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John43

My Sonic 2 8 bit remake thread

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Hello, my name is Jonathan and late last year I decided I'd cope with depression and unemployment by being creative. I have recently been accepted into shot2.png.9d0b7460326a8f986d6f3e72160ac1c4.pnguniversity to study 2D Animation and Stop Motion. I love to draw, and while I was putting my portfolio together I found a piece of art I made using Art Academy on the Wii U, Scrambled Egg Zone and the Silver Sonic fight.

Sonic 2 for the Master System, what a game! I grew up with this one and didn't get to play the Megadrive trilogy until I got Sonic Jam for the Saturn. I love the art style, the strange level tropes, the music and the variation. It's a punishing game but I still enjoy to complete it in about 40 mins from time to time.

I've been quietly appreciating SAGE and the wonderful efforts that have come out of our fandom. I am especially excited for the Sonic Chaos and Triple Trouble remakes! But what about MY favourite game? Well I'm doing something about that.

Using the Open Surge engine that debuted at SAGE 2019, with the co-operation of it's community, my partner, who is a programmer, I am remaking the 8 Bit version of Sonic 2!

I aim to:

- Recreate the game's unique art style using shot3.png.802582a9e5c386826de11a29cb875b40.pngdigitised hand drawn assets coloured using the original game's palette

- "Modernise" the original experience (for example, 2 acts per zone each with bosses, special stages, drop dash, cutscenes)

- Make the level design fun and in line with Sonic 3 and Mania standards

- Have fun and put a new spin on my favourite title

- Have a demo of Under Ground Zone release in 2020

Finally, I am looking for anybody who also loves this game, and wants to remix it's soundtrack! The more people want to contribute the better!

Thank you for reading this post, may you have a happy new year and keep on expressing yourself! :)shot4.png75210132_10221239787490756_5260650508791578624_o.jpgshot1.png.ca267517708d50fd0d077d0bc836762b.png

 

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This needs more attention so other out there can no about it, I'm on board for doing some of the music as well. I will post here a sample of that Underground track like I stated on Youtube comments to give you and idea of what to expect.

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Cool concept for a project!  You have my interest. I feel I'm so hopelessly in love with the original game (my first Sonic game, my rose-tinted glasses are practically opaque) that I'm gonna be way too nitpicky about how I see it get recreated but I'm looking forward to checking out your vision on it regardless. I certainly too was thinking "when's the person who wants to remake Sonic 2 gonna come along" after the incredible efforts on Chaos and Triple Trouble lol. Best of luck with the project, I'll be sure to give feedback when something playable is ready!

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Hello! Thanks for the kind messages and response! Here with an update and a gameplay video! Underground Zone Art is nearly done! Sonic's sprites are half way there. We are currently scratching our heads in regards to adding gimmicks but we'll get there! Please enjoy me having fun with my hand drawn assets :)

 

 

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Hello! Update time! I'd be rather pleased if you told me what you think of my sprites for Sonic, as they are now complete (for now).

Also, if anybody would like to playtest a beta version of Under Ground Zone Act 1, send me a message and I'll send you a super secret google drive link!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HvN89Yjv9A

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8 hours ago, Monkey Destruction Switch said:

It's quite cool you implemented the drop dash, and I really like how the 3rd act of Underground Zone looks. One thing I will say is that the scrolling checkerboard in the title cards is pretty hard on the eyes.

Thanks! I do apologise, the title cards will be completely different in a public demo. You know when you're just used to looking at something 😅

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I grew up with a Master System and Sonic 2, so I'm totally into this project idea! Thanks for sharing! The art approach looks really interesting and I like how it's going for that hand-drawn style. Without playing it myself, there isn't really much I can say in terms of feedback but I'm interested to see how the level design/enemy placement may evolve as the project continues. It'd be good to see some Underground Zone gimmicks as well (mine carts, which I think were in your first video back in January but not in this new build?).

Keep at it!

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Update time! I'd appreciate it if anybody took the time to visit the opensurge forums where you will be able to find a version with two playable levels which I need playtesting by Sonic fans! I haven't designed Sonic levels since the ROM hacking days and I want this to be special. Please note there will be several placeholder sprites and bosses while I working on the scripting for the rest of the content and finish drawing the other sprites.

Have fun!

http://opensnc.sourceforge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2057

On 5/15/2020 at 2:57 PM, Dreadknux said:

I grew up with a Master System and Sonic 2, so I'm totally into this project idea! Thanks for sharing! The art approach looks really interesting and I like how it's going for that hand-drawn style. Without playing it myself, there isn't really much I can say in terms of feedback but I'm interested to see how the level design/enemy placement may evolve as the project continues. It'd be good to see some Underground Zone gimmicks as well (mine carts, which I think were in your first video back in January but not in this new build?).

Keep at it!

Thank you! I consider this my right of passage and I hope to capture how special and unique the original game was for those who grew up with it while making it feel familiar to what we expect from a 2D Sonic game! I have even written the cutscenes to connect with Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 for the Mega Drive. You should expect to see all the gimmicks from the original and new takes on the bosses, and reimaginings of the locales for Act 2. It will take me some time to learn how to script like a pro, but it'll be worth it!

1.png

2.png

3.png

4.png

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There is a new playtest version up at http://opensnc.sourceforge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2057 with lots of little updates and tweaks, including the addition of two original bosses!

Act 1's boss is a recreation of the original game's boss, it is very stable and there should be no issues

5.thumb.png.3f49cd0b70d8dbd4ab9b56296c15909d.png

Act 2's boss takes the concept  of Act 1's and adds player input. Notice the pattern and attack at the right time to do the damage! This boss however is unstable and needs a good playtest in order for me to figure out how to fix. It's behaviour seems to be a little different every time I try it. I need to narrow down that margin of error.6.thumb.png.ac6c7b20e65b79178447869d981f0ea9.png

After experimenting with cutscenes, it will be time to take a long break from scripting while I draw the art for all the new sprites (the list is sooo long)!

Thank you for your time!

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I thought it would be fun to put a demo together for SAGE and possibly get to watch some streams, this is the build you'll be playing, or close to as the demo will be getting updated from now through to SAGE based on player feedback. I'm pretty excited. Starting university soon too, so I expect I will be redrawing everything, including all the art for the rest of the zones throughout the course of next year, looking forward to using proper animation equipment!

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Now that you've reached a substantial level of content I'd definitely like to give this a try and I'll stream/record myself doing so to help out with development so you can see what's tripping up someone who hasn't played it to death already lol.

 

One small thing I would like to suggest before even playing it though is to lose the 1up jingle!  The music is really nice and it's super annoying to have it interrupted, especially when it happens twice in a row close together (like it does in Act 1 on your latest video) and especially when the music starts over afterwards.  If you can program it to retain where the music got to and fade back in, it's less of an issue, but tbh, I think just keeping the unintrusive sound effect from the original game would be better either way.  I hated that Sonic Mania had such an intrusive 1up jingle too lol.

 

My only comment-with-a-pinch-of-salt-since-I-haven't-played-yet is that the act 2 boss looks a little under-developed.  I don't think it needs to be hard since this is only the second boss, but my suggestion would be to speed up the pace of it a little bit but:

- A visual effect to telegraph where the antlion is about to come out so it never hurts you from below with no warning.

- Make it so more spikes fall as the boss goes on, so the player has something to avoid after hitting the antlion.

Alternatively, you could make it so the antlion only goes back underground a second before the spikes hit him, making the matter of timing your hit more important.  As the boss goes on, he could be stunned for less time, meaning if you hit him too soon, he becomes unstunned and dives back under early, before the spikes hit him.  Combining this with the extra sets of spikes (that possibly fall at different speeds even?) that you have to dodge either before or after the necessary timing to score a hit, and the experience would be much more engaging.  I don't think a full-on Mystic Cave situation would be required, but adding just an extra set of spikes after 2 hits, then one more after 4 hits, then one more after 6 hits would be plenty for an early boss.

Just ideas anyway! I understand you're learning as you go with this project and some of what I've suggested might be more complicated than I think, or just simply not what you want to do.

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6 hours ago, JezMM said:

Now that you've reached a substantial level of content I'd definitely like to give this a try and I'll stream/record myself doing so to help out with development so you can see what's tripping up someone who hasn't played it to death already lol.

 

One small thing I would like to suggest before even playing it though is to lose the 1up jingle!  The music is really nice and it's super annoying to have it interrupted, especially when it happens twice in a row close together (like it does in Act 1 on your latest video) and especially when the music starts over afterwards.  If you can program it to retain where the music got to and fade back in, it's less of an issue, but tbh, I think just keeping the unintrusive sound effect from the original game would be better either way.  I hated that Sonic Mania had such an intrusive 1up jingle too lol.

 

My only comment-with-a-pinch-of-salt-since-I-haven't-played-yet is that the act 2 boss looks a little under-developed.  I don't think it needs to be hard since this is only the second boss, but my suggestion would be to speed up the pace of it a little bit but:

- A visual effect to telegraph where the antlion is about to come out so it never hurts you from below with no warning.

- Make it so more spikes fall as the boss goes on, so the player has something to avoid after hitting the antlion.

Alternatively, you could make it so the antlion only goes back underground a second before the spikes hit him, making the matter of timing your hit more important.  As the boss goes on, he could be stunned for less time, meaning if you hit him too soon, he becomes unstunned and dives back under early, before the spikes hit him.  Combining this with the extra sets of spikes (that possibly fall at different speeds even?) that you have to dodge either before or after the necessary timing to score a hit, and the experience would be much more engaging.  I don't think a full-on Mystic Cave situation would be required, but adding just an extra set of spikes after 2 hits, then one more after 4 hits, then one more after 6 hits would be plenty for an early boss.

Just ideas anyway! I understand you're learning as you go with this project and some of what I've suggested might be more complicated than I think, or just simply not what you want to do.

Thank you very much for your feedback :)

I agree with the situation with the 1up jingle. I had an earlier build where it was the same one from the original game that plays over the music, and it worked in every 1up situation, except when you collect 100 rings, the game would freeze. I asked the opensurge dev about this and it is a problem with the C code engine. It is being looked at because I would prefer also to hear this music uninterrupted.

The Act 2 boss is very under developed, and isn't stable yet, it's behaviours are based on simple timeouts. Its behaviour can be reset by simply pausing the game, so have fun with that bug! I do hope to have that level of detail when I redraw the graphics for him. I want him to telegraph to the player when he can be attacked safely, like in Monster Hunter. And I want the camera to shake when he digs, and I want to spawn little bits of pebble when he digs too! His pace should be quicker too, maybe I'll speed him up by SAGE, I'll look into it. Also a pinch mode where he gets more aggressive with only 2HP left like in Sonic Rush. I like your idea of having the stun time decrease with every hit. Currently the timer based behaviour is a bit unstable but it could become animation based in the future. Giving him a little wobble when he's stunned would also look kinda cute.

I thought about how I wanted to approach this game difficulty wise. Because the original isn't that friendly, and is known for being hard. I kinda wanted to honour that, but using level design inspired by the 16 bit games, and those physics and moveset would make it fluid, and now in widescreen with no crunch issues. So I thought, well let's make this game for Sonic players, and take some inspiration from Mania when designing them. Act 1 is, in essence, the original 3 acts of UGZ in 1 level, with some tweaks and modernised adjustments, like with Mania's GHZ. The theme of the level is go right, do some platforming, there is a quicker high level and a slower lower path. Secrets to be found for those wanting to seek them out. Act 2 is where I let my imagination go wild. It's based on the idea of open vs closed level design (which I think I heard the geek critique or King K break down in one of their Sonic analysis on Youtube), so inside the cave is quite closed, and linear, but there are secrets everywhere. When the background is outside the level design opens up and there are 3-4 branching pathways. I watched 3 friends who don't play Sonic games play the zone, and 2/3 made it to the end. But I don't have a clue how this plays for Sonic players, and I have indeed played it to death! Now I just try to break the game

I'm always told, anything is possible in surge script, and I have some cool ideas that I will work hard to pull off in this game. Thanks for your support.

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On 1/2/2020 at 12:57 PM, John43 said:

Hello, my name is Jonathan and late last year I decided I'd cope with depression and unemployment by being creative. I have recently been accepted into shot2.png.9d0b7460326a8f986d6f3e72160ac1c4.pnguniversity to study 2D Animation and Stop Motion. I love to draw, and while I was putting my portfolio together I found a piece of art I made using Art Academy on the Wii U, Scrambled Egg Zone and the Silver Sonic fight.

Sonic 2 for the Master System, what a game! I grew up with this one and didn't get to play the Megadrive trilogy until I got Sonic Jam for the Saturn. I love the art style, the strange level tropes, the music and the variation. It's a punishing game but I still enjoy to complete it in about 40 mins from time to time.

I've been quietly appreciating SAGE and the wonderful efforts that have come out of our fandom. I am especially excited for the Sonic Chaos and Triple Trouble remakes! But what about MY favourite game? Well I'm doing something about that.

Using the Open Surge engine that debuted at SAGE 2019, with the co-operation of it's community, my partner, who is a programmer, I am remaking the 8 Bit version of Sonic 2!

I aim to:

- Recreate the game's unique art style using shot3.png.802582a9e5c386826de11a29cb875b40.pngdigitised hand drawn assets coloured using the original game's palette

- "Modernise" the original experience (for example, 2 acts per zone each with bosses, special stages, drop dash, cutscenes)

- Make the level design fun and in line with Sonic 3 and Mania standards

- Have fun and put a new spin on my favourite title

- Have a demo of Under Ground Zone release in 2020

Finally, I am looking for anybody who also loves this game, and wants to remix it's soundtrack! The more people want to contribute the better!

Thank you for reading this post, may you have a happy new year and keep on expressing yourself! :)shot4.png75210132_10221239787490756_5260650508791578624_o.jpgshot1.png.ca267517708d50fd0d077d0bc836762b.png

I would actually like to help with the art maybe?

maybe just a few sprites or something?

 

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Hey Smashwere (you may need to fix that quote there bud, but wow, look at how the game has changed since the start, sonic was HUUUUGE)!

So i'm open for accepting sprite submissions for badniks for now, as I will be starting to overhaul what I currently have and draw the rest of the art for the rest of the game's stages starting next month. This will take some time, so I don't think its fair to ask for any other submissions until I have something more to show myself.

Can I ask you though, in your opinion, which badnik do you prefer from this demo? 

  • Motobug, with it's paper/metallic and mechanical movements
  • Crabmeat, With it's goofy look and bold black outlines

 I am leaning towards the motobug I drew, it looks cute, but robotic at the same time. I like the way it animates in game and looks more hand drawn than the crab does.

So if you are able to match this art style, and use the original 8 bit sprites as reference, I would gladly accept submissions for badniks for the time being. No rush or pressure, just fun :)

I will however send out an SOS for a musician! Work on Sky High Zone will also begin next month! I have my plans and concepts ready and I am eager to get my drawing tablet. I already have a musician for Act 2, will share this track here with anybody curious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9S3D8XYvGE&list=PLHELuYEFCL2oYdbChpyiF7xawiqcunk8f&index=11

Act 2 of Sky High in my version will based on the blue skied acts from the original game, which means Act 1 will be the stormy act set at night (contextualised by my story, it was sunset in Under Ground Zone Act 2). I'm looking for a moody, atmospheric remix of Sky High's music which can match the danger of climbing vertically in the middle of a storm in the middle of the night. But once Sonic reaches the clouds, there will be a twinkling starry night sky and you will be safe from the weather. Level design wise, it will be like a cross between Sky Sanctuary and Sky High Zone.

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16 hours ago, John43 said:

Hey Smashwere (you may need to fix that quote there bud, but wow, look at how the game has changed since the start, sonic was HUUUUGE)!

So i'm open for accepting sprite submissions for badniks for now, as I will be starting to overhaul what I currently have and draw the rest of the art for the rest of the game's stages starting next month. This will take some time, so I don't think its fair to ask for any other submissions until I have something more to show myself.

Can I ask you though, in your opinion, which badnik do you prefer from this demo? 

  • Motobug, with it's paper/metallic and mechanical movements
  • Crabmeat, With it's goofy look and bold black outlines

 I am leaning towards the motobug I drew, it looks cute, but robotic at the same time. I like the way it animates in game and looks more hand drawn than the crab does.

So if you are able to match this art style, and use the original 8 bit sprites as reference, I would gladly accept submissions for badniks for the time being. No rush or pressure, just fun :)

I will however send out an SOS for a musician! Work on Sky High Zone will also begin next month! I have my plans and concepts ready and I am eager to get my drawing tablet. I already have a musician for Act 2, will share this track here with anybody curious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9S3D8XYvGE&list=PLHELuYEFCL2oYdbChpyiF7xawiqcunk8f&index=11

Act 2 of Sky High in my version will based on the blue skied acts from the original game, which means Act 1 will be the stormy act set at night (contextualised by my story, it was sunset in Under Ground Zone Act 2). I'm looking for a moody, atmospheric remix of Sky High's music which can match the danger of climbing vertically in the middle of a storm in the middle of the night. But once Sonic reaches the clouds, there will be a twinkling starry night sky and you will be safe from the weather. Level design wise, it will be like a cross between Sky Sanctuary and Sky High Zone.

sure, give me some time to make them, i'll get back to you later!

(Also, I personally prefer the crabmeat, idk why, I just prefer it)

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36 minutes ago, SmashWere said:

sure, give me some time to make them, i'll get back to you later!

(Also, I personally prefer the crabmeat, idk why, I just prefer it)spacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.png1305988835_FullSizeRender(2).jpg.4bd59f96a0c99fdf71dc4d781a5c5f9f.jpg711450716_FullSizeRender(3).thumb.jpg.4b67c8d14f1d6e3bb44ba07467ebd47f.jpg1412685004_FullSizeRender(4).thumb.jpg.1c5c091440dd81e676b2304c7544ef0c.jpg

spacer.pngthe reason for the sonic sprites are to prove my worthiness

because the turtle isn't good.

the sprites are from animations i'm making for my own hand drawn game.

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7 hours ago, SmashWere said:

spacer.pngthe reason for the sonic sprites are to prove my worthiness

because the turtle isn't good.

the sprites are from animations i'm making for my own hand drawn game.

The turtle made me lol. Your Sonic looks interesting though, it's like you've drawn him as the wind, frozen in motion but moving fast.
I will share with you and this thread videos with a gallery of the original art - which also double up as music videos for Akidna's work from the game (who I still haven't heard from since March, is he okay?).

To be able to turn the drawings into sprites, I need the outlines on every detail to be extra thick. It doesn't matter how tidy these outlines are, as that goes with the art style. In the future I will be switching from taking photos of paper, to using a digital art pad where i can make more detailed and consistent animation frames. But still using my thick outlined scribble style. However you decide to make your sprite, a high res version of the original drawing(s) would also be great, as there is every possibility of this game's assets being ported into a HD Unity version or the opensurge engine being updated to support 4K resolution in future.

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10 hours ago, John43 said:

The turtle made me lol. Your Sonic looks interesting though, it's like you've drawn him as the wind, frozen in motion but moving fast.
I will share with you and this thread videos with a gallery of the original art - which also double up as music videos for Akidna's work from the game (who I still haven't heard from since March, is he okay?).

To be able to turn the drawings into sprites, I need the outlines on every detail to be extra thick. It doesn't matter how tidy these outlines are, as that goes with the art style. In the future I will be switching from taking photos of paper, to using a digital art pad where i can make more detailed and consistent animation frames. But still using my thick outlined scribble style. However you decide to make your sprite, a high res version of the original drawing(s) would also be great, as there is every possibility of this game's assets being ported into a HD Unity version or the opensurge engine being updated to support 4K resolution in future.

yeah sure, i'll try.

but i'm not changing the sonic sprites.

those are for my own game, after all.

maybe i can just draw the title screen.

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yeah sure, i'll try.

but i'm not changing the sonic sprites.

those are for my own game, after all.

maybe i can just draw the title screen.

(I just reposted this because i didn't switch on get notified of replies)

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On 9/17/2020 at 9:12 AM, Roger_van_der_weide said:

Just played it, surprisingly good. I get a kick out of the handdrawn art. And great remixes.
Levels were much bigger then I anticipated.
Yeah, looking forward to more, best of luck out there.

Oh wow, thank you. Very flattered considering the joy your art has brought to me over the years.

I am very excited, I got my art pad a few days ago and started work on Sky High's background immediately. Here's a sneak peek

The only thing missing in the background is a second thick layer of clouds in the middle of the vertical scrolling and more violent lightning.

I wanted to capture the stormy atmosphere and the level design will be based around climbing great vertical heights followed by rollercoaster descents. I still need to draw the foreground tileset so it's currently ripped from the source game. Also it shouldn't be raining when you reach the stars, I will have to script this trigger in the level design.

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