So while I've been working on adding more features to the game, I've also done some work on the Tosh the Haggis Soundtrack since the last update.
New tracks include the Intro music, and modifications to a few of the tracks already on the list.
Feedback is always appreciated.
As for what I've been working on in the game, I've been trying to balance exploration style gameplay with speed-running style gameplay. The current thought in my head is how to reward both Exploration and Speed-running without making either feel less rewarding.
The final 'golden' ending will require collecting 7 artefacts from bonus stages, ala Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the Chaos Emeralds. However I found that the hidden Gold Rings of S3&k, while rewarding exploration, made getting through the levels quickly less rewarding. Also, a master explorer (or someone who just knew all the locations) could gather the emeralds in one or two acts without breaking a sweat.
My idea was to have a 'Gold Ring', as it were, at the end of the level (like Sonic 1) that would disappear after a set amount of time (as opposed to only appearing when you have 50 rings).
That's the Speed-runner play-style satisfied, but what about exploration?
I had two ideas. The first was that the more rings you collected, the longer the Goal-ring stayed open (whether you then lost them or not doesn't matter). I.e. one ring for one second. This would mean that explorers would naturally gather more rings by exploring, and speed runners would need to optimise their route between fastest, and fastest with rings (so, a split between a 100% route and an any% route could be had with this method)
The issue with this idea is communicating that to the player successfully. If I can communicate that with the player, this will likely be the best option.
Idea 2 is simpler. Speed runners get end-of-level rings. Explorers find out-of-the-way hidden rings (like S3&k), with 1 per level.
As for what the bonus stage is? Well, I'm still deciding on that :)