SRB2 Message Board  

Go Back   SRB2 Message Board > Sonic Robo Blast 2 > SRB2 Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-20-2019   #121
Rumia1
Backseat Developer
 
Rumia1's Avatar
Default

I know Mystic just said a few posts into the last page that the reason why he hates official Sonic games is because of how he didn't feel he was properly in control of the camera. However, I feel like the target demographic that we're trying to obtain new players from is this exact group of people who have played these games and are quite familiar with how a traditional 3D Sonic game's camera controls, and perhaps this is where some of the backlash against removing analog entirely started.

It may not be the most precise or optimal way to play the game but you can't deny that an Adventure style camera is what is going to be the most intuitive control style for people coming into this game from other 3D Sonic games. I don't think we're getting many new players from the DOOM community in here because they're interested in a 3D Sonic game based off the DOOM engine (Please correct me if I'm wrong), instead I think we're getting an influx of people who saw Kart or a thread about it on social media, or even a let's play on Youtube from a popular Sonic Youtuber and think, "Hey, here's that (sister, in the case of if someone were coming from the Kart community) Sonic fangame that I heard about! I should check it out!" and they go into it expecting it to play like adventure, because that's what people tend to try and emulate when making a fangame.

I know the dev team is set on axing analog and for good reason. However, the more I think about this subject, the more I wonder what will take more effort to do: Create an entirely new control type, or fix the existing one with some guidance on how to do it. These are things I'd consider before making the choice to kill analog.

For one thing, analog works perfectly fine when a camera angle that is not user-inputted is supplied to it, meaning that if you give it an awayview camera, it'll still react accordingly to the direction inputted relative to that camera angle. This could be used to create an experience similar to the Adventure games or even a modern platformer, but nobody has done this yet (except maybe one test lua script), and I feel nobody will because the people who do want to implement something like this either have the talent but don't care enough about analog to do something about it, or do care enough about it but don't have the talent to do anything about it. I fall under the latter catagory here, so I'd like to give my two cents to someone who does have the talent to pull this off my thoughts on how analog could be handled and could be improved.

First of all, analog's camera doesn't have supplied camera angles and awayview can't do the job, this is because it creates a jarring snap to where the camera is supposed to be moved to. I propose that a new system be implemented, either using linedef specials or sector specials, that allows for a camera destination object to be created. When this linedef/sector special is triggered, it causes the camera to move from whereever it is currently located towards the destination object. This way the camera pans smoothly to its new position while still maintaining a view on the player. A camera like this would create a new way to solve the conveyance issue that I feel this game suffers from. If you want to show the player something like a switch, a button, a secret (don't make it the focus and take away from the main path), a boss or enemy, or even what direction they should be facing, you could point them in that direction using this new camera system. From there, they'd only have to hold the analog stick or use the arrow keys to point where they want to go relative to that defined camera angle, instead of relative to where the character is moving towards as it trails behind the player as is how analog normally handles things.
Secondly, if the player pressed one of the camera rotation buttons, then camera control should be relinquished to them so that they can explore around something that the devs may not have thought as a point of interest for a brief period in time before the game regains control once the player moves into a new camera control sector.

I feel that Directionchar is less equipped to handle some of these things, as the camera and thus where the player moves is still using the player's real angle and the rotations you see are relative to that first and foremost. Thus you would have to isntead change the player's camera height, rotation, and distance instead of just using an object while the camera points at the player instead.
Another thing that I've seen mentioned a lot that Directionchar should've really had in the first place and I'm surprised it wasn't ported in, was the ability to turn off the character turning to face the direction the camera's pointing and also the ability to turn on character abilities sending you the direction that you're pressing instead of where the camera is pointing. I also feel that there should be a toggle for normal directionchar to automatically target bosses and have a corresponding flag for this (and analog mode if it were to be updated properly) to be triggered for other things too in Lua and/or SOC
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirno
Egguman-senpai...

Last edited by Rumia1; 12-20-2019 at 09:52 AM.
Rumia1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019   #122
JackelZXA
OriginalCreator of UglyKnux
 
JackelZXA's Avatar
Default

For how I've been controlling it I'm having alot of fun and success with the face buttons method (129 emblems so far) but I'm doing a little unorthodox thing with the shoulders.

My Left Stick is Move and my Right Stick is Look, but my L1 is Move Left + Look Left and my R1 is Move Right + Look Right and that ends up giving me a Sonic R kind of hard turn feeling option. (Using the stick with the shoulder lets me get soft, hard, and very hard turns as I feather it. Stick is useful on the ground and shoulders useful in the air and for controlling Knuckles' glide) It feels kinda like Sonic R but actually good to control.

I feel very comfortable playing the game and doing the more difficult stuff with this setup. Pushing both functions to each shoulder button really improved my ability to play the game at higher levels with a pad as all characters.



One thing I'm not super sure on is the spindash/thok/glide forward as the main thing. On a controller it feels a little limiting because your turn radius with a stick is always going to lack what a mouse gives you, so you can't quickly turn to attack something behind you. Letting Pad players spindash/thok/glide in the direction they're holding the stick/facing sonic might (?) feel better and allow you to more freely attack enemies around sonic. (The auto face forward on a gamepad might not be entirely necessary either with this feature?)

Using my current setup for the hard turn on shoulders has made alot of the way the thok and glide work feel better to control though, but I still run into moments where I just want to quickly spindash or glide towards the character to nail an enemy quickly instead of having to do a turn that's always gonna be slower on a stick than with a mouse. (shooters with mouse vs pad are worlds apart and you have to make alot of concessions for pad in that case) Might only be really needed for spindash and glide tho? There are some things I like about the auto face forward with how it feels using my shoulder bindings...



One thing I would really like the ability to swap knuckles' wall jump between his jump and spin buttons so you could jump facing the wall with jump and jump away with spin if you wanted. (When trying to get out of swamp or snow you have to mash and can end up shooting away from a wall you're trying to get onto)

I've also seen people suggesting tails should have a hold to fly option and I think that would make alot of sense, especially with using shoulders for turning while flying. (Hitting R1 while mashing X causes my finger tendons to tense up in an uncomfortable way)



I think a pad setup like what I got would be pretty intuitive for new players (it might need some binding feature in the tutorial where you push the buttons and axis on the controller to bind the default controls to your pad if it's not possible to auto detect what the inputs should be on the main pad types?)



I tried to also set it up for deathmatch and ctf potential too and while I haven't done any online, I feel like I've gotten my setup to about as close as I could see pad deathmatch getting. (Needing access to moving, turning, jumping, spinning, and shooting at once to perform efficiently) I probably wouldn't beat alot of mouse players but I'd probably do fine...I feel like I can do just about everything on a pad comfortably with this setup and I'm curious if anyone else thinks this works better for them?



My Full Control Setup on a PS4 pad is as follows:
Left Stick: Move & Strafe
Right Stick: Look & Turn (First Person Mode allows vertical looking)

X: Jump
Square: Spin
Triangle: First Person Toggle
Circle: Next Weapon

L1: Look Left & Strafe Left
R1: Look Right & Strafe Right
L2: Fire Normal Ring Weapon
R2: Fire Weapon
L3: Change Viewpoint
R3: Center View

DPad Up: Weapon 1 (Normal/Infinity Ring)
DPad Left: Previous Weapon
DPad Right: Next Weapon
DPad Down: Drop Flag

Select/Share: Score Display (Status Display)
Start/Options: System Menu Pause
Home Button: Pause
__________________
Follow me on Twitter for updates on my current art and game projects:
https://twitter.com/jackelzxa
https://twitter.com/jackelzxart

Last edited by JackelZXA; 12-20-2019 at 12:25 PM.
JackelZXA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019   #123
CobaltBW
Community Noise Maker
Developer
 
CobaltBW's Avatar
Default

@Rumia1

Even if you supplied analog cam with fixed camera angles at certain points in the levels, this wouldn't change the fact that analog at its core works by simply dragging itself behind the player, which is always going to cause problems because it's only reflecting the direction the player is going and not where the player wants to go. This is why the analog camera is at the root of the problem, and why a more complex auto camera like fickle's mod is the first step to fixing that.

I'd also point out that the targeting/lock on system provided in the mod works very much like a fixed camera angle system in the sense that it gives the player something to orient the player's movements around. Since most enemies are placed in the middle of rooms, this ends up working seamlessly with a lot of level design. This is arguably the way to do it, because even if you managed to accommodate the entire campaign with fixed cameras, you would still have to factor in netplay, and for multiplayer it would often be the case where ultimately the instance you want to focus your camera on is another player.
__________________
~CobaltBW

Check out my soundcloud profile for music stuff
CobaltBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019   #124
Augus
 
Augus's Avatar
Default

Honestly fickle's camera mod plays extremely well and if that could be the official replacement for Analog Mode I would be happy. It controls really smoothly and I'm playing better than I ever have with either control scheme in the past. The fact that the auto camera doesn't fight against you if you try to turn the camera manually is a game-changer
Augus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019   #125
SCOTT0852
 
SCOTT0852's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumia1 View Post
However, the more I think about this subject, the more I wonder what will take more effort to do: Create an entirely new control type, or fix the existing one with some guidance on how to do it.
According to Fickle's control mod, fixing the existing one would take more effort than something completely new.
__________________
Trans rights!
SCOTT0852 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019   #126
Ice
Pretty chill guy
 
Ice's Avatar
Default

You'll have to forgive me for skipping a lot of the text walls in this thread. I'd like to suggest the following options, even though they might've already been brought up:

- Including an unobtrusive "crosshair" in the HUD so that it's clear that you're aiming where you're looking

- Allowing an option for thokking/spinning in the direction sonic faces.

Thank you
__________________
Endless Mine - Piano Cover (First one on youtube!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m8LvQL0Akc
Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019   #127
JackelZXA
OriginalCreator of UglyKnux
 
JackelZXA's Avatar
Default

Been playing more, here's a shorter post about my more recent thoughts, some is restating but I'll keep it lean:

Gamepad needs 2 things to be really work to it's best:
1) Leaning: Functions like putting Strafe + Turn on the same shoulder buttons. Left Shoulder Button for Strafe Left + Turn Left, Right Shoulder Button for Strafe Right + Turn Right. It gives you a second type of turning ontop of the stick. The shoulders end up as hard turns, the stick ends up as soft turns. Additional tweaks to Lean to make it have slightly more subtley when used with the Left and Right sticks and tweaking how it works from a standing postition would help.

2) Directional Actions: Gamepad is never going to have as good of a turn function as a mouse, even if you're good enough to play the game at an extremely high level and get every emblem and all that. This means you can't quickly thok, spindash, glide, or shoot behind you if an enemy is creeping up. The solution to this should be an option for gamepad to have those actions function like Amy's ground Hammer attack, where she attacks in a specific direction when you hold that direction, but if you attack with the stick not being pressed she attacks in the direction of the camera. This would let gamepad handle more close range situations while keeping the benefits of camera based thoking.

Additional Things that'd be nice for controls:
1) Wait and Tilt Animation Keep Direction: When Wait or Tilt animation are playing, the character should stop auto facing forward until either a movement or button input is pressed. This way you can have a little bit of fun rotating the camera around the character during these animations to see them from the front and sides when you want.

2) Auto-Braking by Character: Have this as the default, with all characters auto braking on or off as optional settings. Metal Sonic should have Auto-Braking off to give him a disadvantage over the other characters because he always hovers over the ground. I personally like setting this when I run Metal because it further changes how I play him vs other characters. Setting it for Super Sonic might sense, and maybe Tails when he's running but not when he's walking or jumping? They're so powerful that it might be a sensible debuff?

3) Wall Jump Swap Toggle: Swapping Wall Jump functions for Knuckles as a toggle when on the wall so if you want you can hit Jump to jump facing the wall and push Spin to jump facing away from the wall if you want. This would help knuckles easily get out of swamps or snow without having to worry about accidentally leaping away from a wall when mashing.

4) Auto-Flight: It's been said elsewhere, but Auto-Flight for Tails would be nice so he works similarly to the Tails carry controls (and it'd sync well with the Lean function I mentioned at the top, since mashing fly while holding Right Shoulder can feel funky.)

5) Multi-Air Hammer: Letting Amy use her Hammer from any falling or jumping state (Springing, running of ledges) and letting her use it more than once per jump, but with a slight delay so you can't mash it.
__________________
Follow me on Twitter for updates on my current art and game projects:
https://twitter.com/jackelzxa
https://twitter.com/jackelzxart

Last edited by JackelZXA; 12-27-2019 at 03:46 PM.
JackelZXA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019   #128
BlazeHedgehog
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
So, I'd like to be extremely clear about something: I strongly dislike what official Sonic has become. I hated Sonic Heroes to the point where I sold it to a Gamestop for $6 over a decade ago and I still feel like I ripped them off. I never purchased an official 3D Sonic game after that, either. I tried out Generations when someone purchased it for me on a Steam sale and couldn't stand it, and I distinctly remember Sonic fans saying Generations was one of the "good" ones. I can't replay Sonic Adventure and its sequel because they have aged like milk left out in the sun since they were released. Why do I bring this up? Because I think it's important to think about why I hate modern Sonic, and the reason I'm even still here if SEGA hasn't produced a game in the franchise I like in 25 years.

It's because unlike official Sonic, SRB2 allows me to feel in control. Instead of fighting the god-awful camera at all times, I'm allowed to tell it where I want to point and the game will not object and turn it around the instant I try to move. I'm allowed to explore stages like I used to in the classic games and the game itself won't simply tell me to shove it because that's not how I'm "supposed" to play. Instead of a roller coaster design where my input doesn't really matter, my input directs my experience every step of the way.

The thing is, part of the problem with official Sonic, and why they've gone to fixed camera setups on a roller coaster, is because at the speeds that the franchise moves at, the Super Mario 64 camera design just doesn't work. SM64's design was an absolute revolution, and there's a reason why Sonic R felt laughable at the time because of it, but that doesn't mean that it's the only method of trying to control a platformer in 3D. SRB2 attempts a very different style of control by default, which I agree is not intuitive initially, but it allows us to design a game around Sonic's speed that doesn't rely on fixed camera angles and linear level design. We're not building a Sonic Adventure fan game; we're building something entirely new: a Sonic game that uses the classic 2D movement and gameplay setup in 3D. I get that you want a Sonic Adventure fan game, but that's just not what we're making here, and because of that we've made decisions that you're not going to agree with because our goal and your desires aren't matching up.
The thing is, I've never been frustrated by a 3D Sonic game's camera when I'm going fast. When you're going fast, there's literally only one camera position that makes sense, and that's directly behind the character, facing forward. Because it's like driving a car -- you want to keep your eyes on the road. You can't be looking too far to the left or right, or at least not for too long, because that's how accidents happen (and given that there are no actual roads or cars that obey laws in these games, all of this goes double, because there's no telling what will jump out in front of you the moment you look away).

When I get frustrated by the camera in a Sonic game, it's always the slower platforming moments. One sticks out in my mind in particular, in Final Egg. You're running through this area with all these target practice dummies and there's an upper area with some bonus ring capsules, but getting up there and finding your way around can be a bit difficult thanks to the camera having a mind of its own and the space being very tight.

That's why it hasn't actually bothered me that much when games like Sonic Generations did away with camera controls entirely. You're either running fast or you're in a 2D segment. They (almost) never present you with a scenario where you'd even question needing camera control. It would be nice if I had more camera control, I guess, but I miss it less than you'd expect. It's like asking for camera control in one of those old PS1 Crash Bandicoot games. It's all presented and built for one specific angle, so just... learn to deal with it.

Sonic Adventure's problem is that it would script camera movement even when they didn't need to be scripted. Again, its that Final Egg problem -- a slower, almost puzzle-y area made significantly worse because the game is preventing me from adjusting to a comfortable camera angle. Speed has absolutely no factor in the equation, Sonic Team just built a very hand-hold-y camera system that unfortunately kept yanking you in directions you didn't want to go. They were trying to be cinematic, or whatever.

If you take a peek outside of the realm of Sonic Adventure, you'll find that 3D game cameras for actually good platformers haven't evolved very much in the last 20 years. Like, I just saw the credits roll in Super Mario Odyssey for the first time not even two hours ago, and while I would definitely say Odyssey has a better camera than Super Mario 64, I still had those familiar moments where you can get the camera backed up in to a corner and it becomes impossible to see. Most of the improvements to camera systems in platformers are more about level design best practices, and subtle, gentle things (how the camera is framed at the start of a scene, pulling in tight when the camera is moved closer to the ground, angling the camera up over the player when near a ledge, using informational cutscenes responsibly, etc.)

But by and large I would argue that Super Mario Odyssey's camera isn't really that much smarter or better than SRB2's old analog camera, outside of being able to use the stick for one and not the other (something Fickle's version fixes). You say you aren't making a Sonic Adventure fan game, and sure, fine, whatever. The granular, fine-detail merits of Sonic Adventure's mechanics are a subject for another topic. But how many non-Sonic 3D platformers do you really, genuinely enjoy?
__________________
I talk too much
BlazeHedgehog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019   #129
azoo
Default

I'd continue participating in the argument since I find myself siding with a lot of BlazeHedgehog's points (as well as Rumia1's at the top of the page), but I honestly think implementing fickle's mod into future builds is all I can ask for.

Like, really. That's it. Fickle nailed it.
azoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019   #130
R3BiRtH
Default

I would argue that the presence of an "Analog Camera" system largely depends on whether the game was made with it in mind, primarily because the difference in camera controls also somewhat means the difference in controls in general, which can matter when you're playing a game meant to be played at faster speeds vs a traditional platformer (which usually is designed to be played at a slower speed). This "control" difference is in regards to turning and how that works in regards to movement.

In an FPS/TPS control style, your rate of turning is completely absent from your movement, and the left stick of a controller (or any input for movement) only accounts for the cardinal direction, or variation of, that you start to move in from where you're pressing. since turning is managed completely separately from your movement, this gives a very large amount of granular control at higher speeds that levels can be designed around to incorporate. Tighter turns become less of an issue due to this, and since the camera is always facing behind you, you can always see ahead of you to prepare for what's coming. you can turn as fast or slow as you want based on how far you press in the right stick, no matter what speed you are.

With an "Analog Camera" system, this does seem to change, because now the left stick doesn't just account for movement, but also the rate of turning. you only move in a specific direction when you hold the stick forward or back, however if you move the stick left or right you start to move at a turning angle. At faster speeds, this means you start to turn at a really fast rate in that specified angle, which can impact the control a person has at faster speeds, especially if the game has sections which require tighter movements or turns (this was an issue sonic adventure had with it's controls). what some games do to compensate for this is to make your turning arc tighter at faster speeds, however doing so means there are changes in level design to incorporate that.

I think in regards to SRB2, this difference does matter as levels are designed around the implications of the FPS/TPS camera scheme, and what it allows for in movement. So the question of allowing the "Analog" camera, should also be considered with implications of level design as well, and how that could or might change. I believe these differences in control are the reasons why even in Fickle's mod, the "standard" control scheme (TPS/FPS) is recommended for the highest form of play.
R3BiRtH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019   #131
Unknownlight
 
Unknownlight's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazeHedgehog View Post
But how many non-Sonic 3D platformers do you really, genuinely enjoy?
I'm not the person you're talking to, and this is separate from your overall point, but I wanted to respond to this specific question. Because my answer is... none of them?

Well, that's not entirely true. I've probably gotten 120 stars in Mario 64 a dozen times, and I have a nice 999 moons in Mario Odyssey too. I've always enjoyed the Spyro games, particularly Spyro 1; I'm a big fan of Daytime Unleashed and Generations... and I could probably go on like this for a while.

But that's all a distraction from my main point. SRB2 is the only 3D platformer that I enjoy in the same way that I enjoy a 2D platformer. I could boot up Super Mario Bros. 3, play from the beginning for 30 minutes, and have a satisfying time. I could boot up SRB2, start a No Save run and play for 30 minutes, and have a satisfying time.

No other 3D platformer is like that for me, not even games that specifically try to replicate 2D gameplay like Mario 3D World. I'm not sure what specifically is the cause of this, but my best guess is that the very flowing and momentum-influenced controls coupled with the open and varied level design makes me never feel bored playing the same levels over and over, as I can always improve further.

Obviously I'm not a dev or anyone who can influence the game in any way, but any argument that based on "That's how other 3D platformers do it" doesn't work for me because I don't want SRB2 to play like other 3D platformers. What matters to me is whether a change improves SRB2 on its own terms. There are a number of very cool things that fickleheart and CobaltBW have created that I hope are refined and added to a future release. And there are a lot of other changes I think should be made to make the game more approachable to new players, but that's a much bigger topic.
Unknownlight is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #132
Frostav
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post

No other 3D platformer is like that for me, not even games that specifically try to replicate 2D gameplay like Mario 3D World. I'm not sure what specifically is the cause of this, but my best guess is that the very flowing and momentum-influenced controls coupled with the open and varied level design makes me never feel bored playing the same levels over and over, as I can always improve further.

It's the platforming and overall level design.

When platformers went 3D, they almost immediately became open-ended and far less focused on tight platforming. Even SM64 mostly takes place in big areas were falling off is either really hard or literally impossible. And that was how 3D platformers were, even the more linear ones. The focus is rarely on super tight platforming, but collecting stuff, or shooting or whatever.


SRB2 is the only 3D platformer--yes, I'm directly comparing it to retail releases by professional dev teams because the game is THAT good--that has levels structured like a 2D platformer--they are gauntlets of challenges that don't cease. ERZ in particular is absolutely brutal in a way basically no 3D platformer is. Each room in that level would be considered a super hard bonus challenge in any of them--even stuff like Odyssey or A Hat In Time. The tight platforming across crumbling blocks in it, RVZ, and ACZ are all stuff that most 3D platformers would shy away from, much less that disappearing block section in ERZ where the blocks are razor thin!


Like, Jesus, Champion's Road in Super Mario 3D World is considered THE HARDEST MARIO LEVEL OMG and like...it's barely ERZ-level? The mandatory level for beating the game? Damn.
Frostav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #133
time gear
 
time gear's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostav View Post
It's the platforming and overall level design.

When platformers went 3D, they almost immediately became open-ended and far less focused on tight platforming. Even SM64 mostly takes place in big areas were falling off is either really hard or literally impossible. And that was how 3D platformers were, even the more linear ones. The focus is rarely on super tight platforming, but collecting stuff, or shooting or whatever.


SRB2 is the only 3D platformer--yes, I'm directly comparing it to retail releases by professional dev teams because the game is THAT good--that has levels structured like a 2D platformer--they are gauntlets of challenges that don't cease.
I would argue that the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy succeeded at the same thing, though with a bit of a different mentality and with a lack of a free camera.

The original Crash Trilogy is intentionally designed like this: it takes the concept of a 2D platformer and changes the perspective to be behind the protagonist. There are occasional exceptions to this in which the perspective changes to a pseudo 2.5D type camera, but the overall design mentality is about as literal of a translation of a 2D platformer into 3D as you can get. This is often regarded as "hallway" design.

SRB2 is, in a sense, the same thing. The difference is that it accomplishes it under the mentality of having a free camera, rather than following hallway design. Each route in SRB2 could be thought of as a different "hallway", but rather than being restricted to a narrow space with a fixed camera, things are more open ended, and with a little creativity you can even on occasion find shortcuts or a way to access another route from the one you are on.

In that regard, SRB2's style is something of a marriage between hallway design and the more open ended style of say, Spyro or Mario. It hits the sweet spot in a way that isn't really directly comparable to anything else that I know about.
time gear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #134
Frostav
Default

True, but Crash is often such a hallway that it barely takes advantage of 3D space--many Crash levels could be turned 2D without too much alteration, in comparison to something like SRB2, where the levels are such complex serpentine paths that a while back I pulled the levels from the game, opened them up in ZB, and had a ton of trouble just finding the starts and ends from the 2D overhead view.

When you look at how unfathomably complex levels like ACZ2 are, and how alien they are to the rest of the genre...suddenly it makes sense why Sonic Team shied away from such level design philosophies starting with SA1. SRB2's levels are utterly alien nightmares even now from the perspective of most level designers. Glorious alien nightmares.
Frostav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #135
Unknownlight
 
Unknownlight's Avatar
Default

The difficulty is certainly part of it, but it's not the main thing. I enjoy just thokking around GFZ, and I kind of hate AGZ.

The intricate "alien nightmare" level design is a huge plus... but again I don't think it's the main thing. I became a fan of this game during Final Demo, and other people got into this game even earlier than that. Levels were so much simpler back then.

I'm not sure what exactly makes this game click for me (and it's almost certainly a combination of a whole lot of little things that synergize in a unique way), but if I had to point to one thing I think it'd be... it's hard to describe, but it's the massive differences in results the same inputs could have based on context.

That makes no sense the way I worded it, but consider that the same control input (press a direction and hit jump) could either describe platforming across tiny disappearing platforms in Egg Rock... or it describe a ludicrous bounce across most of the level. The skill ceiling is just immense.

Compare that to something like 3D Mario where you have an input for normal jump, a different input for long jump, a different input for high jump (backflip), etc. It's all so much more rigid in comparison.
Unknownlight is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #136
time gear
 
time gear's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownlight View Post
The difficulty is certainly part of it, but it's not the main thing. I enjoy just thokking around GFZ, and I kind of hate AGZ.

The intricate "alien nightmare" level design is a huge plus... but again I don't think it's the main thing. I became a fan of this game during Final Demo, and other people got into this game even earlier than that. Levels were so much simpler back then.

I'm not sure what exactly makes this game click for me (and it's almost certainly a combination of a whole lot of little things that synergize in a unique way), but if I had to point to one thing I think it'd be... it's hard to describe, but it's the massive differences in results the same inputs could have based on context.

That makes no sense the way I worded it, but consider that the same control input (press a direction and hit jump) could either describe platforming across tiny disappearing platforms in Egg Rock... or it describe a ludicrous bounce across most of the level. The skill ceiling is just immense.

Compare that to something like 3D Mario where you have an input for normal jump, a different input for long jump, a different input for high jump (backflip), etc. It's all so much more rigid in comparison.
I feel like the emotion you are trying to describe, the reason why SRB2 "clicks" even with more simplistic level design, is the same thing pretty much everyone who sticks around to keep playing SRB2 feels, myself included.

Just playing through the levels, getting to the goal signs is fine, but that's not really the essence of what makes SRB2 so endlessly replayable. The substance lies in your total freedom between point A and point B. The line you draw between these two points need not be linear, and may even cross back on itself. You are free to experiment, to attempt to work your way off your current path or search for shortcuts or even just play around with the physics and see how many badniks you can bounce off in a row without touching the ground. You can develop skills around this sandbox play, and use it to devise new strategies to reach the goal post that you might not even thought possible before.

You have the freedom to get through the level at your own pace, and in the manner you see fit. Even in the more simplistic levels of previous versions, this remains true. As you gain more and more skill, more paths open up to you. Whether you prefer taking the same path every time as if in some sort of rhythm, or endlessly exploring for new ways to find the goal, or even desire to just ignore the goal entirely and just play around with the level design, there's something for you here.
time gear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #137
Mystic
チェン!
 
Mystic's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazeHedgehog View Post
The thing is, I've never been frustrated by a 3D Sonic game's camera when I'm going fast. When you're going fast, there's literally only one camera position that makes sense, and that's directly behind the character, facing forward. Because it's like driving a car -- you want to keep your eyes on the road. You can't be looking too far to the left or right, or at least not for too long, because that's how accidents happen (and given that there are no actual roads or cars that obey laws in these games, all of this goes double, because there's no telling what will jump out in front of you the moment you look away).
The problem isn't going fast in a straight line. Obviously the camera should be directly behind you in such a situation. The problem is turning while going fast. For the sake of example, I'm going full speed down a corridor and that corridor makes a 90 degree corner turn. How should the camera behave when turning? If the camera sticks right behind you perfectly like a racing game, it'd continue to have you face the direction of movement but is incredibly problematic at low speeds or if you screw up and face a wall, as millions of people bad at Mario Kart struggling to drive around a wall can attest. It'd be a royal pain if the camera instantly turns to face the other direction if you tap down to move towards the camera, for example. If the camera lags behind like SM64's design, though, you're going to really struggle to take the turn at any reasonable speed, since even if you manage to keep your speed going around the turn, because the camera is still going to be facing the original direction when you go around the turn for a small period of time and during that time you're running blind.

Basically, what SRB2's directly controlled camera allows you to do is have it turn exactly when you want it to. You can even have it face in the direction you're planning to go in, but are not currently going, like turning to check your blind spot before switching lanes in the car analogy. The downside to this, of course, is that you do need to tell it when to turn, but the advantages are that it can never turn at the wrong time. This means that your controls are still fixed and this allows people to do the crazy precise things at high speed that you see in SRB2 speedruns and other similar silliness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazeHedgehog View Post
But how many non-Sonic 3D platformers do you really, genuinely enjoy?
Quite a few, but as mentioned by a couple people in this thread, 3D platformers went in a very different direction than 2D platformers because of technology limitations and the influence of Super Mario 64.

SM64 is a masterpiece, and I love it to pieces, but if you step back and think about it, it isn't remotely anything like 2D Mario at all. Instead of running through stages that are generally pretty linear obstacle courses, SM64 tells you to explore areas that are non-linear and open, but individually quite small, with various mission objectives (stars). Crash Bandicoot is a lot closer to the 2D Mario formula in 3D than 3D Mario is, being about breaking blocks crates and going through linear obstacle courses. Both games control massively differently, with SM64 being built around the brand new analog stick concept and a moving camera while Crash uses strictly digital movement and a fixed camera.

Essentially, the default controls to SRB2 do something really weird: we mix the styles of SM64 and Crash to create something somewhat unique. We have digital movement that works like Crash but with way more momentum, where you move around with 8-directional controls based on a "fixed" camera, but unlike Crash you can move the camera like SM64. This creates something in the middle of the two designs that allows for extremely precise 2D platformer movement in full 3D, keeping that precision even at high speeds. Our level design is similarly mixed, being filled with obstacles that are handled like the obstacle course design of 2D platformers and being non-linear and open like the worlds of SM64, but way bigger since those creaky old N64 limitations aren't in our way.

This is what makes SRB2 so different from every other 3D platformer I've played. It straddles the line between 2D and 3D platformer mechanics in a way I've personally not seen elsewhere. It's basically the opposite of how modern Sonic eventually became using SM64 controls in Crash Bandicoot fixed-camera stages. Instead, we use controls way closer to Crash, but in open 3D worlds.
Mystic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #138
fickleheart
ms reflec beat stan
 
fickleheart's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
This means that your controls are still fixed and this allows people to do the crazy precise things at high speed that you see in SRB2 speedruns and other similar silliness.
Is your average player worried about being able to be crazy precise at high speed? This is something that only the best players are worried about, tank controls or not. I'm not convinced it's worth the lack of accessibility that not having an option for an automatic camera gives.

Having the optimal camera angle at all times while going fast is a problem that automatic camera aren't good at solving, yes. But if a player's using an automatic camera and it doesn't quite turn where they're trying to go, most players who aren't comfortable making that blind charge will just slow down and adjust the view manually in that case. Players who don't will be appropriately punished and learn to gauge their surroundings before charging off. It's not like having an automatic camera removes or even disincentivizes manual camera controls, except that analog specifically sucks at this. What it does is gets rid of micromanagement in simple cases.

(If the level does not give the player time to slow down and adjust their view after a turn, this is a level design problem. The beginning of RVZ has this with the floating collapsible platforms that you have to do a 180 while taking. This is something that's masked by experienced players with full camera control, but someone finding that curve for the first time regardless of their control scheme will probably not have a good time. I consider this an argument in favor of a good automatic camera, and for at least some of dev to test levels using it to more easily spot problem areas like that.)

Like, go ahead, try to teach people tank controls and tell them it's the optimal way to play. There's no denying that. But playing optimally doesn't matter to a lot of players so much as playing comfortably does. Requiring anyone who plays the game to exert manual camera control at all times is not accessible to, say, someone with poor hand-to-hand coordination who maybe can only operate one at a time.

It's also just not what people are used to in a platformer, which can and will turn people off who aren't convinced of your control scheme. It's important to have as low a barrier to entry as is feasibly possible, especially with a niche, free fangame where people won't have any monetary sunk-cost motivation to keep trying. Part of why SRB2Kart has so much appeal, even to people outside of SRB2, is that the control inputs are exactly what anyone playing a kart racer is used to. There's merit in coming to a compromise with people's expectations, instead of sitting atop your nonstandard control scheme and insisting that people adopt your way.

It feels like everyone gets stuck on the idea that automatic cameras in SRB2 are bad because analog mode is bad. Analog mode is a bad automatic camera. I tried to solve its problems with my own take on an automatic camera. I did it specifically so that y'all had no excuse to not at least consider the possibility that better automatic cameras were possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime 2.0 View Post
Former developer fickle, who was responsible for coding slopes, often did tool assisted speedruns using analog mode.
A few things to unpack here:
  • I do not appreciate you credential-stuffing a bunch of developers who had no say about the decision to hide analog as part of your justification for it.
  • I used keyboard-and-mouse for a large portion of my time playing SRB2, at least while developing. I adopted a keyboard-only scheme part-time and very late into the time I spent on the dev team.
  • You can not compare a TAS - which has infinitely perfect reflexes, infinite tries at every frame of action, and the ability to predict and manipulate the future - to someone playing in real time who has to actually process what they're seeing in real time.
  • I did not want to use analog mode for TASing. I had to use it because Hourglass, the tool I used at the time, had no mouse support, and default controls on keyboard-only would not have allowed the sharp turns a TAS needed to go fast.
That last bullet actually feeds into a good point. On gamepad, a good automated camera with abilities feeding in your movement direction would actually have a higher skill ceiling than default controls on gamepad, simply because you can turn much faster as needed, and an analog stick would provide the angle fidelity you'd need. It's obviously still a lower skill ceiling than keyboard and mouse with manual camera controls, but my point is that the default controls hamper the gamepad experience in much the same way that old analog controls hampered the anything experience.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arf View Post
Stop trying to make slopes, guys.
fickleheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019   #139
Prime 2.0
Grape flavored
 
Prime 2.0's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fickleheart View Post
  • I do not appreciate you credential-stuffing a bunch of developers who had no say about the decision to hide analog as part of your justification for it.
My post was first and foremost a refutation of the claim that the developers were, or still are just KB+M fanatics sticking their heads in the sand, to the point that I rebuffed several requests for me to feature my recollections of the general process more prominently. You were a developer during 2.2's cycle even if that tenure may not have extended to the decision to hide analog itself, and your TASes were literally a talking point during those exact discussions. They absolutely reflected our awareness and consideration of alternate control schemes at the time, and while TAS is far removed from human play, I felt it was an important data point about its fidelity as a control scheme then, and feel that our awareness of it being used in a TAS and the personal relationship we had with the person making those TASes was an important datapoint in explaining what our view of it was now and at the time.

And that relationship was "former developer", as I said up front.

Likewise, other former developers mentioned were highlighted either because they demonstrated something unusual to my recollection such as Inuyasha's use of track pad, or because their historical role on the team meant their personal preferences would obviously have had long lasting impacts on internal developer culture, like SSNTails.

I apologize if it came off as speaking for your opinion on the decision about the tutorial itself, and accordingly I've edited it out, but I respectfully deny your accusation of trying to misrepresent anyone.
__________________
Science tells us that nothing can be proven, only rendered more likely to be true. If we do not question what we already know, how can we know, much less admit, when we're wrong? Such things are vital to progress.

Last edited by Prime 2.0; 12-31-2019 at 08:03 PM.
Prime 2.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020   #140
JackelZXA
OriginalCreator of UglyKnux
 
JackelZXA's Avatar
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Essentially, the default controls to SRB2 do something really weird: we mix the styles of SM64 and Crash to create something somewhat unique. We have digital movement that works like Crash but with way more momentum, where you move around with 8-directional controls based on a "fixed" camera, but unlike Crash you can move the camera like SM64. This creates something in the middle of the two designs that allows for extremely precise 2D platformer movement in full 3D, keeping that precision even at high speeds.

I've been running 2.2 with just a gamepad, but not using the analog setting. (Basic gamepad controls, but you still have the additional control of direction and pressure a stick gives you, which makes nights stages a breeze and helps out for alot of tricky bits or when i need to walk and not run)

I think my scheme is pretty close to what's needed to make SRB2 feel comfortable with the normal camera in gameplay. The thing isn't that it needs automated camera, but it needs little things that help you approach the functionality a mouse gives you in turning control at small and extreme speeds. Having essentially a Sonic R style lean has helped alot (mixing stick and button to add extra subtle movement options that are hard to replicate with JUST stick)


It's sort of playing off of things I got used to in MGSV, where you can play that game like a 3D action game and not a shooter, but the aim button ends up being useful as a modifier to "hand brake" and get fine movement without the inertia factoring in. (And then there's the benefits of having different camera speeds when in third person, aiming, and first person modes that allow you to account for what you need to to get those varying levels of camera control onto a stick proper)

I think pad play can be a reasonable alternative without going the adventure route of fixed cameras and letting the game do stuff for you. I think there might be a few other slight things that might be needed to really make it work (the goal should be to get gamepad to feel about 90% functional to a mouse and keyboard in terms of what you can do while still feeling natural).


I like how SRB2 controls since I got my scheme feeling pretty comfortable and I've been seriously addicted to just playing the game every night since 2.2. It feels great and I can pull off stuff even just on gamepad that I wouldn't be able to in other 3D platformers because of the greater degree of control you have in this.


Directional abilities, a better lean, and maybe a quick turn option (and a few little tweaks to individual character functions) are really all I feel the game needs for pad. I've tried analog a few times (I have my left and right stick clicks function as switch on/off) and I can't come close to pulling off what I need to do be able to beat egg rock or play the normal levels at the proper level I can with my custom setup. Having Soft (stick) and Hard (shoulders) turning and being able to mix those I think is the bridge pad needs to approach mouse level play.
__________________
Follow me on Twitter for updates on my current art and game projects:
https://twitter.com/jackelzxa
https://twitter.com/jackelzxart
JackelZXA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.