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Are the Sonic fangames keeping the franchise afloat on the game side of things?


Rabbitearsblog
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Rabbitearsblog

So, lately the Sonic games haven't been in the best state of quality (sans Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania) and there's been a rise in the fangames for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and lately, they are being praised more than the recent mainline games have.  So, do you think that the fangames are keeping the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise afloat, at least in terms of the game side of things?

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CrystalMaelStorm

Not sure, personally speaking. While those fan games are great, most of them seem to be the same gameplay over and over again with nothing new, based on the classic momentum based gameplay. As great as the classic Sonic games are, they can’t keep the game side of things afloat forever on their own without doing anything new. Some fan game developers may try some twists to gameplay, but most are the same kind of gameplay from the old classics. I mean, Sonic Team has fallen flat before when trying new things, but Sonic Team are not the fans making fan games.

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Rabbitearsblog
1 hour ago, CrystalMaelStorm said:

Not sure, personally speaking. While those fan games are great, most of them seem to be the same gameplay over and over again with nothing new, based on the classic momentum based gameplay. As great as the classic Sonic games are, they can’t keep the game side of things afloat forever on their own without doing anything new. Some fan game developers may try some twists to gameplay, but most are the same kind of gameplay from the old classics. I mean, Sonic Team has fallen flat before when trying new things, but Sonic Team are not the fans making fan games.

Yeah. I noticed that a lot of fangames tend to take after the classic 2D Sonic games and there are only a few that are like 3D styled games.  I guess they wouldn't be able to keep the franchise afloat if they don't try something different with the gameplay.

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CrystalMaelStorm
2 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Yeah. I noticed that a lot of fangames tend to take after the classic 2D Sonic games and there are only a few that are like 3D styled games.  I guess they wouldn't be able to keep the franchise afloat if they don't try something different with the gameplay.

Yeah. Let it be known that while Sonic Mania was great, there were people who pointed out that the game still had that problem that many fan games have. Plus, the Sonic series, along with the games that had classic momentum based gameplay have been around for thirty years, so there is not really an excuse for fan game makers to try something new, as even classic gameplay does get old, no matter how great it initially is.

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Rabbitearsblog
2 minutes ago, CrystalMaelStorm said:

Yeah. Let it be known that while Sonic Mania was great, there were people who pointed out that the game still had that problem that many fan games have. Plus, the Sonic series, along with the games that had classic momentum based gameplay have been around for thirty years, so there is not really an excuse for fan game makers to try something new, as even classic gameplay does get old, no matter how great it initially is.

What problems did Sonic Mania have?

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CrystalMaelStorm
Just now, Rabbitearsblog said:

What problems did Sonic Mania have?

Not much, except what I mean is that like the fan games, it did nothing really new. Even that would get stale if the team that did Mania were to make future games based on Mania.

Mania still was a great game, but it did not do anything new like the fan games. I recall someone pointing that out when the game came out, maybe without the fan games part but still.

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Rabbitearsblog
1 minute ago, CrystalMaelStorm said:

Not much, except what I mean is that like the fan games, it did nothing really new. Even that would get stale if the team that did Mania were to make future games based on Mania.

Mania still was a great game, but it did not do anything new like the fan games. I recall someone pointing that out when the game came out, maybe without the fan games part but still.

I agree that with Mania, they could have done more new levels for the game instead of reusing older levels like Flying Battery and Green Hill Zone.

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CrystalMaelStorm
13 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I agree that with Mania, they could have done more new levels for the game instead of reusing older levels like Flying Battery and Green Hill Zone.

That would have helped. Still would have been a game not trying something new, but it could still have worked.

Come to think of it, I remember seeing one person describe Mania as a “fan game”. I can understand why some on that.

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They absolutely make the waits between games less boring, and are important in cultivating the talents of creators, but I wouldn't say that they're keeping the series afloat. If anything, the non-game media has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting lately.

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All this talk about "all of them being the same" as if its like an unconscious issue and not the fact that 2D sprite games using a framework that everyone's familiar with and has been made available through several pre-made fan engines are the most feasible route to go for hobbyists.

Or that 3D momentum gameplay has been a popular unfulfilled dream for a long time with its own collection of fanmade engines that work for free suites like Unity causing everyone to race to make the first full complete experience of what was previously only thought a dead concept.

Even THEN I see plenty of different Sonic gameplay types each year at SAGE so the complaint is a bit more exaggerated than nessesary.

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CrystalMaelStorm

First off, I don’t think I said all of them are the same, and if I did, I must have misspoken. Though on the different gameplay types, I was only talking about momentum based gameplay styled games, 2D or 3D. When I said most of them, I was not talking about things like treasure hunting games or something different from the normal. I know those different ones exist, but I wasn’t talking about those. I should have made it clear, but while anyone here can correct me if I am wrong, from what I have seen, it seems the classic gameplay fan games seems like the most popular ones, as the classic games they tend to be based on are great in the first place, after all.

But none of this is the point. What matters is that as great as the classics were, they and the fan games based off of them can’t keep things game wise afloat forever.

Also, about the fan games that do have different gameplay, it may depend on the game, but I can imagine that some of them may not be what Sonic is known for if they are different enough, and while some things fan games have done may be done by Sonic Team already, while others may be creative, Sonic Team has not tried all fan game ideas, maybe many of them, and probably never will. They could find gameplay styles done in fan games that are different from the classic gameplay to not be Sonic like, and even some of those who play fan games with different gameplay styles, even if they like them, may not want to play such gameplay in an official Sonic game depending on the gameplay style. I mean the speedy run and jump Sonic gameplay is what most people know Sonic for, right?

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Nope, they don't. First because the huge biggest part of the fangame are lower quality than the official game, only a few exceptionnal ones are "better". Secondly because a lot of people simply doesn't know these fangames. SRB2 and SRB2 Kart are excellent game for instance (and I think that SRB2 Kart is one of the best kart racer I've played), that certainly make a lot of people happy. But a large chunk of the big public simply doesn't know these game, they're niche - even if very mainstream for fangames.

For the Sonic fangames to really "keep the franchise afloat", they would need to be even more mainstream, and to be talked about and discussed in media. They might help some of us to have a better vision of the situation (and a bit of SEGA as they don't act like Nintendo). But they can't really kept the licence afloat because most people won't really care about them.

 

And I've honestly seen more big video talking about stuff that would give a bad rep to fangame than video showing the good ones. In France, one of the biggest gaming youtubeur (the Joueur du Grenier), talked about fangame. What he talked about ? Sonic Dream Collection, and RAGE fangames. And recently, in the second video of People Makes Game about Roblox… they talked about the creator of Sonic Eclipse Online. (which is normal : it really was important talking about that).

So I'm not sure how it keep the franchise "afloat" with those two elements.

 

I would add that it's not our responsability to "keep the franchise afloat". We're creating fangame for fun, to learn and because we like that. We don't have anything to keep afloat, nor any promise to make to the fans. The issue with this attitude of "the fangame are making Sonic worth", is that it's making a lot of people being really unhelpfull. For instance, many of the reaction to Project Hero adopting the OVA style was really uncalled for.

( There are also several video saying why the common cliché reactions to fangame are bad )

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For us in the fanbase, perhaps to some degree, sure.  But I think the big answer really is no, not at all.  What keeps the franchise afloat is the twenty bazillion kids having the Sonic games bought for them on the daily by parents because it is an all-ages franchise that is predominantly enjoyed by kids of an age that probably aren't due to discover that Sonic fangames are necessarily even a thing for a couple more years (unless I'm tragically underestimating how much kids look at youtube these days, I guess).

Regardless, I kind of get the impression that those who love fangames and play them a lot are sort of into that as a slightly disconnected interest from the main series at this point.  They play and follow fangames on the regular, have a good time, and hey if SEGA ever manage to produce a good official one every couple of years, bonus.

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BubbleButt TV
2 hours ago, JezMM said:

For us in the fanbase, perhaps to some degree, sure.  But I think the big answer really is no, not at all.  What keeps the franchise afloat is the twenty bazillion kids having the Sonic games bought for them on the daily by parents because it is an all-ages franchise that is predominantly enjoyed by kids of an age that probably aren't due to discover that Sonic fangames are necessarily even a thing for a couple more years (unless I'm tragically underestimating how much kids look at youtube these days, I guess).

idk what it's like nowadays but I actually played the Ultimate Flash Sonic game before I ever even played any official Sonic game at all lol

 

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For me, absolutely! Sonic Frontiers is not on my radar at all because of that frankly disastrous reveal and just my general hope for the company not meeting my standards. I'm more so excited for Sonic Utopia.

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No. Are there even that many that are finished projects? I mostly just see 1 or 2 stages of stuff.

I like some of the ideas but they’re not full blown games and a lot of the 2D stuff is pretty similar.

Fangames and concepts are cool to see but the official games are doing perfectly fine. Personal opinions aside.

 

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3D-wise nope, there is not much finished or "finished enough" projects (there is Hexacide, Classic Sonic Adventure, SRB2 TD, SRB2 (even if there will be other level, there is a campain we can finish), Sonic Souls (but it's more a level collection), Sonic Incursion (2.5D) and Sonic GT). And most of the 3D project will have trouble to move to the "finished product" state, for various reason (difficulty of such a project, complexity of creating content vs an engine, difficulty to handle a team with such a scope, the fact that the creator can have other things to do, sometimes drama and issues, etc).

2D-wise there are more of them, and honestly even if they're often Classic-style game, I feel that they also have their own identity.

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Roger_van_der_weide

They probably do little for the larger picture, so generally speaking, no.
The movie and whatever momentum remains of Sonic Boom is probably carrying the franchise now for the normies.


But I for one surely enjoyed playing Sonic Fan Games a lot more then the recent official games.
So for me personally, heck yes.

By the end of the day, difference between fangames and Sonic Team is that Fangames legitamatly want to make Sonic games and are exploring and figuring out how to recreate the games we love and evolve them further. Even if they have  a long way to go still, the journey's exciting by itself.

Where Sonic Team is off in their own little space dimension chasing after crazy idea of the week.

Their quality, graphics and production values are way higher and them shaking up the Sonic formula is what gives the franchise more longetivity, sure.
But fangames give me games I actually want to play, something Sonic Team only gets right once in a blue moon these days.

And even more ironically, even when Sonic Team has a great idea and is building something potentially good, they still screw up,get distracted  and waste the potential they had.
So yet again I'm way more interested in what Fanmods manage to salvage from, say, Lost World rather then any of Sonic Team's official bumbling.

Sonic Robo Blast 2 and Sonic GT can easily stand tall among the upperhalf of the official released Sonic games in terms of how much I enjoy playing them. While Forces and Lost world get a pat on the head and a C- for trying.

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The biggest problem with fan games is that in the long run they matter so little. At least how I see it. They don't fit in any continuity space or will be covered the same as an official game outside of rare exceptions.

They certainly help for probably the most niche of fans, but unless a whole bunch of fans band together to make their own continuity with stakes that rise and fall, they don't fully intergrate into the state of the series on the mainstream front. Nevermind how long they take to make because of... you know, them being fangames made in people's spare time.

You'll occasionally get your Sonic Robo Blast 2, but other times even the best fangames aren't individually recognized. Hell, the only time individual games are pointed out are when they are creepy or terrible. Which is a damn shame.

I think there is potential maybe, but it's gonna take, at least I feel a more unified effort from fan creators. Now, I think SHC and SAGE are steps in that direction, as the shows get bigger viewership every year.

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