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Chaos Warp

How fast does sonic need to run in-game?

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I think colors is a pretty good representation of how fast I want Sonic. Unleashed felt unplayable to me because they upped his speed way too freaking much. Adventure 1 was good if we were trying to mimick the classic games in a 3D environment, but Sonic is past that. And somehow Adventure 2 seemed to feel a little slower than Adventure 1... I think they covered that up with lots of boost pads and downhill movement.

I guess it's mostly dependent on level design and controls in the end though. I hate how fast he is in Sonic Rush, but he feels about the same speed in Generations 3DS, yet somehow I really liked how he controlled in that.

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I hate to argue quote-dissection-style, but there wasn't a better way to address all the points, so~

This is what the classics (and Adventure games to some exten)t did and despite Sega's false propaganda (blue blur, speed demon etc) used to generate interest and sales,
I'm not even sure how this is arguable: Sonic was designed to be a fast-paced platformer. And, as anyone who's ever played a Sonic game before can attest to, he was.

Sonic was in fact slow in a straight line or at least no different than the already established platformers of the era in this respect.
I wouldn't describe his default speed "slow"; it was certainly above the fastest platformers had to offer at that time. And even faster once you threw him into the slope-heavy levels that dominated the terrain-

so the level designer (Hirokazu Yasuhara) created unique environments that had more ramps, slopes and springs
Exactly. You hardly -if at all- ran in a completely straight line.

If you were not experienced or you simply did not want to go fast because it’s just not your style then you didn’t have to.

s2-cpz-indeximg.png

Except for, you know, when the game forced you to.

Trial and error
While I won't argue trial and error wasn't a major element of Unleashed, I think you'd be hard-pressed to say it was a dominate feature of Colours and Generations's levels. And, for that matter, there's nothing inherently wrong with trial-and-error gameplay, anyway. Every Sonic game has featured varying degrees of it. And several successful platformers thrive on it.

luck over skill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtLLWd0DGE4

ALL LUCK

It is not fun for new or inexperienced players because of the cheap deaths and also not everyone wants to go fast.
If you don't want to go fast, and you're playing a Sonic game, you might want to turn off the console and switch to something a little more appropriately named.

And for that matter, there were several playthrough previews of Sonic Generations before it's release. A common complaint? "Why does Sonic have to stop to wait and jump on these platforms! He should be running fast!" Now, of course, platforming should not be removed, but the fact remains that the people playing a Sonic game wanted to go fast. It's Sonic.

There are different playstyles: kleptomaniacs who want to collect every ring, newbs, get to the end without taking a hit, people who just want to explore, screw around and appreciate the open space as well as speed runners.

once you memorize the level you can seed run because you know where the pits/spikes are
And that's no different from today.

you can't expect a newb to speed run like the modern fast games.
Yeah, the modern games are so easy to new people to pick up and speed run:

Look at him go!

Sonic 4 sucked not because of wrong physics

No, I'm pretty sure it sucked because of wrong physics.

but because it forced you to go fast resulting in levels full of speed traps where you did nothing but hold forward and homing attack enemies instead of platform because platforming is slower than h.a chains on bubbles all of which equates to bad level design.
That has nothing to do with going fast and everything to do with bad level design. That's like blaming the jump for Ice Climbers-esque vertical-styled level design.

Rant starts here: The current boost speed introduced in Unleashed and continued with Generations as well as high speeds of Heroes can go to hell. It raped the level design in those 3 games: all Unleashed day acts were an abomination and modern Generations levels: Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Speed Highway and Rooftop Run continued this disgraceful trend.
Again, top speed has nothing to do with the quality of level design. Sonic was able to run the same speed in Generations' Chemical Plant and Sky Sanctuary, and the two zones couldn't be further apart in terms of focus.

And what I find funny is you listed the more-linear levels in the game, when you yourself said earlier that the classics'

aim was to facilitate continuous forward movement

Double standards, much?

Boost = lots of: Straight lines, highways in the sky, hallways, narrow corridors, quicktime events, pseudo quicktime events like press jump to go through a boost ring, boost rings, boost pads, boost ramps, scripted events, trial and error gameplay, automation, quickstep, drift, excessive rail grinding, cheap deaths etc all of these things can GO TO HELL!!

I'm going to let The Cheese's post in the "Is there a such thing as a 'Sonic fan'?" thread finish this post, as he said it better than I could:

Ohohoho, this is hilarious. Did I actually read that right? Did you just claim that the boost is directly responsible for quicktime events? Like, where the fuck is the correlation in that? If a speed button was the defining factor in that, we wouldn't have had Werehog QTEs either. And then you go on to claim it's responsible for excessive death pits, automation in level design, cheap level design and of all things, rail grinding. Most of these things were already a problem all the way back in SA1, and some were in fact even worse than they are today (especially on account of the rails - or are we forgetting Sonic Heroes already?), so uh... so much for that scapegoat? Even straight-line based level design, which is something the boost admittedly benefits from, is something nobody will miss once fixed, not even the boostwhores of Unleashed tastes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize when a simple nerf works fine.

Edited by BlazingTales

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The Speed in Unleashed was deeeeeeeeeeefinetly fun to look at, exhilerating the play with, and drifting in games has always felt good to me. At the same time, I prefered the feel of Sonic Adventure's Red Mountain to Rooftop Run. I can't seem to get myself back to Unleashed at all. I don't remember what the levels were even like. (Except for Eggmanland. That place is ingrained in my brain.) Now I've noticed that Sonic Adventure has fallen behind as years go by due to higher standards (back then the game could get by on cool factor) but it still has that 3D platforming everyone talks about, and gee I like platforming. Not to say that modern Sonic can't platform, but it just doesn't deliver the same tight experience.

What did I really say in the end?:I have no idea. I want both somehow. : P

Edited by Chaos Walker

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I'm of the opinion that Sonic should be capable of incredibly fast speeds for no more than 10 or so seconds at a time, rather than, well, all the time.

Outright removing boost sections, I feel, wouldn't be the best solution, however I'm perfectly fine with them being at least gimped to a point where the boost is limited in it's effectiveness in progression around more open areas or platforming sections. The boost is a move that provides instant acceleration, and I think, if the game designers are creative enough, could find some way to add some secondary functionality for it. An example would be the elevators in Lava Reef that move when you use a Spindash. Small puzzles like that which utilize Sonic's abilities are absolutely welcome.

As for how fast Sonic should be most of the time, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Make Sonic's initial top speed more akin to the Adventure games when he's moving around or jumping a lot, but increase the speed to Unleashed/Colors levels if he stays moving in the same direction for a few seconds, or when you boost. The former is fast as it is, and is best for platforming and free roaming, while the latter would only apply to areas where running forward is encouraged in the first place. Sonic Generations kinda had the idea, but Sonic at his slower speeds lacked tight controls. It was nowhere near as bad as Unleashed or Colors, but also nowhere near as smooth and reliable as the Adventure games. If for some reason that's too difficult to program, then force a speed cap in certain areas or something. As long as we can have the best of both worlds here.

Edited by Indigo Rush

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I'm of the opinion that Sonic should be capable of incredibly fast speeds for no more than 10 or so seconds at a time, rather than, well, all the time.

Outright removing boost sections, I feel, wouldn't be the best solution, however I'm perfectly fine with them being at least gimped to a point where the boost is limited in it's effectiveness in progression around more open areas or platforming sections. The boost is a move that provides instant acceleration, and I think, if the game designers are creative enough, could find some way to add some secondary functionality for it. An example would be the elevators in Lava Reef that move when you use a Spindash. Small puzzles like that which utilize Sonic's abilities are absolutely welcome.

As for how fast Sonic should be most of the time, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Make Sonic's initial top speed more akin to the Adventure games when he's moving around or jumping a lot, but increase the speed to Unleashed/Colors levels if he stays moving in the same direction for a few seconds, or when you boost. The former is fast as it is, and is best for platforming and free roaming, while the latter would only apply to areas where running forward is encouraged in the first place. Sonic Generations kinda had the idea, but Sonic at his slower speeds lacked tight controls. It was nowhere near as bad as Unleashed or Colors, but also nowhere near as smooth and reliable as the Adventure games. If for some reason that's too difficult to program, then force a speed cap in certain areas or something. As long as we can have the best of both worlds here.

I feel the problem with this (That Modern Sonic demonstrates), that with his high top end, he has to accelerate at a certain speed, or else he accelerates really slowly. This should not be a problem, but with his acceleration, to control speed in platforming sections, the turning has to make him lose a lot of speed, and can't be as tight as Adventure. Maybe if he had the same accel as Adventure, but then he would accelerate painfully slow..........

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to drop Unleashed levels of speed at all, I just feel his natural top end is to high.

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Also, maybe you could have something slightly more complex. Maybe after running down a slope, Sonic will accelerate faster on flat ground afterwards if you keep going forwards. In other words, make Sonic keep some of the accel that he gains from running downhill on flat ground after running down said slope. This would be Generations's max non-boosting speed, with Adventure accel to start with, and it obviously going up after going down slopes as per the above idea.

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I was thinking about Generation's max speed w/o boost with Sa1's accel.......It seems like a good idea, because it grants more plat-formability to Sonic, but it seems too slow. I mean SA1's top natural speed and Generation's are extremely far off. I would have no problems with it if they were not so far off.

EDIT: Oh shit, triple post.......Sorry, did not check beforehand, won't happen again.

Edited by Chaos Warp

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stuff

It's a very fine line.

The Pulseman example is not a good one because the level design is very tight and is built as a more slow paced platformer. Sonic games work by a very different design philosophy with long paths that encourage going fast, where the speed up would be more natural to the player.

2nd the boost mode is meant to occur over a much longer period of time that ensures that the player would rarely, if ever end up 'accidentally' going into boost mode as it would require more effort from the player.

3rd, other people suggested using the speed gauge from Unleased to act as a visual reference of how fast you were going, like in Mario 3. That along with the after-images that occur are enough of a warning as when the boost will kick in.

And 4th, momentum. You wouldn't go from 30 to Mach 10 in a split second, you'd gradually accelerate to that speed. The acceleration is a what makes the transition less jarring. Kinda like getting a Star in Mario Kart.

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It's a very fine line.

The Pulseman example is not a good one because the level design is very tight and is built as a more slow paced platformer. Sonic games work by a very different design philosophy with long paths that encourage going fast, where the speed up would be more natural to the player.

2nd the boost mode is meant to occur over a much longer period of time that ensures that the player would rarely, if ever end up 'accidentally' going into boost mode as it would require more effort from the player.

3rd, other people suggested using the speed gauge from Unleased to act as a visual reference of how fast you were going, like in Mario 3. That along with the after-images that occur are enough of a warning as when the boost will kick in.

And 4th, momentum. You wouldn't go from 30 to Mach 10 in a split second, you'd gradually accelerate to that speed. The acceleration is a what makes the transition less jarring. Kinda like getting a Star in Mario Kart.

This is all well and good, but what should the speed cap be outside of boost mode? The conundrum is that he can't be too fast, yet should not feel sluggish. Not trying to be an ass, just curious what you think.

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The Pulseman example is not a good one because the level design is very tight and is built as a more slow paced platformer. Sonic games work by a very different design philosophy with long paths that encourage going fast, where the speed up would be more natural to the player.
I think it's jarring regardless of the level design. I think it's jarring in SAdv2, and SAdv2's levels are designed like bobsled tracks.

3rd, other people suggested using the speed gauge from Unleased to act as a visual reference of how fast you were going, like in Mario 3.
Does anyone actually look at those gauges? Ever? I mean in Mario I'm just listening for the siren to know when I'm good to fly, and I routinely forget Unleashed even has a speed gauge. And when I'm already moving at a decent pace I don't want to have to keep glancing at some bar in the corner of the screen when there's shit I might run into.

And 4th, momentum. You wouldn't go from 30 to Mach 10 in a split second, you'd gradually accelerate to that speed. The acceleration is a what makes the transition less jarring. Kinda like getting a Star in Mario Kart.
Yeah but when you get a star, you choose to use it. You don't drive for some arbitrary amount of time and then suddenly start going faster.

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Which is why I say screw all these pointless methods of over-complicating the gameplay. Just have Sonic run in the direction you want him to. Ok with increased speed, movement becomes more fluid and not ultra-precise as physics dictates, but other than that just give Sonic a fixed acceleration (whatever the actual value is, should be determined by play-testing by a third party and judged by feel).

The only things you should need to is make sure acceleration while downhill is faster than on flat ground and acceleration is slower when going uphill. In rolling mode, your downhill acceleration is higher than when running, and uphill acceleration is slower than when running.

It really should be that simple. There is no need for a "boost mode" to go super-fast. If that much speed is needed in a stage, then just have enough means of propulsion (i.e speed boosters) and longer, steeper slopes to allow for a higher speed. The maximum acheivable in a stage should be determined by level geometry and skill at using the the level geometry in unique ways.

Having Sonic suddenly go faster because of some arbitrary parameter such as reaching a certain speed or maintaining a certain threshold speed for an arbitrarily determined time, is just pointless. Just let things flow naturally. No need to overcomplicate things.

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Which is why I say screw all these pointless methods of over-complicating the gameplay. Just have Sonic run in the direction you want him to. Ok with increased speed, movement becomes more fluid and not ultra-precise as physics dictates, but other than that just give Sonic a fixed acceleration (whatever the actual value is, should be determined by play-testing by a third party and judged by feel).

The only things you should need to is make sure acceleration while downhill is faster than on flat ground and acceleration is slower when going uphill. In rolling mode, your downhill acceleration is higher than when running, and uphill acceleration is slower than when running.

It really should be that simple. There is no need for a "boost mode" to go super-fast. If that much speed is needed in a stage, then just have enough means of propulsion (i.e speed boosters) and longer, steeper slopes to allow for a higher speed. The maximum acheivable in a stage should be determined by level geometry and skill at using the the level geometry in unique ways.

Having Sonic suddenly go faster because of some arbitrary parameter such as reaching a certain speed or maintaining a certain threshold speed for an arbitrarily determined time, is just pointless. Just let things flow naturally. No need to overcomplicate things.

But the boost mode, while it may be slightly jarring, solves the conundrum of being able to maintain a fast speed ala the Modern games, while cooperating with Momentum and classic ideals and also allowing for better platformability while in the normal speed cap. I don't think it's the perfect solution, but it works.

Now, what I would propose is something that would be unique to Sonic, a slope-based "Speed Gauge". Sonic would normally have Generations's max non-boost speed, with SA1 accel, but when he ran down a slope (RAN. The gauge would not fill if he was rolling), aside from the usual acceleration effects, a gauge would start filling. When he got to flat ground or a slope not as steep, he would accelerate faster then he normally would on the slope or flat ground, depending on how much the gauge was filled. How fast the gauge filled would depend on how steep the slope it's filling on is. If you let go of the stick, the gauge would drain completely. If the gauge is filled at all, the speed cap is bumped all the way up to Generation's boost speed (How fast you accelerate there is obviously dependent on how much the gauge is filled). This is to provide that balance between rolling and running, and rolling will make you accelerate down the slope faster, but won't increase your accel in general like running down slopes and the "Speed Gauge".

I know it's a little complex to explain and I hope I was clear enough, ask me for any clarification!

Edited by Chaos Warp

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There is no need for a "boost mode" to go super-fast. If that much speed is needed in a stage, then just have enough means of propulsion (i.e speed boosters) and longer, steeper slopes to allow for a higher speed. The maximum acheivable in a stage should be determined by level geometry and skill at using the the level geometry in unique ways.

I should clarify the my proposal of the boost mode was as a solution to balance the Unleashed gameplay with the classic gameplay, retaining the boost move without overshadowing rolling, momentum and use of slopes.

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The spindash was added because Sonic was slower than felt convenient. He was still fast in Sonic 2, but his speed built up with difficulty. How fast does Sonic NEED to be? Not very much at all, so long as he can platform. He just needs the ability to gain momentum WITHOUT moving through a long stretch in order to take advantage of physics based level geometry. Remember in Sonic 1 when you had to back up to beat a loop-de-loop? If you can't count on your player having constant access to an ability, you have a hard time building a level around it. Designs that actually take advantage of speed in interesting ways would need long stretches in front of them, and don't you dare screw up or you will need to back up and do it again.

Imagine if Mario had to charge up his jumps.

Is level Geometry a term? If not, I'm gonna use it as one now. Thanks Scar. wink.png

Edited by Chaos Walker

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I liked his speed in the Adventure games. It didn't force the level design to be as linear as it is nowadays, but if you knew the levels, you could run through them pretty fast. And that's it. There is nothing more satisfying than going in high speeds you have earned with your own skills. Not by pressing some button, but by playing the stages over and over again until you finally got that perfect run. No other Sonic game has truly given me that feeling. smile.png

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I think that sonic adventure 1 and 2 did a decent job nailing his speed. Sure he doesn't feel as fast as in sonic generations, colors, or unleashed, but he was slow enough that you could actually platform, and would speed up as you go down hills, or hit boost panels. As for the boosting mechanic, I think that sonic generations has the best level designs using this mechanic.

In fact you could have sonic adventure 1 and 2 style levels (with added slope momentum and stuff from the 2d games), for a majority of the game, but then have a few levels where you run faster and boost. (Ex maybe chasing eggman). Hell, you could even use sonic generation/unleashed/colors style gameplay as the bonus levels.

On a side note: I think a 3d version of the sonic and metal sonic battle from sonic cd would be pretty awesome.

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I think that sonic adventure 1 and 2 did a decent job nailing his speed. Sure he doesn't feel as fast as in sonic generations, colors, or unleashed, but he was slow enough that you could actually platform, and would speed up as you go down hills, or hit boost panels. As for the boosting mechanic, I think that sonic generations has the best level designs using this mechanic.

In fact you could have sonic adventure 1 and 2 style levels (with added slope momentum and stuff from the 2d games), for a majority of the game, but then have a few levels where you run faster and boost. (Ex maybe chasing eggman). Hell, you could even use sonic generation/unleashed/colors style gameplay as the bonus levels.

That's why I'd suggest a compromise: SA1 accel, Generations's max non-boosting speed, to allow for better platformibility, while still keeping that high top end. Possibly a "run" button to help you accelerate faster, when you want to?

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That's why I'd suggest a compromise: SA1 accel, Generations's max non-boosting speed, to allow for better platformibility, while still keeping that high top end. Possibly a "run" button to help you accelerate faster, when you want to?

While that does sound like a good idea, I don't know how you would design stages that would mix both platforming and speed and be as good as the adventure stages. Sonic adventure 2 in particular had some great stages (City escape and radical highway anyone?) I think what made them good were the perfect balance between speed and platforming. Also it really felt like you were controlling soinc. What they need to do for sonic adventure 3 is mix sonic adventure and sonic adventure 2 style stages together. Sonic adventure 2's stages had good speed and a continual flow. While sonic adventure 1's stages felt more 3d in that it didn't feel like you were just going forward (sky deck).

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I'm getting to the point where I really think you can't make exciting level designs around the fastest speeds without them becoming quasi-QTEs. When speed shifts from a move in your arsenal to your main mode of transport, how do you interestingly impliment it into the level design?

ChaosW.'s opinion: Make Sonic fast-ish like in Adventure, and then give him a move like the Spindash or boost and make sure the levels demand their use, or at least encourage them.

Edited by Chaos Walker

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Well, if we calculate the trajectory speed and friction of his shoes hitting against the Earth, taking into consideration the orbital force and direction of the Earths rotational pattern around the sun, as well as the texture of his shoes and the terrain he's running on and their compatibility, weighing in his speed in each of the installments and averaging it out between the perfect blend of platforming and high-speed action, and noting the difference between walking and boosting accelerations, as well as which way the colors of the wind blows, I would have to say HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW!?!?

Edited by Agent York

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While that does sound like a good idea, I don't know how you would design stages that would mix both platforming and speed and be as good as the adventure stages. Sonic adventure 2 in particular had some great stages (City escape and radical highway anyone?) I think what made them good were the perfect balance between speed and platforming. Also it really felt like you were controlling soinc. What they need to do for sonic adventure 3 is mix sonic adventure and sonic adventure 2 style stages together. Sonic adventure 2's stages had good speed and a continual flow. While sonic adventure 1's stages felt more 3d in that it didn't feel like you were just going forward (sky deck).

Well, you'd have to use a lot of slopes to gain speed in a natural way for this kind of level design to work. And Generation's Modern Sonic has a good balance between speed and platforming, just add more slopes to that.

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