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3D Sonic After Forces - N-Sane Stage Design


Chris Knopps

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Here's a question for folks to think about. How would you feel if the next Sonic title plays just like Sonic Adventure and/or Sonic Adventure 2, and has the same layout as the Crash series in the recent N-Sane Trilogy re-release?

A ton of 3D stages that are still corridors perhaps, but still offers a full-on 3D title with the boost removed.

Would you be up for a 3D game that featured such a direction for the stages? It would be like the boost games I suppose in terms of corridor designs, but you could have plenty of passages that split in different directions and the game could feature many more stages since the boost is gone thus they wouldn't have to be so long.

As an example...

Think of Sonic Mania, just with the camera behind Sonic instead.

How would you feel having a Sonic game just like this, with better camera, and not as close to the character of course?

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If anything this would make more sense for a boost game compared to something that plays like SA1.

Half the reason I think re-imagining the boost games as a side series would be a good idea is that I think people would be more accepting of the 2D sections if they were in something that isn't supposed to be a main 3D installment. It'd still be a crutch in making stages in this style, but it's an understandable one. The hypothetical 3D games would be designed in such a way that they wouldn't need to rely on it.

And before you start going on about "budget," I highly doubt that's the reason for the 2D sections so much as time constraints (they've straight up admitted that it takes a lot of time to make just one boost level) and possibly personal design preferences (as many have noted, Forces shares a director with Colour, he and others working on this game might lean towards 2D). It's the same idea with animation and people start attributing bad animation to "low budget," but in reality the bigger issues are effort, skill, and (again) time restraints.

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Id like the idea of a boost side series as well. Just make a full on boost game with a lot of content but put more emphasis on the bosses so they don't have to waste a lot of time on making long hallway levels. Put a few of them here and there and a miniboss at the end of each stage. Give them multi-colored health bars to make them longer and harder to beat and make them change tactics so you have to tackle a different way to defeat them.

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that doesn't look good at all, sorry.

you can't make a sonic game play like a crash game. that wouldn't really fit imho..i find it really hard to imagine sonic in 3d. the best we have got in terms of fully 3d were the first two adventure games, but those feel terribly outdated by now.

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As a fan of the boost games, I would hate this.  A lot of people suggest that a game like this would make sense as a spin-off or whatever but despite everything, these LCD-esque corridor segments are only fun in very short bursts.

I want to see Sky Sanctuary and Seaside Hill be used as the basis for boost games of the future, expansion and freedom to take a multitude of routes with varying levels of openness and tightness, not narrowing everything down.  I mean that was pretty much exactly the problem with Sonic Colours' 3D sections and why they were so unsatisfying on top of being limited in number.

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If your just going to design 2D levels and switch the camera to 3D, then you are defeating the purpose of moving to 3D in the first place. That's all those narrow corridors represent. If you're going to have 3D levels, then you need to design the stages and challenges with a 3D mindset. Limiting the style to corridors and hallways is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing. It only takes advantage of the bare minimum of what it means to be a 3D platformer.

Let Crash keep that style. It works for him. Sonic needs more horizontal space to stretch his legs.

 

On a side note, I would like to see a randomly generated alley minigame that just throws obstacles at you rapid fire. It could be a fun multiplayer/leaderboard challenge type situation. It would mimic the addictiveness of those 30 second trials from Gens, or you could just turn it into an endless gauntlet to hone your reflexes.

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1 hour ago, Sega DogTagz said:

On a side note, I would like to see a randomly generated alley minigame that just throws obstacles at you rapid fire. It could be a fun multiplayer/leaderboard challenge type situation. It would mimic the addictiveness of those 30 second trials from Gens, or you could just turn it into an endless gauntlet to hone your reflexes.

This is literally what the mobile games Sonic Dash and Sonic Dash 2 are to be honest.  Endless quick-step sections, and they're actually kind of a proof of concept for me that such segments are best kept to short bursts rather than entire games.

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Why? What's the point of this? You're not using any of the advantages that 3D such giving the developer the ability to work with an even greater and open space which is vital given that Sonic's speed can actually take advantage of that. It's not only that, but it misses the point of the value of 3D. Just switching Classic Sonic's stages from 2D to 3D is just a shift in perspective, but 3D is not a perspective change, it's literally an evolution in gaming and you're not evolving by putting 2D stages in 3D at all. Mario and Zelda both evolved immensely just by taking advantage of this open space and Sonic can definitely do so for aforementioned reasons. This is why Sega is criticized for using 2D constantly because they're regressing instead of truly taking advantage of the evolution in gaming that 3D provides.

I would also like to add that these narrow passages does limit Sonic from moving in the horizontal axis (which is odd considering 3D allows for both vertical, diagonal, and horizontal movement) which is a constant complaint against Modern Sonic who does not control well at all due to the boost. Because of this, you're essentially feeding into what is wrong with Boost Sonic, even worse since you're not taking advantage of 3D at all. You're just treating it as a perspective change.

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