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  1. 37 points
    People kept asking for shadow to return, little do they know this is what we meant, not this guy:
  2. 36 points
    Dreadknux

    Welcome To Your New-Look SSMB!

    Hello! You might have noticed that this place has changed a little bit since you last saw it. Welcome to the Sonic Stadium Message Board - 2015 Edition! The moderators, Bmn and myself have been working really hard these last few weeks to make sure the upgrade from IPB 3 to IPB4 was as seamless as possible, whilst also taking the opportunity to update the look and feel of The Sonic Stadium in a modern way. So there are a whole bunch of technical things that have changed, as well as cosmetic changes that relate to how the forum works. You'll see your username above the main content area: click that and a dropdown menu will appear containing most of the options you need to work your profile. Next to your username are a bunch of quick icons that take you to Notifications and Direct Messages. In the blue bar underneath the header, you'll see an 'SSMB' link on the far right (next to the search button), hover your mouse over that and you'll see different sections of the forum, like Calendar and Forum Staff pages etc. Posting replies is simpler than ever, and a lot of the bugs that have been prevalent in the forum this past year have been squashed. (Needless to say though, that if you're seeing anything that's a bit wonky, do post in the Member Feedback/Bug Reports forum, as it will help us troubleshoot stuff!) The cosmetic changes are part and parcel of a wider initiative by myself to reinvent The Sonic Stadium in 2015. Did you know that this plucky little website will be 15 years old in October? It's been through an awful lot, and with the changing habits of forum goers and website readers alike I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to present the site (and forum) in a way that makes sense for everyone in today's era. That's why you see a chop-and-change of some of the forum listings on the homepage - SSMB has been re-organised so that discussion is at the top of the list, and the more popular forums are front and center so you can access them much more easily. Needless to say, SSMB's butterfly change into this current form is a prelude to what will soon happen on The Sonic Stadium itself, later this year - a lot more housecleaning is needed on the main site yet, before I can fully unleash the revamped design. Either way, I hope you like this new look and functionality, and are looking forward to what's coming soon! As this is brand new forum software, there will naturally be some elements that haven't crossed over to this new SSMB immediately - namely Badges. We are working hard to get these back, don't worry. They're not lost forever! We're working on a way of getting them back to you. Stay tuned on that front!
  3. 34 points
    Chris

    Profile Fields

    In an effort to tidy up the profile fields available, some of the outdated ones must leave to be replaced with newer ones. The removed fields include: AIM; MSN; Yahoo; Jabber; ICQ To be replaced by: Steam; Nintendo ID; Playstation Network; XBox Live In addition to these modifications, you will now also see Skype and console related fields listed on your posts. Steam will not be shown at this time. This is an experimental change and may not stay.
  4. 34 points
    So apparently, sometime around anywhere from late October to just a few days ago, there was a big get-together celebration thing called "Sonic Day" that talked about some history and legacy of the Sonic series as well as the Mega Drive / Genesis, at Italy's "VIGAMUS" video game museum. Whatever it said and if it was new or not, who knows. We could really use some more info, or at least a translator to give some idea as to whatever this was all about specifically. But they gave some kids cool swag-swag-swag and played what seems to be Lost World, Heroes, and... 06...???? I don't even know. But lets get onto the pictures, shall we? Eager McBeaver Takashi "Beautiful Animal" Iizuka giving the fans what they want: a thumbs up. One of those things you see on the walls where they say the thing at the museums. A wonderfully badass Mega Drive signed by who seems to be one of the designers of it, plus Yooji. Iizuka drew classic Sonic by his signature. How heartwarming <3 Naka after finishing a masterpiece. And probably the most amusing/cool thing in this so far, Uekawa drew a super cool picture. If this wasn't obviously aimed towards this taking place in Italy I'd mistake this for Sonic World Adventure 2 concept art my hopes and dreams crushed DON'T YOU JUDGE ME But yeah, this was a thing that we all somehow missed. Anyone live near Rome? Even if not, I'd like to see if there's any way to watch these videos anywhere and possibly get a translation of it all. We probably won't get anything new from them, but watching Naka or Iizuka talk about their son's legacy is still great so I'm still interested. :v
  5. 34 points
    Solkia

    He is your worst nightmare

    Hello friend welcome to 2013 Mario and Sonic have not been rivals since 1995 Good day.
  6. 33 points
    Chris

    New Skin Unlocked

    Bugs below, please. Very little is finalized on this skin (especially the header/banner backgrounds). Will likely be going over the topic view again tomorrow, but for now it's very usable.
  7. 31 points
    I guess the punches and kicks didn't quite kinect.
  8. 30 points
    I see where people are coming from with the "let the fans do it" suggestion, but it's not a cure-all. Particularly not for Modern Sonic. Whitehead and Stealth spent like, 10 or 15 years analysing Sonic, building engines, and reverse engineering the original games to produce their own content. And that content was solid, eventually getting to a point it exceeded the original engines (Remasters and Mania). There was build-up towards them ultimately being hired, hence why Mania is so good. That, and they're just incredibly good at what they do. As far as I'm aware, there's nothing like that for the 3D space, due to the inherent challenges of amateur 3D game development. That's not to say 2D is easy, but I haven't seen a single 3D Sonic fangame that a ) has gone anywhere b ) has been consistently good. Sonic Utopia is the one everyone jumps to - but if anyone thinks Lange would hand out his work to SEGA, when they'd likely use it for a Modern Sonic title (as he's the '3D Sonic'), they simply don't know Lange. He's basically Nicochi, except folks take him seriously. The only other one I've seen mentioned regularly is Sonic World, a putrid excuse of a fangame with a brazen focus on quantity over quality, and with a project manager who's got all the tact and maturity of a toddler. I couldn't see ozcrash last 5 seconds in a professional landscape. There simply isn't a 3D analogue to the Retro Engine's progress and development as it stands, let alone one with a project leader that'd be open to SEGA using it. And fair play, some folks don't want to give their work to SEGA (Lange) and that's absolutely A-OK, but until there's someone who does a la Whitehead, the "get fans to do a new 3D Sonic" thing is gonna be a pipedream for like, 15 more years. Bear in mind how long the Retro Engine had been in development when CD 2011 released as is - and after that it still took 6 years to get Tax and co's take on a new 2D Sonic (and one that even then, still reimagined previous content). And to be fair - I doubt it'd take that long nowadays, particularly with Mania's sucess and apparent changes in SEGA's structure, but still. I'm aware there's a group of fans making a Sonic Adventure Remake, but I honestly can't see that going far given how insanely huge an undertaking it is. Fangame devs need to be more realistic if they're going to have pitchable stuff - Tax only remade Palmtree Panic and a Special Stage for his CD pitch IIRC, then continued once SEGA picked it up. Setting out to remake an entire game, for instance, is only going to lead to burn-out eventually, especially with a large team. I recall Azoo saying he wanted to prepare an actual pitch document for his idea for a 3D Sonic title, and frankly if he got a gameplay engine and some kind of reasonable demo on board with that idea, he'd be the most set for success out of any fangame dev I've ever seen.
  9. 29 points
    Holy shit Sega... this is amazing! Taken today at Momocon.
  10. 28 points
    Hey everyone! I see we're discussing console specs and how they compare to each other. Super! Thankfully, due to knowing the exact specs of each system, we no longer have to make judgments based purely on how trailers and screenshots "look" in comparison to each other. Because of this, I thought I'd go ahead and make a post I could use as a reference, and hopefully aid others in understanding our games on a more technical level. I'm not going to use this as an opinion piece, but just wanted to relay some information for those interested in that line of discussion. I've made sure to discuss how this all relates to the next Sonic game in order to keep it relevant to the topic at hand. So without further ado, let's begin! RAM - PS4 - 8 GB GDD5 XB1 - 8 GB DDR3 Wii U - 2 GB DDR3 The parity in RAM between the systems is actually quite vast this generation, in large part due to the PS4's use of the relatively new GDDR5 format. GDDR5 was commercially introduced just this year, and is able to compute data at an exponentially faster rate than DDR3, which is the format used in both the Xbox One and Wii U. The Playstation 4 and Xbox One are somewhat comparable to each other due to having at least the same amount of RAM to work with, though the PS4's speed difference means it's capable of loading higher resolution textures and objects on screen in a shorter amount of time. The Wii U trails far behind them, with only 1/4 the amount of RAM, and only in DDR3. The RAM difference between the PS4 and Wii U is, surprisingly, even larger than that of the PS3 and Wii. What this means for games You know how Sonic Unleashed and Generations sometimes bug out if you find ways to skip the "checkpoint" areas in each level, where the game is programmed to load the next segment of the area? Or how the 1000 Heartless Battle in Kingdom Hearts II only actually had about twenty enemies on screen at a time? Those are some of the methods developers use to utilize the RAM they have to work with on consoles. With more RAM, game developers are able to load bigger levels, load higher resolution textures, and display more objects on screen at the same time. The reason why open world games like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto look so poor in comparison to games like The Last of Us and Tomb Raider is because, as open world games, they're required by default to load large segments of environment geometry and objects such as cars, people, and whatever else, while more linear games do not have to do this. While the CPU and GPU are responsible for the data calculations and rendering of the graphics on screen, all of this information has to come from the data stored in the RAM. The parity between the PS4 and XB1 can be seen in Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, where the PS4 version of the game has markedly better textures than its XB1 counterpart, while also running at a much higher framerate. This is very likely due to the GPU being able to retrieve data from the RAM at a much faster rate. One fact worth noting is that this makes it very difficult for developers to use their new tools on the other systems while still catering to the Wii U. In fact, for open world games like Final Fantasy XV it'd be impossible without having to rework the game's coding. Wii U ports of games will have to have all textures compressed, and be recoded to load a smaller amount of objects and areas at a time. While a true 1000 Heartless Battle might actually be possible now on PS4 and XB1, it'd likely have to be completely reprogrammed for Wii U. What this means for Sonic In this particular instance, not much. It's doubtful that any Sonic games in the near future will have much impressive texture-work to display in the first place, and it's not likely they'll need to be able to load level geometry any faster than they did in previous games. You'll probably see faster loading times on PS4 and much slower load times on Wii U, but that's about it. CPU - PS4 - Single-chip x86 AMD "Jaguar" processor, 8 cores XB1 - 8 Core Microsoft custom CPU Wii U - Tri-Core PowerPC "Espresso" CPU Remember how I mentioned the 1000 Heartless Battle earlier as an example of a game utilizing RAM? That’s only part of the process in rendering that part of the game. Using that particular example again, we can talk about what the CPU’s role is in gaming as well. Now, while RAM is certainly important in rendering large areas and objects on screen, this is only because that’s where the data for all of these assets lie. Without a proficient CPU, the RAM can’t actually do a thing with all of this data on its own. Think of it as a storage distribution center, with the number of bytes being akin to physical space (8GB vs 2GB), and the speed being the vehicles used to transport the data to the unit that will use it (GDDR5 vs DDR3). The CPU is responsible for handling a game’s AI, physics, audio, and hit detection. It’s also pivotal in online play, as it processes and transfers the information on each system on the network, and is also responsible for judging exactly what the GPU should be rendering at any given time. Ultimately, the CPU, while not as important a factor as the GPU, must still be powerful enough to be “sufficient”. If it isn’t, you get an effect called “bottlenecking”, where the CPU is not actually capable of keeping up with the more powerful GPU. In Layman’s terms, you could have the most powerful GPU in the world, but if you’re running it concurrently with a Pentium 4 it’s not going to reach even an inch of its potential. The PS4 and XB1 are very close here, with the XB1 being a smidge faster. It’s not enough of a difference to mean anything, however. Unfortunately, the Wii U suffers from bottlenecking. The CPU itself is simply a reworked update to the Broadway chip used in the Wii, which was a tweaked and overclocked update to the GameCube’s Gekko processor. This is why you may have seen people stating that the Wii U is “built with 90’s hardware” – while this statement isn’t entirely true, it does hold some basis in reality as the Gekko project was started in 1999, and it does still hold as the base for the Wii U’s CPU. The unit itself is not as powerful as those in the PS3 and Xbox 360. What this means for Sonic This really depends on what the developers want to do with the next game. If they decide to use the Wii U as the base for development and then up-port to the other two systems, we won’t see much of a difference at all. If they do decide to utilize more of the other systems’ power, however, it could mean that the Wii U will be treated to an entirely different game by a different developer, much like how Sonic Unleashed was handled. GPU – PS4 - AMD Radeon Graphics Core Next engine w/ 1152 shaders XB1 - 853 MHz AMD Radeon GPU w/ 768 shaders Wii U - AMD "Latte" 550 MHz GPU w/ 320 shaders You could say I saved the best for last. While no game can run in the complete absence of RAM and a CPU, the single most important player is the GPU. Everything you see on screen – objects, textures, enemies, and literally everything else is rendered by the GPU. Without a GPU, you don’t have anything to actually display the data on the disc. Sure, you can have the RAM store everything and the CPU calculate it all behind the scenes, but that doesn’t really mean much when you can’t see any of it. The PS4 is on top in this aspect by a very clear margin. Its GPU is about 50% more powerful on paper than that of the Xbox One, and exponentially more powerful than that of the Wii U. Out of all three, this is probably the most straightforward part to follow. Developers can do more ambitious things with their games, and games can be displayed at higher resolutions and framerates. What this means for Sonic Again, this depends entirely on how the game is built. It’s certainly possible (and I would say likely) for them to build the game on Wii U and use the extra processing power of the PS4 and Xbox One to render the game at 1080p and 60fps (plus a few added effects like particle physics, if they add that), assuming the Wii U version will be the 720p/30fps we’ve grown accustomed to last generation. If they do decide to utilize the extra processing power of the XB1 and PS4, however, the Wii U version will likely be down-ported or developed standalone by a different team. This process is obviously a lot more expensive, but you can see this with games like Titan Fall, where the porting process is handled entirely on its own in order for the game to take advantage of more powerful hardware. While the first scenario I mentioned will likely suffice for a game in 2015, doing it again a few years later will likely result in a game that can’t compete with the competition in the graphics department on other systems. It all depends on whether or not Sonic Team is ambitious enough to attempt pushing the envelope like they did with Unleashed, really. Conclusion – I really hope that everyone enjoyed reading this post, and will take some of this into account when discussing specs in the future. I definitely enjoyed writing it, and I feel like I learned a lot about computing by doing so. I enjoy discussions about games and consoles very much, and I legitimately hope that I’ve made a half-decent resource for those who want to be factually correct with their discussions. If anyone more knowledgeable than myself spots an inaccuracy, I’ll be happy to correct it and be better informed in the future. Hopefully we can move away from blanket statements about specs and talk about the game itself soon. Maybe E3?
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