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Mayor D

Summer of Sonic 2016 "Mr Yuji Naka is alright!"

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For my first time, it surely was quite the experience. Never been to any sort of convention type event before so I was a bit taken aback at everything.

It's also very surreal seeing so many Sonic fans in one place. I haven't really met another Sonic fan or people who have even talked about Sonic outside of the internet. It's amazing seeing such passion for the series with your own eyes. So many cool cosplays too.

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to meeting any guests for signatures. The queues... my god, the queues. I swear I must've been standing in the same spot for about 15 minutes before giving up. The line went from one end of the hall to the other AND curved right around. Eh, maybe next year I'll get one but maybe being patient would've landed me one.

However, there was a moment when Jun came out of nowhere and was standing directly next to me while I was watching the Naka and Iizuka Q&A towards the side of the stage. I've never internally squealed so hard in my life.  He took a pic with two other fans and quickly hurried back to his signing session. Man, I should've piped up and said hello.

Had fun with Mania. It's so nice having proper momentum again. The game controls and looks incredibly smooth. Can't wait for its release.

Above all that, seeing Crush 40 live was absolutely fantastic. I feel like I got my money's worth just for that last segment of the event. So much hype, so much excitement and the atmosphere was off the charts.

yh3f2fj.jpg

Hopefully I can find someone to have tag along with next time. But despite going alone, it was still a blast. I've no doubt we'll get another Kickstarter next year. I'm more than ready for it now.

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This was also my first time on going and I love every single thing about it. I have always dreamed to go and i finally got the chance this year! I also vlogged for the first time ever. I was happy to finally try Sonic Mania, which was an awesome game. I also tried Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice that was great also. I have to admit my favourite part about the event was seeing people with the same interest as me. I normally don't get the chance to speak to people with the same interest as me since i come from an area thats away from England since, am Scottish. I wish I could of spoke more to people also since am a extremely shy person but I was also happy to get on stage for the Sonic Jump Fever Competition, I may have not won it but I was happy to get 3rd place out of it all. Thanks to the event, I had the best experience of my life and I can't ask for anything better than that. 

Unfortunately also, I didn't get to meet Mike Pollock due to lines but i got to meet the rest of the people there, which was alright with me. I also got some pics with Jun and the two SEGA heads which was also amazing. The event went so fast to the point, I wished it was abit longer, but it happens. 

The event had inspired me to make even a new discord server for people that have an interest in Sonic in general. got some people to join also which was good. I loved every part of Summer Of Sonic and wish it will happen again next year because I am happy to go again. I really loved everything about it. 

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Something I forgot to mention. I witnessed up close a couple getting engaged at Summer of Sonic.

I had just left the Retro game area (in the main hall) and was heading for the Sonic Mania queue. I was quite near the main box (with all the controls etc) near the center of the room and I wasn't looking in front of me. I then turned to look head of me and I immediately stopped moving. I'd nearly walked into these two guys! One of which was down on one knee and was proposing to the other guy. So I watched, heard the guy propose and the other guy say "yes". They then kissed and people around them (including myself) applauded. That's the first time I've witnessed a couple getting engaged which is an incredibly cool thing to witness!!!

It's a good job I'd turned to look ahead of me when I did because otherwise I would have walked straight into them! Lol!

Such an amazing thing to witness!

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What a superb event, loved every minute of it. Should have a more detailed view of the event on my blog by the weekend. Loads of photos on Twitter as well of all the goodies. Big thanks to all the crew, organisers, guests and all the lovely people I met on Saturday

Update - Here is my blog post of the day - https://dseay25.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/summer-of-sonic-2016/

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Did everyone in here go to the same event as me? While it was good it was not at all ''awsome" or "the best day ever"

The queues were a joke through out and ruined what would have been a great day. The queue to get in resulted in me missing the first 2 events....and i started queuing at 10am! No explaination was given to me for this either. The queues to see each guest was beyond reasonable as were the queues to play sonic mania and meet the STC artists. 

I tried to queue up for most but simply gave up after no movement for ages and ages. I cannot understand why a "supermarket style" numbered ticket system was not introduced....especially for the game demos. You know the one,  you take a numbered ticket and go to the game desk when your number is shown / called. Its a simple enough and cheap enough system to employ. I knew many others at SoS felt this way too.

The cosplay contest was great, but would it have been too much effort to gave the ones who made such a great effort to dress up and "make the day" a small prize for doing so? Something small like a ltd SoS cosplay exclusive bookmark, a signed poster from all the guests or even a SoS badge or even a SoS sonic medal ...they're cheap enough if you order 25 plus as we do it in work all the time for the sports teams we run. Only one prize for one person i thought was a bit unfair.

The late running order resulted in me missing crush 40 due to having to leave not long in to the set in order to keep to public transport times home. And to top it off my ltd coin was loose in the tin when i had it and had scratched the whole inside of the case.

Overall i did not think this was as good as the 2013 SoS which was the last one i went to prior to this, but the guest list was impressive and i really really appreciate the effort that went in to organising this. I know they are volunteers and they do this hard work for us but i only say these things to offer ifeas for improvements, not to put the boot in.

However....i really do think the queue system needs sorting out for next time and needs a major overhaul. Also give more people an incetive to cone in homemade cosplay...i think these people are the ones who really make it an event  and should get some recogintion for their efforts. I would happily help out with this matter if needed next time too.

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1 hour ago, castell-neath said:

 

Quote

I started queuing at 10am! (cutting the post short for length)

Sorry you didn't have a good time, but, there are a number of things you have said here which are very unfair on the people who organised the event. 

 

Summer of Sonic opens it's doors at 10am. It's advised everywhere that if you want to ensure that you get in well on time of the event, or be one of the first people in, you need to get in line well in advance of the official opening time.

This year was no different, in this very topic topic you'll notice that multiple people advised everyone to get there early I advised people to come down from around 1 - 2 hours before the events open, over a month ago. Every time the event is on, there has been a long time to get in hence why it's always advised to get to SOS well in advance of the doors opening.

At an event which had 800 tickets sold, how is it the organisers fault that you came the moment the doors open resulting in you being last in line? 

 

The supermarket style ticketing system would cause more problems than it would solve, first of all, it requires someone on a tannoy to announce to everyone something like "NUMBER 22!" Aside from that being awful for everyone, it would never work since people wouldn't turn up and it would be an event at which people would have to randomly shout out numbers throughout the day which would disrupt peoples enjoyment of it. 

Even if you had a visual number display, it still means having a huge number of people near the pods, so what is the point?

Mania was always going to be a major draw for everyone, it was the first public showing of the event in the UK, the line length was about on par with any game convention which has a new major game for release, people were only allowed to play through one zone and were then asked to leave the pods upon a level completion, nothing else could have been done to speed up this process.

 

Regarding the complaint about Crush 40, it's always been advised that people to make sure they have enough time to enjoy the full days event, the event was scheduled to finish at 7PM, the event actually finished at around 7:05PM. If you had to go home or leave the venue early, that is not the responsibility of the organisers, it's yours.

 

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2 hours ago, The Tenth Doctor said:

What does Summer of Sonic mean to you? This little video shows what it means to staff and fans (I pop up! :p). It's heartwarming to know this touches so man lives.

 

It almost bought a tear to my eye. Almost. Except it didn't, because I didn't go. D:

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Re: Summer of Sonic 2016 issues.

In terms of the queue to get in, as @Mayor D said, it was indeed advised that you get there bright and early for the queue. In my case, I was there for the queue at around 8:30AM (wanted to be earlier, but I got delayed a bit), and this is what the queue looked like from my spot.


YVJmEv3.jpg

Needless to say, people were queuing up super early for this, and it filled up very quickly from behind me. Of course it's easy for me to say I can queue up early, since I was staying in the Ibis Hotel itself. I understand others weren't staying in London or close to the venue. But you have to be willing to get in the queue super early if you want to be inside the venue early. Same goes for every other queue here. There's really no easy way about it.

As for the queues for things inside the event, I thought they were fine for the most part. My only issue with them was that, instead of having a definite cut off point for how many people they would let in for stuff like signings, they would simply tell people that they "probably won't get in, but you can wait if you want". While I understand that's just the staff trying to be polite and let as many people in as possible, this would lead to situations where people would be queuing up for a good hour and then be cut off near the entrance to the "official line", and would walk away empty handed. Even stranger was that in the second queue for Yuji Naka & Takashi Iizuka signings, I noticed the staff saying they would likely only get 120 people in, and they started counting down the line and everything. IMO, they should have done this for every signing queue, and if they felt they could only get 120 people in, then just have one of the staff occupy the back of the line and say that was the cutoff point, and only the people in front of him would be able to get in. While that might seem harsh at first, at least that saves people the misfortune of queuing up for ages, only to come out with nothing. Of course there's no perfect way of handling a queue for something like this, and I understand that a bit more staff may have been needed to make my idea work, but I thought I should mention it as a suggestion in case Summer of Sonic returns.

Also I did think it was a bit confusing and messy how the queue for the second signing session with Yuji Naka & Takashi Iizuka started before the queue for the Crush 40 signing was even finished. I made the jump into the queue for Yuji Naka & Takashi Iizuka, but my friends decided to chance it and stay in the Crush 40 queue. However, they got cut off near the front of it. So yeah, I think this would have been a bit smoother if there was a definite "we're not taking anymore than X amount of people", rather than trying to squeeze the extra few in. Again, there is no perfect solution, but feel I personally would prefer being refused entry early on if I was too late for the queue, rather than wait an hour and get cut off just as I make it to the front. IIRC, the Sonic Mania and Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice queues were sort of handled this way, and I overall felt it was less chaotic.

Other than that though, the event was one of the best days of my life. :)

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

I may not write-up my retrospective any more as I was doing that on another site and pasting them here, and well, I don't post there anymore for my own reasons. But I'll dump loads of pictures here soon.

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On 12/08/2016 at 5:31 PM, castell-neath said:

Did everyone in here go to the same event as me? While it was good it was not at all ''awsome" or "the best day ever"

The queues were a joke through out and ruined what would have been a great day. The queue to get in resulted in me missing the first 2 events....and i started queuing at 10am! No explaination was given to me for this either. The queues to see each guest was beyond reasonable as were the queues to play sonic mania and meet the STC artists. 

I tried to queue up for most but simply gave up after no movement for ages and ages. I cannot understand why a "supermarket style" numbered ticket system was not introduced....especially for the game demos. You know the one,  you take a numbered ticket and go to the game desk when your number is shown / called. Its a simple enough and cheap enough system to employ. I knew many others at SoS felt this way too.

The cosplay contest was great, but would it have been too much effort to gave the ones who made such a great effort to dress up and "make the day" a small prize for doing so? Something small like a ltd SoS cosplay exclusive bookmark, a signed poster from all the guests or even a SoS badge or even a SoS sonic medal ...they're cheap enough if you order 25 plus as we do it in work all the time for the sports teams we run. Only one prize for one person i thought was a bit unfair.

The late running order resulted in me missing crush 40 due to having to leave not long in to the set in order to keep to public transport times home. And to top it off my ltd coin was loose in the tin when i had it and had scratched the whole inside of the case.

Overall i did not think this was as good as the 2013 SoS which was the last one i went to prior to this, but the guest list was impressive and i really really appreciate the effort that went in to organising this. I know they are volunteers and they do this hard work for us but i only say these things to offer ifeas for improvements, not to put the boot in.

However....i really do think the queue system needs sorting out for next time and needs a major overhaul. Also give more people an incetive to cone in homemade cosplay...i think these people are the ones who really make it an event  and should get some recogintion for their efforts. I would happily help out with this matter if needed next time too.

In addition to Hogfather's comments which I agree with 100%, I'll add that almost every year that I've stood in a queue for a new game, I've ended up chatting to the people around me, or at the very least listened in on conversations around me or been able to enjoy whatever is going on on stage during my wait time.  The numbered system sounds elegant on paper, but in reality there'd be plenty of people who may lose track of how quickly the numbers are progressing or be forced to give up their turn for another reason.  Meanwhile the staff at the pods either have to be cruel and have zero tolerance on people not being there ready to go when their number is called, or waste time giving a minute for a person to turn up when someone could be halfway through their go on the new game already.

The fact that you've been to SoS before makes me think you were incredibly naive to think you wouldn't miss anything by turning up to the event at the END of the predicted "doors open" time.  There's really no way around this, it's a big event, tickets need to be checked, that's on you.

 

And finally I'm sure any cosplayer, whether they took part in the contest or not, will tell you that they did it out of passion for the series/character/creativity/entertainment of other attendees and nothing more.  If you do enter the contest I imagine it is more satisfying to just either win or not.  If not, you and your costume being immortalised forever in the records of the event (both official and from the bazillion phones and cameras pointed your way during the contest), is gonna be satisfaction enough.

 

So... yeah, obviously as a volunteer himself Hogfather's reply is important here, but also just wanted to say as a fellow attendee I think you are making unrealistic and pedantic complaints here that cannot particularly be helped and are a natural part of most cons, especially those like SoS which are "small" compared to stuff like MCM or Comic Con but BIG as far as "small" conventions go.

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Damn, has it really been over a week since this already? Guess I should give my thoughts while they're still (somewhat) fresh in my mind:

I woke up around 7am to get the train down to London from Lewes, along with my brother (who still had enough of an interest in Sonic to tag along). We arrived near the Exhibition Centre via London Overground around 9:30-10am, and quickly found the long line of Sonic fans. Already we were having some fun, as we joined the queue next to two guys dressed as the Mario Bros, with many Olympic games jokes following. We then got into the building about an hour later, presumably just missing the countdown.

We then noticed the collection of older Sonic games next to us, so we had a couple rounds on Sonic R (I was Metal Knuckles, my bro was Metal Sonic) and Sonic The Fighters (I was Knux, he was... Nack). After that, we decided to split up for a little bit. I remember watching the Mike Pollock Q&A, and Never Mind The Buzzbombers was once again a joy to see. I then decided to grab some Sonic merch during the small gap between events, grabbing myself another SoS 2012 Eggman shirt (I wanted to wear the one I originally got, but I've since lost it :() and a Sticks plush. My brother later bought a 25th Anniversary shirt.

It wasn't long before I heard that the Mike Pollock signings were about to start, so I immediately jumped over to the queue (while also spotting MegaGWolf along the way). Jam with Jun started while I was still queueing, and it was AWESOME to hear, especially when he played Chaos 6's theme! Eventually, it was my turn to meet the Eggman himself (which, as an aspiring voice-actor, was like a dream come true!) and got a signed autograph and a photo (which turned out a bit... bad). But I didn't care too much, since I'd just come face-to-face with one of my voice-over icons! :lol:

At this point, I was ready to try out some games. I went over to the Sonic Mania queue (which was surprisingly short by the time I was there) and decided to try out the new Green Hill Zone. To keep things short (I might get around to posting my thoughts on the Sonic Mania topic... maybe) I thought is was incredibly fun and smooth to play, especially when I got the Bubble Shield. Definitely keeping my eye on that one. I was half-tempted to play Boom: Fire & Ice (considering there was literally NO queue) but I ultimately decided to give some other things a go. I then had a quick play on the Dash Extreme arcade, and got a decent score as Blaze.

At this point, the event was reaching it's last few hours, so I headed for the artists area. Though admittedly, I was only really there to meet Tyson Hesse. (I don't really care too much for Sonic the Comic, though it was cool to see so many StC creators there.) The Special Thanks credits started playing while I was in the queue, and I just missed seeing where my name would've likely been. By the time I reached Tyson, he said that he didn't have much time left so commissions would have to be simple. Luckily, with the help of a fellow fan's phone, I was able to get a signed sketch of Eggman Nega from Tyson (based on Tracey Yardley!s artwork from the old Archie Encyclopedia). Even as a rough draft, I loved it!

As I went to grab a drink, I saw that Mike was taking photos with fans near the entrance. So after meeting back up with my bro, we went to get a group shot (or three, as it turned out). It was awesome to interact with him again, and get a pretty hilarious answer to a question ("Do you remember Eggman Nega?" "Ha, of course I... don't!") We then went back to enjoy Club Sonic (I remember seeing one guy there who was REALLY enjoying the music) and Crush 40, which I swear sounded much better than their 25th Anniversary Party performance. And after such a wonderful day, we headed back home... eventually... when the trains stopped getting delayed and cancelled!

Overall, it was such a fun time! I was so happy when it was announced earlier this year, and now I wish it wasn't over. I really hope that Summer of Sonic can come back in some way, shape or form next year, because it's always such an experience.

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From SOS 2016, LMC's Kevin Eva (ArchangelUK/AAUK) is joined by The Sonic Stadium's Svend Joscelyne (Dreadknux) and Adam Tuff (T-Bird) for a panel where they discuss the story behind Summer of Sonic. 

Presented in its entirety, the panel - previously only viewable to those in attendance at the "& Knuckles" stage area - dips into the unknown. Even to some items not known to Svend and Adam! So how did SOS come to be? What has Shadow The Hedgehog got to do with it? How did the three meet in the first place? How did Kevin end up at SEGA? How did Adam doom the Earth? Which guest underwent a radical metamorphosis thanks to SOS? And what rather awkward thing did Svend say to Richard Jacques?

From humble beginnings to triumph over adversary here's all (well, a chunk of it at least) of the story behind one of the most successful publisher/fandom partnerships in video game history.

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