Sonic Rivals went through many ideas and changes during the development process. What follows is a collection of items related to the game's development.
With the release of Sony's PlayStation Portable, it was only natural to expect Sega to begin work on a Sonic title for the system. Just as they had hired DIMPS to work on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS titles, the gaming company enlisted the help of Backbone Entertainment. Previously responsible for such titles as Death Jr., the group was given the assignment to create what would become '"Sonic Rivals.
Studying the maps of the every 2D game from the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Sonic Rush, the team at first wanted to create another traditional Sonic the Hedgehog platformer. However, Takashi Iizuka, the man who had directed the two Adventure titles, Sonic Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog, suggested to the team they change their approach, and instead make something that would stand out from standard Sonic fare.
|“||The main focus of Sonic Rivals was to revisit the classic gaming that the original Sonic pioneered and proved to be so successful. We have taken all the ingredients that have made the original Sonic as great as they were and concentrated on what we thought were the best features. We then added the competitive racing element to the game to help distinguish it apart from other platformers and offer something new and refreshing to the player...Originally Backbone designed a traditional platformer for the PSP. Takashi Iizuka, who is a lead designer for the Sonic series came in and helped steer the game into a more unique direction for the PSP. We then collaborated with them to design a competitive action platformer.||„|
Although given quite a bit of freedom, Takashi Iizuka (who was also the director of the this title) helped steer the product to stay in line with the rest of the Sonic brand being produced at the time. The designing of the levels proved to be a bit more difficult than simply trying to emulate the original titles, for the adding racing component meant that any alternate pathways could not be random excursions, and had to flow into the main path to maintain the competitive element that was the driving force behind the game's foundation.
Stills from the original pitch video put together by Mark Pearce.
Concept art of Forest Falls Zone, originally named "Waterfall Forest."
Later concept art of Forest Falls. By Mabel Chan.
Concept art of Sky Park Zone, originally named "Sky Circus." By Mabel Chan.
Concept art of Crystal Mountain Zone, originally named "Snow Crystal." By Mabel Chan.
Concept art of Metal Hound.
Concept art of Drill Worm.
Concept art of Venoom.
Concept art of Vultur.