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Interview with Ken Pontac & Warren Graf.


Kuzu
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Alright, I don't know how legit this is but I'll just throw a shot in the dark and say it is. So yea, Roger Van Der Wedie, some of you may know him as the creator of the Sonic Dissected series, attended Youmacon and did an interview with Ken Pontac and Warren Graf. The admin of the Sonic Adventure 3 facebook page asked him to conduct this interview as apart of Roger's documentary on the fandom. The Interview is fairly long, but I wanted to bring this specific point up because that seems to be the greatest point of contention:

 

 

 

 

Alex: “There are some hype about Sonic Adventure 3 right now, so I was wondering if you’d be interested to, for example, writing something that would be more like Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 with a bigger and more serious story.”

Pontac: “Um, well I’d love to write bigger stories, but I don’t…I’m not familiar with the Sonic Adventures that you’re talking about.”

Alex: “Oh, you’re not?”

Pontac: “No, like I said, I do [remember reading on the Sonic [websites] and Sonic forums] but it was very upbeat. It gives us his character of course, and, ya know, I sort of knew what he was about but I know nothing about his history or anything so I kinda went to Wikipedia and I watched some cutscenes from various games on Youtube. But um, yeah, I don’t really know the chronology.”

 

So yea, apparently...neither writer were given any source material on the franchise when Sega hired them and had to rely on Internet sources. How do you ya'll feel about that?

 

 

Here's the rest of the Interview in question for those that are curious:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/sonic-adventure-3/youmacon-interview-with-ken-pontac-sonic-games-writer/572759309440113

Edited by Azure Yakuzu
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I shake my head in disbelief. Shouldn't this be a key thing you do to introduce the new writers? Give them a feel of the history, show them how the characters have evolved from their past outings, or just the generalities of how the character is meant to work? Sega, I am disappointed.

 

Though, considering how they wrote Sonic in Lost World, that makes me wonder: just what stories of Sonic were they watching? Hopefully they caught a bit of Secret Rings or Black Knight in their research...

 

Now to read the rest of the interview.

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Interesting that they weren't given much background.  It certainly implies the idea that Sonic Team did sort of softly reboot the franchise - not in a serious way, just in a kind of "let's not let existing story elements tie us down because we're entertaining a new generation of kids that won't have played the past games and shouldn't be alienated".

 

It doesn't mean we won't get an Adventure-esque storyline again, but it does mean if we do get another game with a larger cast we should be mentally prepared for a lack of any serious continuity to long past games, and we might get more character retools like Lost World's sassy-ass Tails.

Edited by JezMM
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... Iizuka said the moon's still broken though :U

 

On topic, this seems like a bit of a douchey move on Sonic Team's part. I mean, we did get Lost World's story, but still...

Edited by Spin Attaxx
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Well, if Lost World is any indication, then they at least know how to handle Sonic's character now. 

 

Still pretty bad if this is true, though.

 

Its funny because I know about a million that will disagree with this.

 

 

 

But yea, this basically confirms what I already knew...Sonic Team just don't really care about telling a cohesive story anymore, and will just hire anybody to write for the characters, even if they have no history or knowledge of them. 

 

With that said, I can now officially stop caring about the game canon and retreat to my personal headcanon, where things make sense and the characters I like are still present.

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It's not the fact that they went to a wiki and YouTube that bothers me(they could get more info and interesting facts that SEGA lost track of) its the fact that SEGA didn't give them that much info about the characters that's messed up

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So... why am I not at all surprised by this?

 

Eesh. This, to me, only says that Sonic Team aren't interested in Sonic storylines being anything more than a Saturday morning cartoon affair. If they wanted anything like the games had up until Unleashed (which I think was the starting point of the "soft reboot" ), then surely they would have pointed the new writers in the direction of those games to show them what they were after. I love Pontac and Graff's way of bringing the characters to life, and Lost World's story in itself it actually enjoyable. But three times now they've missed the mark when it comes to giving the plot any kind of substance or background. The games have become a million times less engaging as a result.

 

I think the problem is with Sonic Team/SEGA , not the writers. I'm looking at this point:

Roger: “Deadly Six….Did you make that up?”

Pontac: “Deadly Six? Ah, no. They definitely wanted those characters in the game, um, they have a lot of input on what the characters are like, like how they acted, more than I…I also had input and all that, and um obviously we put words in their mouth.”

 

Sonic Team created the Deadly Six, as we all expected. It does make me think that Pontac and Graff moreso just write the script for a scenario that they're given, which would explain the total lack of clarity concerning Lost World's plot.

 

It would be very interesting to see what the result would be if these guys were to be properly briefed on the chronology of the series, and then were to work with Sonic Team in writing a plot and characters from the ground up.

Edited by Blue Blood
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... Iizuka said the moon's still broken though :U

 

On topic, this seems like a bit of a douchey move on Sonc Team's part. I mean, we did get Lost World's story, but still...

 

Weeeell, I consider rotating so a giant crater is away from the camera at all times or the assumption we’ve been seeing another moon up until this point with no mention of either scenario “fixing its self”.

Then again Iizuka also said Lost world wasn’t inspired by Sonic Extreme and that Shth wasn’t made for western audiences … and then said the opposite years after its release.

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My guess is that they wanted to just jettison everything related to Sonic's past outings before Unleashed. Unleashed did always kind of feel like a soft reboot to the storyline so thats probably what SEGA did.

Hopefully Ken and Alex studied more on the adventure-2006 era of sonic.

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And here I thought Tails getting annoyed at Sonic for ignoring him (that seems to be what starts Tails' annoyance with Sonic rather than the whole Eggman thing) was an intentional reference to Adventure. Interesting.

 

EDIT: Then again, they did seem to do their own research to some extent, so maybe it was?? Hmm.

Edited by ElementofChaos
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My only real problem with them still is that they still do not know how to capitalize on their plot points, and it really irks me in this game because it sets up a lot of interesting plot points but they either come out of nowhere or are resolved haphazardly. Its like, why should I care if its never going to get resolved.

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I think the problem is with Sonic Team/SEGA , not the writers. I'm looking at this point:

 

Sonic Team created the Deadly Six, as we all expected. It does make me think that Pontac and Graff moreso just write the script for a scenario that they're given, which would explain the total lack of clarity concerning Lost World's plot.

 

Weren't the D6 a sided plot from Xtreme development, like Chaos?

 

If I remember there were several plots on Xtreme, including something like Chaos, a deadly virus, and one about six spirits, all popping out of the Master Emerald to wreak havoc. Someone posted it when the D6 were announced.

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And here I thought Tails getting annoyed at Sonic for ignoring him (that seems to be what starts Tails' annoyance with Sonic rather than the whole Eggman thing) was an intentional reference to Adventure. Interesting.

I thought that it was more of a side effect of not being playable for a while and the getting jealous thing was a nod to some fans that thought tails was jealous of chip(weird I know)

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Weren't the D6 a sided plot from Xtreme development, like Chaos?

 

If I remember there were several plots on Xtreme, including something like Chaos, a deadly virus, and one about six spirits, all popping out of the Master Emerald to wreak havoc. Someone posted it when the D6 were announced.

Not unless you'd consider all groups of six things to be related somehow.

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Weren't the D6 a sided plot from Xtreme development, like Chaos?

 

If I remember there were several plots on Xtreme, including something like Chaos, a deadly virus, and one about six spirits, all popping out of the Master Emerald to wreak havoc. Someone posted it when the D6 were announced.

 

SLW has nothing to do with X-Treme. You can chalk that up to coincidence and nothing more.

 

They did surprisingly well for not having an in-depth knowledge of the series.

 

Honestly not being huge Sonic nerds might've been an advantage.

 

To an extent, perhaps. But take Unleashed for example. That game had a plot that didn't really tie into any past games, except that the Emeralds were some of ancient power. It did fine. Games since have just left the player thinking "I don't know what's supposed to be going on" and disillusioned by the fact that no past event seems at all relevant any more. Tails doesn't do anything except mess about with technology, and none of the other extented cast members do anything at all when they're present. It doesn't seem right.

Edited by Blue Blood
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The Sonic storylines have always been somewhat episodic, with writers not bothering or knowing that the moon was supposed to be broken,what's going on with the Master Emerald and whatnot. It doesn't strike me so much a soft-reboot as Sonic Team being Sonic Team.

Edited by Amomynous
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To an extent, perhaps. But take Unleashed for example. That game had a plot that didn't really tie into any past games, except that the Emeralds were some of ancient power. It did fine. Games since have just left the player thinking "I don't know what's supposed to be going on" and disillusioned by the fact that no past event seems at all relevant any more. Tails doesn't do anything except mess about with technology, and none of the other extented cast members do anything at all when they're present. It doesn't seem right.

Unleashed had no real connection to previous games, had barely any of the cast show up, Tails and Amy showed up but didn't do much, and the whole middle section of the game is just coasting along with nothing really happening. I don't really see much of a drop in quality aside from SLoW having a weaker climax, and it makes up for that in the characterization.
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