This article compiles information given out by the developers of SRB2 about future releases. This includes information about both the next major release, Version 2.2, and long-term plans beyond that. Future development of SRB2 will focus mainly on completing the Single Player campaign and refining existing content, but new features may be developed alongside. Note that all information in this article may be subject to change before the next release.
SRB2 is developed without a fixed release date or deadline for the next version. New releases are made whenever a certain amount of content has been finished. The milestone for the next major release, v2.2, is to expand and improve the Single Player campaign up to Arid Canyon Zone. This includes adding the second and third act of ACZ, as well as significant changes to the other levels, including complete remakes of some of them. Any other content that is ready for release by the time this milestone has been reached will also be included.
Single Player campaign
In the current version, SRB2's Single Player campaign is incomplete: The second and third acts of Arid Canyon Zone and Red Volcano Zone are missing, as well as the entirety of Dark City Zone and Grand Eggship Zone. These levels will be added in future versions, beginning with the second and third act of Arid Canyon Zone in v2.2. Existing levels will be changed as well. In particular, v2.2 will feature major updates to the first five zones, including the addition of slopes and many other improvements to the visuals and level design. The degree to which the levels have been changed for v2.2 varies, ranging from complete remakes to smaller adjustments. Future releases after v2.2 will focus on the remaining four zones.
- Greenflower Zone: The gameplay and visuals of the first two acts have been overhauled for v2.2. Slopes have been added to the zone and other changes have been made with the goal of better teaching the game's mechanics to new players while also providing rewards for skilled play. Red Crawlas have been re-added to the zone. Many of the graphics used in the zone have been updated: The main wall texture has been improved and new, more detailed variants of it have been added. The grass texture and the sprites for the enemies and scenery objects used in the zone have been updated as well; the flower sprites are now animated. Other visual additions include trees and a skybox. The skybox shows Greenflower Mountain defaced by Eggman's likeness, a reference to a change in the game's storyline.
- Techno Hill Zone: Similarly to Greenflower Zone, Techno Hill Zone has received visual and gameplay changes aimed at making the zone more polished. New paths have been added to the first two acts and many existing areas have received changes. The main outdoor wall texture, which is used primarily in act 1, has been updated and the textures first introduced for the second act's remake in v2.1 are now used in the factory sections of act 1 as well. The sprites for the existing mechanical flower scenery objects received new sprites and new scenery objects were added. The Buzzes received new, larger sprites. The color of the slime thrown by the Egg Slimer has been changed to blue to indicate that it is harmful.
- Deep Sea Zone: A remake of Deep Sea Zone is in progress, the first act of which is already finished. The level design is redone from scratch, utilizing an updated and expanded texture set and additional scenery objects, but incorporating aspects of the previous version of the zone as well. Parts of the zone will take place in an outdoor, "open sea" environment featuring a new skybox. The mines that appear throughout the zone have been remade.
- Castle Eggman Zone: Castle Eggman Zone's first two acts are being remade from scratch. As in v2.1, the first act will take place in a forest leading up to Eggman's castle, which the player enters in the second act. The remade first act includes a skybox that shows the castle in the background. The forest sections feature an entirely new texture set, while the castle textures have been improved. The sprites for the maces have been remade, and candles and torches have been added to the castle sections as scenery items. The enemies featured in the zone have also been improved: The arrows shot by the Robo-Hood have been modified to be easier to notice; they now leave trails and make a sound before being fired. The CastleBot FaceStabber now takes two hits to destroy and charges at the player when they come too close. The Egg Guard now patrols back and forth while it is equipped with its shield instead of chasing the player. CEZ2 will focus heavily on maces as a gimmick. The 20th anniversary trailer includes footage of a section from CEZ2 that involves the player dodging rotating bars of maces while standing on moving platforms.
- Arid Canyon Zone: Act 1 will receive significant updates for v2.2, but not a complete remake. Among other changes, TNT barrels and harmful cacti will be added as new gimmicks. Act 2 is currently in development. Some of its sections originate from incomplete beta versions made during the development of v2.0 and v2.1, but most of the level design is new. Compared to act 1, act 2 will place a stronger focus on underground areas, including mine shafts. In addition to the gimmicks introduced in act 1, it will feature minecarts that the player can ride. The 20th anniversary trailer includes footage of the minecarts in action, showcasing the player jumping back and forth between two tracks to avoid obstacles. Act 3 is finished, but no details about it have been revealed.
- Red Volcano Zone: RVZ is not a focus for v2.2, but major updates to it are planned for v2.3. While a plan existed during the development of v2.0 to replace RVZ2 with a snow-themed act (a teaser of which was included in v2.0 as Blue Mountain Zone Act 2), this plan has since been scrapped and RVZ2 is now intended to be a regular lava-themed level like the first act. To increase variety, two new gimmicks are planned for the zone: No details have been revealed for the first one except that it affects the player's movement and involves lava in a non-hazardous way. The second gimmick involves gliders that the player can hang on to.
- Dark City Zone: Dark City Zone is still in the planning stage because the completion of Arid Canyon Zone and Red Volcano Zone has a higher priority. It may not be made at all due to a lack of gameplay ideas. Brak Eggman was originally intended as the boss to Dark City Zone, but it was moved to Egg Rock Zone in v2.0, originally as a placeholder for the final boss. The missiles shot by Brak Eggman in the v2.0 boss fight were intended to be used as standalone objects in the first two acts of Dark City Zone, but since the boss fight has since been revamped, this plan may no longer apply. Currently, Brak Eggman is used in Egg Rock Core Zone.
- Grand Eggship Zone: Like Dark City Zone, Grand Eggship Zone has a lower priority than the rest of the Single Player campaign. It is still in the planning stages and may not be made at all. It was originally named Doom Ship Zone, but the name was changed so that it does not share an abbreviation with Deep Sea Zone. As the name implies, it will take place on Eggman's spaceship. A screenshot of a work-in-progress outdoor section from the zone was posted on the SRB2 Message Board.
- Egg Rock Zone: Several of the textures used in Egg Rock Zone have been remade or improved for v2.2. ERZ's level design has received comparatively minor changes, mostly to streamline the zone. Some of the weaker sections have been removed or replaced with new areas, while others have received smaller adjustments. More extensive changes to the zone are planned for future releases beyond v2.2.
- Special Stages: All Special Stages will receive changes for v2.2, some minor and some more substantial. Floral Field Zone now has a second route intended for more experienced players. Everything after the Ideya Capture in Flooded Cove Zone has been changed heavily. The hallway at the end of Cavern Fortress Zone has been revamped and now features maces instead of vertically moving pillars. Dusty Wasteland Zone will be remade from scratch.
- SRB1 Remake: The SRB1 Remake will not be included in v2.2, although it will be released separately as an addon.
- OLDC levels: v2.2 will include several levels from the Official Level Design Contest as unlockables. One of these levels is Frozen Hillside Zone Act 1 from the May/June 2011 OLDC, for which new tree sprites have been made.
- Super/Hyper levels: SRB2's design document calls for additional secret levels which are organized like in the original Sonic Robo Blast: three super levels and three hyper levels. These levels are supposed to start with a difficulty similar to that of Egg Rock Zone and get progressively harder. The first two hyper levels, Aerial Garden Zone and Azure Temple Zone are already featured in v2.1. Textures and a basic layout for Sweet Tooth Zone, the first super level, have also been made. The order of these levels is not rigid and may be changed to ensure a proper difficulty curve.
Interface and accessibility improvements
v2.2 will contain many improvements to the interface of the game, ranging from the menus to the way the player's character is displayed. Many of these changes are intended to make the game more intuitive and easier to learn for newer players. Furthermore, several features have been added to assist players with visual or hearing impairments.
- By default, the character's sprite will now automatically face the direction the player is moving in. This change is purely visual; moves like the thok and glide still go in the direction the camera is facing, not the character. This feature is disabled in Match and derived gametypes, and it can also be disabled entirely in the Options menu.
- Some of the game's controls have been renamed. In particular, the "strafe left/right" keys have been renamed to "move left/right" and the "look" keys have been renamed to "camera". The Setup Controls menu has also been reorganized into a scrolling, categorized list, with the most important controls listed first.
- A new HUD element has been added to Record Attack replays, which shows which controls are currently being used.
- A new automatic braking feature was added that causes the player to come to a halt more quickly when they stop pressing the movement controls. This feature is intended to ease players into the game, but more experienced players are encouraged to turn it off.
- An in-game addon browser was added, allowing players to load addons directly from the game.
- A closed captioning system for the hearing-impaired was added, which displays captions for played sounds on the screen. It can also be used in GIFs.
- An in-game tool that allows the player to adjust the palette at runtime was added, to help add contrast for colorblind players.
- Many of the menus in the game were overhauled. In particular, the save select and level select menu are now scrolling menus that display level preview screenshots. The Setup Player menu now features a sliding bar that displays the available player colors.
- v2.2 will include a tutorial stage that teaches the player the basic mechanics of the game.
- Plans exist to add new weapon rings to Match and related gametypes, among them a second long-range weapon to act as a counter for the Rail Ring. These weapon rings were first worked on during the development of v2.1, but progress on them was eventually halted as development shifted towards other areas of the game.
- Super forms in Match will be removed and a different reward for collecting all emeralds will be introduced.
- Horizontal springs will be added in v2.2.
- SRB2's shield abilities will be expanded for v2.2: Each of the five main shields will now feature an active ability, which the player must actively trigger with the Spin button, and a passive ability, which is always in effect:
- The Attraction Shield's new active ability is the Attraction Shot, which allows the player to dash towards nearby enemies, similarly to the homing attack but without cancelling the player's horizontal momentum after hitting the enemy. To indicate which enemy is targeted, an arrow marker will appear above the enemy when the ability can be used. A differently colored version of this marker is also provided for the homing attack custom character ability.
- The Elemental Shield's new active ability is the Elemental Stomp, which makes the player quickly dash towards the ground.
- The Force Shield's new active ability is the Force Stop, which cancels the player's momentum. Additionally, the shield has been recolored to a purple hue.
- The Whirlwind Shield already has the Whirlwind Jump as an active ability, but a passive ability will be added as well.
- The Armageddon Shield's explosion already acts as both the active and passive ability, depending on whether it is triggered by pressing the Spin button or by the player being hit.
- The Pity Shield will still feature neither an active nor a passive ability, but its sprites have been improved.
- v2.2 will include golden versions of monitors that respawn immediately after being destroyed. These are useful for creating sections that require the player to use a monitor power-up to progress.
- v2.2 will feature improved character sprites for Sonic, Super Sonic and Tails, as well as a proper spindash animation. Sonic's new sprites have been released as a standalone addon.
- Many textures and sprites have been remade or improved for v2.2, including the sprites for rings, springs, spikes, Star Posts and freed animals.
- The palette has been revamped for v2.2, merging similar colors to make space for entirely new color ranges.
- The game's soundtrack will be overhauled for v2.2. The 20th anniversary trailer features the music for ACZ2, while an updated version of GFZ1's theme has been released as a standalone video.
- The setup for PolyObjects has been revamped for v2.2, among other things making the Parameters linedef optional for simpler PolyObjects. This change breaks compatibility with maps from v2.0 and v2.1 that use PolyObjects. In addition, work has been done towards fixing some (but not all) of their rendering glitches.
- Announcement from 11.04.16
- Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2 – 20th Anniversary Trailer (Youtube)
- Announcement from 02.12.16
- Announcement from 11.20.17
- IRC log from 10.06.14
- Announcement from 02.14.15
- Forum post by Mystic from 10.11.09
- Forum post by Inuyasha from 08.08.09
- Forum post by Nev3r from 05.12.16
- IRC log from 07.24.12
- Announcement from 12.15.10
- Forum post by Mystic from 02.23.15
- Announcement from 09.05.16
- Release topic for F. Sonic
- Forum post by Mystic from 02.12.16
- SRB2 OST – Greenflower Zone 1 (Youtube)
|Pre-demo||SRB2 TGF • SRB2 Halloween • SRB2 Christmas|
|Demo||Demo 1 • Demo 2 • Demo 3 • Demo 4 • Demo 4.32–4.35 • SRB2 2k3|
|Final Demo||Final Demo 1.01–1.04 • Final Demo 1.08 • Final Demo 1.09–1.09.2 • Final Demo 1.09.3–1.09.4|
|Post-demo||Match beta • Version 2.0 • Version 2.1 • In development|