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[Tutorials] Sonic Mania Modding For Dummies

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by AeroArtwork, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. AeroArtwork


    Sonic Gaiden (Sonic Mania Mod)

    Hello everyone and welcome to Sonic Mania Modding For Dummies! Over time, I will be posting a series of user friendly tutorials to get people started on making there own levels,specials stages and more in Sonic Mania! I must explain that I am no programmer so if you have at least a few art skills and a bit of hex knowledge you'll be making stuff in no time!

    Unfortunately, I am still writing these tutorials as we speak please check back as these tutorials will be written and updated over time.

    As for now, this is everything I know how to do and will be covering and the order I plan to cover these tutorials.

    > Basic Sonic tiling work and sprite work
    >Unpacking and repacking data.
    > Changing and re-implementing custom color palettes
    >Maniac (Level Editor) Basics/Custom Level pieces
    >Understanding Collision and tile specifics.
    >Custom Backgrounds
    >Custom Music/Sound Effects and looping
    >Replacing 3D Meshes.
    >Making custom special stages​

    However, there are some thing's I am still learning myself but here are some possible future tutorials.
    >Custom animations
    >any sort of additional ASM.

    Tools you will need!
    Adobe Photoshop (Other illustration programs work but we will be using Photoshop for these tutorials.)
    You will have to find and buy this on your own.
    Maniac Editor. (Mania level editor. Created by EyeKey)
    RSDKV5 Extract (Created by EyeKey)

    3DS Max and or Blender.
    A Hex editor (I recommend HxD Hex Editor)

    Tutorial 1
    Hedgehog goes fast downhill. Hedgehog goes slow up hill. Slopes have played a big part in Sonic ever since his conception. In this tutorial you will learn how to make the basic tile's that are used in 2D styled Sonic games, in this case so we can make custom levels in Mania.

    What is a tile set you may be asking? In short, you could visualize tile sets as a bunch of puzzle pieces. However, each peice is the same shape and size. Making a tile set would be drawing a picture out of one piece at a time.

    Most if not all true 2D games use title sets and Sonic is no different. Typically, those piece are in digital 16x16 pieces (sometimes 8x8 for more accurate preciseness. Sometimes we have to also imagine there are 8x8 pieces present within the 16x16) In order to start, we are going to want to open up Photoshop.
    Make a new canvas for yourself, any size will do but lets do something large and basic. Maybe 900x900 pixels, just to give us some space.

    It can be in different places in different versions, but you are going to want to find Preferences.
    In preferences you will want to go to 'Guides, Grid and Slices.' In this pop up you will want to change the grid section to 16 pixels with one subdivision.
    Alright so far so good. Now under 'View' you will want to go to 'Show>Grid'
    Now, remember what I said about tiles typically being 16x16? Now you have a grid of even 16x16 boxes. To turn the grid on and off just simply press 'Crtl+H"
    This will help divide your pieces evenly. I will be covering how to fancy up your tile sets and actually making art out of them in the 4th tutorial. For now we will be using black silhouettes to talk about the various slopes and platforms within Sonic.


    as you can already see, I have made a basic set. We are going to be breaking these down pieces at a time. First off, lets start with the basic slopes. As you can see there are varying heights to how high the slopes can go. You can make these extend as far as you want but Sonic slopes don't typically get any lower than these. It is VERY important to mention that making an effective tile set is making as few as possible but making them connect in many different ways.

    To give a good example of what I mean, lets take the first basic slope tile piece. This extends to each corner of the 16x16 tile. Just looks like a short stumpy slope right? If we were to take this this piece and copy and paste it in diagonal direction. we may get an interesting result.
    We just made a steep slope out of just two tiles. This is where a lot of the fun and variety of Sonic tile making comes in. For now, you will have to imagine the physics work with your tiles.
    it is just like normal physics but one way to remember it is. Hedgehog goes faster downhill, hedgehog goes slower up hill. The steeper the slope, the faster Sonic will go but the more elevated the tiles are the slower or more consistent Sonic's speed will be.

    Even the basic tile's can create a lot of cool combinations of slopes and hills. Basic, flat stuff would just be a simple 16x16 with no curve or arc implemented at all. More rounded out edges and more complicated slopes can be made if you try to imagine your sets with 8x8's. These would just be normal 16x16's with very little showing in the actual tile for Mania.

    Mirroring and flipping your tiles around can also increase the opportunities and the slopes you can make. Get wild and creative! If you are making a custom slope, the line should always start at the bottom edge of one tile than the top edge of the other. This allows the slopes to constantly connect and connect with main level floors. Keeping a consistent flow. Here are some examples of different tiles being used to make different slopes.

    If you're reading this you are more than most likely already familiar with how Sonic plays. Another mainstay of Sonic are the loops and S loops. Loops and S loops are essentially made out of the same tiles just inverted. Just a reminder that these are just templates. things just get a tad more expansive when additional art is involved. We will worry about that later.

    There are two different curved slopes. The one's where you run up the side of the wall. (The Blue arrow, 4 sides of these will create the classic loop d loops) and the ones you run down the side on. (The red arrows.) Together can create the classic S loops.

    Understanding how your tiles connect and what sort of speed you'll be getting from your slopes is important. This is more or less the basics of Sonic level tile sets.
    In the next tutorial we will actually be starting to do stuff with Sonic Mania. Hope this helps! If you have any advice you think would be great to add, pelase let me know so we can all learn together! This tutorial may be updated. So keep watch!

    Lets check out our winnings!
  2. This will be a great tutorial for people who are new to modding Sonic Mania! I might follow this tutorial, it seems like it will be very useful, especially since I'm a dummy when it comes to modding :specialed:.
  3. Covarr


    Sentient Cash Register Member
    Trapped in my own thoughts.
    Two stageplays, a screenplay, and an album
    I appreciate the idea, but maybe it'd be better to have at least one tutorial done and linkable before posting this?
  4. S0LV0


    Sonic Generations Helpdesk Tech Member
    Abusing SMPS
    Yeah, uh, general thread creation etiquette is to actually have something to show off before you do so. Good idea as said, but don't do this next time.
  5. AeroArtwork


    Sonic Gaiden (Sonic Mania Mod)
    We should be good to go now. Was still working on the first tutorial in the midst of working on the post. Up and finished. Sorry for any trouble. :thumbsup:
  6. Turbohog


    I agree with you guys, but man. There sure is a lot of backseat moderating on Retro.

    Anyway, the first tutorial looks good! I'll admit, I haven't really read it. However, it looks really well made! I'll be interested to see your other tutorials. Good work!