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I visited Sega yesterday.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sammybeany, Nov 13, 2010.

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  1. Glisp

    Glisp

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    None at the moment I'm afraid.
    You know what's funny, I've never saw the interior of SOA HQ and it's exactly how I imagined it was. Big with Sonic statues and overuse of the Sega logo everywhere. (not that any of that stuff's a bad thing.)
     
  2. Urban Flow

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    That statue of Sonic was neat. I wish I had one in my house or my front lawn, though it Would probably get stolen and sold on eBay =/
     
  3. minichapman

    minichapman

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    I remember we used to have a sonic statue very similar at my local Gamestation in Norwich.

    Eventually the left arm disappeared, I asked a member of staff as to what happened. The response I got was so baffling. Apparently somebody broke the left arm off and stole it.

    The more I think of it, the more it doesn't surprise me from where I'm from.
     
  4. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

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    The real question is:

    What happened when Ben and Ken were in the same room?
     
  5. DigitalDuck

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    Jen should've gone too.
     
  6. Willie

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    I want that clock but I'm too cheap to buy it on eBay. >_> While it's unfortunate they didn't give the Sonic 4 discussion more time, it's better than nothing and it sounds like nearly all of the most important points were made.
     
  7. Skyler

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    It caused a rip in the space-time continuum that undid the events of Sonic 06.
     
  8. corneliab

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    So that must've meant that '06 re-canonized itself. You fucking bastard.
     
  9. Skyler

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    Woah, you think blowing out that candle was the only cause for everything to reset?
     
  10. That Brad guy sounds like such a jerk. I bet he could never finish a fan game. :specialed:

    Seriously though, this sounds like it would've been fun. I'm not a big fan of Valkyria Chronicles or Phantasy Star, but the aspect of meeting up with people from the community sounds like it'd be a blast. I don't quite see what the problem is about the Sonic 4 discussion being a mere thirty minutes per se. Sure, it certainly seems to have rushed things, but you can only complain about a game for so long before you start repeating yourself. The idea that they probably had here was to focus on the key elements they believed screwed things up in the first place and expand on it. I would love to go to something like this or at least just a meet up or something similar.

    It's understandable why one would be annoyed with the session, but it's still cool that they set something like that up.
     
  11. Glisp

    Glisp

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    None at the moment I'm afraid.

    I don't know why but them taking just the arm is mildly disturbing........ =/

    Why just the arm?

    They would have made a lot more money taking the whole thing...
     
  12. minichapman

    minichapman

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    I have no idea why someone would do that! The thing is they kept him on display for all to see with his 'battle wounds' and it just got laughable. Kind of ironic wouldn't you think?
     
  13. DigitalDuck

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. RubyEclipse

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    Hi Retro,

    I may be able to offer some additional insight into the event, and the intent of the feedback session, too. :) It's long, but responses below!

    Three hours, but I do hope the intent of the event was made clear by the original blog that we put up when we first announced the event. The time for each game and the full schedule was also listed there too, so it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise - apologies if this was unclear!

    Whiteboards are way official, hehe. I wrote Physics first because I knew it would be a big topic of discussion, and wanted to gauge how much time we had for others by getting it up there first. I think it was actually proof that we're listening, and have been for some time, as opposed to being embarrassing!


    I think the thing to note here is that you're one person in a room of almost fifty - and, unlike the internet, it's not a place where your opinion is automatically the most important, or can be openly expressed anytime you want to.

    Being courteous is a skill that will pay itself off in spades. Often, in fact, being kind and pointing out a few points with a friendly attitude will get you taken more seriously than someone who interrupts everyone else and is trying to talk really loudly to get attention.

    In short: the best attention is that which is earned by what you say, not how loudly you say it, or who you interrupt in order to make it heard.

    I don't think the rest of the evening was 'other bullshit', but I guess it's all just a matter of perspective. :) If you haven't played Phantasy Star or Valkyria Chronicles, I can't recommend either enough - they're two of SEGA's highest quality franchises right now, and besides being good games, also have a lot of neat ties to other SEGA series, like Sonic.

    I should perhaps clarify: the event was not intended to be a session for people to whine and scream about what they didn't like about Sonic 4, and especially not to do so immaturely. I think this was fine though, as almost everyone, including yourself, were polite for a great amount of the event and the discussion flowed very well.

    We all have things that we're so passionate about that we could spend hours and hours speaking about what makes them good, and how to maintain that quality. I could tell as you were speaking that Sonic was one of those things for you - something that you care about so much that you almost wonder why you can't just get involved directly and help fix everything that you see as an imperfection.

    There are many of us at SEGA who care so much about Sonic and the other franchises we work on that we're happy to go far and beyond the call of our jobs to do the best that we can. I've said it many times before, and will say it again now: it's a process that will be gradual, getting better over time. But we'll get there.

    We were already running about 15 minutes over, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but there were four people near the back of the room who had to leave right before 9:00, when we were originally scheduled to end.

    I was really hoping to include them in our swag raffle, and while they sadly had to leave because the discussion didn't end on time, this is part of the reason you may have noticed me trying to wrap things up. I'd have loved to let things run on until 10 PM if we had the time, personally, but we had many other people who weren't there just for Sonic 4, and who had their own schedules based around the night. It's important to be respectful of that.

    You're welcome to return it to me, then, and I'll give it to someone who will appreciate it.

    If you wanted to, you could have also just handed it to me after everyone left - I wouldn't be insulted, seriously. :) Certainly less so than seeing a post from someone complaining about something they got absolutely free, which was given originally purely out of good will.

    I don't think the event was ridiculous at all. I think that it was an event full of positives - from introducing fans to other fans to letting you guys meet some of the people here at SEGA who work on the games that we all love. It's also important to note that this was, once again, not a "What did we do wrong?" session, but a feedback session for all that people liked, and all that they think could be improved. This is a key point that I think you may be seeing from the wrong angle in this case.

    You're right about one thing though - that's a level of connection you certainly won't find from most other game companies, and especially not major bands. (For Japanese companies especially, it's very rare.) But I think it's a great step forward, in many ways, for the future of SEGA, and the future of our games. It's actually something I feel more companies should be actively doing.

    Using your Mario comparison, I'm rather happy to write these words: when it comes to Community, SEGA does what Nintendon't. And that's something that fans across the world should be happy about.

    They do, but if you make assumptions without knowing all the facts, it's sometimes easy to assume otherwise. :)

    What you may not know is that much of the stuff you'll see around our desks is extra swag or merchandise from years past, some that was being thrown out due to space limitations (like when we moved offices a couple years back), and others that relate to the games we worked on. I actually have a Sonic plushie sitting next to my phone that I brought from home, which I got as a kid almost fifteen years ago.

    We save one of almost every piece of merchandise that is created, and it all gets saved in a big room for historical purposes. Someday, we're hoping we can show you guys what this room looks like - similar to the SEGA game room that we posted about when we first moved, which has almost every SEGA game ever created inside.

    Well, I'm still glad you came. :)

    Hope you had a fun time and got to meet some new fellow SEGA fans, even if Valkyria or Phantasy Star weren't your thing. All in all, thanks for attending either way.

    (Btw, Slingerland - awesome meeting you too!)
     
  15. Slingerland

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    YOU KNOW IT. :brofist:

    Also, here's my write-up. It's long as shit because I did it on the plane. You'll find that you've got all kinds of time on a plane.

    Video coming soon.
     
  16. Skyler

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    No love for me? ;_;

    Anyways, here's my little report. I know all you guys care about is the Sonic 4 session, so I'll skip straight to it:

    If you've read Sammy's post, you'll know that it was one of the shorter parts of the night at about a half hour long. I honestly didn't find a problem with that, as we managed to cover a number of subjects. Though a lot of people had something to say, it was Slingerland, Sammy and myself doing most of the talking.

    The first thing Ruby wrote down on the board was - you guessed it - physics. We had collectively reached the agreement that the physics need to be the exact same - or as close as can possibly be - to the classics. One of the key issues with the physics was momentum - or in this case, the lackthereof - being a major part of Sonic 4's flaws. It was pointed out that even though games before Sonic 1 had momentum physics, Sonic was the game to take full advantage of them, and that's what needs to be done for Sonic 4.

    The next major point of discussion was level design. First off let me say that we covered speed boosters, but we only really discussed it while talking about the physics. Besides, if the level design and physics are fixed, there won't be a need for boosters in the first place.

    We brought up how all of the levels feel too similar in playstyle, and that more strides should be made towards making each level feel unique. Slingerland brought up how Angel Island is this open space where you can explore, and Hyrocity - though being a water level - had very little of in favor of a lot of high speed sections. I chimed in and mentioned how even after that, Marble Garden starts you off immediately with steep slopes not seen in AIZ or HCZ. For Sonic 4, there were too many running segments, more importantly in the later levels, making everything feel the same.

    One of my main complaints was not only the abundance of bottomless pits, but how Dimps pretty much always places one or two(!) at the very end of a level. I pointed out that it's one of Dimps' traditions that really needs to go. Another part of that was the fact that it takes away the sense of exploration and immersion in the game, and that it's also an issue with the trust factor between the player and developer.

    Another part of the level design was the factor of having Act-specific gimmicks. While it was agreed that it was good that they went and made each Act feel unique, a first set of gimmicks should be put in the first Act and have new gimmicks introduced alongside them in the next. For example:

    Sandopolis Act 1: Rope swinging, sandfalls, sand slides, pushing stones to ride on.
    Sandopolis Act 2: All of the above, but now with rising sand, timed switches, the ghost/light mechanic.

    There is only one instance of this in Sonic 4. In Mad Gear Zone Act 3, there is a section where you run on a gear like the ones in Act 2. I explained how it would be a good move to do more of that.

    To go along with level design, it was also mentioned how there wasn't an effort to make the levels feel like their own. A comparison between Green Hill, Emerald Hill and Angel Island was used to explain that though they're all similar, they all have something that sets them apart from each other. On the other hand we have Splash Hill, which was considered to be basically Green Hill 2.0.

    After that, somebody had brought up the music. The general feeling was that the melodies were fine, but the instruments were terrible and blended together into a big mess. Sammy had actually brought up a really good point: Why take a step forward to give Sonic 4 this HD look and then take a step backwards with the music? The Genesis games attempted to emulate real instruments, so Sonic 4, being a step forward, should use real instruments (or authentic instrument synths) for the soundtrack. This would really help with the consistency.

    Other smaller issues were brought up throughout. Slingerland had mentioned how the code inside the game is a mess, and how making larger tiles for levels requires the game to load more data. Regarding storytelling, Ruby had asked us if we preferred the Sonic 3&K method, or would we want to have voice acting and cutscenes. I'm sure you guys know what we all picked. One guy, to make a long story short, said he thought Knuckles has a goofy voice.

    So towards the end, Ruby had thanked us and explained how they've been looking at our feedback on the internet, and that the session basically echoed what's been said. They've been contacting the other SEGA teams and telling them what we've been saying, and that hopefully it will help make Episode II better. We then proceeded to the raffle.

    I won a fucking figurine.

    [​IMG]

    A figurine housed in a beautiful box.

    I'll definitely put it in my closet, safe.

    Anyway, yeah. That was it.

    That's all I can remember at the moment. If there's anything I forgot to mention, I'm sure Slingerland or Sammy can account for it.
     
  17. Solaris Paradox

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    On my butt in front of the computer. Where else?
    I'm working on working up the willpower to work on learning how to make my own Sonic fangames. Not quite there yet.
    I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of Episode II, one way or another.

    Colors kinda puts me in high spirits for all things Sonic-related, really. Hell, it even makes me want to give Free Riders a chance! Yeah, I know, it's crazy. :ssh:

    Still, wish I could've been there. Sounds like an awesome little, uh, bicker-fest, or something.
     
  18. Slingerland

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    It wasn't a bickerfest. It was a pretty chill meeting. Thanks for reading.
     
  19. The KKM

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    You can hardly blame him when the opening post makes it sound like it was a meeting of RAGING NERDS HURRRGH.

    Though, reading by you, Moonshadow, and Ruby, it seems it was a fun event. Hope you guys get to do more of them.
     
  20. Solaris Paradox

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    On my butt in front of the computer. Where else?
    I'm working on working up the willpower to work on learning how to make my own Sonic fangames. Not quite there yet.
    I didn't mean that literally. I was just struggling for a word, and couldn't think of one.
     
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