“This is just simply a different kind of experience”
The reaction to recent video of Sonic Boom has been, to say the least, quite polarizing. It’s an important E3 for Sega and their personnel to try and turn opinion around, and for his part, Sonic Boom producer Stephen Frost is trying to do that, taking to the Sonic Stadium forums last week ahead of traveling to gaming’s biggest event this week.
Here are some of the responses he left to some concerned fans about the state of the game:
Trying not to comment on much right now, since it always takes time for stuff to sink in and I want people to have some time with the footage and screens before I try to jump in and answer questions, etc. I did want to say, though, that speed sections are not just isolated to roads that connect hubs to levels. There are also speed sections and roads, etc. within levels and hubs. Each of the levels that you are seeing footage from has speed sections in them. We just didn’t show them because they aren’t going to be at E3.
The E3 demo covers the same areas that you have seen footage of and was chosen to clearly represent what the differences are in Sonic Boom versus a normal “Sonic” title developed by Sonic Team. The levels chosen also feature more of a dark look with very little green or natural colors because, again, we wanted to clearly show some of the differences in the game. That’s not to say that we don’t have greenery, water, etc. and other more-natural things. But I think that is what people generally expect, so we chose to show something different.
The last thing I wanted is for people who are generally not that familiar to Sonic to look at the E3 demo and just say it looks the same… I don’t get how this is different. So, we erred on the side on the side of making sure everything looked different than normal. The sections chosen, such as the specific parts of the levels, the boss fight, the speed section were all chosen to represent, again, clear differences between this game and the normal branch of Sonic… and also are tuned to make sure everyone gets through them all. They do not represent final challenge, etc. that you will see in the final game.
There is no run button but boost pads, bouncepads and zip lines exist in levels to further boost speed. Overall level pacing is thought of. There are some areas where enemies will need to be defeated to continue on and areas where enemies are just around if you want to fight them for drops. As far as builds, of course, it is “early” to a degree. Demos almost always are unless your game is done. Demos are a snapshot in time while the full build continues forward. Demos, most often, reflect where you were, not where you are going… Unless, of course, the game is done. The footage and the updated E3 demo is still all Alpha code.
‘m obviously disappointed that you’re not feeling as positive as you previously were, but I just hope you can hold judgement until you see more about the game in the weeks and months ahead. That’s not to say that you’ll change your mind at all, but please keep in mind that the footage seen and the E3 demo maybe represent 15-20 mins of the game, if that. And this is not a game where you can get a full picture of from what you have been seeing so far.
Of course, if you are the kind of person who loves boost gameplay or full-on speed all the time, then this probably won’t be your cup of tea. And nothing I say is going to change that. This is just simply a different kind of experience.
The purpose of the E3 demo is to purely and clearly show elements of this game that are different from past Sonic titles, as well as be easy enough for everyone to get through. The good side of this is that folks who might not have been interested in Sonic before may have some interest now based upon what they are seeing. The bad side is that hardcore Sonic fans may see these new elements in these level sections and extrapolate that the rest of the level(s) must be similar, and become, like you, less optimistic. It’s not an ideal situation, that’s for sure, but it was definitely crucial for us to show the new direction of the game, so that’s what we are trying to do.
Anyway, I’m rambling on a bit too much here. The point that I am trying to make, though, is that I hope that everyone doesn’t take a bit of footage and a single game demo and base everything upon them. We still have a ways until launch and we still have a lot to show.
Do these remarks calm your concerns any? Tell us in the comments below.