SAGE 2014: Sonic Time Twisted Developer Bryce “Overbound” Stock Interview Part 2by Michael Westgarth February 23, 2014
In the second part of our interview with Bryce “Overbound” Stock, the Sonic Time Twsited creator and SAGExpo 2014 Act 1 co-organiser talks about the event itself, the future of SAGE and recent, official Sonic news.
If you haven’t already, check out our Bryce “Overbound” Stock Interview Part 1, which focuses on Sonic Time Twisted and the new, SAGE 2014 demo.
TSSZ: How do you think SAGE has manage to persist as long as it has?
Stock: Smidge204 and PC0 – these guys don’t involve themselves in the day to day operations anymore, however they’ve always managed to find someone to pull off the event. If there has been a problem with SAGExpo they have taken care of it and made sure it happened. Blaze Hedgehog also deserves credit for such a fantastic idea.
This year SAGExpo, [they] pretty much handed it over to myself and Slade Bad – Slade Bad being the founder of SonicUnited.org and myself being a co-owner. Hopefully we can keep it going for many more years.
TSSZ: What prompted you to take a lead role in the re-organization of SAGE this year?
Stock: In 2010 I could tell SFGHQ and SAGExpo were on their last legs but people were still doing SAGExpo. So I made a point to become involved in the leadership of SFGHQ and keep an eye on SAGExpo to make sure it still happened.
In 2013 SAGExpo didn’t pan out so I moved in to make sure the event could be salvaged. I brought Slade Bad on board then because I knew he loved SFGHQ and had [the] web space and dedication needed to pull the event off. Slade and I then built a site and announced the event.
My motivation is mostly due to my fondness for SFGHQ and fan games. It was one of the first Sonic sites I went to and the one I have been most attached to. SFGHQ is very a special place – I would never let it die.
TSSZ: Will SAGE ’14 bring any changes to the usual SAGE formula?
Stock: Yes and probably some that people will think are not for the best.
You must understand, SFGHQ was dying: Fewer fan games were being created, fewer posts in our forums, and of course the event didn’t even happen in 2013. Those factors are probably going to make this SAGExpo seem less polished than in years past.
SAGExpo motivates people to work on games and without it fewer games were created. It’s almost as if the entire community lost a year.
So this SAGExpo is about getting back to where we were. We’re using the event and new SFGHQ/Sonic United community to encourage people to work on fan games and it is working. There are more fan gaming topics in our forums than there have been for at least 3 years. But we still have that year to make up for, so the games you see at SAGE might not be as far along in development as entries in the past have been.
We’re also moving the event to semi-annual, to encourage people to work on their games year round. SAGExpo has been a great motivator in the past and hopefully having it twice a year is twice the motivation.
On the events side of things there are changes too. We haven’t really focused on getting special guests for the event. With events like Sonic Revolution, Sonic Boom, and Summer of Sonic it didn’t seem needed. The event is about fan works after all, and I am not really interested in that other stuff. That being said, SAGExpo is a community event and if someone else wants to do an interview with someone from Sega or host a chat they need only ask.
We’re also trying to expand into other fan works by allowing fans to show a variety of different Sonic Works including art, music, youtube shows, whatever they want. These pages are placed on an entertainment page separate from the games and I intend to make this a regular part of SAGExpo. That being said I’m not sure I did the best job of communicating this to the community. While we’ve gotten plenty of game registrations we have only a few Entertainment pages registered. But I think once people realize they can display their fan art, music, etc. on the main SAGE website they will find it appealing and over time it will be successful.
Also it’s not too late to have a page for anyone interested.
TSSZ: What projects should we watch out for this year?
Stock: Project AXSX is awesome. Especially for Sonic X-treme fans because it’s the closest we’ll ever come [to playing Sonic X-treme]. I don’t know what’s going to playable at SAGE but I know that Andrew75 has something like 30 levels he’s developed. I’ve been encouraging him to release some of them.
Sonic Chrono Adventure 1.1 looks quite fun. I am going to guess I am about half way through Chrono Adventure – it’s a great game, but I’m waiting for 1.1 to finish it.
Sonic Edge of Darkness is also shaping up rather nicely. It is a classic style game with some modern features too.
Salom Adventure looks like great fun too, especially if you are a fan of the Sonic Advance and Sonic Rush games.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3D also looks better and better with each passing year. It reminds me a little of Sonic Robot Blast 2. I think it runs on the old Duke Nukem engine.
Overall there are about 25 projects, which is more than we had in 2012.
TSSZ: Approximately when is SAGE ’14 Act 2 scheduled for?
Stock: We might actually have 3 SAGExpo events this year believe it or not. The idea is to do a SAGExpo during the holidays and one during the summer around August. But we didn’t have time to do that last year so we will host one in August and [one] again around Christmas. From then on it will be August and December of every year.
TSSZ: Many changes have taken place within Sega over the last few years e.g. Sega-Sammy merger, the Aliens: Colonial Marines fiasco, the acquisition of Atlus. Have any such events affected your opinion of Sega?
Stock: I love Sonic Generations, Sonic 4 Episode II, the All Star Racing series and I bought Sonic CD and Sonic 2 [iOS/ Android] from Taxman [Christian Whitehead]. There is very little else Sega does that I am interested in. Maybe if they revived some of their old franchises like Space Harrier, Phantasy Star (not Phantasy Star Online) and Ristar, that would change.
TSSZ: Have you seen the new Sonic Boom redesigns and trailers? And what are your thoughts on the redesign and the whole Sonic Boom TV/videogame project in general?
I’m not particularly happy with it. I wish Sega would have stuck with the Sonic Generations format for a few more games. But I’m probably in that group that Sega will never please.
If Sonic Boom introduces fans to Sonic and they learn about the history of the series and what the series used to be because of it then I think that’s a good thing.
TSSZ: What else are you up to that TSSZ readers might be interested in?
Stock: Since Sonic United and Sonic Fan Games HQ merged [we’ve been] working on making Sonic United the front page of the fan gaming scene. After SAGExpo is finished I’ll also be working on finishing up the new Wiki for sonicfangameshq.com. Which will serve as a more organized resource for fan gaming info, tutorials, games downloads, and engines.
TSSZ: Where can TSSZ readers find you?
Stock: I am usually on the Sonic United and Sonic Fan Games HQ forums which you can find at: www.sonicunited.org/forums
Sonic Time Twisted has a website too:
Thanks to Bryce for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check out the new Sonic Time Twisted demo and check back with TSSZ for more SAGE 2014 Act 1 developer interviews!