Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka interview for Sonic Heroes website
From Sonic Retro
Find out more about the making of Sonic Team's exciting new game with Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Takashi Iizuka, Director of the U.S. Sonic Team.
Sega: Do the Sonic Heroes teams affect each other's storyline? And why did you create 4 different teams?
Iizuka: The story of one team does not affect the story of the other teams. This was done so that players of all skill levels could play through the game with the team of their choice and feel like they had a complete adventure. If you are totally new to a Sonic game, you may want to start off with Team Rose, but if you're looking for more challenge, then Team Dark may be your choice.
Sega: Sonic Heroes was Sega's first non-sports multi-platform title. What challenges were there in developing the game across three different consoles?
Naka: The signature gameplay of the Sonic series is the light speed action blasting through vast stages. Creating a Sonic game with this concept on any platform is a very difficult task. It was even more challenging since we had to develop for all three platforms and simultaneously and we had very little experience with PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Sega: Sonic Heroes is an action game, which marks a return to Sonic's roots. What challenges did you face when bringing Sonic from 2D to 3D action game?
Naka: I can't pinpoint any one specific challenge that we encountered since there were so many major hurdles we had to overcome. But I can certainly say it wasn't easy. One example was how to make Sonic lock on to an enemy during his homing attack without losing Sonic's speed and the player's resultant exhilaration.
Sega: Is there an advantage to having a portion of the development team based in the United States?
Naka: Well, since Sonic has fans worldwide, it is very important for us to know the culture and the fans not only in Japan, but in other countries as well. Plus, I think Sonic enjoys the laidback lifestyle of California.
Sega: How do you incorporate fan requests/feedback into future titles?
Naka: Please send e-mails to: [email protected] We constantly receive tons of e-mails from Sonic Team fans and we all read every single one of them. But I wish that all the letters were in Japanese so I could actually understand them... :)