Our first peep to interview about this SAGE on is Myst Hedgehog, who is the developer of Sonic: Eternal Rings. We spoke to him last year about the same game, and you can read it back in the SAGE archives. This year we catch up with the dude about progress on the game, new additions and feelings on the current event…
TSS: Myst Hedgehog, it’s a pleasure to meet up with you again to have this cosy lil’ chat.
M: My pleasure really.
TSS: So, the last time we spoke – which was back about March 2002’s SAGE, you were showcasing Sonic: Eternal Rings. How did things go for the popularity of the game after the SAGE event, after I interviewed you?
M: Well, the game got some good comments, some bad comments, nothing too special. There’s also the fact that I didn’t release anything between that SAGE and this SAGE, apart from some buggy engine tests and some screenshots.
TSS: Sonic Eternal Rings in this year’s SAGE went a makeover in engine, didn’t it? How much of the game did you change since your last SAGE appearance?
M: Since last SAGE, Sonic Eternal Rings as changed a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT =P! There have been plot changes, sprite changes, gamplay changes, I went through several different engines… you get the point.
TSS: Explain a bit more about the engine. What was it about the old S:ER engine that you felt uncomfortable with? I thought it wasn’t too bad myself.
M: Well, I didn’t feel satisfied with the engine at the time, because I was constantly playing games whose engines were a lot better than mine. Also, the engine was made in TGF’s pre-built platform movement, and was too limited for what I had in mind for the game. Also, I heard at the time about this type of movement called static, which was apparently much more powerful than platform. And I wanted to check that personally =P
TSS: Cool. Anything that you can reveal about the story of the game? You say also that you have changed plot elements of the game, but does that mean you’ve completely rewritten the story too, or just parts?
M: Well, I just made the plot a little more complex. I really didn’t have a good excuse to include the Eternal Rings in the game at it’s early stages, and since I couldn’t find a better name for the game, I thought I’d better come up with an half-decent storyline. As for details on the story… Well, it’s kind of related with the story of S3&K, because it deals with the events after the fall of the Death Egg. And that’s all you get from me.
TSS: Heh, ok fair enough. While playing the game I noticed that there were unbreakable walls in the demo (I was playing it just now, BTW ;P). Does that mean there will be another character? Are those walls for Knuckles to break, or perhaps a new face? Or does it even contain unlockable secrets? We must know! ^_^
M: Hehe, I thought about explaining in a readme, but I was too lazy and thought it would be better if people found out all by themselves. Actually, you can break the walls in the demo. I’m going to give you a little tip. Next to the first wall of the level, there should be a spring. Use it to go to a platform a keep walking right from there until you find… you’ll see =P
TSS: Ahhhhh… sounds very interesting ;P You mention gameplay changes. Care to tell more about this aspect of the game? Or does it simply mean more baddies and better bosses and level design?
M: Well, it’s basicly what you pointed out, but I’m trying to include original features in every level, much like in S3&K, to add more variety to the game. This is basically your oldskool game. Oh, and there’s grinding too, don’t forget =P
TSS: Ah, I see. How well do you feel that S:ER is progressing? Do you see it being finished soon?
M: Well, I think the game is progressing really well. Some level layouts are already done, the engine just needs some fine-tuning. Not sure when it will be done, but maybe sometime next year. Only time will tell.
TSS: I’ll be waiting for that. Will there be any other characters playable other than Sonic in the final version? And how long will the game be roughly, in stages? Average Sonic game length?
M: Tails will be a playable character in the full game, maybe even in the next demo. I’d include Knuckles too, but I can’t fit him in the storyline so far, but we’ll see… as for stages, yes, it’ll be your avarage Sonic game length, with 7 zones and one hidden zone you can only access if you have the 7 Chaos Emeralds =P
TSS: Tasty. Finally, as we are coming to the close of the interview, what do you think of SAGE this year? Any favourite games on show that have caught your eye?
M: Oh yes, SAGE was much better this year than it has been in the past year. We really got some nice games like Sonic & Ice, Sonic XG (my favorite), and Sonic Slash. And of course there was Sonic Time Attacked. The concept for this year’s SAGE was interesting too, and mostly unexpected =P
TSS: Sonic XG was very good, as was STA. Any last words about your game you’d like to say before we depart?
M: Well, watch out for the game next SAGE, as there are some MAJOR changes taking place right now, and not involving just my game, but another TKgames game. And I’ll leave you at that =P
TSS: Myst Hedgehog, thanks an awful lot for sharing your time with us.
M: Hehe, no problem.