Episode 15 – “Indie-scribables”
We’re still not sure on the name of this feature. At the moment it’s either “Indie-scribables” or “Incoming Indies”, we haven’t officially decided yet. Any other suggestions welcome!
Anyway, in episode 15, we gave our second pair of picks for this feature, and to be fair, one of them isn’t strictly incoming, and the other isn’t strictly indie, but lets not split hairs, shall we?
What with all the buzz about Super Mario Maker 2 lately, I decided to shine a spotlight on a fan creation that seems to have been inspired by it, but applying the same idea to Sonic the Hedgehog. This is Sonic Studio, and I should hasten to reiterate that this is in no way an official Sega product, it is an entirely fan-made effort by one dedicated fan known as @LapperDev on Twitter.
Just a cursory glance at some of the in-development videos he’s posted on Youtube will tell you he means business, as an extremely polished and capable looking level editor seems to allow the creation of Sonic’s trademark loops and curved terrain with incredible ease. You can place objects down just as easily and jump right into testing it out yourself at any point, just like Nintendo’s title. An accurate looking Sonic engine with original sprites and nicely face-lifted graphics for familiar Sonic zones ties up the package perfectly. If like me you’ve ever dreamed of creating your own Sonic levels, this looks like your best bet at the moment, particularly if you’re not into coding or game hacking.
With some fan projects, there’s a danger that the owners of the IP will step in at some point and order it to be taken down. Most Sonic fans have had little to fear thus far thanks to Sega’s apparently fairly relaxed policy on this sort of thing (unlike a certain aforementioned company that begins with N). However, could a polished project like this that allows players to manufacture their own customised Sonic experiences at Sonic Mania quality be the thing that finally crosses the line? We can only hope not.
Work on Sonic Studio is still ongoing, with no set release date, but has been in development for some time, and compared to countless other failed Sonic projects that I’ve witnessed over the last couple of decades, I’d say this one has a good shot at seeing completion. It being a fan-game, it’ll more than likely be free, although perhaps limited only to PC.
Meanwhile, Tibbs has plumped for a game he’s already playing, in the form of 198X (PC and PS4, Switch and XBox one coming soon), by Hi-Bit Studios. This is a love letter to 1980’s arcade gaming, featuring a combination of 5 original arcade games based on classic genres, tied together by a deep coming-of-age story.
The games on offer range from a Final Fight-inspired beat-’em-up, a side scrolling space shooter, an Out Run-inspired racer, a 2D ninja platformer and a dungeon crawler. All presented in perfect pixel art that looks like they’ve been pulled straight out of the era themselves.
If you find yourself craving that eighty’s smoky neon vibe, you can get the game now on Steam and PS4.
And of course, you can hear us discuss both games in detail on our latest episode. Try your favourite podcast client, Youtube, or right here: