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Indigo Rush

Sonic's Control Mechanics Idea Thread

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I get the impression that one or both of you are still designing with Unleashed style levels in mind and might not actually realize it. I say this because it seems like there's this idea that any misstep could result in major punishment. I'm of the mind that speed shouldn't be dangerous in a Sonic game.

Speed always is dangerous in Sonic games. If you go fast, there is always the risk of running into an enemy, unless you're rolling.

Seeing as 3 dimensions adds a whole lot more variables into the mix, then rolling can't be the be-all, end-all solution. Naturally, due to physics, control will be slightly limited while rolling, whilst the terrain will have a greater impact on your movement. When you're not rolling, then you have increased control, and the terrain has only a small effect on your movement.

Having a quick-step (which essentially is a side-step manouvre) is not a bac thing. The levels can be as wide open as they want to be, but its still useful for dodging an enemy or obstacle that you happened to miss the first time. All it does is take up the bumpers on the controller, and is pretty intuitive to use.

It doesn't mean that any misstep results in death or punishment, its just there if you need to use it.

The peel out has a charge time in order for it to do anything and it doesn't deliver instant acceleration, it takes a moment to really come into full effect. While I intend for it to be available while under way, doing so will still slow you down during the charge.

Its a nice idea, but we don't know how it would actually feel to play. Perhaps it would be better if you didn't slow down, and it just gave you a short-lived burst of speed. Kind of like a boost, but less spammable. Peel out could just be an on-the-move thing, where you press and hold Square, B or X whilst moving, or you utilise the L3 analogue-stick-depressive-button...thing to use, like a sprint mode.

The only issue is button mapping. Having a crouch-then charge for the spindash would be too cumbersome and slow to do. It should just be mapped to the Square, B or X button. Tap while moving to roll/unroll. Press and hold while still to charge the spindash and release to go.

Just a thought. Let me know what you think. There's always room for improvement.

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Indigo, I have an answer to your troubles in finding good control at high speed.

Igneous.

This game features very smooth turning and maneuverability while taking on high speeds, and it does it quite smoothly. There's lots of action going on and tons of hazards and objects flying everywhere, but it doesn't hinder forward movement. These objects, instead of exactly harming you like in '06, you could use to run and jump off of, emphasizing the focus on physics and taking advantage of them in streamlined gameplay. Mix this with your Marble Madness / Super Monkey Ball ideas, take lots of inspiration from classic Sonic gameplay (downhill momentum, Spindash, busting badniks and etc.), and then give level design that has your standard slopes and hills and platforming... and we may have something here.

My God, that was spectacular! That would've been a great Iblis boss. Of course that didn't happen.

If Sonic-whatever-comes-next had this kind of smooth controls it would be a blast. Just picture Sonic instead of that blue totem (hey, it's also blue!)

Off-topic: Poor thing, the level keeps throwing trash and bricks at him.

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The peel out has a charge time in order for it to do anything and it doesn't deliver instant acceleration, it takes a moment to really come into full effect. While I intend for it to be available while under way, doing so will still slow you down during the charge.

That's still the exact same way the spindash works.

Having a quick-step (which essentially is a side-step maneuver) is not a bad thing. The levels can be as wide open as they want to be, but its still useful for dodging an enemy or obstacle that you happened to miss the first time. All it does is take up the bumpers on the controller, and is pretty intuitive to use.

True, but seeing as how if your moving slowly enough, all you need to do is turn around and smack the thing, and if your going too fast then you probably wouldn't want to bother.

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True, but seeing as how if your moving slowly enough, all you need to do is turn around and smack the thing, and if your going too fast then you probably wouldn't want to bother.

At low speeds its basically just a dodge-roll.

Its main use is at higher speeds; once you've gotten a good pace going. Most of the time, you don't want to lose that speed, so it would come in handy as a last-minute resort at dodging obstacles enemies or even in-level geometry.

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That's still the exact same way the spindash works.

Not entirely, the spindash has no charge time and has instant acceleration. My version of the peel out seeks to do what the boost does without all the cludgyness and mechanical overshadowing.

Speed always is dangerous in Sonic games. If you go fast, there is always the risk of running into an enemy, unless you're rolling.

Not really, the areas that let you get much speed rarely ever had enemies sitting out where someone could trip on them. There was usually some kind of obstacle to halt you or stuff that you had to jump over. A frequent occurence was coming to the end of an open section and an enemy being roughly above you. This sort of thing is what separated Sonic from other games that just set Xmax to a high value. One trend I've noticed is that ascending platforms are usually accompanied by some kind of threat. It's a funny subconscious way that the game trains you. I never feel like going fast is going to end up with me being hit. You could run at 10/10ths without worrying about anything. Unleashed is the other way around, speed kills. It's made worst by how you can just fire off the boost whenever and get sent into a corner or a an enemy or into a pit.

As for making the spin dash a bit more complex to start, I hate using this term because the industry boiler plate emmiters have drained it of any meaning, but having a two button press spin dash feels more visceral than a simple charge.

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Not entirely, the spindash has no charge time and has instant acceleration. My version of the peel out seeks to do what the boost does without all the cludgyness and mechanical overshadowing.

I don't think I'm following you, cause the spindash ALWAYS had to be charged to some extent. Unless your talking about instant acceleration AFTER releasing the charge, to which I ask how is the way you accelerate is so different as to make the peel out it's own separate move?

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I don't think I'm following you, cause the spindash ALWAYS had to be charged to some extent. Unless your talking about instant acceleration AFTER releasing the charge, to which I ask how is the way you accelerate is so different as to make the peel out it's own separate move?

That little moment it takes for the peel out to reach full speed post release discourages its use in tight areas. That's the theory anyway. I'm getting my own set of doubts about this control scheme to be honest.

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That little moment it takes for the peel out to reach full speed post release discourages its use in tight areas. That's the theory anyway. I'm getting my own set of doubts about this control scheme to be honest.

Yeah, having a dash move that doesn't grant instant acceleration kinda defeats the purpose.

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The idea behind retaining the relatively slow acceleration on the peel out is to discourage its use in tight areas. It's an effort to avoid a phenomenon I call "flying into corners", one of the worst immersion breakers I know of, and to keep speed from being perceived as dangerous by the player.

I had an alternative idea on how to charge the spindash. While at a halt, the player presses a face button to crouch then moves the stick in a direction to charge the spin dash.

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The idea behind retaining the relatively slow acceleration on the peel out is to discourage its use in tight areas. It's an effort to avoid a phenomenon I call "flying into corners", one of the worst immersion breakers I know of, and to keep speed from being perceived as dangerous by the player.

I had an alternative idea on how to charge the spindash. While at a halt, the player presses a face button to crouch then moves the stick in a direction to charge the spin dash.

Now that would be much more effective and much tigher overall. Kind like the laser in Colours, but instead of letting go of the control stick, you let go of the crouch button.

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The idea behind retaining the relatively slow acceleration on the peel out is to discourage its use in tight areas. It's an effort to avoid a phenomenon I call "flying into corners", one of the worst immersion breakers I know of, and to keep speed from being perceived as dangerous by the player.

If players are going to use a move that accelerates you at near super sonic speeds in an area that'd make the worlds most anorexic person claustrophobic, who's fault is it again?

I had an alternative idea on how to charge the spindash. While at a halt, the player presses a face button to crouch then moves the stick in a direction to charge the spin dash.

Or just do crouch and jump? I don't see why we have to make this a complicated process.

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If players are going to use a move that accelerates you at near super sonic speeds in an area that'd make the worlds most anorexic person claustrophobic, who's fault is it again?

Or just do crouch and jump? I don't see why we have to make this a complicated process.

Pressing 2 face buttons simultaneously is awkward for the player. They need to leave the comfort of their grip to perform this move. It detracts from the flow of controlling a character and just isn't as satisfying as pressing one button.

If I hadn't already mapped it to the Marble Madness mechanic, I'd have used the control stick as a charging method for the spindash. Rather, I advocate the use of a double-tap mechanic to initiate the spindash. It's still simple, no more complex than the sweeping kick move from Sonic Unleashed, and all you do is:

Double-tap B

Hold for a few seconds + aim

Release

And that's about it. Nothing complicated about that at all, and all with one button. (and an an analog stick)

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Pressing 2 face buttons simultaneously is awkward for the player. They need to leave the comfort of their grip to perform this move.
I agree, which is why we should put crouch on a trigger button.

Rather, I advocate the use of a double-tap mechanic to initiate the spindash.
Ehh, double taps are kind of fiddly...

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I agree, which is why we should put crouch on a trigger button.

I've never had any trouble with this sort of thing as long as the buttons are lined up with the thumb, though avoiding this sort of thing was the reason behind the alternative spindash method. I wouldn't want crouch to be on the triggers, those need to be free for camera controls.

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Personally, I think they should removed the boost, and have it so that pressing the boost button simply makes Sonic roll/ spin dash. That way it would give you a way to dispose of enemies without losing momentum (I mean, boosting basically lets you run through them anyway, all this would do would practically be changing the animation).

As I've mentioned in other topics, it saddens me a bit that the boost is simply being used as a means of replacing so many classic elements. I mean, in one move, it makes invincibility, lightning shields and speed shoes almost completely redundant.

I actually quite liked the approach that Sonic Advance 2 took; namely there is a boost of sorts, but that it in itself is a reward for reaching and maintaining your previous top speed. I think that'd be a nice way to implement the boost without having a simple, arguably cheap, 'top speed now' button.

A few years back, I did have an idea along these lines where, for every few seconds you managed to maintain your current speed, you sped up. Of course, this would need to have a limit, but still. It would allow for some interesting speedruns for those skilled enough to maintain top speeds without crashing.

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Pressing 2 face buttons simultaneously is awkward for the player.

Really? It wasn't that awkward in every single Mario game ever where running and jumping are both mapped on face buttons. It'd be different for Sonic, granted, but dozens upon dozens of games have neatly gotten away with simultaneous face button usage without feeling awkward.

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I've never had any trouble with this sort of thing as long as the buttons are lined up with the thumb,
Same here, but if some people feel it is a problem, this solves it. And why not shift it off to another finger, since the thumbs are concerned with walking and jumping?

I wouldn't want crouch to be on the triggers, those need to be free for camera controls.
The PS3 and 360 have 4 shoulder buttons, don't they? I can't imagine you need all 4 for camera control.

edit: vvv Well it does mean you have to take your thumb away from the other buttons to adjust the camera.

Edited by Diogenes

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And what's wrong with the right analog stick for camera control?

As Diogenes pointed out, using the right stick forces the player to take their thumb off the face buttons. If the automated portion of the camera is set up right, it shouldn't matter, but not requiring this is another layer of assurance.

The PS3 and 360 have 4 shoulder buttons, don't they? I can't imagine you need all 4 for camera control.

The set up I had in mind was one bumper to center, one to make the view angled more steeply downwards, and the triggers to rotate. Centering is always nice to have, and the ability to angle the camera more steeply is handy when you're trying to land on stuff.

In regards to the norm of having camera controls on the right analog stick, I'm not averse to having that as well, it's nice when at a stop, and of course, playstyles matter.

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Kinda feel a need to bump this topic.

Lately, my concern has been on a control scheme for Super Sonic, and the one big problem I've had in trying to figure this out is the navigation. Where as the classics just had you as a nigh-invulnerable force of power, the 3D games when they've relegated him to Final Boss only stages seem to come off as tricky.

Here's what I believe should be core for the Super Form:

  1. Super Sonic must make you feel extrodinarily powerful like it's namesake. Not merely a Sonic with a speed boost and invicibility.
  2. Super Sonic is capable of flight, so give them that sensation
  3. Super Sonic's movement not be limited in movement

The real problem is tackling the flight aspects. Basically, if the player wanted to fly around, how would they manage the shift from the ground to the air. I thought of using Tails as a base to solve this, but then I wondered how the player would manage hovering without having to hold on to a button all the time.

Then there's the question of how he would fight in the air. Frankly, Super Sonic should be capable of more than just boosting in the air to attack, and it becomes a problem if the target is small to the point that you could easily miss a hit.

And this is all while having control layout be as simple to use, but immersive enough to make you feel like you're playing Super Sonic than a Sonic painted yellow with flight.

I had a starting layout in mind, but I'm a bit pressed for time writing this at the moment.

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I'd say that for flight, you jump then air-boost. SS then can fly, at the sacrifice of losing twice as many rings per second.

To make Super Sonic feel more powerful, all you need to do is have over-the-top animations. Like when you spindash/boost, the ground should get torn up a little. When you boost/spindash, you get this really exaggerated sense of speed where the edges of the screen start to blur and you get a sort of tunnel vision effect.

Super Sonic may have been godlike, but he also had his drawbacks, like slipperier controls and such. Rather than going out of your way to worsen the control, just make everything harder to use.

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