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Special Stage Development

Discussion in 'Sonic 2 HD (Archive)' started by Canned Karma, Mar 22, 2010.

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  1. Canned Karma

    Canned Karma

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    Once we have a fully functional special stage that plays well and looks great, we may consider additional ideas. But that's a really big if right now. There wasn't anything wrong with the original to begin with, and I'd need a lot more persuasive evidence to support adding more things into it.
     
  2. test-object

    test-object

    By Torm, no! This is terrible! I... I had no idea Member
    <!--quoteo(post=460479:date=May 28 2010, 04:43 AM:name=Tidbit)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Tidbit @ May 28 2010, 04:43 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=460479">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I was digging through some old interviews on the wiki the other day, and read that special stages were originally planned to have full 360 vertical loops, but were cut because of space limits. I feel it would be an excellent idea.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->This idea, although big, sounds REALLY interesting. It would be fun when added to the (hypothetical) infinite special stage mode.
     
  3. Hamneggs

    Hamneggs

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    So what ever happened to Synergy and his very promising engine?
     
  4. LOst

    LOst

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    Don't scare Synergy off with 360 degree loops now ;)

    As I said before, the physics are not as important as getting the halftube turns to animate and look good. So physics for possibly added 360 loops will be done much much later. Working Visuals comes first!
     
  5. Synergy

    Synergy

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    I haven't forgotten about it :thumbsup: I hope to have more for you soon.

    I can add arbitrary pieces on top of the five built in, and I think 360 degree loops should be doable, but as it wasn't in the initial design I'm not promising anything :).
     
  6. Canned Karma

    Canned Karma

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    Glad to see you're still around! And yeah, concentrate on the original parts first.
     
  7. Synergy

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    Just to let you know that barring any last-minute problems, I'll release the first demo for the Special Stage next weekend. :thumbsup:
     
  8. steveswede

    steveswede

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    <!--quoteo(post=466239:date=Jun 12 2010, 01:46 PM:name=Synergy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Synergy @ Jun 12 2010, 01:46 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=466239">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Just to let you know that barring any last-minute problems, I'll release the first demo for the Special Stage next weekend. :thumbsup:<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Excellent. Also don't let anyone put you off if people start nit picking on little details. Most of us here know that a good engine takes time and I'm sure the improvement tweaks will come in time.
     
  9. Synergy

    Synergy

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    <a href="http://www.alaunus.com/s2tube/" target="_blank">Special Stage Prototype</a>

    Prototype to see if this is the start of a route that might appeal to S2HD or no. Obviously plenty to do visually, but being backed by an actual engine now means all areas should be improvable with greater ease; rather this build is aimed at seeing whether 3D and the tube traversal/maintenance it brings is suitable, or what you were expecting, and will if nothing else hopefully open up some more discussion on special stages. Build includes basic play test and stage edit facilities. Any problems, the log generated may help pinpoint any errors.

    Requirements: Prototype runs under DirectX as previously mentioned. As graphics was intended to be a focus for the future the engine is designed to use vertex/pixel shaders (version 2.0). This and a somewhat modern processor should have no problems (for reference my primary dev box is 2002-era: P4 2.6GHz, Radeon R300). Please note this is far from optimised yet and there is much more that can and will be done to do so.


    Just some thoughts I jotted down...
    <ul><li>The ring spiral test stage is a good test to see if character movement is similar enough to the old style for your liking</li><li>Tube camera movement is quite rigid in following the tube pieces, so will look into easing in/out the movement between pieces a little to make it more natural</li><li>I think it's fairly clear even without any advanced shading or lighting that the tube will be rather flat, and it will need to be fully extruded in 3D so that e.g the grid pattern sticks out, rather than just a flat-textured semi-circle extrusion. This is still doable procedurally, but to be effective will probably need an effective lighting scheme to be thought about</li><li>Further to the above, it might be worth deciding on whether there should be a global lighting model under which all the items would adhere to (specular highlights, shadows etc), or just keep the lighting localised as the original: one style for the tube, another for the mines, another for the players etc. Also, when considering shadows, should object shadows continually face one way (the screen direction, or just straight down from above) or should they change to cast another way when turning a corner, as the light casting shadows will now be in another direction? (I.e where should we consider the light to be coming from)</li><li>Sky is a sphere model, so going up/down rotates in a natural way compared to the original, as previously discussed (can change this to match original's scrolling method if preferred). Its texture is currently created using a procedurally-generated ramp texture with user-specified color positions/values. It might be nice to allow the editor to specify their own colour and position values from edit mode, and this could be achieved by procedurally generating the sky along with the diamonds using offsets of the specified colours (once we've come up with a diamond background style we like) and then multitexturing a star field texture over the top</li><li>Character response to hitting a mine was fine back in the day, but as we're wanting to use full 3D models for characters, is a simple rotation about one axis and flashing on/off going to work here, and if not what to use instead</li><li>Objects (mentos, rings, mines) in the far distance are scaled gradually as they come towards the camera. If you feel items are too easy to spot and make the gameplay too easy vs. the original, we can make the rings and mines scale more closely to the camera than the mentos, giving the player less time to react</li></ul>
     
  10. Endri

    Endri

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    This is very good!

    I was going to work on something as well, from a request from LOst, but this is already many steps ahead. How long did you take to code it?
     
  11. MaximusDM

    MaximusDM

    Sonic 2HD - Concept Artist Member
    I can't get it to run, windowed or full screen, I tried a few resolutions, all 3 options you provided in the drop down menu and it opens and closes it self.

    Also the log file created provided no help as to what the cause was.
     
  12. steveswede

    steveswede

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    This is extremely impressive Synergy. Well done. It didn't work on my laptop with vista and directx installed. But worked flawlessly on my other XP laptop. That could be a problem with my nivida graphics card though.

    I find the experience a great ride and for saying this is just a engine test. Feels quite complete compared to the original. Though with the improvements of it being smother and shaper graphics.

    <!--quoteo(post=469504:date=Jun 19 2010, 03:54 AM:name=Synergy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Synergy @ Jun 19 2010, 03:54 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469504">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Objects (mentos, rings, mines) in the far distance are scaled gradually as they come towards the camera. If you feel items are too easy to spot and make the gameplay too easy vs. the original, we can make the rings and mines scale more closely to the camera than the mentos, giving the player less time to react<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I don't feel it's going to be an issue by the looks of things, especially around corners. I was also hoping you were going to test to see if the game play was affected by being able to see further down the half pipe on a straight piece. It might be an idea if there was an option to maybe turn it on and off in the new options menu that is going to be in Sonic 2 HD. To me. I think that seeing down the half pipe further than you originally could in the MD version isn't really going to affect the difficulty. It will seem a shame to not exploit this ability in the HD version. I hope you do put it in so we can find out if it's does work better.
     
  13. Synergy

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    Maximus, if you could PM the log file and your system specs I might be able to tell you where the problem lies. Similarly steve if you could do the same for your laptop and its specs, I'm on XP so can't test it on Vista/7.

    <!--quoteo(post=469517:date=Jun 19 2010, 04:06 AM:name=Endri)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Endri @ Jun 19 2010, 04:06 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469517">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->This is very good!

    I was going to work on something as well, from a request from LOst, but this is already many steps ahead. How long did you take to code it?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I've coded it on and off when I've had time, since I first posted those test screenshots a couple of months back. Most of the time was spent building up an engine that encompasses the scope of the project.

    <!--quoteo(post=469529:date=Jun 19 2010, 04:40 AM:name=steveswede)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (steveswede @ Jun 19 2010, 04:40 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469529">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I don't feel it's going to be an issue by the looks of things, especially around corners. I was also hoping you were going to test to see if the game play was affected by being able to see further down the half pipe on a straight piece. It might be an idea if there was an option to maybe turn it on and off in the new options menu that is going to be in Sonic 2 HD. To me. I think that seeing down the half pipe further than you originally could in the MD version isn't really going to affect the difficulty. It will seem a shame to not exploit this ability in the HD version. I hope you do put it in so we can find out if it's does work better.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Ah, so you mean not having them scale so close to the camera? You can press '2' to extend the draw distance which also extends the scale distance, but if that's not enough we can always try turning scaling off altogether.
     
  14. MaximusDM

    MaximusDM

    Sonic 2HD - Concept Artist Member
    LOG: Log initialised.

    RESOURCE: Failed to load .

    PLAY: Creating a new empty level.

    Like I said to me it sounds like it could be anything, but your the one that coded it so I guess only you would know what that means.
    I am running on Vista Home Premium.NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 and Intel Core i7 processor if it matters. DirectX 11.
     
  15. Synergy

    Synergy

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    Okay, in that case I'll need to add some more log points beyond the initialisation stage as the lack of log output points to there being no problems in the initialisation of graphics, input etc. (you'd see something more if it was a problem there: the "failed to load" is a response to the lack of level name supplied, I'm assuming you selected create new level at that point).
     
  16. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    This is pretty good! I do have a few problems, though:

    - The draw distance. It's kinda jarring when you see the halfpipe stretching into the distance, and then suddenly the corner pops up. This was less noticeable when I pressed 2, but still there.

    - The physics aren't quite right. Sonic's jump is too powerful, and his left/right movement isn't "powerful" enough. When Sonic is at a 90 degree angle, holding the direction can usually make him go all the way around, but here it just stops him.

    But this is nitpicking. I'd certainly like to see the final version of this!

    EDIT: By the way, it works fine on my Windows 7 PC at both 320x200 and 1366x768. I didn't try anything in between, because there isn't really any point.
     
  17. Canned Karma

    Canned Karma

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    I'd love to comment on it Synergy, but I'm just about in the same boat as MDM. I get the box with the drop down options, but all that happens afterward is a window sized to the chosen resolution with a blue background that crashes after a few button presses. Trying to fullscreen it makes my displays flip out, resulting in a large white box in one of them that also crashes when I click on its icon in the taskbar. I'm running Windows 7 with an Nvidia Quadro 4600 series card if that helps you at all.
     
  18. Synergy

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    I recall we did discuss the perspective issue a while back, because unlike the original's warped perspective, real 3D doesn't just end in a sort of "wall" from which all the pieces emerge from. We could try extending the draw distance beyond the "far" option, but it still probably won't match the original, and again this raises the issue of being able to see really distant pieces before time (think multiple straight pieces followed by up-left-straight).

    Edit: okay, I'll get back to you when I've added extra logging this weekend.
     
  19. steveswede

    steveswede

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    <!--quoteo(post=469536:date=Jun 19 2010, 04:48 AM:name=Synergy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Synergy @ Jun 19 2010, 04:48 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469536">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Maximus, if you could PM the log file and your system specs I might be able to tell you where the problem lies. Similarly steve if you could do the same for your laptop and its specs, I'm on XP so can't test it on Vista/7.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I have a Dell XPS M1210
    The system model/motherboard is a MXC062 with built in Nvidia graphics card.
    graphics driver is nvidia gforce go 7400 revision: A01
    OS is Vista

    s2tube_log

    LOG: Log initialised.

    RESOURCE: Failed to load .

    PLAY: Creating a new empty level.

    <!--quoteo(post=469536:date=Jun 19 2010, 04:48 AM:name=Synergy)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Synergy @ Jun 19 2010, 04:48 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469536">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><!--quoteo(post=469529:date=Jun 19 2010, 04:40 AM:name=steveswede)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (steveswede @ Jun 19 2010, 04:40 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=469529">[​IMG]</a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I don't feel it's going to be an issue by the looks of things, especially around corners. I was also hoping you were going to test to see if the game play was affected by being able to see further down the half pipe on a straight piece. It might be an idea if there was an option to maybe turn it on and off in the new options menu that is going to be in Sonic 2 HD. To me. I think that seeing down the half pipe further than you originally could in the MD version isn't really going to affect the difficulty. It will seem a shame to not exploit this ability in the HD version. I hope you do put it in so we can find out if it's does work better.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Ah, so you mean not having them scale so close to the camera? You can press '2' to extend the draw distance which also extends the scale distance, but if that's not enough we can always try turning scaling off altogether.
    <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    That made it a bit better but still I feel you could get rid of the scaling altogether. If you have a look at the picture

    [​IMG]

    it is really hard to see rings pretty far back even with the scale on. So it's worth a shot to disable the scale completely.
     
  20. Synergy

    Synergy

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    If you have problems, please try <strike>this version</strike> and send me the output by PM. Please only use this if you encounter problems: logging for this version is exceedingly verbose and if left to run will become very large in a short space of time :v:
     
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