SAGE 2021 - Demo Sonic Totem (SAGE '21 Demo)

Overview

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Hello! Sonic Totem V2 is a classic-styled fan game, inspired by the likes of Sonic Mania. In development since 2017, it's recently had a major (and much needed) overhaul under-the-hood to improve the Physics and overall Gameplay (hence the V2!). Still by all means a work in progress, it's a lot more playable than its last iteration!

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Avert a climate catastrophe!
Dr Eggman has learned of ancient relics, rumored to be capable of controlling the forces of nature. Deep in an autumnal forest, the first of these totems slumbers peacefully. If Eggman manages to get his hands on these, the whole planet would be at ransom from deadly heatwaves, bitter blizzards and raging storms. Come rain or shine, it's down to Sonic to stop the Doctor's plans to overclock the climate!

Demo Contents
The demo contains three playable and complete zones:
  • Firewood Forest Zone (Acts 1 & 2)
  • Frozen Fjord Zone (Acts 1 & 2)
  • Vacant Valley Zone (Acts 1 & 2)
The game also has Controller support (reached through the controls screen), but I've only been able to test this with a small variety of controllers so I hope (but can't guarantee!) that yours will map without issue

What's Next?
There are several more zones planned for Sonic Totem, covering a range of interesting environments leading up to a final showdown. This should therefore be considered as Part I of the overall project. Work on the rest of the game is ongoing, but development will proceed at a much slower rate than that of recent. There are some other projects I'd like to focus on for a bit, so work here will need to take a bit of a back-seat for some time.

Any and all feedback is welcome and will be appreciated! There are undoubtedly things that still need refined and tweaked, as well as features that have not yet been implemented (things like a Lives system - they're on my list! :emoji_wink:), but these will all need to come at a later date.

As of now, the game doesn't have a dedicated composer. Anyone interested in contributing to the soundtrack (on a voluntary basis) is welcome to get in touch, though please understand that approval will be subject to style and overall quality constraints. As a baseline, the music included in the demo is of the general quality and technical complexity desired.


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Screenshots

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Updates

Version 2.1 (5th September 2021)
  • Overall refinement of stage tile layout and slope angles to better-facilitate momentum gain and improve overall flow
  • Cap on maximum achievable jump velocity when added to initial ground speed to prevent ridiculously high jump heights
  • Updates to Badnik placement to make encounters less frustrating
  • Updates to Badnik behaviour - Rudeolph will only fire projectiles when it appears onscreen and Supruce is now vulnerable when swinging
  • Updates to hitboxes on Bosses (Flame at back of craft no longer hurts player, nor does grabber on Firewood Forest boss - though Logs still do!), and ensure all boxes disable correctly when boss is defeated
  • Addition of wall on right hand side of screen, and ring spawns, for Vacant Valley's boss
  • Music should now always be enabled by default on Game Download unless explicitly disabled in Options menu
  • Addition of Upward Arrow signs near the bottomless pits in Vacant Valley to warn the player, and blocks at some of the pit edges so the player cannot run freely into them
  • Made transition between solid/unsolid Auroral Platforms in Frozen Fjord more obvious - No longer based on sprite opacity but on filling factor of the individual shards
  • Fixed a bug where the player could initiate spindashing while pushing against a wall
  • Fixed a bug where bouncing off springs sometimes made the player face the wrong direction
  • Fixed a bug where player's charged-up spindash would initiate when reattaching to ground after being hit by a hazard
  • General refinements to object placement and tile layout

Credits

fireWoods (myself) - Programming, Direction, Level Design, Pixel Art, Promotional Art

Sonic Mania Team (Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, Pagodawest Games, Paul Veer, Kieran Gates, Lucas 'Midio' Carvalho) - Original Sonic Sprites
SEGA - Original Assorted Sprites
Ashuramoon - Sprite Ripping
Dolphman - Sprite Ripping
Supachao - Sprite Ripping

Mr Lange - Sound Effects
PJ Levens - Music (End of Act)
NicoCW - Music - Bridge Zone Classic - Sonic Generations Remix - (Firewood Forest Zone)
Bouncy Glow - Music - Proto IceCap Act 1 (Refined Concept) - (Frozen Fjord Zone)
JX - Music - [16-Bit;Genesis] Bright Sound (Dry Lagoon) - (Vacant Valley Zone)
SEGA - Music - Act 2 Boss Theme (Sonic 3 & Knuckles) - (Boss Theme)
Tours - Music - Enthusiast - (Main Menu Theme)

Giometric - Guidance on Code Ordering
Sonic Physics Guide
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Latest reviews

The physics aren't identical to the classic Sonic games, but I don't mind because the controls are fun anyway. I really like how much height you can gain by spindash jumping off of slopes, it reminds me of Sonic Adventure.

Biggest issue with the game is that the challenges aren't telegraphed. You can be running at top speed and a crusher just insta-kills you. It'd be better if they had some sort of tell, the way that Spring Yard Zone does in Sonic 1. That level had fast and slow sections, and the slow sections usually had roadblocks to kill your speed so you didn't run headfirst into the enemies/spike balls. The roadblocks were small enough that you could jump over them on repeat playthroughs and speed through the obstacles. Something like that would be appreciated here, especially if you add a lives system — getting a game over to something you couldn't even react to would be super frustrating.
Last edited:
fireWoods
fireWoods
Thanks! The placement / nature of some of the dangerous parts is my main priority at the moment, I'll be releasing an update soon which should deal with some of the issues regarding enemy and hazard placement :)

Comments

I've been looking forward to this game for a while after I first saw some screenshots of it, and it's really interesting... one of the most memorable games this SAGE I think. The bigger resolution gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with physics and level design that aren't quite the same as in regular Sonic games, and that's cool. You say you're planning on implementing a lives system later but I quite like this without lives (the survivor bonus is a good replacement), though you might need to think of some new use/s for rings other than trying to count up to 100. The colorful animations in the ice levels are a good way of keeping the screen active, and I'd encourage you to find more ways to add animations to the level art, or maybe even add some more pickups that aren't rings... anything to help fill the bigger window. But the art you do have right now is quite nice: I love the variations between acts 1 and 2, and how different the themes are from other Sonic games', and how many parallax layers you have that take up so much space and aren't just pixelly rows moving at different horizontal speeds.
 

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