Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing’s Executive Producer, Steve Lycett, has written a post on SEGA Europe’s official blog discussing the upcoming mascot racing game. Although mostly an introductory post, Lycett mentions the genesis of the game, which was staged very much like Sonic R as opposed to Sonic Drift.
“We started off with… Sonic running. Yes running. Not in a car. Not Super Sonic, but Sonic running full pelt around a test track.” Lycett revealed on the SEGA blog, “Next we added Eggman, riding in his Eggpod, but with robotic legs attached. He was running too. Then we added Tails. He was in his Tornado, the red biplane from Sonic 2. Next, we thought ‘It’s a racing game, lets try a car’ and dropped in Amy, in a nice bright pink Amymobile.”
Other characters included Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe, riding atop a Chicken Leg creature. Despite how awesome this setup sounds, Lycett tells of development difficulties in maintaining the flow of gameplay.
…It wasn’t all that much fun to play. Our main problem was that all the characters were different sizes. Sonic was Sonic sized, but he was really small compared to Eggman and Gilius on their rides. Worse still was Tails’ Tornado – it was huge! The wings made it really wide.
Coders at Sumo managing to make Amy’s car drift threw up even more possibilities, hampered by the difficulty in giving Sonic a drift function on foot. “How do you get a Hedgehog to drift [like Amy’s car]? Worse still, how do you get dwarf in full battle armour on a parrot faced lizard to drift?”
And hence, the result is everyone in a vehicle, as you see here. Lycett humorously asks fans angry about putting Sonic in a vehicle to direct their venom at the creators of Sonic Drift, but also throws down this final nugget of information, hinting at how the planes will handle in Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing:
For the flyers we didn’t want them to have too much of an unfair advantage, so we decided to treat these like hovercraft, they wouldn’t be affected by surfaces that slow the other cars down, but they also wouldn’t have high acceleration. As such Tails’ plane needed a re-design.
Interesting stuff. You can read the whole blog entry at SEGA’s Blognik.