Sonic 3D's original developer is creating an unofficial Director's Cut

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  • #223244

    Jawscvmcdia

    Jon Burton, founder of UK development studio Traveller’s Tales, and one of the original developers on the Mega Drive and Sega Saturn classic Sonic 3D, is attempting to create an unofficial Director’s Cut of the game, 21 years after its release.

    You might remember Burton as the man who recently revealed his devious methods for slipping through Sega’s notoriously opaque certification process back in the Mega Drive days. Since then, he’s continued to release a fascinating series of videos on his YouTube channel, full of all sorts of developer tricks and insights, gleaned throughout his career.

    In his latest video, however, Burton has foregone the usual historical revelations in favour of something a bit different. He’s announced his intention to revisit Sonic 3D – which released on the Mega Drive and Sega Saturn back in 1996, and on which he was responsible for “program design and implementation” – and tweak the original code into something resembling a Director’s Cut, more in line with modern day game design sensibilities.

    Burton’s initial roadmap for his updated Sonic 3D includes a number of ambitious features. First on the list is improved handling for Sonic. “There’ve been a lot of comments about how Sonic moves with too much momentum,” he says, “so I’m going to be looking at that”. Next, he’d like to address several areas which make the game frustrating to play, “Some of which are bugs, and some of which are decisions that I’d make differently today.”

    There are also plans to add a level editor to the game. One apparently did exist during development, which Burton has shown off in another recent video, but “it was never in the final version [because] it took up too much memory”. Despite this, Burton thinks he may have a solution to get it up and running again. He also hopes to free up enough memory to add the prototype crab that was once planned for Sonic 3D. “It may only make it into the editor”, he says, “but if I can redesign the levels to actually include it, I will”.

    Elsewhere, Burton hopes to add Super Sonic, a password-based save game system, and an in-game option to toggle the new Director’s Cut mode on or off while playing. “If there are any other features or changes that you think would be good to consider,” he adds, “please let me know.” There’s one important caveat here, however: “Remember that I can’t add any new screens or graphics, and can only really re-code what currently exists”.

    Burton hopes to release the project, which he stresses is not connected to Sega in any way, as a downloadable patch for anyone who owns the game, although no timeframe has been given. Until then, it’s well worth taking a few moments to explore Burton’s fascinating, and rapidly expanding YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-14-sonic-3ds-original-developer-is-creating-an-unofficial-directors-cut

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbki9Y-r_4

    #223245

    Seb Patrick

    Why did you combine Sonic 3D into one, though?

    #223246

    bloodteller

    >the Mega Drive and Sega Saturn classic Sonic 3D

    there was no game called Sonic 3D. unless you’re talking about Sonic 3D Blast. but that’s got a Blast at the end of it, so you’re clearly just talking about a game that doesn’t even exist.

    #223247

    Ben Saunders

    Sonic Isometric Blast aka Sonic 2.5D

    #223249

    Dave

    there was no game called Sonic 3D. unless you’re talking about Sonic 3D Blast. but that’s got a Blast at the end of it, so you’re clearly just talking about a game that doesn’t even exist.

    In Europe certainly it was released on the Mega Drive as Sonic 3D (without the Blast), but with the added subtitle of ‘Flickies’ Island’.

    #223250

    Seb Patrick

    More pertinently, I cannot think of any metric by which the game, whatever you call it, might be considered a “classic”.

    #223252

    Dave

    Well that’s true. I still remember my immense disappointment with it (and my almost immediate rationalisation that, like Sonic Spinball, it didn’t count as a ‘proper’ Sonic game).

    #223253

    Phil

    In fairness to whatever OP’s name is, Burton himself refers to it as Sonic 3D throughout the video. Maybe that was a working title. More likely he’s using it as shorthand. But there ya go.

    #223254

    Ridley

    Look at him. With the right clicks he could be pastihg into WhatCulture.

    #223255

    Ridley

    Still a good joke.

    #223279

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    In fairness to whatever OP’s name is, Burton himself refers to it as Sonic 3D throughout the video. Maybe that was a working title. More likely he’s using it as shorthand. But there ya go.

    In further fairness, the game is actually called Sonic 3D in the UK.

    #223294

    Dave

    Yes, it was Sonic 3D: Flickies Island. Presumably in the hope that there might be more Sonic 3Ds to come, with other subtitles.

    #223304

    KyoSo

    90% of the reason I never cared for 3D Blast was the controls. If they can improve on that, I might actually play through the thing. As a kid playing on the Genesis I could never get past Rusty Ruin, and any levels past that point I’ve only seen through my younger brother playing through my collected copy for the Saturn.

    I have however extensively listened to the soundtrack of the Saturn version, which is quite good. Generally speaking Sonic games have consistently had very good music, with special attention to Adventure 1 with its lovely use of brass and variety of styles. And I’m not just saying that because of the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles.

    The nostalgia goggles are however why I find Adventure 2’s soundtrack to be the warmest, fuzziest reminder of my youth outside of rewatching Pokemon Indigo League.

    I am such a millennial.

    #223306

    Dave

    Trust me and we will escape from the ci-day.

    #223315

    Seb Patrick

    >Yes, it was Sonic 3D: Flickies Island

    #223362

    Jawscvmcdia

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