The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Discussion of development of software for any "obsolete" computer or video game system.
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strat
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The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by strat » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Could it be done on the Megadrive/Genesis? I assume the Emerald bonus stages are out (at least in their current form - but maybe with Mega CD or 32-X?), but is there enough ram and sprites to handle all the stage layouts and animations?

This is just idle curiosity.

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tokumaru
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by tokumaru » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Don't you mean the 68K question? Anyway, here's my answer: a 1:1 port? Definitely not. There's too much rotation and other complex visual effects, too many smooth animations going on at the same time, too many colors... But that's expected, since it wasn't meant to look like a Genesis game in the first place, unlike Mega Man 9 and 10 that were made to look like NES games (and even those aren't possible on a real NES without many sacrifices), Sonic Mania was created with Saturn limitations in mind.

But a downgraded version of it would certainly be doable on the Genesis, much like there are 8-bit versions of some of the classic 16-bit games. It's true that the 8-bit titles are very different from their 16-bit counterparts, but that wasn't because of hardware limitations alone... the intent was never to create downgraded clones of the 16-bit games. A Genesis port of Mania could be way more faithful to the original if that was the intent, maybe even retaining a lot of the level layouts. Some gimmicks would have to be scrapped or redesigned, as would some bosses and the special stage (e.g. turn it into a raster racer and it might work just fine).

Erockbrox
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by Erockbrox » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:06 am

Sonic Mania probably could be ported to the Sega CD with the 32X combo add on if you really wanted to. But it wouldn't be in wide screen.

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Gilbert
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by Gilbert » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:25 am

I've never seen Sonic Mania in action so I cannot say how "advanced" it is to the original 16-bit entries, but isn't it running on the same fan-made-gone-official engine the modernised versions of the original games(I think at least S1, S2 and SCD are remade in this way) use?

In that case the same could be said to the remakes of the original games, that while they're faithful enough to their source materials, they're also enhanced ports that are not possible to be done 100% with the original hardware.

So we may say the same to Sonic Mania. It is understandable to have a "demake" of the game that changes stuff to fit the limitation on the original hardware, which you may pretend that the official modern game is an enhanced remake of a (non-existent unless someone makes it) 16-bit game. You may try, but IMO it's not that important if it is not possible to make the same game with the original hardware.

As mentioned, using the 32X + Mega CD combo may be enough to make a comparably close approximate of the game (that setup is more like a weaker Saturn), but it could also be fun to see how it turns out using only the vanilla console. Furthermore, more people would be able to try it in real hardware, as I think very few people would have that monster 32X + Mega CD setup (it'd be a much better bargain to have a Saturn or a Dreamcast instead).

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tokumaru
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by tokumaru » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:17 am

Gilbert wrote:isn't it running on the same fan-made-gone-official engine the modernised versions of the original games(I think at least S1, S2 and SCD are remade in this way) use?
Yes, but I imagine that the engine mostly exists for handling stuff like level maps, physics, object management, and so on, not going as far as simulating any aspects or limitations of the Genesis/MD hardware. The ports of the classic games look the way they do because they used the original assets, but the engine itself is capable of generating more complex visuals.
In that case the same could be said to the remakes of the original games, that while they're faithful enough to their source materials, they're also enhanced ports that are not possible to be done 100% with the original hardware.
That's true.

strat
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by strat » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:09 pm

Interestingly enough, Knuckles Chaotix uses the 32-X only for the character animations (and HUD). The MD/GEN is displaying the background! It might be interesting to have an executable that will work on both the base MD and 32-X which will display more animation frames.
https://youtu.be/mxJAI2omTsA?t=1750

Oh, and the thread title is a reference to the MD having 64K of ram, at least on the M68K side. :p

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dustmop
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by dustmop » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:20 pm

The emerald bonus levels where you need to chase the UFO is directly referencing the bonus levels in Sonic CD, so they could definitely be done there.

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tokumaru
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Re: The 64K question about Sonic Mania

Post by tokumaru » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:06 pm

The special stages in Mania have way more scaling objects though, and a 3D model of the player's character... But yeah, a version of that stage that plays the same (but not necessarily looks the same) should be doable on the Sega CD.

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