Jump to content
Awoo.

solution to the scripted/autopilot loops


GucciBurr

Recommended Posts

iirc the devs said they make them scripted/autopilot because if they didn't players would likely run through them

but the loops in the sega all star racing games aren't scripted and most of the time we don't have to worry about going through them because there are these bar thingies at the sides of the loops that prevent you from going through

is that the solution to the autopilot loops? to put in bars that would keep players from running through them? i think so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mean to shoot this down so mercilessly but... you can jump over things in Sonic games.

 

Besides that what the developers say isn't necessarily the truth.  The real answer is far more likely that "it's just easier to program that way".  If they don't plan to make a game using momentum and surface physics it would be needlessly complicated to program such features just to have loops - an element of Sonic that in most games has always existed for spectacle alone - work in a non-scripted matter.  All you really gain from manual loops is "the player can fuck them up if they specifically try to".  So unless you're making it some kind of challenge to overcome there's really no need to have them be traversed via momentum and physics rather than a scripted sequence - unless of course said programming is already in place for physics/momentum-based obstacles elsewhere in the game (as is the case in the classic 2D games).

  • Thumbs Up 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, JezMM said:

I don't mean to shoot this down so mercilessly but... you can jump over things in Sonic games.

 

Besides that what the developers say isn't necessarily the truth.  The real answer is far more likely that "it's just easier to program that way".  If they don't plan to make a game using momentum and surface physics it would be needlessly complicated to program such features just to have loops - an element of Sonic that in most games has always existed for spectacle alone - work in a non-scripted matter.  All you really gain from manual loops is "the player can fuck them up if they specifically try to".  So unless you're making it some kind of challenge to overcome there's really no need to have them be traversed via momentum and physics rather than a scripted sequence - unless of course said programming is already in place for physics/momentum-based obstacles elsewhere in the game (as is the case in the classic 2D games).

Loops in the original games added spectacle...because Sonic at his core is a platformer with spectacle.....but they were equally meant to be obstacles for teaching the player the momentum mechanics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Loops in the original games added spectacle...because Sonic at his core is a platformer with spectacle.....but they were equally meant to be obstacles for teaching the player the momentum mechanics.

Sure but, the obstacle was never anything more complex than "you can't go through this if you start from a standstill right next to it".  I don't recall a single loop in the classics where failure to go around it results in anything more than having to go back a bit and take a run-up.

Either way as said, if the game ISN'T about momentum mechanics, there's no need for them to not be automated anyway, so why bother programming them properly for the end result of "if you let go of the stick Sonic stops going around the loop", something a player wouldn't ever have any reason to do?

Of course, if it IS a game about momentum, or they do something more clever with the loops than just being for spectacle (for example, obstacles on them, loops that split into different directions or alternate paths reached by jumping off early at particular angles), then yes there is reason to spend time designing the necessary programming to make them work without scripting.  But if not, no point, might as well script them.  That's all I was saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JezMM said:

I don't mean to shoot this down so mercilessly but... you can jump over things in Sonic games.

why would you jump when running through a loop

1 hour ago, JezMM said:

 If they don't plan to make a game using momentum and surface physics it would be needlessly complicated to program such features just to have loops - an element of Sonic that in most games has always existed for spectacle alone - work in a non-scripted matter.  

well it would make the game more interactive and not "play itself", a common complaint in 3d sonic games

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, GucciBurr said:

why would you jump when running through a loop

well it would make the game more interactive and not "play itself", a common complaint in 3d sonic games

Faster to jump straight through it than go all the way around it - in the few Sonic games that do allow it most speedrunners do this in fact.

 

And as said, if the end result is visually identical to it not being scripted... why bother?  It'd only be worth doing if they plan to give some gameplay meaning to Sonic going around the loop, or if said physics programming is already in place for the rest of the game anyway.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Sonic Rs loops are a good compromise.

You need speed to make it, and it only locks your controls once you reach that apex. If you're not fast enough you just kinda stall and fall back. If you make that invisible barrier, then it does a cool angle and you move forward. Only problem is you can move around/through it, but I'm sure you can design something around it.

  • Thumbs Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well if it's just a thing speed runners do i don't see how it's an issue. speed runners find all sorts of way to get through the level as fast as possible

2 hours ago, JezMM said:

And as said, if the end result is visually identical to it not being scripted... why bother?

i don't see why the visuals matter. scripted loops require no input from the player; hard to enjoy playing a game when it's playing itself for you. when going through the loops require input from the player, the game is more interactive and thus deeper to at least some extent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, GucciBurr said:

well if it's just a thing speed runners do i don't see how it's an issue

i don't see why the visuals matter. scripted loops require no input from the player; hard to enjoy playing a game when it's playing itself for you. when going through the loops require input from the player, the game is more interactive and thus deeper to at least some extent.

It depends on your perspective really.  I'd like to see loops have more done with them in 2D and 3D, but as they are currently, I consider automated loops no more offensive than the fact that in combat-focused games, wacky bombastic finishing moves are essentially 3 second cut-scenes that play out without any input once activated.  Modern Sonic games are full of just nice little visual thrills that honestly wouldn't be any more exciting for me by making it so not holding the control stick forward makes Sonic fall off whatever thing he is doing.

I like Indigo's suggestion though of making it so the automation begins at a "point of no return" a littleways up the loop, rather than starting it the moment you enter the bottom of the loop or always enforcing a ton of boost pads all the way around.

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, GucciBurr said:

why would you jump when running through a loop

well it would make the game more interactive and not "play itself", a common complaint in 3d sonic games

This is really the only benefit of not having scripting in loops and as you can see it's something the player can only take advantage of in a 2-D perspective.

Removing the scripting for loops in a 3-D Sonic game would do little more than be a nuisance for the player if they happen to fall off the side, which Sonic Utopia proved would be a very common occurrence, so the faster solution is to just go around them or jump to the other side without clearing it thus eliminating the point of even having loops.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What frustrates me endlessly about Utopia's loops is the devs have gone on record saying that they considered putting some sort of barrier or splining through loops to prevent that from happening, but they didn't and they're really ardent about keeping it that way.

I understand the desire for a removal of automation but there absolutely has to be some sort of guidance for something like a loop; the answer to one problem isn't always the polar opposite scenario.

  • Thumbs Up 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GucciBurr said:

well if it's just a thing speed runners do i don't see how it's an issue. speed runners find all sorts of way to get through the level as fast as possible

It's not a speedrunner thing, the point is that a small wall isn't going to do much to stop players from going around or through the middle of a loop (which is safe and easy) rather than actually doing the loop.

Anyway I think if you're going to give the player full control in a loop, you've got to move away from the traditional loop design. I think something more corkscrew shaped would work better; it's more of a twist than a flip, which should be easier on the camera, and it separates the beginning and the end so the player can't just jump across the middle like in the traditional loop.

  • Thumbs Up 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another alternative would be to make the loops optional but give the player some reward for going through them. The easiest way to do this would be to give the player a style bonus for passing through loops and other set pieces (similar to the bonuses given in SA2 for doing things like grabbing the second handle on the missile in Metal Harbor or jumping through the hoops in Pyramid Cave). Another possibility would be to place an item at the top of the loop for the player to grab, be it rings, a power-up, a rare Chao animal, or a switch that opens an alternate route. It could be anything really, just so long as it gives players an incentive not to simply skip the loop.

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Indigo Rush said:

What frustrates me endlessly about Utopia's loops is the devs have gone on record saying that they considered putting some sort of barrier or splining through loops to prevent that from happening, but they didn't and they're really ardent about keeping it that way.

I understand the desire for a removal of automation but there absolutely has to be some sort of guidance for something like a loop; the answer to one problem isn't always the polar opposite scenario.

I don't think he's wrong for trying to pursue that though since another thing with loops in utopia is that you could also use them as pseudo ramps which I thought was kinda cool and if not having scripting leads to a satisfactory way of doing loops in 3D then i'm all for it (maybe having a loop where one part of it just takes you around and sticking to another part of it could send you to an alternate path cold be an interesting idea to play with).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If jumping through loops happens to be a problem, that would be a great time to make more than one type of loop for Metal Sonic to go through.

 

Loops before ramps where the momentum from exiting the loop can be used to launch off it.

Long loops where the exit of the loop is a high place where you need to go through the whole thing.

And whatever else type of loops there can be.

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Diogenes said:

It's not a speedrunner thing, the point is that a small wall isn't going to do much to stop players from going around or through the middle of a loop (which is safe and easy) rather than actually doing the loop.

if it's a non scripted loop with a barrier to prevent player from running off of it, the only way they're go through the loop without running through it is if they

A. jump while in loop
B. stop running while in loop

neither of these are things as likely or accidental as running through a loop. players would have to go out of their ways to do these things deliberately. i'm sure most people would just run in the loop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are loops truly just for spectacle, though?  Arguably, they give you a momentum boost off the end, and teach you about using momentum to deal with slopes.  I would also suggest, based off some of the Mania trailers, that perhaps they give an opportunity for the camera to catch up with an especially speedy player by essentially locking the player in place for a couple of seconds.  If loops are, in fact, functional, I would suggest that 3D loops should be altered in structure in order to perform an analogous role in 3D; obviously, the camera issue would be irrelevant, for instance, and a different form of structure might be better at teaching players about momentum in 3D.

...Personally, though, I'd just stick little fences around the edges.  And if people jump over them, so what?  I don't think everyone or even most people would cut that corner, they'd go for the more interesting option.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, FFWF said:

...Personally, though, I'd just stick little fences around the edges.  And if people jump over them, so what?  I don't think everyone or even most people would cut that corner, they'd go for the more interesting option.

yes, that's what i'm suggesting for non-automated loops. put bars/fences on the edges so people don't accidentally fall through them

if someone chooses to jump through the loop and risk death, that's their problem. common sense tells one that jumping in a loop would likely cause death, so if one jumped in a loop anyway, they probably did so deliberately

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, JezMM said:

Sure but, the obstacle was never anything more complex than "you can't go through this if you start from a standstill right next to it".  I don't recall a single loop in the classics where failure to go around it results in anything more than having to go back a bit and take a run-up.

Either way as said, if the game ISN'T about momentum mechanics, there's no need for them to not be automated anyway, so why bother programming them properly for the end result of "if you let go of the stick Sonic stops going around the loop", something a player wouldn't ever have any reason to do?

Of course, if it IS a game about momentum, or they do something more clever with the loops than just being for spectacle (for example, obstacles on them, loops that split into different directions or alternate paths reached by jumping off early at particular angles), then yes there is reason to spend time designing the necessary programming to make them work without scripting.  But if not, no point, might as well script them.  That's all I was saying.

They're included because they are an iconic staple of the series since the beginning. True the series mostly hasn't had momentum based gameplay in ~ 20 years. The problem is really that the game designers include them simply for nostalgic purposes. Its hard to blame them because they are one of the most recognizable features in videogaming.

But you're wrong in that its okay for them to be automated. One of the biggest long-standing problems with the Modern games, that most people have been complaining about since Sonic Adventure, is that the games to a large extent seem to just play themselves with the heavily automated sections. Its a huge problem. If the modern games can't do away with the excessive automation, then they probably need to be rethought from the ground up to allow for a more player interactive style. Its bad game design that needs to be fixed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Indigo Rush said:

What frustrates me endlessly about Utopia's loops is the devs have gone on record saying that they considered putting some sort of barrier or splining through loops to prevent that from happening, but they didn't and they're really ardent about keeping it that way.

I understand the desire for a removal of automation but there absolutely has to be some sort of guidance for something like a loop; the answer to one problem isn't always the polar opposite scenario.

Yeah this is my problem with their design philosophy as well. I've actually chatted with Mr. Lange about it too. Frankly I just think its a bad design choice.

What you get in 'sacrificing' an extra axis of movement in 3D loops, you make up for by granting the player some control and minimizing automation. I'd actually thought of a way to do a 3D loop that isn't a spline but encourages the player to stay on the loop; its something akin to a narrow halfpipe nested inside a loop surface. I have no game programming experience otherwise I'd be really curious about trying it myself.

The other thing though too is that the concept of a loop in 3D should itself probably be altered to better accommodate a 3D space.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

But you're wrong in that its okay for them to be automated. One of the biggest long-standing problems with the Modern games, that most people have been complaining about since Sonic Adventure, is that the games to a large extent seem to just play themselves with the heavily automated sections. Its a huge problem. If the modern games can't do away with the excessive automation, then they probably need to be rethought from the ground up to allow for a more player interactive style. Its bad game design that needs to be fixed.

I've already explained several times why I feel it'd be a waste of effort to remove automation if they're going to just be continued to be used as visual flair and nothing more, so all I have left to say is that the loops being automated is like, the least offensive part of automation in Sonic games.  People hate boosters and scripted sequences throwing you around or sections that involve nothing other than holding up or completing unchallenging homing attack chains over and over again far, far more.

Like the fact that loops, a challenge that is literally overcome by holding forward, can't be failed (that's all the automation comes down to) is an incredibly tiny problem in regards to what people are talking about when they cry foul of automation in Sonic games.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, JezMM said:

I've already explained several times why I feel it'd be a waste of effort to remove automation if they're going to just be continued to be used as visual flair and nothing more, so all I have left to say is that the loops being automated is like, the least offensive part of automation in Sonic games.  People hate boosters and scripted sequences throwing you around or sections that involve nothing other than holding up or completing unchallenging homing attack chains over and over again far, far more.

Like the fact that loops, a challenge that is literally overcome by holding forward, can't be failed (that's all the automation comes down to) is an incredibly tiny problem in regards to what people are talking about when they cry foul of automation in Sonic games.

Actually I feel like I misread your post a bit. I don't actually disagree with what you said in principle. We're in agreement I think on the fact that there are other large issues with automation that extend beyond loops. Loops in 3D Sonic games are pretty symbolic for the fundamental problems that exist and need to be rethought carefully. Carry on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, JezMM said:

People hate boosters and scripted sequences throwing you around or sections that involve nothing other than holding up or completing unchallenging homing attack chains over and over again far, far more.

the bolded are't automated sections though. automated sections are when the game plays itself; as in, you can literally put the controller the down and still proceed in the level

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, GucciBurr said:

the bolded are't automated sections though. automated sections are when the game plays itself; as in, you can literally put the controller the down and still proceed in the level

Yeah but they might as well be though, there are very few sections in modern sonic games where the enemies actually challenge you in a homing attack chain which is why they feel so dull in comparison to other parts of a level since it just boils down to mashing the homing attack button a couple of times before you reach the other side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.