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Sonic vs Mario Bros. (1983)

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Deef, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    I like how everyone ignored my post about the Tiger LCD Sonic 1 & 2 games that are single screen. All you have is a moving platform and enemies that constantly appear with what acts like Sonic basically "running on a treadmill." The background is static and none of the graphics actually scroll. One could easily remake those games and just apply a more detailed background. Instead of creating the illusion that Sonic is actually running along moving ground represented by black lines, take that away and have it more like the badniks are swarming in on you with Dr. Robotnik attacking you at the end of the stage. Like Mario Bros. the goal is survival and racking up points. Have faster, harder to hit enemies like Shellcrackers, Rollers and Yadrins attack in patterns that make it more difficult to clear later levels. You'll have a fixed screen arcade style game easily.
     
  2. Flipside

    Flipside

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    Hey, I found out why SEGA put two springs facing each other in the classic Sonic games. Time to answer the famous "Who puts springs in a forest?!" question. Totally not an April Fools Joke. The answer is--

    Hey, I was in the middle of a sentence there. Well, I guess those are technically single-screen sonics. Never played them, but I remember playing a game where sonic was in a car and he had to dodge other cars by moving left and right like the quick step today. Not really a sonic game in my opinion. Also, I can't tell if I just missed your post or you're MrAtlas on a different account.

    Cool video, but kinda takes away the feeling of speed. Since in Sonic 2, the camera always follows Sonic around, I think of his top speed being about 1 screen per second. If you make it wide screen, it's about half a screen per second. It feels much slower, but it's technically the same. This also applies to the purple gem in Sonic 06 the shrinks Sonic and brings the camera closer while keeping Sonic's speed the same.

    You'd have to keep the screen perfectly still to get the player used to a different feeling of speed, I think.

    I guess the camera isn't as important as the character, but you still need it. Try to play Sonic blindfolded and it's harder to make meaningful decisions. There's no feedback between you and the game and the game starts to loose its meaning. That's why the camera focuses on Player 1. Not the enemy infront of you. Not the boss you're fighting. Not the clouds.

    I don't know if the picture is Sonicy or not. I think it's about having more than one direction you can go. It feels like the designer placed the items where they were on purpose and the player is left to connect the dots instead of making something unique.

    Maybe "breaking the game as the designer intended" is about having a semi-obvious way to do what you need to, then finding much better and quicker ways that aren't nearly as spelled out. Ironically, the more competent the designers seem to be, the less rewarding the game is. The player isn't really making their own decisions, they're just blindly trusting the direction the level is leading them. If it least them to a bottomless pit, they feel like it's not their fault and blame the game. This becomes an immersion breaker where instead of of thinking "I died," you say "Sonic died." The trick is you want to break the immersion a little before the player makes it to this point. Sounds crazy, I know.

    This is where the springs come in. In Sonic 2, the player blindly trusts the springs at the beginning, but when they go down the lower path by the shield and see 2 springs that would clearly just bounce Sonic left and right for no reason, it breaks the immersion just a little bit. They player thinks "Who puts springs in a forest?!" and "Why would anyone do this?" and stops trusting them. The player starts playing the game instead of the game playing the player. The player's choices actually matter. When the player dies, it's not unfair. btw, they also do this in Hill Top Zone I think.

    One of the first levels of Sonic Unleashed has something similar, but the spring has Eggman's face on it and giggles as it launches you into spikes, giving you a reason to think about the spikes and homing attack. There's one enemy in Sonic Adventure that's hard to kill with the homing attack too. In Twinkle park, the enemy inflates itself and the homing attack hits the bulgy belly, doing nothing. It makes you to normal jump into him.

    On ThatOneLaserClown's Youtube channel, when they were playing a PS1 Castlevania game, they mentioned something like this and said that the videogame world you're in should be indifferent to weather you win or loose. Here's a link.

    http://youtu.be/FkeK633xbss?t=20m4s

    "Breaking the imersion a little" might be an awkward way to put it, but if you put those springs there, maybe you can lead the player by the hand a tiny bit and have the player still feel like their the one's in control. I'm not sure you want the player to distrust your springs in a more complicated 3D Sonic game like Sonic Heroes, but Sonic 06 goes rampant with blind spring-trusting.

    So who puts springs in a forest? Only the best designers. :)
     
  3. MrAtlas

    MrAtlas

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    Nope, I'm me and he's him :v:

    I also made a "camera-locked" version to tickle your (my) fancy:


    Now please stop ignoring my Tiger LCD post...
     
  4. Deef

    Deef

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    Regarding designing not-designed stuff... mmm... well there are degrees to how much something isn't designed. Without going into the realm of glitching, I feel pretty certain I'm not meant to run off the top of Hydrocity, climb to the top of the snowboarding mountain as Knuckles, or even loop-jumping. I believe that was an offshoot of the game's motion being so solid rather than a deliberate design choice. Was the bouncing challenge designed? And then you can look at Sonic Classic Heroes. There seem to be a large handful of new things you can pull off with Sonic, especially in EHZ, that you know weren't by design. Such as going from a mobius strip to the top of the loop that springs you up to the 4 Cocos and 1-up. We can prove that wasn't by design, and it's very cool.

    But there is something to be said for things that are made possible, yet never give the appearance of being deliberately made possible. The Bouncing Challenge. Or the first huge chunk of Carnival Night Zone, with how far you can travel without landing. Deliberate design or not, it at least never looks deliberate.

    -----

    Regarding motion, since MSN is dying how can I reach you?
    Also regarding motion, just take this as me asserting my position hehe. In the course I'm studying, I had what I believe was a great idea, and then I had to come up with some goals to add to it. And I did too, and that was pretty cool. Then copyright issues reared their ugly head so I dropped that whole theme and set of goals, to keep for later. Now I find myself back in the same position as I started. That is, I know what how the game is going to play and I believe in how that will make it fun, but I have no idea what its goals will be yet.

    Rather than the space game, which I can't be bothered going into and editing now, give me 2 weeks and I could send you two goal-less versions of what I'm working on now. I'm sure you'll find one more compelling.

    -----

    I don't want to use the word "expression" because it's a bit pseudo-intellectual, but the motion is the most instant and direct connection between what a player wants to say, ie. do, ie. express, and the game on screen acknowledging that. "I want to do this, I want to be this, I want to be able to demonstrate the control I have"... it's motion. I still see goals as really just an excuse for that to get some direction, and justification of the player's time. It's like having something to say, and then finally getting a crowd to say it to. The crowd is just the goal, the excuse and direction. The expression... the act of making his feelings into something that exists in reality... that's the bit he feels.
    I still wonder if we are saying the same thing in different ways, or saying 2 different things. Anyway, give me 2 weeks. I'll have to have things running by then; don't really have a choice.


    * We know the player wants to take on a challenge, and beat it. We know the challenge can't be too easy, as the player will feel they have achieved nothing, and we know it can't be too hard, as the player will feel cheated, bored, or frustrated.
    * So there is definitely the concept of there being a goal; a challenge to overcome. And it is definitely true that balancing the player's ability to achieve that goal is a way to manipulate compulsion. I think Mario games are good at this; they are very often a good example of keeping that difficulty pitched right in the middle, right at a point that literally does compel the player to play more. When I play Mario games, I experience that.

    I also get bored by it. For all their talk of solid design fundamentals and such, I am and always have been easily bored by Mario's core. Super Mario Galaxy was the greatest example of this that I have ever played. In fact writing this now has reminded me that I actually own that game; I haven't touched it since I beat the final boss. But at the same time I definitely and frequently acknowledged and admired SMG's difficulty balancing. Sometimes it was tear-to-the-eye perfect, and that created some very good moments.

    So what I have just said is that difficulty balancing definitely affects compulsion, but at the same time, I got 0% replayability out of a game I frequently found to have amazingly good balance.

    That pretty much sums up my perspective. Goal-positioning affects compulsion, but really will not carry it. Not for me anyway. Perhaps I was just spoilt by Sonic's do-what-you-want gameplay; forever ruined for games that dare be explicit in their goal-setting while I demand they be fun regardless.


    Wtf this site just chimed at me. Oh lol. AWESOME.
     
  5. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

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    Y'all are thinking too damn hard. Most of the classic bosses were single screen.
     
  6. Palas

    Palas

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    I'm not home right now, but once I get there I'll see it. But from what you've said - and pardon me if I'm making assumptions -, this completely ignores the concept of "path", which, it seems to me, is important to the movement in Sonic.

    Interesting. I myself have talked about how level designing is about building ambients, not tracks. Also I fully support the idea of diffuse challenge as opposed to direct challenge. But I see that as the first stage. Sonic CD is very much based on ambiency rather than behaviouring and it's my favourite Sonic game to date. But some people find it random and counter-intuitive. Making it seem it was the player's idea isn't that hard, really. Once again, risks and rewards come into play - but, now, with a third, unexpected option. Indeed, indirectly breaking the fourth wall is very important to tell the player he's the guy in charge. But, after that, do you need to keep doing it?

    This also applies to bosses. True, bosses are mostly designed and defeated in single screens. But that's only because the dynamics are all incorporated and forced onto you by the boss. Attacking, moving, dodging - that's not possible without a giant goal that tries to kill you. So the question now is how can we apply the game's mechanics and dynamics without actually doing so - am I too wrong, Deef? Oh, and by the way, I'll address your post later into the night. Hold on.
     
  7. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    That's like saying Mario Bros. 1983 is not enough like Super Mario Bros and beyond because it has no useable warp pipes or powerups which are a mainstay to the series. Wasn't your original idea to make a single screen Sonic game that is similar to Mario Bros by stripping it down? If you really stripped it down to the limited elements of Mario Bros. you would need to take out more of the stuff than you are thinking. See how many things have been subtracted from Super Mario Bros and so forth in the original Mario Bros, and subtract that many things from Sonic 1 and see what you're left with.
     
  8. Deef

    Deef

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    Hard to tell what you're talking about when you've quoted 3 replies.

    @Palas
    I agree with what you're saying about Sonic CD, so that's an interesting one to think about. When it is so clearly a playground more than a path, I lose interest. .... And then I got lost with the rest. Are you too wrong? Do you mean "also" wrong? About what?