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Sonic Forces Development Speculation (Spoilers)

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1 hour ago, Marco9966 said:

I DON'T CARE! Just take Hero's physics  and keep the level Sonic Team level designers, worry about one thing at a time, don't talk to me about writers and level designers just yet.

The most important thing in Sonic is physics, but in the modern games it's worthless crap. So anything is better than what Sonic Team does. And Hero engine is better by default.

Do you normally quote posts from over three months ago?

Level design is the other side of the coin and is of equal, and in some instances greater importance. This isn't a slight on those developers either, I regularly speak with some of them of these kinds of engines and they're in agreement with me on that point; these engines are just the first step in a long-term endeavor to creating a comprehensive system that can create a complete fangame.

 

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Just now, Marco9966 said:

Why can't they? You just state things as if they are facts but it's not the case!

Sonic Team as they are right now has demonstrated barely any understanding of designing levels to take advantage of Classic Sonic in his original 2D setting, let alone then adapting that to 3D. Where's your proof that they could learn to work with some random dude's engine, as well as suddenly demonstrate a key understanding of translating Classic Sonic level design that could take advantage of a refined physics engine into 3D? 

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3 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Sonic Team as they are right now has demonstrated barely any understanding of designing levels to take advantage of Classic Sonic in his original 2D setting, let alone then adapting that to 3D. Where's your proof that they could learn to work with some random dude's engine, as well as suddenly demonstrate a key understanding of translating Classic Sonic level design that could take advantage of a refined physics engine into 3D? 

I agree with you that Sonic Team right now can't do proper gameplay (and story) even if the universe was at stakes.

Just replace them with some passionate 3D fan developpers and give them the assets to do a great game.

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2 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

I agree with you that Sonic Team right now can't do proper gameplay (and story) even if the universe was at stakes.

Just replace them with some passionate 3D fan developpers and give them the assets to do a great game.

No 3D fangame developer has demonstrated good level design yet, which is Indy and I's point. A fancy looking physics engine means bugger all without good level design. 

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1 minute ago, Tracker_TD said:

No 3D fangame developer has demonstrated good level design yet, which is Indy and I's point. A fancy looking physics engine means bugger all without good level design. 

No it doesn't mean bugger.

I strongly disagree.

Look how much fun with a good physics engine we can have with an empty space.

Then take Sonic Color's level design or Generations for example, it's a SUITABLE level design for boost, but it's ZERO fun.

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1 minute ago, Marco9966 said:

No it doesn't mean bugger.

I strongly disagree.

Look how much fun with a good physics engine we can have with an empty space.

Then take Sonic Color's level design or Generations for example, it's a SUITABLE level design for boost, but it's ZERO fun.

If I paid £40 for a big empty physics sandbox, I'd be far more pissed than paying £40 for a boost game that at least was built with some kind of appropriate level design in mind (such as Generations).

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1 minute ago, Tracker_TD said:

If I paid £40 for a big empty physics sandbox, I'd be far more pissed than paying £40 for a boost game that at least was built with some kind of appropriate level design in mind (such as Generations).

But we are not talking about a game with empty spaces are we? We are talking about good physics, and the levels automatically come with it if it's in the right hands.

And the current modern Sonic physics, wait no there are no physics.

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1 minute ago, Marco9966 said:

But we are not talking about a game with empty spaces are we? We are talking about good physics, and the levels automatically come with it if it's in the right hands.

No, good level design doesn't automatically come with good physics. Even in 2D - Sonic Mania mods are testament to this. You need good 3D level designers, and the Sonic fangame community hasn't really showcased anything in that department - just many, many physics engines. 

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1 minute ago, Tracker_TD said:

No, good level design doesn't automatically come with good physics. Even in 2D - Sonic Mania mods are testament to this. You need good 3D level designers, and the Sonic fangame community hasn't really showcased anything in that department - just many, many physics engines. 

You analyze each word alone! All right, let's get a level designer.

But you can't deny the achievement of the physics engine creators. The least good of them is still better than Sonic Team's engine.

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4 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

But we are not talking about a game with empty spaces are we? We are talking about good physics, and the levels automatically come with it if it's in the right hands.

Just a tip for discussions along these lines in general - nothing good in video games ever comes "automatically" in any sense of the word.  Ever.

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1 minute ago, Marco9966 said:

You analyze each word alone! All right, let's get a level designer.

But you can't deny the achievement of the physics engine creators. The least good of them is still better than Sonic Team's engine.

Not particularly - for as popular as it was for a time, Sonic GDK was a sluggish chore most of the time, and I'd rather play an ST game than most of the things made using it. Same goes for something like BlitzSonic.

Physics engines are no doubt a great start and show promise, but it's far too early to call for them to be hired by SEGA off the back of just that. When those creators form some kind of team that can make an actual game pitch, sure. 

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1 minute ago, JezMM said:

Just a tip for discussions along these lines in general - nothing good in video games ever comes "automatically" in any sense of the word.  Ever.

I mean, I'm thinking more about the potential good levels that can be done with these engines. So much fun would come out of it.

Sonic games are not fun anymore since 2005.

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6 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

I mean, I'm thinking more about the potential good levels that can be done with these engines. So much fun would come out of it.

Sonic games are not fun anymore since 2005.

They weren't fun before 2005, either. I don't see how you can argue that good physics are the key to everything while implying Sonic Heroes is good. Because christ, that game's physics. 

It may not take after Classic Sonic, but I'll gladly play Generations Modern over something like Heroes because the physics it has are far more refined in the former than the latter.

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20 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

They weren't fun before 2005, either. I don't see how you can argue that good physics are the key to everything while implying Sonic Heroes is good. Because christ, that game's physics. 

It may not take after Classic Sonic, but I'll gladly play Generations Modern over something like Heroes because the physics it has are far more refined in the former than the latter.

In Heroes we can actually control the characters.

In modern games nothing is under our control, Sonic is heavy and the only way to play is blost2win (oh and the platforming sections are in 2D and slow) 

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7 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

In Heroes we can actually control the characters.

In modern games nothing is under our control, Sonic is heavy and the only way to play is blost2win (oh and the platforming sections are in 2D and slow) 

Debatable. Heroes is essentially Sonic on Ice - Modern Sonic being slower in 2D at least allows me to actually control him instead of having him slide off platforms every which way.

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4 minutes ago, Marco9966 said:

In Heroes we can actually control the characters.

In modern games nothing is under our control, Sonic is heavy and the only way to play is blost2win (oh and the platforming sections are in 2D and slow) 

Actually control the characters? Good luck. Heroes is notorious for being one of the most difficult games for speedrunners to complete because how unpredictable its controls can behave in any given circumstance - have fun with Casino Park; furthermore Boost2Win (which is a dead meme, thanks for trying) levels, particularly Unleashed and Generations, have a much better sense of ebb and flow in its level design than Sonic Heroes ever did. It's not much different from Sonic 4's "stop-and-go" platforming approach, complete with enemies donning health bars and lock-and-key puzzle platform solving (that's giving it way too much credit) which just amounts to swapping out one character for another to use their ability, then switching back to a speed character's rocket skates on ice physics. At the very least, with all of its stiffness, Modern Sonic games are predictable, which is a lesser evil. In that situation, the metagame of perfecting your run is there. You can't do that with Heroes without losing your mind. 

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Marco, It's this kind of mentality that's been smoking around this community that i find concerning. Look i've been loving how much Fan Engines and demos that's been coming out and hell i'd say i enjoyed it on my first playthough of Green Hill Paradise Act 2 or Utopia but at the end of the day, It's not just the engine. It's the contents and the minds behind the games that make the show. Sure Forces's level design is like seeing a wet sac being thrown around but you can't deny that the effort was there to make a GAME, most of what i've seen of the 3D Fangame community has been Engines with no content. It's like Valve releasing the Source engine without Half Life 2, It really doesn't make sense. 

And do wanna know why The Mania Team did such a great job at Mania? Not just because Taxman did a amazing engine, it's because he and most of the team had previous work in the industry and contributed to many fangames griped with content before gathering to make that game. I can't speak for everyone but i haven't seen much of the 3D Fan community do other games or dedicate to make a huge 3D Game.

3D Game Development is harder and with Sonic it's always going to be a struggle to balance between Control, Speed and Fun, So experiment all you want. But until we see Fan Developers rise up and make more then just Engines than i'm not optimistic we'll go anywhere in the 3D Space but Third Party or Sonic Team.

Love the heart in you wanting to see better for the series you love but you gotta be patient. 

 

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3D Games are exponentially more expensive and risky to develop because of the very nature of having to work with a Z axis on top of an X and Y. Mania's development team had over a decade of solid mods and fangames, something that isn't true at all in the context of 3D Sonic games. It took years for the fanbase to convince Sega to take on 2D Developers with countless solid projects.

There are next to zero 3D Sonic games, most never advance past the proof of concept stage. Even fewer of those are actually good. Most fan engines are abandoned before they're finished and never advance past the level of being "alright but rough around the edges." That's not going to convince a big company like Sega to take people on. Being able to make a good engine doesn't mean you understand good level design or mechanics, especially for Sonic who isn't quite like any other game character in how he works. 

Giving the reigns of development to someone else doesn't guarantee that things will get better. You may end up hating it just as much as what Sonic Team is doing now, especially with Sega involved. A publisher's fuck ups can ruin any game, (see: the PC port of Arkham Knight).

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What you're looking for as far as "can fans do what Sonic Team can't" is taking a good fan engine and building good fan levels around it. Then proving consistently that you can do that over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

For example, I like the look of this:

The Bumper Engine impresses me and I the level design is open and fun in my eyes. But even though I like it, I can't say this proves that whoever made the engine and whoever designed the level have proven they're worth Sega investing money toward. The level is short all things considered. The reuse of assets needs to be considered, perhaps even the reuse in music and models. It's also one level, it's not like some finished fan game like Sonic Megamix or Before the Sequel. You'd need a number of levels to actually be considered a functional game rather than a proof of concept.

It's good, but it's not "3D Mania" worthy. Which is the point.

I don't consider myself cynical about the idea though. I think 3D Sonic fan games will get to that point some day. It's just not going to be tomorrow or the day after.

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8 hours ago, Tracker_TD said:

Debatable. Heroes is essentially Sonic on Ice - Modern Sonic being slower in 2D at least allows me to actually control him instead of having him slide off platforms every which way.

Modern Sonic is a slug on ice. I don't understand why people had such a hard time with Sonic Heroes. My only problem with it was the casino levels where we can't control the characters.

This mod adds Sonic Heroes physics to Generations, it's way more fun, there is still boost but at least it makes wanna play this game again without it feeling like a fucking chore:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw9ZuQRGztM

 

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TBH, for me Modern Sonic - especially in Generations - is more controllable even at low speed. It's not perfect, but I never had too much trouble in the few 3D plateforming section (for instance in Crisis City Modern). And more importantly, I like how Modern Sonic makes you actually be able to control it in high-speed. In pre-boost game, you often had the choice between having control or going fast. The high speed section where either devoid of real danger (Speed Highway, for instance), half-automated (the orca phase in Emerald Coast), or completely unplayable (Mach Speed phase in 2006). In modern Sonic, you actually can avoid obstacle, do actions, while going at high speed. It's not perfect, of course, but I felt that it created at least a really cool feeling, and moreover the games are just *fun* for people that want some high-speed action. Sonic always has a part about being "high spectacle" (the "blast processing" stuff, Ice Cap Zone, the opening cutscene of Sonic CD, Chaos being water to show the power of the Dreamcast, SA2's story and cutscenes…), and for me the boost gameplay really capture that, in the gameplay.

 

The problem I have with Forces is not that it use Modern gameplay. It's that it doesn't use it well, at all. TBH, I was happy at the idea of Forces being a "Generations 2", because I hoped it would be the same gameplay-wise. I hopped to get a "new adventure", with the quality of gameplay and level-design of Generations. I won't learn anything to anybody if I say that Forces is basically a caricature of the boost gameplay. It has neither the exhalirating high-speed difficulty of Unleashed, were you have to be ready for everything that come at you, nor the diversity of actions of Generations. Heck, we only slide what… two time in the game ? We have only one stage with wall jump… So I'm not sure that the problem with Forces comes from the boost gameplay itself. It might be the "2006" of the boost gameplay, the game that trigger a try to do something else, though. (because Sonic Team seems to works like that :V)

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I love Sonic Heroes, but even I can't deny that the characters are really slippy.

But then, I prefer the boost gameplay from Unleashed/Generations.

All those fan engines are lacking interest. The physics look good for the most part, but then there's nothing there, it's an empty sandbox most of the time. As others have said, we need to see how they handle level designs before claiming they should get hired by Sega.

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11 hours ago, Marco9966 said:

Modern Sonic is a slug on ice. I don't understand why people had such a hard time with Sonic Heroes. My only problem with it was the casino levels where we can't control the characters.

This mod adds Sonic Heroes physics to Generations, it's way more fun, there is still boost but at least it makes wanna play this game again without it feeling like a fucking chore:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw9ZuQRGztM

 

I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. Sonic accelerates to his top speed way too quickly. That's the biggest problem with Heroes' controls/physics: everyone controls like they have skates of butter on ice. 

Vanilla Generations controls much better purely for the fact that you actually have control of Sonic at  reasonable speed and aren't running off into bottomless pits because Sonic didn't slow down in time.

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What´s wrong with the physics of characters in Sonic Heroes. Levels 05, 06, 07, 08, a bit of 12 and 14. Casino, canyon levels, Mystic Mansion, Final Fortress. The grinding is and always was hell in Sonic Heroes, same with the pinball controls and hell, that narrow passages are pure ass with Sonic.

What did Generations about that and it´s viewed by many as better ? Narrow passages have fences on both sides. And it was the same in Unleashed. I don´t think it´s really that better. 

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While a lot of Sonic Generations kept Unleashed's hallway-heavy design, there's no denying the amount of freedom that a stage like (ironically enough considering the game we're comparing to here), Seaside Hill provided.  It showed that you COULD make a 3D Sonic stage with the kinds of branching paths reserved for 2D Sonic within the boost engine, and showed pretty good potential for the gameplay going forward.  Sadly, to this day, that was the best boost gameplay would ever be.

The funny thing is, Generations Seaside Hill is technically a "highway in the sky" type level like Heroes offered, with bottomless pits all over, but Sonic's water running turns those bottomless pits into a stage mechanic (and in some spots, a high-risk high-reward one at that).

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