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Sega FY1997 Brand Review

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Jul 3, 2023.

  1. Gryson

    Gryson

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    Speaking of Sonic 3D, how do you all interpret these tweets from Neil Harding, who ported 3D Blast to the Saturn? He is commenting on the leaked docs.

    https://twitter.com/assemblytutor/status/1676343997709811712

    https://twitter.com/assemblytutor/status/1676343315267207169

    Memory is obviously an issue here... Sony errr Sega Japan? I assume he means STI, and Sonic 3D = Sonic Xtreme.

    Is it already known that the Xtreme code was used to make the bonus stages in Sonic 3D Blast on the Saturn?
     
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  2. Sixfortyfive

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    The Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast had a section in its credits specifically for the special stages and IIRC every staff member listed there is from Sega of Japan. It'd be weird if they were repurposing code from Xtreme.
     
  3. MSX

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    That would be me. What you find on eBay sometimes is magical. Didn't think it was going to make this big of splash.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  4. Gryson

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    Ah, right! Thanks. I should have checked that.

    So, it looks like "Sonic 3D" is actually the pre-Sonic Jam "Sonic 3D" - at least as far as Neil Harding's statements. All of the Sonic 3D Blast special stage developers are also the Sonic Jam developers.

    So... is it known that Saturn Sonic 3D Blast includes code from Sonic Jam?
     
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  5. Black Squirrel

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    The 3D model for Sonic (in the Special Stage) is supposedly the same as Sonic Jam's. I'd guess other assets might be shared also?
     
  6. Gryson

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    Serious thanks for sharing this.

    A question for you: Pages 13-28 of the PDF are all odd-numbered (top right corner). Do you have any idea as to why this is? I'm wondering if there are any hints in the physical binder. The data seems complete, although I don't see Genesis hardware numbers... Just wondering if the even numbered pages are missing, or if it's just a strange numbering system.
     
  7. Just because a game didn't start actual development years after, does not mean it wasn't the of the genesis project , who knows maybe Sonic R could have started out a sequel to Sonic Drift.
     
  8. wonder-inc

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    We know that is however not the case. Jon Burton (Founder of Traveller's Tales which developed both Sonic 3D and Sonic R) confirmed that the game engine that then went on to be retooled for Sonic R, was for a Formula One Racing title by them unrelated to Sonic.

    Plus, as I mentioned above, the table clearly didn't include the product in question under any of the game consoles mentioned. Which is evidence that whatever Sonic Land Speed is/was supposed to be, that it is not a video game for any of the systems above.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. I think SEGA were also expecting Daytona USA to sell the Saturn, much like with Shenmue on the DC.

    To me Daytona USA marks one of SEGA Japan's big cock ups. SOJ would have known the game was unfinished and that game did so much to hurt the Saturn 3D image, from which it really had a hard time recovering from and the worst part was the game was coming just after Panzer Dragoon, which did so much to show off the Saturn 3D graphics and gave me ever more hope for Saturn Daytona; It really should have been delayed and the team look at reducing the car count to 16 on track or something to help with the GFX.

    It's funny mind, I went from also crying going to work, after getting my import copy of Daytona USA on the Saturn. All that money and all that hope, all that extra time for import Saturn and then Daytona USA that at the start was a bitter disappointment, so much so I couldn't even play the game for up to 2 weeks after my 1st play of the game.

    Once I got over the GFX, I began to love the game and to this day it remains my fav version of Daytona USA outside the Arcades

    We know that is however not the case. Jon Burton (Founder of Traveller's Tales which developed both Sonic 3D and Sonic R) confirmed that the game engine that then went on to be retooled for Sonic R, was for a Formula One Racing title by them unrelated to Sonic.

    Plus, as I mentioned above, the table clearly didn't include the product in question under any of the game consoles mentioned. Which is evidence that whatever Sonic Land Speed is/was supposed to be, that it is not a video game for any of the systems above.
    [​IMG][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

    That's just the time SEGA looked to contract it out. That's not to say SEGA didn't have ideas for the project or even had one of their own lines coming up with concepts for a Sonic racing game. Somtimes a game just starts out as just a comment thrown out there by a member of staff and it could take years before the game materializes.

    It's a bloody shame that STI messing up of the Sonic project in the end cost us the TT F1 racing game. F1 on the PS was a bitter blow to me on the Saturn, it looked and played so good and the Saturn badly needed a full F1 racing sim to counter it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2023
  10. Ted909

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    Where this still confuses me is his specific mention of CES, even though they'd stopped holding them around June by this point. I can only assume he means E3 (which even then happened in May that year) - but why would that also be relevant with this 'Sonic 3D', as Xtreme was of course at that event in a incomplete state?
     
  11. Azookara

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    https://tcrf.net/Prerelease:Sonic_3D_Blast_(Sega_Saturn)

    The "Sonic Pool" bonus game from the canceled 'Sonic Saturn' (a fork of X-Treme?) was supposedly to be ported to Sonic 3D Blast Saturn, before being replaced with original ones made by Sonic Team towards the end of development. There's a possibly Neil may be mixing up memories of being told to port Sonic Pool over with what ended up in the final game.

    EDIT: If I were to take a guess why the Saturn Sonic title is referred to so vaguely (either as "SONIC" or "Sonic 3D") it's probably because of the sheer amount of projects STI's staff was making to try to get a Saturn Sonic game off the ground. X-Treme was just the one that got the furthest progress / most publication.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  12. MSX

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    Wow, thanks for catching that. There were some double-sided pages and somehow didn't get scanned in. Could have sworn I went back for those. I'll redo those.

    EDIT: Re-uploaded to Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/sega-fiscal-year-1997-brand-review
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  13. Blue Spikeball

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    As previously mentioned, according to the Sonic 3D Blast credits, the special stages were handled by Japanese devs. What's more, I just checked and they're all Sonic Team members. So I believe Neil is right about them coming from a project by SOJ (most likely pre-Sonic Jam Sonic Adventure as suggested above).

    If he was thinking of Sonic Pool, he would probably have attributed the special stages to SOA or STI, rather than SOJ.
     
  14. Azookara

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    No, that's what I'm saying though. If that TRCF post is to be believed (and I know I read of this far before it was posted there), 3D Blast Saturn was considered to have the Sonic Pool stages at first, but the final game has a special stage designed by SOJ/Sonic Team instead. Neil's likely getting the memories of the STI projects mixed up with Sonic Team's last minute contribution.

    To back this up, the same pages that refer to a "Sonic 3D" (as in for the Saturn and not 3D Blast) are also referring to communication with STI about progress. If it were a SoJ/Sonic Team project, they'd be talking about communicating with them instead, much like they were about the progress on NiGHTS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  15. Sixfortyfive

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    As someone who bought the Saturn for Daytona, I would have absolutely hated the bolded. The one saving grace of that port of the game was that it at least mimicked the arcade version's gameplay pretty accurately, and the crowded field of opponent cars was a part of that. So after the disappointment of the graphical fidelity wore off, I at least made peace with using the Saturn version to practice lines and techniques between trips to the arcade, where I could use them on the "real" version.

    Even then, I had long come to terms with the fact that console games would never replicate cutting-edge arcade hardware, so the sub-20fps performance and terrible draw distance didn't even bother me that much in the first place. It was the complete lack of multiplayer that really stung at the time. Head-to-head play was one of the biggest draws for the game in arcades, so it's still wild to me that the console version shipped without it.



    Anyway, I think their internal assessment of the Game Gear's place in the market is kind of interesting, and it reminded me that I basically felt exactly the same way about it at that point in time too.

    [​IMG]

    I had a Game Gear at the time but wasn't terribly enthused about portable gaming in general. I'd barely used it outside of long cross-country trips that my family took at the time. So when the Nomad was announced, it basically killed off any interest that I had in continuing to buy or ask for Game Gear software, as the possibility of leveraging my existing Genesis library in both console and portable forms was much more enticing... But I also never ended up getting a Nomad either because it was so expensive. Not just the base cost, but knowing that I'd also likely have to buy in for several peripherals (battery pack, car adapter, whatever). One more thing to stack on top of Sega's dev teams being split across so many formats and it's no wonder that the Game Gear completely fizzled out around this time too.

    I wonder if it would have made more business sense to release a more battery-efficient and lower-priced GG model around this time instead of the Nomad. Seemed like there was a very brief window to capitalize on during that time when Nintendo was floundering with the Virtual Boy but before Pokemon came along and made every other player in the handheld space irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  16. Billy

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  17. MSX

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    Re-uploaded the doc since some double sided pages from the Sale Status Summary, Allocatable Inventory, and the Game Gear Brand Review didn't get scanned in. I went through the binder again, no other double-sided pages.

    https://archive.org/details/sega-fiscal-year-1997-brand-review

    Also, this post-it was at the end of the Pico Brand Review section, but it looks like it must have fallen out at one point and then stuck in there by the previous owner. Not sure where it was placed originally.

    upload_2023-7-6_14-3-44.png
     
  18. Azookara

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    This was definitely the most efficient way they could've done things.

    That said, I still can't help but wonder if the Nomad could've been their answer to keeping the Genesis library going, if the 32X wasn't in the way. And phasing out both Genesis and Game Gear for Nomad could've prevented so many dual versions of games between those two systems, and could've possibly boosted the later Genesis title sales by being rebranded as Nomad games (even if they also play on Genesis). Still would've been mad expensive, but yeah. Just makes me think.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2023
  19. wonder-inc

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    I think this note was here? I've seen the B&W copy of it in this page.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. MSX

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    Ah, right. I had to take it off to get what was underneath (which is why that page is duplicated), so it must have fallen off during the original scanning and then I stuck it on there since I didn't know where it belong. Christ my memory is shit. Don't have me as a witness for a crime.

    At least now I can place it back where it belongs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2023