The Sonic Stadium interviews Sonic Adventurer of SonicVerse Team about his new fan game, website, and future. The comics studio is dipping its toe into the fan gaming scene, and even though they didn't show up to the most recent SAGE event, they're still keen to talk about the project they would have shown! Read on for more...
TSS: Hey, this is Andrew from The Sonic Stadium conducting the first exclusive interview with SVT's Sonic Adventurer! First of all, tell us why you're important in the community?
Sonic Adventurer: I'm important? O.o
TSS: Last I checked you were... if you weren't important I wouldn't be interviewing you now would I?
Sonic Adventurer: ... Point taken =P Okay, well let's see... I'm the president of a three-year-old Sonic fan comic team called the SonicVerse Team. We're a hardworking crew whose sole purpose is to please the Sonic fandom and become a leader in fan innovation and creativity. As we grow, our options grow and we've spread out to getting our hands in the game making side of things for the very first time.
... And I believe this is what you're interviewing me for, as since my group was sort of a "no show" in March's Sonic Amateur Games Expo!
TSS: Well, that was definitely one of the purposes of this interview for sure! So tell me about this game that never showed its face at SAGE.
Sonic Adventurer: Oh well, we have a whole list of games really. But a newcomer to the fan gaming community shouldn't put its foot in its mouth by promising games that have a chance of never making it. So I won't say too much about them. But, one project we can definitely reveal is called SonicVerse Adventures. That's a game based off of our premier comic series, SonicVerse, which as you can tell takes after the name of our team.
TSS: What type of gameplay should we expect to see in this fan game? Is it a 2D classic side scrolling Sonic type game?
Sonic Adventurer: Yes, it is. And by saying that it may discourage some gamers, since right now the majority of fan games out there are simply 2D remakes of the classic Sonic games. Not to say that's BAD, but it just means you need to have something different to steal the show.
Take for instance, Sonic Team Junior's Sonic Robo Blast 2. That's a 3D game, and has a lot of promise. As does Sonic Epoch which includes a new twist in the Sonic game genre - the first Sonic game based directly off SatAM.
SonicVerse Adventures does include 2D side scrolling 100%, but the beauty is in it's design and the way it's accomplished. For that, we credit to the brilliant expertise of none other than Cinos Hedgehog.
TSS: What goes into making a fan game? When did you start and how long has it been in production?
Sonic Adventurer: The idea came up ever since Cinos joined the staff. SVT was strictly a comics-only group until he stepped in and took us to a new plateau. The idea for the game came around 1999 and since then we've been plotting and changing the idea. Now, three years later, we're seeing some progress.
Cinos has always been the only one in the gaming staff, and I thought was unfair to lump all the work on him. So we hired a crew of sprite artists, background artists, etc... and although they're a bit new to how we run things around here, Cinos will help them adapt.
Seeing as how he's the head of the gaming staff, he's become like the 'Yuji Naka' of SonicVerse Team! In terms of progress, the engine is about 95% done, last I checked. All we need now are the sprites, backgrounds and of course... everything else!
TSS: Tell us about the storyline of SonicVerse Adventures. Will it be a past storyline of the comics, or a whole new story exclusive to the game?
Sonic Adventurer: It's based on the previous comics, the same story as in the Chaos Diamond Saga. The SV Freedom Fighters are looking for seven Chaos Diamonds to return to Ragnorak (a dragon that holds the sky blue Chaos Diamond in his chest).
The point is, once Ragnorak gets all seven of the Chaos Diamonds, he can escape the captivity in which's he's been imprisoned for many years. Once free, he promises to give the Freedom Fighters the sky blue Chaos Diamond, which possesses the power of rebirth. This gem can bring King Acorn back to life (read SonicVerse #1 to know what happened). However, how things unfold in the game will not be chronicled in the comics, it's exclusive to SonicVerse Adventures.
TSS: So when will this game be ready to play? Is there a release date planned?
Sonic Adventurer: A demo is definitely sitting pretty for September's SAGE event. You'll be able to play both SA (my character) and Cinos Hedgehog (who are both in the comics) once it's out. The game would kinda rub you the wrong way if you're thinking "Oh brother, not another fan furry game. Another rip-off from what could be a good Sonic game." But, if you're a Sonic fan - and especially a fan of our comic's history and intricate storyline - you'll love this game.
A release date for the full version is unknown. I guess you'll have to catch me again once the demo's out. And just a little hint here, if we're able to make the SonicVerse comic series into a game, who's to say we can't do the same for other comics we run..?
TSS: Let's get onto your website. I heard you're taking a year-long break from operating the SonicVerse Team homepage. What was the thinking behind that? Maybe you changed your mind from last time I talked to you or..?
Sonic Adventurer: Nope, definitely not changed my mind. Thing is, I've seen this little shindig of mine grow from waaay back in '99. At first it was as if nobody really cared. I was but another fan maker trying to come off as the bombs, in a community where all that was talked about was "tSf [The Sonic Foundation] and Sonic HQ"... which by the way I admire and are CLOSE friends with both groups!
Now, in recent times, I've noticed our hit counts have gone WAY up. Why, just last week the highest hits we had in one day was over 500! The message board is way more active with a NICE role playing forum. And the people who visit it are quite nice. I admire SVT now and what I see is not only my hard effort, but others as well. The fanbase is strong and it just makes me happy to see my original creation growing into something so strong.
However, SonicVerse Team just doesn't pay the bills. You'll be hearing a lot of people saying this same thing in the future. Maybe even Kedzie [of The Sonic Foundation]. But my plan is not to depart forever and be with SVT no more. Not at all. I make the rules for my team and what I'll be doing is taking a "vacation" or a "sabbatical". I've in fact cut down my "one year" thing to only six months so before you know it, you'll be seeing me making way into the home of SVT once again!
TSS: I'll take your word on that. I haven't yet heard the origin of SonicVerse Team. Tell us about how you started out this great site and where you got the idea to create it in the first place.
Sonic Adventurer: Well, I've mentioned Kedzie and The Sonic Foundation already, and that's exactly where I started. I was just a mere lad looking for Sonic websites for pictures to draw from and I stumbled upon that. It was (and still IS) amazing! This was back in '98 when Sonic Adventure and Dreamcast previews roamed the net.
I went into tSf's chat room (when they had one) and met a few interesting people. And to tell you the truth, about half of my team members came from there! Dack Attac, Olecea Larkfox and a few others. So I owe a lot to Kedzie and tSf... but I'm also immensely proud of how far we've come on our own and where SVT is now as its own entity.
TSS: Thanks for your time, SA!