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Inspirations & Influences



Article Date: 24 August 2016

Article Number: 4

An overview of the 4 main influential and inspirational sources behind Sonic 5, and how they contribute towards the project.

1: Sonic Retro Message Board

What is the Sonic Retro Message Board?

The Sonic Retro Message Board is one of the largest active and diverse forums dedicated to Sonic, encompassing a vast array of differing opinions, perspectives and preferences.

It hosts a variety of discussion topics which explore various aspects of the franchise, from general game discussions to specific analysis of aesthetic designs and level layouts. People also share their Sonic game hacks and fan-games here.

As of this Sonic 5 article, it contains over 861 thousand posts and has over 19 thousand members.



URL: forums.sonicretro.org

Here are a couple of examples of inspiration, among so many others posted by the Sonic Retro community.

Both of these images have directly influenced some of my level layout and gimmick design decisions for Sonic 5.

Contributions like these are incredibly valuable to me, and really resonate with my game development interests.

I cannot be thankful enough.

2: ShayMay – Sonic Spitball Video Series

What is the Sonic Spitball video series by ShayMay?

Sonic Spitball is a comprehensive 3 part video series where ShayMay explores different aspects of Sonic games.

He breaks down their various different gameplay styles and various narrative styles, and also lays out his personal idea of how to best approach the task of transferring classic 2D. Sonic gameplay into a 3D. Sonic game.

Each part of the series is over an hour long, with very in depth inspections of individual elements within a variety of Sonic games, covering numerous positives and negatives of various design decisions.



URL: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLr-C4V5-8-PdIXz5rePFmw5CB3R7RPe34

 
 

While this part of the video is about 3D. Sonic games, this is still a notable point for Sonic 5. It drives home the importance of smooth momentum through different moves/attacks.

 
As someone who loves to apply loads of details to my drawings, I relate to this point strongly. Making Sonic 5’s environments more detailed could increase interest and immersion massively.
 

3: Game Developers Conference

What is the Game Developers Conference?

Game Developers Conference (Or GDC.) is one of the world’s largest and longest running series of video game events.

These events host a massive variety of video game related talks, spanning a large amount of different topics, genres and elements, in presentations delivered by many different developers.

The presentations are recorded and then uploaded onto the GDC YouTube Channel.
These videos attract further discussions about video games via YouTube comments.



URL: www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JB7TSe49lg56u6qH8y_MQ
When it comes to Game Developers Conference, it’s very difficult for me to pinpoint specific videos as sources of influences.

That is what’s so great about it, though. The sheer amount of diversity in GDC’s presentations and topics is an absolute goldmine for me.

While most videos don’t relate to Sonic specifically, it is very intriguing to hear how different developers tackle different objectives and various genres.

These videos often make me reflect upon my own development of Sonic 5, such as exploring potential ways to try new things, or looking at existing game elements from different angles.

4: LakeFeperd  Sonic After The Sequel Fan-game

What is the Sonic After The Sequel fan-game by LakeFeperd?

Sonic After The Sequel (Or Sonic ATS.) is a fan-game spearheaded by LakeFeperd, created by him in collaboration with other Sonic fans. It is very similar to, and builds upon, his previous fan-game: Sonic Before The Sequel.

Its goal is to be a game which takes place between the events of Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, containing original Zones, level transition cutscene animations, and music specifically composed for the game.

The game also includes extra unlockables: Special Levels, a Boss Rush option, and Debug Mode.



URL: sites.google.com/site/sonicbtsbooth

 
 
 

The power-up here allows you to smash away obstacles and break item monitors placed inside walls. This has influenced Sonic 5 to have elemental shield abilities that affect level design.

The way this boss’ music changes in unison with the elemental switches reminds me of the context-specific music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and inspires my audio choices for Sonic 5.

 

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