Sonic without slope physics

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by True Dude, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Let's assume that a classic 2D Sonic game is being made on an engine that can't support slopes. (So not 3D like SRB2 pre-slopes update) All the physics are correct with this base game but slopes arefor whatever reason impossible. How would you go about making the game fun without such a fundamentally important part of the classics? The early game gear games and older fan games can be used for reference.
     
  2. Sparks

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    What, Labyrinth Zone?
     
  3. I don't think Sonic would work without slopes. It'd probably feel like a boring slippery platformer. The 8-bit games might not have full 360 degree physics, but they do have slopes that affect your momentum. I'd say that what 8-bit Sonic 1 and 2 have is the bare minimum you need to call something a Sonic game.

    Hah! Well, he did ask how to make the game fun though... Can you imagine a game comprised entirety of Labyrinth Zones being any fun?
     
  4. Lapper

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    I like Marble and Labyrinth so I'd be easy to please.
     
  5. winterhell

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    Underwater Marble Zone with no spindash, on a 50Hz console.
     
  6. steveswede

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    Some of the 8bit Sonic levels have at most 5% slopes so you can base your thoughts on them. Perfectly doable, though IMO a Sonic game with just 90° angle terrain would get dull in the long run.
     
  7. Lapper

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    I would be right back in my childhood tenfold.
     
  8. MarkeyJester

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    Well... uhh, plenty of games before Sonic, and without slopes, have existed, of which many have considered fun, so the answer would be something along the lines of, what's already been done before.

    ...actually, I'm not sure I understand the question, it can't be as simple as I'm initially thinking here. Are you asking if a game is fun without slopes, or if a "Sonic" game can be fun without slopes, or if a "Sonic" game can be fun without slopes by comparison to a Sonic game with slopes?
     
  9. Just don't forget to add extra caterkillers everywhere
     
  10. Burrobot

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    Funny, I tried this exact thing several years ago using a modified Game Maker 6 Sonic engine. Sonic could spindash, but it was fairly pointless since slopes are integral to building speed and momentum in a Sonic game.

    Because I couldn't get slopes to work in my old engine, much like you, I ended up doing flat level design relying on springs and boosters to give it a sense of speed, but it just ended up feeling like the most boring Dimps Sonic game you've ever played. I might even have the old test level lying around somewhere if you'd like to see it, though I removed spindash since it was more frustrating than it was useful.

    Honestly, I don't think it can be done without some form of natural momentum thanks to slopes. Speed boosters produce hideously artificial speed, and there's simply no way of incorporating skill jumps to higher routes (Alá Ice Cap Zone, Sonic 3). Springs can work, but in overabundance they too become rather monotonous.

    EDIT: Fixed typos. Bloody phone keyboard, I can't wait to have Virgin Media installed.
     
  11. Gammatron

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    The 8-bit version of Sonic 1 feels more like a generic platformer than a Sonic game. That's not necessarily a bad thing because there are plenty of good, bog standard platformers out there. Super Mario is great. But a big part of what makes 2D Sonic fun and unique are the slope physics, momentum, the ring system, multiple paths and of course, the speed. But, if you take these things out, then Sonic doesn't stand out from the rest of the crowd. If you take out enough of Sonic's DNA, at some point you're left with a Mario game with a Sonic skin.
     
  12. Blue Spikeball

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    A Sonic game that played entirely like Marble and Labyrinth? I would loathe a game like that TBH, seeing how I personally found those to be some of the slowest and most tedious zones in the classic series. And the game would certainly be missing the speed that made the series famous. In fact, I think Sonic would be seen as a cookie cutter platformer if it played entirely like that.

    None of which put an emphasis on speed and momentum like Sonic. You act like Sonic is just a generic platformer with slopes. Slopes are heavily used by the classic Sonic games to help build up speed and keep the fast-paced gameplay smooth.
     
  13. Gammatron

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    I don't like Marble or Labyrinth Zone, myself.

    However a thought just occurred to me: would Marble or Labyrinth work as levels in a Mario game or something else?

    Perhaps what makes Marble and Labyrinth so frustrating is that in Green Hill and Spring Yard, you're given the adrenaline rush of speed and momentum, but then you get to Mable and Labyrinth and they suddenly take these things away from you. Playing through them is a chore because you just want to get past them and get back to the fun part. Marble Zone is particularly egregious as a Sonic level because it is almost entirely linear - there aren't many multiple paths so it gets even more boring on multiple playthroughs.
     
  14. IDK, the very first level has that long ramp that when used well can propel Sonic all the way to the end of the map, past even the signpost! I always found that cool as hell!

    Jungle Zone was pretty blocky, but it had some cool slopes made of vines. Scrap Brain gained quite a few ramps in 8-bit. Sky Base has a surprising number of curved slopes.

    I think that 8-bit Sonic 1 already felt significantly more dynamic than the typical platformers of the time. Fast horizontal+vertical movement was definitely not common back then.
     
  15. Sonic Warrior TJ

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    Make it like Buster Busts Loose where he can run up walls with a "Supersonic Power" meter or something.
     
  16. Gammatron

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    Yeah. Granted when I say that 8-bit Sonic 1 feels more like a typical platformer, it's kind of relative and generalized. Sonic 1 SMS\GG is definitely not a Mario clone, but it feels like one at times in a few particular levels - such as the auto scrolling segment of Bridge Zone.

    Sonic 1 and 2 for GG\SMS are an interesting part of Sonic history in my book because they're almost kind of halfway between what we'd expect from a Sonic game and a more typical platformer. It feels like an evolutionary missing link if you will, even though Sonic 1 for Genesis predates it.
     
  17. null1024

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    It'd be doable. More than doable.
    Keeping stage design interesting would be the hardest part. You'd certainly need a lot of springs in various places and you'd probably be better off disguising them somehow (and importantly, making the sound not annoying since players would hear it a lot).
    You'd end up emphasizing various stage gimmicks more, whether to keep flow or to differentiate stages, and you'd need to have more platforming segments than pure speed ones overall. You don't need stages to be just like Marble Zone, but you will certainly have to sprinkle bits that play like it throughout.

    But yeah, I truly don't think it's impossible to make fun or keep interesting. You'd also need a fairly different stage design philosophy.
    You'd also actively need to check yourself to keep it from being "hold right forever zone" with no possibility of route deviation, or just "go up and left then right and down then right and repeat" variations on S-bends forever (which is the kind of shit I used to make ten years ago lol, shit was trash).

    You'll certainly end up with something that plays more like Sonic Advance 2 than Sonic 2, but if you can avoid the most egregious problems that game had (like "do this or die" pits at the end of stages), you might be able to do something good with it. For all the faults it has, the game could flow like water when it really wanted to.
    Maybe even throw in the R-trick system, you don't need slopes for that, just designate a spring/booster type and give it a sprite that looked like a launch ramp. :v:

    I will say this: it'd be rough with original Sonic's movement values (Sonic isn't the most nimble thing on strictly flat ground, you really only get super speeds via springs, boosters, or rolling on slopes). Those numbers were picked because Sonic has slopes.
    but it's not impossible, and if you tweaked/replaced those values while still keeping the pace up, you could do a great job with it

    a good half of this is based on shit I've actually tried :)
     
  18. Frostav

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    Sonic Robo Blast 2? (Yes I know they're adding slopes in the next update)
     
  19. Stink Terios

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    "Adding"? They've been here for months! Go play SUGOI and SUBARASHII to see them in action! :v:
     
  20. LockOnTommy11

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    You need to look at how hard it is to make a decent, fun speed-running (I.e Sonic type) level in Super Mario Maker. That's hard as hell as even Mario uses some slopes from SMB3 onward. Sonic without at least some slopes would be terrible. Even the early Master System games had some slopes and rounded geography.