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How to implement Genesis style gameplay in 3d?


Chaos Warp

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So I've seen several of you say around here that you want gameplay like that of the Genesis games, but in full 3d. How would you go about implementing it? Myself, I think it is not that hard to do, but I see one problem:

-At the speed Sonic goes, it would be extremely hard to bounce on enemies in 3d unless you had some kind of homing attack (which pretty much goes against the Genesis formula).

Any ideas? Discuss?

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Take the Sonic Adventure code and go to town on it? After all, it's the closet thing we have. I probably wouldn't remove the Homing Attack outright, though. In a free-reign 3D environment with a fast character, some element of targeting is a near necessity anyways. Regular jumps would still work as appropriate ways to kill an enemy, but nixing the Homing Attack really isn't necessary.

Also, fixed camera angles for ramps. The "behind the back" tracking motion I've seen in some tech demos always looks disorienting and limiting. Being able to see the entire ramp from an appropriate angle would open up the player to playing on them appropriately and for the level designers to have some more leg room to implement areas and paths that wouldn't be seen from a constant over-the-shoulder angle.

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The core concept of Sonic at the Genesis level is to get from point A to point B by taking the best routes and by strategically timing your jumps in relation to obstacles and enemies that come your way, with platforming placed in the mix. Speed is obtained through rolling into a ball at the right moment in accordance to the terrain, and speed is maintained by platforming properly.

Sonic Adventure, in terms of controls and level design, keeps this the most intact, however obtaining speed is through dash pads, and not through rolling.

Take the pre-existing Adventure mechanics and design the levels around Sonic's rolling ability, and you'll have everything you need. The only other thing is controlling Sonic at such high speeds, which is why moves like the quick step and drift were implemented in Unleashed. They won't be needed if you slow Sonic down, however. If Sonic remains relatively "slow," has a homing attack that bounces in accordance to Sonic's previously built momentum, and is traversing levels that are designed around the rolling mechanic, then you have a Classic game in 3D.

Edited by Indigo Rush
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Also, fixed camera angles for ramps. The "behind the back" tracking motion I've seen in some tech demos always looks disorienting and limiting. Being able to see the entire ramp from an appropriate angle would open up the player to playing on them appropriately and for the level designers to have some more leg room to implement areas and paths that wouldn't be seen from a constant over-the-shoulder angle.
Edited by Blacklightning
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I feel a strange sense of deja vu.

It's not that hard to do. It's kind of like taking Sonic's handling in modern Generations (albeit a bit slower), removing the slide and boost moves, putting in classic's one-button Spindash (without spam, WITH pressing while mobile = roll), and then making the roll accelerate to a degree depending on how steep the slope is, and how long he's been traveling on it. You could also nerf the homing attack's distancing and coverage some, and then use the button you had the slide/stomp set up to for the instashield and shield powerups.

Remove the surplus boost/quickstep hallways and some of the dash panels that fill the stages, give a bit more shortcuts and alternate paths which are activated via stage gimmicks or skills in obtaining and keeping momentum, and... well... is there anything else? Ah yes, making a bit more focus on bouncing around. Doing that would mean building a homing attack that retains forward rebound and momentum upon impact, which would mean in order to not break the game you'd have to make that homing attack a bit on the softer and shorter-ranged side, just like I mentioned earlier.

I think that's about it, really.

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The main issue, I think, is turning, since that's the dimension the Genesis games lacked, and thus doesn't have anything to build off of. To be honest I don't really know the best way to handle it; I feel like Unleashed doesn't give enough control while the Adventures might give too much (to the point where it overrides the physics). I think I'd need to play around with a 3D engine to figure it out myself.
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I don't think that's really necessary, and if it is, someone's already fucked up in the level design department because that's the last place you'd want to throw a spike hazard or anything of the sort. At the very most you could get away with leaving the behindview camera and throwing in an onscreen cue when something unexpected is going to happen (didn't Colours do this when it came to sudden high-speed death pits?), or hell, a screen-in-screen to get both camera angles at once.

Edited by Nepenthe
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I would have the camera on rails. Granted there would be branches in the rails to follow branching paths. That way the camera is always exactly where the developers wanted it to be. If it's in a bad place, that's because of poor level design.

Edited by Chaos Walker
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Honestly? I want somwthing Brand-new. I dont want for them to look back at Genesis games.

You mean the same games that made Sonic popular to begin with?

I can understand wanting something new, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look back at what made the series awesome.

Anywho. This is kind of a hard spot, because we have a lot of things to consider: Control, Moves, and Level Design,

I may as well divide all of them up and talk about them individually.

Control:

This is kind of difficult because the two types of gameplay that are closest to the Genesis games(Unleashed. Adventure) have major control issues. Adventure's controls are little to tight, to the point where going at full speed and tilting the control stick to the left or right means you go flying off in that direction. Unleashed's controls are too damn loose to the point where Sonic is barely controllable at slow speeds. In 2D this is easy because you only have to worry about two directions, but in 3D you have eight. While I think personally that while very loose Unleashed controls more or less closer to the Genesis games, if only because when you pick up speed its harder to slow Sonic down, which is kind of like how it was. I say take Unleashed's controls, and just tweak them to be a bit tighter, not to the point of being like Adventure, but still better than what's there.

Moves:

Sonic's moveset should largely be taken from the Genesis games. So Spin Dash needs to come back, as well as rolling in general. I'm kind of iffy about the insta shield because of precise you have to be in a 3D plain, I know Polygon Jim showed that Classic can work in 3D, but the level design was mostly linear and easy to hit, I don't know how that would work in a full open 3D environment. I say keep the Homing attack, but like Dio said, give it the bouncing physics that after one homing attack you get the momentum to bounce and so on. I say also keep the Quick Step to make turning at high speeds easier, and not jerky like in Adventure. Stomping should be remade into the Bounce Attack from Sa2 and the bouncing should function like it did in the Genesis games. Boosting also needs to be a power up, similar to the Speed Break from Secret Rings in that it gives you a temporary burst in speed, while destroying enemies in your path, the catch is that you have to time when to use it because you're completely uncontrollable when you're in boost mode.

Level Design:

The level design obviously has to be suited to Sonic's abilities, all of them and not just one. The levels should be open enough so that we can move in more than two directions, and it should linear enough so that we don't get lost in the level. I say Adventure's levels are the best way to go, I would just minimize the amount of speed boosters and scripted events, I know the Genesis games had them too, but they were far in between the point of being barely noticeable.

God that was a long post.

The developers forcing things to be where they want them to be seems to be part of the problem with recent games...

I thought it was how restricting and how forced the paths were.

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Boosting also needs to be a power up, similar to the Speed Break from Secret Rings in that it gives you a temporary burst in speed, while destroying enemies in your path, the catch is that you have to time when to use it because you're completely uncontrollable when you're in boost mode.
Terrible. I don't want a game that plays itself.
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Terrible. I don't want a game that plays itself.

ITs a power up that lasts for 5 seconds, its basically the sprint shoes on crack. Really I'm not seeing a problem with it, is 5 seconds really too much for you? Because I can give you far worst examples.

Edited by Shadic93
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My idea with the camera is simply this: The camera is designed to always jump to the most optimal viewing position. The camera allready does this to an extent in certain areas in Sonic Adventure, such as during chase sequences.

Play through the Sonic adventure levels. You will see that there was certainly an angle that was best for veiwing each part of the level. I suppose a compromise would be having a "snap" feature. You would still have control of the camera, but by hitting a certain button you would snap the camera back to the position the developers thought was best. This button would either be by pressing both camera controls at once(assuming it was the bumpers/triggers on the controller) or pressing in the analog stick (assuming it was the right analong stick). I've only used wii and 360 controllers, so that's the best description I can give.

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ITs a power up that lasts for 5 seconds, its basically the sprint shoes on crack. Really I'm not seeing a problem with it, is 5 seconds really too much for you? Because I can give you far worst examples.
It doesn't matter if there's worse things, it's still bad design. There's no need for it, very little to be gained from it, and it harms the gameplay.
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It doesn't matter if there's worse things, it's still bad design. There's no need for it, very little to be gained from it, and it harms the gameplay.

Its a Power Up, its not something that can be spammed, or something that can be used all the time. I don't see how it harms the game if its limited.

I see no one complaining about the Sprint Shoes, which are basically the same thing minus the invincibility.

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Its a Power Up, its not something that can be spammed, or something that can be used all the time. I don't see how it harms the game if its limited.

I see no one complaining about the Sprint Shoes, which are basically the same thing minus the invincibility.

Control, man. Control. Speed shoes just raise your stats, you still have to play the game. Speed Break plays the game for you.
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Control, man. Control. Speed shoes just raise your stats, you still have to play the game. Speed Break plays the game for you.

With the sprint shoes you're going to be trying to go fast anyway, so what's the point of trying to control it? What I'm talking about is basically a cross between invincibility and the sprint shoes, and remember that this is 3D, where your control will probably be limited moving so fast to begin with. Like I said its not something that can be spammed like the boost, and you must time it to use it otherwise you will die.

I'm well aware control is important, but that really depends on how long the power up lasts, I don't want something like Shadow's Chaos Control from his game, and I don't want the level design to be so linear that I can spam it, because then its no better than the boost.

By making it situational, you find a use for it without it being useless, and its not overpowered because you can spam it, and unlike Speed Break, it last for a much shorter time.

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With the sprint shoes you're going to be trying to go fast anyway, so what's the point of trying to control it?
Why even bother making a video game, just have a movie of Sonic running really fast.

What I'm talking about is basically a cross between invincibility and the sprint shoes,
Super Sonic required you to play the game, too.

and remember that this is 3D, where your control will probably be limited moving so fast to begin with.
It shouldn't be.

Like I said its not something that can be spammed like the boost, and you must time it to use it otherwise you will die.
Having a powerup that will kill you unless you use it in the one place that has nothing to kill you solely to serve as a place to use that powerup is incredibly shitty design. Why even bother with the powerup? Just put an automated section there.
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This idea is a lot more difficult than people think, and it's all due to the dimension of depth.

Games like the Classics can pull this off more effectively because all you do is move left and right and then implement the complex coding into the level design. In 3D, it's way more difficult to pull off. You move left, right, up, down, and every other direction in between. The characters must be programmed for the player to maneuver all these directions at some point in time.

And even then, you have to think at how good the character will look when going through various terrains like loops, corkscrews, and complex platforming. Going through them at perfect momentum gameplay requires having some kind of invisible barrier because not having it may cause you to slip off. Not to mention, if you're not careful at handling with the camera, the method will look ugly visually, like watching the camera from behind the loop or traveling behind the character's head while you're looping at a slow to moderate pace. (Games like Generations and Unleashed get away with it a bit because you see the level blurring around you.)

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Why even bother making a video game, just have a movie of Sonic running really fast.

This has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

Super Sonic required you to play the game, too.

Well I'm not talking about Super Sonic.

It shouldn't be.

Well it is.

Having a powerup that will kill you unless you use it in the one place that has nothing to kill you solely to serve as a place to use that powerup is incredibly shitty design.

That's what a effin Power Up is. You don't see Yoshi or any of the power ups from Mario Galaxy being used all the time do you? They're completely situational and are used sparingly.

Why even bother with the powerup? Just put an automated section there.

Because people keep bitching about automation, at least with my idea it actually does something.

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This has nothing to do with what we're talking about.
It has everything to do with what we're talking about. If you don't care about control while moving fast, why bother with any gameplay? Sonic moves fast for the majority of the game.

Well I'm not talking about Super Sonic.
You said you wanted something that combines invincibility and speed shoes. Super Sonic is almost exactly that.

That's what a effin Power Up is. You don't see Yoshi or any of the power ups from Mario Galaxy being used all the time do you? They're completely situational and are used sparingly.
Galaxy's powerups don't kill you for not using them in exactly the right place. They also don't play the game for you. They aren't the same at all.

Because people keep bitching about automation, at least with my idea it actually does something.
All it does is give you a choice between automation or moving slowly through a harmless area. And also kill you if you try to use it anywhere else. So congrats, instead of fixing the automation you've added annoyance and death alongside it.
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