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Sonic's character design and aesthetic

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by High Fidelity, Jun 2, 2016.

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    Then what the devil is the sake of making an argument if you aren't going to list your points?
     
  2. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    That's uh, kind of the point of this? As long as the "nitpicking" is reasonable, decent arguments.
    If you really don't want to say anything, or don't got anything to say other than "this design is objectively the best", I'm gonna recommend you avoid this discussion.
     
  3. Off the top of my head:

    Looks like a human.
    Weird shit eating grin.
    Spines too long.
    Green eyes remove cuteness.
    Looks like he is constantly thrusting his penis.
    Too masculine.
    Angry eyebrows / Bellend shaped eyebrows.
    Square head.
    Square torso.
    Generic art style / render.
    Crap off shade of blue.
    Funny stilt legs.
    Annoying voice acting.
     
  4. Cyberguy

    Cyberguy

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    ...All of those arguments are either subjective, or just plain untrue. (Square head and body? What even?)

    Again, people can like/dislike whatever they want for whatever reasons they want, but if the only arguments you have boil down to personal preference, then be prepared for people to disregard them as pointless for anyone who isn't you. (And be irritated when you talk like your objective opinion is the standard for reality.)

    @Mr. Lange, I gotta agree that that late era Classic Sonic is the best version of that design. But I also have to say that I can definitely see how it evolved into Modern Sonic. Longer limbs, darker shade of blue, greater emphasis on attitude over cuteness, etc.

    I think that if if his torso was a little narrower, (He's too athletic to be so chubby) and his head was just a little bit smaller, so he's not orbiting it when he spins, that'd be the best possible way for him to look, green eyes optional.
     
  5. TheKazeblade

    TheKazeblade

    "Our Life is More than a Side-Effect" Member
    Late-Saturn Classic is absolutely my favorite representation of Sonic and the world. As much flack as the Post-classic, Pre-Adventure era got for their quality, games like 3D Blast/Flickies Island (especially the Saturn iteration) Sonic R and Sonic the Fighters not only felt like a cohesive universe, but also expanded further on the aesthetic traits of the Classics in a way that felt like a natural progression.

    Even though at this point I can barely imagine what a world without the Adventure art shift would be like since it's so engrained, I know one thing for sure: If we had gotten Sonic Adventure on the Saturn, I have little doubt the franchise would have gone through the identity crisis it still suffers from today. Everything from Sonic World to the concept art we got to see at the Adventure music event earlier this year indicates they were fully committed to a Neo-Clasic direction that was being utilized by the other Saturn Sonic titles.

    People forget that Adventure was just as much as - if not more so - a huge tech demo showing off the Dreamcast's capabilities as it was a game itself. That informed tons about the direction the series took and why we saw an abrupt shift from the surreal to the realistic... because that was how to show off graphical capabilities in Sega's mind.

    Whether people like or hate modern Sonic design philosophy is not really pertenant; what is fact here is that the shift in direction had long-reaching ramifications that still are causing issues to this day.
     
  6. NoNameAtAll

    NoNameAtAll

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    Can we not get into the same cyclical arguments that remind me of the days of the Sonic 4 Episode I megathread?

    Shapes? Seriously? This is like arguing about how this one tree should look like.

    I split off the shit, I'd rather not have to do it again.
     
  7. Cyberguy

    Cyberguy

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    At any rate. I liked how Adventure one had a sort of "real but fantastic" style to it's environments. Twinkle Park is a theme park, but it's also way bigger and more dangerous than any theme park could ever be. Speed Highway has it's twisting and broken roads no car could ever hope to drive on. Casinopolis' has a feel of a real casino, but also has it's absurd trash chute and decorations. Emerald Coast has it's twisty rock formations. It was leaning towards realism, but it still had fantastic and exaggerated design elements that made everything feel Sonic. (Also, Sky Deck was a wonderful stage that really felt like you were wrecking/infiltrating the Egg Carrier.)

    Then Sega hit full throttle on the Realism gauge with some extra grit thrown in and ended up crashing into the mess that was 06.
     
  8. Well I felt pressured into saying what I don't like about modern, I haven't got the the time to do a 5 page in depth deconstruction essay so it was a instant reaction list. If sir mod could just delete that post instead because it just massively derailed the thread.

    Probably my favorite part of Adventure is the first part Of Windy Valley. I just love the blue sky Sega vibe with the music. That & Speed Highway do a pretty nice job of capturing the vibe of some of that early JP airbrushed stuff actually.
     
  9. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    Classic sonic was a timeless design. Taking cues from that era can't do anything buy help. I say that as someone that wasnt born in the 50s and yet still prefers it when Mickey Mouse designs are closer to that era than late 90s models.

    Really, most things inspired by the late 90s design-wise feel dated now. It's not a decade that aged well at all. I mean that's half the problem with Boom Sonic. The design is 90s to the max.

    The thing with Sonic is that he's almost a cartoon character before he's a videogame mascot. I mean, draw Felix the Cat and you're 90% of the way to Sonic. A good design has gotta be able to convey a wide range of emotions, and Modern era Sonic just...can't. The only emotion he can manage is "smarmy little bastard" tinged with hints of sadness/anger/worry etc. Even in Generations, Classic Sonic managed a wider array of facial expressions. He looked cool without being a smarmy little shit.

    I mean, Modern Sonic looks "fine" sure. I want more than fine though. I want to be able to say more than "theres nothing wrong with it". That's all I can really say about his current design.

    And yes, a return to late 80s/early 90s graphic design in earnest would be great, and I mean that as objectively as possible. Have you seen what kids walk around wearing these days? I would swear that Kid and Play somehow found a way into the high school curriculum if I didn't know any better.
     
  10. Beltway

    Beltway

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    My guess is this (lack of understanding) and the people in charge (both those in charge of the studio/series direction and the people who actually design the games) don't really care either way.

    I agree a lot with Mr Lange on Adventure reboot not being an "evolution" (specifically more on the design, more on that below); but I can get behind this post as well. I've covered it before but I still see Adventure 2 of when they really started to stray from the components of the original titles; namely for doubled down on SA1's mistakes instead of removing or improving them and stopped trying on translating the original gameplay to 3D (rolling scrapped, level gimmicks and nonlinear design dialed down, scrapped and a metric-ton of scripting and constant speed shoved in their place). As badly as SA1 has aged in technical competence (and being mishandled by poor ports), Adventure 2 I feel has aged worse purely on overall game design and presentation.

    Also in regards to the specific character design, I don't have any qualms with the current design of Sonic, but I just prefer the Genesis design. And contrary to what other people say, I don't really see the contemporary design as an "evolution" of the Genesis design, I see it as more as a permanent shift in art design; I.e. Pac-Man World Pac-Man vs. Ghostly Adventures Pac-Man. Art evolution would what I would call the changes done to the current design since Adventure; or the changes done to classic Sonic from Genesis to the Saturn. I don't find the current design "evolved" or in much ways an inherent "improvement" over what came before.
     
  11. Endgame

    Endgame

    Formerly The Growler Member
    Wow, 3 pages later since I was on here last time!

    I'm not specifically defending modern Sonic's design here, but can I just put it out there for those who say "Sonic's head looks better bigger on modern": might I remind you that a real hedgehog's head is actually tiny compared to its body.
    [​IMG]

    But still... it could be worse - if you wanted a literal interpretation of a hedgehog with longer limbs
    [​IMG]
     
  12. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    [​IMG]

    =P
     
  13. VectorCNC

    VectorCNC

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    I apologize for this mega post, but it's time we started offering alternate visions (not sure why these pictures came out so large as I thought I resized them, sorry)...

    My vision for the future of Sonic involves 2 branches:

    Version 1 (modern):

    Modern runner type game more in line with Sonic Adventure. I'm less picky about this version of the franchise because honestly I have always found the modern games to be sort of difficult to play. Maybe I'm getting to old or something, but I either lack the skill or the time required to attain a level of mastery necessary to get the same feeling of satisfaction from these games I got from the classics. With the exception of Sonic Adventure, this was the last modern Sonic game I was able to fully enjoy. Therefore I'm going to focus on version 2 primarily. However, I think the main ideas I'm going to draw out in the proceeding ought to apply to the modern version 1 also.


    Version 2 (classic):

    Classic platformer type game in line with Sonic 3&K.

    Cultural Influence: Japanese conventions

    Character Design: Anime style and expressions.

    [​IMG]

    Nature of Reality: surreal

    Colour Palette: borderline fauvism

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Natural world: Crystalline and geometric, synthetic-organic

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Robotnik Architecture: Brutalist Architecture (Future-Noir in nature)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    “Good” Architecture: Art-Deco/Memphis-Milano hybrid (Utopian in nature)

    [​IMG]

    Technology: Diesel-punk

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Set Pieces: Memphis-milano

    [​IMG]

    Menus and promotional material: Memphis-milano

    [​IMG]

    Themes/Narative: Environmentalism, Destruction of Natural World, Mankinds view of Nature as a Machine, Fascism/Resistance, Love Conquers All.

    Music: Electronic-pop, and Underground House

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y99UqvgCmE8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hbtUPWcfSI


    Story:

    Finally, I would like to see an interesting story that does not involve a magic mutant instead of Robotnik. This just confuses the narrative of the brand. A really cool concept would be for Robotnik to have an assistant, could be his niece, or some muse or whatever. But it should be unorthodox and try to bring a tad more maturity to the series, just a bit... As I said earlier, her name could be Madonna or whatever as a nod to the past of Sonic lore.

    [​IMG]

    She should serve as a miniboss, like in Sonic 3, and appear here and there to mess up Sonic's path similar to what Knuckles did in Sonic 3. She could be a typical minion, maybe an air-head who takes the wind out of Robotnik's sail, like the president's daughter did in the Sonic OVA anime. Make her whiny or whatever. But then there is a twist, as the game proceeds towards the completion of Robotnik's secret "ultimate weapon" it should start to slip out that she is actually a robot underneath.

    [​IMG]

    Like maybe with each successive battle more of her human facade is warn away. Then at the end of the game she betrays Robotnik and her true form is revealed. With the power of the Chaos Emeralds she becomes an all powerful artificial intelligence seeking to overthrow Robotnik.

    [​IMG]

    Then, Sonic must turn his attention to her for one final battle royale. Robotnik runs off with his tail between his legs. It's up to Sonic to to save the world from a super-intelligent AI trying to turn the entire planet into a computer. It's like the consequence of Robotnik's desires, only he can't control it.

    [​IMG]

    If you win, credits role with a beautiful planet.

    [​IMG]

    If you fail, planet is taken over, and AI expands into the galaxy... TRY AGAIN.

    [​IMG]


    .... Is this not the most compelling story Sonic could ever tell, how has this not happened yet?

    Instead we get mutant ghost monsters... Take it Sega. I hereby give you all rights to use this and pay me nothing!
     
  14. Awesome work man!!!

    Another alternative that could be funny for the female character is to be like Robotnik's bitter old nagging mother or something :<
     
  15. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Oh god no I take that back!!
     
  17. NoNameAtAll

    NoNameAtAll

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    Okay, show's over folks. We can't get any better than this in the topic now. :v:
     
  18. VectorCNC

    VectorCNC

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    If people are going to compare THAT to THIS…

    [​IMG]

    We should be able to compare THIS to THAT

    [​IMG]

    Classic Sonic, when given anime flare, is acceptable by modern standards, IMO. He can still be identifiable as "Classic" without looking dated.
     
  19. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Where's that anime-ish Classic Sonic render from, anyway? Looks neat.
     
  20. VectorCNC

    VectorCNC

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    Nibroc-Rock, of Deviant Art

    http://nibroc-rock.deviantart.com/gallery/56971034/Welcome-To-The-Past