Aaron Webber Is SEGA of Japan’s New Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations

Aaron Webber, also known as RubyEclipse, has received a promotion! Two months after announcing his departure from the Sonic public relations team, he’s announced his new position within the ranks of the company: SEGA of Japan’s Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations.

Continue reading Aaron Webber Is SEGA of Japan’s New Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations

Aaron Webber’s Leaving The Sonic PR Team For A New Position Within SEGA

Aaron Webber, also known in the Sonic community as RubyEclipse, has been the head of the Sonic public relations team for five years. As of today, however, that is changing. Webber has made a statement announcing that he is moving on to a new position within the ranks of SEGA.

Continue reading Aaron Webber’s Leaving The Sonic PR Team For A New Position Within SEGA

SEGA Planning Longer Development, Higher Quality for Future Sonic Games

SEGA has apparently decided to take its time with Sonic games from now on. On the premiere episode of the new season of SEGA’s Sonic Official stream, Sonic social media guru Aaron Webber confirmed that the company was now prioritizing quality over quantity when it came to Sonic games. Continue reading SEGA Planning Longer Development, Higher Quality for Future Sonic Games

Yukio Kusumoto talks about the origins of Sonic Mania Adventures

Comicbook recently sat down with Yukio Kusumoto, producer of the Sonic Mania Adventures and Team Sonic Racing: Overdrive animated shorts. The interview, amongst a treasure trove of other facts, summarized how Sonic Mania came to be.

  • The idea came about after the Sonic Boom TV show wrapped up.
  • The team wanted to create a short-form companion piece for a game.
  • Sonic Mania had recently released and the physical release was up-coming, so the short-form content was made for that.
  • Mentions that there are 6 episodes of Sonic Mania Adventures “so far” and that its been a great success.
  • Sonic Mania is a game all about nostalgia and they wanted to find a creator who’s all about Sonic. It wasn’t hard to find a fit for the project and eventually they found Tyson Hesse, who’s worked on some Sega projects on and off and was a storyboard artist at the time.
  • They wanted to replicate the original world of Sonic, and realize it in the style of a 90’s Saturday morning cartoon. They decided to go with traditional hand-drawn animation.
  • They wanted a style close to the game, but is also original and not too polished with a “for the fans, by the fans” feel.
  • They worked for months designing the characters and worked closely with Takashi Iizuka, the head of product development.
[EDIT: Tyson Hesse also chimed in on the story via Twitter, also crediting Sonic Social Manager Aaron Webber for his part in the realisation of Sonic Mania Adventures:

He isn’t mentioned here, but the story of Mania Adventures can’t be told without mentioning Aaron Webber, tbh. Without his championing internally for the value of it there wouldn’t have been animation for Sonic social at all.”

Thanks to Aaron and the many unsung heroes of Sonic Mania and beyond! – AT]

For the full interview, check out ComicBook.com.

Ex-Sonic Team Sonic Adventure Artist Hiroshi Nishiyama Rejoins SEGA

The Official Sonic Twitch channel had a surprise guest appearance last week, as Sonic Community Manager Aaron Webber introduced Ex-Sonic Team artist Hiroshi Nishiyama to the stream, announcing his return to SEGA. Continue reading Ex-Sonic Team Sonic Adventure Artist Hiroshi Nishiyama Rejoins SEGA

TSS @ E3 2018 Interview with Aaron Webber

Yesterday Afternoon during E3, I got a chance to sit down and chat with Sega’s social media manager and world’s biggest Big the Cat fan, Aaron Webber. We chatted about all things “Team Sonic Racing” including extra modes and customizations. This is a good one folks, with plenty of new info. So sit back, click and enjoy. Continue reading TSS @ E3 2018 Interview with Aaron Webber

SONIC X PUMA: Eggman-Themed Shoes Announced

Today’s Sonic Twitch included an announcement and a reveal for a second Puma shoe model from the Sonic X Puma collaboration. The shoes take a Dr Eggman theme, and were teased in the stream.

The shoes will be available in a limited quantity from 5th of June, 2018 for $130.

The stream hinted these shoes will be available from shoe specialists and from other Puma distributors worldwide.

As always, stay tuned to TSS for more Sonic merchandise news!

Aaron Webber Confirms Sonic Forces will have a “lower difficulty” mode

In a NEOGaf thread discussing Sonic Forces, Sonic Social and PR Manager Aaron Webber confirmed that the game would have a lower difficult mode. Webber confirmed this to alleviate some concerns raised over a Forces video released by GameSpot a few days ago. In this video, the custom hero’s ring count capped off at one-hundred and only lost twenty when he was hit. Webber also confirmed that the game’s regular difficulty will not have this ring cap and getting hit will still result in the loss of all rings, aside from those the player is able to recollect, like nearly every other Sonic game.

To see this mode in action, check out the video embedded below:

Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

Check out the Sonic Mania panel at 2017 to get all the details we couldn’t cover! Join host Aaron Webber with guests, Takashi Iizuka, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Tom Fry, and Simon Thomley as we get more details on what went into this game.Get the full scoop on the game, check out some wacky glitches and the fan Q&A it’s all here! Continue reading Sonic Mania: Behind the Scenes Panel from San Diego Comic Con

SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

San Diego Comic Con played host to the Sonic Mania Development team yesterday, in a panel that included Takashi Iizuka, programmers Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, alongside lead artist Tom Fry, composer Tee Lopes and SEGA community manager Aaron Webber. Our man in the field Jason Berry was at the panel, and captured the events as they happened via The Sonic Stadium Twitter. Continue reading SDCC Sonic Mania Panel Roundup & Special Stage Reveal

Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

During a recent interview with Playstation at E3, SEGA Community Manager Aaron Webber revealed that each character in Sonic Forces (Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic and “the Rookie”) will have their own unique soundtrack style. Continue reading Sonic Forces: Soundtrack Style Is Character Dependent

The Spin: Sonic Maniacs In The Making

In more than ten years of writing for The Sonic Stadium, this article has by far consumed the most time, and required the most revisions. I guess this is because sometimes it’s hard to really convey what you mean when you’re in love, and I can say without a doubt that I am already in love with Sonic Mania. Continue reading The Spin: Sonic Maniacs In The Making

UPDATE: Sonic CD Becomes Free-to-Play on iOS, Forces Users to Pay to Remove Ads

UPDATE: SEGA has reached out to us with their statement on the error, telling us that the issue has been resolved!

As part of a special promotion, Sonic CD is now free with ads (regularly priced at $2.99) from the App Store. For players who previously purchased Sonic CD, ads were mistakenly added to their game. This was not intended and the issue has now been resolved. Players will need to update to the latest version of Sonic CD (2.0.1) on the App Store. We apologize for the error.

Original story continues below.

Continue reading UPDATE: Sonic CD Becomes Free-to-Play on iOS, Forces Users to Pay to Remove Ads

E3 2016: Interview With Aaron Webber

Yesterday, I sat down in a quiet location of E3 with the master of memes himself, Aaron Webber. We discussed a little bit of Sonic Revolution, Sonic in Lego Dimensions, but mostly Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. You’ll hear about improvements made due to the delay, the trailer cutscene, the length of the game and much, more! So please watch and enjoy. Continue reading E3 2016: Interview With Aaron Webber

Sonic Talk 34: Sonic Boomiversary with Aaron Webber Interview

It’s been almost one year Since the Sonic Boom franchise officially launched with both the games and T.V. series and we celebrate by looking back on the first season. Join Jason, GX and guest Evil Dr. Reef as we discuss not only Sonic Boom, but the latest Sonic news and make Stick puns. Mostly by accident.

After that, Jason gets a one hour, one-on-one interview with the man who made Sonic the coolest thing on Twitter, Sega’s own Aaron Webber! He talks about Sonic Boom, the upcoming Sonic Lost World and much more including some exclusive Sonic Boom info This one’s a must-listen!

Aaron Webber Talks Level Design, Game Mechanics, and More on NeoGaf and Twitter


Sonic PR man Aaron Webber has taken to NeoGaf and Twitter to answer the burning questions fans have for the upcoming Sonic Boom sequel.

The first thing he’s made sure to address is the game’s quality. “We’re putting a Big effort into improving the game based on feedback from last year!” Big puns aside, Webber has elaborated on what’s been improved.

First of all, the level design has been streamlined. Shattered Crystal’s stages were criticized for being too large and taking too much time, but in Fire and Ice the levels will allow for a faster experience. The collectibles that forces players to replay stages in order to progress have also been repurposed. Now, stages only need to be completed once and collectibles only serve to unlock “neat things” according to Webber.

The titular “fire and ice” powers are toggled on the fly with the shoulder buttons and affect how the player progresses through a level. Webber spoke in-depth about how these powers work on NeoGaf, which I’ve posted below:

Within the levels, you’ll find elemental blocks and interactable components that you can adjust depending on which of the elemental powers you have on. As you can see in the trailer, you can melt ice blocks with fire, or freeze water blocks with ice, etc. It’s all pretty simple early-on, and gets more complex as you progress.

The game’s music is being composed by none other than Richard Jacques, who’s best known within the Sonic community for his work on the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic R, Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, and both of last year’s Sonic Boom games.

Finally, when asked whether or not the game might be ported to the Wii U, Webber said that there are currently no plans to release the game on any other platforms. So if you don’t have a 3DS, I’m afraid you’re out of luck!

Those are all the details Webber has revealed today, but be sure to stay tuned as we continue to bring you all the latest on Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice!

A Thank You to the SEGA of America Community Team

SOACrewWith the current relocation of SEGA of America’s HQ, we have in the past few days said goodbye to many long-standing employees of SoA, including Kellie Parker and Julian Mehlfeld from the Community Team.

One of the most vivid memories I have in dealing with the SEGA social team was during a trip out to Los Angeles for E3 and the very first Sonic Boom event back in 2011. What struck us was the dedication of the team whom over the course of the week seemed indefatigable, not only working tirelessly manning the gargantuan stand in the main convention centre, but who tangentially assembled another monster event down the street. I’m sure tired didn’t begin to describe their state during that week, yet I don’t think I remember a moment they didn’t all have huge beaming smiles across their faces, or were laughing at the end of the day with a well-earned beverage. Kellie has written a parting post on the SEGA blog where she has stated “we laughed hard, and we worked harder” – I can’t think of anything more appropriate to describe what I saw during my brief insight into the team’s operation.

This is but one of countless examples of what the community team were involved in, and similarly, I’m sure everyone who has had any interaction with the SoA social and community team over the past decade will agree that the hallmark has, and likely always will be, a penchant for excellence, and a drive to go far beyond the call of duty. An inordinate amount of what is has now become the face of the Sonic the Hedgehog community, both online and in real life, is in part of wholly due to the fantastic team that has been at SoA.

I’d love to be able to write down the extensive résumé of the team’s accomplishments to date, but I’d fear it would fail to be a comprehensive summary of the entirety of great things they have managed. Instead, we at TSS would like to invite you all to share the stories you might have of any memories of your interactions with the social team in the comments below.

You can read Julian and Kellie‘s parting blog entries on the SEGA blog.

While we sadly bid farewell to some, we welcome back others!

TSS would like to welcome back to the SoA fold Aaron Webber, who will be taking up the social media and community reins once more for our favourite hedgehog! Many of you will remember Aaron from his previous roles at SEGA, and as host of the Sonic Boom fan event from 2011 to 2014.

We wish all the community and social team members the very best in the future, and that they will always be a very special part of the Sonic the Hedgehog community.


The Sonic List: My favorite Sonic related moments

Iizuka – “Why does that scary fat man keep following me?!” Jason “Hhhhiiiiiiiiiiiii.”

To be honest, if it wasn’t for Barry’s Weekly five list on Segabits, I probably wouldn’t have been inspired to do my own Sonic List column. Seeing how people comment and react to my opinions gives me a great feeling of pride (and sometimes shame). The first time I did one of these columns and saw all the replies, good or bad, it was one of my favorite Sonic related moments. That’s what today’s column is all about. My favorite moments in Sonic-dom. Weather it’s from a game, a cartoon or just part of my life. These are the moments that I remember back with great fondness. Click below and enjoy! Continue reading The Sonic List: My favorite Sonic related moments

Sonic Revolution in Pictures!

10446480_10152972570759816_533319714706732893_n Pictures courtesy of Christian Gausin and 50 Rings Photography. This past Sunday was the first ever gathering of Sonic Revolution at the Holiday Inn at Buena Park. It’s the largest organized Sonic convention in the U.S. similar to “Summer of Sonic” in the UK, but still fairly small so far. We also are encouraging other Sonic fans across the U.S.  to make their own Sonic conventions or at least a “meet and greet”. Sonic Revolution was founded by Shayne and Charles Edwards, Christian Gausin and Lidice Garcia. It started with them organizing “Sonic Boom U.S. West Chapter” (it was in response to Sonic Boom moving to St Louis) in September of 2013. During our little meet and greet, she asked if we’d like to be involved in building up the community for a full on Sonic convention and we were all in!

The gang who made it happen.
The gang who made it happen.

So how was it? It was great! We had some wonderful guests and a nice amount of attendees. Guests included gaming composer legend Tommy Tallarico, Archie Comics Evan Stanley, artists Elson Wong and Devin Taylor, my brother John and his girlfriend Debbie selling her hand-made jewelry, Darian Gonzalez with his very Sonic-like fan game “Bingo the Multiva” Chris Wilcots of fan film “Sonic Prologue” and rock band Serenity Seven. Not to mention the extra surprise of Sega’s Aaron Webber and Stephen Frost who stopped by to check out the event.  We even had a real life hedgehog show up!

“Where’s Amy at?”

The schedule of events included a cosplay contest, a panel with Tommy Tallarico talking about his life and video game music (he confirmed that Michael Jackson was the composer on Sonic 3), two concerts by Serenity Seven, Chris Wilcots showed off two exclusive scenes from his upcoming fan film “Sonic Prologue”, Aaron Webber and Stephen Frost had a Q&A panel (or course someone shouted “When do we get Shenmue 3?”),  a very tough trivia contest (hosted and prizes supplied by yours truly), a one minute art contest in which Evan and Elson had to draw Sticks auditioning for Sonic Boom, a gaming competition (with several consoles in the back showing off many Sonic games) and finally, a raffle for some cool prizes and one more concert by Serenity Seven. It was an absolute blast and I can’t wait until next year!  Let’s get to the pics! 10300798_10152972523359816_4530564000308773493_n

Our Gaming Tournament booth.


Tanner “Ogilvie” Bates showing off his display of Sonic merchandise for sale.


Our program guide.

10262093_10152972570334816_3423704538990129837_nBlaze and Rouge enjoying themselves.


Bishop’s son enjoying the show.


Now THAT’S a big Sonic.

1555347_10152972568569816_3027811355364177089_nTails – Don’t worry Shadow, I’m sure there’s someone who wants a giant, ugly Shadow plush.

10462593_10152972525394816_8131807437238788742_nMore of Tanner’s merch.


Bishop Gahram’s Silver poster.


Rouge with what appears to be a piece of the Master emerald.

10382455_10152972526854816_8143465718764279601_nLetting people in to enjoy the show.


Blaze the Cat.

10415598_10152972540409816_5825149679628149225_nShard’s here and ready to party!




Aaron and Steven Arrive on the scene.

10360689_10152972530319816_3104139430612878713_n“Sonic the what now? Never heard of it.”

10353101_10152972542384816_7269390741591862311_nTommy Tallarico hangs out with Serenity Seven.

10441010_10152972550829816_6582564420626661241_nTommy talks to the crowd about his music career.

10339562_10152972558029816_6389958884070435588_nAaron and Stephen enjoying the show.

10329073_10152972556819816_7002660232995840957_nIt was so cool getting to meet a musical legend like Mr. Tallarico.

10492511_10152972543229816_4488397925994839600_nThis father and son were in line at least 3 hours before the show opened

1514603_10152972550169816_8682820146089877619_n“Gasp!” It’s the Chaos Emeralds!


“Time to go super!”


Some classic Sonic merchandise.

10472853_10152972531189816_580155949651627513_n“Hmmmm yes. This does play quite like Sonic. You’ll be hearing from our lawyers soon.”

1907383_10152972567404816_1763084521903635964_nHere, Aaron is showing off a fan’s concept art for a game idea Stephen had were Tails (who’s deathly allergic to bee’s in his official bio) is being chased by Charmy and the object of the game is to keep the pair apart.

10252160_10152972562124816_2096966346903899776_nThis is Aaron idea for a game. Big’s Big Fishing Adventure 3.

10478183_10152972547404816_8864299415244254186_nGuess who won first place in the cosplay contest?


Aaron and Stephen answering questions on stage.

10430383_10152972551204816_5882430547580918695_nThe fans soaking in the Q&A panel.

10450173_10152972532704816_1141437979947196446_nFan’s at Evan, Elson and Devin’s booth.

10492511_10152972522234816_8164816271954384123_nFounders Shayne and Lidice enjoying the fruits of their labor.


Evan won the  one minute art contest with her drawing of Sticks jugging. Elson was apparently drawing her on a surfboard,but didn’t quite get to finish.

10440856_10152972567694816_8145892820577018568_nWell, that’s a wrap for now.  There’s plenty more pics on our Sonic Revolution Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/sonicrevolution . There, you can check ou-wait! What’s th-..

RougecloserOh dear lord!!


An Interview With Aaron Webber


Last weekend at the Sega Arcade across from the San Diego Comic Con, Alex finally get some time in front of the camera to interview Aaron Webber on all things Lost World, the quality of Sonic games as of late and tried desperately to get some hints at the third Sonic title. Where in previous years, Aaron would spend most of his time showing off a Sonic game in front of the Archie booth, this year he was all over the place promoting Lost World at the Archie booth, Sega Arcade, Gamespot bar and elsewhere so it was lucky for us to get a few minutes of his time last weekend.

P.S. Sorry about the little droplet of water on the lens. Didn’t notice until we uploaded the video.

Sonic Lost World Gameplay Surfaces via IGN

Hot off of IGN, an extensive amount of gameplay footage of Sonic Lost World has surfaced along with some additional information about the game. That’s right, footage as in both Wii U and 3DS versions got previewed!

For the Wii U edition, “Support Mode” will see to that a second player will assist in destroying badniks and obstacles via a “Radio Controlled Gadget” invented by Tails, utilized through the Wii Remote.

For the 3DS version, SLW has Dimps once again returning in the handheld version development and will feature level design different to that of its home console counterpart. In addition, up to four players can race against one another in Versus Mode both locally and online. Connectability to the Wii U game has also been hinted with players to be able to share items.

Catch the commentary video of the Wii U version between Aaron Webber of SEGA of America and Rich George of IGN first, then the three 3DS videos, for gameplay footage of Windy Hill and Desert Ruin!





If you’re over at E3, be sure to try the demoes yourself!

SEGA to Hold Panel at AOD 2013 About the History & Future of Sonic

Sonic 10th anniversary figurine

UPDATE: Aaron Webber has confirmed via Twitter that there won’t be any new game announcements at the panel.

You may recall an article we published last month about Ken Pontac being listed on AOD 2013’s website as the writer for an upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog game. Well, we’ve now learned from AOD 2013’s Dominic Nguyen, that Ken will be there as part of a bigger official SEGA Sonic presence.

Continue reading SEGA to Hold Panel at AOD 2013 About the History & Future of Sonic

“Sonic’s Next Adventure Begins in… The Great State of Texas?”

Aaron Webber, better known as RubyEclipse the associate brand manager for Sega, took to twitter a few hours ago and posted the following image and caption.


“Sonic’s Next Adventure Begins in… The Great State of Texas?”

The destination on the ticket and other photos uploaded suggest that he’s gone to Austin Texas. As for why? Well, unless you take the tweet literally, it could mean anything… Except there is one other significant thing which has happened…

Continue reading “Sonic’s Next Adventure Begins in… The Great State of Texas?”

Interview: Aaron Webber

Sega had a very strong presence at the San Diego Comic Con this year. Not only did they have a Sega Arcade down in the Gaslamp Quarter, but on the floor they had Captain America at the Marvel booth and two demo stations of Sonic Generations at the Archie Comics booth. Surprisingly (or maybe not), there was no 3DS Generations demo anywhere to be found.

At one of the demo stations, I found Sonic brand manager Aaron Webber. Trust me when I say there’s no more likable fella working at Sega. Look at him. He’s just so gosh darn huggable ya wanna stuff him in your Warner Bros Comic Con bag and take him home with “AHEM!” Anyway, as he manned the station, many people were checking out the demo. Mostly the modern version. In fact, one fan kept coming back every day and managed to beat Aaron’s record on modern by one second! When he had some time, we went to the back of the Archie booth and set up an interview. (I wanted to snuggle, but he refused. XD Kidding, kidding.)

Have you been having fun at the Con this weekend?

Aaron – Definitely.  It’s been very, very busy. We’ve had tons of people playing Sonic Generations. There’s a lot of standing so your legs get a little tired, but beyond that, it’s good.

Classic Tails has recently been shown alongside of a modern model. Since we now have classic Sonic and classic Tails, will we bee seeing classic representations of other characters? 

Aaron – For the most part, classic Sonic and classic Tails are the only one’s you’re gonna see. There’s not much I can go into after that but stay tuned. Classic Sonic and Classic Tails fans should be pleased.

Along with Classic Tails, the Chemical Plant was shown. Along with Metal Sonic chasing Classic in what looks like Stardust Speedway from Sonic CD.  Will we see other surprises like this? Will boss fights be on separate stages?

Aaron – You mean will the boss fights be taking place in their original settings? That’s a very good question. In the majority of cases, you should probably expect that. The other question would be “What are those other bosses?” and you’re just gonna have to wait on that.

Now, the classic demo was recently released and…..I’m sure you’re aware was then hacked into and some assets were leaked. I’m not gonna go into that much as I’m sure you don’t wanna go into that yourself. However, one of the things shown was that there are several missions in each act. One of them appears to be a “Co-op” mission. We know that as you finish levels, you free your friends and the world opens up more. Are Sonic’s friends playable in the game once they’re unlocked or after the game’s finished?

Aaron – Ah the leak. I really wish that hadn’t been published. Several of those assets are from an older build and will not be in the final game. It’s a misrepresentation. As we stated in the beginning, only classic and modern Sonic are playable. You will see many of Sonic’s friends in the game but you will not play as them.

I noticed the demo released to the public felt a tiny bit different to the one at E3. Is this an older build of the game?

Aaron – Actually, the download is a more current build. 

There have been some criticisms of the demo from different forums. Mainly in his short rolling and his need for spindashing to gain enough speed for some loops. Is there a reason for classic Sonic’s heaver pull on gravity? (I mean, he is chubbier.)

Aaron – Well, there’s always a reason. I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is A.) Will it change? and B.) Why was it done? The team in Japan was working to emulate the physics of the original as close as possible. It’s not 1 to 1 or 100% ratio, but more like 90-95% in looking at the original and looking at Generations. 

Well, they are trying to emulate classic Sonic physics on an engine built originally for Sonic Unleashed or Modern Sonic if you will. 

Aaron – Yes, but improved upon as well. That’s kind of the key in that it’s not 100% but very close. In this case I know that the rolling for example, I think is good feedback. I’ve already sent that back to Sonic Team. But a key element like rolling for example, to change that drastically now would mean that they would have to redesign and test every single level, every single move to make sure this change in the roll doesn’t break something. Like maybe he’s supposed to go off this ramp in a certain way and he ends up overshooting it greatly. In this late of the stage in development, a change that small could break the whole game. Like taking one brick from the bottom of a wall you’re building, it could make the whole foundation crumble. 

That’s like when someone on Neogaf, they posted a video in which they changed the value by 1 and it changed the roll dramatically, but even he said it would probably break the game on other levels.

Aaron – Exactly. When you see something like that, it looks so simple to fix, but it’s not so easy. The long and the short of it is, it’s still good feedback. Just like with Sonic 4. People said “Sega didn’t listen! They didn’t care!” But we did listen and we do care and now look at Generations. We’re improving step by step by step. It’s very difficult to go from 0-100 and get everything perfect on the first go, but we are doing our absolute best to do right by the fans and make everything the best we can, and I hope the demo – which I think is really, really solid even with the rolling – is something they’re enjoying.

I think so. I know this has gotten a much more positive response on forums than Sonic 4 had and Sonic 4 still got pretty good review scores. One thing I’ve noticed since E3, is that there are certain spots in the demo that have what I would call “scripted physics”. For instance, in the first corkscrew tunnel, Sonic instantly goes into a high-speed spindash when getting near it whereas the other tunnels have a rock in front that Sonic has to bust with a spindash to get through it. Also, there’s the wooden bridge with a loop. Get close enough and Sonic takes over himself and runs through it with no input from the player. Are there reasons why these particular areas are programmed like this or will this be fixed in the final version?

Aaron – Well, even in Sonic 1 when you would go through those tunnels, it would give you an automatic speed boost even if you went through them backwards. So even if you went uphill, it would give you that speed boost. What’s interesting here is from what I’ve played around with in the demo is that if you go in as a spin, it will push you though the tunnel, but if you run full speed it won’t force you though or force you into a spindash which is interesting, so I’d say these spots are kinda half-scripted. It’s going to check to see if you are in ball form before shooting you through which is kind of cool. You’ll see some of that stuff in the game, but not a lot. I wouldn’t use the term “scripted” which is kind of a derogative term used like “scripted vs. non-scripted” in some Sonic games in the sense that some scripted events are cool and dynamic, but mostly you have control over.

I won’t say much about the hack, but one of the cool things from it, was that someone put modern Sonic in the classic level and vice versa and it was actually pretty cool and looked playable. Especially modern Sonic. Is that something that Sonic Team would look into adding?

Aaron – (Laughs) That’s definitely something I couldn’t answer. That would be up to the dev team in Japan. There’s no intention to my knowledge of flip-flopping them into each other’s stages. Admittedly, the “what-if” scenarios are pretty neat.

In the classic Sonic games, you would have to press down and rapidly tap jump to make Sonic spindash. In Generations, it can be done the old fashioned way, or the simpler “hold X” style. But that style can be done even when running full speed or on sharp inclines. Is there a reasoning behind that? 

Aaron – I couldn’t give you the exact reasoning as that would be up to the dev team. I can tell you it makes it a lot simpler and in many ways that’s a good thing. That said I’m sure a lot of the purists might think that it makes it too easy. I think this is something where the dev team is trying to please both groups which is why the other way is optional. In fact, many of the kids playing Generations here at Comic Con were unfamiliar with the spindash and were getting stuck. I told them to hold X for a second and that’s simple and they got that quickly. But at the same time, you want to appease the retro fans. Which is why down and A is also in there. Personally, I get both sides. I kind of like what they’ve done here to make it easier to play for kids who’ve never played a classic Sonic game before. Although I did have one eight year old kid who told me Sonic CD was his favorite game. I was flabbergasted and told him: “Kid, you’re awesome!”

(Laughs) Awesome. I’ve noticed, not so much in modern, but in classic mode the environments are so lush and so detailed that Sonic can get lost in them. There’s one time where I’m hitting a spring and collecting gold rings and I see a platform to right of me that makes it look like I can land on it, but I fall right through because it’s just background detail. Is there a way for them to make it so Sonic pops out a little, or possibly fade the background a bit?

Aaron – If you turn the 3D option on and you have a 3D TV, Sonic will definitely pop out. Alternatively, I know exactly the spot you’re talking about as I’ve made that same mistake myself. Beyond that, there’s not too many spots where that happens. Most backgrounds are either easy to recognize as background or deep in the back. It’s a very minor thing and I wouldn’t worry too much about it

Now in the case of the 3DS, is there much you can tell us of the streetpass feature?

Aaron – There’s not too much I can say about the 3DS version in that regard. 3DS has some very cool stuff and is very unique. We went the idea that we can either do a lazy port or build something from the ground up that’s very cool and very unique and we went with the latter. I can’t tell you much right now, but stay tuned in the near future as we will have a lot of info going out about the 3DS version as we go forward.

What excites you most about Sonic Generations?

Aaron – What excites me most? At first it was just classic Sonic being there. Now, it’s that we get to introduce Sonic to two very distinct generations of people at the same time. We get the younger fans who love modern Sonic and we get to introduce them to classic Sonic and show them why so many of us older fans adore the Genesis games. But likewise, we get to pull in the older fans who might not have played a Sonic game in a long time. I’ve had some people come up to me who’ve said “I’ve not played a Sonic game in 15 years, but this looks amazing!” Every time I hear that (and it’s happened like, 150 times) it’s such a nice feeling that this is finally the game we can show that Sonic is really back. While Colors and Sonic 4 did a good job of bringing us back, but Generations is the one to unite both fans. While we may not always make 100% of both Sonic fans happy all of the time, but I’m betting the majority will be very pleased with this game.

One final question, I know Takashi Iizuka has stated that he feels Sonic Adventure on is the main cannon and that the current Chaotix are not the same ones from 32X Chaotix and he doesn’t seem to want to use any of the real old characters. While we do have poster in City Escape of some of the forgotten characters, one of those being Nack/Fang. There’s a poll on First Four Figures to see is there is enough interest to do a Fang statue. If this does come to fruition, do you see a possibility of Sonic Team bring him back in the future?

Aaron – That’s a good question, but one I couldn’t decide myself. We could make the case for that if enough fans ask for him. (But PLEASE don’t spam our Facebook. PLEASE! My bosses will not be happy.) There are much better ways to get people to recognize a fan following. I mean look at NiGHTS in SASASR. The entire campaign that Trippi and Digi (Sorry if I’m not getting the names right) did which was wonderful. So, if you really want to see Nack there’s always hope. It’s not my decision of course so I can’t answer the question completely. Make the case for it. Try to rally support. That helps. But, Sonic is so out there anyway, with so many cannons and universes. I mean, we are standing in the Archie booth right now. But, if you really want it, I say don’t give up, rally support around it and who knows?

Thank you so much Aaron. It’s been a great interview.

Aaron – Thank you.

NEW COMMENT:  On the last day, I was pretty much done with Comic Con and just hung out with Aaron for a bit at the Archie booth. I played the modern demo some more and watched as some really skilled players went back and fourth on the game. They were kind enough to let others play. I was amazed at one player’s skill. Ends up he’d been hanging out for quite awhile. Aaron has decided to leave one final comment relating to this.

Aaron – One of the things we’ve had a lot of fun with here at SDCC is speed running – for the few unfamiliar with the term, it just means getting to the end of the stage as fast as you can.

Trying to get as fast a time as possible is surprisingly addicting – so much so that at least 20 people have returned to our booth every single day to try and beat their previous times. One guy named Sergio literally spent three days here at the Generations console perfecting his time, teaching others how to complete it faster, and waiting to jump on again when the lines died down. As a result, he even managed to match my best time for the level!

So to anyone reading, here’s a little challenge when the game finally comes out: Can you beat 1 Minute, 49 seconds as Modern Sonic in Green Hill Zone? As it stands – and the level may still change slightly – that’s the fastest legitimate time the world has seen thus far. I’m most excited to see what tricks and strategies fans will use to complete even faster runs!

(Edited for typos.)

NOTE: Since some of these questions came from Segabits, this interview will be published both on Sonic Stadium and Segabits simultaneously.

Aaron Webber Shows New Paths in Sonic Generations

Canadian game site Console Creatures got associate brand manager Aaron Webber at E3 to sit down and play through the Sonic Generations demo. He went through both classic and modern and showed some never before seen paths and details. Modern almost seemed like a totally different level through Aaron’s run. Check it out.



Aaron Webber Gives More Hints at Sonic Boom Event


Aaron Webber was recently on Gamespot’s Daily Demo. He discussed Sonic Generations for awhile and also talked about the upcoming Sonic Boom event on June 8th at Club Nokia. Some hints of what to be expected include “Musical Guests” and “stars from Sonic’s history”.

As always we’ll keep you informed as more details of this event emerge.

SoA Community Team Member RubyEclipse Bids Farewell…

SEGA in recent years have had greater invested interest in the opinions and the involvement of the Sonic the Hedgehog fan community with many aspects to the franchise. One of their greatest assests are the people who work as the community teams, and liase with the fans; this line of communication has definitely had a hand in shaping the face of games over the past half decade.

Three years ago a new member joined the crew at SEGA of America, appearing frequently on the SEGA blogs and known only as RubyEclipse. Today, after many Free Stuff Fridays and blogs (and the occasional festive fanmail reading video), Aaron Webber has become one of the most well-known community members – and with good reason. Aaron has struck a fantastic balance over three years on the community team with SEGA, between being a professional, effective representative and ambassador for SEGA, as well as being a Sonic the Hedgehog fan himself. Aaron’s enthusiasm for his work along with the rest of his team has shone through and has remained unwavered in his time at SoA.

It will therefore sadden many of you to hear that Aaron has announced he will be departing the community team, however I’m sure you will all join us in congratulating Aaron in his promotion to Associate Brand Manager at SoA. We wish him all the best in managing his first assignment of the highly anticipated Sonic Generations (and we hope we will still see him pop up occasionally on FSF vids too!). You can read his final heartfelt blog on the SEGA blogs site.

I’d like to end on my favourite Webber moments from the last few years – if you haven’t seen these before…enjoy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB3Mk0cHY_E&feature=channel[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwYScW9ZC4Y&feature=channel[/youtube]


Sonic 4 Casino Street and Mad Gear Gameplay Footage

SEGA’s Aaron Webber aka RubyEclipse appeared in CNET’s latest episode of preGame yesterday, where he talks about Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, as well as giving a demonstration of Casino Street Zone and Mad Gear Zone. Webber confirms what we all assumed, that the new playing card features in Casino Street Zone are from a refurbished Act 2 and that it will be an exclusive stage to the console versions. We can only guess that the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad version will still contain the pinball score attack stage seen in the leaked version of the game. Both zones look to incorporate plenty of careful platforming and not just speed, which should make a lot of fans happy. The recently seen map screen is shown again here, but this time it has a warp-hole above the island, which we assume is the E.G.G. Station Zone, in which the final battle with Dr.Eggman takes place.

To view the video, head over to CNET.

Thanks to Woun at the SSMB for the heads-up!