Will we ever get another good 3D entry?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by urlogic, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Dr. Mecha

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    I think that's where the wisps comes in, to differate Post-Modern from Classic.

    Now that I think about it, it all boils down to how to improve the Post-Modern Sonic games as a whole, as it became apparent that SEGA has made both them and the classic separate entities. Thus, I don't think that they're going to ditch the boost formula, or the wisps.
     
  2. Quarterman

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    I somewhat feel that Unleashed and Colors were the only good 3D entries. The Adventure series never struck me as the juggernaut that some fans seem to think of it as.

    Generations was also quite good, but that was mostly on the strength of the Classic Sonic stages.
     
  3. Modern

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    While I agree that in terms of modern gameplay Unleashed was superior to Generations, the latter was overall a more enjoyable experience from from beginning to end. I still had fun playing through Classic Sonic's stages after each Modern level, whereas in Unleashed I would groan every time I finished a daytime stage because it signaled the arrival of another slow, boring nighttime stage to trudge through.
     
  4. Quarterman

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    While I understand your point of view, the modern stages in that game didn't do much for me, save a few. Chemical Plant Zone and Sky Sanctuary Zone do come in mind as enjoyable stages, however.
     
  5. Laughingcow

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    I agree with this on several levels. However, if I were to play the devil's advocate, is it possible that the Genesis gameplay translated into 3d (by whatever metric you choose) would simply not be as fun as the 2d counterpart? While it's kind of a moot question in the grand scheme of Sonic Team and their attempts, I believe this is a possible scenario for the continued misfortune of 3d Sonic.....Yeah, it's a really fucked up situation when I think about it.

    Automation seems like one of the easier things to fix in a Sonic game because the Classics already have the solution to that. Set pieces (tubes, loops, spirals, etc.) shouldn't take control away from the player for more than 1 second and should be followed by a platforming section. In the Adventure games (this doesn't apply to Unleashed and later) the running/spectacle sections were just being used in the same way long hallways were used in Unreal Engine 1 type games i.e. Anti-portal placement. I won't bore you with technical details but I will state that such things are no longer necessary (and haven't been for over a decade) with proper map optimization.


    On the "pixel perfect" translation bit, that may work better than you realize (aside from the getting launched in the air bit). I've mentioned this before but 3d Mario games are running very much like their 2d counterparts. This works because his movements are locked in a 2d space i.e. he can only move in 8-directions instead of a full range of movements. This is most apparent in Mario Odyssey where switching to his flat pixel self feels no different than his 3d self. It makes Sonic look bad in that his "3d" sections are now just him running forward in hallways meaning there isn't any rational reason for him to NOT revert back to the genesis physics when a 2d section happens.
     
  6. How can anyone have any idea of what to expect from the franchise whatsoever at this point?

    I'm not angry at them and wish them the best. However, as a consumer it doesnt seem like they have any particular plan for sonic at this time. It's been 20 years of full on 3D sonic and they have yet to produce a title that could be considered a resounding success. Theyve had small successes here and there but been stuck in the same position essentially this entire time, which is not knowing what to do with sonic gameplay in 3 dimensions. There was a mini streak between unleashed and generations that went fairly well, until of course they realized the limitations of that gameplay and abandoned it....only to bring it back again out of desperation! (Which somewhat unsurprisingly did worse than before)
    Until they solidly figure out the 3D sonic gameplay problem, this question is fairly pointless.
     
  7. Glaber

    Glaber

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    well they could try going back to an Adventure like formula. It's working for SRB2, why can't it work for Sonic Team?
     
  8. Quarterman

    Quarterman

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    I'm not quite certain that the Adventure formula has aged terribly well. Perhaps I am biased because I am not much of a fan of those entries, but I can't see it working now.
     
  9. Aerosol

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    Arguable. Are you sure you're not just forgiving it's shortcomings because of your familiarity with the source material?
     
  10. What do you mean it's working for SRB2? Is this some fully realized game concept I'm not aware of, or another fan community tech demo which doesnt do anything but show the physics engine?
     
  11. Laughingcow

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    Sonic Robo Blast 2 aka They tossed Sonic and Co into the Doom engine. It's not very good, has severe control issues.
     
  12. Amnimator

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    I mean, the Adventure gameplay style certainly has its issues, don't get me wrong. But most of its issues come from it's implementation (camera somehow worse than N64 platformers, dodgy collision, slippery controls). But when it worked, it worked well, in my opinion. And obviously I'm talking Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in specific! I'd also like to point out that people here also said the collectathon gameplay style was effectively dead and has no reason to come back. A few years later, Mario Odyssey and A Hat in Time came out. Shooting down ideas because it doesn't translate 100% isn't something I'd be happy with. Creative liberties are always a thing.


    As for the whole slope based gameplay thing, something I noticed is that slope based jumping can be really screw-y depending on what you're making. I can easily see why Sonic Team went for the "gravity direction based jumping" route rather than basing that off a slope. In 3D (and even in some level design in 2D) it's often just annoying and counter intuitive. Eg.) Running up a slope, want to get some extra air, you jump at the edge, you end up launching yourself backwards.

    And for the question of the thread, "Will we ever get another good 3D entry?": Probably (I sound like a Magic 8 Ball). Sonic Team can actually make pretty good games when they aren't trying to just mimic someone else or force something out. Some of their best games arguably weren't even Sonic games (eg Phantasy Star Online). Given time (and the freedom to make whatever the crap they want) I still believe Sonic Team can make good games. Heck, Sonic Runners was fun, minus the F2P part weighing them down, and preemptively killing the game. I just think if Sonic Team makes a good 3D Sonic within the next few years, it'll be good, it just won't be reminiscent of Classic Sonic, for better or worse. Basically, if they aren't forced to release a game they don't even want to develop (Forces, Lost World), that's where the possibility of a good game from them exists.
     
  13. The Becoming

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    To be fair, the SRB2 engine is really not the Doom Engine anymore. The thing was evolved so far from it that it's now it's own entity.

    Maybe you should wait for the 2.2 version, it will bring a lot of features to the game like proper slope physics and improved level design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cfK3EWnn2E
     
  14. HEDGESMFG

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    As someone who's been following online Sonic news for 20 years now and remembers the original early low res screenshots of SA1 (and also the early release of srb2 halloween)... let me put my perspective here...

    Sonic Team doesn't need to replicate the Genesis games to create a 'good' 3D entry. They've translated the ideas/concepts behind the Genesis games before in relatively small chunks, showing that it is possible to create a fun equivalent in 3D in at least a limited capacity.

    Sonic Adventure 2 was the perfect 3D physics engine for Sonic. No, not the perfect camera, not the perfect Genesis replication, but the perfect 'balance' between classic and modern styles of gameplay. You still had moumentum based physics and tricks you could pull off (look up some of the speedruns to see people actually use these).

    SA2's big problems were that the level designs were mostly leniar and limiting. I DID still put tons of hours into the game back in the day, and it was at the time genuinely fun for me (and was critically acclaimed on the initial Dreamcast release), but the problem was limits on the stage design itself.

    The thing is, there are at least 2 examples in 3D games where they truly did show they understood Genesis style design perfectly and COULD translate its complexity into 3D in a wonderful and fun way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ycymywGv7c
    (As already shown above)

    And, 10 years later...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkTEV2iwgzU

    Both of these stages are notable because they translate the biggest missing element from Genesis design, layered, multi-path stages with complexity that encourage BOTH speed and exploration. The former is cheating because it's a near 1:1 remake of a classic stage, but the mere CONCEPT of this being done at all and working proves it's physically possible to design stages like this in 3D. Just use this type of structure and expand it to be a much longer stage (as it is, the 3D version can be beat in sub 30 seconds like the 2D version). It would take time and effort, but it is very possible.

    The second stage (Sky Sanctuary Modern) is to me the pinnacle of 3D Sonic game design, because it perfectly balances everything and shows it can be accomplished in a NEW stage with entirely new designs inspired by the classics. You still have the speed boost formula, but it doesn't get in the way of exploration. You have multiple layers on top of the main path, some of which are quite extensive paths. It encourages replaying the stage and exploration, and rewards skill, while also still giving speed runners a fun and exhilarating way to rush through the stage and enjoy the scenery. There were other stages in Generations that had designs like this, but Sky Sanctuary was definitely the peak, and it was all almost entirely in 3D.

    Yes, none of this is an open-world Utopia style experience, but that in and of itself has only been shown as a proof of concept so far, and still isn't a fully fleshed out playable game concept yet. This is doable and based off of stuff Sonic Team has already 'done'.

    In short, make an entire game of stages designed in this style and I think we'd have a legitimately excellent 3D Sonic title. In my view, Generations pretty much 'was' that with a few flaws, they just botched the idea with Forces rushing and downplaying it.
     
  15. Aerosol

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    The problem is budget. Sky Sanctuary is a complex stage, and could not have been remotely easy to design.

    We'll get a 'good' 3D Sonic game when Sega gives Sonic Team as much money and time as it wants.
     
  16. HEDGESMFG

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    A good 3D game would require an extensive budget, and a longer development time, no doubt. I'm just saying that it's feasible based on stuff Sonic Team themselves have actually built in the past.

    Forces sounds like it was originally going to be a much more expansive title, but got rush/hackened and developed withing a very short amount of time when something behind the scenes likely changed.

    In short, part of the problem is that SEGA isn't the console powerhouse it once was fronting Sonic Team with some of Japan (and the west's) top talent as well as an extensive budget. Had "SEGA the console developer" still been around when 3D tech was much more mature, a title with the budget behind, say, Sonic Adventure, may have turned out much grander and more extensive.
     
  17. Beltway

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    The idea that Sonic games are being held back due to lack of resources seriously rings hollow as shit in light of the last game that was Sonic Forces, especially when comparing its reception to the (as previously described at the very start of this thread) "corporate funded fan game" released just before it. At this point it sounds like excuses being made for a development team that should know better at this point. Or do some of you still believe Ken Balough's damage control speech that the reason solo playable Tails didn't happen in Sonic 4 Episode II because he would had literally cost millions of dollars to implement? God, I hate to know what the budget for the fangame was then....

    Seriously, I've been seeing the above notion prescribed for Forces as of late and it seriously makes not one ounce of fucking sense based on what we know. What exactly is the basis for this?

    Is it the rudimentary level design that members of the development team themselves said was a deliberate choice on their part?

    "Instead of sticking to Sonic's traditional style of gameplay, we decided to design the game to be as simple and enjoyable as possible; focusing more on the excitement of dashing through the stages, without having to think about, you know, complex game controls." (Also remember they were also willing to host an entire panel about good/bad level design, using examples from the game, prior to Forces' release?)

    Could it be the badly-shoehorned classic Sonic portion of the game that virtually nobody was really asking for in another modern Sonic game the first place?

    Perhaps it is the high amounts of recycled assets (including an entire final boss, for the third time in a row) and returning classic zones in a game that was in development for four years, shortly after Lost World's release?

    Or how about the staggering amounts of game-breaking bugs and giant signs of missing content the game actually doesn't have anyway? (The last of which is to say--for all of the game's problems, Forces is still finished from a general design standpoint and is technically functional; most of the dummied out content amounts to stuff like older layouts of levels, rather than some egregiously unincorporated shit like in Sonic 2006 or Boom: Rise of Lyric.)

    It's an overused term, but the phrase "polishing a turd" seriously comes to mind here with how people talk about the biggest problem with Forces being that it suffered from a lack of budget or because it was rushed to release. Putting more money and time into a production as flawed as Forces isn't really going to net you a better game in quality, it's likely just going to ensure more technical polish / refinement on what's already at best a subpar project.

    Meanwhile, just look at how the "glorified ROMhack" performed with a fraction of the resources (budget, staff, time, project scope, etc.) compared to how Forces was received despite the latter being the big (multi-)million dollar project. I've said it so many damn times already--it was the indie-level project made by a group of fans that ended up having more thought put into its design and ended up being the much, much better-received and better-selling Sonic game of 2017.
     
  18. Aerosol

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    I mean, I'm not saying it's just budget and resources. But Generations would've been better if they had the time and money to do more of Sky Sanctuary Act 2, and less of Blocky Block Zone Act 1.

    Put another way, Mania had the time and funding to fulfill the majority of it's vision. Until the resources match a quality vision, we won't get another good 3D game.
     
  19. Laughingcow

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    A broken clock is correct twice a day. Sky Sanctuary much like Generations as a whole was a fluke. You give someone like Sonic Team a lot of time and money and they'll in term give you Jack and Jill.

    You can make as many excuses for Sonic Team as you want but I'll just point at Monolith Soft. One of their maps are bigger than the entirety of Sonic Forces.
     
  20. 360

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    There was that rumour a long time ago, the validity of which I don't think we can confirm that indicated that Sonic Team really, really cared about Generations and put everything they had in to it and I think the rumour is true because it's the last time they produced an excellent game. Then you have Forces which is so stifled creatively (Casino Forest, seriously?) and is such a bad to mediocre product that it's evident, regardless of the rumour, that this time they really just didn't give a fuck. Pardon the pun, but it is like they were forced to make a Sonic game that given the end-product they didn't want to make.

    As for whether we'll get another good 3D entry I think it's inevitable that we will, but I think it might be some time before we do. There needs to be some firm decisions coming from Sega's higher ups before it happens. Expand Sonic Team. Refresh the team. Inject them with a serious budget. Anything really, but a major shake up needs to happen because it's obvious that the current team isn't going to be sufficiently capable or even willing through the application of sufficient energy, drive and passion to develop something on par with the creativity and love that was poured in to Generations.

    Honest prediction is that 3D Sonic will be put on the back burner, for years, whilst the Mania team are contracted to create something new in the meantime. And that's probably for the best for the moment.

    EDIT: Conceptually Forces was fucking fantastic (Robotnik taking over the world, Sonic leading a resistance, post-apocalyptic style setting etc.) even down to the early film-like concept art. It's the execution that led to the final game that was just totally fucked. They started out with something that could have and should have been amazing. It's such a shame of wasted potential.