BioWare's Randall Bishop has added the first entry to a new "Chronicles Diaries" feature for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. In it, he covers the top five reasons why they're enjoying the opportunity to create the very first Sonic RPG.
1. Sonic's universe is incredibly vast The sheer amount of detail that has been put into the Sonic universe throughout the years is astounding! Sega has obviously put in a lot of time and effort in creating this universe and it shows. You could spend an enormous amount of time familiarizing yourself with all the different stories, characters, and locations from past games and comics. It's great to get lost in this world and discover how much fiction has been written on it. I think its quite an achievement for anyone to become an expert on Sonic the Hedgehog!
2. The art team here at BioWare is amazing After our artists, I am luckily the first person to see the artwork produced for Sonic Chronicles; and that artwork is truly amazing! Once I get my hands on a piece of it, I circulate it throughout our marketing department so we can '˜Ooh' and '˜Ahh' over it. Our favorite type of artwork to look at is the world maps. The world maps are masterfully hand drawn and have an incredible amount of detail. We put these maps up on my 24 inch monitor and with our fingers trace out the path we want to take through the level and point out all the places we want to explore.
3. The game is amazing - Probably the coolest part of my job is that I often get to play the game in order to capture screenshots and videos. Let me switch gears for a second and not speak as a marketer, but as a gamer. Sonic Chronicles is great! For example: Burning around the map as Sonic while being chased by monsters, only to escape by flying across chasms as Rouge the bat is a blast. Also, exploring the maps to collect all the Chao eggs is pretty rewarding. Especially once the eggs hatch and you get to bring those Chao into battle with you and use their powers against your enemies. The combat is also really engaging since you can unlock devastating power moves by having the right combination of characters in your party. I also enjoy customizing the characters in my party so they fit my play style.
4. Its much less serious than our past work - Our past titles at BioWare have been fairly serious and had a more adult oriented theme, so it is refreshing to work within a world with a lighter tone. It brings back the raw enjoyment of gaming with all the bright colors, punchy sounds, and tongue in cheek dialogue. This makes you feel like a kid again; which we often have to do since to design a game for a kid, you need to think like one (What could be more fun?)
5. Small enthusiastic development team - One thing that I am not used to from my past marketing roles is working with people who are my age. Fortunately, many of the people who are developing Sonic Chronicles are around the same age as me. This means that the office culture is enthusiastic, innovative, fresh thinking, and very inspired to work with Sonic since the developers grew up playing these games. However, even though some of the members on the team may be younger, every member has a wealth of experience and are among the most talented in the industry. So we have a lot of fun, and board room meetings are not of the traditional type. It is not uncommon to start a meeting by talking about the latest games we have played, then be interrupted by a Nerf gun attack while we are drawing concept pictures of Sonic and his friends on a whiteboard. Also, the development team is fairly small, so everybody knows each other well. This makes work more like hanging out with your friends while creating something really cool.