Fan Games on the Horizon, Interview Inside
If you’ve been reading our site for the past few days, then you’re probably aware that Sonic fan game creator LakeFeperd has been very busy. His much-anticipated game Sonic After the Sequel will finally see the light of day in a matter of weeks. In addition, he recently announced Sonic Chrono Adventure, a brand new game that seems set on redefining how in-depth a fan game can be by delivering a deeper story, more cutscenes, and even time travel. LakeFeperd‘s work has received some very positive feedback from Sonic fans since he debuted on the scene, and this week’s Fan Friday is dedicated to his newest endeavors.
We’ve included the final trailer for Sonic After the Sequel and the announcement trailer for Sonic Chrono Adventure here. We also conducted an interview with LakeFeperd about his games, both old and new, and that interview can be read below. As always, we’re on the lookout for fan works to spotlight, so if you have a project you want the world to know about, send us a link at firstname.lastname@example.org!
TSSZ: By and large, the Sonic fanbase received Sonic Before the Sequel rather warmly. How do you look at that game now that you’ve moved on to bigger and more complex projects?
LakeFeperd: Well, it’s kind of shameful when I look back at BTS and I see how poor I was in the programing, art, and level design departments. There was a lot of cheap enemy placement and a lot of the graphics were very poorly designed. But I guess I shouldn’t feel so ashamed of it; after all, it was just my first project.
TSSZ: What lessons did you learn from the creation of Sonic Before the Sequel that have helped you create Sonic After the Sequel?
LakeFeperd: Quite a lot, really: level design, art, programing, and I even got a little better at working with other people due to my experience with the music guys.
TSSZ: For those unfamiliar with the situation, why was Sonic After the Sequel delayed and when do you expect the final product to be ready?
LakeFeperd: I’ve set a deadline for the end of April that I’m calling “Failsafe.” If April goes by and the soundtrack isn’t ready yet, it probably means the music guys simply don’t have any more time to work on it due to real life problems. At that point, I should release the game and move on. But falk says he’s still working on it.
TSSZ: Sonic After the Sequel is currently enjoying a good amount of hype and anticipation. Do you feel at all pressured to deliver another quality product?
LakeFeperd: Probably just a little bit, but they aren’t the only ones waiting for the game to be released. I’m also waiting; since the game has been finished but the soundtrack is still a work in progress, the only thing I can do now is wait, just like the fans.
TSSZ: Like many designers, I’m sure you hit creative stumbling blocks and lose some passion for your projects from time to time. How do you cope with that and re-energize yourself?
LakeFeperd: Running out of ideas is something that happens constantly. You just have to wait a while, get a pen and a paper, look at the world around you, and draw.
TSSZ: Why did you create Sonic Before the Sequel Aftermath?
LakeFeperd: Simple. I never worked with that sort of open-world level design before, so I thought I should make a little game to try it out before I went into a full project.
TSSZ: You recently released a trailer for your next game, Sonic Chrono Adventure. What can you tell us about that game, and how is it different from your previous offerings?
LakeFeperd: Well, it’s actually quite different from Aftermath. Since Aftermath was made just for the level design, I didn’t attempt to introduce some of the new mechanics present in Chrono Adventure. For example, there will be a shop system where you buy shields and backup ring boxes with silver rings you can find by exploring the world. This is not mandatory, but it can help players with the harder boss battles near the end. There’s also perspective switching, a feature I added in an attempt to make this game have a horizontal world instead of a vertical one, like you’d see in most Metroid games. Still, it may be kind of confusing to end a level at its right border and start the next one in the same place but facing a different direction. There’s much more, including a “playable character” that I still haven’t introduced yet to the public. You can probably find it in a screenshot a posted at SFGHQ’s screenshot thread, back when I was still using the first level of Aftermath as a placeholder to make Chrono Adventure’s mechanics!