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Sonic Forces producer on not regaining rings, game length / price, no DLC plans, darker tone

Posted on October 5, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Game Informer spoke with Sonic Forces producer Shun Nakamura at the Tokyo Game Show last month. Nakamura talked about the big change of not regaining rings similiar to past titles, how long the game will be and why it’s priced at $40, and the darker tone.

You can read up on Nakamura’s responses about these topics below. For the full interview, head on over here.

On how Sonic doesn’t regain rings like in past games…

We realize Sonic Mania came out and had classic Sonic portrayed in the classic world, with the classic gameplay of when you get hit, you lose all your rings and you have the chance to gather them back up and continue running. That was made by a different team with a different design aesthetic of recreating a classic Sonic title. What my team wanted to do with Sonic Forces is really expand on the game design and make something different and new for the Sonic Forces world, which is more modern. When we were designing the game, we wanted to make sure it was balanced properly, so it’s not too easy, but also not too challenging.

Since presenting it at E3, we’ve heard a lot of people ask what you have, and it’s something the team feels really strongly about. They do like the design of Sonic Forces as we have presented it, but we’re also listening to a lot of the people saying they want that classic gameplay element back. We believe what we made [is a good balance] and will be a great experience for people — but we also are hearing that people are wanting something that we haven’t provided to them. I’m still sitting with the team digesting it and figuring out what to do. It’s an unresolved topic even amongst the team.

On gameplay length…

The gameplay content is going to be very similar to Sonic Colors or Sonic Generations, if you want to think about experiencing it from start to finish. What’s going to be additional is all the extra little things the team has hidden inside the game that will require you to go back and play with different and more powerful Wispons. There’s content in there to make sure that everyone can play through the game and have a fun time, but there’s also all these little things to do later that, if you really wanted to dig into the game, will be there for you.

One thing I do want to make sure everyone understands is that we’re selling Sonic Forces at $39.99 in America, and we don’t want people to think that maybe this is a short game or this is a lesser experience than what we’ve done in the past. When we were thinking about pricing and what our audience was, we really wanted to make sure we could get as many people to play this game as possible by putting it at that price point. Even with Mania, we had a really solid, great game that everyone loves and we put it at $19.99 because we wanted everyone to play it and enjoy the content. So with Forces, nobody should be worried that they’re getting less content, or there’s not even [extra] stuff in there, or that we cut some corners. That’s really not the case. We’re aggressively pricing it to get this great content out to as many people as possible and really have people secure when they buy and play it to know that this is the same as all the other Sonic games we put out there, plus extra content for people to find and enjoy.

On any plans for long-term DLC…

There is really no long-term plans to continue releasing content to support Forces, but we created Episode Shadow [and the Sega/Atlus pack] for everyone to play and enjoy. We’re trying to get as much content out there for people to jump right into the game and play.

On the darker tone of the game…

It wasn’t necessarily that we set out to make a dark world, but when we were thinking about making everything a little more dramatic and making the enemies feel [more like] enemies, what the team really wanted to do was have Sonic as this really powerful, positive character and then have the enemies as these really strong villain characters. What we wanted to do was really make those villain characters feel like villains and to do that we need to see some villainous activities going on — there’s got to be something done to this world to make it feel like Eggman is really taking over and is a threat. By putting Sonic in this threatening situation, it turned out that the world had to become dark and we had to tell this dark story. Perhaps it came to be a dark story because of what we wanted to do with the characters, more so than we [set out] to make a dark story. We really like where the world has gone. Hearing people say that they really like it and that it’s different from what we’ve done in the past makes us feel good, like we’re going in the right direction.

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