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DrParadise

Sonic forces development hell, is it true or just lies?

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Okay, ever since the release of forces everyone has been trying to explain why it was underwhelming, using lies such as the game being in development hell, the game being developed in one year, using the info about Sonic team staff leaving to work on nintendo (by the way most of those guys were field artists, of course some of them would go on to become producers and level designers but I have yet to see a sonic level designer credited to in a Mario game, feel free to point out one)

I have been trying to find anymore info regarding the development of modern Sonic games, but so little has surface and a lot of it it's just opinionated pieces, the only reliable info I have found has been this:

Famitsu interviews

Sonic retro (it only documented on concept art, when it began development back in 2013 after lost world's released and the timeline of reveals)

The only source people are using it's Resetera and Reddit which can be simplified as (My uncle works for nintendo).

As I said most pieces I have found come from opinionated sources and the fact that the biggest archival Sonic site Retro has so little info makes me believe we know so little about forces development and everyone is just making things up, likely to paint Sonic team as this Saturday morning cartoon villain and the "fans" as the heroes, sounds stupid I know.

If anyone has more info regarding the development of Sonic forces, share it but also make sure to put your sources it will become difficult to find sega devs coming forward as they can't share their identities

 

Edited by DrParadise
Typo

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The "developed in one year" part is true. They spent 3 of the four years making the game engine, which is the Hedgehog Engine 2.  This was confirmed in an interview. The development timeline went like this:

2013 - Sonic Team begins Hedgehog Engine 2 development

2014-2016 - Sonic Forces concept development with Nakamura's small team

2016-2017 - Actual Sonic Forces game development”.

However, it is also true that some stages had alternate level layouts which were initially more complicated and challenging, so it seems playtesters had a huge influence on the direction the game took:

 

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I never seen any proof of that. All I can say that game is just visibly unfinished. I mean, Infinite has 4 lackeys, you fight 2 of them. If that and Null Space aren't proof enough, I don't know what is.

And I'm aware that 99% games in existence are "not finished", there is always something developers won't finished due to time,money,skill problems. But there is cutting corners and there is turning circle into five-pointed star.

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I don't think Forces was ever intended to be much of anything more than the exact product that was delivered. That they seemed to have put a year into it at most, that Sega didn't bother advertising it and seemingly didn't really care how well it sold basically from the start, and that it never looked like something that anyone involved really cared about (admittedly from the outside looking in) all tracks with the game just being a test bed for the new engine they developed; and if they could release it and get some restitution in the process then even better.

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3 hours ago, Shade Vortex said:

The "developed in one year" part is true. They spent 3 of the four years making the game engine, which is the Hedgehog Engine 2.  This was confirmed in an interview. The development timeline went like this:

2013 - Sonic Team begins Hedgehog Engine 2 development

2014-2016 - Sonic Forces concept development with Nakamura's small team

2016-2017 - Actual Sonic Forces game development”.

However, it is also true that some stages had alternate level layouts which were initially more complicated and challenging, so it seems playtesters had a huge influence on the direction the game took:

 

Ok first of all I already have seen that reddit post which dosent point in which part it says the dev timeline (if anyone that knows Japanese can pin point the dev time line please do it).

Also "playtesters had a huge influence on the direction the game took" are you saying the playtesters are scrubs? Ok, that's fair.

2 hours ago, Tornado said:

I don't think Forces was ever intended to be much of anything more than the exact product that was delivered. That they seemed to have put a year into it at most, that Sega didn't bother advertising it and seemingly didn't really care how well it sold basically from the start, and that it never looked like something that anyone involved really cared about (admittedly from the outside looking in) all tracks with the game just being a test bed for the new engine they developed; and if they could release it and get some restitution in the process then even better.

You will be surprised but forces was more marketed in Japan than in the us (not just the hooters promotion), since mania was a american project soa advertise it more than forces since here there's more demand for classic Sonic than in Japan, from what I've seen a lot Japanese players don't really care about classic Sonic because the mega drive wasn't a huge hit like in america and europe there's a fandom for the mega drive over there sure but it's not like in america which is the only sega console they even know, to them modern is THE Sonic thanks to Sonic X and modern Sonic presence on joypolis and all sega arcades, there isn't any identity issues like here in the west which was fueled toxic Sonic fans.

Classic Sonic over there is treated more like a curiosity and kawaii Sonic than a separate pillar and brand, forces being more promoted in Japan is more or less because that was the next big Sonic game over there, it's odd that sega would even care about their home country regarding Sonic because history even with forces, sonic has sold less in Japan than in any other country if anyone is telling forces was a flop because of famitsu Japanese sale charts remember that data it's useless because Sonic never sales that big over there.

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20 minutes ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

I was personally told by a former community team member that when Sega Europe first saw forces it was a very different game.

The avatars for one had a more dominant role.

 

Also there was the VR demo screen found in the code.

That often how it goes.

For example, there's an old Twitter post from a Telltale Staff member talking about how he playtested TWDG 400 Days before leaving and ending up calling them to ask about an entire sixth scenario that was not in the final product, only to be told it was changed not long before release. 

People in the know looking at a final product like, "what happened" is somewhat common apparently.

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2 hours ago, Badnik Mechanic said:

I was personally told by a former community team member that when Sega Europe first saw forces it was a very different game.

The avatars for one had a more dominant role.

 

Also there was the VR demo screen found in the code.

Thanks for the info 

I have seen the vr Sonic screen

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I remember reading that early concept are did not feature Classic Sonic at all, meaning he'd have been a late addition to tie the game with Mania, but never seen a source for that.

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