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SAGE 2023 - Complete Sonic Encore : Final Build

Overview

Sonic Encore is a fan-game that re-imagines the some of the classic levels from Sonic 2D era into a more modern 3D environmental setting. Not only taking visual cues from the classics, It is the intended design goal that the playstyle of the game also feels reminiscent of the classic games 2D as well. which should provide a unique experience to other 3D sonic games.

As the title states this is the final build. everything I set as a goal for completion has been achieved, so besides any fixes or issues I can address this is the end of the road for this project,

This project consists of 11 levels, across 6 zones each with a boss fight all available to explore and overcome.

With this being my first project ever, I personally don’t call this a game as such more of a proof of concept
and the result of many hours of love and trial, error and lessons learned.
And after 4 years of my life, it feels great to finally finish, it share it with the community, take what i have learned
and create something new.

Because of this the Project lacks any sort of story or plot and is more of a greatest hits of some of my favorite levels.
Read the Update section below for what's new and what to be aware of.

Click HERE to get it from GameJolt

Click HERE to get it from Google Drive

if there is still any download issues let me know below.

Emerald Hill

EHZ.png


Angel Island

AIZ.png


Ice Cap

ICZ.png


Mystic Cave

MCZ.png


Aqua Lake

AQL.png


Oil Ocean

OOZ.png


Each level has some Iconic bosses now in 3D

boss.png

Media

To be added soon

Updates

Updates: My goal was to have the project completed by SAGE and call it a day.
What I have ended up with far exceeds my initial plans and goals. and has gone far beyond my original scope.
at this point I'm just constantly refining and tuning, which would never end and i have to draw a line where to stop

All levels refined further.
level visual quality has been pushed further and hopefully optimized to boot.
3 play modes. Selecting Play game will string all the levels one after the other.
While selecting level select will enable you to choose level you wish to play. Within this also it the Time Attack option.

All characters have been tuned
Sonic, Shadow, Blaze, Knuckles, Tails, Ray and Mighty. have had many changes.
including textures, animations. effects and stat adjustments. some more specific noted below.

Knuckles Climb, FINALLY! Its not flawless but given the issues if had getting to this point with it ill take what i can get.
To initiate climbing: you must glide into the surface you wish to climb. note also most not all walls are climbable some are not for reasons like preventing player getting to where they aren't meant to, but I'm sure some will find spots I've missed.

Shadow Chaos Control: While Design intent remains its function and visual has been redone. be cause of its overpowerd nature especially against bosses, each use of it now drains shadow of rings, costing 10 rings per use, so naturally if you have no rings you cant use it,

Bosses:
All bosses are now up and running, most have had some visual improvements, and I hope you enjoy the final boss as it can be quite a doozy

Badniks: have also had adjustments, some reduced some replaced and chasing type enemies should be less brutal. and more forgiving than in the past.

Optimization:
This is something I have focused on and even was the reason for some zones to be remade from scratch.
while steps have been made to improve performance. I have only my own PC to test on and it runs fine.

While I am also aware of a couple of other things to try, some stem from some big mistakes I made at the very beginning I’ve now since learned but to remedy would require a remake from the ground up which I’m mot prepared to do.
Rather I learn from this and move on.
if it will help I run this on an I7 with a 1080 Ti and maintain a constant framerate with perhaps a barely noticeable dip sometimes in ice cap. That’s at max graphics it may run on a potato with things turns way down to min.
please don't complain about this, I am aware it will be an issue for some and I wish I could do more.

Moving platforms re- invented:
Moving platforms remade from scratch, which now should move the player better, no longer transfer momentum to player,
so player will not bounce up once at the top on OOZ lifts for example.

furthermore they should not randomly damage the player anymore.
this was a bug that for some reason and some how access code for enemy bullets damaging the player as if the platform was a bullet. boy was this fun to discover and fix

character checkpoint spawns are random facing. This is a problem with the Bumper framework that not even GT fixed and was a primary reason for players getting lost from spawning facing backwards.
I have a work around that corrects the camera so if you see it whip around when you respawn that’s
why

There may other issues I am aware of and have tried to fix but unable to so but please understand this project
Is one person show and I’m not a rock star at every role required in game dev.

Known Issues;
These are issue i am aware of and currently unable to solve. my apologies.
- Knuckles when climbing the first time may be stuck in gliding animation. this seem to only happen the first time he climbs when a level is first loaded or reset. subsequent climbing functions normally.

-PS4 controller functionality; despite my best efforts and breaking the whole input manager a day before the deadline for more panic, I have not been able to resolve this issue with camera spin and button bindings. sorry for this.

-Slow menu loads or hanging on first use. this is an optimization issue my end and i want to overhaul it. while i have improved things. it may take a while or hang on older PCs. if this does happen restarting can improve things

-Input bindings not set. this seems to be an issue with the old input system used, while it has be fixed, i may occur on first time use, if using for first time, setting the input bindings before playing creates a config file that stores input info for future use.

Finally Have fun and enjoy my first attempt at game dev. I hope I can learn and build from this project to be better.

Credits

As much as I claim this as a solo project, there have been many I have met along the way.
who have been there when I needed assistance. sharing their knowledge and wisdom for which
I am eternally grateful for so I'm sharing the love and credit for their contributions.

Programing:
Greedy (of GT and Rascal fame)
SuperSonic 68 (Bumper framework)
Possqueen (sonic calamity)
Josh (ragdoll engine)
Sketch
Lucas Rodrigues (Ring engine)

Visual Stuff:
Anonymause, (Animations)
Ikke, (Textures)

Audio and music
Driftnmiss (voice work)
Jahn Davis: "A Brand New Adventure" - Emerald Hill Zone (Sonic 2 Remix)
Flaming Forest for Angel Island Act 2 (Sonic 3 Remix)

Saigia: Mystic Cave Zone ~ NewJackSwing Remix

MK Masters; Sonic Mania Plus - Angel Island Zone (MK-Mix)
Sonic Mania - Oil Ocean Zone Act 2 (MK-mix)

Plasma3Music; Ice Cap Zone Remix - Sonic 3

Mazedude; Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SMS) 'Reich Lake' [Aqua Lake Zone]

Mike Essa: Oil Ocean Zone Remix (Sonic 2)

Sponge Magic; Game Gear Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Aqua Lake Zone Reimagined

Ermac France; [Sonic Electro House Remix] - Icecap Zone (Ermac Remix)

GuitarWanker 90; Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Robotniks theme Boss Battle on guitar

Kamex: Sonic 3 Final Boss Big Arms Remix
All this tracks by these amazing people can be found on YouTube, SoundCloud etc.

Testers
Ikke
The Great Sage
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Latest reviews

I couldn't get in the game because I did not know how to play
Finished the game up in almost one go, since I've gotten a game over in Ice Cap 2. I'm glad this project was completed, as in terms of quality it's a pack of stages that feels like a DLC for Sonic GT, which is a good thing. My personal problems I've mentioned were not addressed (except for 2 bosses being unfinished which was a must to complete) but I still think this fan-game is very addictive in terms of it's level design and just the overall flow of gameplay. We've never seen Oil Ocean, Mystic Cave and more in 3D, so it was interesting to see someone's interpretation of them. I still had the problem with Ice Cap 2, as I mentioned earlier but it's no longer my complaint, as I see you are basically done with this. Bosses were hit-or-miss, because they were either too easy, or too annoying. The first two bosses were the only consistent ones, in my opinion.
By the way, if you do think about polishing further, I'll just say that DS4 compatibility is busted, forcing me to add this game on Steam and emulate XInput; and Knuckles, while it's great that he can climb, it actually makes him broken for the level design as he can glide and climb through basically every obstacle. I'm pretty satisfied with how this turned out and I'm hopeful that you will have more projects planned in the future.
Pretty good overall; the movement was especially fun and fluid to get a hang of, and the level design, more often than not, supported that. The only real issue I had with the levels was I'd often get turned around with no direction on where to go. The arrows on the ground in Mystic Cave helped out, I just wish there were more things like that to guide you subtly on where to go to make progress. The visuals were good, and I liked the remixes a lot. The only other issue I had was the boss of Oil Ocean act 2. the way it reveals itself makes it seem like you can hit it while it's shooting, but you can't, and when you can hit it it's sometimes a toss-up on whether or not you'll get damaged without you having much input on what you can do, with a ton of waiting in between during the first phase. Otherwise, most of the bosses were fine, leading to this game being a pretty fun time, definitely one of the better and more content complete games at SAGE this year, in my opinion, with just a few things that need to be ironed out.

Comments

Oh shit I remember playing this a couple years ago! It's awesome to see you've finished it, that's such an unfortunately rare thing for Sonic fan games [though we're certainly not short of frameworks/engines lol]
 
I'm really frustrated with the fact that Sonic's air dash doesn't maintain most of his speed anymore, same with the homing attack, when you hold down the jump button when landing a homing attack, you should keep all the forward momentum you had when attacking the enemy, but in this build. NOPE. Instead it just sends you a little higher, not even to mention how Sonic's Spindash barely gives him any speed.
 
Approximate times so far (dying makes it hard to get accurate numbers):
Emerald Hill: 8min
Angel Island 1: 7min
Angel Island 2: gave up after two game overs, 22min
Ice Cap 1: 16min
Ice Cap 2: gave up after two game overs, 18min

Ran into a lot of invisible walls, fell into a lot of water, often ran around for a long time only to find myself back at an already-activated checkpoint or even the beginning of the level. Springs and ziplines were good because they tended to give clear clues for which direction was forwards. Rails did not. The game feels really exhilarating in motion when I'm confident I'm going the right way, but the rest of the time, I find myself feeling anxious that I'm just making things harder for myself by going backwards. It's very pretty seeing things in such great detail and with so many different textures, especially in Ice Cap with cool level design like ice floes. It's fun and super impressive. It's just also filled with T intersections where I end up guessing the wrong way to turn.
 
Mystic Cave 1: 4min
Mystic Cave 2: 11min
Azure Lake 1: 8min, but the boss just sat there and did nothing, neither of us could damage the other
Azure Lake 2: 13min
Oil Ocean 1: 6min
Oil Ocean 2: 12min
 
I'm really frustrated with the fact that Sonic's air dash doesn't maintain most of his speed anymore, same with the homing attack, when you hold down the jump button when landing a homing attack, you should keep all the forward momentum you had when attacking the enemy, but in this build. NOPE. Instead it just sends you a little higher, not even to mention how Sonic's Spindash barely gives him any speed.
this is a result of the homing speed. were it to maintain it like in the past results in the player instantly moving at ridiculous speeds
the post dash/homing was actually increased but set to be around their base max moving speed. Drop dash charge time was also decreased, so you don't need to in the air as long to charge it to max. but you wont be able to just hop and charge to dash. the focus of momentum is moved toward running rolling using loops to maintain speed, the rest is for general traversal or a speed burst from a standing start
 
Mystic Cave 1: 4min
Mystic Cave 2: 11min
Azure Lake 1: 8min, but the boss just sat there and did nothing, neither of us could damage the other
Azure Lake 2: 13min
Oil Ocean 1: 6min
Oil Ocean 2: 12min
Did the Aqua lake boss spawn any balls? as they are the key to damaging.

as for some of the level times deaths aside.
how do you approach the levels. are you just exploring or other.

the way the level flow works is imagine you are moving forward and just ignoring any side path that changes your overall direction
if that makes sense. think like a line runner and your adjusting left or right not doing sharp 90+ degree turns. butthanks for these extra infomation. it helps
 
this is a result of the homing speed. were it to maintain it like in the past results in the player instantly moving at ridiculous speeds
the post dash/homing was actually increased but set to be around their base max moving speed. Drop dash charge time was also decreased, so you don't need to in the air as long to charge it to max. but you wont be able to just hop and charge to dash. the focus of momentum is moved toward running rolling using loops to maintain speed, the rest is for general traversal or a speed burst from a standing start
The SPINDASH is what's really slow, the Dropdash works as it's supposed to, but the Spindash for Sonic SPECIFICALLY barely gives you any speed, I know this is a Sonic specific problem because I've played with other characters and the Spindash actually gives some proper speed.
 
Sent my review earlier but figured I'd leave some more feedback. I had another friend play this since I do really like aspects of this game, that friend of mine an actual game dev for a big triple-A company, and yeeeah even he got lost in the tutorial stage/Emerald hill. He was playing as Tails, first taking him a lil while to figure out how to fly properly, buut yeah flying around and getting through the stage was fun, yet he too eventually ended up going in circles and not knowing which way is forward. I watched him fly up as high as possible, looking around at the stage, then saying "I genuinely don't know which way to go" before we switched to another stage with time being at around 10 minutes. I knew Mystic Cave is linear and good and yeah hey, that's what we played next and had a blast, 3-5mins for each act, good stuff, do love the arrows making sure the player won't get confused aswell, tho honestly this is prolly the one zone that doesn't even need them.

I know you don't plan on working on this game further buuut you know, hopefully the feedback helps you with your next project.
 
I'm sorry but without ANY indication as to which direction you are supposed to be heading in those giant levels the game is basically unplayable. I'm impressed the issue is in the final build as it's very very clear to any playtester.
 
this is a result of the homing speed. were it to maintain it like in the past results in the player instantly moving at ridiculous speeds
the post dash/homing was actually increased but set to be around their base max moving speed. Drop dash charge time was also decreased, so you don't need to in the air as long to charge it to max. but you wont be able to just hop and charge to dash. the focus of momentum is moved toward running rolling using loops to maintain speed, the rest is for general traversal or a speed burst from a standing start
That's not an excuse to make killing enemies with the homing ATTACK COMPLETELY destroy ANY speed you already had.
 

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