Sonic Boom is “a unified design and vision”, says Frost

A new interview with Sonic Boom producer Stephen Frost over at Gamasutra has gone into detail about the vision of the new extension of the Sonic franchise, giving some insight into how the collaborative efforts come together. Frost talks about a wealth of things from the creation of Sticks, the audience they’re aiming for and how he wants the whole of Boom to have a connected feeling to it.

Talking about the game itself, Frost touches on how Boom won’t be all existing Sonic fan’s cup of tea –

“We wanted a new kind of direction or branch of Sonic,” Frost says. “There are a lot of people who are familiar with Sonic, or fans of Sonic, who might be intimidated, or don’t play the traditional speed-based gameplay.”

In fact, there are even Sonic fans who have lost access to the franchise, says Frost: “We have this fan base who loves the character, but this is not their type of game.”

He then goes onto explain how he was initially worried about how Rise of Lyric seemed to have no core elements of Sonic, but development has improved on this with some signature speed –

Changing the Sonic formula too much can be a bit dangerous, though: “We had a point early in the early prototype phase where we’re sitting back and we were like, ‘You know, if we remove Sonic and the team from this… it could be anything,'” Frost recalls.

That’s changed, he says: Now, “there’s enough speed, enough core elements that make Sonic, Sonic in the game.”

It’s a team effort, guys.

Another interesting part to the article is where Frost goes into detail about how the synergy works across Sonic Team, the animation department, and Big Red Button when creating the identity for Boom. He specifically goes into detail about the newcomer Sticks, which he believes represents the “unified vision” despite there being multiple teams behind the character look and personality –

He told me this story about the creation of Boom’s new character, Sticks: “Sticks’ personality and core being was established by the animation team, but there was no design for her, so we took her core personality, and Sonic Team started doing sketches and ideas after that, and then based off of that, Big Red Button took that and fleshed it out into a 3D design.”

That kind of interaction leads to “a unified design and vision” for the franchise, moving forward, Frost says.

I’ve included the link to the interview below. It’s much more behind the scenes, but an interesting read nonetheless. Give it a look, and let us know what you think about what Frost expressed here in our comments below. Remember, this week is our collaboration with Sonic Retro and SEGAbits for Sonic’s 23rd birthday – keep tagging with #Sonic23on23 to keep the party going!

Source: Gamasutra

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Symbotic

A video game enthusiast, dog lover and dedicated Netflix user. Would probably spend every day eating pizza and talking about movies quite happily.

33 Comments

  1. Well I’m excited for Sonic Boom TV show on Cartoon Networ on October 2014 is going to be all ages of Sonic Fans or anybody is watching this TV show Sonic Boom on Cartoon Network!

        1. Even Sonic X would air on Cartoon Network on October after it leaves from Vortexx’s finale air on September.

  2. I’m actually still hyped for the game, gonna also give it a shot. Its not everyone’s cup of tea and I can understand why but I’m happy that Sonic always tries something new. Despite if its good or bad.

    Can’t wait to play <3

  3. IM curious of what Sonic Team is doing. They havent been active since 2011… what could they be devoloping?
    I had a strange dream where sonic was dashing around in a poison factory with dual lasers and black and red armor around his chest o_o

      1. You mean you don’t remember Sonic Lost World like how you can’t remember Sonic 4. They were just so meh.

        @RenyNoise
        Do you go to TSSZ by any chance?

  4. Off topic, but does anyone know when the latest Sonic Stadium music album us coming out? Last I heard, it was supposed to come out on the 22nd, but VizardJeffhog hasn’t seemed to be around for a few weeks.

  5. You know, I like Stephen Frost. I really like how in touch he is with the fans and how he knows that the fans matter when deciding on what they are going to do with this part of the franchise. More developers need to do this and I seriously question why the hell developers haven’t been doing this.

    But on the matter of Sonic Boom, I don’t understand why they thought this route would work. The TV show and the toys are great, the upcoming movie is great, the fact that we have two different studios working on Sonic games is great! But why choose to turn Sonic into something he’s not? I get these developers are the same developers who did stuff like Ratchet and Clank, but there is no reason to bring that Ratchet and Clank stuff to a Sonic game. There is a reason it’s called a Sonic game. When kids see Sonic the first thing they think of is throwing their arms backwards and going fast. Why put Sonic in a game where the only times where he actually throws his arm backwards and goes fast is during automated scenes where the kids aren’t even the ones making him go fast? Kids aren’t dumb and I don’t get why some people seem to think otherwise. Kids are becoming more intelligent every day and my nephews can tell the difference between what is Sonic and what isn’t.

    Retractable laser beams, jogging, and being put at a halt to beat up some enemies as if we were playing Sonic The Fighters isn’t what makes Sonic, Sonic. Doing the spin dash up walls, boosting through and past obstacles, and doing tricks and flips at the speed of sound while platforming all the way through is a Sonic game. Sonic Boom doesn’t even deserve the title Boom, it should just be Sonic: Rise of Lyric or Sonic: Shattered Crystals because when I hear Sonic Boom, I think of Classic Sonic running across a field faster than this Boom Sonic has ever ran with intense music that makes me feel like I’m really going fast.

    Hopefully Sonic Boom does succeed and the kids do like this, but as of right now, I only see the TV show and Sonic Boom 3DS taking off because they are the only ones that actually have Sonic being fast.

    1. That’s the problem though, we shouldn’t really view this as a sonic game, they are trying to do something new and different, it’s nice to see something fresh. It may not be the sonic we all know but it isn’t supposed to be

    2. They went this route because.

      1: The current Sonic fanbase is completely unpleaseable, whiny and scared of change, even the slightly deviation in the form of platforming, non running and other character besides Sonic will result in loud vocal complaint from entitled bastards who thinks Sega owes them the world despite having spent the past 10 plus years bitching about every game they made.

      2: There’s about 10 to 20 million other videogame players out there who will like this kind of gameplay, not all of them own a Wii U, but it still a safer bet to pander to those players rather then the whiny, ingrates the actual Sonic fanbase is degenerating into. Contrast that possible new market with the ever shrinking older fan crowd and the math becomes easy.

      3: it’s a brand new era out there with a brand new generation to sell the Sonic franchise too, and what better way to do it then make it a whole new kind of franchise free of all the whiny entitled bastards ruining the main Sonic franchise for the rest of us. This way little Timmy and Tilda can enjoy talking about Sonic Boom online without some 40 plus basement dweller going ape shit on them for liking blue arms and green eyes.

    3. Um…yeah…Big Red Baffoons are not made up of former Insomniac employees, which is the company who created Ratchet and Clank. They are made up of the begotten pieces of Naughty Dog that headlined the Crash Bandicoot/Jak and Daxter games that got cut off as soon the studio found more success in doing Uncharted.

      Trust me, if that team where made of former devs that worked on Ratchet and Clank and Resistance, Sonic Boom wouldn’t be so mediocre right now.

      1. Um no big red button has a bunch of different devs, some from naughty dog, some from insomniac etc

  6. “We had a point early in the early prototype phase where we’re sitting back and we were like, ‘You know, if we remove Sonic and the team from this… it could be anything,’”

    Yes, indeed. And it clearly still shows. The game looks generic and bland as hell with little variety.

    1. Said the “true Sonic fan.”

      It looks a hell of a lot more fun to play then the boost to win main franchise games with their zero focus on characters and storyline offerings ever since Sonic Colors.

      1. Then you sir, have very poor taste in video games.

        Any Platinum game, comic book tie-in, indie brawler, classic side-scrolling beat-em up or just any quality platformer with combat elements from the past decade has got this game beat.

        So either you are a terrible troll or mommy never let you play the big boy games. Maybe you’re just incredibly butthurt about not getting SA3 with your “epic” character defining stories and playable characters out of the wazooo. You’re not the only one.

        But if you’re happy putting Sonic in a cheap little shovlewear game meant to insult a child’s intelligence, then I have an idea for you:

        1)Get a good PC.

        2)Join Steam.

        3)Get any of the various LEGO games from Traveler’s Tales (preferably LEGO Batman 2 or LEGO Marvel Super Heroes)

        4)Create a Sonic Boom Mod.

        CONGRATULATIONS!! You have created the game that Rise of Lyric aspires to be….only it has LEGOS, so it’s infinitely better!!

        1. So you’re saying that Any Platinum game, comic book tie-in, indie brawler, classic side-scrolling beat-em up or just any quality platformer with combat elements from the past decade is better than an unfinished, unreleased game

          Good job mate, that’s totally makes sense

          1. Dude, this game is looking bad on concept, let alone with a significant amount of gameplay already in place. Not to mention this is exclusively on a console that few people gave faith in, competing with Mario Kart, Smash Bros and even Sonic Lost World, three titles of higher quality and repute.

            A couple of months is [b]NOT[/b] going to save this game from the backlash of the gaming media, the insane prattling of the Sonic fanbase, the mocking gestures of the internet in general, and the potential bad word of mouth from the general public after playing the final game. Those kids that this gaming is aiming for? they can discover forums on GameFAQS or videos on YouTube bashing this game from conception to release that could inform their decisions and only a GameFly rental or a LP could possibly change their mind. It would be a miracle if this game could break 20k based on their target audience alone, and that is not factoring the supposed popularity of the show. Rise of Lyric hinges directly on the success of the franchise, because this game doesn’t appear to be capable of success on it’s own merits. In short, this game is getting universally bashed for it’s very cheap quality and the only ones who seem to have any optimism are Sonic fans desperately hoping this shiny turd won’t add fuel to the Sonic Cycle.

            Of course none of this would be possible if SEGA treated this game less like a trans-media tie-in, and more like a proper video game. This video by Extra Credits touches on some of the subjects I am talking about: that licensed game tie-ins shouldn’t be cheaply made just because it is for kids.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdFw8kvHAY8

            Of course, if you wanna spend $60 on shovelwear, be my guest.

  7. They’re hard workers so I’ll buy both versions and watch the show for them since they are giving it their best to make a decent spin-off to the series.

  8. While I agree that he may have shot himself in the foot with that whole “veteran fans being vocal minority” thing, but the point still stands that this game is not made primarily for longtime fans, it’s to bring newer fans into the fold. Those of us who actually are interested and might enjoy the game will still be a part of that pool, but in terms of intended audience, it’s not us they’re looking at. Whether I completely agree with this decision or not, I know that it comes at little consequence for me. We’ve still got Sonic Team to try to figure out how to properly cater to us (again, for like the 3rd time now!). And like I’ve said before, more often than not, demographics don’t mean much in the long run. MLP was intended for 12 year old girls, and now almost half of every adult male and female in the United States makes up more than half of it’s audience. There’s no telling who they’ll be trying to cater to for Sonic Boom 4 or 5 years from now, but at the very least when any change in attention towards the show and games happens, the show and games will adapt to meet that change (ideally anyway). I’ve got no gripes not being the one who this was intended towards, not if there’s still a chance for me to enjoy it, and especially not when someone else is already trying to cater to me. If only Frost had chosen his words just a bit better, I can still see how most people would feel rather attacked from that statement.

    1. Why would they look for the veteran fans at all, all you lot ever do is whine endlessly about each new game no matter how hard Sonicteam try.

      Better to aim for a new fanbase then put up with the current one.

      1. Okay, generalizing an entire fanbase doesn’t make you any better than the fans you complain about. Not every fan of the main series is like that, I tend to be a little more passive, and even then some of those fans still have some points. It’s nice to be positive most of the time, but most of the time when those fans are complaining about something, it’s out of love for the series.

  9. “We had a point early in the early prototype phase where we’re sitting back and we were like, ‘You know, if we remove Sonic and the team from this… it could be anything,’”

    You think? ;d

  10. Thats frost for you, the devotion to sonic that aaron webber has, maybe stronger, this is gonna be a great game.

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