While fan-made games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog are fairly common, a new project has raced to the front of the pack. Sonic Maker is a game that lets you create your own retro-inspired Sonic level, similar to Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker.
The team behind the Windows-based project shared a visual tech example of the software, as seen in the video below. While the brief clip merely shows off the engine that runs the game, it’s clear how easy it will be for interested players to create a custom stage.
Using the iconic Green Hill Zone from the early Sonic the Hedgehog titles as an example, the video shows how users can draw different shapes for Sonic to run on and traverse. It seems as simple as connecting lines and curves together. Features like spring pads can be placed throughout a course to provide more platforming obstacles.
The video points out how many fan-made Sonic games can’t get the physics of the Sega Genesis-era entries right, but Sonic Maker is “basically” accurate in that department. In particular, they spotlight the trickier shapes for Sonic to run on, such as circles. However, it seems the development team’s engine lets you make circles and curves of various sizes that work well with Sonic’s movement physics. Even better, the “Debug Collision View” will let you instantly test any newly created level, which is perfect for real-time tweaking.
The team hasn’t provided any release date for the project, but we’ll see if Sega or Sonic Team lets it get too far into development before shutting it down. Regardless, it’s an impressive engine and would be an excellent concept to see as a full release, whether from the original team or as a similar idea from Sega.
For an official take on retro-inspired Sonic, Sega recently announced Sonic Mania Plus for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch. Arriving this summer, the new edition of the 2017 platformer comes with a physical copy of the game, two new playable characters, a 32-page art book, holographic packaging, and a reversible cover.