Sonic Mania (8-15-2017, SEGA/Taxman/Headcannon/PagodaWest, PS4/XB1/PC/NX)

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Nov 30, 2015
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
What about the status of Sonic 1 and 2 Mobile? Will they ever come to consoles and PC? And then there's 3&K! They would be brilliant lead ins for Sonic Mania if they could be released on these platforms to remind people just how good your work is for these games.
 
All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
You're doing god's work.

P.S.: if you've got any spare time/budget once the game is done, throw in playable Mighty, please.
 
Jun 12, 2008
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
I'm so glad that my initial impression of "Genesis level design + Saturn level colors and animations" wasn't far off the dot. Good job man, I hope you have fun with this project!

It isn't too late to pitch an idea for a Sonic CD like opening animation for the game is it? Edit 2: Amy playable but with a twist a la Sonic Advance 1 would be neat too. :p

Flying Battery has the sickest bassline of any video game song #realtalk
The added "dirtiness" to said bassline in Act 2 doeeee...

<3
 
Jun 2, 2013
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Guys, there's no way The Taxman is going to be able to answer questions about new zones, HD releases of his amazing Genesis / Sega CD remakes, NX, etc.

That being said, Christian. Dude. You and your team are knocking it out of the freaking park with this game. I couldn't be more excited for it! It's like the Saturn game we never got. Soooo good.
 
Sep 11, 2009
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
You're on GAF =O

I am so excited this is a reality. I just have one (hopefully not too in depth) question: when you guys put out the release saying so older games would get some remixed zones, does that include zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 AND Sonic & Knuckles separately or together? If you can't answer this I understand. Looking forward to seeing more!
 
Oct 9, 2007
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The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.
You're doing God's work here. Going the 32-bit route was the perfect way to hit all the nostalgic touchstones while still coming off as fresh.

But more than anything about the game content, I'm dying to know how on earth was this project greenlit? Especially after the Sonic 3 remaster fell through.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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You're on GAF =O

I am so excited this is a reality. I just have one (hopefully not too in depth) question: when you guys put out the release saying so older games would get some remixed zones, does that include zones from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 AND Sonic & Knuckles separately or together? If you can't answer this I understand. Looking forward to seeing more!
You will see stuff from both Sonic 3 and S&K
 
Jan 18, 2013
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You will see stuff from both Sonic 3 and S&K
And my day got better.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.
And what even sounds like a subtle punch to sonic 4. Even better.
 
Oct 1, 2009
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
My only nitpick with the graphics is that the new stuff (or at least what we've seen so far) seems Chaotix/CD inspired, and I think that neon-drenched aesthetic sort of clashes with the look of the Genesis zones.

That, and I greatly prefer Sonic's appearance in Sonic 3 to the modified CD sprite Mania uses.



Even factoring in all the lovely shading and brand new animation frames you guys added, Sonic CD and Sonic 3's art styles are still so distinct from each other that it doesn't make sense, in my humble opinion, to use Sonic's CD sprite set in a game that will presumably also use Knuckles' S&K sprite set. That clash of styles seems like something you'd see in a fangame, not a brand new, Sonic Team-backed 16-bit Sonic game.

Obligatory "I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS GAME" just so I don't hear "lol sonic fans always gotta complain about something" in response
 
Nov 11, 2015
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My only nitpick with the graphics is that the new stuff (or at least what we've seen so far) seems Chaotix/CD inspired, and I think that neon-drenched aesthetic sort of clashes with the look of the Genesis zones.

That, and I greatly prefer Sonic's appearance in Sonic 3 to the modified CD sprite Mania uses.

Even factoring in all the lovely shading and brand new animation frames you guys added, Sonic CD and Sonic 3's art styles are still so distinct from each other that it doesn't make sense, in my humble opinion, to use Sonic's CD sprite set in a game that will presumably also use Knuckles' S&K sprite set. That clash of styles seems like something you'd see in a fangame, not a brand new, Sonic Team-backed 16-bit Sonic game.

Obligatory "I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS GAME" just so I don't hear "lol sonic fans always gotta complain about something" in response
Have you seen the Knuckles sprite for this game?
 
Oct 1, 2009
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Have you seen the Knuckles sprite for this game?
Are you asking because it was revealed somewhere or because you think I'm blindly assuming what the Knuckles sprite will look like?

It's going to be his S&K sprite, likely recolored and reshaded like Sonic's, with additional frames. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt Taxman would use his Chaotix sprite.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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@The Taxman: Any chance of more playable characters? They don't need to have their own triats or unique skills, but do it like how Runner 2 did it with its guest characters and unlockable 'skins'.
 
Dec 5, 2013
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I'm seriously not used to having super high expectations for a new classic Sonic game that could (and have in many cases) actually be fulfilled, and I'm finding it incredibly overwhelming. Really can't wait to see more of this game
 
Nov 16, 2010
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You will see stuff from both Sonic 3 and S&K
I know you're team is quite small, and perhaps your hands are tied due to Sega's control over Sonic, but I have wanted your Sonic 1 and 2 remasters to come to Steam and current consoles for a long time. I already have Sonic CD on Steam and the Sonic 1 and 2 remasters seem like a good fit on there as well. I was wondering after Sonic Mania if your team or Sega might consider porting those over as well? I hope Stealth and Sega wish to complete Sonic 3 & Knuckles as well.

Also, are you still working on your own original ip/game and is it in the vein of an old school 2D platformer?

Also, was wondering when we can expect the next blow out of information regarding Sonic Mania? I am very excited about it and can't wait to see more. I have so many questions that I am sure you cannot answer, so I am anxious to see when Sega will allow you to show and tell more about you and your teams game.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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Now that Taxman is around here I want to say that I'm convinced 80% of the people here nitpicking or making observations are really glad the game exists and will surely buy it (I include myself in the group)

But we are big fans of the classics and we are in a gaming forum and like to comment and point to things, and even have the illusion of making suggestions and influence the game a little bit :).
 
May 7, 2012
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Taxman, I freaking love you and your ridiculous skills. I couldn't be more excited for Sonic Mania, and hope it's just the beginning of even bigger, greater things for you and your colleagues. I loved hunting for every new path you created in your mobile games!

Chaotix remake when!? Even if the original is decent at best it could use a remastering
 
Oct 21, 2012
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My only nitpick with the graphics is that the new stuff (or at least what we've seen so far) seems Chaotix/CD inspired, and I think that neon-drenched aesthetic sort of clashes with the look of the Genesis zones.

That, and I greatly prefer Sonic's appearance in Sonic 3 to the modified CD sprite Mania uses.



Even factoring in all the lovely shading and brand new animation frames you guys added, Sonic CD and Sonic 3's art styles are still so distinct from each other that it doesn't make sense, in my humble opinion, to use Sonic's CD sprite set in a game that will presumably also use Knuckles' S&K sprite set. That clash of styles seems like something you'd see in a fangame, not a brand new, Sonic Team-backed 16-bit Sonic game.

Obligatory "I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS GAME" just so I don't hear "lol sonic fans always gotta complain about something" in response
Honestly, the biggest things that make Sonic and Knuckles look incongruous here are their shading and their faces, and both will likely be redone to be more consistent next to each other in Mania. Obviously their walk animations won't look like the mirror images of each other that they do in S3&K, but they don't really need to.
 
Oct 30, 2004
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I think one of the nicest things about this is there was worry that Sega was basically done with Taxman after some of the remakes, especially with the talk about how S3&K wasn't happening right now. But no, they had the sense to let him and other fans put together a real, full game. That's pretty awesome.
 
Dec 5, 2013
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I think one of the nicest things about this is there was worry that Sega was basically done with Taxman after some of the remakes, especially with the talk about how S3&K wasn't happening right now. But no, they had the sense to let him and other fans put together a real, full game. That's pretty awesome.
It's especially nice because some time ago, there was talk of a Sonic 4 episode 3 that Taxman had a hand in making before it was canned. I could have seen that being good and I was pretty down about the news, but this looks so much better that I could see that turning out
 
Sep 16, 2006
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And my day got better.



And what even sounds like a subtle punch to sonic 4. Even better.
Not really that subtle.

To be fair though, Sonic 4 is awful, but it's certainly not because of the visuals (well, Episode 2 at least).









I certainly wouldn't mind 2D Sonic games looking like that going forward IF they didn't play like ass. Sonic 4's problems were:
  • Level design was awful. Way too many bottomless pits, overly focused on gimmicks, springs and boost pads everywhere.
  • Awful physics where rolling makes you go slower. Sonic can just run through walls and break them with his face.
  • Overused of awful mechanics like the homing attack and Tails buddy moves.
  • Overly-complex enemies like the polar bear badniks that are like minibosses.
  • Awful bosses.
  • Awful music.

While Sonic Mania looks like what I've been waiting 22 years for, I am a bit concerned that it's taking too much inspiration from Sonic CD and Knuckles Chaotix. I'm warming up to Studiopolis Zone and I think the level design looks really good, but I think it might be a little too busy and the colors are too oversaturated. Hopefully other levels are closer to the Genesis Sonic games in their use of color and theming.
 
Jan 26, 2005
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
Keep up the great work, this is just what Sonic needed :)

Could you show us the crt filters? Hopefully they are as good as what iron galaxy used on 3rd strike online.
 
Apr 13, 2016
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So happy the Saturn connection's been confirmed. It was the first thought that flashed into my head.

Mania's giving me Saturn vibes, but also heavy Treasure (Dynamite Headdy, Gunstar) vibes. And the amount of classic SEGA references in Studiopolis alone is glorious; I'm excited to see what shows up in the other levels!
 
Oct 29, 2015
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Taxman my man! Is the insta-shield in the game? I always got a lot of awesome utility out of it in Sonic 3&K, so I was hoping it'd be in there, I haven't seen any footage of it.

Can't thank you enough for all the hard work you guys have put into the game. I'm buying it day one.
 
Sep 16, 2006
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Taxman my man! Is the insta-shield in the game? I always got a lot of awesome utility out of it in Sonic 3&K, so I was hoping it'd be in there, I haven't seen any footage of it.

Can't thank you enough for all the hard work you guys have put into the game. I'm buying it day one.
I heard the drop dash replaces the insta-shield, which is a shame because the insta-sheild could be useful for dealing with enemies like orbinauts.
 
The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)


:^)

That aside, I'm absolutely thrilled with everything I've seen of the game so far, and I can't wait to hear and see more about it. I really do send off to you and everyone else working on this project the best of luck going forward.
 
Oct 21, 2012
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I heard the drop dash replaces the insta-shield, which is a shame because the insta-sheild could be useful for dealing with enemies like orbinauts.
If Studiopolis is anything to go by, Orbinaut behavior might be a bit different in this game anyway.

Aw, that's saddening. Why was it removed?
It was pretty situational in S3K. Drop Dash, I think, has both more utility and helps give Sonic a more distinct playstyle from Tails and Knuckles.
 
Aug 31, 2015
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
You guys are awesome, so glad you're doing this because I've wanted an original 2D sonic game ever since you made those remaster of 1, 2 and CD.

This might be an odd question but will there be a physical release of some sort? I'm sure you guys can get in touch with Limited Run Games at some point.
 
May 4, 2007
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Guys, there's no way The Taxman is going to be able to answer questions about new zones, HD releases of his amazing Genesis / Sega CD remakes, NX, etc.

That being said, Christian. Dude. You and your team are knocking it out of the freaking park with this game. I couldn't be more excited for it! It's like the Saturn game we never got. Soooo good.
All the original Sonic games (aka the good ones) are a continuation of the same code base and design principles, and thanks to Taxman/Stealth/others' hard work, the torch is lit again.

Pretty cool.
 
Oct 29, 2015
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It was pretty situational in S3K. Drop Dash, I think, has both more utility and helps give Sonic a more distinct playstyle from Tails and Knuckles.
Well I've found tons of use for the insta-shield whether it be through extending reach for bosses, phasing through fire hazards or just destroying the Big Arm boss (you can insta-shield through his spikes when he moves under the platform, it's so satisfying), and it might be because I haven't gotten my hands on the drop-dash yet, but I'm not seeing how the two moves can't co-exist.
 
Sep 16, 2006
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If Studiopolis is anything to go by, Orbinaut behavior might be a bit different in this game anyway.



It was pretty situational in S3K. Drop Dash, I think, has both more utility and helps give Sonic a more distinct playstyle from Tails and Knuckles.
There are different orbinauts:


The one in Studiopolis flies back and forth randomly spinning its orbs super fast to hurt you. It never shoots away its orbs, but the orbs can be destroyed when not spinning fast (they cause knockback, though). Sonic would be able to deal with them a lot faster and more easily with the insta-shield, because the insta-shield could hit orbinaut through its orbs.

Insta-shield was pretty much necessary for enemies like these orbinauts from Launch Base Zone who never gave you an opening to hit them:
 
Sep 18, 2011
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I'm perplexed as to how anyone can not like these visuals. Aside from Sonic's sprite being based more off of CD than 3, the graphics are clearly an evolution of SEGA Genesis visuals to more replicate something from the 32x or Saturn. Brilliant move.

If you want more classic style Sonic games, you better buy this thing! Aside from Freedom Planet 2, this is the best you're gonna get regarding a Sonic/Genesis throwback game, and it looks pretty fucking awesome. If it sells gangbusters, these classic style games could be the new face of the franchise. I would much prefer that to either the grimdark worlds and halfbaked attempts at nostalgia that the modern games give us. Even games like Colors and Generations which try to get those classic vibes back don't emulate the feel of the classics 1:1. It's amazing were getting something as faithful as Sonic Mania.
 
Jul 15, 2012
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All the screens and footage of GHZ are from the playable demo, which was just the first act. GHZ Act 1 is probably the tamest classic level of the lot, but I can't say much more than that until Sega reveals more info on the story and stuff in the future.

The reception for Sonic Mania has been pretty wild, and I'm really happy most people seem to dig it. I realise Saturn-esque retro 2D stuff isn't for everyone but this was the most effective way for our indie sized team to develop a good chunk of fun content in the time frame, rather than something like 4 zones with potentially forgettable HD graphics.

P.S. there are some nice CRT filters in addition to those "highest quality, uncompressed pixels" ;)
CRT filters? In my veins pls
 
Oct 21, 2012
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Well I've found tons of use for the insta-shield whether it be through extending reach for bosses, phasing through fire hazards or just destroying the Big Arm boss (you can insta-shield through his spikes when he moves under the platform, it's so satisfying), and it might be because I haven't gotten my hands on the drop-dash yet, but I'm not seeing how the two moves can't co-exist.
Oh, don't get me wrong, in high-level play there are quite a few uses for the insta-shield, but it's still more situational than, say, Tails or Knuckles's abilities, and honestly I think a lot of players just never really learned or understood how/where to use it. Drop Dash's use cases are more obvious and more frequent, and I think it gives non-elemental-shielded Sonic a nice tool for keeping momentum that gives him a distinct identity as a speed-focused character compared to Tails and Knuckles.

As to "why not both", I'd guess it's probably so Sonic doesn't become too useful compared to Tails and Knuckles.

There are different orbinauts. The one in Studiopolis flies back and forth randomly spinning its orbs super fast to hurt you. It never shoots away its orbs, but the orbs can be destroyed when not spinning fast (they cause knockback, though). Sonic would be able to deal with them a lot faster and more easily with the insta-shield, because the insta-shield could hit orbinaut through its orbs.

Insta-shield was pretty much necessary for enemies like these orbinauts from Launch Base Zone who never gave you an opening to hit them:
I'm very familiar with all this, and yes, it's very likely there are different varieties of Orbinauts in Mania. That said, while you could insta-shield kill this type of Orbinaut in Sonic 3, I think these types of Orbinauts work better as obstacles to be rolled under (which is how they were largely used in Sonic 1).
 
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