Chronicles' Green Hill Zone - Work in Progress thread

Rabosion

Member
Hi all! This thread is to show you what i have planned for my first mod, my design notes, etc. As all of this is WIP, please excuse the visual glitches. Hope you enjoy the read!

My Story:

After coming across SRB2 in September 2020, I was hooked to the game. I had a blast playing the first few levels. I wanted to make a level mod pack filled with levels and easter eggs from across the franchise. I was that impressed by Sonic Team Jr's work that i wanted to start work on it immediatly. Silly old me forgot that you can't build the galaxy in a day. After downloading Zone Builder and watching/working along the youtube tutorials by SeventhSentinel, I started to build my first map. I recognised i had little skills yet, so i scaled the project down: make a level with multiple pathways and fun sections for all characters.

Level Settings
This is how i wanted my level to be:
-Difficulty: This is supposed to be Zone 1 Act1 - easy for beginners, hard to master.
-Level setting: grassy hills (so major influence from Greenflower Zone)
-Textures: from the base game, no custom textures
-Length: short

So i made a choice for this level: the famed Green Hill Zone. However, i decided to make a twist: i would make GHZ from Sonic Chronicles, the notorious DS RPG. It had so much missed potential, but was received poorly due to numerous issues. This choice would give me a bit of nostalgia and a challenge at the same time. This is the original map from the OG game:
iu


I saw some Green Hill mods existed already for the game, so i thought about naming my map 'Chronicled Hill Zone' (but i'm open to suggestions.)


The Map
I have been working slowly but steadily.Thanks to the tutorials and the help on the discord server, I've been working on it since October 2020. This is what the map looks like atm:
Full_Map.png


I'll break it down. I wanted this level to be in 2 parts. This level would be a 'beginner' typed level, so i wanted the level to start easy. I wanted to establish how to translate the Zone into SRB2. So i thought about what the purpose was of this Zone.
-teach players how to move
-give them their first taste of mechanics
-what are important features of the Zone

For the first 2 points, I made the the first part of the level:
PART 1:
1st_part.png

You start in a forest trail where you could get used to the controls and to how your character steers/ turns. This would culminate in a small 2d section where i would introduce the first enemies. At the end of the 2d part, you'll end up at the first island you see in Sonic Chronicles. This would be the intro easter egg from that game. Here are a couple of screenshots for the first part:
ss1.png

ss2.png



Now that players are introduced to the level/game, point 3 kicks in for the Second part of the level.
PART 2
2nd_part.png


You've reached the end of the 2d part, you jump of a cliff onto a beach and you transition back to 3d. This would be the end of the intro sequence. Like in the beginning of Sonic Chronicles, you would end up on the first island:
ss3.png


Through rafts or character skills, you reach the main part of the stage.
ss4.png



At this point I assume that you have full control of your character and that you know how to move around. I had Sonic, Tails and Knuckles as characters so i figured it would be fun to put the goal post at the top of the mountain. I configured the rock structures to be more friendly for SRB2. I tried to incorporate multiple routes for the characters to reach the goal. This part gave me problems in the beginning...


GHZ's important gimmicks
So what were important gimmicks in this Zone:
-Loops
-Big mountains and waterfalls
-exploration (like character paths that required switching between roster members)
-modern tech

Due to the nature of the engine, i had to tweak some stuff to make it work while still being unique:
-Loops -> Half-Loops & big slopes
ss9.png


- exploration: put better rewards outside of the main path, but still in plain sight. Example: rings/ emerald token high above a spring
ss5.png


- large forest parts were made using the BSZ textures
-modern stuff and waterfalls were made using a lot of FOF's
ss10.png


Especially Sonic's and Tails' aeroplane:
ss6.png



More Screenshots:

-Spin dash ramp:
ss7.png


-Waterfall Bridge:
ss8.png


-Flying with Knuckles:
ss10.png


-Flying with Tails:
ss12.png
ss13.png


What is left of the map?
After all these SS, you've basically seen what the map is about. Despite that, the map is about 60% done imo. I recently unlocked amy, so i decided to plan some side areas for her too. As you can see in a ss way up above, there are muliple empty areas i still need to complete. I need to make caves, Eggman's bases, etc... I also want to liven up the map. I should add more rings, enemies and trees,etc.

Now that the Map section is done, let's talk about the
MUSIC
I love SRB2's soundtrack. I wanted a consistent music feel to the level. So I decided to go with a genesis track, to make it more like the genesis days. Surprisingly, there are few genesis remixes of (v2.2 of the) game. As a result, I remixed some jingles into a genesis style.

I used FL Studio (Demo), VOPM, genesis instruments and samples in hopes of replicating the genesis feel. I tried to keep the songs from having a max of 6 instrument notes and 3 drum/sample notes at a time to try and be kind of faithful to genesis limits. I also want to thank Sonic Team Jr and its composers for the MIDI's. To give you an idea of the remixes, i made 2 youtube videos:

- Title Screen Jingle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cv4g6e9cN0

-General Jingle Test in SRB2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl5x6LPGLS0

I'll make a few other jingles as well down the line. For the main zone theme, I'm not sure what i'll do. The current GHZ's theme from Sonic Chronicles is not my favorite. Either i could use the theme from Sonic 1, or make something new.

Conclusion
In conclusion, i am making GHZ from Sonic Chronicles, with some genesisy music. This will be my first map in Zone Builder. After months of working on it, i hope you'll enjoy it once it is finished.

In testing, this map is about 1min - 1min:30sec of playtime if you just rush to the goal. Exploring the level for secrets and goodies will make it longer.
I'll keep posting updates on this mod. If you have suggestions & critiques, please fire them at me. I hope to improve on making stuff.

Thank you for reading!
 

Snowy

PersistantRubine/Void
As someone who loved Sonic Chronicles for it's good aspects [ACTUALLY HAVING A DECENT PLOT] back in the day, the moment I heard "...The green hill from Chronicles" I had to keep reading. I'm curious how far this'll go in the end, but I must say I'm excited to see how you handle it overall.
 

Rabosion

Member
Thank you for the kind words! I'll do my best to make it enjoyable to play.

As for this weeks update, I have more remixes of SRB2 jingles and a preview of one of the interiors of the map.

Map Updates
I'm in the process of fleshing out the interiors of the map. In the original game, these 5 interiors were often an important spot where the story advanced . To give those room that same importance, I thought of hiding bosses there. however, that idea would clearly not work... it would become annoying very fast to batle a boss in each of the rooms of the map. Instead To give you an idea, i'll tease the Temple:
unknown.png


I've decided to make each room a bonus room, with a lot of goodies but also multiple enemies. In the OG game, you reached the temple using Knuckles. As he is a treasure hunter, he can hunt for rings there in my map in SRB2. I'm currently experimenting on making the trap door open through a button, hence the red block.

Music
I've remixed more short jingles for the mod. Here is the list of my remixes so far:
- Title Screen : https://youtu.be/7Cv4g6e9cN0
- 1 Up: https://youtu.be/b-X8XGL6VTQ
- Act Clear: https://youtu.be/W6ju8c27b2E
- Game Over: https://youtu.be/t1DtYSdUIhI
- Invincibility: https://youtu.be/gt4sbzFmCRo
- Speed Shoes: https://youtu.be/PACiqxp9LTw

I'm currently debating whether or not I should remix Drowning theme, since there is one in Sonic 1/2... I am planning on making a Continue and Main Menu remix though.

Hope you enjoy the update, and thank you for reading! Have a nice day!
 

Rabosion

Member
Sonic Chronicles GHZ - Update 3

Map Progress
The updated map:
-5863 Vertices
-7174 Linedefs
-13520 Sidedefs
-333 Things
unknown.png


A few key additions & changes:
-3 interiors have been added: 2 of which have been completed, 1 is almost completed. These are on the bottom of the map
- A beachy area will link the transition between the 2d section and the main area of the map. This is on the left upper corner of the large square.
-one of the first hallways in part 1 has been lengthened, slopes and jumpable bushes have been added here. This is to give players an incentive to try jumping and rolling without punishment

So here are the major additions in greater detail. I'll put up screenshots showing the mapped version, how it looks in zone builder/SRB2 compared to the OG Sonic Chronicles.

1)Eggman's hidden base
unknown.png

This area was significant in the game. You arrived here at a tipping point in the story,had to battle hard robots and fuund out Eggman's whereabouts. So for this part of the level, I turned it into a small arena filled with enemies. This could could be a good way to rack up some extra points.


2)Temple
unknown.png

Teased last week, here is a more in-depth look at the temple. This location is easily reachable using knuckles. Therefore, you'll be able to rack up some rings in this location.

3)Beachy Area
This part will form the connective tissue between part 1 and 2 of the level. This is still in heavy WIP mode. I need to add some scenery here to make it look cohesive. At the end of this part, i plan to add rafts that float downwards to the island that starts Sonic Chronicles:
unknown.png

There isn't a real counterpart of this part in Sonic Chronicles, this is an improvised part of the level. But as Sonic is talking to Tails at this point in the OG game through text boxes, he may still be running for all we know. That's why i think this may still feel natural to the level in SRB2.

4)Abandoned bases
unknown.png

Sonic Chronicles had 2 desolate bases: 1 under a treetrunk, and one on the leftside of the area (see Sonic Chronicles' GHZ map above). These bases will also appear in SRB2. 1 of them is finished, the other is almost done. But as they look similar, i can show you a comparison of one of these rooms. These rooms feature a new mechanic - mini Egg Capsules.

5)Mini Egg Capsules
I've researched the wiki to make capsules. Unfortunately, the setup on the wiki would always end the level. Because of that, i tried to make it into something different, while being in the theme of Chronicles.

These capsules lie in abandoned areas. Due to deterioration, they should break down. Hence i made mini capsules from scratch and came up with this:
setup.png

With the way these things are set up, they will break down on contact with the player revealing a reward, like a ring.

This gif shows you how they work in-game:
capsule3.gif


Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the updates!
 

Rabosion

Member
Sonic Chronicles GHZ - Update 4

Map Progress
The updated map:
-6331 Vertices
-7680 Linedefs
-14565 Sidedefs
1601 Sectors
-393 Things

The key changes:
- a new section has been added to the lower-right portion of the map. This part is inspired by the GHZ battle background from Sonic Chronicles. It contains a little platforming challenge and contains plenty of rings & a powerup upon completion
-map borders have been compressed in the giant rectangle area to keep players focused on the island and to avoid them getting lost underwater
-rings have been added to smaller locations in the map to encourage exploration
-smaller islands to the right side of the map have been slightly relocated to encourage more platforming
-texture adjustments in some areas

Here is a large screenie:
unknown.png


What i need to do before release:
-finish the beach area
-finish background elements from the woods behind the front mountains
-create the forest area at the center-bottom of the stage
-add more rings and trees everywhere, and check for texture glitches
-expand on the secret areas in part 1 of the stage
-remix menu music and create/recompose the stage theme

EDIT: i also need to
-finish the 2nd hidden base from Eggman
-make the remaining hidden area - the cave

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the updates!
 
Last edited:

Pc-98 Fan

SRB2 Bonus video when
seeing someone remembering Sonic Chronicles is very interesting, along with the fact i heard there's a possible remake reimagination of the game.
also the map looks quite big and i like it.
 

Rabosion

Member
Sonic Chronicles GHZ - Update 5

Map Progress
The updated map:
-5869 Vertices
-7257 Linedefs
-13666 Sidedefs
-1664 Sectors
-628 Things

unknown.png


The key changes:
1) A new area has been added: a labyrinthian puzzle room for those wanting to speedrun the level. Notice the big Eggman button in the middle of the room. On skilled play, this room may save you a couple of seconds.

2) I placed many more Things, like rings and springs and trees on the map.

3) HEAVY optimisation. Earlier today I was reaching nearly 20k sidedefs and 10k linedefs and nearly 8k vertices on the map. After hours of cutting vertices, i noticed the numbers became lower than last update, which is amazing! Now I can keep building more comfortably. Unfortunately, upon opening Zone Builder, I saw a lot of sides in the zone became messed up. I'll be fixing them again throughout next week. I also need to build more upon the bonus areas i mentioned last time.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the updates!
 

Rabosion

Member
Sonic Chronicles GHZ - Update 6

Over a month has passed since the last update. The project is still ongoing. Sadly, ironing out the bugs and finishing the stage isn't as easy as i anticipated. Thus, i focused on other aspects to enhance the Zone.

This is my progress so far:

unknown.png


Map Progress
The updated map:
-7780 Vertices
-9838 Linedefs
-18635 Sidedefs
-2438 Sectors
-665 Things

Map Changes
The first thing you'll notice, is that the stage has drastically increased in size. I've been working on background elements throughout the Zone. I've experimented and researched which style i want to go for, and i figured Sonic Generation's design of Green Hill could easily fit in the distance. Have a screenshot:
unknown.png


The goal is to have these elements all over the barriers of the Zone, while loosely respecting the layout from Sonic Chronicles' World Map:
iu


Next big thing is the visual glitches. Half of the Zone is fixed, but some stuff keeps getting glitched, which i always need to refix. It is mostly texture glitches. But the part that keeps getting out of whack the most when i open Zone Builder is this little roof:
unknown.png

I have no idea why it keeps doing it... Sometimes it doesn't do this, but it often does. So i'll have to fix this last, when the rest is finished.

Next, i made some remixes to make the mod more coherent music-wise. The new additions are:
-the Boss theme:
-Tutorial Zone:

After i remixed the Boss Theme, i came up with the idea to make a new Boss Arena for the first Boss Fight. As the level ends atop the upper mountain, i figured the Boss should take place there. This is the arena concept for the Boss:
unknown.png

The cloud layer surrounding the mountain top will ensure that Sonic is trapped within a reasonable area until the Boss is defeated.

What about the Zone Music?
I attemped to remake the original into something new. I did not have much success with this. However, i'm still attempting to remix the tune somehow.I will likely keep it closely to the original melody and harmony.

When is it playable?
As for each mod, it is playable when it is done or feel confident to release it. I do realise i've been working on it since October, and that the wait has been long already. I'm happy to let it be tested, but i don't want to violate the forum's policies by putting it out in a WIP state. I also realise i keep adding stuff surrounding the Zone, and that it might sound it's hindering the level's progress. Rest assured the level is coming along smoothly. Perhaps i'll release the level itself with its zone remixed, without all the other songs/ jingles first. Then i can 'patch' the rest in a later update. Or i might keep developing until OLDC? Idk if i can enter this map into it. Either way, nothing is set in stone but i'm open for suggestions.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the updates!
 

Othius

[A person in a place]
When is it playable?
As for each mod, it is playable when it is done or feel confident to release it. I do realise i've been working on it since October, and that the wait has been long already. I'm happy to let it be tested, but i don't want to violate the forum's policies by putting it out in a WIP state. I also realise i keep adding stuff surrounding the Zone, and that it might sound it's hindering the level's progress. Rest assured the level is coming along smoothly. Perhaps i'll release the level itself with its zone remixed, without all the other songs/ jingles first. Then i can 'patch' the rest in a later update. Or i might keep developing until OLDC? Idk if i can enter this map into it. Either way, nothing is set in stone but i'm open for suggestions.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the updates!

If my Mystic Realm: Community Edition thread is anything to go by, posting periodic beta in an editing thread is perfectly okay. It's not bypassing releases because it's not a finished mod.

That doesn't matter, because if you're submitting it to OLDC you're not allowed to post it into any public repository beforehand (although you can after the contest is over).
2. Previously released levels are not allowed. Private testing is allowed (and encouraged!), but the level must not have been released on the MB or elsewhere.

It also might not be allowed because it's based on Sonic Chronicles. Although that's a bit of a gray area. You will want to ask Sev on the discord to see if it's allowed or not.
3. The level has to be your own work. This means that ports, remakes and edits of existing levels are not allowed, unless the original level is yours. In such a case, the level should be sufficiently different from your original level.
 

Rabosion

Member
So if I understand correctly, i can upload a WIP, only if i clearly disclose that it's not finished? Awesome!

Reading rule #2, i probably can't submit it to the OLDC, as i might've uploaded a very early version on discord months ago.

Thank you for the clarification, KWIIN! I'll iron out some more graphical kinks in the level, before I post a beta.
 

Chezi

Chili Dogs
My interpretation of Rule 3 is that the level design itself has to be original. Like, I could remake Mirage Saloon to be a 3D SRB2 level and it would be allowed since all of it is original except for its namesake
 

Axolex53

Unknown person
My interpretation of Rule 3 is that the level design itself has to be original. Like, I could remake Mirage Saloon to be a 3D SRB2 level and it would be allowed since all of it is original except for its namesake
I can understand why you affirm that, remember that Sonic after/before (idk) the sequel level? Well something like that
 

Rabosion

Member
Sonic Chronicles GHZ - Update 7
This is the current outlook of the map:
7492 vertices
9570 linedefs
18082 sidedefs
2432 sectors
790 things

march17 map.png


As you can see, i reduced a lot of data. Unfortunately, i had to cut and rearrange some stuff to make the level run more smoothly:
-The plane reference from Sonic Chronicles has been cut from the level (for now) because the game had difficulty rendering the multitude of stacked FOFs coinciding with things above and behind it. I put it in a backup file so i can resummon it if i find a place for it. This freed up 24 tags for me to use for other stuff.
-the background is being remade because of thok barrier issues. I am simplifying the background rock formations in the distance, and hope to give them the same general feel as i did before. Luckily, the structures are seen in the far distance. For this reason, a lot of the left side's rock formations have been cut from the background. I'll figure out an alternative. According to the world map, this side has nothing but sea. But because it looks odd in the SRB2, i'll come up with something more minimalistic but fitting.
-the bottom right's forest part will be transformed into a teleport entrance, which leads to a separate room. I did this because the game would lag when facing north into the giant mountain. This means the challenge in that part needs to be remade to reflect that. You can see me experimenting with new rock formations on the upper right side and corner of the map.
-the upper-left corner, the beach area, will have a small dedicated cave transition area. This allows the game to load the rest of the level and reduces the potential for lag.
-the biggest change: i added a lot more verticality, added a lot of decorations through Things and added depth to my existing mechanics. This opened the level up a lot, and made it feel more like an actual place. I also added some more references to the og game.

Music-wise, i am currently reworking the original song into a Genesisy track.
For reference, here is the Og song:
This is my WIP of the song (Note: links to message on SRB2's discord): Chronicles GHZ Genesis Remix - WIP

What i need to do next is:
-make the cave area (a secret chronicles area)
-make the background structures
-touch up the labyrinth area
-remake the bottom right area
-make a more dedicated Amy path
-finish up the variety of sloped areas.
-create the bottom middle part
-bugfix
-finish the music remix

Here are some gifs to tease you the current state of the level:
Gif 1: Starting at the transition area, ending at the first island from Sonic Chronicles
sc_march17.gif


gif 2: From the firs island, you explore a bit to find a familiar box, and eventually get a shield
sc_march17_part2.gif


Gif 3: With the shield in hand, you cross the platforms on water and go to the main attraction of the zone. There you find crates blocking your path:

sc_march17_part3.gif


Thank you for reading, enjoy the updates!
 

srb2 asker

Member
Hello can you send the link to the download already?
Post automatically merged:

Plzzzzzzz
 

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