Sonic Islands (Physics Preview - WIP)

Project Overview

Sonic Islands Logo final.png

(Physics Preview - Early WIP)​

Completely rebuilt from the ground up, the new build of Sonic Islands is an attempt at transferring the physics and momentum based gameplay from the classic games into 3D space. Currently in an early preview state, this test zone intends to showcase the new physics and the different ways the terrain can affect Sonic.

In this demo, you can run, spin and jump around the terrain, using your momentum to maneuver Sonic over a varying set of obstacles. Your speed and direction will be affected by the inclination of the terrain, and whether you are spinning or running. Try to experiment with the movement and controls and you may find your way to hard to reach areas.

CONTROLS
A/Space = Jump
LB/LeftClick/LeftShift = Spin
RT/MiddleMouse/Q = Quick Snap

(This demo was built using the Palmtree Framework, a state machine scripting framework in Unity that has been built over the past year to use modular assets as code to build gameplay in the editor, without having to write or edit custom scripts at all. To follow progress on Palmtree and Sonic Islands, check out my twitter at https://twitter.com/SteveTGames)

Screenshots and media!


Bonus Content

Developer Notes:

So I almost missed this year, but quite literally crapped this out at the last minute. The past year has been spent developing the framework this new demo was built on, the Palmtree Framework. It's still in need of a few features, but it's allowed this gameplay to be built in a fraction of the time the past demos were, along with being much neater and more optimized to work with. It's just a shame I couldn't get more of Islands done in time, though with Palmtree this far along in development, progress should be made on the next demo much faster than it has been up to this point.

Though this demo only features Sonic's base moveset, the emerald abilities are being worked on, along with more animations and effects, and an actual, cohesive zone with a lot more visual flair. You can expect an updated demo after SAGE, and, again, to keep up with development, you can always follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/SteveTGames

See ya :)

Credits

Music by Karl Brueggemann (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2-SuHfWKg_XmqF7Q5-MCig)
Gameplay built in Unity using the Palmtree Framework (scripted by Steve Taylor)
Stage design (what stage design) also by Steve T
Sonic model and animations, along with all textures and sounds, were made by Sonic Team and SEGA.

As always, this demo is purely a fan creation, and the Sonic The Hedgehog IP and design belong to SEGA.

Comments

Hey, this is pretty cool. I'm a little sad the extra abilities from the last demo didn't make it in, since they were a good part of the reason I spent a lot of time playing it. But it's understandable if you're reworking it all.
Finding the Sonic R reference was fun and if stuff like that is possible with just the base abilities, then I'm excited to see where this goes further along the road.
 
I've been following you posting progress on twitter for a while now, and I was excited to see that this was coming to SAGE, despite it being a physics test.
...However, after playing around with it for a bit, it just feels rather disappointing.

At first, I thought this would be smooth physics engine with momentum rivaling Utopia. It's what the videos I saw made me immediately think of, so I was excited since news on Utopia has all but died out since the sandbox build a while back. I booted this up, and my first thoughts were... sluggish.

Sonic's top speed is extremely lackluster. There doesn't seem to be any moves to start picking up momentum right away, so I just ran towards the loop in front of me.
I slowly walked up one side of it and... very slowly walked up to the top...
I tried rolling to gain speed after the top part, but what I gained feels about as much as what I had lost trying to get up it in the first place. It was nowhere near satisfying, and felt more like a chore forcing myself up the thing.

At first I thought "okay, maybe I just need more speed before I tackle it". Then when I went over to the nearby hill, slowly trudged my way up and rolled down, I realised what you're doing for momentum. The moment you hit a speed above your maximum running speed, the FOV immediately zooms up and you're forced into what feels like a boost mode. All of a sudden you can do whatever you feel like. Instead of a slow and satisfying increase in speed from 1 to 100, you go from 10 to 100 for rolling a little bit.

It's true that I might be too harsh on this because I love Utopia, but it doesn't change the fact that the momentum system doesn't feel rewarding. Though, I did feel like Utopia's jumpdash would benefit this since it would help angle your jumps a bit in 3D and change direction without having to swerve or stop. Also, I really can't get into rolling being a switch and not a button-hold.


In the end, this has potential. I'm not saying it has to be a second Utopia, and I get that there are people that don't even like what Utopia went for. But if the physics felt less 'on and off' with acceleration, I feel like even the little test level here could be an enjoyable playground. I really hope to see this become something amazing in the future - good luck.
 
For this demo it's pretty ok, momentum feels a tad slow for build up and top speed feels like I should be a tad faster, like RyeDoki has said. Mainly just gonna say things need a tad more speed, other than that it's fine for momentum, rather then becoming too fast or two slow your starting to find a middle ground a fast yet controllable
 
I've been following you posting progress on twitter for a while now, and I was excited to see that this was coming to SAGE, despite it being a physics test.
...However, after playing around with it for a bit, it just feels rather disappointing.

At first, I thought this would be smooth physics engine with momentum rivaling Utopia. It's what the videos I saw made me immediately think of, so I was excited since news on Utopia has all but died out since the sandbox build a while back. I booted this up, and my first thoughts were... sluggish.

Sonic's top speed is extremely lackluster. There doesn't seem to be any moves to start picking up momentum right away, so I just ran towards the loop in front of me.
I slowly walked up one side of it and... very slowly walked up to the top...
I tried rolling to gain speed after the top part, but what I gained feels about as much as what I had lost trying to get up it in the first place. It was nowhere near satisfying, and felt more like a chore forcing myself up the thing.

At first I thought "okay, maybe I just need more speed before I tackle it". Then when I went over to the nearby hill, slowly trudged my way up and rolled down, I realised what you're doing for momentum. The moment you hit a speed above your maximum running speed, the FOV immediately zooms up and you're forced into what feels like a boost mode. All of a sudden you can do whatever you feel like. Instead of a slow and satisfying increase in speed from 1 to 100, you go from 10 to 100 for rolling a little bit.

It's true that I might be too harsh on this because I love Utopia, but it doesn't change the fact that the momentum system doesn't feel rewarding. Though, I did feel like Utopia's jumpdash would benefit this since it would help angle your jumps a bit in 3D and change direction without having to swerve or stop. Also, I really can't get into rolling being a switch and not a button-hold.


In the end, this has potential. I'm not saying it has to be a second Utopia, and I get that there are people that don't even like what Utopia went for. But if the physics felt less 'on and off' with acceleration, I feel like even the little test level here could be an enjoyable playground. I really hope to see this become something amazing in the future - good luck.
Thanks for giving the demo a try and for the feedback. I know there's not a lot to do here but I figured I'd get some general feedback at this early stage before making more progress.

You're almost correct with how the momentum works, however there is indeed a gradual acceleration from standstill to max speed (which is much higher than the speed that "boost" is activated at), it's just that the "boost" FOV shifting that was intended to help accentuate a sense of momentum has instead masked it and made it less satisfying, feeling more 'on and off' than a gradual progression. It's something I'd become dull to after playing with the mechanics for so long, however I've now changed the "boost" (internally it's called Sonic Speed in the code) and made it activate at a much higher speed, along with increasing the acceleration and decreasing the deceleration that slopes give you. I've also increased Sonic's max acceleration speed and decreased the time it takes you to reach it.

I do think a large part of why Utopia was so satisfying was the sound design, and a spinning sound effect (along with a figure 8 running animation and sound effect) is something I didn't get finished before the deadline. I feel that would help communicate your 'true' speed a bit better, along with giving a more satisfying game feel as you hear the speed increase (much like the mid air spin effect currently in the demo). Though hopefully these new tweaks will do enough to help alleviate the issues in the current build.

I'll be adding a few more things, then updating the build here, so hopefully you'll be able to check that out and let me know what you think, if that's cool.

Thanks again for taking the time to give some feedback :)
 
heythe physics are amazing but I have little bit of problem in momentum it feels too slow but over all is good. And when is the Mac version come out. I have been waiting for it since last demo
 
Thanks for giving the demo a try and for the feedback. I know there's not a lot to do here but I figured I'd get some general feedback at this early stage before making more progress.

You're almost correct with how the momentum works, however there is indeed a gradual acceleration from standstill to max speed (which is much higher than the speed that "boost" is activated at), it's just that the "boost" FOV shifting that was intended to help accentuate a sense of momentum has instead masked it and made it less satisfying, feeling more 'on and off' than a gradual progression. It's something I'd become dull to after playing with the mechanics for so long, however I've now changed the "boost" (internally it's called Sonic Speed in the code) and made it activate at a much higher speed, along with increasing the acceleration and decreasing the deceleration that slopes give you. I've also increased Sonic's max acceleration speed and decreased the time it takes you to reach it.

I do think a large part of why Utopia was so satisfying was the sound design, and a spinning sound effect (along with a figure 8 running animation and sound effect) is something I didn't get finished before the deadline. I feel that would help communicate your 'true' speed a bit better, along with giving a more satisfying game feel as you hear the speed increase (much like the mid air spin effect currently in the demo). Though hopefully these new tweaks will do enough to help alleviate the issues in the current build.

I'll be adding a few more things, then updating the build here, so hopefully you'll be able to check that out and let me know what you think, if that's cool.

Thanks again for taking the time to give some feedback :)
Gotta say, after playing the updated demo, it really is a massive improvement! With the tweaks made, momentum feels far more rewarding. I spent a while just playing around on the loops and building up speed rocketing all over the place.

There's still a few minor nitpicks, like the spin being a toggle. The mouse cursor is also leaving the window when using it to control the camera, but I'm assuming that's a somewhat simple fix.

I'm definitely excited for the future of this. Can't wait to see more from you!
 
Aw, some of my favourite features are gone.
The walljump was an unlockable, so I guess that's a given, though the model you had last year helped give the game a unique look. Half the moveset missing, though, including the double jump, that's a bummer. Needless to say, that's more personal preference than anything.
On the contrary, the levels from last year's entry are missing, but what is here feels a lot tighter, which I can't tell if that's due to new groundwork, or just different values plugged into HedgePhysics.
I'm not sure if the direction for gameplay is going to change from collectathon gates, but I imagine that the lower acceleration points toward that idea, so good job making the physics match the desired pacing, granted that's what you're after.
Looking forward to seeing where this goes, and regardless of what you do, just remember that any gameplay style can be fun with well designed levels.
 
Aw, some of my favourite features are gone.
The walljump was an unlockable, so I guess that's a given, though the model you had last year helped give the game a unique look. Half the moveset missing, though, including the double jump, that's a bummer. Needless to say, that's more personal preference than anything.
On the contrary, the levels from last year's entry are missing, but what is here feels a lot tighter, which I can't tell if that's due to new groundwork, or just different values plugged into HedgePhysics.
I'm not sure if the direction for gameplay is going to change from collectathon gates, but I imagine that the lower acceleration points toward that idea, so good job making the physics match the desired pacing, granted that's what you're after.
Looking forward to seeing where this goes, and regardless of what you do, just remember that any gameplay style can be fun with well designed levels.
Thanks for giving the demo a try. The model from last year will still be available as a skin in future builds, along with cosmetic extras like the shoes from the 2018 build and more. As for the abilities from last year, all of them, including the double jump, are planed to return except the drift, which has it's function replaced by the snap behind camera button (RT/Middle Mouse). This is all just a very early look at the underlying gameplay before more progress gets made. The gameplay is still very much going to be collectathon influenced, but with a balance between exploration and 'get to the finish' being the goal. (Also, the framework and gameplay were all built from the ground up, this doesn't use HedgePhysics)
 
I can't seem to make the game run properly in both builds
Sonic seems to have a super heavy gravity that kinda makes him stuck, and when trying to jump I overlap the ground and his jumping animation glitches violently
Is there some kind of plugin i need to install or some C++ Visual i need or can't have?
4244
 

Item information

Added by
Steve Taylor
Views
6,327
Comments
9
Last update

More in SAGE 2019

More from Steve Taylor

Share this item