Jump to content
Awoo.

Sonic Games for the Fans VS Sonic Team Vision


Regulus

Recommended Posts

Here's something I think would be interesting to tackle. Do you think Sonic Team should be making games for the various groups in the fanbase or do you think they would be better off making games that they want to make for their own artistic vision?

I imagine a lot of people want to see Sonic Team make a game for the fans because of how Sonic Team has been pretty neglectful of certain fan demands. Despite the fanbase being very fragmented, I would argue there are some fan demands that unite the various fan groups: more playable characters, a fleshed out story and a return to the older personalties of existing characters like Knuckles and Shadow for example. I think the vast majority of fans want aspects like these to come back, which Sonic Team has wilfully avoided, opting for what we have now. 

That said, I think Sonic Team have tried to please the fanbase in vague ways. Sonic 4 was for the Classics fans, Sonic Generations was trying to please everyone and, although not made by Sonic Team, Sonic Boom had the whole Adventure vibe going on. The problem is that when Sonic games try to please the fans, it always seems to go a bit awry.

I personally think that Sonic games should be made for their own artistic vision, which is why I don't particularly care about the debates on Sonic's friends and the return of a more meaningful plot e.t.c. Not that I wouldn't want to see Sonic Team go back to this, but it's the attitude that Sonic Team should do this for the fans which I vehemently disagree with. If they do it then cool, but I don't want the studio to market their games entirely for their fans.

What do you guys think?

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What if Sonic Team wanted to make another NiGHTs game? Iizuka would probably jump at the chance to make a proper sequel to Nights (Journey Of Dreams was crippled by SEGA forcing it onto the Wii, from what I understand). Or develop a new IP? 

Sonic Team are a really odd studio in the current landscape - they are the people who make Sonic games, they pretty much make Sonic games constantly, they are paid and financed with the sole expectation that they make Sonic games. They have only made 12 other franchises (not counting the numerous Puyo Pops) in their 26 years of existence, and most of those are one offs like Ristar, Nights, Billy Hatcher or Chu Chu Rocket. Phantasy Star was their only other long running franchise that isn't a puzzle game, and now SEGA develop that inhouse. No other studio has operated like that, to my knowledge, besides the studios who similarly churn out Nintendo franchises, or the Final Fantasy team at Squeenix, which is more like 2 or 3 teams.

Sonic Team haven't developed a game that wasn't Sonic, or Puyo Pop, in nearly ten years! SEGA doesn't keep them on the books to have artistic vision, that's probably why Yuji Naka left. 

In short, I'm not sure what 'the Sonic game Sonic Team wants to make' would look like, because that's not really how they operate.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Regulus said:

I personally think that Sonic games should be made for their own artistic vision

They've been doing a mix of both that and trying to please us, but people complain because of how questionable the experimental parts of the gameplay are and how much of an acquired taste they've been as of late. I'm fine with them doing whatever as long as its not on the level of werehog (which I mostly like, but again, its out-there as fuck) or swordplay, but also make sure it's acceptable to a broad audience that isn't used to Sonic games having questionable controls. They need a mix of both pleasing fans and/or the general market and pleasing themselves, but more on the former like how every artist should focus on making themselves happy with their work.

Kinda unrelated, but I have a feeling that no one other than the lead designers play test these games, like, why would anyone with the ability to fix what's wrong with how a game plays allow the devs to make Sonic have stiff turning at high speed or have such a convoluted control scheme?

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wouldn't hurt for them to listen to fans a little bit. For years, it seems like they've been releasing games with features that no one asked for and are largely negatively received. Lost World being the latest offender. They had a great thing going on with the Hedgehog Engine gameplay introduced in Unleashed, with Generations and Colors having the most positive reception in years. And then they throw it out the window for a Super Mario 64 expy. Sure, it's swayed some people but the majority consensus is that it was sub-par at best. Thing is, if they're not making the games for the fans, who are they making them for? I'm not against the idea of them doing their own thing but at the same time, since they're making products with the intent of catering to people, it should be a minimum objective to focus on pleasing the fan base. And one great way of doing that is by listening to feedback. Many fans have voiced their opinions and there are ideas that will satisfy as well as bring back deterring fans, like the reintroduction of the Chao Garden with the addition online capabilities. An army of Sonic fans would sign up for online Chao tournaments or racing or even the ability to share their Chao, not to mention bragging rights on the leader boards.

They've been in the industry for nearly three decades. They've had plenty of things that have worked splendidly for the series, many which have set a standard of quality for the franchise that it hasn't lived up to since their introduction. There's no reason they should still be in an experimental stage. The most successful video game franchises have worked off a basic formula for years and instead of constantly changing them, they evolve and add on. Define Sonic and then capitalize on its strengths.  As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe they should go back to basics but not have Dimps or whoever do it for them, but really study the first three games to see what made them so fun, not just the controls, but also the open levels and well placed and designed set pieces. There's more to it than just turning everything sideways and slapping Sonic 2's themes on everything with a new coat of paint. I think Iizuka and co should go back and play Sonic 3 and make something that feels like an extension of the game if they wanna make a "classic styled" game.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the Sonic games should be made both for fans and the creators' vision. These two things can't exist without each other; if it is only made for their vision, they would just blindly make games, always ignoring the needs of the fans, and their games would be less and less successful. Unfortunately, in my opinion Sonic is on this route lately. But video games are actually made for people to enjoy them, so fans can't be ignored. Their own vision is also essential, since they actually create the games, and they invent the story, the gameplay and everything else.

So, the solution to the recent 'Sonic-crisis', is the solution to everything: they have to cooperate with the fans, and create their OWN game, by their vision. They mustn't ignore their fans' needs, because then they will leave the franchise. They have to listen to their feedback, and create the games with both the fans' and their opinion. I think that is the key to keep Sonic exciting and loved by all fans.

Personally, I would really like to see the normal Sonic games, which were made until 2013. Generations and Colors are half-half games for me, they had elements from both 'good' and 'bad'. Lost World wouldn't be a bad idea, but it is too 'childish', with no serious (or even finished!) story, and also its graphics were too tawdry for me. It really reminded me of a Super Mario game...

I always loved that how direct SEGA and Sonic Team is to their fans, and that is an advantage they should use. It would be much easier to simply listen to the fans, and create games that match both the fans' and the creators' opinion. I hope they will finally understand this, and I am sure this would work.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SonicDX said:

Lost World wouldn't be a bad idea, but it is too 'childish', with no serious (or even finished!) story,

What do you mean no finished story? Preeeeety sure they wrapped up all the plot points by the game's end.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Azul said:

What do you mean no finished story? Preeeeety sure they wrapped up all the plot points by the game's end.

I meant I heard an interview with one of the story writers, and he has said they haven't got time to finish the originally planned story, so they made a shortened one, which can be less better than the original one, I guess. But I haven't played Lost World, so I might be wrong about that, sorry! :V

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Hyp3hat said:

What if Sonic Team wanted to make another NiGHTs game? Iizuka would probably jump at the chance to make a proper sequel to Nights (Journey Of Dreams was crippled by SEGA forcing it onto the Wii, from what I understand). Or develop a new IP? 

That's a really good point. I would bet they are probably very tired of constantly making failing Sonic games. I know I would be.

55 minutes ago, Azul said:

It wouldn't hurt for them to listen to fans a little bit. For years, it seems like they've been releasing games with features that no one asked for and are largely negatively received. Lost World being the latest offender.

A good point. I also didn't like Lost World and thought it was a massive step back from Generations. I think its hard to say where the drastic change in gameplay came from, whether it stemmed from the fans who hate Boost or just Nintendo appeasing. It was probably Nintendo appeasing, but I think the general distaste for Boost played a part in it. I'd wager to guess a lot of fans don't even like Generations nowadays with the amount of criticism I see  it getting, despite it being a far better product than any other Sonic game in over 20 years. I really do think the radical direction SEGA went off in with Lost World and Boom was because of fan feedback on the Boost series, and I think it was a gigantic mistake. That's why I'm concerned with Sonic Team listening to fans.

If Sonic refined Boost and continued in that direction I'm almost certain Sonic would be in a much better situation now. 

I think you are right, it's a mixture of Sonic Team making truly bizarre twists on their games (werehog, swords e.t.c) that are utterly atrocious concepts and then responding to fan feedback in the worst possible way. In a way where even fans aren't pleased. 

Keep in mind though that the whole Boost formula came from Sonic Team, that's why I think it's best that Sonic Team trusts their own instincts a bit. And to be honest, most of their utterly terrible ideas come from copying others, the Werehog is literally a terrible God of War, Lost World is a lame Mario Galaxy and Black Knight is obviously Zelda inspired. I think Sonic Team are usually pretty reliable when they actually trust in themselves and do their own thing, such as the Boost and Wisps. 

1 hour ago, Azul said:

Thing is, if they're not making the games for the fans, who are they making them for?

General gamers. And I appreciate your sentiment, obviously the fans should be considered to an extent, but I usually think it is better when a studio tries to keep fan service (and I don't mean in a eye candy sense) on the backburner.

29 minutes ago, SonicDX said:

I think the Sonic games should be made both for fans and the creators' vision. These two things can't exist without each other; if it is only made for their vision, they would just blindly make games, always ignoring the needs of the fans, and their games would be less and less successful. 

That's not true, the designers can create stuff the fans love and have no idea of. The elemental shields, Super Sonic, Tails and Chao were not due to fan feedback, but most fans like them. 

Fan service can be a great thing, but I think the best kind of fan service is the fan service that the fans had no comprehension of. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Regulus said:

The elemental shields, Super Sonic, Tails and Chao were not due to fan feedback, but most fans like them.

With this example, you've actually agreed what I have said. The creators' vision and fans' needings can't exist without each other: the creators invented something (it's their vision), and the fans loved it (fans' feedback). So they just work together, if the fans wouldn't like it, it wouldn't be successful. The creators can't just make games blindly, for themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does Sonic Team even have a coherent vision for the series, at this point? We can't attribute all the chaos in the series to trying to please the fans. Too much of the series' history seems to have been just throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck...or not even bothering to look, and just throwing more stuff. There's no sign of a Miyamoto or Kojima or whoever who's just been too besieged by fan demands to put his vision in place.

The actual best answer, of course, is that Sonic Team should listen to me and make games for me. Me and no one else.

  • Thumbs Up 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In an ideal world, we shouldn't have to choose between the two. Sonic Team should be able to make games based on their own artistic vision, while still factoring in (to an extent) feedback from the series' fans and reviewers into the development of their games. The problem is that Sonic Team have historically proven to be consistently inept on both fronts.

Sonic Team's artistic choices have usually resulted in gameplay concepts that turn out subpar in their execution, and in some cases outright questionable from the very beginning. Making a "more mature" Sonic spinoff with weapons and cursing was Takashi Iizuka's idea of making a spinoff game starring Shadow (and contrary to popular belief, he had these plans for Shadow ever since development of Adventure 2, this was well before Sonic Team made a poll asking fans on what character they would like to see get a spinoff before Shadow the Hedgehog's reveal).  On a similar note, making a werewolf concept of Sonic was Yoshihada Hashimoto and Sachiko Kawamura's idea when they were developing Sonic Unleashed, with Kawamura pointing out that the Werehog would create a divisive reaction among fans and Hashimoto carrying on with the concept in spite of that because he didn't see it as a bad thing.

At the same time, when it comes to fan feedback, they've previously shown that what feedback they do respond to largely amounts to lip service. When Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I's "beta" was initially leaked and had come under fire by fans over the game's physics, music instrumentation, and automation, the Sonic 4 PR campaign throughout the entire saga championed how feedback was important to the game's development (to the point of holding a feedback session at SoA HQ, which started with RubyEclipse himself writing "physics" on top the whiteboard before anyone else said anything). Such complaints were acknowledged, but none of them were addressed during Episode I's delay (if anything, the leaked "beta" is virtually the same as the final product, save for two replaced levels and some cosmetic changes). While Episode II did have some changes in all of these areas, they mostly amounted to small tweaks and alterations, with many other criticisms levied at Episode I left unattended. The changes made by the development team are so superficial in their implementation (especially compared with everything else that wasn't changed) that they were obviously done in regards to shutting up the crowd, rather than genuinely rethinking the game's direction.

  • Thumbs Up 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, SonicDX said:

With this example, you've actually agreed what I have said. The creators' vision and fans' needings can't exist without each other: the creators invented something (it's their vision), and the fans loved it (fans' feedback). So they just work together, if the fans wouldn't like it, it wouldn't be successful. The creators can't just make games blindly, for themselves.

It works for the reintroduction of these elements but that wasn't what I was getting at. The creation of these elements had nothing to do with fan feedback, it was entirely the creators trusting their instincts and doing their own thing. If it wasn't for vision over feedback we wouldn't have the elemental shields, super sonic, wisps and chao, that was the point if I worded it poorly. That's what I'm getting at. Obviously making games blindly is stupid, fan feedback should be factored to an extent, but I think it is better when the designers trust themselves and mostly do what they want.

21 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Does Sonic Team even have a coherent vision for the series, at this point? We can't attribute all the chaos in the series to trying to please the fans. Too much of the series' history seems to have been just throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck...or not even bothering to look, and just throwing more stuff. There's no sign of a Miyamoto or Kojima or whoever who's just been too besieged by fan demands to put his vision in place.

The actual best answer, of course, is that Sonic Team should listen to me and make games for me. Me and no one else.

Probably not, although I think the Boost vision was the closest and I think they would have done far better to keep to it. And of course, it's unfair to pin all the chaos on the fans, the fans aren't responsible at all. It's partly the designers' fault for trying too hard to please fans and failing miserably. I think with the likes of Miyamoto and Kojima they know when to do their own thing and not listen too much to fans. Kojima in particular likes to deliberately do what his fans don't want, with Raiden, Old Snake, Ninja from MGS2 and Venom Snake in MGS5 as examples of intentionally subverting fan desires. Kojima is a perfect example of when not marketing too much to fans makes a game special.

And obviously, we would all want a game marketed exclusively for us, but that's unrealistic for a franchise.

20 minutes ago, Gabe said:

In an ideal world, we shouldn't have to choose between the two. Sonic Team should be able to make games based on their own artistic vision, while still factoring in (to an extent) feedback from the series' fans and reviewers into the development of their games. The problem is that Sonic Team have historically proven to be consistently inept on both fronts.

Excellent point, although they hit gold with their vision through Boost and Wisps. And whilst there's a large portion of the fanbase that are now dissatisfied with Generations, the fanservice in that did pretty well.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the rule of thumb I believe creators should never try to please the fanbase. If we liked their previous works they probably know what they doing. I mean, taking it as subtle suggestion is okay, but if they have great idea for game about Blaze, they shouldn't make it about Shadow just because people want him.

Of course it's harder with Sega since they keep messing up. But in that case listening to whole Sonic fanbase is impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go off of their own vision, but throw in extra stuff for the fans. Like Rosalina's storybook in SMG or her as a secret in SM3DW. As in, keep the darker stuff to a text-based lore along with a bunch of deep implications, along with maybe even a post-game extra mode. Other characters could easily be added in that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.