Sonic Utopia

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Mr Lange, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Axion

    Axion

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    I absolutely love the physics in this rendition of Sonic. You've recaptured that classic gameplay style of micro-rewards and micro-failures, so I just want to pop in and say "well done" first of all, but secondly I want to comment on difficulty in the Sonic franchise in relation to this game. Sonic is a game series where the core gameplay mechanic makes it tricky to balance difficulty. The basic difficulty lies in managing Sonic's speed and momentum to clear obstacles and achieve a good score by the end from keeping on a quicker path. Later levels have to ramp up the difficulty without interfering with that core mechanic, for example; you can't just throw random obstacles in the way of Sonic. Well, you can, but you end up with zones that are more divisive in the fanbase. Enemy, trap, and puzzle placement requires a lot more care and thought than it would in, say, a Mario game with a one tier gameplay mechanic.

    The open plan of the demo is perfect for getting that free flying experimental speedrun feel of the classic Green Hill and translating it into 3D in such a way that you're doing much more exploring at the same time, taking it to the next level. (As has been suggested) Later levels might get more difficult by creating narrower paths where you have to, say, for example, use momentum inside some area to go up a wall and dodge some blades. Another alternative that keeps the open plan would be to have harder levels contain enemies that are able to keep pace with Sonic more easily. As you get more difficult zones, you need to make the enemies harder to avoid easily, as is the case in open 3D, and you can't just compensate by covering them all in spikes and filling the screen with them, so you have to increase their "interactivity" instead.

    Say you have some flying enemy that appears and flies ahead of Sonic (imagine the firefly/hotaru enemies from Stardust Speedway) and because Sonic is "the fastest thing alive" tee em, you should choose the right path to pick up enough speed to get past it/hit it. Traps that fire stuff at you could also get good play, versus stuff that puts you in a narrow corridor to wait for them, or takes things out of your control in some way. You could always have something flat out chase you from behind as well, but then you'd probably need some sort of rear view button, so maybe that's a bit far. Traps like bottomless (or at least lethal) pits will work better in 3D than in 2D, because you can see very far in front of you, so some things that might be considered annoying "artificial difficulty" in 2D function well in 3D. Anything that maintains the integrity of the mechanics for the whole experience is a valid idea.

    Hope I'm not being disrespectful, by the way. Just wanted to share some thoughts on design philosophy because I'm very excited about this project. Keep up the good work!
     
  2. WhoWhatWhenWhale

    WhoWhatWhenWhale

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    I remember a few of you devs mentioning a while back that the controls and general physics have been tweaked slightly, and while playing the Utopia demo I noticed a similarity between the way physics works in it and an opensource engine called HedgePhysics. They both have this weird quirk when rolling that makes slopes have little to no effect on your momentum when no input keys are pressed, which leads to the rolling feeling like it has no thrust. My question is: Has this been fixed since the demo? If so, how did you guys fix it? I ask since it is weird but interesting to me that two completely different engines have the exact same problem.
     
  3. Murasaki Fox

    Murasaki Fox

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    It has to do with how the system interprets input. Zero input basically means, "I want zero motion", and I imagine this is why it happens in Hedge Physics too.
    This has been fixed in Utopia, along with many other quirks. There's actually been some pretty major changes to all the physics over the past year, and more to come as I refine the overall framework.
     
  4. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    The Land of Waldos
    Sonic Utopia, Sonic Overture
    https://twitter.com/GreatLange/status/931424461441527808
    Character art of Sonic by tripplejaz:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Iceman404

    Iceman404

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    Are the physics and controls for not moving extremely fast being tweaked? Utopia controls pretty fantastic for physics and momentum play at high speed, but I feel it'd be better if things scaled down when moving slowly. A complaint I almost immediately had was that it just didn't feel tight enough when trying to walk and straight up platform, all my turns and movements felt really 'gradiented' into smooth curves I didn't want. Turning in the air actually steers you rather than just changing angle and slightly influencing your momentum if you keep holding it (all this on top of Sonic's classic low acceleration is too much for me). I feel like mapping for this can only be limited to big sections and pieces of land rather than really intricate and tight level design that requires more precision; that stuff helps break up the gameplay.
     
  6. Murasaki Fox

    Murasaki Fox

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    I've been working a great deal on refining the physics calculations, including much more easing for steering controls, and we've been tweaking the values over time. The next demo should feel much better to control!
     
  7. Iceman404

    Iceman404

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    Ah, sweet! That gives me hope that the level design can be as varied and creative as it wants, versatile controls're needed!
     
  8. XRick

    XRick

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    Excuse me for asking... Is the project still going?
    Given the lack of news for almost a year...
     
  9. Andrew75

    Andrew75

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    Project AXSX(Sonic Xtreme) + Misc Projects
    I'm Sure its still going! I don't think Lange and crew would throw in the towel just yet.
     
  10. XRick

    XRick

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    Gotta hope so. It seemed like something quite nice could come from that Demo.
     
  11. Noah Copeland

    Noah Copeland

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    I happen to talk to Lange a few days ago. Yes, they are still working on it lol

    With so many eyes and so much hype surrounding the project, I imagine they are taking the "we'll see you when it's ready" type of approach. People like to pick things apart and analyse every detail, so imagine they wanna keep a lid on things until they are ready. Lots of experimenting, I'm sure.
     
  12. XRick

    XRick

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    Criticism over an ongoing project is usually welcome...until it starts becoming excessive and/or abusive.
    While I'd like to keep an eye on the evolution of the project, I understand them preferring this method.
     
  13. Noah Copeland

    Noah Copeland

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    Keep in mind, that was just my assumption. I can't speak for them :)
     
  14. Murasaki Fox

    Murasaki Fox

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    Thanks for bearing with us, everyone! I imagine you'll be happy to hear that I've got a better grasp on my health now, and my productivity is better than ever. New things are on their way!
     
  15. Jason

    Jason

    *Results not lab tested. Member
    Good to hear your doing alright. Don't push yourself too hard if your still getting back on that horse, though.
     
  16. Murasaki Fox

    Murasaki Fox

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    Not to worry! It turns out the issue was just a simple hormone imbalance. It's surprisingly common for people with my genetic condition, though not explicitly listed as a symptom.

    There's still some re-balancing left to go, but for the past couple of weeks I've felt like I can take on the world! :)
     
  17. XRick

    XRick

    Member Member
    Keep up the pace you deem better for your current health status.
    I'll be awaiting anxiously for news from your project. Good Luck.
     
  18. UpCDownCLeftCRightC

    UpCDownCLeftCRightC

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    I want to see it. Give give give.

    I'm semi-joking when I say that I hope SEGA notices your idea and steals it from you. A fundamental gameplay concept like this is everything 3D Sonic needs. So they should wait for you and Mr.Lange in a dark alley way and then hit you over the heads with their quarterly financial report binders. It wont hurt much, just take one for the team.

    Again, semi joking. I do hope you receive full credit but I may have to make this call to SEGA HQ as an anonymous tip.

    Quit stallin'.







    (No, take your time)
     
  19. Frostav

    Frostav

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    I'm very interested in seeing just how Lange will handle the (more) linear level design that he's aiming for. Especially if the levels will trend more towards verticality or not.