Slide Hop

Homebrew: Slide Hop ALPHA RC6 9-25-23


Gear Supporter
[Alpha RC1 7-1-23]

Unveiling my project for this year. Been working on this since Nov 2022.

Wait, you were expecting screenshots? Videos? Any art at all?
No, not yet. Wasn't really prepared for that.

Today, I have merely the announcement that this project exists, a playable alpha of it, some instructions, and some statement of intent.

First: What is a Slide Hop?

Slide Hop is a 3D almost-platformer for Sega Saturn developed by me.
The game features 8 short levels plus a tutorial level (that isn't here yet).
In Slide Hop, your objectives are:
1. Discover all gates in the track, then complete the track in time for the best rank.

In this Alpha build, the gates will not time out. Instead, they will count up.
Post your times, I want to see how things are going if you're interested in playing an unfinished mess.

2. Discover the goal stand, and bring the flag to it in time.

In this Alpha build, the time with the flag will count up, not down.
Same idea as the gates: I want to see how people are doing, before I try and set a difficulty.
I am also interested in playing with a minimum speed on the flag; you might only lose time when slow.

3. Find the Seven Rings.

There's nothing special about these. There's just 7 rings in the level.
Probably the least interesting mechanic, but its here.
I'm interested in playing a meme sound for each ring, unique to each level.
(They can be streamed from CD as ADX..)

Notes for you:

3D pad and digital pad are supported.

D-pad/analogue stick is for movement,
X turns the camera left,
Y turns the camera up,
Z turns the camera right,
and B turns the camera down.
Otherwise, the camera will try to track where you are going.
If you hold/press C, you will enter "strafe controls".
Just a tap will push the camera to where you are facing.
If you hold it, your controls will be relative to where you are now facing.

Press L to slide, and press R to hop.
Press A to jump.

Press START to open the game menu.
From here, you can use the D-pad (3D pad or not) to choose options, and press A to confirm selection.
To turn all the text on the screen off (and thusly play without any debug information), go into the debug menu and select "Toggle Debug" twice.

When you select a level, you might want to wait a bit for it to load the assets before you select another one, else a known bug might happen (on real hardware).
As always, the only approved emulators are Bizhawk and Mednafen.
If you have the option, I recommend playing on a real Saturn. I spent a bit of time optimizing for that.

Known Issues / Inquiry:

The "physics", what little there is, is based on TRIBES.
In TRIBES, there is ever-present bounce on any surface you touch. Trust me, you'll notice. It's pretty essential to how the game works. What I want to know, from you, is it too much bounce? I'll end up adjusting it however *I* feel is best, of course, but I'm curious.
(No, I'm not pretending that anyone is actually going to play this build.)

The game looks ugly. No, not that there isn't enough polygons, that's just Saturn.
The art assets are as minimal as they can possibly be, and there's no depth fade, and the render distance is low.
As for the art assets and music, consider this the "open solicitation". I've heard Shadowmask and other people say they'd like to help out or just share some tracks here and there. That's cool. As for the textures, currently, while the way the polygons are subdivided is (pretty much) final, the way the textures are cut is not; that has to change in order for textures of any note to be used. Currently, the textures are just tiled from an 8x8 source. The plan is for the texture target size to be 64x64, which will be subdivided / "UV-cut" down.
As for the render distance, it is as high as the frame-rate will allow.
As for depth cueing, it's a low priority.
As for the background/VDP2 use, there currently isn't any. As far as coats of paint go, this is a low priority... i'm not really sure what to do with it.

This build's role is to help set the goals and find out which levels suck too much and need to be re-made before SAGE.

The progression of the builds for this are of course:
July 1st, now: Alpha 1. Curious/helpful spirits can play. Media folks or just general players, probably wait.
September: SAGE build. (I might even have a main menu / splash screen by then)
January 1st 2024: Release, end of development sans minor patches. I'll be moving on to other stuff then. Hopefully.

So, yeah:
If you play, tell me what you think. You'll probably hate it, and this'll probably destroy my motivation to keep working on this. That's how mantras go :)
Tell me which levels were better, and which ones were worse.
Oh, and sometimes the gates don't work. Dunno why.

Resource page (and thus future downloads) will be live here:
For downloads and updates, please DO see that resource page.
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great work, for the saturn every homebrew is a little miracle. the bouncy physics are fun and looks nice with good framerate on real hardware.
waiting the sage build.
A report on some issues, known and established by contact from Fandu:

1. Gates sometimes failing to detect passage
Been an issue since November. Have tried to fix it multiple times to no avail (well, i improved it, the problem isn't completely gone). It's a problem that I know exists right now but I don't understand it. Note that in some (most) cases it will be that you simply flew under or over the gate; that is an issue that can be fixed by just making the floor under the gate flat.

2. Glitchy nature of walking down a slope (particularly on objects)
Been an issue since November. I also have tried to fix this multiple times. It's a multi-faceted issue; the core reason it happens is not something I understand. I was able to mostly fix it. However, part of why it happens has to do with bounce, mostly that bouncing makes it worse (since you release from surface once, then just keep bouncing). I'll have to try again on that; no promises though, because it's mostly just how the math is playing out and the math is largely where I want it...

3. Zero-air impulse
I noticed this, but I''ll take it seriously now. I plan to just patch in an impulse from the "Hop" button (R) when you have low X/Z velocity in the air. That way, you can jump and then pulse in a particular direction.

4. (quick text)
(i'll just make that longer, it is quick)

5. (camera angle when jumping)
(i do find myself pivoting it upwards; the downward angle is intended to give closer view of the landing, may change/may not idk)
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