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NEO Emerald coast (Original stage, based on E.C concepts)

Aquavine

Member
Did you ever wonder how a DLC stage for Emerald coast would look like?
Well, we may never get a official one, but atleast we can make one ourselves right?
And this is a fun quest I made for myself, making a whole brand new act for Emerald coast, while using concepts from original stage, with some of mine sprinkled in.
After drawing some rough sketches, I came up with something that could have some real potential, this is what I made throughout these few weeks:
I think that for someone that learned the adventure/srb2 level design from just playing, it looks pretty good, this is my first real non-remake stage I ever made in my mapping carrier, so some design choices may be wierd for more experienced mappers, but I think that it's a pretty solid stage for my experience. And this is where you could help me shape this stage to be as good as it can, but for now, everything goes rather smoothly, so I don't need any game-changing ideas, doesn't mean you can't share any cool ideas you might have, I would like to see what you guys can come up with.
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I already have some ideas for this stage so I will write them down here:
The main idea/design for this stage is having both sections (Like in SA) and in the first half you will run through a more human-friendly places, mainly using bridges, stairs, and overall more man-made buildings, in short less natural and untouched enviroments. In second half you will traverse completly untouched enviroment, which means, wild rivers, huge mountains and rock formations and no man-made buildings in sight. This is a rough idea so I might change up some things later down the development.
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You can give me ideas for a name for this stage, or if you know some music that could fit this stage, you can post it here. (I won't use it without permission ofc)
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And here are some screenshots of the stage, atleast how it looks now:
(The skies are placeholder, they will be changed, when I decide on the final shape of the sector)

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(Example of the Man vs Nature idea)
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All of the footage shown is early in the development, so expect it to look better later down the line.
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If you have some questions regarding this stage, then ask me, I would be happy to anwser it.
(I feel like this post will be a mess to read through)​
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Here are some rough sketches I was talking about in the first post:
Act 1 (Concept art that can be used as a map If you want to see the whole stage at once.)
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Act 1.5 (The second half of the man-made section, not finished yet)
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The plan is, that you go down a slope and then you enter this wide hallway with a river, and you have two options to cross it, bounce of the water surface by using the slope to build speed, or go slowly by jumping from rock to rock. When you cross it, you have to spindash up the ramp to reach further section, or use spring on your right (This section may be changed).
After that, you run through this pathway that changes into balcony like path, to move forward you have to jump down to the beach below.
From here, you come across a lake that’s surrounded by big mountain walls, (I still have to think of a creative idea for how the player can cross it), but when you do cross it, you see a sign saying that there is...
A village ahead that has these tropical straw huts, and the other idea is a warning sign that tells you that there are massive massive rock pillars ahead that you will have to dodge, like a side step section, but I will mix it up a little. And both sections will be used, but I have to make a sign for the village or for the pillars. But for now I will polish up the first act and then I will build the second half, and I will have to make act 2 too, so there is a lot of work to do.
 
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Made the whole stage take place at sunset/evening, and made the waters have more purplish tint.
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Added more plant life all around the stage.
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You just realized that you forgot the Chaos emeralds from your house? Worry not, backtracking is now possible without flying characters.
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(I gotta choose smaller resolutions, because the first image is 2mb, it's the size of the biggest vanillia stage, not the counting assets.)
 
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New section is in the making (Look at act 1.5 concept art)
Very rough at the moment, it will be expanded upon as always.

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I plan on releasing a demo of this stage, at this point in development, it will go only to the end of act 1. It might even drop it today, but first I need to playtest it some more times, but probably today.
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THE DEMO IS OUT!! IT WILL PROBAPLY BE OUTDATED IN LIKE HOUR OR TWO, BUT STILL, ITS OUT!!
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Come on! what are you waiting for?! just load your favorite character and give it a shot!
(Demo containts only the first act.)​
 

Attachments

  • NEO_Emerald_Coast_Demo.wad
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I was looking for inspiration and came back to a video, that propably pushed me to start creating this very stage:
This is what I want this stage to be,
and there is so many creative ideas, from just reusing assets, that I felt like I’m wasting potential, so from on I’m going to use a larger paper sheet, and I’m going to put more thought into level design, and enviroment design, which means that I will remake act 1.5, and hopefully change act 1 a bit too.
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But really this mod could be a official DLC stage for SA, it’s more wacky and difficult than original, which hits perfectly into Sonic DLC stages, Unleashed for example.
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Started working on act 1.5 (again, but this time hopefully better)
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And made this lil spot, it's optional place you can check out. (I spent way to much time making this area.)
we need more places like this in games.
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And added umbrellas in act 1 with shadows.
 
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Finally a new post, these are the sections you could see on a map, in the post above.
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And there's this too:
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Just a transtion from one section to the other.
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Redone the this section because it was just a straight line with a small slope, and it turned out great.
And I finally have a reason to use the SA jump pad mechanic.
if you hold spin while touching the ground you will maintain the speed from the jumppad, and slope the ahead will amplify it, finally some smart level design.
srb20034.gif
 
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A quick look on the act 1.5
The quality and gameplay may be bad, mainly because I played on 640x400 so the video would fit in the 15 mb limit, and because of that I didn't had time to show everything I wanted, but you seen most of the stuff this act has to offer, there's still more act in the making.

This is the bonus area you can go to if you need some help with beating the stage.
At 0:25 there is a small piece of land in the left corner, there are springs that you can use to get up this area.
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I will propably release another demo when I finish the whole act, so expect it in the near future.
 
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This time a bit smaller update, mainly because I "scrapped" a whole section. The section used fan sectors, and the plan behind it was, that you had to build a lot of speed and then float through a gigant canyon while dodging obstacles and drifting mid-air through tight turns.
But why make a section with flying in a beach stage? Because Windy and Ripply, that's the whole reason for it. :>
And I didn't really scrapped it for good, I will just use it in act 2, which will be based more around natural enviroments, and I don't want to run out of ideas for act 1.
I think I'm starting to wrap up act 1, I think there's enough content for a whole stage and I'm pretty proud of what I cooked up.
This is the whole map of the entire stage, and at first I was thinking to make act 1 and act 2 a whole gigantic stage, just like in SA1, with area transitions and stuff, but I was thinking about spliting them in two but I'm not sure about it.
Do you think I should split them or leave it as it is?
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This looks great so far! I'm looking forward to the full release of this level/levelpack.


I think I'm starting to wrap up act 1, I think there's enough content for a whole stage and I'm pretty proud of what I cooked up.
This is the whole map of the entire stage, and at first I was thinking to make act 1 and act 2 a whole gigantic stage, just like in SA1, with area transitions and stuff, but I was thinking about spliting them in two but I'm not sure about it.
Do you think I should split them or leave it as it is?
View attachment 115137
About spliting the stages. I wouldn't split them, I would make them one big stage and then test if there a performance issues. if not keep the same one big marathon.

If its laggy and unstable. Then copy and paste the second part of the level into another wad to reduce lag. If you know how to have 2 levels in one file like a level pack you will know what I mean.

Hope this helps!
 
This looks great so far! I'm looking forward to the full release of this level/levelpack.



About spliting the stages. I wouldn't split them, I would make them one big stage and then test if there a performance issues. if not keep the same one big marathon.

If its laggy and unstable. Then copy and paste the second part of the level into another wad to reduce lag. If you know how to have 2 levels in one file like a level pack you will know what I mean.

Hope this helps!
I don’t think there would be any huge performance issues, from my experience I just need to make sure you can’t see a huge chunk of level at once, and merge any sectors that are identical.
And I think I’m going for the SA1 route, a huge stage with a change of theme in the middle of it, it may be really long to beat, but vanillia stages are pretty long too, I just hope I don’t run out of space on the canvas, but I propably won’t.

And I’m happy to hear that people are actually excited for my stage!
I will release another demo of whole act 1 when I polish it, and in the meantime check the first demo.
And maybe there will be boss fight,
but this time I will make a special area for it, I was thinking about making it like chaos 4 area with my spin on it.
 
While making more bridge sections I wanted to make some sort of transition section to mix this up a little, and I came up some really cool stuff...
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This is a drought lake, and sonic has to use the slopes to make his way through this section, I really like this section because I accidentally made a fully natural skatepark (maybe because I was playing skate 3 lately).
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At first I wanted this to be a "free space filler"
This is what I mean by that.
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But looking at this, it turned out pretty good for a "free space filler".
My brain randomly forgot how to speak english and I was writing this post longer then I was acutally making this section.
 
At this moment, I mainly decorate and polish what I already made, so there's nothing new to show at the moment.
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But it doesen't mean that I didn't made the stage more fun:
Made this little platform with ring monitor that's guarded by bumpers that you can use to skip a lot of this section.
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And realised the concept for this section, I maybe will put some goodies at the small mountain at the end of the gif.
For the best results I recommend using the booster, because you can sometimes bounce too late and bonk the sand wall making you fall into the water, and I'm trying to make this stage no-spin friendly, so there will be a bit of boosters when you need to use the spin/spindash.
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(And for some reason this stage is extremly fun to play as Peppino, but maybe Peppino is just fun to play overall, this is completely not a hint that this stage is fully playable with pizza tower gamemodes as a no-flight character)
 
I know you aren't focusing on details atm, But could a suggest a custom sky box? once the level is close to being complete?

Ill give you an example of my custom sky box I used in one of my levels. (I'm not advertising)
srb20039.gif

If I you need help I'm willing to help you set up a sky box.

But I'm sure you got everything all planned out.
From what I can tell you aren't super new to the editor.
So I hope I'm not coming off as a jerk.

Anyway, I'm Looking forward to this level/levels!
Good Luck!
 
I know you aren't focusing on details atm, But could a suggest a custom sky box? once the level is close to being complete?

Ill give you an example of my custom sky box I used in one of my levels. (I'm not advertising)
View attachment 115502
If I you need help I'm willing to help you set up a sky box.

But I'm sure you got everything all planned out.
From what I can tell you aren't super new to the editor.
So I hope I'm not coming off as a jerk.

Anyway, I'm Looking forward to this level/levels!
Good Luck!
I was actually messing with the skybox view point, mainly to check how it works, but I will propably do one later down the development.
I never used skyboxes mainly because I didn’t seen any reason to do so, but this time I will try to use it because the water just cuts off randomly, and I will just use a guide, but you can still help if you really want to.
I want the water to look natural and not wierdly stretched, in that case I just need to make the skybox space bigger right? And I never used the horizon effect, which are used in those from what I think, unless I’m wrong.
 
I want the water to look natural and not wierdly stretched, in that case I just need to make the skybox space bigger right? And I never used the horizon effect, which are used in those from what I think, unless I’m wrong.
Yeah I think making the skybox bigger might help, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm not a master at zone builder by any means.
you also could make the skybox smaller to see if that helps too.

I'm going to mess around with the skybox and come back to tell you if I find anything to help make it look more natural.

side note: are you using
Zonebuilder OR Ultimate zone builder ?
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Yeah I think making the skybox bigger might help, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm not a master at zone builder by any means.
you also could make the skybox smaller to see if that helps too.

I'm going to mess around with the skybox and come back to tell you if I find anything to help make it look more natural.

side note: are you using
Zonebuilder OR Ultimate zone builder ?
Yeah I found nothing. making it bigger or smaller does not make it look more "natural".

Hope that guide helps better than me!

Good Luck!
 
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Decorating and polishing stuff...
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I finally forced myself to make this straw hut after procrastinating on it since the start of the development.
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At this point there's more things in this stage than sectors, to be precise it's 954 sectors and 951 things, and most of the sectors are going to be merged at some point, so there might be even more things than I thought.
I hope this amount of things in a stage won't mess with the performance.
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When making this stage I have a wierd feeling when seeing large empty space, everything needs to be far away so it won't feel like a tight maze,
but I can't add too many things in one area, because it will feel clogged, so I just make a small area with enemies and decorations, but I don't know what do add so it will be fun and won't take too much space. (Image above as an example)
I see a small portion of the stage thats a bit too empty, and than I add like 50 different enemies and a whole sonic frontiers type obstacle course. :dramahog:
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Edit
: Why all enemies in srb2 can see you from like the other end of the map, that's why I barely use crawlas in this stage, because when they see you they starting moving in your direction breaking my placement, and if you wait for a moment they're already clogged on the edge of the island giving no challange at all to the stage, that's why I mostly use enemies that have short detection space, knight statues for example.
And most of the enemies are kinda harmless, the only enemy that's threatning is the knight and the penguinators (and maybe deton but he's an overkill in a open space), both of them have actual attacks that you have to dodge instead of just waiting until they are close enough to bonk you. >:/
 
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Hey I found something that might help you.
I was actually messing with the skybox view point, mainly to check how it works, but I will propably do one later down the development.
I never used skyboxes mainly because I didn’t seen any reason to do so, but this time I will try to use it because the water just cuts off randomly, and I will just use a guide, but you can still help if you really want to.
I want the water to look natural and not wierdly stretched, in that case I just need to make the skybox space bigger right? And I never used the horizon effect, which are used in those from what I think, unless I’m wrong.
As you said in this post you want the sky box to look "natural."

I'd recommend looking at "SkyboxScale, SkyboxScaleZ, SkyboxScaleX, And SkyboxScaleY." In the ZB script editor. I not sure how I really works but what I can tell

Try: SkyboxScale = 10 (or any number)
 
I kinda run out of ideas for act 1 so I pulled out the special card and made this city theme I was thinking about
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The problem is that I feel like I'm kinda running dry on ideas for anything, I barely glued this section together, if you look at this place it's just the same three repeating areas for a while, so I would be happy if anyone could give me an idea for a city on the sea theme, and I had small burnout due to lack of creative ideas, so I just decided to work on my other map for a while, and I could kinda rest because it was a port of existing map so I didn't have to think that much.
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Anyway, I added thok barriers and made them a bit wider so there could be a more open vibe.
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Fully realised river section.
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And I made a showcase of the new sections:
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And made a bit more identity releated update, I was thinking about what music I could use and what would fit the best and I have some ideas.
The first one is a jazz fusion remix of neo green hill zone act 2 by Church Sermons.
This could fit in well because of the chill summer vibe of this stage, and because of the name (which will be changed but I don't have clue what to call this stage :<)
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And the second one is the fanmade time-zones, and the original version of dubious depths (or R2) made by ALEXY ANGELFOX. (I won't embed them because it would take too much space, visit his channel instead!)
So for the act 1 I would use the present version or the good future version, and for act 2 I would use the past or again the good future version.
And this is a bit more complicated because I don't have a visual theme for act 2 yet, all I know is that it will at night or at really late sunset,
1.The good future could fit for the sparkly night or the darkish sunset with mix of all sky colors.
2.The past version could fit the concept of Sonic traversing through untouched by human hand landscape.
And on top of that I was thinking about making a small bonus hangout act where you could just run around and explore, but that could be just another attack of a beast known as the ambition because I didn't thought this through, but if somehow I make this happen the act would use the good future version.
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If you actually read this wall of text that even I can barely comprehend, I want to say that I'm grateful for all the support of every member in this very thread. I didn't thought that this small concept art I made a month ago while during the sunday night dread actually became something special, and I hope that the real burnout won't kick in anytime soon.
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(We need to start using the TV hud as reaction images btw.)​
 
I made this little sign to sell the idea that the area ahead is fully man-made.
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I made the SEATOWN have specific type of shading to make it look like it's made out of water or bubbles, this may look low effort but I spent like maybe 20-30 minutes trying to get this specific bubble font, and it's pretty time consuming to manually draw letters, but it just looks so good.
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And I made this small speed section, I would like to make a garden section of some kind. (even if there are plants everywhere)
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Edit: I might actually base this town around the alleys of Greece (I don't know if these have a name) or just Greece vibe in general.
Edit 2: Hydrocity when Seatown walks in.
 
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