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Old 12-18-2011   #81
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I'd be happy with the title screen idea, as well as GFZ being the only Christmas styled-stage. For some reason, it's these pointless little hidden things that for some reason stick with you and you have no real idea why.
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Old 12-18-2011   #82
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Firstly, I am anti-wintertime mode. Changing the stage to work with a winter theme breaks the original design of the level, and that makes a stage simply not work as well. For example, imagine Mystic's Midnight Freeze as a summer time level. You have to change some things, from the slipperiness of the ice to the hurtfulness of the water. The design wouldn't work any way but as a wintertime stage.
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Really? I know that the tiny brick texture looks awful and irritating on larger walls, but I've never had a problem with the other textures. The nature-themed parts look fine, we just need a good wall texture for the temple parts.
I use the 32-size tiles as a foreground texture, with the 64-size tiles as background. The 64 tiles don't tile as quickly, but they're really boring. I think the notion with the 32-size tiles is that there's some cross-tile shines that are supposed to transcend the square pattern, but I don't buy it. The familiar pattern of the squares is far stronger than the shine. If you wanted, you could make an entire 128-size texture of just one block, but you'd have to fill up the front of the block with a surface like the CASLTE9 bricks.
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For some reason, it's these pointless little hidden things that for some reason stick with you and you have no real idea why.
The little things are special, and you remember the special things. SRB2 Christmas is special to a lot of people, which is where all the fuss is coming from.
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Old 12-18-2011   #83
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which is where all the fuss is coming from.
That's because people who can see only they can see can't understand those little things, then they start a process by removing all imperfectness from a project, making it so perfect, that it becomes sterile.
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Old 12-18-2011   #84
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Originally Posted by BlueZero4 View Post
The little things are special, and you remember the special things. SRB2 Christmas is special to a lot of people, which is where all the fuss is coming from.
I'd just like to note that the things we fondly remember as nostalgia actually have no correlation to what is actually good. I'll let you in on a dirty little secret: personally, I fondly remember Bubsy the Bobcat. Whenever he gets brought up, warm and fuzzy memories of playing those games in my youth are provided, and I have a lot of warm and fuzzy memories of those games. This doesn't change that those games are rubbish and playing them nowadays while I'm not an ignorant kid just drives the point home. Just because we have warm and fuzzy memories of Christmas mode doesn't mean we should keep it around. Some things are actually better left as memories.

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That's because people who can see only they can see can't understand those little things, then they start a process by removing all imperfectness from a project, making it so perfect, that it becomes sterile.
So you're saying that we should intentionally include irredeemable flaws in SRB2 because someone somewhere has an attachment to them? The reason I'm here making a game called Sonic Robo Blast 2 instead of Bubsy Woolie Blast 2 is because classic Sonic had a level of polish and professional design that Bubsy doesn't. Bubsy has plenty of imperfectness, both in the engine and in the level design, but that doesn't make it a good game. It's definitely not sterile, I agree, but it's also quite bad. Classic Sonic has a lot less flaws, but personally I don't consider it sterile by comparison.

Part of the creative process is deletion, and while I know a lot of people don't like that, deletion is a VERY important part of the process. It is impossible to make a good creative work only by addition, and when things don't fit, aren't working out, or otherwise are dragging our project down, they need to go. Christmas mode is in fact the very worst kind of flaw because the player doesn't even get to ignore it. It enables itself on the user whether the user wants it or not. Even ignoring the quality problems of Christmas mode I've been trying to get rid of it for years for that very reason. If my removal of bad features makes the game sterile to you, I'm sorry, but the reality is my goal is to make the most polished and best game I possibly can, and that's going to include removing features some of you may actually like.
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Old 12-18-2011   #85
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(...) that's going to include removing features some of you may actually like.
Personally, I don't like Christmas mode, this includes Halloween too. I hated when I was forced to play in way I wasn't asked beforehand or I didn't have control over. Then, I cheated SRB2 by changing my PC's clock. Simple? No at all. Annoying.

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So you're saying that we should intentionally include irredeemable flaws in SRB2 because someone somewhere has an attachment to them?
No.

And the only irredeemable (?) flaw I can remember of holidays-mode is the forced switch that SRB2 pushed down my throat twice a year. I fail to remember more other flaws maybe because I tuned it off by the said mean every time it popped out in my computer screen. If holidays mode was that bad, maybe because the texture and sprite replacement didn't turn out well. Am I right?

(If we kill whole thing just for one flaw, say, we have a school where the kids aren't learning anything and finish the course as stupid as they started the course. Solution? Let's demolish the school: no school means no stupid kids anymore. Profit.)

My point is this topic is polarized between two opinions:

1) People want it back because of mood, meaning and for playing official levels in different feel.

2) People want it dead because of "forced switch" and for being bad.

And if the holidays mode weren't back, I wouldn't miss it. If it were back, I'd ignore it...... well, at least not for the 1st time.

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For some reason, it's these pointless little hidden things that for some reason stick with you and you have no real idea why.
Game is a pointless thing that we can live without. ^_~
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Old 12-18-2011   #86
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I didn't like Christmas mode back in 1.09.4/SRB2JTE days because you were forced to play in it whether you liked it or not. Add to that the fact that levels that originally weren't designed to be in a winter setting (such as THZ1) were now suddenly given a winter makeover because of the system clock being a certain date. Thankfully there was the -noholiday option in SRB2JTE that disabled Christmas mode (and every other holiday mode in SRB2JTE for that matter).

I doubt that any of the developers would want Christmas mode to return anytime soon because of the fact that it is really unnecessary and adds extra stuff to the game that really shouldn't be there to begin with. I'd say let the developers finish SRB2 first then start debating whether to bring Christmas mode back or not.
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Old 12-18-2011   #87
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Christmas Mode also added a level of replay value to a game that actually didn't have any. I think that's also why it's something people want back.

SRB2 packs enough replay value now that it would actually just be a tacky addon at best. I loved Christmas Mode but it does not belong in the 2.X series.
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Old 12-18-2011   #88
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I'd just like to note that the things we fondly remember as nostalgia actually have no correlation to what is actually good.
So are we trying to produce a game that has high production value, or are we trying to produce a game that - for lack of a better phrase - makes people happy? Christmas mode wasn't high in quality, but it evoked the feel of the season inside SRB2. That was a definite service and it had an observable effect. SRB2 is a game for people.

There's a lot of pre-conceived notions in this community (or at least, in myself) about what makes good content and what doesn't. If it's fun, if people enjoy it, does it matter if it's good? Quality is just one method of creating content so that people can enjoy it. If I made content with the end goal of people enjoying it, I might meet the standards of quality as well, but I think my players might enjoy it more.
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Old 12-19-2011   #89
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SRB2 packs enough replay value now that it would actually just be a tacky addon at best. I loved Christmas Mode but it does not belong in the 2.X series.
Ever since my hard drive crashed, I never bothered redownloading SRB2. I may never redownload SRB2 until the next version or a popular user-created level comes out. If Christmas was still there, I would of tried out the game again for a fresh feel. Now this is where my original suggestion comes in with only changing the title screen and first zone. I would only play GFZ and then be done with it. At least it would of made me come back for a little bit.
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Old 12-19-2011   #90
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SRB2 is a game for people.
I think this is something that is strongly ignored and I agree with this.
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Old 12-19-2011   #91
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And the only irredeemable (?) flaw I can remember of holidays-mode is the forced switch that SRB2 pushed down my throat twice a year. I fail to remember more other flaws maybe because I tuned it off by the said mean every time it popped out in my computer screen. If holidays mode was that bad, maybe because the texture and sprite replacement didn't turn out well. Am I right?
100% the reason I had it removed right here. I did the same thing year after year.

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So are we trying to produce a game that has high production value, or are we trying to produce a game that - for lack of a better phrase - makes people happy? Christmas mode wasn't high in quality, but it evoked the feel of the season inside SRB2. That was a definite service and it had an observable effect. SRB2 is a game for people.

There's a lot of pre-conceived notions in this community (or at least, in myself) about what makes good content and what doesn't. If it's fun, if people enjoy it, does it matter if it's good? Quality is just one method of creating content so that people can enjoy it. If I made content with the end goal of people enjoying it, I might meet the standards of quality as well, but I think my players might enjoy it more.
Personally, I find I enjoy games with high production values a lot more than games with no focus and low production values. I find myself playing more, having more fun, and getting more joy from classic Sonic than the aforementioned Bubsy series. Clearly both games were made with the goal of making a fun game for people; one just succeeded more than the other. Even my childhood self understood that Sonic 2 was a better game than Bubsy, despite my having fun with Bubsy. There's a reason I became a Sonic fanboy in my youth instead of a Bubsy fanboy, after all.

My goal isn't to say that you can't have fun with bad things, because it's obvious that we can. Just watch a few Sci-fi original movies for a basic proof of this. I just personally would prefer our game to actually be of consistent high quality and of good polish so that we can continue to enjoy the game and present a good initial impression to new users that may not have played the game back when we had all sorts of problematic features still intact. People are more likely to come back and play our game again if it's good than if it's bad, after all.

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Ever since my hard drive crashed, I never bothered redownloading SRB2. I may never redownload SRB2 until the next version or a popular user-created level comes out. If Christmas was still there, I would of tried out the game again for a fresh feel. Now this is where my original suggestion comes in with only changing the title screen and first zone. I would only play GFZ and then be done with it. At least it would of made me come back for a little bit.
To be honest, I don't see the benefit here. Even if people are easily amused and replay the stage for the amusement of it, what have you really accomplished here? You replayed GFZ for the lulz, way to go? This doesn't really add anything to the experience whatsoever.

The real original goal behind the Christmas mode in SRB2 was as a nod to Christmas NiGHTS. It wasn't originally intended to be a way to extend replay value, but as it was set up as a date-based trigger, it ended up that way. The problem is that it didn't really work very well. Let's look at all the old date-based secrets we've had, and look at where they succeeded and failed:

New Year's Day - Mario Mode
Yes, believe it or not, Mario mode originally existed as a trigger that only worked on January 1st in its original implementation. While I won't go into the quality of Mario Koopa Blast in this thread, I think we can all agree that this didn't really work as nobody even knew the levels existed, as it triggered on a single date only. We simply made it into a normal unlockable later on, which was much better.

April 1st - Old Intro
This is an unobtrusive and fun little extra, and doesn't affect gameplay whatsoever. IIRC this actually is even still implemented, and I have no objection to this one at all.

April - Easter Egg Hunt
This is the only removed time-based unlockable that had any merit whatsoever, as far as I'm concerned, and is also the only one added with the actual intent of generating replay value. Not only was it as unobtrusive as possible and single player only (therefore preventing any issues with netplay), it actually legitimately added a real gameplay reason to come back and play again, in the form of hidden eggs that weren't there when the event was running, encouraging the player to play through the demo levels again to try to find them. The problem is that this is essentially the intent of the emblem system, and was kinda redundant. We are considering revamping the emblem system in 2.1 in order to bring the fun of this feature back into the game, just without the date requirement.

Christmas Season (dates actually vary by release, originally December 25 to January 5, not including January 1st) - Xmas mode
As I've stated before, this was a cute nod to Christmas NiGHTS, putting in retextured levels and Christmas music, also implemented ages ago. As a cute nod it actually works quite well, but the old Christmas textures leave a lot to be desired, and the application of it in multiplayer caused all sorts of headaches back in the old days, especially when it actually changed more than just the textures. The original version made thrown rings snowballs, which caused all sorts of hell on servers as people conflicted on what files were loaded and what weren't, causing massive consistency failures (remember, system clocks differ between different players). After a couple years of these problems, it became standard practice online to have to state before starting the server whether or not your system clock was set into that mode or not.

The essential problem here is that basing gameplay changes on the system clock doesn't work well in multiplayer because the system clock is different for all players in the game and it's easy to manipulate. Many modern multiplayer games have date-based events and features, such as World of Warcraft. These games are based on a centralized server that determines what resources are and aren't involved in the game, and this allows them to provide little events that affect all players at the same time and never end up breaking things. Even better for these kind of games, these kind of things break up the grind that is often associated with them, providing something different for the player to do with their friends for a few weeks at a time. Since they're also based on a subscription model with the goal of having the player play them for a long period of time, this works out heavily to their benefit.

SRB2 really isn't designed with that in mind. We aren't trying to break up some kind of grind with events, or trying to sucker you to buy limited edition skins like freemium games frequently use events for. Instead of gating content artificially by requiring you wait for the content, I would far rather let you play everything we have at once, and let you determine the pace you'd like to play the game on your own. We aren't here with the goal of tricking you into paying a subscription fee or logging into the game server every day so you see our advertisements; we're here providing a free game we made with the hopes you enjoy it and nothing more. At the end of the day, SRB2 is a single player game with multiplayer modes attached, just like classic console games were back in the day. If you want to grind for event-based hats, you'll have to play another game. =P

Last edited by Mystic; 12-19-2011 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011   #92
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Oh please, what good is there in laziness? Just spit it out. You removed christmas mode, Easter Eggs, openGL(as you planned at first) and all those extra things simply because you're too lazy to bother keeping it up, and it's much too hard for you to think of a proper way to do it. No shame in admitting that, as it DOES take a lot more work to implent christmas mode correctly now than it did back in 1.0.9.4.

But if enough effort's put into christmas mode, you could do it. It was a texture/sprite change before, to get it right now you'd need to have a special christmas levelpack of sorts. But where's the problem in that? Hell, I think there's even plenty of people on the forums who'd love to MAKE you guys this pack. But then you'd come out with the "it's forced upon you" thing.

Well, considering how 2.0 is forcing you to play the game in its intended way a lot more than 1.09.4 does, why is this even a problem? Pfft, in real life you can't prevent it from snowing or raining. In SRB2 there's a freaking noXmas command. Leave the minority to enjoy their addonless game for the millionth time while the majority celebrates Christmas and feels happy over the fresh breeze of change.

Fun is no flaw. If you're removing entire features just because you're afraid they may have some flaws in them you know you're being too precist, ESPECIALLY when they're just bonuses...

And against another argument said...

This ISN't a professional Sonic game. And it will never be. It's a fangame based on the old Doom Legacy, and I hope you know as well as I do this project would've ended long ago if it wasn't for the online support, ease of editing the game's addons, and generic shooter modes that have little to nothing to do with Sonic.

Well, unless you guys would keep working on a dead fangame you know will only be played again for a while at the next big release. Then sure, you guys would've made it to 2.0. XD
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Old 12-19-2011   #93
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Then you need to seriously take a look at the previous arguments on this topic because "We're too lazy" is not the reason Christmas mode is taken out.


...It's the reason 2.1 isn't out yet. :X
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Old 12-19-2011   #94
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I'm saying it can work perfectly fine if you take a different aproach than the 1.09.4 one. Obviously it's a lot harder to implent Christmas mode correctly now than it was back then. But it's not impossible. With some effort and a dta that actually changes the levels as well as it's textures sprites individually, it should work out just fine. A guy that doesn't have it added for some reason will automaticly get it added when he joins a netgame. Where's the problem in this?
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Old 12-19-2011   #95
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For a moment there I was going to dignify your post with a well-thought out rebuttal, SMS, but you aren't even reading anything in this thread anyways, so I decided against it. Please, for the sake of everyone else on the forums, sit down, read and comprehend the posts in the thread before making wildly hilarious accusations and ignorant ravings.
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Old 12-19-2011   #96
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Mystic, the old intro doesn't trigger at all on April first, the clock trigger is either completely busted or removed.

on the plus side, less graphics for me to put into SRB2 The Past.
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Old 12-19-2011   #97
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Regarding the annoyance with having a forced Christmas mode, I'm sure the devs could make it an option instead. For example, when you start a new game during the holidays you could choose to start it in Christmas mode. Also, perhaps make Christmas mode no-save so that way you couldn't load up the Christmas map after the season is over.

Mystic, I would like to comment on a few of your points. Regarding your two main issues with the mode (breaks multiplayer and the textures are lacking by today's standards), as I've said before, you could just remove the multiplayer and keep it as a single player 'easter egg'. As for the textures, that is in my opinion your strongest argument for keeping Christmas mode out of the game, and a fair one. There really is no way around it other than creating new textures, which as you've stated, would get in the way of releasing major content. I can agree with this point and I see how it could negatively affect SRB2's development.

However, I would like to argue on this one.
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To be honest, I don't see the benefit here. Even if people are easily amused and replay the stage for the amusement of it, what have you really accomplished here? You replayed GFZ for the lulz, way to go? This doesn't really add anything to the experience whatsoever.
Thinking about your post logically, it makes sense, but from experience, a simple thing like a seasonal retexture can actually add a whole lot for some people. Just the simple aesthetic value of seeing a reflection of the real-life change in season being translated in game is for me, something I really and wholeheartedly enjoy - there is no need for anything to be accomplished or obtained. It just is what it is. Although I'm sure there are many who would disagree with me, judging from the posts we've seen so far, there's likely just as many who wouldn't. I think that is enough to counter at least this one argument against Christmas mode.

Last edited by Ultimate; 12-19-2011 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011   #98
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April - Easter Egg Hunt
This is the only removed time-based unlockable that had any merit whatsoever, as far as I'm concerned, and is also the only one added with the actual intent of generating replay value. Not only was it as unobtrusive as possible and single player only (therefore preventing any issues with netplay), it actually legitimately added a real gameplay reason to come back and play again, in the form of hidden eggs that weren't there when the event was running, encouraging the player to play through the demo levels again to try to find them. The problem is that this is essentially the intent of the emblem system, and was kinda redundant. We are considering revamping the emblem system in 2.1 in order to bring the fun of this feature back into the game, just without the date requirement.
I actually brought up the Easter Egg hunt before in this thread, I absolutely loved that feature. Great to hear that you guys want to bring back the feature!

About the online clock issue, how come the game can't just load up whatever the host has? Say if the host has Christmas mode on, then it would default to it even if your clock wasn't set to it. Or is this impossible? I also agree with Ultimate, online doesn't have to have Christmas mode. (Online seems to be the biggest complaint towards Christmas mode)

Last edited by Autosaver; 12-19-2011 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011   #99
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The thing is, there's a much better solution to this, that solves the user choice problem easily and fixes every conceivable problem that the date-based setup caused. Even better, it's a feature the entire community already knows and is quite familiar with: a third-party WAD file. You can use glaber's aforementioned (and awful) mod, or if you want you can make your own that isn't as sucky. Either way you get everything that we mentioned before with none of the complicated problems that the built-in, system clock setup created.
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Old 12-19-2011   #100
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I realize this opens an entirely different can of worms, but more than a Christmas-themed level or level-recolor, I'd like one "official" single-player snow-themed level, even if it were short and/or unlockable. I would think that there'd be enough inherent platforming material in such a level (slippery surfaces, traversing under ice floes, maybe an SRB2 Riders-esque boarding section, etc, etc) that one wouldn't be forced to simply make a Midnight Freeze-clone. I honestly thought the original idea with Blue Mountain Zone was to combine lava and ice elements and I loved it.

Of course, that probably says more about my OCD-like obsession with having all the basic level tropes accounted for in a platformer, so make of it what you will. :P
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