Tons of new info on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric development found

Tons of new info on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric development found

by July 11, 2017 16 comments

We already know Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric had a very troubled development, but to what extent? Several researches have dig up some of its secrets, but now we have a more extensive look on the developing process of it.

Motobadnik, who in collaboration with Spanish site Sonic Paradise released a few months ago a early trailer of Sonic Synergy who was long lost to the community, has kept researching on the matter to the point of tracing a very precise timeline of events, along with many details before unknown thanks to his contact with a Big Red Button source who wants to remain anonymous.

The full article is in Spanish, but here are some of the most important bits of it.

  • The game started development as “Project Apollo”. Around October 2011 it was at a “Block Out” phase, with a huge focus on LAN party online multiplayer gameplay and racing.
  • Storyline wise, it revolved about Sonic origins: Sonic and a young Eggman were close friends, but during a time travel sequence Eggman messes with something at the past, breaking their friendship.  Ancients were very important in this storyline, because they were related with Sonic’s origins. Eggman was once planned as a playable character but it was discarded. Tentative title for this was “Sonic Origins”Sonic Origins Eggman concept art
  • One of their main goals was to create an organic and natural looking environment for Sonic, using handmade textures for a cartoonish look. It was not rejected, but result is poor at the final game because of Wii U’s lower capabilities.
  • Game was 80% exploration, 20% speed. They were trying to do a sort of Jak & Daxter styled Sonic, reminiscent of Bob Rafei’s past as a Naugthy Dog developer.
  • Due to a series of requirement from Sega Japan, they worked for 2 years on the “Vertical Slice” build, a tech demo of sorts that demoed all the gameplay gimmicks, in order to work on them and show their ideas to SEGA.
  • Game was planned as a 4 players Co-op adventure, set to release as a digital title at Steam with a PS Store/Xbox Live port planned if sales went as expected. That Vertical slice demo is what we know as Synergy.
  • Synergy started at this room, after a cutscene played.Sonic Synergy first scene
  • Around late 2012, Sega shows this Vertical slice demo to Nintendo and include Synergy as part of their exclusivity deal. Sega asks Big Red Button for a Nintendo 3DS port, until Sanzaru games came to save the day.
  • Wii U porting came around mid 2013. This makes a full change on the product focus. 4 players co-op was impossible, so game was turned into a 2 players adventure. Many mechanics were changed due to Wii U hardware, making them reworks the levels into more lineal ones, with lots of interactive prompt buttons for almost everything.
  • TV show also helped destroy their original idea. A designer pitched Sega the idea of a Sonic Tv Show. It was unrelated to the game, but 8 months before the game launch SEGA gave total control to the show team to change the game, making big changes to the storyline and making Knuckles dumb. They also asked for a richer universe with lots of characters that were totally absent in the series, along with filler cutscenes and levels due to the storyline change. No info on the previous storyline was revealed, except that ancients had a huge importance there.
  • Sega and Sonic Tems asked for several changes during all the developing process:
    • Gameplay wise, asides for asking for more speed and less exploration, they also eliminated water moves. Initially, Sonic and friends were able to swim, but due to Sonic Team exigencies they made them die on contact with water in the final game.
    • Design wise, many changes were made on the characters to make them more similar to “legacy Sonic” look. Several NPC characters had to be radically changed due to them violating Sonic Team design guidelines. One of them was Cliff, originally an inventor. Only Tails and Eggman can be inventors.
    • Storyline wise, they made them discard the Sonic origins storyline as SEGA denied it, due to them planning to tell Sonic origins in the future ( or at least, that is what they told Big Red Button.
  • Many gameplay gimmicks were removed. Rappel rock climbing, using friends as a slingshot, water ski, run fast to boost other characters while using Sonic, swim and dive for a few seconds… most of them were removed due to Wii U limitations.  Crater lake level was hugely changed too, as it was focused on 4 players water skiing. They had to take parts of other levels to put a full crater lake level. Mecha worm boss was going to be part of Crater Lake originally.
  • Chao was initially included at the game, but later removed due to time and hardware constraints.
  • There was a piggy bank gimmick, were you banked your rings to later use to upgrade the characters and weapons. It was removed due to the change of game focus.
  • Wii U build was planned to include several gamepad gimmicks such as moving platforms with the touch screen and controlling a golem robot, but was discarded due to tech issues and time constraints.
  • There was a bi plane level that was removed due to being too boring. You controlled tails to chase Lyric into the final level. Voice clips from that level were dubbed into other languages. Motobadnik uploaded spanish audio dub lines from that level.

 

  • Synergy name changed due to SEGA wanting to make a global brand, thus making no sense.

Motobadnik also released two more trailers for the game. One from November 2012

and another one from August 2013.

 

Last, but not least, Motobadnik released a full PDF with a design guide from February 2014. It includes tons of concept art, evolution of design and removed content from the games.  You can download it here.

 

And that is all. Motobadnik ask that if you’re planning to make a video, article or any kind of relay of this info, please source the original source ( Sonic Paradise and him) and also contact him to avoid misinformation and help clarify any possible doubt that might arise. You can contact him at his twitter account ( he speaks English so have no fear to hit him up anytime)

 

Here are a few more screenshots and arts found at the article. If you want to read it fully, head to Sonic Paradise ( although it is in Spanish).

16 Comments so far

  1. Onaterdem
    #1 Onaterdem 12 July, 2017, 03:08

    May it rest in peace.

    And synergy, for that matter.

    Another ultra promising game gone to dust because of stupid decisionmaking. Hope it never happens again.

    Reply this comment
  2. Negima
    #2 Negima 12 July, 2017, 03:33

    Damn. All that potential for what would’ve been the greatest Sonic game ever dead and buried. Hopefully in the next Boom game or main Sonic game after Forces, they might use the idea of to use exploration and speed 50-50 to make it more fun.

    Plus the idea of a Jak and Daxter style Sonic game sounds lots of fun and I would’ve enjoyed it very much!

    Real shame for what happened to Boom Rise of Lyric. Really hope we get another Boom console game.

    Reply this comment
  3. SSJSonicXX14
    #3 SSJSonicXX14 12 July, 2017, 05:40

    Oh my man this is amazing it’s a gold mine
    Apollo Knuckles looks like a joke Sonic Team should have just vetoed every bit of that design altogether, they shouldn’t have been surprised that the show runners made him dumb
    “Gameplay wise, asides for asking for more speed and less exploration, they also eliminated water moves. Initially, Sonic and friends were able to swim, but due to Sonic Team exigencies they made them die on contact with water in the final game.”
    Sonic Team hates exploration I mean we know that of course but the last bit confirms they really really hate water in 3D.
    “Only Tails and Eggman can be inventors.”
    What’s the point of this? Of all the things for Sonic Team to care about story wise…
    The degree to which the Nintendo deal screwed them over is also hilariously sad Boom as a brand could be in a different place right now if it wasn’t for that.

    Reply this comment
    • Chaos
      Chaos 12 July, 2017, 11:36

      They don’t hate exploration, if that was the case they wouldn’t include more than one path in levels

      Reply this comment
  4. Novarek
    #4 Novarek 12 July, 2017, 05:40

    Ok so in short, Wii U technical limitation, bad choice of Sega and the staff of Sonic Boom TV show taking control over the lore / script / character development of the game are the culprits of this disaster.

    At least now we know who had the “brillant” idea in the first place to transform Knuckles as the retard he is now…

    Oh well, another reason to add in my long list about why I had to boycott the Sonic Boom franchise…

    Reply this comment
  5. Hero
    #5 Hero 12 July, 2017, 12:20

    Geez, the more we learn about this, the more we learn how Sega corporate (and some parts of Sonic Team as well) really screwed the pooch with this thing’s oversight. I really really hope this new change in direction avoids mistakes like this in the future where it’s largely they’re fault, but I guess we have to wait and see for that.

    Still, that tidbit about “Sonic Origins” was interesting. While it doesn’t necessarily confirm a future game about Sonic’s origins, it does at least suggest that the idea for a game focusing on Sonic’s origins is on Sega and Sonic Team’s radar. Still, given how their current writers have been handling things and how little Iizuka seems to care about any form of strict continuity in the slightest, I’m almost afraid of what they would make, while at the same time immensely curious. Maybe for the next anniversary title, lol.

    Reply this comment
  6. Nuzamaki90
    #6 Nuzamaki90 12 July, 2017, 14:03

    Good lord this game becomes even more of a directionless mess each time more information comes out. They really did not know how this game was going to turn out in the end.

    And those character models look awful. Amy’s voice sounded like she had an entirely different voice actor. And they should’ve kept Stick’s initial design because it looks great and she looks a lot more competent.

    Reply this comment
  7. sonicgalaxy27
    #7 sonicgalaxy27 12 July, 2017, 15:34

    Another waste of development.

    Reply this comment
  8. Theroonco
    #8 Theroonco 12 July, 2017, 18:31

    Wow…this is genuinely tragic to read! The original plot seemed really interesting and it sucks that the game got derailed as much as it did; surely there was a better way to compromise between the two if they HAD to be part of the same sub–franchise instead of completely overriding the game with the show (which I still love, by the way).

    I highly doubt SEGA will ever tell the story of Sonic’s origins – the comment above caught my interest for sure but it was probably just a “just in case” prevention on SEGA’s part (after all, Sonic got an origin story in the UK they had no idea about when he moved over there).

    That said, I would really like a “Sonic Origins” story. Boom could definitely get away with a flashback episode(s) showing how Sonic and Eggman (and maybe Tails) first met and while I’d also love the same from the main series I want to see whether the writing has improved for Forces first.

    Reply this comment
  9. Dom Greer
    #9 Dom Greer 12 July, 2017, 19:06

    If there’s a Sonic Origins story expect Sonic to be the only character playable again unless it’s a 3D Modern title because Eggman might have a chance to be playable.

    If it’s an “Origin” it’ll probably take place before Sonic 1 and it’ll be a Classic 2D game similar to Mania.

    But back to my 3D game thought… there would be two stories, Sonic and Eggman’s and it would show how they met and became enemies.

    It would probably show how Sonic got his super power speed and how Eggman started his career as an Evil scientist.

    Reply this comment
  10. Hifihedgehog
    #10 Hifihedgehog 13 July, 2017, 09:34

    @SSF1991/Donnie: For you personally, what is your considered opinion of Sonic Boom, both as a show and as a game series? If there was anything you could change or improve in the game series, what you suggest? What is your favorite part about Sonic Boom that makes it an interesting and unique contribution to the franchise?

    Reply this comment
  11. Skai Cyan
    #11 Skai Cyan 13 July, 2017, 11:05

    “We can’t do cartoony graphics because of Wii U limitations.”

    DKCRTF? Smash? W-101? Windwaker HD? Breath of the Wild? Nintendo Land? Epic Mickey? Lego City? Skylanders? Literally ANY fucking Mario game?

    When do the excuses fucking stop? At what point do developers admit that their game is shit because they either didn’t want to try or because they SUCK! This was a colorful and cartoony game built on an engine that the system supports NATIVELY. Any problems you encounter were your own ineptitude.

    Reply this comment
  12. Raw
    #12 Raw 13 July, 2017, 13:07

    Still beating the dead horse? Seriously we should let this piece of crap die already.

    Personally I think this game was flawed from the inception and I think any true gamer who played it could see; get rid of the glitches, long loading screens, bugs, make it super polished, add all the features they missed and even add Sticks as a playable character and the game would still be a bland and super repetitive button masher beat-em-up, worse yet one as simple as it is easy.

    And I have nothing against beat-em-ups, I love some like Devil May Cry, God of War and Bayonetta, still what I played in Sonic Boom: RoL felt more like those swallow beat-em-ups / platformer hybrids they tend to make based on popular franchises (like TMNT, Family Guy, Teen Titans, etc.), so I would suggest fans stop crying over this, even if this were the most solid and polished game of the year I’m pretty sure it would also be the most boring one.

    But for what is worth I think the best qualities this game had going for it were the sense of world building (mostly showed in concept art) and the graphics they were aiming for before moving to Wii U hell development.

    Reply this comment
    • RobotHobo64
      RobotHobo64 14 July, 2017, 00:33

      Family Guy is the only one with a shit brawler part in an overall shitty game.
      TMNT has had numerous great brawlers and the 2006 Teen Titans game was honestly really fun.
      Even as a tie-in, Boom has no excuse being as bad as it did.

      Reply this comment
      • Raw
        Raw 14 July, 2017, 09:04

        Maybe only TMNT for arcade (and SNES), the others are shit but nothing compared with Boom.

        Reply this comment
  13. Ryborg
    #13 Ryborg 14 July, 2017, 07:04

    So the twist is that Rise of Lyric wasn’t suppose to be a Sonic Boom game.

    Awesome. Explains everything.

    Reply this comment

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