Sonic the Hackable

Discussion in 'Showroom' started by NyaNyaLily, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
  2. Clownacy

    Clownacy Retired Staff lolololo Member

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  3. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Oh shit.

    Welp, I changed the game's name back to it's original name. How do I change the thread's title?

    (I'll reupload the ROM tonight, gotta change it's name)

    -----[Edit]-----

    Alright, ROM's back up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  4. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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  5. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Bump: new update.

    Check the opening post for more details.
     
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  6. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    New update bois
     
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  7. Angel X

    Angel X Well-Known Member Member

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    I just read the story of this game and an idea came to me.
    That is another name for the ROM hack:
    Sonic the Hedgehog:The reconstruction of MK II
    For this title I was inspired by this part:'Dr. Eggman has also planned to use the six chaos emeralds (which Sonic apparently lost, again) as a power source to relaunch the Death Egg MK II'.
    What do you think about it?
    Speaking of the hack itself, it has good and challenging mechanics.
    The part that I liked the most was the last part for its speed.
    Another thing to say is that it rewards you for your skill (the less you fall, you spend less time getting to the end), and I like it.:D
     
  8. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Hmm, I guess it is a more logical title in regards to the story, but I think it makes it sound like the Death Egg Mk II is the main focus of the entire hack, which it is not.
    I mean, the Death Egg Mk II will be the final level, but main focus of this hack is to give Sonic 1 a Sonic 4 themed overhaul.
    There will be some non-Sonic 4 bits to keep the whole thing from feeling like a rehash (like SYZ2), but the whole 'its Sonic 1 again but with a bit more Sonic 4 flair' thing is currently this hack's main focus.


    Now, that being said...
    WHY DOES EVERYBODY KEEP GETTING CONFUSED ABOUT THIS HACK'S NAME!? IT'S A REFERENCE TO "SONIC THE PORTABLE" WHICH WAS SONIC 4'S DEVELOPMENTAL NAME. I KNOW THE REFERENCE IS HELLA OBSCURE BUT W- oh, that's probably what it is. The reference is way too obscure.

    Huh.
     
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  9. Angel X

    Angel X Well-Known Member Member

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    LOL
    I didn't know about this!

    EDIT:In this forum I'm discovering a lot of things I didn't know about Sonic!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
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  10. Spanner

    Spanner The Tool Member

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    Neither did I. Last I thought, it was called Pikachu in a Sombrero.
    [​IMG]
    It was also referred to as Project Needlemouse.
     
  11. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    New update.

    The whole Sonic 4 inspiration thingy has gotten a bit out of hand in this one.
     
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  12. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Hey, uhh... I'm thinking about writing an update post regarding the current direction the project is taking in order to better communicate what I'm trying to achieve (and to help formulate my thoughts). But first, I want to know what I've been communicating so far how people view this project currently.
    So, I have three questions:

    1. What are your views on this project?

    2. What do you think the project is trying to achieve?

    3. What do you expect of this project going forward?

    Thanks in advance for answering.
     
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  13. Chron Dafter

    Chron Dafter Newcomer Member

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    1. This project resparked my interest for Sonic fan projects and prompted me to try my hand at it. I love it.
    2. I think it's trying to show what could have been, had Dimps taken a different approach, or maybe paying homage to the games referenced (S4, Advance, etc).
    3. I think after the last demo, the Splash Hill one, I'm thinking of seeing more Sonic 4 art, like Sylvania Castle for Marble, or Casino Street for Spring Yard, etc.
     
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  14. Giovanni

    Giovanni It's Joe-vanni, not Geo-vanni. Member

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    Me personally, I really like this project! From a pure gameplay standpoint, it's one of my favorites.

    The most familiarity I've had with the ROM hack is with the 2019 and the 2021 versions, and, as you said yourself, there's clear inspiration taken from Dimps' works, so I'd say that this hack is trying to be a sort of love letter/improvement to what is already good of those works.

    As far as expectations from this project? I'm blindsided. I genuinely am not sure what to expect, outside from the Sonic 4 inspired content you've already showcased in the past. Maybe you could string together something with other Dimps works, like the Advance series, or Rush. While I do spot things that remind of entries in these games, the Sonic 4 inspiration is a whole lot more prominent, and, while it is nice, I'd love to see more from pretty much anything in those games. There's good concepts you can grab from there, and I'd love to see those. Maybe this could become a sort of "Mania" equivalent of Dimps' works!
     
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  15. NyaNyaLily

    NyaNyaLily h Member

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    Thanks for the responses, now I have a bit of insight about how the project is currently viewed. Although, that's only the views of the audience that is interested enough to both look at and post in the main development thread.

    Anyway, at this current moment, the hack describes itself as a 'Sonic 4/Dimps styled ROM hack'. Before that, it was mainly a hack focused on level design. As evident from the current description, the Sonic 4 inspiration in this hack has kept escalating more and more. Now, at this point in development, the Sonic 4 inspiration has escalated so much that I've decided to rework the hack into something closer to a demake.
    The reason why I'm doing this is because I currently feel like the current levels no longer represent the hack's current direction well. If I were to finish Lost Labyrinth Zone and not change anything with Splash Hill Zone, then the two zones would not feel like they're part of the same hack. Imagine going from a zone that's basically just reskinned Green Hill Zone with water and speedboosters, to a zone that suddenly has the original Sonic 4 gimmicks and plays nothing like the original zone at all. Splash Hill Zone would feel unfinished and unrefined next to that.
    So, in order to make the hack feel more consistent, I will be reworking Splash Hill Zone and implement the original Sonic 4 gimmicks. Not every zone will be fully intact with the original Sonic 4 gimmicks, since I think some gimmicks would not work as well without a homing attack, or they just straight up suck and I want to replace them. I'll still try to keep the Dimps theme for the replacement acts though. The zone that was planned for Star Light Zone (Sunset City) will also probably be scrapped in favour of White Park Zone.

    Alright, that being said, now that the hack is essentially a demake, you're probably wondering how a generic Sonic 1 ROM hack could spiral into becoming a Sonic 4 demake. So, in order to answer that question and also because I want to self reflect on this journey, I'll be going over this hack's development history. I'll try to categorize it in SHC releases. Okay, let's do it!

    Sonic the Hackable development history (up to this point)

    pre-development:

    Honestly, this entire ROM hacking thing just kind of happened at random. One day, I was just kind of chilling on the couch and I remembered those MegaGWolf Sonic ROM hack videos I used to watch. Then, I wondered if someone had ever remade Sonic 1 for the Master System in 16-bit. After lots of searching, I found at that such a project did not exist. Being a little pissed about that, since I really wanted such a ROM hack to exist, I had a bit of a "fine, I'll do it myself" moment. How hard can it be, right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yNpxNzmzo8
    SSRG only allows 5 pieces of media, so this is a link now. h

    Turns out, Sonic ROM hacking is actually really hard. I managed to recreate the title screen and Green Hill Zone Act 1, but that's it. I had no idea how to recreate the water pools seen in Act 2, I had no idea how to draw and implement pixel art, I had no idea how to reprogram bosses and I definitely did not have any idea how to program a map screen. I needed a different project that I could use to hone my skills. I needed something I couldn't care less about and something I could just haphazardly prototype with to figure out how ROM hacking worked. So because of that reason, I started...

    A generic Sonic 1 ROM hack (SHC 2017)

    Ah, yes. I'll just do what everyone else is doing, make a sloppy Sonic 1 hack without any direction. I'm not even going to change the zone name, that's how little I care. I'm so nihilistic and cool. Act 1, I just slapped together with a level editor without a care in the world. I didn't know a thing about Sonic level design, so I just brute forced a layout by haphazardly placing chunks in SonED2. Then when I started Act 2, I wanted to do something different. Hmmm, that Sonic 4 Episode II game I played this year has a water level as the second act, you know what, I'll just do that. As for Act 3, hmmm, that Sonic 4 Episode I game I like so much has a cool, speedy, sunset level. I'll just do that then, I'll even reuse parts of the layout (all of these levels are made out of haphazardly placed chunks, by the way). I took the Splash Hill Act 3 from the free assets thread. The result:


    This is an old version released to the 2020 SHC expo, but it's modified to have a Splash Hill teaser at the end. The old layouts are still intact however.

    You know, I tried asking people to beta test this hack while tearing it apart in the same sentence.

    [​IMG]

    Unsurprisingly, nobody responded. Not even this image worked. So, in order to make this hack better, I decided to rework Act 1 and Act 2, by haphazardly placing chunks again WHAT. So, I posted the reworked hack on SSRG under a new name "Sonic's Return to South Island". Oh, oops, I guess there already is a hack with a similar name. A generic Sonic 1 ROM hack it is then. I posted the same hack on Sonic Retro as well.
    After getting some feedback, I fixed some bugs (with help), did Marble Zone Act 1's layout by haphazardly placing chunks and decided to submit to SHC 2017.


    Surprisingly, the feedback was actually kind of positive (from what I can remember at least, I can no longer find the SHC 2017 judge evaluations). So, I continued working on this project.


    Sonic the Hackable (SHC 2018)

    At this point it's not called "a generic Sonic 1 ROM hack" anymore, so I guess I did care a little. This release continues the design principles that were present in the SHC 2017 release: Act 1 is a standard act that has the original zone gimmicks, while Act 2 and 3 change something about the level, similar to Sonic 4. Marble Zone Act 2 was supposed to be a Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 2 style level, but I had no idea how to program that, so I messed with the water palette effect and just made the level really dark. I had no idea how to make a good SMPS either, so I just changed around a midi and used the default mid2smps intruments. Marble Zone Act 3 is a water level at night, similar to Sylvania Castle Act 3. The SMPS was made the same way. I submitted this to both SAGE 2018 and SHC 2018, the only differences between them being some polish and Spring Yard Act 1 being present. At this point, it should be pretty obvious how these level layouts were made. The result:


    Again, surprisingly, the response was mostly positive, but there was some (well warranted) negative feedback. Some really, really didn't like this release though. It was getting obvious that the lack of quality control was being a detriment to this project. I needed to ditch the haphazard prototyping mindset. Still won the Lava Reef trophy though, somehow.


    SHC 2019

    Another year, another SHC. At this point in development, I was not quite satisfied with how the hack was going. I wanted it to be like Sonic 4 (idk why lol), but it still felt like a generic Sonic 1 ROM hack that has a ton of Sonic 4 stuff in it for some reason. So, I changed the title screen sprite to modern Sonic's render from Sonic 4 to make it more obvious that the hack is like Sonic 4. In terms of gameplay, there was also something missing. Eventually I realised that there's a move present in Sonic 4 that changes up the gameplay a lot, which was not present in the hack. So, I programmed an air dash move.
    This marks a pretty substantial change in this hack's development. The hack was taking a departure from the classic Sonic gameplay style in favour of something in which you're more in control of Sonic's speed and less dependent on gaining speed through momentum. Spring Yard Zone Act 2 also reflects this change: the level is filled with speed boosters and dash rings. The intention was to create a level that played like Sonic Rush, which is not exactly "classic" Sonic. This level was also first sketched on paper and then recreated in SonLVL, instead of being created by haphazardly placing chunks.
    Anyway, back to the air dash. While the move did work similarly to Sonic 4, the animations were missing. I had no idea how to sprite or how to recreate that dash ring effect, so I asked for help.
    Apparently I posted that when all of the stars were aligned, because Markeyjester decided to help out with the animations. I also noticed that someone called LackofTrack made some pretty impressively accurate Sonic 4 remixes, so I contacted them to ask for permission to use their remixes. Surprisingly, they offered to make more remixes (thank fuck, I can't make remixes for shit. That's a huge weight off of my chest. Still really appreciate this xdddd). Spanner also offered his old Sonic 4 remixes. This year's release was shaping up to be a lot more polished.


    The hack managed to get 3rd place in the judged retro category, looks like polishing the hack did pay off. IIRC, plenty of feedback was regarding the lack of new art (I can't find the SHC 2019 evaluations to check).


    SHC 2021

    I considered just normally making new acts as I did previously, but I was really getting tired of seeing Green Hill Zone. I was also getting tired of the first reaction to the hack always being "oh, it's just a basic Sonic 1 hack", so I needed to change something again. I decided to listen to the feedback and create new art, this time I'd do the art myself.
    Now, take a big guess what I did? Hmmmm... That's right, I made it more like Sonic 4. Whaaaaat.
    I had to skip a SHC release because Splash Hill's art wasn't finished yet at the time. Heck, I barely made the SHC 2021 deadline. All I was able to do within the time was finish and implent Splash Hill's art. I didn't really think of the repercussions the new art would have. I was just tired of seeing Green Hill Zone and wanted the hack to not be treated like a generic Sonic 1 ROM hack anymore. Anyway, I did manage to crunch in a SHC 2021 release, but it was only Splash Hill. This release was mostly to show the new direction the hack was taking.


    Post SHC 2021 - Current (as of 15.05.2023)

    Hey, wait a second. What "new" direction exactly? I know I'm going to replace the other zones' art with something out of Sonic 4 and I'm going to change Sonic's sprites to modern Sonic, but what exactly is the path from here? Am I just going to change the art while keeping the same slapdash layouts? Am I going to put Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 2's gimmicks in what is now planned to be Sylvania Castle? This project is now so similar to Sonic 4 that the original concepts that were planned are starting to seem out of place. Splash Hill Act 2 already seems out of place. You know, this hack looks like Sonic 4, it sounds like Sonic 4, it kind of plays like Sonic 4, I might as well go all in and make it Sonic 4.
    Everyone also seems to be complaining constantly about what is the """real""" Sonic 4. Sonic Mania is the real Sonic 4, Sonic Advance is the real Sonic 4, some random fangame is the real Sonic 4.
    At this point I've put so much effort into making Sonic 1 like Sonic 4 and LackofTrack has remixed most of the Sonic 4 tracks (thanks, by the way xdd) that I'm like, screw it, I'll rework this into a Sonic 4 demake with some other Dimps stuff here and there.
    So, yeah, right now the hack is basically a Sonic 4 demake as well as a general homage to the Dimps era 2D Sonic games. I'm going to try to have this hack be more planned out, rather than haphazardly prototyped together. Sadly, this means that the next release will probably just be Splash Hill again, since I'll be making big changes to it and because the engine will have to be reworked for the larger layouts. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project so far and I hope you'll like the next release.

    tl;dr This project's current aim is not to be a Sonic 4/Dimps styled hack of Sonic 1, but rather a Sonic 4 demake and a general Dimps 2D Sonic homage built on top of Sonic 1. Here is some WIP art. I'd like to have more to show but I was a bit busy having an identity crisis, so that slowed things down a bit.
    LLZ WIP.PNG

    fallingnewbig.png

    s1built020.jpg
    New background deformation effects are courtesy of Deltawooloo.

    Idk why I felt the need to do such a large infodump, but here we are. :)
     
  16. Giovanni

    Giovanni It's Joe-vanni, not Geo-vanni. Member

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    Thank you for sharing this! This has been one of my favourite ROM hacks since the 2019 build. I look forward to watching this hack's new direction, and wish you good luck with all of your present and future projects!
     
  17. rosie_eclairs

    rosie_eclairs Newcomer Trialist

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    I've also adored this hack since the 2019 version, and now that it's taking a S4/Dimps styled direction, it makes me love it all the more!!
    I am so looking forward to seeing what's next for this! Best of luck to you and your team!! ^c ^