Interview: Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka

Like some kind of HTML-based level from Sonic the Hedgehog CD, we jump between the hedgehog’s past, present and future with his capable custodian, Takashi Iizuka.

By Rupert Higham, October 6, 2010

Expect the same level of stunts and grinds that have characterised the series since Sonic Adventure 2 to return in Colours' high-speed world.

What kind of links are there between the titles?

There aren’t any links in terms of save data or anything but they share the basic parts of the same story. The DS version introduces the other characters like Knuckles and Amy as kind of the guest characters. They don’t have any direct influence on the gameplay but they act as the narrative to the background of the story, so if you play the DS version you get a better understanding of the story for Sonic Colours.

How much does player feedback influence the development of new Sonic games?

The team always looks at feedback immediately after we release a game and they are always looking to the pros and cons of the feedback and try to address those through the next game developed. They don’t really take it fully because they have their own thoughts but they do look at feedback and try to input as much as possible.

What are the main things that players have asked for?

That feedback is actually the story of how Sonic Colours came to be. The players had always wanted a pure Sonic action game. They always wanted to play as Sonic and they always wanted the high-speed action stages. That is how we started the project for Sonic Colours — that was the most important feedback to look into. With Sonic Colours we wanted the stage to start with high-speed Sonic action and end with high-speed Sonic action. We didn’t want to break it up by introducing other characters or other kinds of action so the feedback has really influenced this game.

Sonic will be alone this time around. No inter-species love, no morbidly obese cats. Just you and those sneakers.

Can you talk more about how the multiplayer game works?

For the DS version because we have two players looking at two different screens it made much more sense to do it in a racing style which is relatively familiar with the Sonic franchise, so that’s the DS multiplayer. For the Wii version because you’re most likely looking at the same screen with another person, it made much more sense to go with the co-op rather than race the other person. On the Wii version you really have to cooperate properly to make progress in the level. What’s unique about the Wii multiplayer is the use of the colour powers. You can use exclusive colour powers in multiplayer, for example if two players use the same colour powers it makes a bigger and better version and you can combine different combinations.

Can you tell us more about how Sonic Team is structured and how development is handled in the modern Sonic Team. How does it compare to when you first started making Sonic games?

Previously there were two studios running, one in Japan and one in America. Now that the American studio has been integrated back into the Japanese studio, I am looking after the entire Sonic Team. This means that while previous games may have gone in two different directions, the team now has a clear single goal while developing titles which is a real benefit.

Sonic Colours is out for Wii and DS on 12th November in Europe and 16th November in North America. Are you convinced?

Posted in Interviews, Top 5, and tagged with , , , , .

One Response to “Interview: Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka”

  1. sonicsegaman says:

    great article sega made a good decision by intergrating sonic team into one unit. i hope the focus on quality improve because they dont know how many hardcore gamers they destroyed by ruining sonic. now back to sonic 4.


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