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What do you think Sonic Team could learn from other developers when making Sonic games?


ShinyGems

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Well, the title does say it all. Personally, I would like for them to learn from both how Sonic was handled in Lego Dimensions and in the Sonic DLC for Minecraft. With that, on the Lego Dimension side, I would like to see Sonic Team learn from the makers of that game and take some tips in open world areas and probably how Sonic runs in that game, and maybe some of the character writing from Sonic's sections in that game as well. For the Minecraft DLC, I would like to see Sonic Team take cues from that and use much fewer dash pads, like only in the loop areas. Speaking of loops, they could have the camera work like how it does for loops in Minecraft when Sonic or other characters run through them, minus the blocky loops and camera movement, of course.

Still, this doesn't have to be about companies who worked on Sonic before. It could be those who have not worked on Sonic before, or any company, in any department such as gameplay, story, character interaction, even music. So, what games companies do you think Sonic Team should, or could learn from when making Sonic games?

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How to write good stories. In an era where Spider ManWolfensteinDOOM and even MARIO are delivering good-to-great narratives, the crap that Sega gave us to slop down in the 2010s is simply unacceptable. The fact that IDW is delivering yet Sega STILL won't let Flynn take over just makes this even worse, since the solution is RIGHT THERE and yet they still won't use it.

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Naka once said over 20 years ago that he envies how much time Nintendo spends in the polishing phase on their games. I'd like sonic team to take that to heart at least one time before the heat death of the universe.

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The trilogy of classic tomb raider (pre reboot, good ol' pointy boobed lara and her cheesy plots). The level design and verticality takes full advantage of the extent of Lara's leaps and vaults. Although It sometimes stretch jumping feats too much, is still pretty great.

If they are able to translate into design phylosophy of sonic, We would have a different kind of beast compared of current 3D sonic. Nevertheless, it could be interesting imo. 

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1 hour ago, Guy Strong said:

Learning to make the characters roll would be a good place to start

Please. They needed to have momentum based 3d platforming since 1998. I love Sonic Adventure with all my heart, but I would love it even more if I could roll down a hill to gain speed. Sonic GT is how the series needs to be handled, full stop.

21 hours ago, Wraith said:

Naka once said over 20 years ago that he envies how much time Nintendo spends in the polishing phase on their games. I'd like sonic team to take that to heart at least one time before the heat death of the universe.

This too. No matter how good the game, Sonic never feels incredibly polished or anything. Like I love this entire franchise, but even the best among it don't come near the level of polish as its competitors.

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On 7/26/2021 at 5:50 PM, KingMario05 said:

How to write good stories. In an era where Spider ManWolfensteinDOOM and even MARIO are delivering good-to-great narratives, the crap that Sega gave us to slop down in the 2010s is simply unacceptable. The fact that IDW is delivering yet Sega STILL won't let Flynn take over just makes this even worse, since the solution is RIGHT THERE and yet they still won't use it.

This right here!  The games have been struggling lately, because of the writing.  If they just give us good stories again, then I think that the franchise will be in a better place.  It's a shame that the comics and the movie are better written than the games are at this point.

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1 hour ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

This right here!  The games have been struggling lately, because of the writing.  If they just give us good stories again, then I think that the franchise will be in a better place.  It's a shame that the comics and the movie are better written than the games are at this point.

It's so easy to fix, too. Just hire the comics team, leave them alone, and then design the game around that. Boom. DONE. Yet, for whatever reason, they won't fuckin' do it! What, are they jealous or something? Can't be anti-gaijin, since we all know neither half of Pontaff was Japanese...

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What they should learn from other dev ? Not having that much cook in the kitchen would be a start.

The biggest instance of that is the story. Stories written by the Sonic Team itself are often still quite good (all the Sonic Channel story range from "nice/does the job" to "that's good"). Honestly, I think that their localization team should do mostly *localization*, and that the story (and it's tone, way of thinking, etc) should be done by someone inside Sonic Team, in order to avoid big clashes like in Forces where they had to do constent back-and-forth about the story.

But honestly, simply replacing Pontaff would be already a good step for that. No even need to replace them by Flynn or Stanley specifically (the current writer of the Sonic Team short do an excellent job on the characters, which is the most important in a Sonic game story, tbf). So that's a point where I'm not that afraid, they have people that can handle this, it's more a question of when they'll feel necessary to do a more streamlined writing process.

 

Gameplay-wise, I feel that they need to modernize their way of thinking their gameplay, and they could learn from Nintendo, that did the same job of modernization with Mario and Zelda. They can't really learn that much from big AAA, except maybe small things or how to do some RPG mechanics if they want some, as their gameplay style and vision are completely different, and not really compatible with Sonic (not that they are bad, they are just not the same things), and that the constraint is quite different.

They also could learn from Nintendo in how Nintendo make you learn your gameplay, as Sonic always have been a quite bad teacher.

Sonic 2022 could be a improvement on the gameplay front, as they seems to want to do "something new" with Sonic according to the interview, which would be a good time to modernize some aspect of this new gameplay.

 

On the rest, I think that they are quite good. They have sane technological base (please not learn from some other devs to stop making your own tech and only depend of Unreal/Unity) even if I would like them to share it with more of their team, they could scale a bit up their teams but maybe they're already doing it on Sonic 2022 (as the team seems to be bigger, with what Iizuka said about needing to send them hardware). Getting more time from polishing would be great too, but I feel that they know it and it's more a question of if they can.

All in one, I would say that they should learn from other dev how to streamline/modernize their process. They have made some advancement (even if we don't like some of the result, they have a better vision of what does the other teams working on Sonic, which was baffling that they didn't have already), especially with the Sonic Studio.

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The last time they looked to other games for inspiration, they gave Shadow guns because shooter games were more popular than platformers.

Any wish for Sega to seek inspiration elsewhere is a wish made on a monkey's paw.

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On 7/29/2021 at 4:46 PM, Gloved Animal said:

The last time they looked to other games for inspiration, they gave Shadow guns because shooter games were more popular than platformers.

Any wish for Sega to seek inspiration elsewhere is a wish made on a monkey's paw.

don't forget Sonic Lost World became Mario Galaxy 3

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What Sonic Team really needs to do is write good stories again.  The other developers are doing well because the games they have are well written and for the past decade or so, the Sonic games haven't been written that well story wise.  Even when they took cues from other games like Mario and first person shooter games (Sonic Lost World and Shadow the Hedgehog), those games still suffered because the stories weren't that well written.  I would love to see stories from like Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Unleashed again.

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I think Sonic Team should takes some cues from the legendary 90s developers Sonic Team, creators of such legendary games as Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), NiGHTs Into Dreams... (1996), and Sonic Adventure (1998). Those games' surreal pop art graphics, conflicts patterned off of real world conflicts, and rewarding physics based gameplay that beautifully expressed characterization through play are all things that I think would suit the Sonic series well IMO.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The amount of things that modern Sonic Team can learn from others is downright mind-boggling. So I'll list (in my lazy butt's opinion) some of the most important ones:

1. Movement mechanics:
Mirror's Edge and Titanfall 2 are simply phenomenal in this regard, offering players controls that are very accessible, but at the same time have a very large entry point revealed through minor mechanics created on purpose, or existing as a result of, say, an accidental side effect of a piece of weaponry or something else. I might even argue that in the case of the latter game, the amount of such little things is so large that Respawn has created a fully console-designed shooter with the pace and (in)accessibility of Quake III Arena. Platformers with a heavy emphasis on momentum and physics could undeniably benefit greatly from this.

2. Art direction:
When Takashi Iizuka admitted that he wanted to steer the future of the series towards "the widest possible target audience", we can safely agree that the distinctive mix of different concepts has faded into a monotonous list of platforming clichés. Colors and Lost World suffered the most from this, abandoning that odd-looking mix of shonen manga and American animation (Unleashed, my beloved...) in favor of something disturbingly reminiscent of Super Mario. I'd like to see more freedom in not only future directors, but artists as well. I'll mention Control being an absolute tour-de-force of the creative heads at Remedy who created something that's... disturbingly reminiscent of SCP, yet the amount of original ideas allowed for a surprisingly abstract and surreal layer to the whole adventure.

3. Screenwriting:
Anyone who says the meta-humor in Sonic doesn't work should check out Doom (2016) - there, the obtrusiveness of most modern AAA titles is mocked every now and then, like the overabundance of story exposition (the very first interaction between The Doom Slayer and Sammy Hayden). However, the real reason this humor works comes in the form of the protagonist, who instead of spewing a billion internal monologues per second, is more reminiscent of characters born during the heyday of arcade games and boomer shooters. Above all, he recognizes the intrigue surrounding him as an excuse to explore... and extermination of demons en masse.

That's it, honestly. I'm too lazy to search for more nitpicks.

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Make it fun to move, first and foremost. Look to Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, or any Insomniac games for inspiration. It needs to just first be fun to traverse the environment. If that isn't right, then the rest of the experience is going to be shaky. 

Fingers crossed as always for Rangers to get this. 

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Yeah, if I could have them polish just one thing to perfection, it'd probably be the movement. Not a single 3D Sonic game gets it quite right, and Sonic Team's best effort was probably their first attempt: Sonic Adventure.

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9 hours ago, Zoomzeta said:

I'll start with the obvious...STOP RUSHING TITLES TO MEET DEADLINES!...That is all.

I agree with this.  I don't know why SEGA is constantly rushing out these games when they just need to take their time on them.  I don't care when the games are released, all I care about is having the game in good condition before putting it out.

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