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Ideas for Gameplay Mechanics, Moves, Items and Loop-like structures in Sonic games thread


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This thread is made to share ideas for any gameplay mechanics, moves, level design features, items such as shields and loop like structures in Sonic games. Feel free to share your ideas here.

With that said, I will start this off.

For Loop Like Structures:

I call this first one the Outward Loop. It starts with Sonic or another character running through a loop two times. One is done normally, while the second time around, the character runs on a protruding part that goes through the loop in either direction, past it, and onto another path that is outside the loop the character was on. So the Sonic time around has Sonic run on a second loop towards the screen and onto a different path.

This second one I call the Diagonal Loop. It is a loop that is tilted diagonally, and the character runs onto it like on a ramp leading to a wall. The loop usually has a twist at the end that makes the character right side up before continuing onto a main path.

This third one is called a Spike Loop. It basically has a character run across a loop, with a 2D or 3D spike at the top the character runs around or up and down before completing the rest of the loop.

For Gameplay mechanics:

For the first idea, You know how you accelerate to top speed with the boost by a press of a button? Well, this idea makes it so that you don't need to hold down the boost button to maintain momentum. Just press the boost button, let go, keep holding forward and you'll still have momentum and speed as you go along. This allows for running through loops and on walls or down hills (provided they aren't scripted), all without the boost. It would also be possible to gather and maintain momentum without the boost altogether, but should you press the boost button, you don't need to constantly hold it down to keep your momentum, thus you can do momentum based stuff like in the classics without constant boost. You might go faster without the boost even if you are skilled and able to maintain momentum while avoiding obstacles. You obviously don't get the invincibility with the boost, by the way.

For the second idea, with the boost, Sonic would accelerate to a high speed. Not a maximum speed, but high enough. Sonic would accelerate instantly when using the boost, and he'd maintain the same speed as long as he is boosting. He could also reach that high speed by hitting a dash pad.

However, for running to build up speed, and rolling, and perhaps spin dashing, that is a different story. The following applies to building speed or even rolling, especially down hills in the case of the rolling. When Sonic builds up speed, the player will notice accelerating effects seen as Sonic runs forward through the level. This acceleration would not be noticed when the boost is used. When Sonic reaches max speed, he can run as fast as he can in boost mode. But when running or rolling down ramps and hills, either way, Sonic would accelerate quickly as he runs down them, like how the rolling worked in the classic games. Sonic will not only accelerate faster, but when he is going down those ramps and hills, he can even speed up to a speed faster than the speed Sonic goes while boosting!

For move ideas:

Homing Bounce: This is done with a Homing Attack on other enemies. When Sonic is about to hit an enemy, the player must press the double jump button when Sonic hits the enemy and he will bounce off the enemy at a great height. This is useful for getting to higher places, or to a higher set of flying enemies higher above that a normal Homing Attack would not allow Sonic to reach.

There is also the Cling Dash. It works just like the Drop Dash in the upcoming Sonic Mania. The player even charges in mid air. However, this works on walls, so like when the Drop Dash has Sonic speeding off when he hits the ground, Sonic goes up a wall or down one depending on which direction he is currently going during the trajectory of his jump. It could be used to get to high places o get to lower places easier.

For Items: 

Power Boost: Used in the form of a power up that can be found in levels, this move allows Sonic to use a more powerful boost. This can be shifted on and off to be used anytime throughout the level, though the Boost gauge must be full to use this. When used, a powerful explosion is emitted from Sonic as he boosts, and many things happen. Enemies on screen get destroyed, obstacles are destroyed (including those Sonic cannot destroy on his own), stage gimmicks get interacted with (like bridges getting knocked over or objects falling from above), etc, and Sonic's boost becomes more powerful as long as it is used. Once the player stops using it, though, the effect will end. This is kind of like the Bomb power up that destroys on screen enemies in the Adventure games.

Frictionless Shield, which allows Sonic to continually gain speed without friction and air resistance giving him a top speed. Sonic can potentially reach high, or even endless amounts of speeds, though it does make him harder to control as he gains speed.

I hope this topic was okay to make. Anyway, if it was, feel free to share your ideas for anything if you wish to do so!


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I like this type of discussions, and just yesterday I put a few ideas on paper (I'm making some movesets for the characters but also other aspects of the game as well, at the end it will become a sort of game design document if I manage to finish the project, which I'm not sure I will and when).

I'll list some of the ideas (I may have already mentioned some of them in the past, even if I occasionally update them, the ideas are still the same):

-(this is inspired by the lap levels of Sonic Runners Adventure) Collected rings will leave a permanent small sparkle in their original place, so that formations of rings that were intended to also work as hints for the player will still be readable even when the rings are not there anymore.

-Regenerating levels: You collect rings and defeat enemies, but after a while, enemies teleport back and rings reappear. This way you will never be in a place where everything is empty because you already collected/defeated everything, and even idling would be impossible in some places. Enemies respawn time should depend on the type of enemy (generally, the bigger and more dangerous ones would require more time to respawn, even 30 seconds for some, while the smaller and more spammy ones would respawn even in like 5 seconds after being defeated), while rings would always require 30 seconds to respawn. This concept would work well for exploration-based gameplay (backtracking, hidden collectables, open world). When respawning, enemies advise the player 3 second earlier through a visual animattion, so that you won't get unfair hits because an enemy spawns into you.

-When you fall into a bottomless pit or when you are crushed by a solid block, instead of instantly dying, you are transformed into a light orb and automatically transported very fast to the last safe position visited (the game calculates it dynamically during gameplay), and when you reach the place, your character will return normal, but will also get the damaged status (ring loss, short invincibility, recoil).

-The character has a resistance value that, when full, allows you to recollect the rings released from when you are hit right after the invincibility time ends; though, when get hit, the value decreases, and the next time you get hit again, you will get a dizzy status (represented by a couple of tiny stars spinning around the character's head) after the invincibility ends, that prevents you from recollecting the rings even after (ringls are semitransparent when they can't be collected); the more often you get hit, the more the resistace value will be decreased and the longer the dizzy status will last, in a range from a small fraction of second, to 3 seconds, the same amount of time when the rings disappears (meaning that with the lowest resistance value, you can't collect any ring). During the dizzy status you are vulnerable and have 0 rings, so anything can kill you. With time, the resistance value will automatically refill, and in about 30 seconds it will refill completely; though you can also speed up the process by collecting new rings (not the ones released by the damage, they don't count). 50 rings will refill the resistance completely, and you can use both methods simultaneously... this means that 15 seconds + 25 rings you will be back to full resistance, from minimum value. The minimum value can be reached by getting hit 5 times in a row.

-(mainly for 2D, but maybe can be adapted for 3D as well?) Loops can be traversed in two ways: the regular one, and a new mode. If you approach them at the right speed (above a minimum amount), you will traverse them normally, but if you are too slow (and I mean very slow, basically walking), you can walk through a loop as if it was a bridge over a flat terrain. You can also jump through a loop by performing a jump before the ramp that leads to the circular structure: if you are traversing a loop  without touching the terrain, you will just go across it. If you run through the full loop normally, you will recieve a reward (a circle of rings as big as the loop itself which are attracted by your character and collected automatically), though you will miss the reward in any other case (even if you run through the loop normally but at the end you jump and skip a small part). (this comes from Runners too, but also a bit of Nights - this idea came before Rangers and the Spincycle thing, it's older). Potentially, you could even put traps in the above part of a loop and incentivate the player to observe and intentionally skip the bad loops in order to not get damaged.

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Here are two more ideas from me.

Trick Clinging: With this, Sonic, or any other character, can run off a ramp from any direction, whether automated or manual, and when they are in the air, they can not only use the control stick to perform tricks, similar to the first Sonic Riders game, but the character can alter their orientation to land on a wall, or even parts of a loop to run along those walls or loop parts in the direction they end up reorienting themselves in. The player can tilt the c-stick up and down for forward and backwards flipping motions, left and right for vertical axis spinning motions, or maybe use the X (for shuffling forward) or Y buttons (for shuffling backward) to shuffle between three combinations of axis, with the forward and backward flipping, the vertical spinning, and the sideways cartwheel-like rotation; just any of the two per press of the X or Y button. Left and right remains for vertical spinning when in use and up and down c-stick controls remain for flipping when in use. Either way, if the player can reorient the character using any of these combinations and land on a wall or part of a loop, they can not only change direction on that surface, but be able to use that to reach potential alternate routes. There may be some panels for the character to step on before going on the ramp so that the proper combination of axial rotations is accessed and the player does not have to use the X or Y buttons to change axial combinations. When the character is near the surface they want to run on, they just have to press the B button to cling to them.

This other idea is called the Revolving Drift. When there is a yellow circle of any size around a large, round object, the character just has to step onto the circle and begin drifting. Here, they will automatically drift around the object easily as long as they are running. Also, the player can use Quick Step or stop running to get out of the circle. However, when there is a nearby object that is round and has a yellow circle around it, the character just has to be next to it when moving around the current object and use Quick Step. They will then switch to moving around the nearby object if it is reachable, but be reached with a further distance than the normal Quick Step achieves. While moving around a round object, the player can still move left or right some while revolving around such objects.

So, what do you all think?

EDIT: One more idea: The Wall Swivel: Kinda like a drift on a wall, the character can effectively make short turns on walls, maybe very small ones, while on walls. With that said, the character can effectively use this to change direction while wall running, possibly shorter than with a normal Drift on the ground. This allows for accessing alternate routes on walls much easier than before.

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I like the Revolving Drift especially, I think it can be useful, if well implemented, as a form of target lock. Maybe once you enter the circle and start drifting, the central object is locked and you can walk around it even if you slow down, until you rotate/reset the camera maybe? This way you can use this on enemies too, and it can be transformed into a combat system; it could even make it easier to hit enemies in 3D even without Homing Attack (maybe if you walk left-right you walk toward or away from the center of the circle, allowing for a 2D-like action on the diameter of the circle).

I think the lock should be released when

-quickstep away

-walking far enough from the circle

-rotating/resetting the camera

but I'm considering that maybe leaving the quickstep avaliable can be useful for creating new challenges... let say that you spin around an enemy that shoots lasers: at some time, the enemy places some targets on ground and you can dodge them with quickstep before lasers are fired, all this while spinning/drifting around the enemy. I don't know...

Even if you are stationary around an enemy or object, this move would let you stay in constant movement, giving a feel of speed and flow even during combat or puzzles. In combination with boost it could generate tornadoes that stun the enemies inside, maybe? (with this we're getting closer to the concept of Spin Cycle from those Rangers leaks). I don't know, I think there is a lot of potential.

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Thanks for your input, @Iko . By the way, here are some more ideas:

Tricking Redirection: This is an extension of Tricking Cling, the idea I mentioned earlier. This allows the character to reorient themselves in the air after going off a ramp, and then boosting to boost in the direction they are facing, which can allow for access to alternate routes, on the side or even behind the character while in the air.

The next is Momentum Sliding: This basically lets the character not only slide under tight spaces, but after building momentum, slide under them for longer without slowing down, as well as go through loops or slopes in such tight spaces, with Sonic curling as he goes through the tightly spaced loops.

The next is Directional Pole Swinging. This allows the character to change the direction they are facing when swinging on a horizontal or even a vertical pole, making it so that they can jump in a different direction other than the one they were originally going to jump in. This can allow for going in different directions, or even areas behind the character easier. On short, horizontal poles, this can be used while swinging around the pole in a cartwheel like fashion (much like Sonic Unleashed Wii's Werehog on short poles on walls), changing the direction the character swings in overall.

The next is Tunnel Jumping. This is basically jumping up to an above tunnel or pipe that the character spins through, making it so that they can reach alternate areas more easily. The player may need to build up momentum for the character to be able to make their way through the above tunnel or pipe they want to go through, though.

The next is Midair Loops and Ramps. After going off a ramp, if the character has enough momentum, they can run onto a loop or curving ramp in midair to change their direction or reach alternate areas. This seems automatic and scripted, but the player can cause the character to move or even jump off of them if they wish.

Edge Rolling is the next one. When on the edge of a surface, excluding rails, the character can roll on them and move along them as long as they have momentum, much like a basketball going around the edge of a basketball hoop. This may be used for changing direction, and the player can jump off the edge at anytime that they wish to do so, or they can boost to go down the edge.

Effect Outrunning is the next one. This works with any character, but is mostly a Sonic thing. When Sonic is boosting or in Boost Mode, he is moving so fast that things such as springs, tilting platforms, quickly changing surfaces and the like are unable to keep up, allowing Sonic to step on and off them without being affected by them in anyway, which could help clear them if they rather act as obstacles.

The last one is called Directional Bouncing. This is for Sonic only, if he is using the Bounce move. The player can tilt the control stick as Sonic begins to bounce before he hits the ground to make him bounce off at a different direction. This even works on walls. This also works with the Stomp move, if a bit differently. When this us used with the Stomp, Sonic leans forward in the direction the player tilts the control stick, and then when the player presses the jump button, Sonic jumps in that direction instead of straight upward.

So, what do you think of these?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there, it has been a while since this was last posted in. Hopefully, it won't hurt to post again since it has been a while, and that I was the last one to post in this. Anyway, here are some more ideas.

Tunnel Doors: These occur in the 2D sections of modern levels, or 2D games. With that in mind, these appear on either side of the 2D path, either the front or back. They function like doors in other 2D games, and if the door is in the back of the level, and Sonic is in front of it, the player can press up to enter the tube and go to a higher level or lower level, depending on where that leads. If the door is in the front of the level, and Sonic is beside it, the player just has to press down to get up or down it. This can allow for accessing different areas easily and optionally. To make things interesting, Sonic needs to build up momentum before going through those doors, or he will move through them slowly, albeit with control of the player. If he is fast enough, he may fly out the other end of these tunnels and reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

Speed Meter Loops: These are loops that would appear in modern games, 2D or 3D sections, which are right next to each other. They come in different numbers, and usually don't have a dash pad. The player cannot choose which one to take. Instead, Sonic must be running at a certain speed to run through any of these loops, or similarly shaped paths, depending on the speed they require. Say there are three of such paths in front of Sonic. If Sonic is running at low speed, he will take the path on the left. If at a medium speed, he will take the one in the middle, while the highest speed lets Sonic take the path on the right. Sonic can still slow down on these paths and be controlled by the player, and even jump off of them if the player decides to do so for some reason.

Jump Dashing Into Tunnels: This makes use of the Jump Dash. With this, Sonic can use his Jump Dash, or Double Jump, either way, to enter tunnels that are in walls but not on the ground. These tunnels are higher up above in the wall, so a normal jump would be insufficient in terms of getting into these areas with enough speed. But with the Jump Dash or Double Jump, Sonic can jump into these areas with enough speed to spin through them, and reach alternate areas he could not otherwise. There may be dash pads in the tunnels to help Sonic keep going, and this cannot be used with the Air Boost.

Intertwining Path Jump: This works on paths that are right next to each other, or above and below the path Sonic is on. Say he is running on a corkscrew, and there are four paths on different sides of the path he is on. If Sonic jumps, he will jump to the higher path and continue running. If he is at the bottom of the middle corkscrew, he jump to the lower path. For the left and right ones, Sonic just needs to do a Quick Step to jump to either path. This could allow for access to other areas, and this does require good timing.

Movable Spin Dash: This includes using the Spin Dash, of course. With this, Sonic just needs to start charging a Spin Dash. When he is charging, he can move to the left, right, backward or forward while charging, and while he does not move so fast while he is moving and charging, he can use this to avoid attacks aimed at him while he is charging.

Directional Spin Dash: Another form of Spin Dash used on the ground. Kind of like the pole swinging in some 3D Sonic games, a red circle will appear when Sonic is charging a Spin Dash. Every 90 degrees of the circle will light up bright red to indicate that Sonic is aiming in that direction. The player can just hold forward to do a normal Spin Dash, but otherwise, if Sonic dashes in the direction of the red circle that is lit up. he will dash in that direction without aiming at it. He can dash backward, and if he dashes upward into the air, he can do a high Super Spin Dash Jump to reach high places. If the circle is pointed downward by the time Sonic dashes, he can break through floors or dig into the ground. If Sonic has not built enough momentum, and thus does not dig to the other side, he will have to wall jump out of the tunnel he makes!

So, what do you all think?

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I don't really have any new move ideas but I have thought about how to tweak the homing attack:

Instead of stopping Sonic's momentum dead in the air, hold the jump button and he bounces off enemies like a skipping stone. Do this consecutively and Sonic's speed increases with every skip.

Also we need to bring back the water skipping mechanic from the Game Gear games. That was pretty fun to do.

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On 7/10/2021 at 8:49 PM, Slash said:

I don't really have any new move ideas but I have thought about how to tweak the homing attack:

Instead of stopping Sonic's momentum dead in the air, hold the jump button and he bounces off enemies like a skipping stone. Do this consecutively and Sonic's speed increases with every skip.

Also we need to bring back the water skipping mechanic from the Game Gear games. That was pretty fun to do.

I thought of something similar to your idea for the Homing Attack. And I agree on water skipping.

Anyway, here are more ideas of mine.

This first idea is the Parkour Flip. Using the Parkour system from Sonic Lost World, this is used when wall jumping. When Sonic jumps off a wall, just press the jump button again while in midair before landing on another wall and he will do a 180 spin, so when he lands on the wall, he can run down it instead of up it, or in the reverse direction instead of normally going forward.

Tricking Panels: They are much like Jump Panels like from Sonic Adventure 1, but you can do tricks while jumping from panel to panel. If Sonic fails to land a trick as he lands on the next panel, though, he will fall.

Ledge Climb Roll: When using the ledge climb, as seen in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Lost World, at the edge of a tunnel in a wall, just climb into it to roll into the tunnel at high speed.

Boost Off: When running on ramps, spiral ramps or twisting pathways, Sonic can just do the boost and he will fly off such paths to other areas, possibly even newer routes! This must be done with timing, or risk falling into a bottomless pit.

Winds: These appear mainly around Jump Panels, as they can be used to curve or redirect Sonic in the air, leading to alternate routes or Jump Panels. It is possible to turn these winds off by a green, nearby switch.

Reverse Boost: Through an upgrade, the player can reverse Sonic's direction of boosting or running by tapping the control stick backwards. Sonic then stops quickly and reverses, which can be used to keep the flow of speed intact.

Appearing Signs: Much like the Interceptor robot sections in Sonic Unleashed, these sings appear when Sonic is running in the other direction, but the camera does not rotate. If the sign says jump, the player must jump, or boost means to boost, an obstacle means it must be jumped over or quickstepped, and so on.

Hyper Speed: This is in the form a power up that increases Sonic's mobility speed aside from running. He jumps and falls fast, slides and sweep kicks faster, drifts faster, etc.

Speed Input: This is done on ramps and springs. Pressing the jump button speeds up Sonic, while the B button slows him down. These must be used to dodge obstacles along the way, and does not change Sonic's direction.

Spin Bouncing: Combines the Spin Dash and the Bounce Attack from Sonic Adventure 2. A line that changes direction, like the one used when using the Laser Cyan Wisp in Sonic Colors, appears, changing the trajectory Sonic will go in when this move is used. This can be done side to side in 3D or up and down in 2D, and can allow Sonic to go very high into the air when the button is released, or bounce off ceiling and walls. The player must be careful for where bottomless pits are around.

2D Spin Dash Bouncing: The player can aim the Spin Dash in 2D to the side. When the button is released, Sonic bounces off nearby walls, and if there are none, he will fall into a bottomless pit or a lower level. If walls are on both sides, which are usually small enough for the player to see Sonic at, Sonic Spin Dashes off those walls, and can use this move to bounce across the path of loops. Sometimes, this move can be used to get into alternate paths the player could not access as Sonic would normally just run by them!

So, what do you all think of these ideas?

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