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The Sonic Mythos Under Your Pen - How Would You Write the Series?

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Ok, to give the other side a point here. I think you're confusing simplistic with inherently bad writing, or at least what we've been getting since Colors.

 

It probably wouldn't be a thing if people didn't constantly treat the bad writing of Colors - Lost World as better than it actually is and acting as if it's proof that anything that isn't brain-dead is "too complex", and flaunting it in the faces of people who DO actually want better writing but are treated like sneering idiots who want ultra convoluted plots everytime this argument comes up!

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It probably wouldn't be a thing if people didn't constantly treat the bad writing of Colors - Lost World as better than it actually is and acting as if it's proof that anything that isn't brain-dead is "too complex", and flaunting it in the faces of people who DO actually want better writing but are treated like sneering idiots who want ultra convoluted plots everytime this argument comes up!

 

Ok, I know this might surprise a lot of people here, but not everyone hates something as much passion as we do. In fact, some people actually like the things that we might not like. Its funny a little world we live in. So yea. 

 

I don't really thing anyone who likes Colors doesn't assume there aren't any problems with it just like how other people aren't under the impression that there's anything wrong with the Adventure games. So ya know, a little open-mindedness doesn't hurt.

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Rayman 2 was so popular because of the tight gameplay and a great soundtrack rather than the story although I don't deny it had a good story. But, Rayman 2's story wasn't nearly as complex as stories in the Adventure series. I know how good that game was because I played Rayman 2 when it launched on Dreamcast.

Okay, the Adventures series was not that goddamned complex and you know it. Hell, not even SA2 was that complex for all of its hiccups in its narrative. It was no different from what we'd get from a freaking Pokemon film or Disney movie changing the POV from different characters, like Mewtwo Strikes Back which is the SA2 of Pokemon or Lion King which was essentially Shakespeare in the form of Talking Animals.

And it was no less complex that Rayman 2. I've beaten that game several times on N64, and it has just as vast a world and history as both of the Adventures put together. No one is asking for anything convoluted than they are asking for something that isn't barebones or minimal which the Adventures managed to deliver. It's not like demanding an action story to be more filling is that complex, because this stuff wasn't anywhere near as complex to us when we were freaking ten year olds at the time.

As for the option of a Classic Mode and an over the top plot, I'd rather the game have one artistic vision rather than fragment and try to market itself to different tastes. It's not being self-centred, it's wanting a single unified product. I personally would prefer a more minimalist plot.

That is being self-centered, because you're denying those who don't want a minimalist plot and putting your preferences over theirs as if it matters more. On top of that, you're ignoring any desires to avoid having it be that zero-sum in the first place for your own narrow interests when others give out alternatives. I personally want a more layer story with depth, but I don't want that forced upon those who want to get straight into the action without it and suggested a Classic Mode that would tailor to that preference - that's why we have concepts like options in the first place so that multiple parties can enjoy a single product, because when it comes to entertaining an audience there's the obvious fact that you're not the only damn fan who matters here. Everyone has different preferences, and catering only to one means others miss out, which also means less people are going to be interested in buying it as well. And the option of a "Classic Mode" allows everyone to win and no one to lose out on anything.

You're not going to get a single unified product or artistic vision from this franchise given all the changes that have gone on, and each iteration has something that others happen to like, whether it is playing as other characters or a more layer story than a barebones one. In taking out one that many enjoy, you're neglecting a group (or worse pissing off said group that actually likes the franchise) and weakening an entertainment value when you can avoid that by giving everyone alternatives that they can enjoy.

With a "Classic Mode" that minimizes the plot without taking away the "Story Mode" for other people to enjoy, what in three blue hells are you actually losing out on? Really, what are you losing from an option that gives you what you want while another gets what they want in the same product? Because this wouldn't have to come by sacrificing other people's desires for it, and yet you still seek to not have a story at all at the cost of someone else's enjoyment, and ignoring any alternatives for those that don't share the exact same tastes for this franchise as you do. That is the epitome of selfish as it means that other people have to lose out on what they enjoy when neither party does.

 

It all comes down to this: how hard is it to freaking share and let both parties with somewhat different interests have fun with the same product? Because this is something that doesn't have to come at the cost of either one.

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While I agree with most of your points, CSS, I can see what Diamond means by not wanting a "Classic Mode". In a game like Sonic, things should feel a little more... cohesive, I guess is what I want to say. Basically, connective in a way that doesn't try to remind you it's a video game. And with a classic mode option, it'd kinda do just that since it'd be giving the player the ability to just skim through a bunch of levels with no context. This would especially be a problem since there'd be nothing to anticipate in the story mode if you'd already played through all the stages before.

 

I think a better answer is this: Let non-speaking and/or smaller cutscene sequences happen in game like 3K, and then bigger plot stuff happens in skippable cutscenes. That way you can get the gist of at least 50% of what's going on even if you don't want the story/dialogue bits and just pressed start or something. :v

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Except a Classic Mode wouldn't deny or prevent such cohesiveness. Not in the slightest.

The point in having one is to not deny those who want a bigger plot from having one, while those who would rather have a smaller plot can have things to their liking. Essentially, the exact same thing both of you were talking about, but without sacrificing anything the either side would like. Because those who prefer one or the other shouldn't have to be ignored when neither side would be hindered from the other getting what they like.

I shouldn't have to go without a bigger plot just because someone else wants a smaller one when we can both get what we like without affecting the other. Because otherwise it's just telling the other person "I don't want you to have what I don't like no matter what they do." It's like a parent buying candy for two children and one of them gets the chocolate bar they wanted, but they don't want the other child to have the lollipop because they [the one with the chocolate bar] dislike the flavor and would rather they have a chocolate bar like they have.

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Interesting. I'm thinking of inputs to make into the thread. Let me try this.

 

Shadow the Hedgehog

 

Bio: The Ultimate Life Form, made by Gerald Robotnik over 50 years ago, combining Black Arms DNA with the energy of the Chaos Emeralds. He was Gerald's hope of counterattacking the Black Arms when they decide to invade Mobius for the Chaos Emeralds and the planet itself.

In that time, Shadow was Maria Robotnik's best friend, until the United Federation government decided to shut the ARK site down due to controversy over the Eclipse Cannon made by Gerald. The government agents invaded the ARK with lethal force and Shadow was evacuated, not before seeing Maria being fatally wounded by the agents. Shadow was then found and put into stasis, until Gerald's grandson, Ivo "Dr. Eggman" Robotnik, found him in Prison Island.

Shadow worked for Eggman when the latter blew half of Mobius' Moon up to make a threat to the president of the United Federation. After several confrontations with Sonic the Hedgehog's team, Shadow would team up with him to stop Gerald's last creation before his arrest, the Biolizard, only to being thrown into outer space and then rescued by Eggman. Shadow wakes up a month later, with a case of amnesia, and would almost ally with the Black Arms in order to fully regain his memories. He regains his memories after working on both sides during the Black Arms Invasion and eventually ends up siding with Sonic again, being a decisive drive into Black Doom's demise.

Afterwards, Shadow joins GUN (the Guardian Units of Nations, comandeered by Abraham Tower, a former inhabitant of the ARK) along with Rouge and E-123 Omega. Shadow since then participates on missions around Mobius to preserve order and drive Dr. Eggman off when necessary.

Traits: Shadow is Sonic's sworn rival, and one of the few competitors to him. His nuclear-powered jetskates allows Shadow to race almost as fast as Sonic without so much as a strain. Shadow always looks up to surpassing Sonic, as well as Sonic always takes his challenges on interests of bettering his skills. He also has a rival in Omega, which competes with him on being the Ultimate Life Form (even though Omega is not exactly a life form per se). Shadow also has a good friendship with Rouge the Bat, one of the few who would defend him despite any circumstance, and Commander Tower himself, who shares his pain of losing Maria 50 years ago.

 

Due to being the Ultimate Life Form made from Black Chaos and Mobian DNA, as well as infused Chaos Energy, Shadow has various skills unique to him. First, Shadow is unable to age, unlike other Mobians. Second, Shadow is fully able to control Chaos Energy from the Emeralds. Just being near one of the Emeralds allows Shadow to teleport around, run at absurd speeds like Sonic and even unleashing a huge energy discharge, the Chaos Blast, which destroys anything on a 10-Meter radius. Shadow can also form an energy lance (Chaos Spear) and throw it against his targets, not to count that he, like Sonic, can channel the seven emeralds' power into his body and become a Chaos being. Lastly, Shadow has a great deal of strength, being able of pulling tons of weight without much effort, though he doesn't manage to be as strong as, let's say, Knuckles.

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Okay, the Adventures series was not that goddamned complex and you know it. Hell, not even SA2 was that complex for all of its hiccups in its narrative. It was no different from what we'd get from a freaking Pokemon film or Disney movie changing the POV from different characters, like Mewtwo Strikes Back which is the SA2 of Pokemon or Lion King which was essentially Shakespeare in the form of Talking Animals.

 

Oh come now this is just disengenious. The Adventure series plots were pretty complex compared to other plaformers and whilst that isn't necessarily a bad thing (in fact I think many fans would celebrate it) it's still undeniable. Sonic Adventure is about an ancient power that is filled with vengeance due to it's friend and her race being exterminated and must be defeated by Sonic. This plot is inter-weaved with various subplots with other characters, each individual story varying widely in it's effectiveness. As for Sonic Adventure 2, the game explores Sonic and Shadow trying to stop the Space Colony Ark from crashing into Earth because Gerald wanted to kill all humanity in one major act of genocide because he blamed everyone for his daughter's death, being driven insane by grief. The game also features various subplots through the various playable characters, only this time they are more explicitly tied directly into the over-reaching plot. They aren't going to challenge more cinematic games but they are far beyond the vast majority of action platformers. I'm not saying complex plots are inherently bad but I don't believe these anime-inspired plots (again, not implying they are bad in themselves) are the best fit for a Sonic game where I feel the focus is on speed and the action should always be moving at a good flow and fast pace. I always thought that the Classic Sonic games pushed for a much more different type of minimalist narrative, plot through atmosphere and art direction, exactly for this reason. In essence I always interpreted Sonic as more akin to games like Shadow of the Colossus. I think the Sonic CD modern promotional material has come closest to it:

 

stardust-speedway-good-future.png

 

Plot told through expressionism and atmosphere.

 

 

That is being self-centered, because you're denying those who don't want a minimalist plot and putting your preferences over theirs as if it matters more. On top of that, you're ignoring any desires to avoid having it be that zero-sum in the first place for your own narrow interests when others give out alternatives. I personally want a more layer story with depth, but I don't want that forced upon those who want to get straight into the action without it and suggested a Classic Mode that would tailor to that preference - that's why we have concepts like options in the first place so that multiple parties can enjoy a single product, because when it comes to entertaining an audience there's the obvious fact that you're not the only damn fan who matters here. Everyone has different preferences, and catering only to one means others miss out, which also means less people are going to be interested in buying it as well. And the option of a "Classic Mode" allows everyone to win and no one to lose out on anything.

You're not going to get a single unified product or artistic vision from this franchise given all the changes that have gone on, and each iteration has something that others happen to like, whether it is playing as other characters or a more layer story than a barebones one. In taking out one that many enjoy, you're neglecting a group (or worse pissing off said group that actually likes the franchise) and weakening an entertainment value when you can avoid that by giving everyone alternatives that they can enjoy.

With a "Classic Mode" that minimizes the plot without taking away the "Story Mode" for other people to enjoy, what in three blue hells are you actually losing out on? Really, what are you losing from an option that gives you what you want while another gets what they want in the same product? Because this wouldn't have to come by sacrificing other people's desires for it, and yet you still seek to not have a story at all at the cost of someone else's enjoyment, and ignoring any alternatives for those that don't share the exact same tastes for this franchise as you do. That is the epitome of selfish as it means that other people have to lose out on what they enjoy when neither party does.

 

It all comes down to this: how hard is it to freaking share and let both parties with somewhat different interests have fun with the same product? Because this is something that doesn't have to come at the cost of either one.

 

 

Yeah, that's how game design works. The artists always have to put their artistic vision first and go forward trusting it. Otherwise you get a fragmented scrappy little game. The reason why the plots in Sonic Colours, Generations and Lost World felt so weak was because they were trying to please both the people who don't want over-the-top plots by greatly trimming away the auxiliary characters and toning down the narrative matter yet also trying to not remove the plots and side characters entirely and trying to please fans of the old plots by having a number of voice-acted dialogue cutscenes and having the friends make half-hearted cameos. Inevitably, they really didn't please either camp nearly enough. The games should have either gone for a minimalist plot or gone the full way with a more traditional Sonic Adventure complex plot. A game needs to have a confident narrative thrust otherwise it nearly always comes off as weak. You simply can't please everyone, it's one of the dilemmas of game design.

 

You can easily get a unified product even though this franchise has undergone so many revisions and shake-ups. The creators have to trust their vision and go for the game they trust in. Final Fantasy 15 looks like a good game but there's no way it's going to please all the Final Fantasy fans with all the differences between each title. It's simply impossible to do. Your job as a game designer is to create a new game you think will appeal to people by it's own sense of identity rather than trying to please every facet of the fanbase

 

This is why the lack of a Classic Mode isn't at all selfish. I would rather have a complex plot over the option of two cobbled game directions with no confident unified artistic vision.

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Someone has been way too bedazzled by Freedom Planet.

 

how hard is it to freaking share and let both parties with somewhat different interests have fun with the same product? Because this is something that doesn't have to come at the cost of either one.

 

Very hard, because this is silly. The assumption that you can have both experiences and keep them unrelated is a poor excuse for not delivering a product capable of entrancing the spectator. A game, indeed a work of art isn't supposed to cater to your interests in order to create pleasure. It's supposed to bend them. If you're going to have a Classic Mode, why not have an Avant Garde Mode without gameplay too so people can appreciate the story without being bothered by the gameplay? What's the difference? Classic Mode is bullshit.

 

Meaning-- if your gameplay can't tell a story and if your story isn't meaningful to how you play the game, why are they even in the same product? There are more sophisticated ways to tell a story in a game than stupid cutscene intermissions. It's not a matter of complex or simple: it's a matter of knowing how to do it. It's not about story or gameplay, it's about experience.

 

See, there's this game called A Bird Story. The gameplay mechanics are minimal and the story is actually quite simple. It has been less well received than its predecessor, To The Moon, for these reasons. But I want to shed light on its powerful and very complex storytelling mechanics. It doesn't make the story deep, but can serve Sonic just right if you do want to apply a complex story to Sonic.

 

So, see, there is this school and there is this park. In order to go from one to another, you walk along the school corridors and there are these lockers and then suddenly there's a locker with a treetop and then the corridor becomes a park and the treetops start having trunks under them instead of lockers. There, you've walked a lot without really walking a lot. What I mean to say is, there didn't need to be an intermission. Why can't Sonic apply this? It's simple storytelling - thus keeping the gameplay experience untouched, but you can tell a deep story through it without having to resort to an incredibly lazy card like a "Classic Mode" to please someone else just because you don't trust your level design, level progression and general gameplay mechanics can tell a story and convey meanings by themselves.

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Oh come now this is just disengenious. The Adventure series plots were pretty complex compared to other plaformers and whilst that isn't necessarily a bad thing (in fact I think many fans would celebrate it) it's still undeniable. 

Except you tend to treat their plots like a bad thing, and if not that, you disregard those who don't want anything less than what the Adventures have delivered.

 

But I still wouldn't say that they were that complex to most platformers.

 

Megaman starts becoming just as complex when it progresses to the X, Zero, and ZX series. In X series, it starts with a team of robots fighting to save humanity from a robot war determined to kill all humans, and the main two characters in the frontlines are two ancient robots created from scientists from the Classic series. The entire premise is about how controversial and dangerous giving free will to robots can be, with the ones threatening humanity being considered "Mavericks" who are infected with a virus that makes them dangerous. The robot war later becomes much more complex as the Maverick label is thrown around much more loosely to robots that don't obey humans rather than threaten them, and the main villain who is the cause of the Maverick Virus spreading uses this to show how humans are bastards as a result and how robots should be justified in wiping them out. Then later it gets even more complex as you learn the origins of the Maverick Virus, as well as the origins of Zero, one of the main characters, who was created by Dr. Wily for the purpose of using said virus to cause such chaos in the future.

 

And this is just a summary of five X series games. The four games of the Zero series gets even more complex. That Maverick War from the X series gets even worse when the Elf Wars succeeds it, killing off 90% of all Reploids and 60% of all humans. But that's just a backstory: Zero is awakened after 200 years into a bad future where the world is in terrible shape, and the only city remaining, Neo Arcadia, is committing outright genocide of reploids due to an energy crisis. Much worse is that the one in charge of Neo Arcadia and committing the genocide seems to be his old friend, X, who is now the leader of the world...except he's a copy and the real X is a cyber elf. A human scientist named Ciel is commanding a resistance against Neo Arcadia while researching a new energy source to deal with the energy crisis, but things get awry later on as Neo Arcadia is constantly attacking them until Zero goes in to finish X. But things then get awry later on as one of Ciel's soldiers, Elpizo, goes rogue after a failed operation that he planned, and in order for him to fix his mistake, Elpizo releases the Mother Elf, one of the main causes of the Elf Wars and threaten's to wipe out humanity with it's power. After he's stopped, the main two people who caused the Elf Wars in the first place, Dr. Weil and Omega, return to Neo Arcadia and take control and turn it into hell. Even more perplexing is that Omega is Zero's original body from the X series while Zero himself has a duplicate body, but Zero still manages to beat Omega despite that. Eventually after Omega's destruction, Dr.Weil turns Neo Arcadia into a living hell, and some of the humans living there decide to leave for Area Zero, the crash site of a space colony that likely led to Earth's devastating condition where nature is starting to come back. Dr. Weil tries to destroy the area so that people will have no place left to escape him, and tries to do so through the use of a space cannon called Ragnarok. Zero is transported to Ragnarok and fights Weil to the bitter end, at the cost of his own life. Peace is finally achieved between the robots and humans fighting for centuries, but the ones who fought so hard for it will never have a chance to see it fruition.

 

At least until the ZX series, but this is already detailed enough as it is.

 

Then there's Rayman 2, with a more layered plot of robot space pirates coming to enslave Rayman's world. All hope is almost lost until Rayman breaks free from his prison after regaining his powers, rescues his friends, learns about the god Polokus who created the world and the people in it, and the four masks that can be used to bring him back in times of a crisis like this. You learn all about things like the Cave of Bad Dreams where all of Polokus' worst creations are kept, the properties of the various Lums that exist in the world, and even the backstory of the very world itself in the lore.

 

Then there's Ratchet and Clank, platformers with a lot of background and lore to it, from the typical hero stops villian of the first game, to Ratchet and Clank themselves discovering their very origins in the Future series. Or Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, etc. There are plenty of platformer games out there that are just as complex as Sonic has been, if not more so with games like Ratchet and Clank or even the X and Zero series of Megaman. It makes little sense to single out the Sonic Adventure games for this in particular as more complex than other platformers out there.

 

 

Yeah, that's how game design works. The artists always have to put their artistic vision first and go forward trusting it. Otherwise you get a fragmented scrappy little game. The reason why the plots in Sonic Colours, Generations and Lost World felt so weak was because they were trying to please both the people who don't want over-the-top plots by greatly trimming away the auxiliary characters and toning down the narrative matter yet also trying to not remove the plots and side characters entirely and trying to please fans of the old plots by having a number of voice-acted dialogue cutscenes and having the friends make half-hearted cameos. Inevitably, they really didn't please either camp nearly enough. The games should have either gone for a minimalist plot or gone the full way with a more traditional Sonic Adventure complex plot. A game needs to have a confident narrative thrust otherwise it nearly always comes off as weak. You simply can't please everyone, it's one of the dilemmas of game design.

I really question what you actually know about game design, because the first thing I see you target is everything except the actual game itself. Like what you're doing now. Hardly anything you're talking about here has to do with the game part of game design, whether it's simple mechanics of jumping, flowing level design, collision detection, programming, button layouts for controlling the character, or even the development cycle of game design itself. Everything you're talking about is all about storytelling, which is by far the least difficult thing in game design, and I've actually told you this before when you first came here prior to the Forum hiccup deleting most of last year's content.

 

And that's telling, because I myself only know the absolute bare minimum of these things while there are plenty of others here that are far more knowledgable than I have ever been regarding game design. It's understandable that this isn't the topic about game design, but even so whenever there is a topic about it I've hardly ever seen you say anything about the actual game as you instead attack the story aspects of it.

 

I'm not trying to please everyone, but I'd rather they try to please as many as many people as they can which is something they can do. And what I think is problematic is that you treat such storytelling as black and white when there are many different ways they could tell a story. Colors didn't need an complex Sonic Adventure plot, it just needed a coherent plot that had more action in it than it had jokes; Generations could have had the other characters at least actively doing something in the story to help Sonic defeat Time Eater if they weren't going to be playable instead of them standing around and letting Sonic do everything; and Lost World could have had more intensity put into it.

 

Now, ideally I would like things to be more like Sonic Adventure where you can see different POVs of other characters,  but I would at the very least like to see other characters aside from Sonic take action in someway even if they're not playable. That's something other platformers have also done, regardless of how simplistic or complex their plots have been.

 

All in all, it's not a matter of either minimalist plot or a complex Sonic Adventure plot. It's about making a strong plot either way it goes, and while I do have my preferences toward the Adventures, I've played more than enough games to realize that's not the only style of plot out there Sonic can do.

 

You can easily get a unified product even though this franchise has undergone so many revisions and shake-ups. The creators have to trust their vision and go for the game they trust in. Final Fantasy 15 looks like a good game but there's no way it's going to please all the Final Fantasy fans with all the differences between each title. It's simply impossible to do. Your job as a game designer is to create a new game you think will appeal to people by it's own sense of identity rather than trying to please every facet of the fanbase.

Except that sense of identity in Sonic's case happens to have a strong multidemographic appeal where different facets like particular aspects of a single game: some people love the games for the lush backgrounds, some people love it for the world-building, some people love it for the characters, even while all of them can love it for the gameplay. This can all be accomplished in one unified product. The problem I have regarding your thoughts is that you'd rather some of this be taken away for your sake, which in a way infringes on those who want them around.

 

 

 

This is why the lack of a Classic Mode isn't at all selfish. I would rather have a complex plot over the option of two cobbled game directions with no confident unified artistic vision.

I find that rather hard to believe when you recently made an entire topic condemning the very idea of having a complex plot and anything related to it at all.

 

------------------------------------

 

Someone has been way too bedazzled by Freedom Planet.

Is that a bad thing? Because it's definitely something Sonic can learn a lot from. I could also try Megaman X and Zero instead. Or Rayman 2. Or Sly Cooper. Heck, I could use an obscure game like Psychonauts. I have a whole library of games here.

 

EDIT: I suppose the main reason I use Freedom Planet so much is because it did all of this on a lower budget than what Sonic games normally get. This is an industry where billions of dollars are pumped into developing a AAA products, yet FP could do this on budget of $25k. Where's the excuse here?

 

Very hard, because this is silly. The assumption that you can have both experiences and keep them unrelated is a poor excuse for not delivering a product capable of entrancing the spectator. A game, indeed a work of art isn't supposed to cater to your interests in order to create pleasure. It's supposed to bend them. If you're going to have a Classic Mode, why not have an Avant Garde Mode without gameplay too so people can appreciate the story without being bothered by the gameplay? What's the difference?

It is not actually. Because for one, it's not about keeping them unrelated. It never was, and I don't even know where you're getting that assumption from. It's about both sides having their experience without taking away from the other, simple as that.

 

But regarding the Avant Garde Mode, while that's a bit of a strawman if you want a feature without gameplay so people can appreciate the story, you can do that too. Games have already been doing it for the longest, so it's not like that's out of the question either.

 

Meaning-- if your gameplay can't tell a story and if your story isn't meaningful to how you play the game, why are they even in the same product? There are more sophisticated ways to tell a story in a game than stupid cutscene intermissions. It's not a matter of complex or simple: it's a matter of knowing how to do it. It's not about story or gameplay, it's about experience.

 

So, see, there is this school and there is this park. In order to go from one to another, you walk along the school corridors and there are these lockers and then suddenly there's a locker with a treetop and then the corridor becomes a park and the treetops start having trunks under them instead of lockers. There, you've walked a lot without really walking a lot. What I mean to say is, there didn't need to be an intermission. Why can't Sonic apply this? It's simple storytelling - thus keeping the gameplay experience untouched, but you can tell a deep story through it without having to resort to an incredibly lazy card like a "Classic Mode" to please someone else just because you don't trust your level design, level progression and general gameplay mechanics can tell a story and convey meanings by themselves.

if the gameplay can't tell or story and the story isn't meaningful to how you play the game, then the reason why they're in the same product is to entertain you. Simple as that.

 

So here's a question: why is it that a "Classic Mode" can't do what you're saying? Why is that it has to be a lazy card instead of it being precisely what you're talking about, but without getting in the way of my "Adventure Mode" where I'm getting a more detailed Sonic Adventure-esque story instead of a simplistic, minimized one? Why do either of us have to lose out? No seriously, why be zero-sum about it?

 

The entire point I'm making is that what two different people like for a same product needn't be sacrificed. I want an intermission where I'm getting more detail over what's going on, why something is happening, and be further motivated to stop it, and the backgrounds behind events. Some people would prefer something much more simpler, but what I find ridiculous is that one side has to get the middle finger for what they want and be told to suck it up instead of the developers wanting to entertain both parties without doing that.

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Everything you're talking about is all about storytelling, which is by far the least difficult thing in game design

 

??????????

 

Here you go again treating "game" and "story" as separate entities when this is totally not the case. Storytelling is the hardest thing when the primary form of narration, and that would be gameplay, isn't under your control. How do you tell a story that is in line with what the player is doing at that moment if you can't be totally sure of where he is or when he got there? How do you keep it believable when you give the player the tools to bend the world's very logic of time flow? How do you tell a story when it's not really you who makes it unfold?

 

This is hard as fuck and is an integral part of the game design cycle. Unless we're talking about terrible games, like Sonic games have been.

 

 

 

Is that a bad thing? Because it's definitely something Sonic can learn a lot from. I could also try Megaman X and Zero instead. Or Rayman 2. Or Sly Cooper. Heck, I could use an obscure game like Psychonauts. I have a whole library of games here.

 

EDIT: I suppose the main reason I use Freedom Planet so much is because it did all of this on a lower budget than what Sonic games normally get. This is an industry where billions of dollars are pumped into developing a AAA products, yet FP could do this on budget of $25k. Where's the excuse here?

 

Oh no, it isn't bad. It just will fade sooner or later. There's no excuse because there doesn't need to be an excuse. It's not as if games needed to present this kind of choice - and I'm explaining why they shouldn't right now.

 

It is not actually. Because for one, it's not about keeping them unrelated. It never was, and I don't even know where you're getting that assumption from. It's about both sides having their experience without taking away from the other, simple as that.

 

 

Simple, but wrong. They aren't sides. They are the same thing. Regardless of how many elements you put and no matter how different their experiences are, the game as a whole will be an amalgam of everything, a single experience. "Story" (as in cinematic narration) and gameplay can never be separate, because the player will always fill in the blanks because of the fact that it's only one game he's playing. If you show a scene from Independence Day after each level of Space Invaders, a player will always attach both elements to create one single experience.

 

But regarding the Avant Garde Mode, while that's a bit of a strawman if you want a feature without gameplay so people can appreciate the story, you can do that too. Games have already been doing it for the longest, so it's not like that's out of the question either.

 

How is it a strawman if it's the exact opposite? If your answer is "well it's not a game if it doesn't have gameplay then", you must ask why any other element is there if not to serve the gameplay. It's not any less stupid though. If there's any element that is just wasting your time and aggregates nothing to what you could call "the whole point", that is, the experience a player aggregates from all elements, why put it there?

 

if the gameplay can't tell or story and the story isn't meaningful to how you play the game, then the reason why they're in the same product is to entertain you. Simple as that.

 

Oh my God, can you be any more vague? To entertain me? If I reduce your argument to absurdity, will you call it a strawman too? If you're willing to avoid that, please trace a very definite line that impedes me from putting a K-Pop music video in a Sonic game for entertainment purposes.

 

But besides that, what you said makes no sense. Gameplay that doesn't tell story (which is much simpler than it sounds - it merely means gameplay whose mechanics progress as you play) isn't entertaining; story that isn't related to how you play isn't entertaining. It's what you usually call a drag, and a drag isn't entertaining.

 

So here's a question: why is it that a "Classic Mode" can't do what you're saying? Why is that it has to be a lazy card instead of it being precisely what you're talking about, but without getting in the way of my "Adventure Mode" where I'm getting a more detailed Sonic Adventure-esque story instead of a simplistic, minimized one? Why do either of us have to lose out? No seriously, why be zero-sum about it?

 

The entire point I'm making is that what two different people like for a same product needn't be sacrificed. I want an intermission where I'm getting more detail over what's going on, why something is happening, and be further motivated to stop it, and the backgrounds behind events. Some people would prefer something much more simpler, but what I find ridiculous is that one side has to get the middle finger for what they want and be told to suck it up instead of the developers wanting to entertain both parties without doing that.

 

 

Because if a classic mode can do that, it no longer is a "classic mode" but everything the game needs to get its point, story and progression across. I suppose you can have a game that uses this kind of storytelling and cinematics as a separate thing - like a reward for performing well in stages or hidden items. Conversely, you can have "pure gameplay" in an Adventure-like storytelling as a Time Attack mode or some other kind of challenge. But the main point is: a game should never put both things on the same level of significance because it forces the player to make an absolutely meaningless choice - and guess what, trying to get both "at the same time" sacrifices both because, in a game, what you do is just as important to the overall experience as what you don't do. So meaningless choices are a no-no. And yeah, games should give people the middle finger for what they want if the game never asked in the first place. So if you want an Adventure-like storytelling, that`s fine and can work well. Just don`t go ahead and create sides that never needed to be created for the sake of catering to someone`s will.

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??????????

 

Here you go again treating "game" and "story" as separate entities when this is totally not the case. Storytelling is the hardest thing when the primary form of narration, and that would be gameplay, isn't under your control. How do you tell a story that is in line with what the player is doing at that moment if you can't be totally sure of where he is or when he got there? How do you keep it believable when you give the player the tools to bend the world's very logic of time flow? How do you tell a story when it's not really you who makes it unfold?

 

This is hard as fuck and is an integral part of the game design cycle. Unless we're talking about terrible games, like Sonic games have been.

Which is totally not what I'm doing. "Game" is the overall thing, "story" is a part of it. I fail to see how anything less than what the Adventures, or even something like Ratchet and Clank, is that hard to do as a part of narration. I don't care of how it isn't under my control beyond me wanting to watch it or skip it, because that's the only thing I care about when it comes to storytelling in video games. Anything more than that would be great if it is handled with care, but I'm content with just an intermission of cutscenes doing to job as well.

 

Telling a story in line with what the player is doing here is as simple as the mere objectives they have been given, and the name of the location where they're at and the time given. This is no different to how they've been doing it already, and given how platformers tend to be about getting from point A to point B, this isn't something as complex as you make it out to be other than adding in more detail to it.

 

 

 

Simple, but wrong. They aren't sides. They are the same thing. Regardless of how many elements you put and no matter how different their experiences are, the game as a whole will be an amalgam of everything, a single experience. "Story" (as in cinematic narration) and gameplay can never be separate, because the player will always fill in the blanks because of the fact that it's only one game he's playing. If you show a scene from Independence Day after each level of Space Invaders, a player will always attach both elements to create one single experience.

You are completely missing my point regarding the sides here.

 

"Side A" are people who want a minimalist story of Game X; "Side B" are people who want a more fleshed out story of Game X. These are two players with different tastes of the same game, and at this moment they're clashing because one doesn't want to lose an experience they prefer over the other who gains it.

 

 

 

How is it a strawman if it's the exact opposite? If your answer is "well it's not a game if it doesn't have gameplay then", you must ask why any other element is there if not to serve the gameplay. It's not any less stupid though. If there's any element that is just wasting your time and aggregates nothing to what you could call "the whole point", that is, the experience a player aggregates from all elements, why put it there?

Well, for one, that's not my answer, which is another reason why it's a strawman. The other is that my point is to give players greater choice over how they want to experience the same product, which you seem more inclined to deny. And it all really amounts to choice: if there is any element that's just wasting your time, but you're given an option not to have it, then you can chose not to experience it. At the same time, those who find what the other sees as a waste of time to be a more enriching experience, then they can have the option to have it instead. So the entire point in putting it there is to give people the choice how they want to be entertained instead of restricting them to something one group would like while the other isn't as interested.

 

Hence the addition of a Classic mode giving the player the choice to experience a more simplistic storytelling in their game, while the Adventure mode allows someone to have a more fleshed out storytelling in that same game.

 

 

 

 

Oh my God, can you be any more vague? To entertain me? If I reduce your argument to absurdity, will you call it a strawman too? If you're willing to avoid that, please trace a very definite line that impedes me from putting a K-Pop music video in a Sonic game for entertainment purposes.

 

But besides that, what you said makes no sense. Gameplay that doesn't tell story (which is much simpler than it sounds - it merely means gameplay whose mechanics progress as you play) isn't entertaining; story that isn't related to how you play isn't entertaining. It's what you usually call a drag, and a drag isn't entertaining.

Can I be more vague? Actually, yes I can. But don't tempt me, Palas. I thought we've been cool friends until now, and I'm finding this attitude you're having rather surprising given how much we've known each other.

 

But I fail to see how this makes no sense. How is gameplay that doesn't tell a story not entertaining if the gameplay is fun? How is a story that isn't related to how I play not entertaining if the story is fun to watch? What I usually call a drag is bad gameplay and bad storytelling, and in the case of bad storytelling in a good game I usually tend to skip it and move on to what I like.

 

 

 

Because if a classic mode can do that, it no longer is a "classic mode" but everything the game needs to get its point, story and progression across. I suppose you can have a game that uses this kind of storytelling and cinematics as a separate thing - like a reward for performing well in stages or hidden items. Conversely, you can have "pure gameplay" in an Adventure-like storytelling as a Time Attack mode or some other kind of challenge. But the main point is: a game should never put both things on the same level of significance because it forces the player to make an absolutely meaningless choice - and guess what, trying to get both "at the same time" sacrifices both because, in a game, what you do is just as important to the overall experience as what you don't do. So meaningless choices are a no-no. And yeah, games should give people the middle finger for what they want if the game never asked in the first place. So if you want an Adventure-like storytelling, that`s fine and can work well. Just don`t go ahead and create sides that never needed to be created for the sake of catering to someone`s will.

That choice is far from absolutely meaningless if two groups have clashing interests in the same product - that makes it less frustrating and intrusive to those who have such clashing tastes, so that they can go on enjoying the game without it coming at the other side's expense. They're called "options" for a reason, and no, it doesn't sacrifice both because it gives them control of how they want to enjoy their game.

 

So if I want an Adventure-like storytelling and you do don't, are you really going to say you're content with them ignoring you over what I want? Or would you rather they acknowledge your preferences as well? Would you really like me telling you "my way or the highway" or would you like me to not be so greedy about it?

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Alright, so now is semantics time. You seem to use the same word for a lot of different concepts. It is possible to have simple storytelling for a complex story; and it's possible to have complex storytelling for a simple story. I'm not sure whether you are an advocate of a complex story or complex storytelling.

 

In any case, answering your first doubt, it's very hard to convey a sense of progress and conquer using game mechanics as your primary form of narration. However, it's still a must. Gameplay tells stories through their progression and this is, in fact, what makes them fun in the first place. The narrator, however, is the player him/herself through his or her actions within the game mechanics. Every playthrough of Tetris tells a story - do not confuse story with drama, the term for stories with the specific construction we're used to. Don't use vague terms. Even though you said you could be even more vague about abstract terms like entertainment and fun, please don't be. It diverts the discussion, as you can put basically any concept in the same basket this way. If the recollection of the experience of a game doesn't need a certain element, like the cutscenes or the stages, to convey a concise sense of progression, then the element simply shouldn't be there. Otherwise we should just stick to giving every single option possible to the player. Classic Mode, No-Gameplay Mode, No-Death Mode, All-Death Mode, Left-to-Right Direction, Soviet-Style Montage Cutscenes and even Not Playing the Game Whatsoever.

 

I tend to deny choice, yes. Choice isn't important unless there is a specific reason for it to be there under a greater scheme of things. What's really the point of giving the player a choice like that? I'd be really content if they ignored me and implemented Adventure-style cutscenes because the Adventure-style cutscenes would then be thought of and made as integral parts of the experience (which they can't be if I'm to design the game in such a way that someone can ignore them and not miss anything). Run me over if this is what makes the game complete in its own right, but be absolute about it. It's not a matter of greed - choices like the one you're proposing only solve a problem they themselves create, which is the desire for another kind of experience.

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Alright, so now is semantics time. You seem to use the same word for a lot of different concepts. It is possible to have simple storytelling for a complex story; and it's possible to have complex storytelling for a simple story. I'm not sure whether you are an advocate of a complex story or complex storytelling.

In a sense, either one is fine. I'm not that picky an advocate of a complex story or storytelling. (tho to be honest, the line between them is so murky that I tend to not see too much of a difference at times due to the overlap)

 

But if I absolutely had to choose, it would be a complex story. The main thing I enjoy is seeing multiple POVs from different characters, and seeing the beginning, middle, and end of things with a rising action and a conclusion. I want it to be gripping but not to hard to understand, and games like the Adventures are prime examples of this as the only complex thing about them is the different point of views that come from the different characters involved and how that affects their actions.

 

 

 

I tend to deny choice, yes. Choice isn't important unless there is a specific reason for it to be there under a greater scheme of things. What's really the point of giving the player a choice like that? I'd be really content if they ignored me and implemented Adventure-style cutscenes because the Adventure-style cutscenes would then be thought of and made as integral parts of the experience (which they can't be if I'm to design the game in such a way that someone can ignore them and not miss anything). Run me over if this is what makes the game complete in its own right, but be absolute about it. It's not a matter of greed - choices like the one you're proposing only solve a problem they themselves create, which is the desire for another kind of experience.

The point in giving the player that choice is so that the things they doesn't stomp over the ones who prefer something different in the same package. And that's the kind of thing that doesn't fly with me at all.

 

It's like that candy bar example I gave earlier, two kids want their parent to buy them candy, but the one who gets the chocolate bar they wanted isn't fond of the other for getting a lollipop and would rather take that away so they can have a chocolate bar like them - who exactly is anyone to force someone else to enjoy what they like other than the one giving them the candy? I don't sympathize with those who would mock and berate those who would prefer one or the other and would be content to stomp the other out to have their way. That's the main reason I call it greedy, because that's usually the intent from a lot of fans when it doesn't have to be that way at all, especially in a franchise like this where it has the flexibility to deliver a simplistic plot or a more fleshed out one with varying degrees of intensity. I'm aware that people prefer the simplicity of the classics while others like the fleshed out Adventure-styled plots, but I don't believe either side has to lose out for the other.

 

Now if you're content to be run over about it, that's fine. At least you're admitting that you're sacrificing something you'd prefer, and it's a lot more altruistic than a lot of fans would be. But I stand the complete opposite of that and would rather you not be anymore than I would like it done to myself. I'm not one to deny choice to those who'd also want to enjoy the same thing, and that lack of flexibility causes problems in itself because one side has to miss out on something they enjoy and many of us know how frustrating that is in itself. No one should have to be forced into someone else's preferences if it is flexible to accommodate them, and I believe that there is room to accommodate such differences here.

 

If you don't, this is something we'll have to agree to disagree on.

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I find that rather hard to believe when you recently made an entire topic condemning the very idea of having a complex plot and anything related to it at all.

 

I'd rather have the ridiculous Sonic Adventure plots than a fragmented game, certainly. I'd rather not have either ideally. 

 

Except you tend to treat their plots like a bad thing, and if not that, you disregard those who don't want anything less than what the Adventures have delivered.

 

But I still wouldn't say that they were that complex to most platformers.

 

Megaman starts ...

 

At least until the ZX series, but this is already detailed enough as it is.

 

Then there's Rayman 2..

 

Then there's Ratchet and Clank...

 

It makes little sense to single out the Sonic Adventure games for this in particular as more complex than other platformers out there.

 

All I'm pointing out is that I think Sonic was built on a minimalist plot that was told though the atmosphere of the music and art direction. Sure, S3AK had some cute cutscenes, but they were very unobtrusive and whilst being very simple were very effective and kept the action moving fast. Sonic CD is another great example of atmosphere dictating the narrative. I don't think that the more complex and notably over-the-top plots of the Adventure titles were particularly faithful to the original roots of the Sonic franchise. Yes, there are other platformers that have equally, or more, complex plots (albeit I wouldn't say that they dealt with as over-the-top elements such as genocide and grief-fuelled hatred). I simply think Sonic games are better suited for the simple and minimalistic design choice. As I said, this isn't necessarily a 'dumbing down' choice: look at Shadow of the Colossus, Portal and Ico.  It's entirely subjective but that's what all opinions are. My opinion is no less valid than yours and vice-versa. All that matters is which argument is more convincing, which I guess is for others to decide.

 

 

I really question what you actually know about game design, because the first thing I see you target is everything except the actual game itself. Like what you're doing now. Hardly anything you're talking about here has to do with the game part of game design...

 

It's understandable that this isn't the topic about game design, but even so whenever there is a topic about it I've hardly ever seen you say anything about the actual game as you instead attack the story aspects of it.

 

You just answered your own point here, this thread is titled:

 

'The Sonic mythos under your pen: how would you write the series?'

 

Of course I'm going to be focusing on the plot! I'm trying to keep on the point of the thread and not go on a wild tangent on all the other aspects of game design. If you want to discuss game design we can move that to another thread and if I haven't discussed it before that doesn't mean I don't value all the other aspects of game design. Story directly affects the presentation of the game but I of course know that the series is in dire needs of getting the gameplay in order. That said, I do think Sonic Team are more talented then they get credit for. 

 

 

I'm not trying to please everyone, but I'd rather they try to please as many as many people as they can which is something they can do. And what I think is problematic is that you treat such storytelling as black and white when there are many different ways they could tell a story. Colors didn't need an complex Sonic Adventure plot, it just needed a coherent plot that had more action in it than it had jokes; Generations could have had the other characters at least actively doing something in the story to help Sonic defeat Time Eater if they weren't going to be playable instead of them standing around and letting Sonic do everything; and Lost World could have had more intensity put into it.

 

Now, ideally I would like things to be more like Sonic Adventure where you can see different POVs of other characters,  but I would at the very least like to see other characters aside from Sonic take action in someway even if they're not playable. That's something other platformers have also done, regardless of how simplistic or complex their plots have been.

 

All in all, it's not a matter of either minimalist plot or a complex Sonic Adventure plot. It's about making a strong plot either way it goes, and while I do have my preferences toward the Adventures, I've played more than enough games to realize that's not the only style of plot out there Sonic can do.

 

Of course there's many different ways to approach story-telling, I was using the Complex Story vs Minimalism because it's what I see used as the two binary plots most often in comparisons for this franchise. All I'm trying to do is argue in favour of minimalism because that's what I'd personally prefer to see. 

 

 

Except that sense of identity in Sonic's case happens to have a strong multidemographic appeal where different facets like particular aspects of a single game: some people love the games for the lush backgrounds, some people love it for the world-building, some people love it for the characters, even while all of them can love it for the gameplay. This can all be accomplished in one unified product. The problem I have regarding your thoughts is that you'd rather some of this be taken away for your sake, which in a way infringes on those who want them around.

 

True, but I don't think trying to reach absolutely everyone through a Standard Mode and a Classic Mode is a very good way to make a game. If Sonic Team were able to create a unified product that married the art, world-building, characters and gameplay then it would probably be a really great game. I'm not against a Sonic game that isn't designed exactly for my tastes, mostly because I do like both Sonic Adventure titles (despite many misgivings), Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations and they certainly don't tick my ideal Sonic checkboxes. They are still (partially for the Adventure titles) well-designed and that's all that matters to me. The thing with having the option between a Standard Mode and Classic Mode is that it fragments the game, that's my problem with it.

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Kid Icarus Uprising is pretty much the perfect way to handle a Sonic story IMO, but something like that would have the characters chatting during the levels a LOT and I'm not sure if people would be up for that after the last few attempts at that. As long as the dialogue is good and the story is fast paced and simple, it should be fine, but who knows. Some people like levels to be completely devoid of dialogue. 

This would probably work best if a Sonic game adapting this was much more story-based, and I think quite frankly I want to see something similar like this with Sonic. The plot should still convey a story, yet the dialogue and character interactions should be interesting, enjoyable, or just done well. I don't want convoluted plots, nor do I want stories that are as simple as "Sonic is good, Eggman is bad, Good stops bad". If I had the pen to write the Sonic series, I would change up the characters to be more dynamic, and be much more interesting. Forget the story having to seem serious or being simple, the story should be awesome, entertaining, and at times filled with emotion that will attach the players to the characters even more.

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All I'm pointing out is that I think Sonic was built on a minimalist plot that was told though the atmosphere of the music and art direction. 

Here's the thing: so have other platformers.

 

That doesn't stop them from being flexible enough to tackle something much more fleshed out than a barebones plot. Megaman is the prime example of this, starting off as minimal as Sonic before growing much more complex as the franchise kept on when it went into later series such as X and Zero.

 

Yes, there are other platformers that have equally, or more, complex plots (albeit I wouldn't say that they dealt with as over-the-top elements such as genocide and grief-fuelled hatred).

And you're completely ignoring the Megaman franchise, which is a series that dealt with just those very things in its franchise starting with the X series. And Zero just makes it more blatant and explicit when you see people get mowed down on screen.

 

There's also the Ratchet and Clank franchise where the Future series has the attempted genocide of Ratchet's very race in the backstory and and the grief it caused another lombax who was guilty of accidentally setting it in motion. And given you're non-platformer examples of miminalist plots, even Mario of all franchise has dealt with things like grief-fuelled hatred and other over-the-top elements you wouldn't even associate Mario with when it comes to the RPGs (particularly the Paper Mario series).

 

I simply think Sonic games are better suited for the simple and minimalistic design choice.

And I think Sonic games deserve more flexibility than that.

 

 

 

True, but I don't think trying to reach absolutely everyone through a Standard Mode and a Classic Mode is a very good way to make a game. If Sonic Team were able to create a unified product that married the art, world-building, characters and gameplay then it would probably be a really great game. I'm not against a Sonic game that isn't designed exactly for my tastes, mostly because I do like both Sonic Adventure titles (despite many misgivings), Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations and they certainly don't tick my ideal Sonic checkboxes. They are still (partially for the Adventure titles) well-designed and that's all that matters to me. The thing with having the option between a Standard Mode and Classic Mode is that it fragments the game, that's my problem with it.

And I really fail to see how. Because whatever you see as fragmenting it is something I see that doesn't intrude on the tastes of two different groups when it comes to how they enjoy a plot in their games: one gets the minimal plot they prefer while the other gets the more detailed one and neither of them are being forced into the other's preferences. 

 

They both still get the art, the world-building, characters and gameplay, but Classic Mode has less detailing of the plot (such as dialogue, intermissions, and scenes between levels) than the Adventure Mode - explain how this one difference fragments the game entirely, because I don't see it.

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I don't know how I would write the Sonic series actually. I would just ask for ideas from fans and see what they want.

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When you say mythos the first thing to come to my mind is world building.  If I were in charge i might try for a consistent world with land marks and all that.  Sonic games love their islands so I'm inclined to believe a very large majority of settings just take place on islands. South Island, West Side Island, Angel Island, Flicky Island.

 

Even in Sonic Boom we've got Bygone Island and some other compact land masses.   I'd give Sonic a home base. Not exactly the place he lays his head every night, but a place he'd call 'home'.  I was always fond of that strange plane wreck on the beach he lived in on the OVA but I'm not settled on that.  I do tend to believe Sonic has always lived on South Island. A  place where life is simple and quiet and the residence don't lead very complex lives.  So if I throw Boom into the mix. South Island turns into Bygone Island.

 

Then moving onto West Side island, I've imagined there is a large city there. Maybe it's Station Square or some other city but Humans possibly inhabit the area along with animal people like Sonic. Why?  There is no real answer to this. It's Dragon Ball logic. Anthro's living together with humans and dinosaurs running wild in the wastelands.  We don't need a reason, just go with it.  

 

But anyway, West Side island is basically 'America' with a president and military and everything.  By this logic, Soleanna is also an island kingdom far away.

 

Since both West Side and Soleanna are far more technologically advanced than South Island, I'd place events such as Sonic Riders in one of those two locations.

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I'm not ENTIRELY sure if this counts under the Mythos thing, but I made this post in the I figured it might be relevant enough to repost here.

 

 

I have a bit of a headcanon/partial theory in regards to South Island, West Side Island, Station Square, wherever Never Lake is located and by proxy Little Planet, and Angel Island. It also concerns Eggman.

 

1) These 4/5ish areas compose a place known to the Sonic world as the Devil's Archipelago.

 

2) Angel Island was actually stuck in temporal stasis sometime after the events of the first Perfect Chaos attack, which is why Knuckles can somehow be the last of his kind despite the echidna race supposedly being extinct by the time of the first few Sonic games; he was born BEFORE Perfect Chaos' attack, but was trapped in stasis AFTER the attack. Why and how he was trapped is unknown and details I'm still working on, but this is the general gist.

 

3) Little Planet/Never Lake and Angel Island both have temporal/dimensional affecting capabilities due to Time Stones/Master Emerald/something along those lines, and while the areas aren't necessarily close, the temporal/reality warping properties of both clash with each other, causing weird temporal distortions and dimensional screw-ups, such as people and seacraft/aircraft disappearing or people somehow being transported hours, days, weeks, or even years into the future. Because this affected the general area that South, West Side, Station Square, Little Planet, and Angel Island occupied, it became known as the Devil's Archipelago (it's also a partial reference to the Bermuda Triangle, which is also known as the Devil's Triangle). Additionally, due to the reputation of the area, only the natives of the islands (which were mostly animals and anthros like Tails and Sonic) were willing to settle there.

 

4) So where does Station Square and Eggman fit in? In the former's case, it is one of the few human settlements close to the Devil's Archipelago, and uses the mystique and terror of the area to drum up tourism. Also Angel Island being so close by (although this part's a bit shaky since I was never certain if Station Square was ON Angel Island, or just really near Angel Island) meant that it would fit in Sonic Adventure 1.

 

Eggman of course also takes advantage of the rumors behind the Devil's Archipelago to start grabbing resources for his eventual world conquest. After all, who the hell was going to check up on his operations in one of the most scary locations in the world? Of course, Eggman didn't take into consideration that Sonic would butt in on him, hence why a lot of the boss fights in Sonic 1 tended to look more like construction equipment (Wrecking ball, etc.). Additionally later on, the Death Egg would crash into Angel Island in Sonic 3, causing the temporal stasis/reality warp thing to completely shut off, awakening Knuckles in the process, and in Sonic CD was the whole Little Planet fiasco.

 

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I would make it so there would be a hints of consistency within the series, and many of the things mentioned in the original Japanese manuals would be of greater relevance. 

 

Like Dejablue said above,I believe many events happen on the classic series islands, and they should be places that are visited often, if different parts of the islands, so everyone is not visiting the same places over and over. There should be more backstory given on South and Westside Island, as they had ancient civilizations too, that are like the Echidnas, and probably had as colourful histories as them too.  I think I would introduce more islands and they would have similar quirks to South, West, and Angel Island. Many of the islands would be tropical as Sonic seems to live on a planet that is very warm and steamy, reminiscent of ancient times, or maybe the islands are just situated near the equator. I think that Sonic's world is probably composed of many small thin tropical continents and islands scattered around a large ocean. 

 

I think there should be more, if somewhat subtle nods to the Chaos Emeralds and their effect on Sonic's planet. Judging by the manuals the Chaos Emeralds seem to have an effect on many islands. Maybe there should be more abnormalities that are caused by the Emeralds, such as rapid growth of life and changing climates, and more references of the Chaos Emeralds supplying things energy. Maybe this could create more somewhat psychedelic and interesting locations similar to what was in Sonic CD(And a bit of Sonic 1), that I think the series is in great lack of. 

 

There should be more ancient civilizations and ruins showed around, as Sonic's planet seems to be a world full of lost peoples and sites even more rich than ours. 

 

Even though they don't directly have to be visited or showed again, I think places like The Little Planet and Flickies Island should be referenced showing that they still exist.

 

Maybe there should be a bit more explained about the Special Zone and it's connections with Sonic's planet. Like, the Chaos Emeralds were probably produced in the Special Zone, and maybe that's were the rings come from too.

 

*WARNING. CONVOLUTED HEAD CANNON ABOUT CHAOS AND SUPER EMERALDS AHEAD. READ AT OWN RISK.* 

 

The Chaos Emeralds in my mind were originally huge, and were basically the Super Emeralds. They came from the Special Zone, and the Echidnas found a way to get them out of the special zone. They created a enormous palace where the Emeralds stayed, giving off energy and strengthening the Echina civilization. Then a terrible crisis happened, the Birth of Chaos, a mutant Chao. When the Echidnas disappeared forever, and the land the Echidnas lived on became Angel Island, the enormous Chaos Emeralds were split in two. One group stayed on Angel Island and would become the group that Knuckles would guard at the backstory to Sonic 3. The other group disappeared into the special zone again. They became more unstable and would change colour and shape, going from Hexagonal to Octagonal, and back again. This group would affect many islands on Sonic's planet, and many civilization like South and West probably were influenced by them. 

 

When Sonic 3 started, Knuckles was guarding the group of Chaos Emeralds that remained on Angel Island. When the Death Egg hit, these emeralds became excited and disappeared into the Special Zone. Meanwhile, Sonic already had the 7 Emeralds from the other group, and Knuckles took them. Either he thinks that those were the ones that disappeared, or he knows that's a different group and just wants to put any kind of emeralds back into hidden palace. So he takes Sonic's emeralds and puts them into Hidden Palace. The Emeralds that Sonic and Tails find throughout Sonic 3 are actually the ones that disappeared into the Special Zone when the Death Egg hit. 

 

When Sonic and Tails go to Hidden Palace, they put their Emeralds on the pedestals, they combine with the other group, and they become the huge Super Emeralds, although gray and without power. The Special Zones in Sonic & Knuckles are actually just methods of recharging the Super Emeralds. 

 

After Sonic 3 & Knuckles, both pairs of Chaos Emeralds stay together as the Super Emeralds. For SOME reason, they start to get smaller but retain their diamond cut shape. 

 

Also, for SOME reason, the Chaos Emeralds are dispersed from Angel Island and would start to roam around again. This is evident in most modern games as they are usually just around. I presently have no idea why the Chaos Emeralds left Angel Island and started to roam again. 

 

HEAD CANNON ABOUT CHAOS EMERALDS OVER. 

 

If you've noticed, I've been calling the planet Sonic's world or Sonic's planet. That's because in my head, its neither Earth or Mobius or whatever. It's Sonic's planet.

 

Also, like Dejablue said, perhaps Sonic has a home. I will say that it's the airplane home from the OVA as I find it fitting, and a place that Sonic would enjoy living. He definitely does not spend much time there though. He's mostly a nomad, and only shows up at the airplane home occasionally. 

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Basically combine Flynn with Penders with Kitching with Maekawa, except even deeper and darker. Sonic needs to really stick out from platformers at large nowadays, and the writing could contribute a huge chunk. Now that Megaman and Castlevania are almost certainly dead (not like I don't want to revive them), Sonic could take their place as the darker and more story-driven alternative to Mario, like how he used to be. 

 

* The World: Settings from past games will recur as opposed to being simply recycled. What does that mean? Think SA1 Ice Cap as opposed to Windy Hill or S4E1: while the name and location are the same, the level itself is different. Even show change in how the place has become over the years it's been off-screen. The same applies to major hub worlds, like Angel Island, Station Square, and whatnot. Even something as wonky as the Lost Hex could work, as Spin Attaxx pointed out and provided a nice demonstration of.

* The Characters: Characters should definitely increase in number and depth. Something like Archie at its peak, except with even more characters. Who, exactly? Characters provided from all of the other Sonic canons should jump into the games if need be, but we should focus quite a bit on the video game cast at first. Unscrap both the scrap-ees and the scrappies of the series. Even characters like Elise, Eggman Nega, Omochao, and the Deadly Six can be improved, but should probably be put away for a while as they are so hated. But adding in all the non-game characters including favorites like Cosmo and Sally, maybe they don't need saving. 

The heroes and villains should be about equal in number, rather than heroes outnumbering villains like normal. I want Sonic to sport a true rogues gallery in his series. Remember back when Knuckles had his own rogues gallery? We need that back. Characters should all be rounded as opposed to flat.

* Tone: A balanced tone between light and dark. Probably like the Adventure series balance as opposed to the failed attempt done by Lost World.

* Humor: No more food jokes, or any dumb jokes for that matter. 

* Music: I'd bring back the Adventure style of music, Lost World's style isn't my cup of tea.

 

 

 

Honestly? How Boom does it.

 

If the characters insist on being one-note they might as well go all the way than write a shallow attempt at depth into their characters.

 

Just have Sonic and his band of doofuses go on a silly adventure against a fat guy who makes robots.  

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I'm really digging SenED's idea about Devil's Archipelago. Magical McGuffins in generally close vicinity of each other basically glitches out reality and creates a hidden time pocket that only Eggman and few others are intelligent or resourceful enough to find their way out.  For Eggman it's a perfect fortress of (mostly) solitude. Out in the open with relatively little to oppose him.

 

Even if every military in the world is out for his blood, they can't touch him at all until he decides to go out with his superior technology.   Sonic and crew can get out of the Archipelago because they were born in it and pretty much understand it instinctively.  Perhaps the chaos emeralds mutated normal animals into anthros with variances like Sonic's speed and Tails' twin tails. 

 

Hmm. I don't think Station Square is on Angel island tho. Though my memory is hazy. The reason you can get to the Master Emerald shrine in SA1 is because Angel Island fell into ocean. And you got there via the Mystic Ruins.

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I think if I was in control of Sonic's "mythos," I'd probably steer the series towards a heightened sense of wonder. Outside of his severe attitude, I always liked that Sonic as a character is a roaming vagabond because he wants to see as much of the world as possible. Obviously Sonic games are very rarely set in the same place, but the games have come to rely on a set of tropes and cliches which each game usually meets (a level in a city, a "Green Hill" level,  etc.), but I'd like to take the character somewhere really new and refreshing.

 

My favourite show right now is Steven Universe, and it manages to capture pretty neatly the ideas I had in my head when I would think about what I'd like to do with Sonic. I'd steer pretty far off the more realistic feel the last few Sonic games have had and aim for a more simple, pretty and fantastical world oozing a beautiful, "gorgeous" atmosphere. While the last few games have showed us how similar Sonic's world is to ours, I'd maybe start to show how a lot of it isn't anything like ours. I went and pulled some shots from Steven Universe's production blog to give a vague idea of what I'm talking about: 

 

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A limited capacity for characters a la Generations is barely any less neglecting than leaving them out. You can put a lot more effort rather than making other characters no more than glorified cheerleaders - that doesn't do them or the fans that love them any favors, dude.

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A limited capacity for characters a la Generations is barely any less neglecting than leaving them out. You can put a lot more effort rather than making other characters no more than glorified cheerleaders - that doesn't do them or the fans that love them any favors, dude.

 

I mean, yeah, I guess. I meant on the whole in Generations though, not just specifically in it's story. In some of the bonus stuff of Generations characters show up in levels to help Sonic and stuff (like the race with Knuckles, or that one level where you hang out with Espio), but whatever. I mean it's not like I'm actually making the games or anything so it's kind of a non-issue... *shrug*

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