Since the start of this year, progress on Sonic Next Genesis has been slow. Recently, I figured that this hack is never going to get finished until I start planning out how I will finish it and allow myself more room for creativity. As a result, I am going remove the limitation that this should be based on Sonic '06, a game I have never finished nor played in ages, and try merging it with another project I was thinking of starting after I finish this hack. Doing this was killing two birds with one stone. My first action in this process is sharing out how my hack has been going so far and then questioning the community about what they'd like, didn't like, and where they'd like to see this hack go. So, here's the hack, with the addition of some awkward commentary: Here are some changes I'm planning: Discarding any ideas I've had that are based on elements of Sonic '06 that would be difficult to pull off in a fun way (such as its enemies, bosses, Elise, and DDZ's billiard balls). Reducing the zone count from nine zones to something more managable Adding a new story. The gist is that Robotnik is some super engineering artist guy who invades Sonic and friends' planet (or possibly island) in order to create his planet-wide masterpiece. Sonic and friends will try to stop him because Robotnik's actions are hurting the ecosystems and so the badniks will be construction-themed. Also, the story will result in zones looking more fantastical over time rather than industrial. Having shadow/highlight mode used in most zones to use its affects. Additionally, making all the blocks high priority can allow me to add objects in the background to add more effects (such as a sunrise/sunset). Adding a forest zone as the first level based off the artwork shown in the video. And here are the questions: Based on what you've seen from the zones and any assumptions you can make about the zones' themes, which of them should I remove? The current soundtrack is made up of music ported from other games using the SMPS sound driver. Should I spend the extra effort to remake the soundtrack? If so should it be ported from MIDIs that are: a. created by others b. created by programs that extract music from games (could be from GBA, Genesis, Arcade, etc.) c. created from my own compositions? What characters would you like to see added/removed? They could be any character from the franchise that has been playable in a platforming Sonic game (so no Babylon Rogues). Should the character pairings be static (Sonic always with Tails), depend on the story (perhaps Sonic is alone, then meets up with Tails midway through), or be completely optional (Sonic can be solo or with any character in the game)? Do you have any critiques for the changes I've planned? Do you think this is still too ambitious and I need to scale it back? And if so, in what ways? Should I keep the mach speed sections to keep the gameplay varied or do you think they couldn't work well in 2D? How do you feel about the name? Should I rename it and change the title screen text? Can anyone recommend a useful, free or cheap program that can be used for editing pixel art? I've been using Gimp, but it doesn't have much of a pixel art focus. As a result, stuff such as animations are difficult to work with and I can't move anything without cutting and pasting it first.