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Original Concepts

Hatching the Idea
February 8th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

For a long while, I had been an SFM animator. I got a bit of practice in and wanted to really create a series. You know, something to call my own. I had a bit of recognition for my remakes and general one-shot jokes. But I wanted to do a lot more. A year or so before the first episode was created, I had a bit of an idea for one -- I was growing incredibly tired of so many things in the "Sonic world" I guess you an say -- the franchise, the fans, the games, pretty much everything short of the comics but even that has its disappointments, especially with the reboot.

One of the biggest issues for me was how the villain, Eggman, is often underplayed. He's treated like he has less importance than pretty much everyone who's a hero. Or, at the least, less important than most Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Shadow. I always felt that has never been right, especially for a franchise villain. They should be on equal footing to the main character. After all, they set the playing field. Without the villain, there is no hero. I feel Eggman should be equal to Sonic, Bowser should be equal to Mario, Ganondorf should be equal Link.

You may argue that Eggman gets more recognition, having been among the "trio" in the past four games (Unleashed, Colors, Generations, and Lost World) and typically plays the final boss, these days. But I often felt, even if that's the case, he's often a lot less of a threat to the main character and just more of a goof. An inconvenience, at most. Lost World even goes the extra mile to have Tails do something "that even Eggman couldn't do." -- implying that the sidekick is more intelligent than the main villain. That dynamic fails. Ignoring the "it's for kids argument," even in a lighthearted story, the villain should be able to stop the protagonist's goals, whatever they may be. Eggman often feels as though he simply can't.

In addition, fans often treat him poorly and not simply because he's the villain. It's because he's ineffective. He's often written already dead in most fan fictions, so they can focus on their fuzzy-wuzzies. He simply gets beaten by their fan characters a lot more often than Sonic. He has some very crude jokes thrown at him (most, unsurprisingly, about his weight).  Or, at the most humane, he simply is ignored in fanart -- there's a lot of cases where Mephiles gets more attention than the doctor.

That's where the idea stems from -- to put on a show that displays equal importance of the villain to the main character. In that set up, I wanted to make this a "buddy series." Sonic and Eggman were both the main characters. In fact, the name "Spinning Egg Zone" is connected to that. "Spinning" is Sonic, his main forms of attack are all spin-based and "Egg" obviously alludes to Eggman.

I wanted to highlight a lot of this unfairness, so I chose to go the office route. Placing them as actors could have them communicate with fans, talk about the background stuff, and highlight the problems SEGA faces. At some point, they would get fired and take on odd jobs. Like, Sonic flipping burgers and stuff -- though, looking back on it, that sounds a bit like Sonic For Hire which is not what this was meant to be.

Characters, Personalities, and Reasoning.
February 8th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

As stated, this was meant to be a buddy series. As such, it obviously focused on Sonic and Eggman -- I opted to have Eggman referred more to as "Ivo" in an attempt to push him away from being the villain to being an actor. I probably don't have to tell you this, but "Ivo" is the name given to him by the English manual in the first game. In most Skype calls, we often use "Ivo" when discussing him in SEZ, and in many scripts as well. While characters will say "Eggman" or "Eggy" sometimes, Ivo is most often used.

Personalities were altered quite a bit over the series. Originally, Sonic wasn't as much of a jackass as he is, today. He was meant to be a bit of a straight guy, though he did have bit of a temper and a small ego on him. This is most evident in the first episode, where he says things like "this seems wrong. Like, really wrong." when having to collect the tears of Sonic fans.  Ivo was defined to be a nice guy who looked at the "bright side of things" this changed pretty heavily. While he's still one of the nicer characters, he's a lot more pessimistic about things -- he knows how crap things are but does it because it's his job. Looking back at it, they were both really similar to each other, with Sonic being the bit more hotheaded one who would jump to quick, often mistaken solutions. They were both originally both pretty good friends. Where, today, Sonic thinks he's Ivo's friend and Ivo simply puts up with him because he has to.

The one character who remained a constant in personality and concept is Dark Lord Iizuka. The master of pain for Sonic fans. He loves the malice he creates and enjoys pushing the cast. Now, he does have his tweaks -- for instance, he enjoys toast in addition to tears. Iizuka represents Sonic Team as a whole, not necessarily the entire the man, himself.

The others? They were never meant to play important roles. That's right, Silver was never meant to be in an abusive relationship with Blaze, Amy was never meant to hate Sonic, Big and Rouge were never a couple, and Sally wasn't meant to exist. These ideas came in later.

I wanted to focus on Sonic and Ivo. Out of every episode, Tears is the most faithful to that idea. But honestly, I feel the changes that were made were for the better.

How Did it Change?
February 8th 2017
by WittyUsernameSA

When Martin came on board, he did a lot for me. He got LJ and a handful of other VAs to help out. I didn't finish the first episode until a year later, in the summer. I contacted him and let him know the process.

And he fell in love with it. We began to communicate more and more, and he contributed a lot of ideas. Then LJ and Pink too. Eventually, most of the cast members gave input.

That's the environment SEZ lives in. An open contribution by everyone. No, not every idea makes it. Some are turned down, some are accepted, and some even are altered. But everyone has a voice and while I do have the final say, I love to hear everyone's take. And honestly, I feel that's the creative environment we should strive for. A lot of the little concepts I originally had still make it through -- the stories most often focus on Sonic and Ivo, but now I feel it's stronger for it.

I won't get into how and why these things have changed, who came up with what -- those ideas are reserved for their spot, whether it fits under General or per episode basis, but I will tell you, it was all for the best.