raging about a change in the game is a time-honored tradition for SRB2. It was months before people stopped complaining about NiGHTS special stages when we released 2.1. This is very normal, it's just a lot louder this time.

    We also didn't cut analog cold turkey. It's in the game as a series of cvars you just have to flip on and save to your config files. We were gonna make them more publicly known after a few weeks because we wanted people to actually try default control setup (which I want to emphasize, again, is nothing new - we just mapped strafe to WASD instead of the camera controls, and the player sprite facing the camera is 100% a visual effect, not a control change. It still works exactly like it did in 2.1) instead of going right to analog.

    Also, yes it absolutely was worth it, because now way less people are gonna accidentally find it and turn it on in the game while thinking "Oh, this is like the Adventure controls!" when it's not, and have a better time for it. It's not worth hashing out here again how we know that happens, the thread I linked in my previous post addresses that. The arguments are annoying, sure, but I am 100% convinced, as one of the people who would give people I knew IRL copies of 2.2 betas and watch them play, that this is going to have the desired effect. Initial backlash to something we changed within the game is something I can accept. I don't necessarily like it and wish people would be more reasonable about it, but this is the nature of being a content creator of any kind online.

    We didn't remove it, though. It just got taken out of the easy to access options menu and moved to a cvar. The plan to remove it has been contingent on finding a better alternative, something we had already discussed in dev well before release, we just hadn't figured out what that was.

    That's a very loaded question, quite frankly, and the implications of either answer are bad. I doubt it was your intent to imply that this was a binary with problems either way, but it's at least a little aggravating to see on my end. The actual answer to what I think you're trying to ask is "We accept that every time we make a change, that there are going to be people who dislike it. We try our best not to be too bothered by it, and we try to look at what's being said and find the actual underlying issues and see if we can figure out a way to correct them that betters the game." In this case, it was clear in focus testing that leaving analog in the menus was not helping the game, and we knew we'd catch some flack for removing it. Again, that happens every time we make a change. But we're paying attention to the feedback and looking into the specifics of what people actually were getting out of analog, so we can implement what people like out of it in a good way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  15. Azookara

    Azookara

    take it from me, little buddy Member
    2,996
    28
    28
    Meowth's party
    hoboagogo?
    I appreciate your perspective on it, and I apologize if any of my criticism has come off as brash.

    But I also know that when I took my concerns to places for it to be heard, the response wasn't that a replacement was truly coming until a few days afterward, and the immediate response was moreso that the entire playstyle was being phased out for the 'new' controls. I guess it was just miscommunication?

    Either way, I again appreciate y'all's want to listen to the feedback and make an even better control scheme for gamepad players. I hope the control feedback thread on SRB2 has been helpful.
     
  16. I was away from the community for nearly four years at the time, (real-life fell apart, I lost everything) so this is new to me. I can't comprehend why there would be opposition to the special stages changing. They were so barebones and begging to be replaced with something much better, but it's interesting to see how y'all have this boiled down to a cycle.

    Thanks to reading the forums, I am aware, but without knowing the command, it functionally does not exist to me, and if I hadn't found a way to rebind the controls in a way I liked, I would have honestly given up on playing the game until the command was on the wiki. Call me stubborn, but I am! It's hard to shake off a decade-old habit.

    And while it is a largely visual change, it's still a much needed one. The player's movement reads infinitely better than only ever getting to see their back sprites, and I found it artistically ugly anyway. I like being able to appreciate the game's sprite work from all angles, what can I say? This default setup feels much better.

    Yeah, my intention wasn't so binary, but it's good to know all of this flak isn't so stressful on the team, just- well, exactly what you expected, people being mad about a change. Heck, I was mad too, but only for as long as I didn't know a better mode was planned.

    I will reiterate Azookara that maybe announcing this upfront would have helped? (At least with reasonable people.)
     
  17. Dark Warrior

    Dark Warrior

    Gamera - Friend of Children Member
    19
    1
    3
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Sonic Robo Blast 2: Junior Dev Member
    Simply because it was something different. It's just normal for us, and we've hit a point where we just expect something to cause it. I agree the NiGHTS stages are way better, but some people just don't like change.

    So, these are all a bit intertwined. Basically, because we know that there are people who will object to change in general, it's hard to really gauge how much we should actually be worrying about. It's typically a loud and vocal minority who dislike the bigger changes, and when we would bring up the analog issues and removal in our Discord or the forums, the answer was typically met with acceptance with some small number of people being disappointed, with an even smaller number of people being angry.

    The problem here is that the one or two people who were angry were basically on a giant crusade and no amount of "here's why" would satisfy them (one guy on the forums actually said that the data and research was irrelevant to him). The thing that got me the most was that they would claim to be championing keyboard-only players and gamepad-only players when the reality is that we had gamepad only players and keyboard-only players (I myself am keyboard only and have been since day one) who all would disagree on analog being "the only way to play", so our experience (And I suppose you could call this insular, though I'll address that idea in a bit) was largely "Most people are in favor and/or accepting of this, some will be disappointed, and the rest are batshit crazy and refuse to listen to what we're saying and why". This is pretty normal and indicative of a change that we made being pretty tame and to expect a normal reaction out of it. We just happened to be seriously wrong about how many people depended on analog.

    But here's the rub. We *could* have made an announcement, but in reality it's one of those "hindsight is 20/20" and honestly I don't think that would have stopped the rage anyways. We don't normally make announcements for cut or moved features, and we'd been pretty open to it so it didn't really come up as important. Again, in hindsight it was, but that's just how it goes. I'm not saying that it was the best way to handle it, but it's also not something I would say we were in the wrong for either.

    This all said, while you could say we were being insular about the decision, we went outside our community very much to arrive at this decision. The focus of many 2.2 changes, including the tutorial, was improving the experience of people new to the game. Looking to veterans, inside or out, is not conducive to collecting and analyzing data on the issue of new people. You only get to play a game for the first time once. We wanted to see as many people do that as we could, so looking to other communities, innately, wasn't going to help with that goal.
     
  18. I will admit, I was one of the people who had gotten angry about the removal of Analog Mode from the menus, but once I sat down and actually played through the game with the standard controls (albeit partially unwillingly and having to start over because I had used a mod with a save that corrupted when I tried to make it vanilla), I got used to the default controls and can see why the devs want us to give it a shot. And I figured relegating it to a console command would be a good thing to deter players who couldn't handle it.

    At the same time, I feel like I'm responsible for starting this whole drama, as I was one of the first to complain, and I apologize for that.
     
  19. True Dude

    True Dude

    Member
    1,328
    13
    18
    Playing through it right now, it's crazy just how much more polish has been put into the game. I have a few things I wanted to bring up:

    * Auto-braking really helps make the game not feel stupidly slippery anymore, and I'm glad it exists.
    * The dev team should really consider lifting the checkpoints from Sonic Adventure onward where there's two checkpoints with a "laser" between them. With the new paper sprite effect, this would be really easy to implement. I feel like something as important as checkpoints should have a much larger hitbox so that the player doesn't accidentally run right by them.
    * The monitors feel kind of small and hard to hit sometimes. I feel like they should be bigger, and perhaps the monitor screens fully bright in dark rooms if they aren't already.
    * The Arid Canyon zone boss fight was kind of a life eater. Honestly if the boss didn't jump on top of the main box in the middle for half the times he pauses for you to hit him it wouldn't be as bad, because by the time you realize he's paused and you almost reach him he jumps away.
    * Those vultures in Red Volcano are bullshit and should at least be escapable by button mashing or something. (Or just get a better mechanic...)
    * Egg Rock Zone overall is muuuuch better since the last time I played SRB2, but please no more Mega Man disappearing blocks. If you have them at least don't have endless holes beneath them every time. Thankfully I played as Sonic and Tails so I could just skip over them.
    * The Metal Sonic boss fight sucks. I've died probably 30 times to it so far, it's really just not fun at all. The very first lava room should happen later on I feel like. The invisible force field that prevents you from skipping the platforming in that room should be replaced with like glass or something more obvious, because I tried to skip it with Tails and ended up losing a life to it. The stuff after that part is okay, but the second lava room with the brown platforms is just bad design. Do I really want a race with Metal Sonic to be precarious platforming in a game with questionable depth perception? And to top it off, when you beat that part and hit the gravity switcher, your instinct is to thok or run into it, but the platform above it is surrounded with endless holes so you inevitably fall to your death. Seriously?

    There's a lot more parts that felt in general kind of cheap but I didn't take video or pictures so I can't really show them off. :V These are just what stuck out to me most. Overall, this is hands-down the best version of SRB2 to date. It barely feels like the same game anymore. Congratulations to everyone involved!
     
  20. W.A.C.

    W.A.C.

    Member
    4,531
    1
    18
    I beat the boss on my first try with Tails, then only lost like 2 lives with Sonic against the boss. I find the Castle Eggman boss more difficult to deal with, but fair. The boss battles feel more fair in this version compared to SRB2 2.1.