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An Open Environment Game

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I wouldn't mind Sonic in an open world game. An action-adventure game would do nicely. And it can play like Zelda, with RPG elements.

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Kingdom Hearts is an action-RPG because it combines story and world immersion with hack n' slash elements and level ups. I gotta say it's not a very open game at all though. It's open in the sense Final Fantasy games are open, but I find those games push you in a clear (read linear) direction regardless of map size.

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If someone can find a way of making an open world environment, not look like GTA or RDR, then there is a possibility of an open world Sonic game. See Open World games mainly consist of massive open plains of empty space. Filling that space with actual level design is next to impossible and a complete waste of time, because it can be easily avoided.

The reason for Mario Galaxy and its successors increase linearity in stages, is not because they're lazy, but because it means that the level design is tightly focused into a fixed linear path. I found it boring as fuck to wander around aimlessly along a vast cavernous plain LOOKING for actually level design. That defeats the purpose of a platformer. The level designs should be there for you to traverse through, you shouldn't have to go looking for level design.

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I do like - and have always liked - the idea of an open world in a Sonic game, though maybe not to the extent of making it the focus of the game.

Take Sonic Adventure: three open HUBs, each with entrances to different stages. Now group together all those HUBs into one big open world; and, most importantly, give them the feel of a Sonic stage. Because if you think about it, that's somewhat what sets the Adventure HUBs apart from the Unleashed ones. Rather than just being a way of going from one stage to another and talking to people, they're your playground(s); I still find it entertaining to run around the field in Mystic Ruins with Sonic, or jumping around with Amy in Station Square. Taking it a step forward by making one big HUB and adding more Sonic elements to the mix (like loops and springs) could possibly reinforce that playground feeling.

Of course, I don't mean they should make the HUBs/open world linear, far from that. Rather, I'm thinking of something akin to skateboarding games, but less skateboarding and more Sonic xP If that makes sense.

As for a sandbox game.. I can't really see how it would work. I think not having actual stages would take away the feeling of.. progression? I dunno :P

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I don't think Sonic would work as a pure GTA-style open world game, but I'm all for hub sections that have plenty to do. Sonic 06 actually had the right idea with that. It's fun (in theory, anyways) to be able to run around on rooftops and take side-missions from strangers to earn rings. There's even collectible medals. These hub sections essentially were miniaturized versiosn of an open world game, but unfortunately the game completely drove it into the ground with horrid controls, bad loading times, large areas filled with nothing, and blah blah blah.

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Yeah, like many of its concepts, the '06 hub world was a great idea, executed horribly. I would love a hub world that you could spend loads of time just messing around with and playing submissions, like the hub in Mario Sunshine. Too bad all the hubs in the series so far have been "find the level/item/boss" in SA/Unleashed and "walk through these huge, barren, load-time infested, stupid submission containing maps".

Edited by Ekaje

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i had this idea for a while, it was gonna be cell shaded and set in Sonic X where you could run across terrain and even water and what not, i had the game engine in the works for a long while it actually "worked" but was much too large to create pretty much a world in scale to Sonic's running speed, so i dropped the project =/ i still have little ideas that i add to my notebook though if i ever wanted to return to it at a later date.

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It can work, though the sandbox area would have to be pretty huge. Either that or just a lot of average-sized ones.

Edited by Exploder

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One GIANT Unleashed-style "Entrance stage", mixed with the hub-worlds. Large, filled with puzzles,rings and enemies,

but with lots of items to collect as well, such as records and tapes or whatever. But then you'll come across the smaller areas with townspeople to talk to, bringing about lots of interesting sidequests and missions. Making the actual stages themselves separate from the open world makes more sense to me, kind of like SA1. Also, they should really bring back the collectible power-ups from SA1 and unleashed, but make some of them hidden, so they can really take advantage of the sandbox idea. It could be done, and it would be awesome.

But alas, it will probably never be....

Edited by Nick.

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Oddly enough Just Cause 2 was one of the first things I thought of in this topic. Panau is actually damn huge for a sandbox environment. Likely still not big enough for Sonic though.

Although, you can 'play' as Sonic in another well-known sandbox RPG here. Far from complete, however...

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You know the game Skate It? I've only played the game once (I literally broke every bone in the guy's body. That took more effort than it should've, but i am PROUD) but if i remember correctly the game's map area thing is a giant skateboard-friendly city. I've always thought that sticking Sonic in that kind of setting would be fun because messing around with grinding, running off the ramps ala SA2, and the spindash all over everything in creation. I doubt a game centered around that concept would work well, but having one huge hubworld with elements from that kind of game connecting each level would be a nice way to make hub worlds fun and kill time doing absolutely nothing to further you forward as well.

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You know the game Skate It? I've only played the game once (I literally broke every bone in the guy's body. That took more effort than it should've, but i am PROUD) but if i remember correctly the game's map area thing is a giant skateboard-friendly city. I've always thought that sticking Sonic in that kind of setting would be fun because messing around with grinding, running off the ramps ala SA2, and the spindash all over everything in creation. I doubt a game centered around that concept would work well, but having one huge hubworld with elements from that kind of game connecting each level would be a nice way to make hub worlds fun and kill time doing absolutely nothing to further you forward as well.

This is a fantastic idea. I also enjoyed the example with Skate It, without which I may not have understood your point.

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I'd like something like that in a game, a hub where there is actually stuff to mess around with. The hubs in the other games are pretty much pointless since all there is to do is go from where you're dropped off to go to the next level/boss/cutscene, or look for collectibles that were either useless or annoyingly forced.

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Though difficult I would say it could be done. I think we've seen some push towards it in some Sonic Games with the gap between levels. I think it will be difficult mainly because it would require more work into developing the exploration area and because it's Sonic you'll have to do it to a very large scale.

I think the biggest issue you'll have is the fact you have a character like Sonic. In other Open World Games, the character's maximum speed is like 2 miles an hour which is prefect for exploring. Sonic would just run to the other side of the playing field and back :P Therefore Sonic will need to be slowed down slightly and then you'll just have the fans having issues.

Cool Concept though

Blackbell

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