Flat surface hack in 2.2 (AFD 2016)

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Nev3r

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Hey guys:
I actually just wanted to show a great trick you can do in the upcoming version, 2.2, which lets you fake flat surfaces.
As you may know, as for 2.2 goes, everything will be made out of slopes, so getting a flat surface effect could still be interesting; here's how. Note that they're not actually entirely flat surfaces, but you can approximate them well. Here's a screenshot:
srb20063.png

As you can see, the texture gives it away, so we can be a little trickier, and use an opaque texture, like this:
srb20064.png

This is more like it, indeed. However, it is convenient to use sectors with more frequency, so it looks more flat in higher resolutions. Additionally, I recommend to use 255 brightness, to avoid that pesky light effect which reveals it's actually just slopes. It's great, isn't it? Here:
srb20066.png

So far so good. You can also use a triangle-shaped midtexture to complement the effect, though. It you'll get the best result with those. Here's the texture in question:
txttest.png

We'll align it with the slopes, and see what happens:
srb20067.png

It looks very convincing, doesn't it? I think it's a cool trick. Note that I'm using a different color so you can appreciate the trick. Here's how it'd look in reality:
srb20069.png

Unfortunately it's fairly limited to the geometry you want to do, as you can imagine, and it's quite some work to set up. I recommend to do this in places where you really would need it, and not abuse it, since it requires plenty of sectors and linedefs and stuff, and it may lag if it gets out of hands.
Any thoughts? Possible improvements? I think this may be of general use in a future so I'm posting this to share with the rest of mappers so they can take advantage of it since the beginning.
 

Zipper

Killda
Judge
My, I'm really glad we still have creative ways we can use to get around slopes. Having access to flat ground via tricks and hacks will really help aspiring designers to spice up their levels.
 

Prime 2.0

Member
All very well about flat surfaces, but what about stairs? =V
Well, what about them?

Stairs made sense in 2D Sonic, since they provided a mechanism for ascent that you had to deal with (unless you were already high), but in 3D people can just walk around them and use the slopes to the side instead - so why would anyone want to deal with stepup sometimes stopping you when you run too fast on stairs, or tripping? Stairs just don't make sense in 3D.

And, well, that's before getting in to the issue of spriting. Flat surfaces are one thing, people can just manage to ignore Sonic or Tails standing awkwardly on level ground using sprites meant for slopes, but stair climbing? That's a very specific motion to go through, and a very different matter of balance and pose; if you didn't sprite for that specifically, it would look horrifyingly unnatural. To fix that, if you only wanted to handle direct perpendicular motion you'd need 64 sprites for walking, and another 32 for taking two steps at a time, but that balloons outward even more if you let the player ascend and descend stairs diagonally, or let them run sideways on them. It's just not practical.

Too much effort for something that would only really work in contrived situations like boxing the player into it, and once you do that it's barely better than a cutscene. It's just not going to happen.
 
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MascaraSnake

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
I don't know, these flat surfaces may look fairly convincing, but what good are they without proper flat surface physics? Is it at least possible to use conveyor belts to counteract the downward drag of the slopes?
 

MellowJacket

The unreliable judge
Judge
One day, we'll even be able to rotate and align our flat textures.

R-right?

Oh that joke fell flat.
 

Lat'

Absolute territory where
Kart Krew™️
if everything is made out of slopes, why isn't sonic a slope?
 
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