Discussion in 'Showroom' started by mrcat-pixel, Aug 1, 2017.
Nice to hear
came home late, after many attempts did a simple credits screen
Day Hell/16. Seriously. That last night wasn't fun.
It is 7 AM, but technically, I am still a few hours away from the deadline, so I present to you
Mr. Cat's 16 Day Challenge!
also, LuigiXHero contributed a little bit, so give him some love too.
Download is in the attachments section!
or here's a MediaFire download
Now I want to get some sleep. :v
Known oversight: due to everything being based on random number generation, the boss may refuse to attack on rare occasions.
I love you.
I feel honored for contributing literally a single byte to the entire project.
I'm sorry, but why can the boss' hands crush me?!
Seriously, who thought that would be a good ide-
>Boss coded by TheBlad768
So, I just had a play, and a few points I want to bring out. I am fairly impressed with the art, though the water, not being animated, looks like plastic. Its nicer when it moves, its much nicer to the eyes, but when you don't move, it just doesn't do good justice to the art. The other art though, looks really good, pleasing to my eyes.
The music I am not a fan of, just because I've heard it million times already. What I really do not like, is the layout and the boss. The layout do not do any justice to the art, and the boss just took too many hits and did nothing interesting. Literally beat it with it only doing 1 attack on me.
Overall, people have done better in just two weeks. Not to say, this is not impressive, but I think you could have done better job in other things than just art alone. There are really not much interesting things beyond it, and while the art is really good, I don't feel it alone warrants much praise as a hack.
I do not understand the hating of TheBlad768. He just realized MrCat concept of boss. And not only he wrote the boss, why then FireRat and I do not get criticism, but he got it? This is insanity, seriously.
So, about this hack... Initially, I did not think that Mr.Cat could do it. But after 4 days I lost all doubts. I am very glad that I was able to give him a piece of his creative (music, help with the boss). I really liked this hack. Yes, there is a bad side to the hack - this is a level design (I understand that this is the weak side of MrCat, but still it's commendable that he tried to make it himself), but from the side of art I like this.
For a hack made in 16 days, this is more ambitious than most that I've seen and really polished. First of all, the art is really good. The only problem I have is that the levels themselves lack animated art or palette cycIes which is fine in Act 2, but makes Act 1 seem not very lively. The background adds to this by not containing anything other than water and clouds. I'm also not a fan of the tropical beach first level trope (I know I have it in my hack, but that level is based on Wave Ocean so it wouldn't make sense to change it) and I was hoping that the addition of custom art would allow for something different. I really love stuff such as the palette and art changing at the end of act 1 to add a transition to act 2 and the elevator section in Act 2. The boss is one of the coolest I've seen in a hack, though the coolness of it contrasts with how easy it is. The level design is not bad. It seems Sonic 1-ish and lacks the fluidity of the Sonic games that came after. There is a part right after the elevator section where I got stuck for a few minutes because the block I was supposed to push didn't stand out at all and it looked more like Sonic was supposed to push the switch the block needed to push instead. The badniks are cool looking. The red flying badnik in Act 1 seems kind of useless because there is no way it can hit you and it flies too fast for Sonic to hit most of the time. I'm not a fan of reusing music from Sonic Virtual Adventure, but fortunately the rest of the music is stuff I haven't heard and is really good. Finally, I would have preferred it if Act 1 and Act 2 were their own 2-3 act zones because they seem to go by too quickly and the art change is too drastic to justify it being one zone. I can see if you didn't have the time to do it that way.
Onto some minor issues. First, the waterfall in the elevator area acts as it cycles 4 colors even though only 3 are present. Sonic 2 has some code that do this correctly. Second, right after the elevator section you can see some elevator pieces in front of Sonic that move a little and then disappear. Finally, having other people work on stuff like the bosses makes it seem less like "look what I can do in 16 days" and more like "look what our small team can do in 16 days," though it results in a more complete hack and these are mostly Mr. Cat's ideas so I understand why this was done.
Anyway, this is a pretty good hack. Mr. Cat, I hope you can expand on this sometime in the future and improve on the level design. Also, I really admire your dedication to this project and how you were able to plan things out and then get them done in such an efficient way. This is the kind of thing I want to get better at so it's inspiring to see what working this way can get done.
TheBlad is not the only one that gets criticism for boss designs that have rather obtuse difficulty scaling. However, he tends to habitually stand out front and center with his boss-centric projects in the past. Difficulty scaling is something the community seems to have a terrible time with, though, and many seem to equate bullshit mechanics with difficulty. It's taking the Kaizo Mario approach, but without even an apt understanding of that. There are many paragraphs that can be laid out on terrible design mechanics that are supposed to be "difficult" but are really just dicking the player around, but sufficing to say, Blad is *not* the only one that gets criticized for boss coding.
As for why Trinitronity jumped to the conclusion that Blad was responsible for some of the boss behavior, it's because the item of complaint is something typical of a Blad boss to have done. Bad mechanics make not a difficult boss. See: My endless complaints about Varion's boss design. But yes, all three of you share in the blame for weak mechanics.
Since you've drawn me out of the hole, though, I guess I'll go over the hack with some more depth.
There's various priority issues with some of the sprites. That being said, for doing this all in 16 days, that's not exactly surprising that some polish details like making sure priorities and animations are 100% correct. There's also a few VRAM glitches that are not really frequent enough to be of much fuss for a 16-day project. Layouts are weak, but MrCat's aware that it's not a strong suit of his, so I won't harp on that much. Really, it's just object placement and the boss that I have to complain about. Some of the orbinaut placements are questionable in ability to dodge, basically requiring that you know the level beforehand to know where to stop. Breaks up some of the speed. There was also that block object in the second act that wasn't distinguishable from the rest of the foreground art. Be very, very careful with those, as they can be very unfriendly to players and frustrate them (like ProjectFM, in the post directly before mine). As for the boss, there is no blasted reason for those hands to crush you. None. That's not difficulty, that's just pissing on the player for the sake of it, and exactly the sort of poor mechanics I was just complaining about. Slow down the missiles a bit and make the hands hurt (but not crush), and hey, you've actually got something there that would be decent.
There's probably more to complain about, but that's just what I remember off-hand.
The biggest issue I have with 10 second moment in Act 2 layout - Sonic underwater is slower so it's harder to predict how long I need to hold the switch to have enough water to not be crushed. Second, the lack of spindash makes for me this moment extremely difficult and I couldn't pass it, because near end underwater I was crushed. As for music, they fit to zones atmosphere, but for me they aren't catchy at all. Sonic CD Tidal Tempest JP is good example of catchy atmospheric music in my opinion. As for the rest I don't have complains.
To summarize for me this hack is ok, but not great, because of these issues that was mentioned earlier and my complains.
I understand all criticism, and we accept it. We had very little time to create a boss (2-3 days) and did not have time to make this boss unpredictable and interesting. I think we learned a lesson and try not make these mistakes in the future.
Yes, the boss' concept was mine entirely, Blad himself has nothing to do with it. I thought that the limited range would make up for it, but... yeah.
As I don't have the skill to make food level layouts, they were just meant to be there to showcase the art and unique sections like the elevator section or sections with dynamic palette. The hack itself will not be continued however... I will probably be learning how to do things such as layouts, music and possibly code, as there were multiple occasions during the development when I got a lot of criticism for the aforementioned things, but I couldn't just go and fix them. I will probably start a new hack some time soon... so stay tuned I guess?
Man, there's a reason why I wrote "10 seconds" on the block.
Just in case people didn't notice after a few posts came after mine, I updated the post I made to have a review of the hack.
I agree that this can be kind of dickish. Instead of standing on the switch for 10 seconds, the water should move up more quickly so you just have to stand on it for 3 seconds.
Your images aren't showing correctly and your quote contains the updated version of the post (twice, too) where I acknowledge the solution.
Easily one of the best hacks I've seen in a while. And I see absolutely no reasons to complain about a few bugs and unpolished designs here and there; because, come on, many of use here have experience with our own projects, so we all should perfectly understand that certain levels of polishness can not be achieved in a such a short timespan.
So all the complains on bad designs, boss mechanics and graphical glitches are outright nitpicking, which isn't actually pleasant to look at, given the context.
Please consider that Mr. Cats point wasn't to provide us with a polished final product to begin with, it was his own challenge of doing as much as possible with a strict deadline. If it's failed to deliver to you, that's totally fine, just go on and play something that actually claims itself as finished product, but don't expect this to be the one.
Looking from the perspective of 16-day project (the project deliberately executed in just 16 days, which is the point), this one stands out in every aspect. At least, I barely can name a hack that got this far in a span of just 16 days.
The hack's strongest point is art of course and it seems like you started it an art hack, and I love how it turned into a more complete conversion at the end. So I must say, Mr.Cat, you've been really improving with your art skills lately. Just comparing it to your art from a few months earlier, this is a huge step up, keep it up!
I also like all those little touches with some sort of a level transition near the end of Act 1 as well as those neat palette effects. Again, great job, keep it up!
Personally speaking, I enjoyed every bit of this hack. There were a couple of bugs of course, but they've barely spoiled the experience for me. I died on the boss on my first attempt, but on the second try it started right in the middle of attack mode, which was rather weird. I can't say I like the overall execution of the boss, but didn't even remotely push me to the point of total frustration, so all-in-all... it was alright, at least I had some fun beating him.
I said that, because that moment lacks of time counter that would tell player how many seconds left to start running in that section. Because there's no sound or art/gimmick that would inform me about time and additionally caring also about drowning in underwater, player can be confused and start be impatient and wonder about time, similar how I reacted for that.
@Trinitronity: I have to be honest, I know the post was deleted (edit: I need to sleep, I missed that ), nor I want to beat a dead horse, but I can't avoid feeling that comment was... rude, to say the least? TheBlad768 didn't need to, but he helped with the hands towards the final hours, because I screwed mine version of them before. I'm really thankful of his help, it even lowered my anxiety enough to keep working on the defeat sequence and fixing other bugs, which is no less important either.
Egor mentioned how much time we had to develop this boss. That includes but isn't limited to game plan, drawing/porting the assets, and coding.
To be honest, it was my task to deliver the boss in its full form by my own, 100%. Murphy's law however became effective, everything that could fail did fail, and I faced a lot of issues and delays. SonED2 didn't want to work, SonLVL didn't want to work, SonMapEd crashed in a bad moment, desktop PC broke, a family member died, etc etc. I'm serious.
The planning was always a little rough, compensated through some individual improvisation throghout. The code itself, from mine part at least, is no marvel either, it really is written without much thought, ilogical, rather meant to "just work".
I was full of issues, and had to beg for help from other friends just to finish this boss on time. EgorTheCat and TheBlad768 had an awesome disposition, and really done the best they could. And let's not forget Novedicus, who helped to fix some more bugs during the final hours.
This experience will keep with me for the next years, if not all my life. I will never forget this. They didn't need to, I'd like to thank everyone for their support in these hard times. The boss would have been impossible otherwise!, and, regardless bugs remaining, I am truly proud of the work we all made in this timespan.
(By the way: remember when I said that we had to do some individual improvisation? Mine version of the hands were meant to work during the "moving sideways" part, moving up and down. Nevertheless, I have to admit TheBlad768 done it better creative-wise XD)
Okay, I have played this hack, and it actually was worth to wait.
I have absolutely nothing to say against art. It's just beautiful. Music is nice, but I had already listened to the first zone's music, which is something that quite disappointed me.
Level design, however, was okay. Not good, but okay. The section I hated the most was the 10 seconds button in Zone 2. At my first try I died for being too slow. I managed to do it at the second try by jumping just before getting squished.
The boss, I have to say, was actually very easy and fun. Since it uses RNG, I guess I might have just been lucky.
Overall, it is surprising how this hack has been made in 16 days. I should congratulate myself to Mr. Cat and whoever worked to this project.
This is extremely well made for just 16 days. I really need to git gud at hacks.
I just now played this, but couldn't complete it. There's this section in Act 2 after the elevator with a switch that I can't get to, but no doubt need to press to proceed.
Visually, this hack looks AMAZING, just like Sonic 2 ReMastered did, and Mr. Cat is an amazing graphics artist, on par with SMWC graphics artists like Eevee and Miku. I also love the dynamic palette changes between Acts 1 and 2 that create the illusion of changing lighting levels. It reminds me of Sonic 3 & Knuckles in a way.
This hack's music is also quite nice. The StarTropics Overworld theme was arranged in such a way that it felt at home in Sonic's world, and I always felt that the Undersea Palace theme from Chrono Trigger would work well in a Labyrinth Zone-type setting. I must admit to being a bit biased in the case of that song as I do love Chrono Trigger and its music.
Below is a video I made on the hack.
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