Who’s at Big Red Button? Part 2 – SuperBots are invading, we need reinforcements!

Big Red Button Entertainment Logo

For Part 1, look here!

It’s that time again! I’ve been busy doing more research on who’s at Big Red Button and working on the Wii U version of Sonic Boom.

Well my findings sort of come in almost two categories; the most common is the mass amount of former SuperBot Entertainment folks, the team behind PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, aka, Sony Smash Bros. Which by the way while it was never going to dethrone Smash, it looked like a very polished game from what I’ve seen, and Metacritic is pretty kind to it (only one reviewer gave it a horrendous 20/100 as the only score below 50, the game clearly is not shit).

The second category is held by one person, and it’s actually most deserving to be the highlight, more on that in a bit. 😉

Let’s start with a brief look at SuperBot. The team was formed in 2009 by a former Sony Santa Monica person (creators of God of War), and they were in fact, a 1st-Party developer of Sony, just as Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Sony Santa Monica, etc, are.

Well that changed, after All-Stars didn’t sell well (I don’t remember the numbers), Sony cut ties with them, and they were hit HARD, many thought they had closed but they confirmed in April 2013 that they were still active.

Well it seems a lot of them went to Big Red Button, now let’s see who’s there!

Let’s start with Niles Tucker, who was an Environment Artist at SuperBot, is now the same at Big Red Button.

Next is Kevin Hsu, who was a Senior Level Designer at SuperBot, is now a Combat Designer at Big Red Button.

Then we have Johnathan Nielsen, who was a UI (User Interface) Programmer at SuperBot, is now a Programmer at Big Red Button.

Fourth is  Carl-Henrik Skårstedt, who was Lead Software Engineer at, you guessed it, SuperBot, is now a Senior Programmer at, right again, Big Red Button!

Yet again, we have Daniel Ramirez, who was a Senior Character Artist at SuperBot, is now a Lead Character Artist at Big Red Button.

Here we have Mark Vernon, Combat AI Designer at SuperBot, is now Combat Designer at Big Red Button.

Next is Lisa Kapitsas, who was a Producer at SuperBot. Now she’s a Producer at Big Red Button.

What’s that? No more? Wow, I thought this wouldn’t end! XD Seven SuperBot folks, holy cow. This is looking more like a SuperBot-based company than a Naughty Dog or Insomniac one don’t it?

There are a few extras before we get to the big bit, they are the following:

First is Greg Prior, who worked at Sony Santa Monica as a Junior Environment Artist, specifically on God of War: Ascension. He’s now an Environment Artist at Big Red Button.

Second is Dannie Carlone, who also worked at Sony Santa Monica, this time as an Environment Artist, again on God of War: Ascension, is now also an Environment Artist at Big Red Button.

Next is Ben Strickland, this time having been a Junior Designer at High Impact Games (I covered a few HIG folks in the first part), is now a Game Designer at Big Red Button.

Finally we have David Nam, who was an Animator at High Impact Games (but only for a few months, he actually was an Animator for a few years at Wayforward, who makes Shantae, Mighty Switch Force, etc), is now Junior Animator at Big Red Button.

But wait, this person also worked at Disney, as he says specifically:

Created hand drawn animations under the mentorship of Anthony DeRosa, and animated on several scenes for “Winnie the Pooh”

This is leading up to my favorite of the pack, saving the best for last, allow me to introduce Todd Ammons, this guys’ resume will blow your mind. He worked at Disney for many years during the 90’s and early 2000’s as Assistant Animator on MANY Disney Renaissance Era films like Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, Tarzan, Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc as he shows on his site! He also worked on animating in the film Barnyard, and actually worked at Insomniac for a year and a half as Senior Animator, animating in Ratchet Deadlocked and Resistance: Fall of Man. He worked on numerous games at Heavy Iron Studios including Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Spongebob: Truth or Square.

And he has an animation demo!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE1–ka5_BE

Here you’ll find clips of Ratchet, Barnyard, Ratatouille, Spongebob (oh my god this is my fav bit), a tiny clip of Home on the Range with Alameda Slim (the villain), among others.Guys, I think we’re in for a TREAT! He’s now Senior Animator at Big Red Button, and here’s his description of the position:

Responsible for development of Cinematic,Character,Camera and Game Animation for the main actors and enemies. Influential in creating a Combat style and adding personality to the heros

That wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed this, as I certainly have!

24 Comments

  1. Wow, I’m really impressed with the list of developers on this game so far, especially Todd Ammons. I still can’t believe people feel pessimistic, about the game anyways, considering how many seasoned veterans from the industry are working on this game.

    1. “I still can’t believe people feel pessimistic” here we go again. You can’t just get a team of people who happen to have a few achievements under the belt and just call it a day. Most of these guys have no idea what Sonic even is (aside from probably briefly playing it 20 something years ago). What we have now looks like a slow generic 3d beat ’em up with random forced platforming-elements sections sprinkled in (geez, I wonder what that sounds like.)
      The fact of the matter is, if Sonic Team, the original creators of Sonic, struggled to get the games on the right track for years.. so why would I expect a team of people who worked on an SSB rip-off and on a (good) decade old game that can’t even be put in the same category Sonic to get it right?
      Even if the game turns out to be good, I highly doubt that it will turn out to be a good SONIC game. If they just made an entire IP all together for that sort of thing instead of yet again milking the blue hedgehog then I wouldn’t have as much problems with it as I do. And the idea of splitting an already split fanbase into even smaller more niche fanbases just doesn’t sound good at all.

      1. You’re tired of Sonic, we get it. If there’s no news about this game or any Sonic game in general that gives you any small interest or positive feeling, then why bother with it at all? It sounds like you’re fed up with Sonic, so what’s the point in continuing? Expressing your opinion is fine and all, but you’re starting to sound like a broken record to me, it doesn’t feel like you can find anything to enjoy about the series anymore, so I’m really baffled as to why you still care. I’m not here for another smack-talk session, I just really want to know why you still care enough about Sonic to make all of these complaints about everything when you clearly don’t see the series as worth liking anymore.

        1. Also, I hate it when he quotes you and tries to shove his own mundane opinions down your throat. Not trying to make an argument, but that is what I feel like. I heavily agree with you, Hero. He kind of reminds me of another account named “Chris K.”.

          1. Yeah, he and ChaoticFox tend to support each other’s arguments a lot, but it’s natural, seeing as how they have similar views of the series. Some fans will only attract like-minded fans to one another. I’m not against that, as I would openly embrace anyone who would share my views on things, but I would much more prefer a fan who embraces other fans having different views rather than trying to make them all feel inferior for it. They’re both entitled to their opinions, but let’s face facts: they can be huge downers a lot of the time on a lot of things, and shun anyone who doesn’t feel otherwise. They can think what they want, but I won’t ever respect someone like that (and I’m already well aware that I won’t be respected back either, but I don’t care. Never asked for it.).

      2. Dude, they are working closely with Sonic Team on this. And this obviously NOT a beat-em-up. There is an emphasis on exploration as well and the game is similar in structure to Sonic Adventure. An Action-adventure-Platformer and a beat-em-up are two different things.

  2. Tons of ex-Sony guys working on a Nintendo exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog title…

    …Who saw THAT coming?

  3. Well we have a good pedigreed staff here. I will say I liked Playstation All Stars and it’s a shame Sony shut them down when the game didn’t sell Smash Bros. numbers but I thought it had potential for future installments. Namely work on balancing issues, set up a proper matching making system online and you know, put in characters people actually wanted. But most of the haters are Otakus who think Sonic should ONLY be made by Japanese developers and if it doesn’t have any Japanese influence, it can’t be good. (rolls eyes). Nice to see the Superbot crew found work.

    1. *Weeaboos

      I’m an otaku and am totally behind this game when I learned that some ex-members from Naughty Dog are working on this.

    2. i am not even bothering about looking at it .
      where is the next sonic team game boys with real Sonic who happens to save the day on his own most of the time .
      not this thing who isnt anything special among his group and the sad part there is no chaos emeralds .
      Sonic team please hurry

      1. Most likely next year. Because, This is part of the year of Sonic thing SEGA is doing and is consorted a highlight so technically, Sonic Team won’t release a Sonic Game till next year.

  4. Though before we get too excited, remember when we thought Bioware was going to do amazing things with Sonic Chronicles?

  5. Well, not a bad lineup. And this Todd Ammons seems to have a pretty good track record. All of these animations have a pretty slick and expressive feel to them. I look forward to seeing Sonic and the others emote in similar manners.

  6. Well maybe this is what we need…these people who’ve done a variety of games. If my memory serves me right most of those games were good. So maybe this might just work. If not well then…Silence will fall.

  7. Thank god this is isn’t a Mario games anymore of Sonic Lost World copying Super Mario Galaxy, or shadow hole in New Super Mario Bros Wii, then for Sonic Lost World, for Wii U of the zone 4 Stage 2 of Silent Forest copy of the lights off of Shadow in Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii or 3DS of 3D! Then one more thing I like the fact of Sega do four old Sonic Characters copy the one Sonic game in Sonic Adventure 2 really love that in Sonic Boom, is Sonic The Hedgehog, Miles Tails Prower, Amy Rose, and Knuckles The Echidna, to go adventure twice again like in Sonic And The Dark Brother Hood of Nintendo DS only! but this time it charge right now you could decide to choose four playable Sonic Characters just like in Sonic Heroes their were three Sonic Characters of Team Sonic plus Amy Rose is Joining Sonic The Hedgehog, and Miles Tails Prower , or Knuckles The echidna in Sonic Boom this is something new going and Adventure mode to pretty good Sega or Big Red Buttion!

    1. Dude, the lights out level is actually a reference to sonic 3 & knuckles. In that game there was a level where there were ghosts and if the lights went completely out and you had to pull a light switch to turn the lights back on.

    1. Agreed. We wont know if Sonic Boom will be good or bad until it finally comes out. So lets just calm down and wait until we get our hands on it.

  8. I am simply going to try to keep an open mind towards Sonic Boom. Most likely, I will wait until I can see how it looks when completed and somebody does a playthrough.

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