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Ian Flynn to pen the story for "Sonic Frontiers"


Wraith
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1 hour ago, batson said:

stupid Knuckles, psycho Amy, try-hard edgelord Shadow

Quite the opposite for the former two. Knuckles is pretty much how people want him to be. Amy is chill, and a common complaint now is that her crush on Sonic became too low-key.

Shadow.. is very good when Ian is able to write him the way he wants to. But in IDW, SEGA has insisted he be written similarly to his Vegeta-lite Boom counterpart. He now prefers to not use him.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow
2 hours ago, batson said:

As a Sonic nerd, it's quite a dream to know that the Sonic games are now written by a fellow Sonic nerd, in other words someone who actually cares about the series.

Though speaking as someone with a very limited familiarity with Flynn's work, I wanna ask those of you with more familiarity this; is there any Sonic character that he isn't all that good at writing? Or, perhapes rather, that he writes in a way that many fans of that character might dislike? Like, does he have a weakness for stupid Knuckles, psycho Amy, try-hard edgelord Shadow or anything like that? Or is there a character that he seems to personally dislike?

I'm sorry about going all Mr Pessimistic Pissy Pants over here, but I'm just genuinly curious to know.

Ian’s flaws have less to do with the characters and more to do with pacing, structure, and how much interference gets involved for better or worse.

But he’s among the best writers when it comes to characterizations.

Even characters he dislikes tend to be decent; hell, he did that with a few of my least liked:

-Big the Cat, actually made him so enjoyable that I welcomed him as part of the core cast of Freedom Fighters in Archie Sonic. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t like Big that much, but Ian’s take has me do a full 180 on the character.

-The Deadly Six, who actually live up to their name as very deadly in the comics. They’re as silly as they are dangerous, which is more than I can say about them in Lost Worlds.

He’s not perfect, his portrayal of Rouge in old arcs such as Treasure Team Tango, but he hits the mark far more often than he misses. But he’s respected enough that him writing for the games has been on a wishlist of many fans of the comic series. Characters like Shadow and Knucklers were where some of his best stories were, pre-IDW.

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One of the biggest things that might come out of Frontiers might be the little tweaks Flynn will get to add to each member of the cast. If Shadow is in this game, then this could be our best chance to see his character re-railed.

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15 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

One of the biggest things that might come out of Frontiers might be the little tweaks Flynn will get to add to each member of the cast. If Shadow is in this game, then this could be our best chance to see his character re-railed.

Will that even be possible though if Flynn is still required to follow the "Shadow hates friendship"-mandate?

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50 minutes ago, batson said:

Will that even be possible though if Flynn is still required to follow the "Shadow hates friendship"-mandate?

Maybe not wholesale changes, but if Flynn has the ability to at least tweak dialog than he can do a better job of presenting these specific character traits in a better light. 

I mean, for reference Boom Shadow in Rise of Lyric has no motivation. It wouldn't be half as bad if he at least had a reason to get in your way, but the way it was presented made him a jerk just for the sake of it. with the world on the line no less.

Flynn can at the very least give him some kind of motivation back. If he's going to be a walking spite ball, at least give him an interesting reason to be so Angy. 

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1 hour ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Maybe not wholesale changes, but if Flynn has the ability to at least tweak dialog than he can do a better job of presenting these specific character traits in a better light. 

I mean, for reference Boom Shadow in Rise of Lyric has no motivation. It wouldn't be half as bad if he at least had a reason to get in your way, but the way it was presented made him a jerk just for the sake of it. with the world on the line no less.

Flynn can at the very least give him some kind of motivation back. If he's going to be a walking spite ball, at least give him an interesting reason to be so Angy. 

Im somewhat paraphrasing here, but Flynn said in a recent podcast that according to Sega, Shadow's stated motivation is "to fight the strongest opponents possible" and want him as independent as possible.

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19 hours ago, Kuzu said:

The only character he might have a slight bias towards are Knuckles and Shadow, and that's subjective and only based on the fact that they had more focal arcs than anyone else between his run post and pre reboot. 

And even then, a lot of that is because the main series focuses on Sonic and the characters who are around him more so I can see why Sonic Universe alone had a lot of Knuckles and Shadow arcs. 

But yeah like others said, regarding Ian's "flaws" as a writer with the comic, most of any complaints are due to restrictions such as page length and pacing due to the monthly format of the comic. Some arcs read better together than spaced apart and don't drag on. But in terms of raw ideas, knowing the characters and caring about the universe, there are no red flags.

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Rabbitearsblog

YAAAYY!! Finally Ian Flynn gets to write a Sonic game! I'm so happy about this! I've been really enjoying his work with the Sonic comics and I hope that SEGA gives him enough control over the story itself.  So, since Ian is now writing a Sonic game, will SEGA be much more lenient with him on the mandates they have for the characters?

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In-house or out, there would still be stakeholders involved that will steer parts of the wheel or stand by some rules, especially for a franchise as big as Sonic. Things like down to the choice of music style and vocal track exclusion in the past (Lost World), character traits would likely be the same.

That said, if there is a compelling reason to do changes, it would start with in-house influence. You really have to sell it to every stakeholders though. It's quite an uphill battle considering it's a Japanese company.

More importantly, I'm interested to know if the story for this game is a taken into account all throughout the development of the game. The last few games (Forces aside) didn't seem to be like that, as it seemed to be something added after the sets are decided, similar to a glue.

A story treated as a high entity would dictate the sets, landmarks and interactions in said locations in a very cohesive way.

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Spooky Mulder

I am so looking forward to the story. The awkward dialogue and pacing of the 2010s games has been a real weak point for me.

Feels like I haven't seen a proper Sonic story since Unleashed and I'm so excited for that even if game itself is another clunker.

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On 12/13/2021 at 3:02 PM, batson said:

As a Sonic nerd, it's quite a dream to know that the Sonic games are now written by a fellow Sonic nerd, in other words someone who actually cares about the series.

Though speaking as someone with a very limited familiarity with Flynn's work, I wanna ask those of you with more familiarity this; is there any Sonic character that he isn't all that good at writing? Or, perhapes rather, that he writes in a way that many fans of that character might dislike? Like, does he have a weakness for stupid Knuckles, psycho Amy, try-hard edgelord Shadow or anything like that? Or is there a character that he seems to personally dislike?

I'm sorry about going all Mr Pessimistic Pissy Pants over here, but I'm just genuinly curious to know.

I know several people who hate how he wrote Amy in IDW.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

I’ll still take IDW Amy over most of Game Amy portrayals.

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Most of the complaints I've seen toward his Amy in IDW (and it wasn't much, but I don't really go looking for Sonic discourse anymore) seemed more so in the earlier parts because she wasn't frontline enough and was basically doing what Sally would've been doing in Archie, but even then she's handled as her own character, not a replacement. She's shown to be very out of her element and put-upon (especially since Knuckles left her in a lurch and everyone is just coming to her to give them shit) but does her best to help people, which is in contrast to Sally's typically confident and seasoned leadership.

I honestly thought she was handled well before moving her position with the Resistance/Restoration over to Jewel. It felt like Amy, and the more likable versions developed under Ian at Archie.

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I thought Amy in her debut issue was perfect, and apparently Ian was told to tone her down after so I tend to lay any complaints about her at SEGA's feet. It's clear they're insecure about Amy's crush after years of venom and they don't know how to navigate it without betraying the character. I thought that even Ian's more conservative Amy was fine though so I'm not super worried about it.

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Rabbitearsblog
13 hours ago, Slashy said:

I know several people who hate how he wrote Amy in IDW.

I personally like how Amy has been written in IDW so far.  Her crush on Sonic doesn't really over take her character and I thought that she was a more interesting character as being the leader of the resistance early on.

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I think that some of the issues that many people have with Flynn is that his vision is kinda a fusion of different vision, there is a bit of USA!Sonic + a lot of Jp!Sonic + some other influences, mixed with his own headcanon on things.

So for people that like this kind of thing, it's perfect (that's why I love him, even if sometimes I strongly disagree with his vision, for instance I find Archie!Shadow way too wordy), but for people that have a vision more centered around one of the big perception of Sonic (which isn't bad in itself), his vision of the Sonic universe will become more lacking because with more "errors". And some character can seems "different" because he'll have his own interpretation of them.

In a way, it's telling IMO that a most of the people that are strongly against him in general are often strong fans of either the "japanese vision of Sonic" or "the occidental vision of Sonic", and see him as trying to much to push his "headcanons" (like people that are angry about the Hooligans being a trio of villain since he wrote him that way) or the other side of the IP (the accusation of him pushing to much SatAM things in the encyclo-speed-ia or him pushing too much the old comics becoming "more like the games").

He also have some quirk that we may like or not : his character tends to talk a lot, and to be very explicit about what they're feeling (a part why he have trouble writing SEGA's Shadow IMO, combined with other stuff), his rythms can be some hit and miss, as he use a lot of slower storyline and tends to have not as strong ending in 4-issues arc, etc. He also have some weaker or non-stellar story, or simply some story that are disliked. It's kinda normal thus to have people that simply don't like his writing.

 

( I'm not saying that people or Flynn are right or wrong about all that : disagreement will always exists, it's normal. No writer will please anybody, and IMO it's part of life that some people will strongly dislike Flynn. The issue will be if is some people decide to go attack him directly or harass him. )

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1 hour ago, Kazhnuz said:

I think that some of the issues that many people have with Flynn is that his vision is kinda a fusion of different vision, there is a bit of USA!Sonic + a lot of Jp!Sonic + some other influences, mixed with his own headcanon on things.

So for people that like this kind of thing, it's perfect (that's why I love him, even if sometimes I strongly disagree with his vision, for instance I find Archie!Shadow way too wordy), but for people that have a vision more centered around one of the big perception of Sonic (which isn't bad in itself), his vision of the Sonic universe will become more lacking because with more "errors". And some character can seems "different" because he'll have his own interpretation of them.

In a way, it's telling IMO that a most of the people that are strongly against him in general are often strong fans of either the "japanese vision of Sonic" or "the occidental vision of Sonic", and see him as trying to much to push his "headcanons" (like people that are angry about the Hooligans being a trio of villain since he wrote him that way) or the other side of the IP (the accusation of him pushing to much SatAM things in the encyclo-speed-ia or him pushing too much the old comics becoming "more like the games").

He also have some quirk that we may like or not : his character tends to talk a lot, and to be very explicit about what they're feeling (a part why he have trouble writing SEGA's Shadow IMO, combined with other stuff), his rythms can be some hit and miss, as he use a lot of slower storyline and tends to have not as strong ending in 4-issues arc, etc. He also have some weaker or non-stellar story, or simply some story that are disliked. It's kinda normal thus to have people that simply don't like his writing.

 

( I'm not saying that people or Flynn are right or wrong about all that : disagreement will always exists, it's normal. No writer will please anybody, and IMO it's part of life that some people will strongly dislike Flynn. The issue will be if is some people decide to go attack him directly or harass him. )

This post VERY accurately describes another community I frequent. Good job.

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Rabbitearsblog
5 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

( I'm not saying that people or Flynn are right or wrong about all that : disagreement will always exists, it's normal. No writer will please anybody, and IMO it's part of life that some people will strongly dislike Flynn. The issue will be if is some people decide to go attack him directly or harass him. )

That's what I'm worried about too.  I know that Ian Flynn's writing isn't perfect (no writer's writing is ever perfect), but I hope that nobody harasses him like they did with Pontaff.  Although, since Ian's been working with this franchise for many years and he has dealt with a lot stress from the fanbase, I don't think he will be going anywhere soon.

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I honestly don't think there is much risk of Flynn recieving the same kind of massive criticism as Pontac and Graff did. People always say that Sonic fans are perfectionists who make a huge deal out of every little flaw the franchise might have, but I don't think that's true. In fact I'd say that after so many years of sub-par products most Sonic fans are perfectly willing to settle for good, and doesn't even dare to wish for great. The problem with Pontac's and Graff's writing was that it wasn't even good. It was below good. Not awful, but below good.

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Rabbitearsblog
9 minutes ago, batson said:

I honestly don't think there is much risk of Flynn recieving the same kind of massive criticism as Pontac and Graff did. People always say that Sonic fans are perfectionists who make a huge deal out of every little flaw the franchise might have, but I don't think that's true. In fact I'd say that after so many years of sub-par products most Sonic fans are perfectly willing to settle for good, and doesn't even dare to wish for great. The problem with Pontac's and Graff's writing was that it wasn't even good. It was below good. Not awful, but below good.

Not to mention, Flynn has more knowledge of the franchise than Pontac and Graff did.  So in a way, he's already in a good standing with the fanbase.  The real question is how much will SEGA limit his storytelling in the Sonic Frontiers game?

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A big part of the storytelling will certainly be made by the Sonic Team, especially if it's an openworld game. Ian Flynn is a writer, but not a narrative designer, and so all the narrative design (basically "how the story is shown") will certainly be done by the game team themselves. It'll be a collaboration between Flynn and the game team, not "Flynn's writing who is limited by SEGA". And in most Pontaff game, the story was at least conceived by the game team or had to use the elements they created for it. (and even if Flynn created the story himself, he would have technical constraint too : boss, other character, the progression of the game… all are decided by the game).

So it's not a question of limitation, because here we're not in a situation where "Flynn's create his story and get constraint by SEGA", it's more a co-created story.

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Dr. Detective Mike
On 12/21/2021 at 6:56 AM, Wraith said:

I thought Amy in her debut issue was perfect, and apparently Ian was told to tone her down after so I tend to lay any complaints about her at SEGA's feet. It's clear they're insecure about Amy's crush after years of venom and they don't know how to navigate it without betraying the character. I thought that even Ian's more conservative Amy was fine though so I'm not super worried about it.

Amy in issue 2 was literal perfection in my eyes. If SEGA asked for it to be toned down then it does kind of sadden me. The venom from the 2000s came from a place of it being handled wrong but they seem to always throw out or tone down the concept itself in response to criticism of the execution.

Hopefully, things can finally improve. I find myself having a tiny bit of hope that it might.

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20 minutes ago, Natie said:

Wierd to say I'm excited for a Sonic game's story more than anything else.

I recall when Ian was confirmed to be writing for BOOM, people who disliked the show were looking forward for the episode(s).

I can't say much about frontiers yet, we know very little about it, I can say I'm excited for it, excited for knowing more about it, and not much besides it,

But one thing I can assure you, is that it's story will be far away from bland and uninteresting, that is for sure, and that is me being cautious and even pessimistic in a way. I do think it wil be the best story in a Sonic game since Unleashed (or even best story period).

We have all the right to be hyped for the story.

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I really hope the story will be very good : I need it after the sad news about the Nocturnus officially being no longer part of the canon!!...
Ian, if you could put an ancient echidna civilization in the story of FRONTIERS, my heart really needs it!!...
🤩

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