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Island Tour
Version: 1.4, by Rogerregorroger (Animator) Rogerregorroger is offline
Developer Last Online: Jun 2020

Version: SRB2 Rating: (6 votes - 3.67 average)
Released: 05-11-2020 Last Update: Never Installs: 3
Single Player Levels SOCs Re-Useable Content Sprites/Graphics Is in Beta Stage

Greetings and welcome to Sol Sinstancia.



A 2 act single player stage.

So, I had a discussion about how it'd be a cool idea if a Sonic game didn't have separate zones, the grass level, ice level, desert level, etc, but instead takes place in one "Super location" that's central to all levels, yet gives each level a unique subtle personality.
A mix between what Sonic Adventure did with the Hub and Unleashed in some action stages.

So I started the Sol Sistancia project, a campaign taking place over about 7 levels set on the same island where you kinda flow from one environment to the next to give the sense you're really traveling across an island rather then just going to "the ice level" next.


At least, that's the EVENTUAL plan. Since I'm a complete noob with SRB2 and I never made a map before, and I'm being ambitious right out of the gate, I figured it's probably a good idea if I made a proof of concept level first, both for me to get a feel of the momentum and speed of the characters and how level design works, and to get feedback from the pro's about whatever I'm doing is doable or doomed from the start. Hence this level. Island Tour. Well, levelS, since I had to split it up into two as the engine was starting to glitch out.


So uh, yeah, do let me know if I'm on the right track or not. In the finished project, the levels won't leap This much from environment to environment, I crammed in as many diffrent themes as possible in each level now for show.
Levels only really made with Sonic in mind, but I managed to finish it with the entire roster. Music's from the Anime Air Gear.

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Old 05-13-2020   #22
Daviroll_Limit
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i don't know what to say, this unsynced Demo made my day
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Old 05-13-2020   #23
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Okay, added Skybox, made the hated narrow passages more wide, eliminated some Crawla commanders, made the final checkpoint more fair, tried to fix a few of the midtexture lockouts.
Made the grating platforms properly transparent this time.
Added extra rings to the upper route in the suburbs area since I have a suspicion most people didn't know there was a route there.
Made the toxic Soda purple as requested. Altough now it's inconsistent with all the Soda advertisements in the level. Sigh.
Err, I mean, now it's consistent with how advertisements always lie in real life. It's clever satire and stuff. Jup.

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See, this stuff drives me nuts. When I test the level trough the zone builder, this texture is misaligned, but in the game proper it works fine.
But yeah, how's this texture working for you people?

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Yeah I know the sky around Cream's house is messed up now since I made it with an empty skybox in mind.
Don't know how to fix this besides entirely demolishing the house and starting from scratch, which I don't feel like doing right now.
Should have made the house entirely out of FOF's to begin with.
Well, valuable lessons for when I start this project for reals I suppose.

No idea how to fix that unsynced Demo, so guess it's doomed to look ridiculous forever.

**EDIT**
And version 1.3 because I forgot a texture in Vanilla's kitchen.

Last edited by Rogerregorroger; 05-13-2020 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 05-13-2020   #24
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Alright,so here is a error,when i start the game with that enabled,why Amy would be unlocked early if she's a secret character
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Old 05-13-2020   #25
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Looking MUCH better. As for your question on alignments, I have accompanied another Imgur post of various texture misalignment I found- surprisingly, only 4 of them did I notice. There were more before, but this update fixed a majority of them I feel.

https://imgur.com/a/EZOjbDT Here's the four I found, along with 2 examples of another thing I must mention; Spring Trust.

I remember that when I showed off my map a while ago, someone told me "Players need to trust some springs". This basically means players should be able to rely on them for a direction to go whenever it's not clearly a trap. An example can be made of the diagonal spring in exhibit one, where players who don't hold forward will end up missing the platform by a mile, leading to damage. If you intend for a player to act on their own accord to land off of a spring, try to signify somehow that the spring is risky, such as a caution sign next to it or a caution texture underneath it. Though an idea that you could probably fit into your artstyle is a sign with Sonic leaning forward off the spring jump.

The second example is just a case of minor adjustments needed, it's somewhat just... a bump otherwise. Though I will give mention to those red springs in the city area of act 1 that launch you toward the corner of the area. Whether it's a tip to find something there I couldn't, or if you're supposed to ride the spring momentum over there, I'm not sure. Regardless, they confused the heck out of me on my first run, so you may want to find a better way to signify their purpose, or replace them.

Oh and, minor issue to close with, the hotel path that has you pass the janitor and leap out of the room ended up blocking me with an invisible wall off of my leap, I had to walk around it then take the other route. This was a recent change, so I imagine it's just a mistake made.
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Old 05-14-2020   #26
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This is extraordinarily cool, and I love the idea/goal of it. Please keep going!

I definitely think the theoretical "ultimate 3D Sonic" game of the future ought to have a massive hub stage where you can lose hours Tony Hawk Pro Skater style, with Warp Rings as the level select, ala Mario 64. The key is, unlike most 3D games with a hub, not being forced to return there between each level and instead allowing the levels to experience uninterrupted, with the hub serving as a break of peace when the courses get frustrating.
Sonic Utopia has the right idea for a hub, and SRB2 is the best version of 3D Sonic courses.

That's just my general suggestion, somewhat adjacently. I definitely like where you're going with this, more like BOTW, a massive open world with different zones within it.

It's just cool as heck when Sonic environments feel "lived in" and this does an exceptional job of achieving that already. Again, great job! Keep going!

EDIT I want to give you a better post with way more specific praise for a bunch of sections in this level. There's just so much great stuff.

Last edited by Moose the Fat Cat; 05-14-2020 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 05-14-2020   #27
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I found myself using a mod called Enemy Variation, I have to say that it improves the experience a lot since the enemies variations are always random, so it becomes more fun
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Old 05-14-2020   #28
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Originally Posted by Rogerregorroger View Post
See, this stuff drives me nuts. When I test the level trough the zone builder, this texture is misaligned, but in the game proper it works fine.
Looks like one's starting the game in the OpenGL renderer, and the other in Software (You can also switch renderer while the game's running!). Would be worth fixing for Software, I don't actually know what's causing the difference between renderers.
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Old 05-14-2020   #29
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Ahh, OpenGL was the culprit.
Okay, removed the invicible wall glitch at the hotel room, fixed up most of the misaligned textures. At least the characters and welcome sign. Springs won't send you to your doom. So version 1.4 is up.

A Hub? Not sure if I can build a HUB in SRB2, doesn't seem to have the structure for it. Then again, I do remember there was that space station hangout with portals to all the Vanilla game levels.
Either way, I WAS toying with the idea that the campaign I'll make around this project would have a level or two that are entirely peacefull stages, where you can just peacefully explore a part of the town and then move to the next proper action stage at your own leisure.

Question is only what I fill a level like that with? Can't really build in a shop or give the player anything to take along to the next level, besides extra lives. So it would be purely fluff with no substance.
Which I'm fine with, it's why I call this island Sol Sinstancia, short for Sol Sem Substancia, Portugese for Sun without substance. It's meant more as an experience rather then a hardcore gameplay showcase. And yet, still gotta think of something that makes Hub levels worth excisting.
If only with talking NPC's or anything.

Interesting enemy variation mod. Do I see new versions of the Crawla? Guess those only exist within that mod.

Anyway. Far as this level goes,I think this is as far as I'll go upgrading it. It was only ever meant as a proof of concept after all. I'll take your valuable feedback over to the full blown project. Well, unless I accidently triggered a level breaking bug again somehow.
Thank you for your time.

Last edited by Rogerregorroger; 05-14-2020 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 05-14-2020   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerregorroger View Post
Interesting enemy variation mod. Do I see new versions of the Crawla? Guess those only exist within that mod.
not only crawlas, but also other enemies too
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Old 05-18-2020   #31
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i found a texture bug in the act 2
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Old 05-19-2020   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerregorroger View Post
Either way, I WAS toying with the idea that the campaign I'll make around this project would have a level or two that are entirely peacefull stages, where you can just peacefully explore a part of the town and then move to the next proper action stage at your own leisure.

Question is only what I fill a level like that with? Can't really build in a shop or give the player anything to take along to the next level, besides extra lives. So it would be purely fluff with no substance.
Which I'm fine with, it's why I call this island Sol Sinstancia, short for Sol Sem Substancia, Portugese for Sun without substance. It's meant more as an experience rather then a hardcore gameplay showcase. And yet, still gotta think of something that makes Hub levels worth excisting.
If only with talking NPC's or anything.
Cool ideas. I'm definitely interested to see your take on a peaceful level and more of an experience rather than hardcore gaming, especially with your creative use of slopes and terrain on Island Tour.

The section of running along the slim pathway before the tunnel of crawlas -- fantastic. The path is narrow yet intuitive, feels like a rush to dash and thok across it, a bit of a challenge and best of all the pits are not bottomless; it just drops you in water. Wonderful.

I also appreciated the sections, like in the city/springing on rooftops or outside the hotel, where there's simply a nice big square/circle for the player to run around endlessly. It's really nice to just have a clean loop to practice turning!!

Did I already make the Tony Hawk Pro Skater comparison in my previous post? That's kinda what I meant with the hub thing before I went on the other tangent. My favorite SRB2 levels have big sections where the enemies can be cleared out and the player can run around and just perform tricks. Most of the campaign levels, especially the early ones, have big rooms like that.

I quite like the way the enemies ramp up and gang up on you here in Island Tour, but even in this map, I think there are a number of sections that are already plenty interesting just with the terrain/slope layout without needing the additional element of enemies.

The little town area with the houses and cornfields and attack drone bird things. I like the drones here; it's extremely fun to have a Hitchcock feeling section. It's the Sonic version of North by Northwest meets The Birds, in my mind.

But that same section, copy/pasted the next town over is free of the attack drones, with no enemies with the mixture of slopes and platforms and obstacles it's still very fun, in a more peaceful way.

Quote:
Anyway. Far as this level goes,I think this is as far as I'll go upgrading it. It was only ever meant as a proof of concept after all. I'll take your valuable feedback over to the full blown project. Well, unless I accidently triggered a level breaking bug again somehow.
Thank you for your time.
Cheers on a great level! One of my very favorites to replay already. Look forward to seeing your future releases.
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Old 05-20-2020   #33
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That was the best proof-of-concept I've ever seen! Granted, most proof-of-concept things tend to just be a sketch of the zones, a silly story, and (if you're lucky) a room or two. That's not to diminish your level. You've actually gone through with the whole thing and made a full blown fun-to-play stage, which is unexpected and awesome!

You've got a really unique style. Not just the art - you're an animator so of course there's some unique art in here - but the structure. Most levels do a mix of linear and open segments, but the way you made your linear and open segments felt quite different to what we usually get from levels around here. The narrow snaking pathways above flat ground, while usually discouraged, I think make for some interesting gameplay, especially with slopes in the mix. The open areas were fun to explore, especially with all those custom assets. It was nice to see a level populated by beings other than enemies doing things other than chase the player.

Now, if only those beings could animate a little, and perhaps interact with the player! It's something to think about as you move forward. I do think we have a shopkeeper-style mod somewhere, which is how SUGOI 2 did it's shield store. If you move forward with making this a full project, I think a few interactive shopkeeper people sprinkled throughout the populated sections, along with your unique art style and animation skill, would go a long way towards making this project something special and completely unlike what we usually see from SRB2 mods.

Some other stuff to keep in mind while you progress:
  • I think your springs should have better direction. It feels strange being propelled into a wall at an angle and sliding along it. I always imagine sonic's face being ground off by the stone wall.
  • The boundaries of the level, where the level geometry meets the skybox, could use some work to feel more natural.
  • Your slopes could be divided into more slopes so that they feel more natural.

You're probably aware of these things, but I just wanted to reiterate them to be sure. Despite these things, the level is a wonderful experience as-is (proof of concept or not) and I'm glad you made it. Please don't burn out and never release anything again, that crap breaks my heart.
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Old 05-20-2020   #34
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Alright I must say I am absolutely floored by the amount of custom texture work in here, like... I don't think I recognize a single texture in this pack as being from vanilla. I absolutely LOOOVE how big these levels are as well! I like the usage of slopes and actually, I'd like to see more of them used. The scenery and setpieces all look fabulous and I love the fact that everything is so cohesive. I will say that while these are rather huge maps, they feel a little cramped and claustrophobic. Everything is squished a little to close together and it leads to the platforms and pathways feeling small and tiny by comparison. I'd like to see some things like the houses spread out a bit more sparingly and the roads and corridors themselves widened a bit. Any platform or even any path that you intend for the player to follow with any degree of precision moving forward should be roughly 3-4 springs wide at the least, more for a first level. Less than that can lead to the player having to crawl their way through what is supposed to be a quick runthrough in some situations. Your enemy placement seems pretty good, There was no points at which I felt there were too many or too little. I would however reccomend putting some more rings immediately after checkpoints or somewhere nearby. I restarted from one checkpoint, thought I was pointed in the wrong direction because the rings that were placed were behind the checkpoint, and then I realised I was going the wrong way and turned around.

Overall this is an absolutely mind blowing first attempt at two levels and I can't wait to see more of them!
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Old 05-20-2020   #35
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Oh, I'm still working on this, i'm loving this. Just taught myself how to add animated textures and custom sound effects, so things should be more lively in the finished project. Watching a television set play a silly clip brings in a Megaman Legends atmosphere, it's great.

Oh yeah, Tony Hawk. Games like Tony Hawk Downhill Jam for the DS is partly an inspiration for the level design. Love that game.

SUGOI 2? I played the rereleased Airbase level but never seen the full version. I'll look it up for inspiration.

Not sure how much I can do to make the skybox transition more natural, but I'll keep it in mind. Well, it helps the skybox will be implanted from the start this time.

Correct, the levels are a little cramped. You can really tell I kept underestimating how the characters move. Heh, the part where you jump the big cliff, in the level editor that looked Huge, in the actual level it's barely noticable. Heh. But yeah, 3 to 4 springs wide huh? I assume you mean like 64X64 grids? I'll remember that.

Last edited by Rogerregorroger; 05-20-2020 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 05-20-2020   #36
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It's important to note that SUGOI 2 is for a very outdated version of SRB2. It runs on v2.1, and you can download that here

You should also be able find SUGOI 2 in the `Mods` tab of `Outdated Releases (2.1.x)`
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Old 05-24-2020   #37
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This doesn't feel like a typical Sonic level at all but I kinda like it for being different!
You truly had a vision and put a lot of effort into it. I was fun, I love to see unique things!



Also, thank you for making my childhood a lot weirder with your flash animations ;)

Last edited by Silver Sonic; 05-24-2020 at 04:55 PM. Reason: that typo came out a lot weirder sounding than to be expected...
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Old 05-24-2020   #38
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Glad you liked my work!

Yeah, I'm really toying around with the level design and what works for me. Don't think I got the talent to pull of SRB2's complex level design, so finding what fits better for me.
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Old 05-27-2020   #39
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Glad you liked my work!

Yeah, I'm really toying around with the level design and what works for me. Don't think I got the talent to pull of SRB2's complex level design, so finding what fits better for me.
Awesome mindset, love the approach. I love the bright art design, wide open spaces, and creative use of backgrounds to create unique vistas.

I really like this level, so I'm just thinking of ways you could remix these existing assets in a new way.

Here's an idea for a new/alternate version of this that you can take or leave!

Add an objective to complete other than finding the exit. Why? Because you've created environments that are fun to run through, yet also, I don't want to leave!

Ideas
a) Destroy all badniks/Rescue all animals (remove the infinite spawn on some enemies in the existing stage, add a counter to the HUD... I'm dying for somebody to do this at some point and call it Freedom Fighter mode)

b) Collect all 7 Emeralds (the Gigaopolis Sonic Chaos level mod does this and it's quite fun; it would be even cooler in a level like Island Tour that has a richer aesthetic variety) -- the far more ambitious version of this would have each Emerald accessed through a Warp Ring that takes you to an existing SRB2 campaign level but replaces the Sign with a Chaos Emerald, or perhaps again that's how the campaign works. Act 1 is Emerald. Maybe the NiGHTS stage is just simply applied automatically at the end of Act 1 instead of the coin thing; coins can just be collectible. End of Act 2 is segue to Act 3 battle with Eggman. Emerald acquired; Eggman defeated. Return to hub. That's what I was kinda saying earlier with the "hub" thought.

c) Visit all shopkeepers, or some other unique thing to your assets/characters. Again add counter to HUD.

Basically fetch/collect quests in a fun and colorful Sonic level sounds very appealing to me

Last edited by Moose the Fat Cat; 05-27-2020 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 05-27-2020   #40
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I played Island Tour this morning and I really liked what I played. The idea of running through a super zone, going through different areas is an idea I haven't seen done much around here and the level design itself really feels classic. The art style for the level was genuinely really fun and reminds me of your animations. I appreciate this. If you plan to make more levels like this, I can't wait to play them!


Spoiler:
Also that animation at the end was what brought it all home for me lol.
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