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Compromise


Blacklightning

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I think that, no matter the era, the core is primarily about the mechanics of character movement through the stage, and that should be at the top of the list when it comes to making a more coherent identity for the franchise, with Lost World having the right idea in mind but poor execution (as does a lot of things Sonic does these days). Character movement in gaming generally used to be a matter of jumping up and over blocky terrain, while Sonic was the predominant franchise that made extensive use of slopes, curves, and loops to get to different parts of a map. That seems to have faded for Sonic after the Adventure games and has gone to the usual blocky level design that doesn't make much use of inclines and curves, and 3D kinda makes that difficult to get right even in SA1 that seemed to have the right idea. So to that, I'd suggest a complete overhaul to one that's more along the lines of what Lost World set out as far as movement goes and make greater use of Parkour in a 3D environment - it says a lot that first person shooters like Titanfall are making use of this to redefine its genre into something fluid akin to what Sonic did for platformers, and I think there's something to be learned from that. The downside here is that it won't exactly bring full use of Classic pinball and rolling physics into a 3D environment given that some staples like the spindash might have to be dropped (or made into something more accomodating than having you stop and rev up your speed), but I do think it would keep the general idea of a more fluid style of play that the 2D Sonic titles were framed around to the extent it would be a mechanical successor to the previous gameplay.

It could also allow room for other styles of play that are each unique to one another instead of trying to make entirely different sub-genres within a game like the Adventure games fell victim to, and even allow greater flexibility with the boost mechanic. In fact, for all it's overpoweredness, the Boost formula had a major flaw in that it was too rigid in movement - you could run fast, drift, or side-step left or right, but say you come across a gap in a hallway that is too wide to jump across and miss the spring that would propel you across...you're screwed. Parkour would give more options of getting over obstacles by allowing you to run on the wall to the other side of the chasm if you miss the spring, or even allow you to run up to higher terrain entirely.

All in all, while it would be a farcry from the actual style of the Classic gameplay - we probably won't be rolling around as much depending on how it's executed - it would modernize their idea more and could lessen the use of temporary game-wide gimmicks like the Wisp and return things to stage gimmicks. And any new ideas that complement it can be co-opted into future games instead of dropped in the next title, much like how the spindash was an additional staple after Sonic 2, Tails flight and Knuckles's gliding and climbing became staples after S3&K, the Homing attack became staple after SA1, Grinding became staple after SA2, and etc.

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What about replay value? You mentioned alternative paths which is good for exploring different parts of the level during each run. Sonic 3&K did it best with more playable characters and being able to replay any level you want or just the entire game with the Super Sonic powers.

I also liked the emblems they had in the later titles as they also helped with replay value. I personally enjoyed the different objectives you'd be given on each level depending on which emblem you chose in SA2. They also increased the incentive to earn everything by unlocking something when it's all be completed, whether it be a secret level or alternate skin. The newer titles don't seem to be doing this anymore though...

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5 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

*parkour intensifies*

I'm tired so maybe I'm reading this wrong, but are you advocating using parkour mechanics to exploit the current blocky level design instead of... just not making the level design blocky? Not that I'm not glad Lost World demonstrated on some level that flat surfaces can be as practical for curved ones in fluid movement, but I still ultimately feel like there should be plenty of room for both - much like Heroes of all games made use of the Triangle Jump in a game with plenty of steep hills, though obviously we'd all prefer a mechanic much less rigid and flimsy in place of the former.

3 hours ago, DanimeJ86 said:

What about replay value?

I do agree with the way extra characters added to the replay value of a game, yes, and on a personal level I kinda preferred the way S3&K did it on a narrative level over the Adventures. The former treated your player character as the main hero in the scope of their campaign, while the latter tries to hand out as many unique roles as possible and inevitably giving a short straw to some of them in the process. But I digress. It's one way of making extra ways to play levels, but you can do that with the level design itself, too - the simple act of designing multiple deliberate routes through the stage works wonders even irregardless of whether you need certain characters to access some of them, for example. It also helps to design setpieces that you have complete control over rather than yet another one of those Unleashed-esque bottlenecks that takes all control away from you for the sake of spectacle, too - this plays into the idea that Sonic stages should essentially be playgrounds, and that interactions should be organic wherever possible. Even the cylinders in Flying Battery affect you differently depending on where you are when you exit one.

On the subject of collectibles, I've become a little wary of them lately because many of them - Red Rings especially - are placed in such ways that they are essentially obstacles to flow, that you really have to go out of your way to find them in ways that don't really feel like were built with the game's mechanics in mind. Special Stages were kinda neat, but on some level I feel like they'd approach a similar kind of problem in 3D. So I kinda wanna take some influence from Unleashed on this one. Now don't get me wrong, I still agree it's fucking obnoxious that medals were used as tokens for stage progression, but the placement of many of them is a kind of genius I feel many people underrate - in many cases off the beaten path, but in many cases simply an innate reward for finding extra routes through the level. It's that kind of thing I feel Sega should be doing with Red Rings - not usually on the main path, but come naturally simply by finding extra ways around a level.

Emblems I don't really have a big opinion on, as long as they unlock more of what you played to earn them. Making Chao a requirement of earning some of them in SA2 was kind of obnoxious, to be frank. =V

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54 minutes ago, Blacklightning said:

I'm tired so maybe I'm reading this wrong, but are you advocating using parkour mechanics to exploit the current blocky level design instead of... just not making the level design blocky? Not that I'm not glad Lost World demonstrated on some level that flat surfaces can be as practical for curved ones in fluid movement, but I still ultimately feel like there should be plenty of room for both - much like Heroes of all games made use of the Triangle Jump in a game with plenty of steep hills, though obviously we'd all prefer a mechanic much less rigid and flimsy in place of the former.

Not entirely.

I'm more advocating that, if push comes to shove, the parkour mechanics become a successor as the new pinball mechanic for 3D games which are more blockier than that of the Classics. It's kinda like how Mario reworked himself differently when he made the jump from 2D to 3D in Mario 64 - although his transition was of course much smoother. It's not that we can't use curved surfaces and inclines at all, we most certainly should have that regardless. But at the same time, those things aren't something that we can just shift into an additional dimension and have them work as close to the Classics as we've wanted them to gun for without problems one wouldn't expect, like balancing the level design being too small and limiting to the point it might break the level design - i once recall one 3D test of Sonic where the classic physics allowed them to use slopes to spindash all the way to the other end of the stage - or that the movement itself feels limiting, although that last one is more of an assumption on my part.

Now if you can find a way to make them both work well and seamlessly together than we've been getting, then by all means go for it - no need to sacrifice something if we can avoid it. Otherwise, if we're going with level design that's far more angled than curved due to differences given the extra axis, then perhaps we need to learn and adapt to something more accomodating for it.

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4 minutes ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Not that we can't use curved surfaces and inclines at all, but that those things aren't something that we can shift into an additional dimension and have them work as close to the Classics as we've wanted them to gun for.

Why, though? What's the obstacle we're facing here?

There are bound to be some problems, of course, because practically no formula translates 100% intact between 2D and 3D, but why are we now believing it's not viable?

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10 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Why, though? What's the obstacle we're facing here?

There are bound to be some problems, of course, because practically no formula translates 100% intact between 2D and 3D, but why are we now believing it's not viable?

Another axis. That's the obstacle.

And I never said it wasn't viable - that was the same exact question BL asked me that I was clarifying. I'm saying that given those differences, in an attempt to adapt to them, some things from the classics may (not that they should or will) have to be dropped to accommodate this - basically elaborating how 2D doesn't translate 100% into 3D.

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Just now, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Another axis. That's the problem.

That's not really an answer.

And okay, fine, I'll phrase it another way: what are we worrying about not being able to translate that's serious enough to advocate for this blockier, more parkour-focused alternative?

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4 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

That's not really an answer.

That is an answer and precisely my point.

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And okay, fine, I'll phrase it another way: what are we worrying about not being able to translate that's serious enough to advocate for this blockier, more parkour-focused alternative?

Whatever turns out to be a bust or obsolete in the shift to 2D. Like the spindash verses the boost as far as picking up speed.

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3 minutes ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

That is an answer and precisely my point.

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Can you be more specific? Like, actual, concrete concerns and not just vague worries that may or may not be real? Something that can actually be discussed?

3 minutes ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Whatever turns out to be a bust or obsolete in the shift to 2D. Like the spindash verses the boost as far as picking up speed.

The boost does not "obsolete" the spindash from a design perspective, the two moves are geared for two different kinds of gameplay. And the conflict between them has nothing to do with 2D vs 3D anyway.

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17 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

mWshO5W.png

Can you be more specific? Like, actual, concrete concerns and not just vague worries that may or may not be real? Something that can actually be discussed?

Or how about you read what I'm saying as an open-ended concern and go from the specifics examples I gave you in my first post? 

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The boost does not "obsolete" the spindash from a design perspective, the two moves are geared for two different kinds of gameplay. And the conflict between them has nothing to do with 2D vs 3D anyway.

There's a pretty big conflict regarding their uses in attaining speed as you move around a level - one puts you at a complete stop, the other can be used while in motion. And if we're going to compromise different things from different gameplay into one coherent identity, these two mechanics have differences that might lead to one being favored over the other depending on how the game is designed.

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1 hour ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

There's a pretty big conflict regarding their uses in attaining speed as you move around a level - one puts you at a complete stop, the other can be used while in motion. And if we're going to compromise different things from different gameplay into one coherent identity, these two mechanics have differences that might lead to one being favored over the other depending on how the game is designed.

Well, as BlackLightning already reiterated in the OP, the boost, at it's very concept is heavily restricts the way the game can be designed, since everything has to be built around it.

But more than anything my biggest beef with a boost mechanic in general, and this is probably just me, but it gives such a rush of power that it hurts the rest of the games flow. It gives such an incredible high that whenever it's interrupted it's such a dissatisfying jolt to my psyche. It makes me want to rush through the stages, and when I can do that it feels good, at the cost of making slower sections feel like such a slog.

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1 hour ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

There's a pretty big conflict regarding their uses in attaining speed as you move around a level - one puts you at a complete stop, the other can be used while in motion. And if we're going to compromise different things from different gameplay into one coherent identity, these two mechanics have differences that might lead to one being favored over the other depending on how the game is designed.

I'm inclined to agree. The spindash and boost have similar functions but different mechanics. So I don't think letting Sonic use both of them in one moveset is a good idea. 

As a compromise, I think we should take some cues from Gens and let the players augment Sonic's abilities. For example, you could start off with the standard spindash, where you have to charge it first, but if you prefer boost-style movement, you could unlock and optionally add the boost to it, making the spindash instantaneous and not require any changes to Sonic's momentum. Adding the boost could have some downsides though, like Sonic not spindashing as fast or for as long as he would if he was able to charge the dash first. And of course, there would be enemies that could disrupt both the spindash and the boost with stuff like shields, spikes, and electricity.

Another thing I liked about the boost games is how the homing attack was handled. Its less disruptive to Sonic's momentum as he gets a burst of speed from each enemy he hits and a subtle boost when he hits the ground after a successful homing attack chain. To add some spectacle, players could optionally trigger tricks on each attack, which would require more precise timing to execute properly but would give players more points when executed successfully (bringing them closer to a higher rank) and perhaps more of a speed boost when they hit the ground.

11 hours ago, Blacklightning said:

BOOM

In brief: No.

In depth: NO.

It seems like you didn't put a lot of thought into this, which makes even including Boom rather pointless. I guess to be fair to you, RoL doesn't contain much that SA1/SA2/Heroes haven't done better-- and the same goes for SC and F&I in the relation to the Classic titles and Dimps old Sonic stuff. But I do think Boom has some good ideas. Like introducing new anthro characters-- it seems that after Unleashed, Sonic Team has stuck largely to making new Sonic characters either aliens or humans. Some don't mind or even prefer humans and aliens, but others like myself who prefer the anthros find it a bit annoying that guys like Sonic, Tails, etc. aren't more common in Sonic games. But Boom has a bunch of great new anthros, like Perci and Sticks. Sure there's some duds from Boom that I don't like, but the same could be said for humans and aliens in Sonic. A good compromise would be to include a mix of all three types.

I think the fire and ice abilities have the potential to aid the exploration aspects too by allowing players to unlock hidden pathways, but I'm not sure how I'd justify mainline Sonic suddenly having them or similar abilities.

-----

An idea that one of my friends had to compromise between people who want Sonic-only gameplay and people who want alternate playable characters is that alternate playable characters can be included in the form of free DLC. Players that don't like Silver, for example, won't have to play as him to complete the game, but players that like him have the option to go for it and download him. The same could go for anybody else, and thanks to the nature of DLCs, the characters could continue to be developed after the game is released, giving Sonic Team extra time to make sure every character plays great before they become available.

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1 hour ago, Rusty Spy said:

Well, as BlackLightning already reiterated in the OP, the boost, at it's very concept is heavily restricts the way the game can be designed, since everything has to be built around it.

But more than anything my biggest beef with a boost mechanic in general, and this is probably just me, but it gives such a rush of power that it hurts the rest of the games flow. It gives such an incredible high that whenever it's interrupted it's such a dissatisfying jolt to my psyche. It makes me want to rush through the stages, and when I can do that it feels good, at the cost of making slower sections feel like such a slog.

But that's where I feel Parkour mechanics could broaden the boost and make it more flexible when it comes to getting around things. Like a huge gap I made an example of earlier, as Sonic couldn't run along anything at a 90 degree angle unless it was scripted, limiting him to wall kicks and triangle jumps. Now the boost can allow him to just fly across, but why not combine that with Parkour and allow Sonic to boost at and along the wall to get to the other side instead of a slower mechanic - now Sonic isn't limited to using slopes and springs to carry him forward.

As for the intense speed, that I think is a different matter, and I actually have the same beef in wanting to just plow through the stage at the push of a button. Now that isn't much incentive to play around and experiment at your own leisure like we could in the Classics, and I feel we're better off earning our speed than having the ability to activate it at will and designing levels that are more like playgrounds to blast through instead of racetracks. That and, of course, it's OP as fuck when dealing with enemies.

1 hour ago, Mad Convoy said:

I'm inclined to agree. The spindash and boost have similar functions but different mechanics. So I don't think letting Sonic use both of them in one moveset is a good idea. 

As a compromise, I think we should take some cues from Gens and let the players augment Sonic's abilities. For example, you could start off with the standard spindash, where you have to charge it first, but if you prefer boost-style movement, you could unlock and optionally add the boost to it, making the spindash instantaneous and not require any changes to Sonic's momentum. Adding the boost could have some downsides though, like Sonic not spindashing as fast or for as long as he would if he was able to charge the dash first. And of course, there would be enemies that could disrupt both the spindash and the boost with stuff like shields, spikes, and electricity.

Another thing I liked about the boost games is how the homing attack was handled. Its less disruptive to Sonic's momentum as he gets a burst of speed from each enemy he hits and a subtle boost when he hits the ground after a successful homing attack chain. To add some spectacle, players could optionally trigger tricks on each attack, which would require more precise timing to execute properly but would give players more points when executed successfully (bringing them closer to a higher rank) and perhaps more of a speed boost when they hit the ground.

Well, I don't know. I'm not entirely sold onto the unlocking and optionally adding the boost. And despite what I've been saying previously, I admit that I'm more in favor of earning speed like that of the 2D titles, but I do see where you're coming from with that idea of unlocking the boost for those who want it.

I suppose that's just a question of whether one prefers staying in motion or is perfectly okay with stopping to charge before blasting off and how the world is made to accomodate it, but that seems to favor the boost because if the setting encourages one to keep moving why would they want to stop and rev up a spin-dash when the boost can do it without stopping?

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It seems like you didn't put a lot of thought into this, which makes even including Boom rather pointless. I guess to be fair to you, RoL doesn't contain much that SA1/SA2/Heroes haven't done better-- and the same goes for SC and F&I in the relation to the Classic titles and Dimps old Sonic stuff. But I do think Boom has some good ideas. Like introducing new anthro characters-- it seems that after Unleashed, Sonic Team has stuck largely to making new Sonic characters either aliens or humans. Some don't mind or even prefer humans and aliens, but others like myself who prefer the anthros find it a bit annoying that guys like Sonic, Tails, etc. aren't more common in Sonic games. But Boom has a bunch of great new anthros, like Perci and Sticks. Sure there's some duds from Boom that I don't like, but the same could be said for humans and aliens in Sonic. A good compromise would be to include a mix of all three types.

I give zero fucks about Sticks right now, but she's more than welcome to jump into the main series if they choose to include her. I think it might work better given she seems more like a conspiracy loon, and she might foil the villains in ways that weren't expected (note that I haven't watched much of Boom, so I don't entirely know if that's already the case with her :P).

But yeah, more anthos with the humans plz!

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1 hour ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Well, I don't know. I'm not entirely sold onto the unlocking and optionally adding the boost. And despite what I've been saying previously, I admit that I'm more in favor of earning speed like that of the 2D titles, but I do see where you're coming from with that idea of unlocking the boost for those who want it.

I suppose that's just a question of whether one prefers staying in motion or is perfectly okay with stopping to charge before blasting off and how the world is made to accomodate it, but that seems to favor the boost because if the setting encourages one to keep moving why would they want to stop and rev up a spin-dash when the boost can do it without stopping?

Well, as I'd mentioned, there would be some downsides to using the boost. The initial idea I came up with was giving the boost-enhanced spindash less speed and less longevity than a normal spindash, but it could also confer less resistance to enemies or destroy platforms quicker (requiring quicker reflexes to get past segments than if you didn't use it or used a normal spindash). 

It'd be a matter of if players prefer a larger payoff or a quicker payoff. I think that'd be important for players to be able to choose as that does affect the overall feel of a game-- e.g. whether it feels more like a Classic/Adventure type of game or a Boost type of game.

1 hour ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

I give zero fucks about Sticks right now, but she's more than welcome to jump into the main series if they choose to include her. I think it might work better given she seems more like a conspiracy loon, and she might foil the villains in ways that weren't expected (note that I haven't watched much of Boom, so I don't entirely know if that's already the case with her :P).

But yeah, more anthos with the humans plz!

Well, in the show anyway, she's a bit more complicated. She's sheltered herself away from society for most of her life, but she's recently befriended Amy and to some extent Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails. So naturally, she wants to do stuff with them. But doing stuff requires her to get out into society, and she's terrified of unfamiliar settings and distrustful of people outside of her friend group. The conflict between her desire to spend time with her new friends and her desire to be safe and feel comfortable in her surroundings drives a lot of her actions. I think that could easily be integrated into the mainline games, with a few tweaks of course.

To clarify, I wasn't saying that we necessarily have to bring Boom characters into the main Sonic continuity, just that Boom has a good idea going with introducing new anthros.

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Okay, first of all.

I'm honestly not too sure why we're considering physics and slopes and stuff like that to be impractical in 3D all of a sudden when fangames have been hammering away at it for years. Like I said, it doesn't even have to be a mirror perfect recreation of Genesis mechanics, just fluid enough to be evocative of them and be more fun for it. Just wanted to get that out of the way right off the bat.

4 hours ago, Conquering Storm's Servant said:

Well, I don't know. I'm not entirely sold onto the unlocking and optionally adding the boost. And despite what I've been saying previously, I admit that I'm more in favor of earning speed like that of the 2D titles, but I do see where you're coming from with that idea of unlocking the boost for those who want it.

Just give the Unleashed-era Boost to Super Sonic. Not like he has to worry about being balanced. =V

6 hours ago, Mad Convoy said:

It seems like you didn't put a lot of thought into this, which makes even including Boom rather pointless.

Oh I know. Boom is one of the few gameplay splits I haven't played and don't plan on playing anytime soon, and what I gather on a glance isn't much I wouldn't credit previous games for. Not to mention, well, most people hate it anyway, even moreso than Lost World ever managed. So I figured I'd take the opportunity to play it off with a gag instead. I'm not sorry. >w<

That being said, yes, I do think it's kind of annoying that the games have created this divide between the furry folk and humans where practically all of the former have to be playable characters and all of the latter have to be NPCs. Ideally you'd want it to be a mixture of some sort, but I think the bigger problem I have with it is that it simultaneously and unintentionally portrays the idea that Sonic and co are practically the only ones of their kind whilst also somehow expecting you to believe the populace treats their presence like it's no big deal.

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I mean... that just doesn't work both ways, you know? Just do one or the other and roll with it.

6 hours ago, Mad Convoy said:

An idea that one of my friends had to compromise between people who want Sonic-only gameplay and people who want alternate playable characters is that alternate playable characters can be included in the form of free DLC.

Or they could just... only play Sonic? =\

I feel like the biggest problem with this argument is that it's more a result of the game's progression than the presence of alternate characters themselves. Pretty much all of the Adventure style games made you play every story for completionist's sake in some fashion. SA2 gave you three characters per storyline and no control over which one you get to play. 06 in particular had the sheer fucking nerve to forcibly switch you to different characters mid-level without warning, and often without reason. And that's before you get into the fact that the only reason most people hated playing anyone other than Sonic in the first place was because almost none of them actually played like a Sonic game - that's like breaking up sessions of Fallout to play a Mario Party analogue before you're able to proceed.

Again, this is why I lean closer to the S3&K interpretation - because not only do they share both enough consistency to pick up and play and dissonant enough to make entirely different routes out of them, they are all absolutely the hero of their own given story, and their stories absolutely have closure at the end without having to unlock some Last Story bullshit. So if for some reason somebody still wanted to be a prude and play one character the whole time, there's nothing really stopping them? I mean, I haven't personally heard someone say "goddamnit do I have to play as Tails now", but I guess I could be wrong.

That's not to say I'm opposed to supporting the game post-launch with extra characters, though. By all means, a free mode where you can do all sorts of shit independantly from the game's actual storyline would be neat. I'd just rather they be there from the get-go whenever possible, because it's... honestly a whole lot less complicated than people make it sound.

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I just want to say this topic is a treasure and was something I tried to get across when I made a similar thread, but I simply didn't go into much detail (cuz I'm lazy), so kudos to you Blacklightning.

On the subject of characters, maybe I'm just an entitled shit at this point, but I don't feel like I should have to download something- even if free- that came standard with Sonic 2 some 24 years ago, especially since this doesn't inherently solve the supposed problem of alternate characters "taking away" from development of the main game anyway. It's a solution that seems alienating. Just make the cast optional characters you have to manually select before even starting a campaign.

Granted, I don't think Sonic 06 was too far off the mark (don't kill me). For one, everyone in it was a strictly platforming character. They were all terrible to control but platformers nonetheless, and there was some blatant playing around with variance in movement and ability without breaking out of the "platformer" box that I think is a nice middle ground; it's not as limited or reskin-y as a S3&K/Black Knight set would be, but it's not outright crossing over into genre roulette territory.

Really, considering we're asking for a play style that lends itself to a wide depth of movement possibilities, I don't see why we can't shake things up a bit by reappropriating the physics into different maneuvers versus putting different character models on the invisible box, something I feel which undermines the characters' individuality. You don't have to run as fast as Sonic to fit in, you just have to be speedy enough and beholden to the base physics engine. Otherwise, character play style should be fair game to be molded into different forms within reason. Like, imagine Knuckles falling from a decent height, maintaining his velocity through the Earth by the player activating a drilling dig, and then using that speed to burst through an otherwise-impenetrable wall, or ramping back up through the ground to perform a super high jump, from which he can either fall down and dig again for even more height and speed or start a glide from mid-air. It's better than the terrible punching he was always riddled with.

On top of this, I also feel it makes sense for other characters to be in certain stages and help you out with different tasks, and it would be an easy fix from the way Sonic 06 did it: Just don't wrestle control away from the player. Make it prompt to switch into another character. You can either say yes to Knuckles digging out a way down into some new secret path he found for you- leading to a whole new part of any given stage- or you can fly past him like the inconsiderate asshole you are and continue on the level uninterrupted as Sonic.

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One thing other games with a wide playable roaster, like, say a fighting game, likes to play with i trying to predict what types of characters will get picked by certain types of players. Characters like say Mario and Cloud in Smash, for example, are designed to be pick up and play with characters like Ryu being on the other end of the perspective to the point where he has twice as many moves as most other characters in the game that require quite a bit of time to get a handle on.

I think, if they were to go back to doing alternate playable characters, they should take the same approach. Sonic should have the bare minimum amount of moves needed to complete a level since children and inexperienced players are likely to pick him, with other, optional playable characters gradually having more complex movement options  and stuff for more experienced fans. Instead of dumping a bunch of moves on Sonic, keep his kit relatively simple and give, say, Shadow a wall run he can use, or give Blaze some kind of bst. Design the levels as playgrounds where every character's abilities have potential, but it's possible to get through with just Sonic.

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That's definitely an interesting take, though I feel like Sonic should still have his own special ability that other characters wouldn't have, besides being faster, anyway. The thing is, most of the time they haven't been terribly interesting. It's either a somersault or a slide, and there isn't lots of utility there. Unless we're counting the homing attack as a Sonic-only move, in which case... whelp.

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12 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

That's definitely an interesting take, though I feel like Sonic should still have his own special ability that other characters wouldn't have, besides being faster, anyway. The thing is, most of the time they haven't been terribly interesting. It's either a somersault or a slide, and there isn't lots of utility there. Unless we're counting the homing attack as a Sonic-only move, in which case... whelp.

I think him being the fastest could go a long way in the game if it's designed well. That means he builds the most momentumt, so he can take advantage of the level design like others can't.

Other than that, I think if he didn't have much to himself that's not really a bad thing. It seems "lame" but I think the game needs a character like that.

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4 minutes ago, Wraith said:

I think him being the fastest could go a long way in the game if it's designed well. That means he builds the most momentumt, so he can take advantage of the level design like others can't.

Other than that, I think if he didn't have much to himself that's not really a bad thing. It seems "lame" but I think the game needs a character like that.

I'm with this approach sonic can just be kind of vanilla... it also makes sense. Like with out power ups he's a guy who goes fast and uses moves that help him go fast. Or take advantage of said fact, I think it would be interesting for characters to have way more things that make them different. Like shadow stopping time or teleporting or blaze running through fire, or tails flying or knuckles digging.

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

One thing other games with a wide playable roaster, like, say a fighting game, likes to play with i trying to predict what types of characters will get picked by certain types of players. Characters like say Mario and Cloud in Smash, for example, are designed to be pick up and play with characters like Ryu being on the other end of the perspective to the point where he has twice as many moves as most other characters in the game that require quite a bit of time to get a handle on.

I think, if they were to go back to doing alternate playable characters, they should take the same approach. Sonic should have the bare minimum amount of moves needed to complete a level since children and inexperienced players are likely to pick him, with other, optional playable characters gradually having more complex movement options  and stuff for more experienced fans. Instead of dumping a bunch of moves on Sonic, keep his kit relatively simple and give, say, Shadow a wall run he can use, or give Blaze some kind of bst. Design the levels as playgrounds where every character's abilities have potential, but it's possible to get through with just Sonic.

I like the idea, nothing wrong with Sonic being the base of gameplay, make him faster than everyone else and maybe give him ring dash as a unique move so it doesn't just feel like he's a default and the other characters are better. He should be simple to play but still have some complexity. Much like you can get through a fighting game by just hitting the punch and kick buttons but you can also challenge yourself with the use of cancels and ridiculous combos. 

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I'd just like to chime in quickly and say that my personal interpretation of Sonic is more a character that excels on the ground above all else - so while he can't make crazy shortcuts like Tails and Knux can, he wrecks the shit out of everything that isn't. This is another reason why I advocate keeping some interpretation of the boost on him and him alone even with other characters around - because even if you can't manage rolling speeds with it, it still means that sudden stops and uphill inclines among things are much less of a barrier to him when he can simply generate a minimum level of speed completely on command. I could continue talking about the different interactions characters have with the environment, but honestly I have so much to say about that that I'm going to have to save that for a separate thread someday too.

On another note, this thread got a lot more support than I ever expected, and it's really uplifted my mood as of late, so the least I can do is say thanks guys, you're all fucking awesome.

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I think Sonic having a limited boost could be good. Maybe he can take paths that are physically impossible without the amount of speed he can build up anyways. Like, maybe running up a sloped wall and then jumping off it to get to a platform or upper level. Unlike other characters Sonic shouldn't exactly have a maximum speed, he should build momentum like a living pinball, and get to ridiculous speeds that allow him to do some amazing things in levels if you so choose. Boost  could return as a special stage level for Sonic or even an in level area that requires boost to get through it. For the sake of nerfing maybe boost is a button that gets Sonic to a ridiculous speeds in an instant that you must maintain on your own rather than having a continuous unstoppable force, a tap rather than a hold, you would still be vulnerable to damage, boost  could be depleted on one tap and make it more difficult to build. Separate the boost gauge into multiple gauges that have one time use before needing to be refilled, I believe the Wii version of Unleashed did something like that? 

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57 minutes ago, Blacklightning said:

I'd just like to chime in quickly and say that my personal interpretation of Sonic is more a character that excels on the ground above all else - so while he can't make crazy shortcuts like Tails and Knux can, he wrecks the shit out of everything that isn't. This is another reason why I advocate keeping some interpretation of the boost on him and him alone even with other characters around - because even if you can't manage rolling speeds with it, it still means that sudden stops and uphill inclines among things are much less of a barrier to him when he can simply generate a minimum level of speed completely on command. I could continue talking about the different interactions characters have with the environment, but honestly I have so much to say about that that I'm going to have to save that for a separate thread someday too.

I had a different take that while Sonic can't fly or glide like Tails and Knuckles, he can still make shortcuts with high jumps, parkour, and the use of the terrain propelling him into the air and over obstacles. That last one can work well with the boost and parkour on inclines and walls for him to gain altitude, so he can still reach those same places but through different maneuvers. Kinda like how Tails and Knuckles can reach high terrain, but Tails does so with flight and Knuckles does so through climbing.

I'd like to think of every character excels with different attributes that allow them to work around terrain rather than the type of terrain itself they're on. For instance, water can be a terrain to get around, and most characters can swim - Sonic is the only character who can't swim, but he can still get across by hydroplaning on the surface or infinite jumping like he did in Colors.

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