Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Noah Copeland, Nov 13, 2019.
Look Ninjie, there I am : )
[Ninjie is my cat btw]
I'm downloading and trying out.
Played the demo yesterday, and I loved it gameplay wise.
This has the look, the feel and the sound of a Genesis game, the physics mostly feel like I'm actually playing a Sonic ROM hack. I should also compliment you for the quality of the music. I've noticed some little quirks, like Tails not reacting well when grabbing Sonic while descending, and some objects freaking out when touched while Sonic was attached to Tails, but nothing overly gamebreaking.
The Special Stage I tried was really nice to play through and creative! I hope to see more of these soon.
What really bugged me is the inputs. Having only one jump button does not feel nice after being so used to having 3. I hope that will be an option in the final game, along with the ability to easily remap controls.
I do have a question though that might be a no-brainer, but I still believe is worth asking. Will the final game have 2 player support and the possibility to pick between Sonic or Tails alone?
This really honestly blew away my expectations. I was expecting "yea triple trouple for genesis" not a whole top-down reimagining of it as a Sonic 3 & Knuckles sequel. love the level of polish and accuracy to your vision on display.
having control options is really important for accessibility reasons alone though, imho. please make this a priority.
i also think that the opening cutscene's a bit overly wordy, though that intro stage is actually suuper fuckin cool.
oh and the hud alignment/positioning/whatever being off compared to the genesis games just looks SO wrong i know it's a minor ocd type of detail but considering that accuracy you're otherwise going for the hud looks really really OFF. pls fix lmao
Just released a patch for the demo. Fixes and polishes a few things
-D-pad support added for more controllers
-Super Sonic's color palette now glows with Genesis accuracy
-Cave background no longer unloads after Special Stage
-Death Egg debris changed to more obvious mechanical pieces
-Added a 4-page retro Instruction Manual
-Strike Dash (Peel Out) added with camera bug fixes
-Added a teaser screen at the end, to establish that Knuckles will still end up an antagonist during the re-imaginging
...and many more bug fixes.
This project's so cool, I had such a blast playing the demo and I'm looking forward to taking it for another spin. Y'all really nailed the 3K vibe and it's incredibly satisfying.
One request if I may, and I don't know how possible it is but hopefully it's in the cards; widescreen support. I know you're shooting for Genesis accuracy but it'd be really nice to have the option.
In any case, thanks for sharing this with us, I'm really looking forward to more!
Played the demo, it was a lot of fun. I never cared about the OG Triple Trouble, I always thought being bound to the Game Gear limited what the game could do. But this demo was a blast from start to finish, so I think you're on the right track here.
To echo what LordOfSquad said, widescreen support would be very appreciated, but I'll take it further and say the game could also benefit from smooth rotations. I don't think you'll be loosing much authenticity by including it, since like every Sonic fangame ever has it, and even Sonic Mania... and Sonic 3 if you count A.I.R.
Agreed with what's been said. Genesis accuracy is nice, but yea at this point all the classic Sonic games have had widescreen support, officially or unofficially. I think you wouldn't lose any integrity by allowing for a wide screen mode.
I agree with that but will also say that an actual Genesis ROM would own any widescreen version with sprite rotations. Playing this on the Mega Drive would be beyond awesome.
Agreed with enhancements like widescreen, smooth rotation, real transparencies, etc. The game already does things impossible on the MD anyway, like backgrounds with overlapping parallax layers, or rotated non-player sprites.
Btw, I for one like the idea of reimagining the game as part of the main timeline and a sequel to S3K. It keeps things fresh, even though I admit that it's a bit awkward that Sonic Chaos is getting skipped.
Impossible you say? Nonsense!
Everything you see in the game is 100% possible on the Genesis. This is was one of the most important principles of this project, and I took special care to keep it. A lot of research went into this aspect; I must've watched/played hours upon hours of Genesis games to see what developers accomplished on the machine. A lot of people's interpretation of what the Genesis does is based on a few games, (Sonic, Streets of Rage, Ristar maybe), but we looked at everything. Popular and obscure.
Rotated sprites are 100% possible. Consider the enemies in Mega Turrican, or the falling debris in Mickey's Great Circus Mystery for example. Sure, the SNES had scaling/rotation baked into the hardware, which lead to this misconception, but rotation at a software level is 100% doable on the Genesis. It's just very performance intensive and likely to slow down the game, which is why it is used sparingly.
Realtime scaling is also possible. Marble Garden's Act 2 boss does this and the entire game of Road Rash is all software scaling. Again, it was very performance heavy and was best used in particular circumstances. This is why I avoided using it for the objects in the Special Stage, which scale based on hand-made frames that pop in and out (think like Sonic CD's UFOs). This topic on Sega-16 has a large list of examples of realtime scaling/rotation if you want to see more live examples.
Also, overlapping parallax layers are every where. Ristar comes to mind off the top of my head.
This is ultimately why the game ended up in 4:3. It was originally 16:9 at the start of development, and stayed that way up until fairly recently. I learned (the hard way) that aspect ratio affects so much of the design and programming of the game. A secret 1up hidden up and to the left can become easily viewable with the extra 16:9 space and needs to be moved. An enemy may be too dangerous/close on 4:3 and would need to be moved for 16:9.
Look at Whitehead's Sonic 1 on iOs. The GHZ act 3 boss is changed to accommodate 16:9, from the way the platforms are spaced out, to the distance Eggman moves, etc.
To make a widescreen option, it's not as a simple as setting the window size variable to something larger and calling it good. I'd have to make bespoke code for every instance that relied on the view space. That'd mean reworking the blocking of characters in cutscenes, all the boss fights, anything that spawns offview based on view coordinates... a lot of things!
If I had released the game 16:9, there'd be people asking for 4:3. Then it's the same issue. I'd still need two sets of code to accommodate both screen options. Since I had committed to the Genesis limitations in terms of sprites, colors, and music, I decided that I may as well go all the way and embrace 4:3. It made it easier to make Genesis style levels as well, as it's it more 1:1 with the classics. Once I finish the game, I may go back and add widescreen if I have time, but I'm not interested in trying to make a 4:3 game and a 16:9 remaster of it at the same time. This is why so many fan games never get finished. Feature creep is real.
It's funny the different perspective my game receives because it's not a literal ROM hack. Some people are quick to say, "nah that's not possible on the Genesis." But in reality, actual Genesis developers we constantly pushing what was thought possible on the hardware. Jon Burton of Traveller's Tales has an entire YoutTube channel showcasing all the "not possible" things he did on his SEGA games.
If you look up playthroughs of this demo, much of the comment section have asked "is this a ROM hack?" The fact that they have to ask is a wonderful sign of validation!
Possible doesn't mean practical.
Take the rotation for instance. I'd wager a guess that neither of the games you cited actually use software rotation. Rather, they more likely split the rotating object into separate pieces and rotate them around a point and animate them in such a way that they appear to be rotating smoothly.
Such a trick eat into the system's sprite limit something fierce, and are tricks best used sparingly. I haven't played your demo so I don't know what things you're rotating, but it's something to keep in mind.
Yeah, I've always understood that software-based rotation on the MD is too computationally costly to be of use in games like Sonic. I'm by no means an expert on the matter, though.
I didn't realize that games like Ristar had overlapping parallax layers, though. I stand corrected. I'm curious as to how it's accomplished, and why S3K didn't use it, though. Is there any place that explains it?
Fair enough on widescreen.
Yup! Which is why it's used only once in the demo, depending on which patch you've download. Too much would've been disingenuous.
Hmm...I wouldn't be too sure. Yes, the split thing you've mentioned certainly is a common trick and is used elsewhere in Mega Turrician (on some rotating teeter platforms later on). But the enemy rotation I posted seems a little too smooth and the ROM doesn't seem to contain separate frames. I could be still be wrong, but again, it can't be understated the amazing the things that clever programmers were able to accomplish on the Genesis. Those are just two games of the top of my head. I encourage you to look up lists of other games that had some form of rotation.
I'm telling ya, I didn't take this stuff lightly. I factored my research into many decisions xD
Ristar uses the Genesis' sprite layer to simulate the appearance of overlapping parallax background layers. Level 1-2 for example has a twisted tree trunk that overlaps on top of the background layer. However, only the very top and bottom tiles of this tree trunk are actually part of the background layer. The rest of the trunk is built using the sprite layer, synchronized to line up with and move at the same rate as the background. If you use an emulator that can disable graphics layers, you can see this trick for yourself. Disabling the sprite layer removes the overlapping tree.
I've seen this trick used in a handful of other games as well. Jim Powers The Arcade Game uses a lot of sprites to simulate overlapping parallax in many of its later levels (and even the title screen for the stalagmites sticking out of the water).
Man some of these points hit home with me. Especially the 4:3 ratio request. I've still yet to come up with a good compromise for this one.
As for "able to do on the genesis". I think you might be forgetting that some things that were feasible, came at the cost of others. They weren't all able to be done concurrently. My two cents on that, but I could care less as long as it's close enough to be believable.
"This is why so many fan games never get finished. Feature creep is real. " I can't echo this more. Sometimes, you have to realize you won't please everyone and just go for the majority.
I assure you, I have not forgotten that. I've been careful not to stack heavy things on top of each other. For example, the special stages actually render at 30 fps to accommodate for the 3D effect (with the rest of the game rendering at 60 fps). This is, again, to be more accurate to the hardware. I'm probably going to game dev prison for intentionally reducing the frame rate of my game, but that shows you extend I'm willing to go.
(even the the special stage's graphics render at 30 fps, the game is still technically running at 60 fps underneath, so it's less likely to eat inputs, an nice extra benefit of it being a Genesis simulation)
100 percent this! And sometimes, going for the minority is valid too, if that's the kind of niche game you want to make. I think you can drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone. In the same way that some people will/won't like your game's thematic genre (i.e. people are divisive on horror games), some will/won't like your game's mechanical "genre" or features style. Make the game you believe in, and use feedback as a tool.
It's really more important to see to it that this project is completed at all. Something I could suggest for features such as widescreen is possibly releasing an "HD edition" somewhere down the line, but that's getting way too ahead of ourselves. I'd focus on just fully realizing the vision you had when this project first started.
True; look at Fepard! People may have their personal qualms with the BTS line of games (I personally loved them), but the most enticing thing about them was the fact that they were cohesive, finished products. Obviously there's a degree of polish necessary, but feature creep seems to prevent demos from truly becoming games.
Played the demo, had a blast with it. It's incredible how faithful it is to the limits of the Mega Drive, and it's plenty fun, too.
Found a couple bugs, too (playing the 1.1 version):
First video, didn't catch the actual happening on video but Tails got hit out of shield by something and landed on the rock platform as it was rising, resulting in him getting stuck that way til Time Over; couldn't switch to Sonic either. Also the bombs started firing their spikes in weird directions, and also when I respawned Sonic/Tails fell to the ground from being in the air (at the tip of the checkpoint?).
Second video, after respawning I found I could just casually walk into the wall under the collapsing platform. Also the collapsing platform only collapsed on the right side when I scrolled the whole thing offscreen.
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