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Who should direct Sonic Frontiers? (Sonic 2022)


BubbleButt TV
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Who at SEGA do we think would be best suited to handling an open world Sonic? Here are some potential candidates:

Morio Kishimoto

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Production history (sourced from SegaRetro):

Spoiler

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) — Lead Game Designer 

Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) — Lead Game Designer

Sonic Colors (Wii Version) (2010) — Director & Lead Game Designer

Sonic Lost World (Wii U Version) (2013) — Director

Sonic Forces (2017) — Director & Lead Game Designer

gonna be honest with you, I'm not really a fan of Kishimoto's stuff but clearly someone at SEGA is in love with him because he keeps coming back

Hiroshi Miyamoto

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Production history:

Spoiler

Sonic Riders (2006) — Level Designer, Game Mode Designer, Scenario Writer, Story Board Designer, Recording Coordinator

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) — Game Designer

Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008) — Game System Designer, Story Plotter, Story Board Designer

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009) — Game Designer

Sonic Generations (2011) — Director

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013) — Director

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS Version) (2016) — Director

I have no idea what Miyamoto is doing nowadays or if he even works at SEGA anymore but I like Generations and he would be my top choice.

Yoshihisa Hashimoto

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Production history:

Spoiler

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast; 1998) — Enemy programmer

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast; 1998) — A-LIFE system programmer

Sega Superstars (PlayStation 2; 2004) — Lead Game Designer

Sega Superstars (PlayStation 2; 2004) — Technical Director

Sega Superstars (PlayStation 2; 2004) — Director

Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) — Lead Chao Programmer

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (2001) — Lead Chao Programmer, Tiny Chao Garden Game Designer

Sonic Advance (2002) — Programmer

Sonic Advance 2 (2003) — Programmer

Sonic Pinball Party (2003) — Programmer

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) — Special Thanks

Night of the Werehog (2008) — Special Thanks

Sonic Unleashed (PS2 & Wii Version) (2008) — Director

Sonic Unleashed (PS3 & Xbox 360 Version) (2008) — Director, Lead Game Designer, Hedgehog Engine Technical Director

This one's a bit of a shot in the dark because Hashimoto moved over to Square Enix and now he no longer works in the game industry.

But hey if he ever wanted to make a big comeback maybe Sonic would be the best place to do it. Unleashed has been getting a lot of love lately in the fandom so I think many would welcome his return. 

Sachiko Kawamura

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Production History:

Spoiler

Sonic 3D Blast (1996) — Artist

Sonic Jam (1997) — Artist

Sonic Adventure (1998) — Visual effects designer, Artist

Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) — Chao System Director, Lead Chao Artist

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (2001) — Chao Director, Lead Chao Artist (Chao Main), Game Designer (Tiny Chao Garden), Artist (Tiny Chao Garden)

Sonic Advance (2001) — Designer

Sonic Advance 2 (2002) — Designer

Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut(2003) — A-Life System Designer (Sonic Adventure DX Staff), A-Life System Artist (Sonic Adventure DX Staff), GBA Minigame Artist (Sonic Adventure DX Staff), Visual Effects Designer (Sonic Adventure Original Staff), Artist (Sonic Adventure Original Staff)

Sonic Pinball Party (2003) — Designer

Sonic Heroes (2003) — Special Thanks

Sonic Rush (2005) — Special Thanks

Nounenrei Nou-Stress Kei Atama Scan(2006) — Character Designer

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) — Special Thanks

Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) — Special Thanks

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games(2007) — Sonic Family Character Supervisor

Night of the Werehog (2008) — Special Thanks

Sonic Unleashed (2008) (PS3 & Xbox 360 Version) — Art Director, Publicity Artwork

Sonic Unleashed (2008) (Wii & PS2 Version) — Art Director

Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) — Development Support

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010) — CS2 R&D (Sega Japan)

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (2010) — Special Thanks (Sega Corporation)

Sonic Colors (2010) — Art Director

Sonic Generations (2011) — Art Director

Sonic Lost World (2013) — Art Director

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013) — Project Support (Sega Development Team)

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS(2014) — Supervisor (Original Games)

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014) — Supervisor (Original Games)

Sonic Runners (2015) — Art Director

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (2016) — Project Support (Sega Games Development Team)

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (2016) — Project Support

Sonic Forces (2017) — Senior Art Director

Valkyria Chronicles 4 (2018) — Development Support

You might be thinking this is a weird one to include since she's never actually directed a game before, but Kawamura was a key part of the chao garden in SA2 and goddamn if this is what it takes to get a new chao garden then make her direct a game!

Takashi Iizuka

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we all know this guy. Senior game designer for Sonic 3&K and director of the Adventure games. Now a series producer, he hasn't actually worked in the gamedev side of things for a long time.

Love him or hate him I think it would be really interesting to see him direct a game again. Maybe we could get a return to the Adventure gameplay formula out of it.

Well that's all I got. Who would you want to direct a Sonic game? Any of these? Maybe NONE of these?? Maybe someone who's never worked on Sonic before? Please share your thoughts.

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It's a sad situation when the most appealing person for a job is the person who has never done the job before. If forced to pick from the names presented to me, I'd choose Kawamura as she appears to have failed the least over the years.

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Iizuka won't direct such a game, he have bigger responsibilities now. Hashimoto won't certainly go back to Sonic, especially if he have better stuff at Square Enix. So we can totally cross both of them out. Miyamoto is a question, as we don't know where he is now, but it's possible that he is still in SEGA CS2.

Kawamura would be interesting to be seen as her first game as a Director (and having a female game director for once in this IP would be nice tbh) but she seems to have deviated from design to go in the art territory, so IDK. Kishimoto honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he start becoming Producer (or maybe he is having a blast directing game) as he direct games since a while. But I would be interested in seeing him direct an openworld, as it's pretty different from everything that he have done before.

Other people that could get a big role without having been a Director before could be Eitaro Toyoda (which is Sonic stories supervisor) or Kazuyuki Hoshino (which is maybe the most active member of the Sonic Team on social media). But Hoshino I see him more being a producer, IDK.

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Probably a bit off topic but do we know what Hashimoto even did at Square Enix? I would guess that from his experience on making the Hedgehog Engine, that he worked on other in-house stuff like Luminous Engine. But if that's the case he would've appeared in the credits of FFXV (and probably the upcoming Forspoken), and his credits just stop at Unleashed. So I don't know.

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6 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

Probably a bit off topic but do we know what Hashimoto even did at Square Enix? I would guess that from his experience on making the Hedgehog Engine, that he worked on other in-house stuff like Luminous Engine. But if that's the case he would've appeared in the credits of FFXV (and probably the upcoming Forspoken), and his credits just stop at Unleashed. So I don't know.

He did a lot of the groundwork for the Luminous Engine but left in 2014, before FFXV even entered full development. The Luminous Engine has probably been through a lot of tweaking since then considering it used to cause a lot of problems for SE's teams. FFXV was a technical mess and KH3 notoriously switched from Luminous to Unreal mid-development.


If he the didn't do any notable work on FFXV or Forspoken then they probably didn't see a point in crediting him.

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Out of these choices Kawamura is easily my top pick for having worked on these games for so long (and on most of the best ones, too).

 

I would love to see Iizuka back in the director’s spot, he clearly has the absolute best track record of any Sonic game director. Sonic 3 to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is an untouchable legacy. 

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Morio Kishimoto is definitely the most likely to direct but I do see the possibility of him producing. Though if Kishimoto is producing I would place my money on either Takayuki Okada or Junpei Ootsu. Both have worked on numerous Sonic games both getting their start on Secret Rings. Okada most notably was Colors lead level designer and Forces lead planer. Ootsu served as Forces lead level designer 


 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

welp there's no need for this thread anymore since now we know that Morio Kishimoto is directing (again) and Sachiko Kawamura is producing

Kawamura's involvement is interesting. Please let this be the return of the chao gardens, you'd win so much cred with fans for that

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1 hour ago, BubbleButt TV said:

welp there's no need for this thread anymore since now we know that Morio Kishimoto is directing (again) and Sachiko Kawamura is producing

Kawamura's involvement is interesting. Please let this be the return of the chao gardens, you'd win so much cred with fans for that

Great, Kawamura being involved is nice, according to the list in the first post she's behind a lot of favorite of mine stuff, including Chao Gardens and the first two Advance games (as designer).

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