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Where would you like to see the 3D series go from here?


Dscross
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I've been thinking hard about it and I was wondering where everyone would like to see the series go now. I was very disappointed with Forces after the success of Mania. It was faaaaar too easy for me. I like the boost formula but I don't think it's a good idea for Sonic Team to keep going with it at the moment. I like Unleashed (the day stages anyway), colours and generations but I think making Sonic zip along at that speed must make it difficult to create Sonic levels, otherwise they wouldn't either make the levels really short and easy or plug the gaps in the game with non-sonic gameplay to make it longer. I think Forces shows they are either running out of steam or they just don't care enough.

Honestly, I think the best plan right now would be to get some old school Adventure series fan developers to have a go in the same way they did for the classic games with Mania.

In my view, Mania was amazing - it was made by fan devs and it's opened the door to more from the same guys. That's really positive. It's the most fun I've had in a Sonic game for years, from beginning to end. The main reason it plays like this is because it comes across that the devs REALLY CARED about it. That didn't come across in Forces to me.

If they could improve upon the style of Sonic level gameplay from Adventure 1 using some fan devs who care more about the franchise, I think 3D Sonic would be much more consistent and good. Just a thought. Where would you all like to see the 3D series go?

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I want something like Sonic Utopia that also implements a more functional parkour moveset from Sonic Lost World. I've gotten so bored of the Boost formula to be honest. I don't really know how to describe it, but Generations was the last time where it worked. I loved it in Unleashed and it feels kind of bland in Colors. Forces is a straight line that curves now and then. Nearly a decade of the boost formula later and I'm tired of it. I want a Sonic game that's a perfect translation of 2D to 3D Sonic gameplay. The Adventure 1 gameplay formula was the closest we've come to that, but it still felt lacking. Sonic Utopia was perfect. I'm hoping that Sonic Team will do the same thing they did with Mania for a 3D game: hire a much more competent group of Sonic Fans experienced in developing 3D Sonic environments for fan games, either from Sonic Utopia or another equally good and ambitious project. 

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I’d want something with Adventure-style gameplay with Adventure 1/2/Heroes/06 styled levels. To add replay value, there could be missions like the Adventure games had. For the story, I’d like to see something like Forces did, but with events better explained more. Forces just kinda jumped from place to place with little explanation of what was going on at that point of time. I’m kinda torn about this, but Boost could be added in a Mach Speed section, like in 06... but I know most of us are tired of this kind of gameplay. Oh, and more playable characters would be cool too.

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Going to be honest here, never understood the idea that's been going around that boost levels take that much more time to make than any other 3D Sonic gameplay style. At the end of the day, any gameplay style where Sonic moves remotely fast is going to take substantial dev time. Slowing him down isn't going to make much of a difference and, even worse, kills what makes this series different from other platformers. If you were to go with adventure style gameplay it'd still probably take the same amount of time, knowledge, and resources to make an engaging level as a boost level. Hell, developing a decent classic level probably isn't that far off time-wise from a boost level. The developer is still tasked at making engaging platforming sections with Sonic's speed in mind in all of these cases. One could make the argument that boost levels take more work on the art team's end (and take more time to render) but from my viewpoint the art team has rarely ever been the issue in these games. They've shown to be competent at their jobs more often than not. It's the level designers that need to put work in.

Forces came out mediocre largely due to the level designing team consisting of no members from the previous boost games. If you throw new people at any cemented style of gameplay you're more than likely going to get mixed results. We've seen this time and time again in this series.

Going into what I want to see from a future 3D title... well, that's difficult to pinpoint for me. I unapologetically love the boost gameplay as it's downright a blast to me when done well. To this day I can always hop right back into Unleashed or Generations and have a damn fine time in those levels, more so than any other style if I'm being honest. It's fluid, a technical marvel, and incredibly different from anything else out there which is what I come to this series for. Frankly speaking, I can't think of another gameplay style that can match those feelings for me. Though, even I'll say that if ST can't get back the level designers from Unleashed or Generations then maybe it is time to tone down the mechanic; rather than risk a repeat performance of Forces. The series should be striving for more than that.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing another crack at the Adventure style. I do have fond memories with it and do think that some great things can be done with it in this day and age. I'm hesitant to say I'd appreciate something like Utopia as I'm waiting to see an actual level come out of that style. What we currently have is a bland sandbox with slopes that, if I'm being honest, really isn't doing much for me.

Ideally, a gameplay style that can incorporate the strengths of all 3 styles would be perfection. Something with the physics and open level design of the classics and adventures, plus the speed and flow of the boost games. Though, again, if ST can't get the level designers in for any of this it won't matter.

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2 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

Going to be honest here, never understood the idea that's been going around that boost levels take that much more time to make than any other 3D Sonic gameplay style.

They're just big levels, really big levels. And Boost games are fast, really, really fast. So you gots levels that need to be really big in order to be of decent length for the speed that Sonic travels. It's not a good use of resources, because they put effort into making these big levels that won't end up making a proper full length game on their own and unless you decide to stop and look, you don't really get to experience that well.

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3 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

They're just big levels, really big levels. And Boost games are fast, really, really fast. So you gots levels that need to be really big in order to be of decent length for the speed that Sonic travels. It's not a good use of resources, because they put effort into making these big levels that won't end up making a proper full length game on their own and unless you decide to stop and look, you don't really get to experience that well.

The thing here is that I don't see how speed is an issue. Sonic should be a fast character no matter where you place him. Even if you condense the level size and slow him down a bit you still have to design a fair amount of elements in order for an average playthrough of it to be anything substantial. I think it says a lot with how, across most of the games in this series with their varying styles, an average full on level usually take between 2:30-4 minutes to complete(give or take depending on if you know what you're doing). Sonic games have never been that lengthy of titles.

Whether it be a more stretched out box with the boost or a slightly shorter box with the adventure or classic style, the same amount of work in level design still needs to go in to keep things interesting and to not have Sonic just get to the end in like 10 seconds. Again, excluding the art team's workload.

Plus, is it just me or are Adventure levels pretty huge too? Like, I think that's masked nowadays with its dated look but those levels aren't that much shorter than your average boost stage if I recall.

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I want them to take everything they've done with 3D Sonic, from Sonic Adventure all the way up to Forces

And throw it in the trash.

The whole thing is rotten. They have completely lost any grasp of how to make 3D Sonic games, 3D games, Sonic games, and games in general. Regardless of what positive qualities they may have had, within about a decade each, Sonic Team destroyed both the Adventure and boost formulas through laziness and incompetence. I don't trust them to make anything of worth out of either of those formulas. In fact I don't trust them to make anything of worth, but unfortunately they're what the series is stuck with, so I would at least hope they'd try something new and maybe show some degree of effort than continue grinding their existing failures into the dirt.

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Honestly, I want to see a go at a collectathon style game. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I feel like that is the answer to the conundrum that is 3D Sonic. Looking at Green Hill Paradise and Utopia, I don't see why it couldn't work. Those games seem aimless, but when you add collectibles, suddenly it becomes a huge playground to test Sonic's abilities all the while presenting the player with objectives. 

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I wouldn't mind seeing a Sonic Adventure style game again (as long as we don't have to go fishing again or something - please don't get any ideas, Sonic Team). I also wouldn't mind if they had other playable characters with a slightly different play style from Sonic that could make the levels play a little differently. I don't necessarily hate 3D Sonic, but I honestly feel like they've pulled all the ideas out of the hat and now have nothing left to go off of. I feel like Sonic Forces (as much as I enjoyed it - and I did enjoy it quite a bit) could've been so much more if they had put more love into the game. *shrugs* I don't think sticking to a formula is a bad thing; Sonic Team probably feels like they have to put in a gimmick to get people interested in it and gimmicks aren't necessarily what make Sonic, well... Sonic. You can give Sonic a story, no matter how corny, but that core game play has to be there.

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1 hour ago, Strickerx5 said:

The thing here is that I don't see how speed is an issue. Sonic should be a fast character no matter where you place him. Even if you condense the level size and slow him down a bit you still have to design a fair amount of elements in order for an average playthrough of it to be anything substantial. I think it says a lot with how, across most of the games in this series with their varying styles, an average full on level usually take between 2:30-4 minutes to complete(give or take depending on if you know what you're doing). Sonic games have never been that lengthy of titles.

Whether it be a more stretched out box with the boost or a slightly shorter box with the adventure or classic style, the same amount of work in level design still needs to go in to keep things interesting and to not have Sonic just get to the end in like 10 seconds. Again, excluding the art team's workload.

Plus, is it just me or are Adventure levels pretty huge too? Like, I think that's masked nowadays with its dated look but those levels aren't that much shorter than your average boost stage if I recall.

I feel this should be obvious, but Sonic Unleashed and Generation levels are much, much bigger than any Sonic Adventure level. The most consistent thing I see in mods recreating old levels for Generations is how expanded they are, not only to make things more accessible for Boost gameplay but also so they'll actually last as long or longer than the  original levels. Whenever this happens the levels always end up looking much larger than they should and it's really noticeable in comparison to just straight up porting the level over.

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3 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

The thing here is that I don't see how speed is an issue. Sonic should be a fast character no matter where you place him. Even if you condense the level size and slow him down a bit you still have to design a fair amount of elements in order for an average playthrough of it to be anything substantial. I think it says a lot with how, across most of the games in this series with their varying styles, an average full on level usually take between 2:30-4 minutes to complete(give or take depending on if you know what you're doing). Sonic games have never been that lengthy of titles.

Whether it be a more stretched out box with the boost or a slightly shorter box with the adventure or classic style, the same amount of work in level design still needs to go in to keep things interesting and to not have Sonic just get to the end in like 10 seconds. Again, excluding the art team's workload.

Plus, is it just me or are Adventure levels pretty huge too? Like, I think that's masked nowadays with its dated look but those levels aren't that much shorter than your average boost stage if I recall.

I don't know about that. They've been lengthy before. It wouldn't be unusual for a normal Team Sonic level in Sonic Heroes to clock in at around 7 or 8 minutes. Maybe 9 or 10 towards the end of the individual campaigns. Those levels were really fucking huge. If they had been refitted and re-designed to accommodate for the boost but kept the same length I can't help but think the stages would have ended a lot quicker.

I admittedly know next to nothing about game design so I can only judge based on how I feel. Sonic's stages in the Adventure games seemed to be about of equal or slightly more length than that of a boost stage in Generations. I honestly think Unleashed might have made its stages even bigger and longer.

It probably largely depends on the game and what it is they're trying to do with it. Whenever I revisit Sonic's campaign in the first Adventure, I feel a significant amount of time has gone by and that I got a full experience. I'm exhausted enough to let the 5 other campaigns wait a bit too. I don't necessarily believe that feeling would be of any less merit had the other playstyles been similar to what Sonic was doing either. It would have made them shorter but the way that game is set-up and structured kind of helps sell the feeling that it's longer with it's attention to fleshing things out with it's cutscenes and the way it handled it's hubs. 

Although when I first played Sonic Adventure I didn't like the hubs and it took until Sonic Unleashed for me to realize how awesome and warm they could make me feel inside.

There's a lot of factors to consider. I can't say with certainty that if they go back to the Adventure formula the game would be longer or shorter. It all comes down to how much work they want to put into it and how full and complete the entire experience centered around it feels. It might actually be that the Adventure games and Heroes feel a lot bigger and grander to me just because of how much more they felt like whole and complete experiences.

I mean, that doesn't ignore some of the more obvious stuff like how long the stages in Heroes actually were compared to something like Forces that struggled to last even a minute and 30 seconds, let alone something a full minute longer.

Suffice to say, no matter what I actually desire from them,  I can't say that I trust the current Sonic Team or SEGA to pull anything off. Whenever I have a hypothetical Sonic game in my head nowadays, I need to imagine a different company making it to get excited about it now. 

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55 minutes ago, Harkofthewaa said:

It's simple: take this:

 

sa1.jpg

And give it the same treatment as this:

th.jpg

I really don't think a straight remake of SA would do the game many favors. I don't think any character's gameplay besides Sonic's would come even remotely close to holding up; Tails' flight breaks levels wide open, Knuckles was just a simplistic hot-or-cold search, Amy was slow and had stealth mechanics that didn't work or make much sense, most of Gamma's gameplay was so simple you could basically just run forward and mash gun, and Big's was the antithesis of everything people want out of Sonic. To make any of them viable in the modern era they'd have to be redesigned so drastically that you could hardly even justify calling them remakes of their SA gameplay. Plus then you'd probably have to expand Sonic's gameplay so it didn't feel archaic in comparison.

55 minutes ago, Harkofthewaa said:

Yeah, it'll take a lot more work compared to Crash, but I think a return to formula needs to happen: Sonic Forces proved that the Boost style has run it's course.

Did Heroes, ShtH, and '06 not prove this of the Adventure formula?

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18 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

I feel this should be obvious, but Sonic Unleashed and Generation levels are much, much bigger than any Sonic Adventure level. The most consistent thing I see in mods recreating old levels for Generations is how expanded they are, not only to make things more accessible for Boost gameplay but also so they'll actually last as long or longer than the  original levels. Whenever this happens the levels always end up looking much larger than they should and it's really noticeable in comparison to just straight up porting the level over.

I mean is it?

I can't say every stage can make the same transition but I just can't shake that the level sizes are more similar than we know when scaled appropriately. I know the mods you're talking about and I half feel like the levels were ported over that way more so because the mod designer wanted to go the extra mile rather than because the levels would be too short otherwise. Though, I understand if I'm alone in that thinking as I haven't seen the levels ported over in their original state and could be wrong.

 

7 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I don't know about that. They've been lengthy before. It wouldn't be unusual for a normal Team Sonic level in Sonic Heroes to clock in at around 7 or 8 minutes. Maybe 9 or 10 towards the end of the individual campaigns. Those levels were really fucking huge. If they had been refitted and re-designed to accommodate for the boost but kept the same length I can't help but think the stages would have ended a lot quicker.

I can't speak for anyone else by I honestly thought the levels in Heroes lasted far too long. They often reused sections of levels (which is also an issue I take with the classics) just to expand themselves. Though, it'd be interesting to see the average dev time of a level from Heroes compared to the others in that regard.

 

I guess what I'm saying here is that I don't think Sonic's speed and level size directly correlates into how many resources it takes on the level designers side. I mean, I'm no level designer but honestly, making a decent level in any of these styles is going to take time and I doubt there's a substantial difference between them. I'm not going to say it's as simple as re-scaling objects accordingly so that Sonic doesn't blow past it, but I just don't think the workload is that much more either. withstanding the art team (I should be clear on this)

Though, moving more on topic, I just hope ST can pick a style that they have the level designers for and doesn't move the series too far back in every other category (basically the opposite of LW).

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Just now, Diogenes said:

Did Heroes, ShtH, and '06 not prove this of the Adventure formula?

Of their story telling?

Because Heroes and Shadow don't play similarly enough to Adventure for that to really be the case. Now, Nex Gen would...but only because it actually does continue Adventure's style and game-play somewhat...done worse after a 3rd game. It was probably time to move on.

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1 minute ago, StaticMania said:

Because Heroes and Shadow don't play similarly enough to Adventure for that to really be the case.

I would disagree. They're both saddled with major gimmicks and the basic mechanics have severely deteriorated, but regarding the former those gimmicks are just layered on top of the Adventure formula and regarding the latter that's kind of the point.

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20 minutes ago, Diogenes said:
Quote

Yeah, it'll take a lot more work compared to Crash, but I think a return to formula needs to happen: Sonic Forces proved that the Boost style has run it's course.

Did Heroes, ShtH, and '06 not prove this of the Adventure formula?

Yeah, true, but I can't really see Sonic going back to Lost World, or anything resembling Utopia. 

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12 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

I mean is it?

I can't say every stage can make the same transition but I just can't shake that the level sizes are more similar than we know when scaled appropriately. I know the mods you're talking about and I half feel like the levels were ported over that way more so because the mod designer wanted to go the extra mile rather than because the levels would be too short otherwise. Though, I understand if I'm alone in that thinking as I haven't seen the levels ported over in their original state and could be wrong.

Compromises aside, it looks like Boost Sonic would still clear this faster than normal Adventure Sonic could despite the slower sections. Actually it's because of the slower sections that Boost Sonic wouldn't clear a stage like this significantly faster, due to showing off stuff in the level this person only took like 12 seconds longer than a normal playthrough.

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1 hour ago, Diogenes said:

I would disagree. They're both saddled with major gimmicks and the basic mechanics have severely deteriorated, but regarding the former those gimmicks are just layered on top of the Adventure formula and regarding the latter that's kind of the point.

It sometimes gets confusing whenever people start talking about the "Adventure Formula" when one person is referring to just how the typical Sonic gameplay functions and another is referring to how the entire game plays when including the other playstyles. Then there's trying to figure out which aspects of Sonic's gameplay are considered gimmicks and which are basic mechanics.

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3 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

Compromises aside, it looks like Boost Sonic would still clear this faster than normal Adventure Sonic could despite the slower sections. Actually it's because of the slower sections that Boost Sonic wouldn't clear a stage like this significantly faster, due to showing off stuff in the level this person only took like 12 seconds longer than a normal playthrough.

Well yeah, the level was never designed with the boost in mind. What I'm saying is that even with that, the level isn't that much smaller than your normal boost level. Though again, my main point here is that I don't think there is that big of a difference in work load in creating a good level for both styles. Adventure levels might be a tad bit smaller but they still require a lot of effort to make every moment of them engaging. They just don't have Sonic moving that quickly through them is all and scale it accordingly.

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13 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

Well yeah, the level was never designed with the boost in mind. What I'm saying is that even with that, the level isn't that much smaller than your normal boost level. 

I don't think that's true at all. Like, that's a 3 minute video of a level with a lot of fiddly platforming that keeps the player from going fast and several instances of the player stopping to grab a secret or something. Compare to a run of Unleashed's Rooftop Run taking four and a half minutes while taking most of the shortcuts and staying at boosting speed as much as possible.

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28 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

I don't think that's true at all. Like, that's a 3 minute video of a level with a lot of fiddly platforming that keeps the player from going fast and several instances of the player stopping to grab a secret or something. Compare to a run of Unleashed's Rooftop Run taking four and a half minutes while taking most of the shortcuts and staying at boosting speed as much as possible.

>4-4:30 minutes even with shortcuts man like wat, 3:30 at the most :V

Anyway, Unleashed's Rooftop Run is very much one of the longer levels for the gameplay style. A fair amount the other levels fall under the 2:30-3 minute time range. Though, some levels from the boost side do take 4+ to complete on an average run-through. This is in accordance to a majority of the series where some level are much longer than others. Windy Valley, from what I remember, is actually one of the shorter levels in Adventure too with a run-through really not taking too much longer than the video here.

 

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2 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

>4-4:30 minutes even with shortcuts man like wat, 3:30 at the most :V

Anyway, Unleashed's Rooftop Run is very much one of the longer levels for the gameplay style. A fair amount the other levels fall under the 2:30-3 minute time range. Though, some levels from the boost side do take 4+ to complete on an average run-through. This is in accordance to a majority of the series where some level are much longer than others. Windy Valley, from what I remember, is actually one of the shorter levels in Adventure too with a run-through really not taking too much longer than the video here.

 

A lot of the videos of Rooftop Run - Act 1 from Unleashed I can find on Youtube at the moment are all 4:30 minutes or longer. The ones for Jungle Joyride are all 5 minutes or longer. Meanwhile the ones for Skyscrapper Scamper and Arid Sands are around 2:30 to 3:30 minutes long. 

Either way, it's interesting going back to these Unleashed levels. It's like getting lost back into a time where I still had hope for what they were willing to do with "my precious" 3D Sonic.

It's been hard trying to will myself to have conversation about what they could do next or what I want them to do next because I'm in the position of not wanting them to be in charge of this series anymore... right now the only downside in my mind is the uncertainty of what might happen to the IDW comic... 

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