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Old 01-05-2020   #1
Cyron
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Default SRB2 from the perspective of newcomers

idk, i just felt there wasnt really a thread making it clear who the newcomers were, and felt like it'd be a good idea to have a thread about their perspectives to make the experience better for someone starting off

While I myself am not a newcomer, I brought in about 10 friends to finally try SRB2 recently, making many accommodations to ease their experience. From what I've gather from their playthroughs and co-op sessions, I feel like theres some things, potentially of the hot take variety, that could be discussed.

This one is obvious and is something I assume will just eventually happen, but the lack of shadows in general gives making judgement far more difficult for beginners. Most of them had an incredibly hard time judging their jumps, distance from the ground, etc, due to the lack of shadowing, leading to hits to deaths.

Next is control. While some of them could handle the vanilla control, it's unanimous that none of them wanted to deal with it. 2 of them were able to adapt decently by act 3, while the rest struggled and some were already willing to quit due to the unnatural nature of the control scheme. Fickle's mod swooped in and saved the whole situation, with a little tweaking, they found this to be their preferred method. If I ever felt strongly about the whole control debate, it's because of stuff like this, this was the first time I was about to keep people unwilling to learn the control scheme to stay, and I feel that's a sign the game needs major working for simple, or controller, controls. The controls aren't familiar enough for some folk.

This also leads into the biggest hot take, the level design. I personally am fine with the level design, but I also been on and off of this game since the final demo days, so my friends' perspective had me questioning a few design choices. The game wants a sense of freedom and exploration, and obviously a lot of camera control, but also does a decent job at streamlining the direction the player needs to go...at first. The later levels of the game start to become a bit too open or spacious, like Castle Eggman, and this lead to a handful of them to flat out get lost. One of them even said some really harsh things about whoever designed Castle Eggman and the boss. I know ring trails exist, but you have to think for the lowest common denominator, someone isn't going to catch on.

From this, I think the game could improve with some sort of guidance system, since it's clear that some people are adamant the game doesn't get too streamlined like modern games. One idea that came to mine is a directional arrow like in Crazy Taxi or some racing games, where the arrow points in the direction you should be going based on your positioning, but I'm not sure how plausible a system like this is.

However, even with a guidance system, the game needs some more streamlining, or rather, there needs to be less areas where "going forward" isn't really an option. If going forward is very clearly blocked off, there is no issues, but you got some instances where the solution isn't directly in the players line of view, and that's not great for newcomers.

That just leaves bosses, which by the time Castle Eggman shows up, they didn't seem to like any of them. Castle Eggman in nature just revolves around waiting, even with the buttons, and arguably just needs to be changed outright. Fang is pretty much the only reason you really need heavy camera control in this game, and is also one of the worst bosses for a newcomer, even when I first fought him, I thought it was a mess how he jumps over everything (not great in software), and theres little room to counterattack and insanely easy to get bomb'd off the train in the latter half. Metal Sonic is better but honestly just get rid of pits, maybe rework the latter half where theres SOME notification of where hes attacking from. Braks just a mess, you got to wait for him to become vulnerable and even then sometimes he just has godly aim with nearly no leeway if you're standing still, also isn't easy to track like Fang, but less severe.

tldr from what i got from my friends the game needs simpler controls, some retooled bosses, and some more streamlining and guidance options. so, what about other newcomers? how do you feel about the game as is?
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Old 01-05-2020   #2
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I'm a veteran at this point, I started playing... Well, decades ago to be blunt. My first version playing the game was back when Superman Sonic was a thing, a joke I found to be pretty hilarious at the time. As a veteran, I don't really agree with a lot of these criticisms, but since that isn't what you are looking for, here's my initial impressions on the game based on memory from back when I first played the game:

The first thing I noticed was that the environments are 3D but the player and enemies use 2D sprites. This led me to the initial assumption that enemies would be next to impossible to actually hit because of the flat nature of the sprites, and my first few times trying to jump on an enemy and missing ended with me blaming it on this. It took me a little bit of time to adapt and realize that the hitboxes are actually 3D, the sprites are just a visual aesthetic.

I was a PS1/Dreamcast kid growing up, so this probably won't be too surprising to anyone who knows how games with camera control tended to control back then, but I actually found the tank controls the game had at the time to be quite familiar and comfortable. It was certainly different from what I expected from a Sonic game, but I adapted pretty quickly and found myself hooked before long. This was back when the default control style was actually significantly worse than it is now, take that with whatever significance you can think of to assign to it.

The level design back then was fairly simplistic, it was always pretty obvious where you were meant to go or what you were meant to do to progress. The worst level was probably CEZ1 at the time because there was a single hidden button you had to push to unlock the gate to get to Act 2, and the game did nothing to tell you this. After finding the button and getting used to the route however, that problem didn't last long, and then Act 2 was a fairly straightforward button hunt which I actually was quite fond of and had a lot of fun speedrunning over and over back in the day. The level design has certainly become a lot more complex since back then, but even going through the levels my first time in 2.2 the only level I found myself getting lost in was CEZ2 and even then I still finished in less than 10 minutes.

I actually think the bosses are generally better now than they have ever been and compliment the gameplay really well. The only ones I would give major changes to are THZ and DSZ's bosses, but I have already detailed that out in another thread.

Back in the day when I was new to SRB2, there were only three bosses, and the third one was just the first one but with spiked balls orbiting around the Eggmobile. If you think the bosses are terrible now, they were much moreso back then and are a vast improvement over what used to be.

I feel like most of the problems people might have with SRB2 trying it for the first time today probably have to do with how much the gaming scenery has changed in the last few decades. SRB2 doesn't really directly compare to anything else out there today, it's very unfamiliar. This is inevitably going to turn some people off, but I actually think changing it up too much to accommodate for those people would actually be to the game's detriment. The most I feel like they should do from a design standpoint is perfect the refinement of Fickle's controls as an accessibility option for players who prefer playing on a controller, and then integrate that into the main executable. The rest boils down to players giving the game enough time for it to become familiar. The game as it is now does work, it's just different enough from everything else that it takes some adapting to.
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Old 01-05-2020   #3
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I've been wondering what caused the (seemingly) significant backlash to the default controls in 2.2, because the controls are exactly the same as they've been for decades. My random thoughts...
  • Did 2.2 invite a lot of new players, more than I think?
  • Were a lot more people using analog mode than informal surveys implied?
  • Is the complexity of the level design causing people to hit roadblocks much earlier than previous versions, where it was relatively smooth sailings until you hit Egg Rock?
  • Is the change from a 4-button (with 2 buttons "optional"... but not really) control scheme to a full 6-button control scheme screwing with people's heads when they're still trying to learn the basics?
  • As years pass, are people less and less willing to give a game that plays unlike other 3D platformers a chance, compared to a long time ago where there was much more experimentation in 3D platformer design?
  • Does the decreasing popularity of Sonic and the greater number of high-quality free PC games (such as Fortnite) mean that there are far fewer kids around who have SRB2 as their only option and thus will put the time in to learn the game properly?
  • Am I just imagining things? Is it only due to confirmation bias that there seems to be more criticism about the controls this update compared to previous ones?
None of this has anything to do with making the game more approachable to new players, which is definitely something that can be worked on. That said, the advantage of creating a free fangame is that you're allowed to make decisions that primarily appeal to a niche. There's no monetary advantage to appealing to a broader audience.

If this were an official game, the solution to players getting lost would be to make the levels less complex, not to try to program a Crazy Taxi-style wayfinder. I'm very thankful for that.

Last edited by Unknownlight; 01-05-2020 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 01-05-2020   #4
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Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
I've been wondering what caused the (seemingly) significant backlash to the default controls in 2.2, because the controls are exactly the same as they've been for decades. My random thoughts...
  • Did 2.2 invite a lot of new players, more than I think?
    Were a lot more people using analog mode than informal surveys implied?
  • Is the complexity of the level design causing people to hit roadblocks much earlier than previous versions, where it was relatively smooth sailings until you hit Egg Rock?
  • Is the change from a 4-button (with 2 buttons "optional"—but not really) control scheme to a full 6-button control scheme screwing with people's heads when they're still trying to learn the basics?
  • As years pass, are people less and less willing to give a game that plays unlike other 3D platformers a chance, compared to a long time ago where there was much more experimentation in 3D platformer design?
  • Does the decreasing popularity of Sonic and the greater number of high-quality free PC games (such as Fortnite) mean that there are far fewer kids around who have SRB2 as their only option and thus will put the time in to learn the game properly?
  • Am I just imagining things? Is it only due to confirmation bias that there seems to be more criticism about the controls this update compared to previous ones?
None of this has anything to do with making the game more approachable to new players, which is definitely something that can be worked on. That said, the advantage of creating a free fangame is that you're allowed to make decisions that primarily appeal to a niche. There's no monetary advantage to appealing to a broader audience.

If this were an official game, the solution to players getting lost would be to make the levels less complex, not to try to program a Crazy Taxi-style wayfinder. I'm very thankful for that.
There is one significant change to the controls (Knuckles specific aside), though a lot of old players won't notice it since they already played like this anyway. Turn Left and Turn Right previously were tank controls by default, literally only rotating which direction was "forward". This has been replaced by strafing by default now, a decision I am highly fond of. I got used to strafing some time ago, it really is a far superior control method in the majority of situations.

In regards to your bullet points, here are my thoughts in numbered order:
1. It's certainly possible. Mania likely grew the Sonic Fanbase up quite a bit by bringing old fans who gave up on the franchise long ago back in, and then by extension their friends and family members via recommendation and gifting. Since one possible viewpoint is that SRB2 is "Like Mania, but 3D", it isn't unthinkable that more people are playing SRB2 for the first time now than have ever before.

2. This is likely, but how common it is could be subject to debate. While the level design after Techno Hill does start getting a fair bit more complex than before, experienced gamers used to playing exploration games and platformers shouldn't have too much trouble navigating around the levels and finding the goal signs. This remains true even if they aren't used to playing Sonic games. Less experienced gamers however, I can imagine easily getting lost either due to confusion or hesitation.

3. I think the tutorial does a decent enough job of ensuring that players giving SRB2 a try for the first time know how to do the basics well enough to not feel overwhelmed when in the actual game, at least in regards to the controls. I do think the tutorial should be expanded a bit with optional parts that cover more topics such as all the different shields, character specific abilities, etc.

4. In general, yes. Especially kids. Not only has parenting changed, but the general climate within the gaming culture has changed as well. Single Player games marketed towards children tend to be made deliberately easier than they used to be, with much more hand holding. This creates a lot of expectations within younger gamers such as infinite lives, pity skips for hard parts of levels that are killing them too much, and a general lack of patience when it comes to having to figure things out on their own. Unfortunately, I doubt there's anything that could really be done to remedy this short of the entire gaming culture shifting back in the direction of difficult games it used to be in.

5. It's hard to say. Sonic is still actually fairly popular, even if the kids act like they hate the franchise to act cool online. Sales figures show that Sonic is still doing plenty well enough to continue to justify more games being made, and that simply can't be entirely old returning fans keeping it afloat with their wallets. That said, it's difficult to come up with any sort of accurate estimate as to what portion of the playerbase, and specifically the new playerbase playing SRB2 are children and how much they prefer SRB2 over other options.

6. It's probably less confirmation bias and probably more snowball effect. Once a controversy gets started, more and more people will start to weigh in with their opinions until the number of people peaks out. Most people are probably indifferent to the issue, but at the very least have some ideas as to how the controls could be improved or made more accessible. Many of these people would have likely remained silent otherwise, but because the conversation got going they figured they might as well join in with their thoughts.

In general, I agree that there isn't really much of an incentive to tailor the game in favor of newer players. The game isn't for sale, it's a passion project. As such, keeping true to the vision is more important than reeling in new players. This is probably why SRB2 is so great. Even though the development process is much slower than a budget, official title, the huge length of development time provides the developers with the advantage of having lots of time to get things right and receive a ton of feedback from the community. If SRB2 had been developed like an official title, it probably would have released decades ago with the full, final version not having many of the features that are in today such as slopes, vertical momentum preservation, NiGHTS mode, etc.
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Old 01-05-2020   #5
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Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
I've been wondering what caused the (seemingly) significant backlash to the default controls in 2.2, because the controls are exactly the same as they've been for decades. My random thoughts...
The backlash wasn't necessarily about just the control, but the potential threat of another option being removed. If anything, I felt older players who used that scheme were backlashing more than new players were. Or people like me, who just thought it wasn't a good idea to fully remove an option even if it's bad.

For your bullet points:
1. I think 2.2 was one of the biggest peaks for the game in a long while, it was a long time coming, and getting more recognition than usual in the community due to its age and even winning a doom award of sorts. Just about everything that covered sonic fan games talked about it, and with the level of quality the game is at now, it actually looks stunning despite other 3d fangames being out there. 2.2 was the first time in a long time where someone could look at GFZ1 and immediately tell the game was changed.
2. Probably yes and no, you're never gonna get an accurate answer with a variable subject like this.
3. While not a newcomer, I actually found the newer designs more streamlined despite being more expansive, the game does a much better job at attempting to guide the player. That being said, newcomers might feel different, and regardless I just think the general nature of the game and it's design will cause confusion because it's not completely straightforward.
4. I doubt it, they're being tasked to learn a game considered unorthodox by today platform standards regardless, it's awkward for newcomers either way. I think it's just more obvious, at least using my friends, that advocating another play style their familiar with is preferred. People want familiarity and that's hard to get today with SRB2 than back then.
5. Time Gear said the gist of it but basically the market has changed, what people grow up with is much more accessible and easy to digest than before, especially on computers where controllers, modern ones at that, are just a standard now. SRB2's scheme is possibly a relic of time in comparison, and why waste time learning when theres a lot of other easier to understand free options, even WITHIN the sonic fan game community. The sad truth is that anyone can pick up a classic style or 3d style fangame in a quicker session than SRB2 now, where back then, making Sonic games was HARD, they didn't even have slopes most of the time, let alone even actually played like Sonic games.
6. Some of what I said in 5 apply here, but I will say based off my profession: child love Sonic, I see the guy everywhere. The only people that dislike Sonic are internet dwellers.
7. I just think controls hit a breaking point when another option was being threatened, this stuff honestly died down pretty quickly especially when Fickles mod hit the scene.

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None of this has anything to do with making the game more approachable to new players, which is definitely something that can be worked on. That said, the advantage of creating a free fangame is that you're allowed to make decisions that primarily appeal to a niche. There's no monetary advantage to appealing to a broader audience.
You're right, they don't really have to make decisions for these individuals when they can continue to focus on the niche the game appeals to, though I personally don't think that's a great idea even if a subject is niche, you still want people to play what you put your effort into after all.
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keeping true to the vision is more important than reeling in new players.
This is a HARD disagree though. Fair enough if they were sticking to their guns, but it's very clear the team wants feedback if it wasn't evident enough. The last thing a team should want to do while looking for feedback is to stick strictly to your vision without compromising. They obviously want new players to play the game, it was part of the reason why analog was hidden in the first place, in an attempt to reduce poor first experiences. I'm pretty sure now the focus alongside other stuff is to improve stages some more, adjust characters, and finding a scheme that works in replacement for analog.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
If this were an official game, the solution to players getting lost would be to make the levels less complex, not to try to program a Crazy Taxi-style wayfinder. I'm very thankful for that.
I was honestly just spit-balling an idea, I didn't want to just say make the levels less complex because I'm sure no one vibes with that.

Last edited by Cyron; 01-05-2020 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 01-05-2020   #6
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Opinions:


- I think some of the backlash from the controls is from people who have played the game with analog mode and then had the option removed (or hidden) from them. Part of it might be that the new default is a confusing half-step, where it still plays identically but looks like it should reflect an analog-like movement system, which confuses players when the original system made it very obvious that you were considered to face where your camera pointed. (Some of the problem is people getting into ever-louder arguments when they're told that "the default controls are best, why do you like analog lol" which escalates the problems massively)


- A tutorial will help people who are going in with no expectations to help them learn this game's weird unique control scheme. It will do nothing to sate people who want a game that controls like all the other platformers they played. IMO this game doesn't do much that specifically requires strafing as opposed to a traditional 3D platformer setup (all the comparisons people make are to old tank controls). There's already a whole topic to talk about the controls, though.


- There's definitely some directioning issues in certain maps. This would be best fixed by changing those instances themselves. Maybe in general, if it was harder to backtrack where paths split and rejoin, that might solve some of the issues? (As a radical idea, I wonder if it would help at all to mark starposts with numbers based on their internal order number, so players can look for increasing or decreasing numbers as a gauge of progress? idk)


- Yes, drop shadows.
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Old 01-06-2020   #7
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Fickle, don't you already have a test version of Fcam with drop shadows? I believe if you make it so they're only on the player it would be on course to become part of the base game (as well as the rest of fcam I hope) Which would be fantastic for newcomers.
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Old 01-06-2020   #8
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Next is control. While some of them could handle the vanilla control, it's unanimous that none of them wanted to deal with it. 2 of them were able to adapt decently by act 3, while the rest struggled and some were already willing to quit due to the unnatural nature of the control scheme. Fickle's mod swooped in and saved the whole situation, with a little tweaking, they found this to be their preferred method. If I ever felt strongly about the whole control debate, it's because of stuff like this, this was the first time I was about to keep people unwilling to learn the control scheme to stay, and I feel that's a sign the game needs major working for simple, or controller, controls. The controls aren't familiar enough for some folk.

This also leads into the biggest hot take, the level design. I personally am fine with the level design, but I also been on and off of this game since the final demo days, so my friends' perspective had me questioning a few design choices. The game wants a sense of freedom and exploration, and obviously a lot of camera control, but also does a decent job at streamlining the direction the player needs to go...at first. The later levels of the game start to become a bit too open or spacious, like Castle Eggman, and this lead to a handful of them to flat out get lost. One of them even said some really harsh things about whoever designed Castle Eggman and the boss. I know ring trails exist, but you have to think for the lowest common denominator, someone isn't going to catch on.

From this, I think the game could improve with some sort of guidance system, since it's clear that some people are adamant the game doesn't get too streamlined like modern games. One idea that came to mine is a directional arrow like in Crazy Taxi or some racing games, where the arrow points in the direction you should be going based on your positioning, but I'm not sure how plausible a system like this is.
These points represent exactly why I think an automatic camera showing the player the way is a good idea, and I mentioned this in the control thread. There needs to be a linedef executor/object relationship between the camera and the map. With it, you could keep most of the level design the same and instead, point the player in what direction they should be going or towards something they should be looking at. The basic gist of it is you have an object that acts as the camera destination, and you have a linedef/sector executor tagged to it that when crossed, would make the camera move, not snap, to the destination. As opposed to awayview where it snaps directly to the new position. All this while analog's controls make it easy to move relative to the camera position.

Yes, analog sucks on its own but it would be way easier to just have the camera be guided to where it needs to be and have analog's camera dependent controls figure the rest out rather than having to reimplement that with directionchar or Fickle's mod. Have you tried cam_rotate or an awayview with directionchar enabled? It's extremely disorienting as your entire control scheme stays relative to your real player angle, rather than your camera angle. While analog doesn't support cam_rotate, you can still use an awayview and it works perfectly fine with no tweaks. Camera control could be moved back to something like Fickle's mod with directionchar enabled when the player presses one of the rotate camera buttons so they can more easily explore if they wish to stray from the path that the camera guides them to.
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Old 01-06-2020   #9
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The problem with that is that it requires a hell of a lot more scripting from the level designer to control where the camera is facing, and it removes the player's ability to explore the level. One thing we like to have with this game is the ability to backtrack and explore. You can't do that if the camera is always focused on taking you forward.
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Old 01-06-2020   #10
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Some anecdotal evidence since I watched a friend of mine play through the beginning of the game a few days ago:

Before Play
  • I told him it was a Doom mod so he assumed mouse+WASD; I told him many players use controllers or keyboard-only but he stuck with it anyways
  • We talked about how modern Sonic often removes control from the player and what I thought special about SRB2 was that it almost never does so. We both acknowledged that that can lead to a high skill ceiling similar to e.g. high level movement in Quake.
  • He's played his share of FPS's, including "quake-style FPS's" (emphasis not just on aim but on quick and skilled movement but it definitely wasn't his area of expertise

Tutorial
  • He noticed almost immediately that you couldn't look up or down. I told him he could enable it in options if he wanted, he chose not to.
  • Otherwise went off without a hitch except the room where it teaches you to thok. It took him a few times to catch the timing.

GFZ1
  • Level design wise, he got lost on the first turn (where the blue emblem was) and backtracked a few times. I think that's been an issue ever since the old days of this map; I myself remember getting lost in this area the first time I played the game before I found the next checkpoint.
  • Otherwise his movement was almost but not quite fluid. He was definitely hesitant to jump and almost never thokked, spending most of his time on foot.
  • I noticed he had issues running into crawlas because they were literally covered up by Sonic's sprite or bushes. Something veteran players don't have an issue with because we spend most of our time in the jump state, giving us better perspective and protection from enemies.

GFZ2
  • This went [i]much[/] better than GFZ1 overall. He was now pretty comfy handling running but still not jumping much (aside from GFZ2 in general requiring more jumping).
  • Didn't get lost at all. The only real roadblock was one of the last springs, the one with the SDURF timing. The SDURF wasn't actually the problem, it was hitting the second spring in that chain! We talked about how you can still control your character even while hitting a spring, and this can be problematic if you need to land in a precise spot afterwards. As I recall he eventually spindashed into it so he wasn't pressing any controls after hitting it.
  • An aside: did you know that Genesis games lock your controls for about a quarter of a second after hitting a spring? Might be worth looking into.

GFZS
  • So he accidentally got a token while fumbling with the fishspring. Special stage went fine! But he didn't think to press jump to drill until I told him about halfway through.

GFZ3
  • I'll be honest, I thought this was gonna go pretty poorly - in my head I had always thought this boss was a difficulty spike. It's the first time you have to deal with projectiles and hitting movement targets in mid-air. Furthermore, the fact that he still seemed uncomfortable with jump mechanics gave me pause.
  • However, he actually aced this fight! Only got hit once and got an okay time (35-45s?). Showed good use of thokking, circlestrafing, and other fundamental movement technique.
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Old 01-06-2020   #11
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The problem with that is that it requires a hell of a lot more scripting from the level designer to control where the camera is facing, and it removes the player's ability to explore the level. One thing we like to have with this game is the ability to backtrack and explore. You can't do that if the camera is always focused on taking you forward.
Or at the very least it would make backtracking much more inconvenient.

Perhaps a compromise could be to have a "Lock On" feature you can assign to a button where when you hold the button down, the camera points forward in the direction of progress, but when you let go the total free camera movement is restored? This way new players could simply press a button to find the "right way" to go without losing out on the ability to backtrack conveniently.

Alternatively, you could have it so that when standing near a checkpoint you can use it to warp back to any checkpoint you have already touched, with each of them given a pre-determined number. This way, players who are lost could use any checkpoint they have already touched to return to the activated checkpoint that is furthest ahead in the level, helping them to be steered in the right direction. This would also allow for setpieces that would normally block off backtracking without actually blocking it off, since players could just use checkpoints to conveniently return to parts of the level before those setpieces and then get back.
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Old 01-06-2020   #12
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Or at the very least it would make backtracking much more inconvenient.

Perhaps a compromise could be to have a "Lock On" feature you can assign to a button where when you hold the button down, the camera points forward in the direction of progress, but when you let go the total free camera movement is restored? This way new players could simply press a button to find the "right way" to go without losing out on the ability to backtrack conveniently.

Alternatively, you could have it so that when standing near a checkpoint you can use it to warp back to any checkpoint you have already touched, with each of them given a pre-determined number. This way, players who are lost could use any checkpoint they have already touched to return to the activated checkpoint that is furthest ahead in the level, helping them to be steered in the right direction. This would also allow for setpieces that would normally block off backtracking without actually blocking it off, since players could just use checkpoints to conveniently return to parts of the level before those setpieces and then get back.
I like this idea. I'd probably make it more explicit by having every incorrect checkpoint glow in a pillar of red light. Touching it activates a pop-up message like "You appear to be lost. Teleport to last checkpoint?"

Teleporting freely between all checkpoints can be an unlockable feature after beating the game.
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Old 01-06-2020   #13
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I like this idea. I'd probably make it more explicit by having every incorrect checkpoint glow in a pillar of red light. Touching it activates a pop-up message like "You appear to be lost. Teleport to last checkpoint?"
I would probably have a visibly glowing ring on the ground around activated checkpoints, indicating that there's something you can do if you stand there without being overly flashy. Then a menu pops up with something like:

Return to checkpoint:
1

3
4 (Most Recent)


This way it's clear that this is a system for convenience regardless of if you are lost, that you can only teleport back to checkpoints you have actually touched (Hence checkpoint 2 not appearing on the list in my example, indicating the player skipped it somehow. Perhaps it could just be faded out and unable to be selected in game), and that higher numbers indicate further progress through the level.

This allows players to backtrack quickly if they remember that they forgot to grab something or if they are emblem hunting, but also functions as a progress helper for lost players who can't seem to find their way back to the right path.
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Old 01-10-2020   #14
JackelZXA
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Some ideas:
1) Give checkpoints directional sprites. It faces you as youmd approach it from the intended direction, but from behind the ball top has an x pattern so you know its not only an old checkpoint but is also backwards

2) add a button (click left or right stick by default maybe?) that will point the character at the main path direction nearest to them or will lock onto a boss. This way you could have some help if you get lost or turned around or if you need to keep the camera focused on the boss while you focus on dodging and attackinf

3) control options to counter the lack of turn fidelity a stick gives you vs a mouse. My solution in the current system was to put turning on the right stick AND shoulders and my jump and spin on the face buttons. The special benefit from this, other than letting me comfortably rotate on ground or air naturally, is if i use the stick and shoulders at the same time i get a twice as strong turn that lets me take corners as tight as a mouse. Mixing this with ho the movement on the left stick naturally effects camera rotation gives me a ton more control than a singular rotation input gives me normally. The combination of three inputs to more carefully control the camera has let me improve my pad play to the point where i could get all the emblems (198/200 currently), all emeralds clear files as all six characters, and even clear the multiplayer versions of the special stages with ease and never once using mouse and keyboard in 2.2. It can be done but it needs a scheme optimized towards correcting pad issues. Because of my input method i was able to comfortably map fire and weapon switch buttons as well, but i have yet to really test them in a match. This specific setup i think would help pad players alot, while leaving them the comfort and advantages the left stick gives them already.

4) directional actions that function like amy’s hammer. Thok, glide, spindash, and fang’s pistol are doable now but the lack of mouse turning still makes them less effective. Having a partial directional input where holding a direction attacks in that direction but pushing the button with a neutral left stick will pick the camera direction instead like it does now would be a perfect compromise that would give pad players a strong toolkit that fixes a weakness that they have.

These four things i feel would fix the problems new people are encountering now and would really bolster pad play to better rival mouse and keyboard.

Oh and drop shadow obviously would help, so that’s five things
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Last edited by JackelZXA; 01-10-2020 at 07:14 PM.
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