What approach should 3D Sonic take next?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Beltway

    Beltway

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    I'm not sure I can agree on that front. Navigating corners in racing games I feel require a significantly smaller window of dialogue to get through, compared to the platforming sections in the Boost games you're listing.

    I do get the appeal of having something like those 3D platforming sections in Boost gameplay, though, where there are points where the stage construction gets more complex and in turn, they require more interaction from the player in order to complete them just as quickly. I just think that such a concept could be handled in a way that matches the gameplay and pacing better; citing one example, I'd actually say the first Riders has elements throughout the courses that execute this particular point very well. (Although to be honest, I think there's a lot of notes Boost gameplay could take from the first Riders game in general.)
     
  2. Dek Rollins

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    I'm glad you brought this up because I actually wanted to address this. I Like SA1 the most out of any 3D Sonic game, and I'd like Sonic Team to go back to an improved version of that gameplay style. But, much of the game's level design consists of exactly this, or simply floating islands above bottomless pits. I think this is bad design.

    Requiring the player to continue through the level with the only major obstacle in many areas being instant death by simply missing one platform is ridiculously unforgiving. And most of the 3D games do this. Compare to the classic games: Sonic 1 only has platforming above bottomless pits in specific places. An area in Spring Yard, a couple places in Star Light, and a few areas in Scrap Brain, being the final level. Sonic 2 only has 3 or 4 bottomless pits in the entire game, and they're almost all completely avoidable. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles I don't remember there being more than a few bottomless pits either. The 3D games need the classic "fall to a lower route as punishment" design philosophy.

    Also, just because it was on my mind, I think the 2019 Sonic Islands demo was a better approximation of classic Sonic in 3D than the old Utopia demo.
     
  3. Wafer

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    I've been playing a lot of The Game Formerly Known As Sonic Forces Speed Battle and it actually got me thinking the same thing about the Boost mechanic, it would be great to have a full-fat multiplayer game (or multiplayer component in a game) like that.
     
  4. Azookara

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    I wouldn't say it's bad design per se but I would say it's restrictive (particularly in Emerald Coast 1 & Windy Valley 3), and I personally wouldn't point to those as examples to follow for the style.

    I think the best levels in the game are Twinkle Park, Red Mountain and Final Egg, for how they keep a linear focus but well utilize a good pace and branch off into alternate routes and shortcuts; and if anything I'd consider those the standard for what new levels with that gameplay style would thrive to be more like.

    Good ol' Steve. :)
     
  5. Zephyr

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    I think before we really get 3D Sonic down, we gotta really get 2D Sonic down, and I think there's an important piece of what makes 2D Sonic tick that's too often neglected: the historical context of Sonic's gameplay (which tales of the "console wars" too rarely go into detail on). 2D Sonic, as a game, as a structure of rules and gameplay mechanics, was not created in a vacuum. Not only was Sonic created within the confines of existing platforming game conventions, it was created within the confines of existing momentum-based platforming game conventions, and it was against this backdrop that Naka and co. provided the novel twists that they did.

    Super Mario Bros., the quintessential momentum-based platforming game, was flirting with sliding down slopes and ricocheting off of enemies by 1988, and with proto-quarter pipes by 1990. I believe that the original Sonic Team jumped straight to a certain logical conclusion, and created a further sub-sub-genre of momentum-based platforming games: billiards-platforming games. Momentum is integral to billiard games of all sorts, from ground billiards such as bowling and golf, to table billiards such as pool and pinball. This is why momentum in the original Sonic trilogy is often, though not always, bundled up in rolling down hills. I think some pages were taken out of Metroid's book as well, in order to really make it click: "change from humanoid to ball by crouching" combined with Mario's running-duck-slide to create Sonic's rolling ability, and "destructive somersault jump" formed Sonic's basic jumping ability. In short, Naka said "Mario + Billiards", and it was dope.

    If we look at things in this way, the current Sonic gameplay discourse makes sense: Super Mario 64 is the quintessential 3D platforming game, so why doesn't Sonic Team just say "Mario 64 + Billiards"? It should be dope! Green Hill Paradise, Sonic Utopia, and Sonic Islands, it seems, were created to confirm that it would indeed be dope, and I think they largely succeeded. Not everyone agrees, though. The concern about motion sickness has been raised (though my fiance, who grew up playing point-and-click adventure games more than anything else, has raised that concern with regards to the Genesis games, so I'm not sure how much that means the games need to change, and how much it means that some games simply aren't going to be accessible to everyone). Others just find the concept boring, or otherwise untenable.

    We picked up a Switch recently, and so I've had the chance to replay Breath of the Wild. That game famously features plenty of gliding and climbing, but it also heavily features a radar, sliding down slopes, and ball rolling. Then it clicked: this is already in large part like a Knuckles game; what if some subsequent game simply leaned all in on that, the same way Naka and his team did to the budding billiards mechanics that were simmering underneath 80's platforming games? I say: "Breath of the Wild + Billiards, it would be dope". This is more open than the "Super Mario 64 + Billiards" types, and so might work better, I'm not sure. All I know is that curling into a ball to roll down a mountain into an unsuspecting bokoblin camp, or spindash jumping off of one of the slanted pillars by Hyrule Castle before gliding down into it, sounds really fun to me.

    It's also possible that when it comes to 3D platforming games, we simply can't mix billiards in. And that's fine, if it's true. Though, if it is indeed impossible, then the idea that fans of billiards-platforming games ought to maintain concern with 3D (non-billiards) platforming games, simply because they star the character who was also the star of the original billiards-platformers, ought to be abandoned.

    No billiards, no Sonic, no buy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  6. Crasher

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    I think the best way would be to not display the rank on your first go. It saves it as one, and you get whatever rewards that are associated with getting a higher rank (if there are any), but you aren't shown it until you go back and look at your scores.
     
  7. SuperSnoopy

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    All of these suggestions would be a lot of work for what's essentially a niche feature, not to mention it could be annoying for the majority of players that just want to see their rank when they finish a level.
    How about just ignoring the rankings system if you don't care for it? I don't like the ranking system of Unleashed and Colours, so I just ignore it when I play these games.
     
  8. Multi Battler

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    So um... since A-ranks respectively S-ranks are the only ones that matter really, why not just drop the other ranks entirely?
     
  9. SuperSnoopy

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    Because a ranking is supposed to tell you how well you did in a level ? An E rank and a B rank aren't the same at all.
    Unless you're talking about the ranking system in Generations and Forces, where you can only realistically get an A or a S, in which case I agree.
     
  10. Multi Battler

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    I know that, but the games don't care about how well you do, unless you're getting A-ranks and S-ranks, in which case you unlock stuff. I think it's important to give the players the chance to develop a legit playstyle before judging them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  11. Sid Starkiller

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    Also, can we go back to A-E instead of S-D? I hate rank inflation. A D in Generations might sound better than an E in SA2, but they're still the lowest grade. Why not, instead of coddling, use the low grade to push the player to do better?
     
  12. Dek Rollins

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    You can't "ignore" the ranks so easily though. The example I gave before should've made that clear. I don't want the game telling me how I did in concrete terms. I want a score, not a rank. And how is it a lot of work? What I would want is essentially what we already had in SA1.

    In the classic games, a new player can complete the game at their own pace, and seeing their score at the end of an act gives them a sense of relief and accomplishment. A low score not being a big deal, since a "good" score is not defined to the new player in concrete terms. In SA2, a new player is undoubtedly going to get an E or D, and that doesn't feel good to see. It's discouraging in every way. You can give the player post-game content and replayability value without making the player feel obligated to "do better." That's why I think a challenge mode of sorts would be a best fit. It's no different than a time attack mode.
     
  13. Multi Battler

    Multi Battler

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    In other words: Going fast takes a lot of skill, but doesn't automatically mean more fun and just like having fun doesn't always require to go fast, going fast doesn't automatically mean you'll get an S-rank. But does going for the highest rank automatically guarantee you more fun? It's up to you. Or at least that's what I thought...

    o.o
     
  14. I really liked how Sonic Project 06 (a fan-made remake of 06 made in Unity) handles Ranks and scores. You don't necessarily need to be fast or even do a no-damage run for an S-Rank. Instead, you just need to play skillfully/stylishly and the game will reward you with bonus points to bump up your score before you get to the Goal. Usually the minimum for an S-Rank in this game is 50,000 points, but skilled players can get waaaaaay beyond that, as demonstrated here:
     
  15. Vanishing Vision

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    Very cool to see that uses the bounce attack chain system from SA2. I always wondered if that was programmed intentionally in SA2. The aqua shield in 3&K maintains the chain in the same way, maybe it was a throwback to that?
     
  16. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    This is sort of what I think a 3D Sonic game should be like. Think this combined with SRB2.
     
  17. Frostav

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    Spark 2 is really good, though the level design is very hallway-ish and the movement mechanics are probably a little TOO broken for Sonic.

    However, the idea of a level entirely based around going upwards is such a perfect idea for the physics-based platformer that Sonic should be that it's amazing ST never thought of it. It's truly a level that ONLY Sonic can do justice. No other platformer is based around the physics required for such a level to even work.
     
  18. maru.

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    Personally, i'd like to see them attempt something closer to Adventure than the Boost tbh, for a simple reason (That could be wrong tho, so if it is, please correct me on that), every boost game so far had something to slow it down and make the game longer, The Werehog, The 2D Sections, Classic Sonic... I believe that's because the actual 3D Boost levels are probably too expensive to make compared to everything else, with so much stuff that we just pass by in fractions of a second... Considering how "Budget" Sonic Forces felt, and the recent push for Classic Sonic, i'm inclined to believe that Sonic Team isn't getting as many resources as they were before for 3D Games, and an Adventure style game has a much better chance of being a full 3D Sonic experience without any filler just to increase playtime.

    I guess i could go in deeper detail on what i'd like to see, similar to what a lot of people are doing here, it's not gonna happen, but it's all just good fun i guess, give our take on what the next game could be.

    Like i said, Adventure style, to me that's the closest Sonic controlled to his 2D self in a 3D world, and it felt wonderful.
    I'd have either just Sonic (So they can get his gameplay right before attempting anyone else), or maybe, idk... Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy (I like this character, leave me alone haha), following the classic ideas, everyone plays pretty much the same with a few extra quirks (Advance 1 got Amy terrible i think, here she would be like everyone else, maybe add a triple jump like in Boom as her special move). Also, no treasure hunting, mechs or running away from robots, i'd like if it was like the classics, every character plays the same stages in the same way. I think i wouldn't even include a story for each of them, i'd have them play in the same one story and allow the player to switch between them at will, to choose who plays each level.

    I'd like to see hub world just like the ones in Unleashed, not "Small" exactly, but condensed and fun to look around, fun to talk to people (Yes, i'd include humans, they do belong in Sonic games i think, Eggman's human afterall, and he has very exaggerated proportions, so i think Unleashed's "Pixar" style fits really well), have the humans be interesting like in Adventure and Unleashed, that's it for hub worlds i guess.

    If they decide to not go for hub world, i'd like a map similar to classic Mario games, or something like Super Mario 3D World, or even similar to Jon Burton's Sonic 3D Director's Cut.

    For the whole ranking thing, i don't like it, but i admit it adds and extra element of difficulty for those who want it, and it gives the player more to do when going for 100% completion, so i don't know how i would approach it.

    For the story, i'd like to see a more serious tone than recent stories, with more real consequences and stakes... With characters actually growing and reacting to the situations and the environment around them, but without it being edgy. To me the Adventure/Unleashed tone is perfect for Sonic.

    That's it really, will all of this stuff i want to see happen actually happen? Probably not, but it was fun to write i guess, it's something fun to think about.
     
  19. TheOneAndOnlyJoebro64

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    I actually wouldn't have a problem with 2D sections in the boost games if they were handled as they are in the Mario Galaxy games: (A) pretty uncommon and (B) doing all sorts of things that couldn't be feasibly done in 3D, like physics-based puzzles. I know this isn't really the best example, but Modern Sonic's Chemical Plant in Sonic Forces kinda did this with the water pouring from the top of the screen and causing platforms to move. Stuff like that would help add some variety without breaking up the pace.
     
  20. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

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    Sonic Adventure gameplay but with all of the camera issues fixed. Let us play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. And maybe Amy but let her do a ball-jump like everyone else.

    Completely ignore everything from 2006-2020, and just pick up after Shadow the Hedgehog, and have the tone of the writing match SA1 and SA2’s atmosphere.
     
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