I have been in conversation with Matwek, and we've both put together a plan; mine is a general, bigger-picture sort of plan and Matwek's is more focused on short-term goals. We have read each other's plans and it's clear we're on the same wavelength here. Here goes; CURRENT AIMS Project focus - A lot of work has already been done into a few areas of this project without proper focus. Admittedly, we've already seen some extremely competent and genuinely impressive work, but without the correct focus, we have no idea whether this can/should be used. A decision needs to be made, first and foremost what the "target platform" of this project is going to be. Seriously, a lot rides on this; what colour depth can we use, are we limited to MegaDrive colours, is there a sprite limit? Also, thinking about emulation and the portability this offers, or the possibility for people to play on their own hardware -- this is as much about our audience as it is us, people. Back-to-basics - I, for one, would prefer a more top-down approach to the design than the current disorganised mess. Right now, everybody is shouting a million different things and it's very hard to keep track of everybody's ideas and pay them all the equal attention that they deserve (Yeah, that's right, each and every idea is important, so please leave your ego at the door, and have some fun). The zone concept threads are a good idea -- why do we have essentially three forest/jungle levels? Why do we have "???" zones? Why have we settled right now, even? Surely one thread where we pitch as many ideas as is humanly possible for, say, a week or so then narrow down the best. 100 unique ideas for zones can turn into 50, 25, 12 and then we have 7 (Or whichever number is decided) final ones, and through this process there can be no question that the very best were chosen. The same for sprite and art styles, and everything. As many different approaches as possible, never ruling one out until we're sure we've exhausted the alternatives. This will take a lot of time, but thankfully we aren't mired by a release date or whatever. OBJECTIVES Even now the ultimate goal of this project is not set. There is no bigger picture for definite, so there is no wonder that people are unsure as to where they fit. Let me propose one (Which can be disputed, this is a community project not Jay's Big Gay Sonic Fangame Shit(tm).): We are making a 'spiritual' sequel to the Sonic games as they were in their prime. The focus of which is to show what the franchise could (And arguably should) have evolved into were Sega not so keen on bandwagonning and immolating their intellectual properties with ill-informed marketing decisions. The format of which will be chosen to reach the widest possible number of fans. GUIDELINES Here's a few rules I think aspiring contributors should try to stick to; Research! - Yes, this one again. I made another post on this, but it's pretty simple. Look into the styles and influences that made the series, see if you can emulate, perfect, even better the application as done by Sega. Also, you want to know what a cactus looks like? Google for about fifty different pictures of cacti. You have the Internet, research is easy. If you're wondering why you should even bother, let me tell you; it is vital to inform the design process. And Sega did it. Experiment! - "What would Sega do?" is often the worst thing you can think when designing. Seriously, I think you'll get it wrong. What can't hurt though, is what I call "the rule of 10". This means, for every thing you design, make ten of them. All ten should be instantly discernable as different to the others. Sound like a stretch? It isn't when you really try. And doing this opens your mind up to more creative options... and remember, when Sonic came out in 1991, there wasn't a single thing out like the game; ergo, it can be argued that creativity is the backbone of the series. Open your mind! - Don't just knee-jerk and say "that sucks" or, even worse "no". If you genuinely have such a strong reaction against something, try this; construct an entire paragraph of everything you think is good about an idea. See if you win yourself over. This is the polar opposite approach to giving good constructive criticism on something you like, and is every bit as helpful. Have fun! - Seriously, if you had no fun making a thing, it usually shows. I've seen illustrations from colleagues which they didn't enjoy doing, and the results tend to be stiff and lifeless. I'm not saying that this should turn into a 4chan-style imageboard (hell no) but don't be afraid to have a little fun. Who knows, maybe good ideas will come out of it (Because I'm totally convinced that The Doomsday Zone was the product of too much sake at Sonic Team and guys pitching totally nutbar ideas at each other; "Let's take Sonic... and make him... fly... IN SPACE"). SHORT-TERM Matwek has suggested that work initially be focused on the first zone, a tropical one. I concur with this, for the following reasons; I'd personally like to go back to the drawing board with zone themes, and generate a new set. As I have outlined above. However, one tried-tested-trusted cliché we cannot afford to omit is the Tropical first zone. As far as I am concerned this is the only thing set in stone right now. The focus here would allow pixel artists or anybody else not comfortable with more general concepts and experimentation to contribute to this project. I'm trying to think in everybody's best interests here. Similarly, the other, undecided content can be a boiling pot of innovation, creativity and fun. Whilst some focus on the Tropical zone, anybody else with an idea need not hold back. Just post it! Matwek's more focused plan, centred around the tropical zone will follow. And it's good.