Sonic's affect on contemporary game design and replayability

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by OSM, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. OSM

    OSM

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    <a href="http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2010/01/columndesign_diversions_play_i.php#more" target="_blank">http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2010/01/column...play_i.php#more</a>
    Nice article, was quite a good read. I'm sure you guys will like this.
     
  2. Mobiethian

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    You're right, that is very interesting. Still reading...
     
  3. DimensionWarped

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    Interesting. Completely and utterly wrong. But interesting. Likening the movement in Prototype as a modern take on Sonic style movement (which is heavily based on the precise interactions of the player as opposed to what prototype is... something that completely autopilots every jump, wall climb, and everything else.... it's just stupid.
     
  4. RedStripedShoes

    RedStripedShoes

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    <!--quoteo(post=395033:date=Jan 12 2010, 04:39 PM:name=DimensionWarped)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DimensionWarped @ Jan 12 2010, 04:39 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395033">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Interesting. Completely and utterly wrong. But interesting. Likening the movement in Prototype as a modern take on Sonic style movement (which is heavily based on the precise interactions of the player as opposed to what prototype is... something that completely autopilots every jump, wall climb, and everything else.... it's just stupid.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    But surely you agree on his point that the mere presence of multiple paths with little variation on reward made the original games better than today's games, right?
     
  5. Phos

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    <!--quoteo(post=395033:date=Jan 12 2010, 04:39 PM:name=DimensionWarped)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DimensionWarped @ Jan 12 2010, 04:39 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395033">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Interesting. Completely and utterly wrong. But interesting. Likening the movement in Prototype as a modern take on Sonic style movement (which is heavily based on the precise interactions of the player as opposed to what prototype is... something that completely autopilots every jump, wall climb, and everything else.... it's just stupid.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Not completely wrong - The bit about the alternate paths existing more as a punishment than as a valid choice is spot on, a complaint I've had for a while. I really liked Sonic's pushing animation in Unleashed... Too bad it existed as a punishment for not reading the designer's mind.

    I'd also say that calling Sonic "precise" is inaccurate, the old games had large margins for error for just abut everything.
     
  6. DimensionWarped

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    Have either of you played Prototype? Alternate paths are almost irrelevant.

    Also, on the topic of precision in Sonic, I wasn't talking about your need for placement, I was talking about your control over the character. But I'll bite anyway. Floating platforms typically three character lengths across. Holes for entry into secret walk ways only slightly taller than the collision box of the character while jumping. Bouncing off enemies placed precariously in midair sending you flying upwards like fucking cat cannon. What am I talking about? Why! It's Emerald Hill Zone!
     
  7. Kurosan

    Kurosan

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    I've never played Prototype so I couldn't judge that part, although I'm guessing that the similarities are very vague. Everything else was very nicely said and the Mario vs. Sonic comparison was perfectly spot on though; it's rare to read such a good description of what made a Sonic game, especially when the author claims that speed was a major part of the game.
     
  8. Phos

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    <!--quoteo(post=395046:date=Jan 12 2010, 05:03 PM:name=DimensionWarped)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DimensionWarped @ Jan 12 2010, 05:03 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395046">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Have either of you played Prototype? Alternate paths are almost irrelevant.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    I wasn't drawing parallels to Prototype.
    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Also, on the topic of precision in Sonic, I wasn't talking about your need for placement, I was talking about your control over the character. But I'll bite anyway. Floating platforms typically three character lengths across. Holes for entry into secret walk ways only slightly taller than the collision box of the character while jumping. Bouncing off enemies placed precariously in midair sending you flying upwards like fucking cat cannon. What am I talking about? Why! It's Emerald Hill Zone!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    It wasn't uncommon to see floating platforms the same size or even smaller than the character in NES days, and they became much more rare on the SNES, Emerlad Hill Zone is the only place to feature hidden paths that are hard to enter if you know they're there, unlike many plat formers, and the entirety of Sonic is able to damage/destroy enemies during the entire time he is in a jump. Most platformers need you to either do an attack or hit them in a specific way.
     
  9. Zephyr

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    Interesting article, but here I thought Sonic used the concept of high risk, HIGH reward. Oh wait...
     
  10. Phos

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    Sonic didn't really have that much of a risk/reward system going on in the old days, and it really doesn't need it. That's more the realm of fighting games, really.
     
  11. DimensionWarped

    DimensionWarped

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    <!--quoteo(post=395087:date=Jan 12 2010, 07:14 PM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 12 2010, 07:14 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395087">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Also, on the topic of precision in Sonic, I wasn't talking about your need for placement, I was talking about your control over the character. But I'll bite anyway. Floating platforms typically three character lengths across. Holes for entry into secret walk ways only slightly taller than the collision box of the character while jumping. Bouncing off enemies placed precariously in midair sending you flying upwards like fucking cat cannon. What am I talking about? Why! It's Emerald Hill Zone!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    It wasn't uncommon to see floating platforms the same size or even smaller than the character in NES days, and they became much more rare on the SNES, Emerlad Hill Zone is the only place to feature hidden paths that are hard to enter if you know they're there, unlike many plat formers, and the entirety of Sonic is able to damage/destroy enemies during the entire time he is in a jump. Most platformers need you to either do an attack or hit them in a specific way.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    That's relative, I'm talking from an absolute position. Just because something isn't Nintendo hard doesn't mean it lacks precision.

    EDIT: And I was talking very specifically about the connections the author tried to make between Sonic and Prototype. They were absolutely ridiculous.
     
  12. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    <!--quoteo(post=395117:date=Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395117">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Sonic didn't really have that much of a risk/reward system going on in the old days, and it really doesn't need it. That's more the realm of fighting games, really.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    All good, non-linear games have some risk/reward system. There's a hard path there, and an easy path there. Why should I take the hard path when I can take the easy path? Oh, look! There's an extra life on the hard path! I think that reward is worth the extra risk!

    I don't see any connection between risk/reward systems and fighting games. Please enlighten me.
     
  13. Zephyr

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    <!--quoteo(post=395284:date=Jan 13 2010, 04:42 AM:name=DigitalDuck)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DigitalDuck @ Jan 13 2010, 04:42 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395284">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=395117:date=Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395117">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Sonic didn't really have that much of a risk/reward system going on in the old days, and it really doesn't need it. That's more the realm of fighting games, really.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    All good, non-linear games have some risk/reward system. There's a hard path there, and an easy path there. Why should I take the hard path when I can take the easy path? Oh, look! There's an extra life on the hard path! I think that reward is worth the extra risk!

    I don't see any connection between risk/reward systems and fighting games. Please enlighten me.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    This.
     
  14. 0r4ng3

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    At least in Virtua Fighter, the more difficult the move, the more health it takes, but it's also far more easy to botch them up and leave you open to attacks. Tekken is smash buttons to win, so it doesn't count for this.
     
  15. BlazeHedgehog

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    This article spoke to me in a number of different ways - I haven't played Prototype, but I have played the game the developer made before Prototype, called Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Prototype is considered the unofficial sequel to Ultimate Destruction, and the two games share a lot of similar concepts regarding character movement (though, judging by reviews, Prototype did not fair as well as Hulk). It did strike me while playing Hulk that a Sonic game that allowed the player that kind of movement would be kind of awesome, because Hulk has a good sense of weight and momentum to him that does not hinder his mobility or agility, but actually enhances it. When I talk about how 3D Sonic games could benefit from a run button, Hulk was probably what put that idea in my head.

    But the article is wrong in some other ways, though. It once again operates under the assumption that speed is all Sonic has to offer - that you can't go slow. That going fast is easier than going slow, because the entire game is based around using your momentum to go places. While that's definitely true sometimes, most of the "you have to use your momentum to get up here" moments are strictly for secret areas - for little alcoves with 1ups and the like. Speed is the reward for doing well at the game, but in doing so, you risk a little bit of control over Sonic himself. You could crawl through Green Hill Zone at a snail's pace and avoid the risk, but you'd also be forfeiting the reward, as well.
     
  16. Phos

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    <!--quoteo(post=395284:date=Jan 13 2010, 06:42 AM:name=DigitalDuck)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DigitalDuck @ Jan 13 2010, 06:42 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395284">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=395117:date=Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 13 2010, 01:15 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395117">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Sonic didn't really have that much of a risk/reward system going on in the old days, and it really doesn't need it. That's more the realm of fighting games, really.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    All good, non-linear games have some risk/reward system. There's a hard path there, and an easy path there. Why should I take the hard path when I can take the easy path? Oh, look! There's an extra life on the hard path! I think that reward is worth the extra risk!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Different paths in the good Sonic games typically don't have obvious advantages or disadvantages until you've already taken it. They also usually had something to stop you at the end of fast sections before arriving at hazards. They usually wanted to avoid making going fast seem especially dangerous.

    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I don't see any connection between risk/reward systems and fighting games. Please enlighten me.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    They are the most pronounced and central in fighting games, but many other types of games have them as well.
     
  17. DigitalDuck

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    <!--quoteo(post=395989:date=Jan 14 2010, 11:03 PM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 14 2010, 11:03 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395989">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I don't see any connection between risk/reward systems and fighting games. Please enlighten me.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    They are the most pronounced and central in fighting games, but many other types of games have them as well.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    When I said "enlighten me", I meant it. Stripping both quotes down to their basics, it's kinda like I said, "What makes you think fighting games have a risk/reward system?" and you replied, "They do."

    Most pronounced and central in fighting games? How so? From my experience, fighting games have the LEAST amount of risk/reward of any genre.
     
  18. DimensionWarped

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    It's a pretty simple concept. Moves with penalties attached to them tend to be the ones that are the heaviest hitters. Take Smash Brothers for instance. They have meteor smashes which can potentially be instant kills, but they have a lot of delay and can be seen coming from a good way off. They also require that you play off the field in order to score the instant kill and a good player can turn that around on you. So yeah, thats an example of high risk, high reward in a fighting game.

    They all have similar things. Higher damage moves in Street Fighter tend to come with slower openings or long periods of delay after the move is finished. Sometimes heavy hitters are just incredibly difficult to hit with. It really varies upon the game, but it's all part of balance.
     
  19. Kurosan

    Kurosan

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    It's even more simple than that: Most fighting games (or just games based around fighting, like beat 'em ups and action games) don't allow you to move while performing an attack, thus leaving you open to enemy attacks if you miss or fail to cause a knockback.
     
  20. Phos

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    <!--quoteo(post=395999:date=Jan 14 2010, 05:19 PM:name=DigitalDuck)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DigitalDuck @ Jan 14 2010, 05:19 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395999">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=395989:date=Jan 14 2010, 11:03 PM:name=Phos)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Phos @ Jan 14 2010, 11:03 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=395989">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I don't see any connection between risk/reward systems and fighting games. Please enlighten me.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    They are the most pronounced and central in fighting games, but many other types of games have them as well.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    When I said "enlighten me", I meant it. Stripping both quotes down to their basics, it's kinda like I said, "What makes you think fighting games have a risk/reward system?" and you replied, "They do."

    Most pronounced and central in fighting games? How so? From my experience, fighting games have the LEAST amount of risk/reward of any genre.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    A classic case in many fighting games is the question of whether you should simply block an attack or try and use an attack of your own that beats their attack. The Shoryuken (often called "dragon punch" or simply "DP") is a good example of an attack that can beat other attacks, but if it is whiffed or blocked, the player who performed it will be vulnerable during the move's recovery. Lets assume they were doing it on a hunch. If the player who shoryukened had simply block the attack that they expected, they would have ended up roughly neutral in terms of lag frames.

    There are also supers. (In case you didn't know) A super is a powerful attack that requires all or part of a meter. If the attack hits, it's a great reward, but if it is blocked or misses, these are also seldom safe on block and they lose the invested meter.

    You also have your grab focused characters, those with command throws (throws that require special inputs) can do a lot of damage from very close, but approaching in many of these games is risky, because you usually need to be holding away to block, putting you right in the path of projectiles if you walk, and at risk of being hit by a dragon punch like move.
     
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