Remember my post, “If Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Was in HD“? That image got salivary glands working overtime for old-school Sonic fans and turned into one of my most popular posts of all time. Now is turns out that a number of people in the Sonic homebrew community are working on bringing that vision to reality. Of course it is in the early stages at this point, but there are a number of established people involved already. (thanks to LewieP for the tip)
Classic games such as Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Bionic Commando are already getting high-definition remakes. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the best platformers of all time and is just as worth of the attention. Sega hasn’t stepped up in any way, so Sonic’s most hardcore fans are stepping up to bring us some Sonic HD goodness.
The Development Team So Far (Accepted proper official staff )
- Blue Streak & Athelstone – General Project Coordinators
- Death of Rats – Level and Zone art Coordnator
- SANiK & Sm&k (I think) – Programmers
- ScubaSteve – Music Coordinator
- Vincent, Blue Streak, Drex, Master Emerald, Elratauru, Death of Rats & Sonica – HD Sprite Artists
Goals of the Project
As stated in their Project Summary post:
“The purpose of the S2HD project is to remaster Sega’s classic Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in high definition graphics, whilst at the same time precisely preserving the original gameplay. New features that were not present in the original will also be made available. The S2HD project is always searching for new talent to aid us in our endeavour to resurrect and improve a timeless gaming classic. All of those significantly involved with the S2HD project readily understand that the birth of this venture was entirely due to enthusiastic individuals showcasing their artistic talents in the Sonic community. Collaboration rather than competition and encouragement as opposed to derision are therefore our most central philosophies.
Current Feature Aims
- Remastered tiles, sprites and music
- New graphical effects when collecting rings, skidding, spin dashing, dust being kicked up when jumping and more
- Gameplay physics and collisions replicated from Sonic 2
- Both original and new sound effects
- 256 colors with 1 alpha
- Mp3/OGG/VGM music support
- Sonic & Tails as playable characters (Knuckles will later be added)
- All the original Sonic 2 Levels available, with an added Hidden Palace zone
- True 3d Special stages and a possibility of 3d backgrounds
- 360 degree rotation for slopes and loops (optionally enabled or disabled)
Possible Post-Project Feature Aims
- A possibility of more animated frames for characters and objects so that they look smoother
- A possibility of a multiplayer mode with TC/IP support
- A possibility of a fully functional level development kit for the community to design levels with
- A possibility of an animated ending sequence
The HD Artwork So Far
Of course that original Death Egg mockup may serve as the inspiration, but the crew has been busy developing their own fresh graphical elements. Below are some sprite re-creations, but there are also some landscapes, enemies, and other elements that have also recieved a remaster.
Discussion & Details of the Sonic 2 HD Development
If you want to read more of the behind-the-scenes details of the project, look no further than the Retro Sonic forums. All the people involved in the project are busy organizing their plans, artwork, and coding within. Here are some of the main forum topics:
- Latest Discussion & Ideas (begins with early discussion)
- Music Remastered
- Programming/Engine Discussion
- Graphics Engine Discussion
Want To Help Out?
Would Sega Ever Pick This Up?
Looking at the recent history of game publishers (or big business as a whole) I would be quick to say that a company like Sega would sue the developers of a homebrew project like this before they would adopt the project and the team.
(Examples: Chrono Trigger Resurrection, Scrabulous)
But lets step back and think about what publishers should do. Sega is obviously in a funk right now. Many of its biggest names have left the company or aren’t nearly as active as they once were. There have released very few games that have lived up to it’s innovative legacy. In all honesty, they need all the help they can get at this point.
The smart thing to do it to hire anybody with a passion for the games and hire them for relatively low costs. Games like this would definately sell when on a system like XBLA, WiiWare, or PSN. Perhaps this is a conversation that is worthy of it’s own article…. what do you think about the matter?