TSS 10th: Guess Who We’re Interviewing? [UPDATE]

TSS 10th: Guess Who We’re Interviewing? [UPDATE]

Welcome to October. On the 24th of this month, this humble website will be ten years old. And what better way to celebrate that special anniversary than having the once-in-a-lifetime chance to sit down and chat to one of the men that made Sonic the Hedgehog – and in effect, this website – a reality.

Let me do my best Rolf Harris impression: “Can you guess who it is yet?”

That’s right. None other than Yuji Naka, one of the most inspirational developers to come out of Japan. During his time at Sonic Team, he was constantly referred to as Sega’s version of Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto. Alongside creating the physics and backbone of the Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay, Naka-san is also the mastermind behind NiGHTS Into Dreams, Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star Online and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.

He is in London right now, promoting the UK release of his latest work, Ivy The Kiwi? On Monday, I will be sitting right next to him to chat about the game, and all things Sonic besides (talk about dream come true).

If you have a burning question that you’ve always wanted to ask Naka-san – about Sonic, his work at Prope, Ivy The Kiwi?, anything – here’s your chance! Post your questions in the comments box below and I’ll have a look through them and pick out some of the best ones for the ultimate Sonic Stadium interview. You guys have until Sunday night – have a think about some really unique and interesting questions!

Of course, I’ve got more planned for TSS’ 10th Anniversary, but this pretty much cranks the proceedings up from ‘exciting’ to ‘freaking awesome!’ Stay tuned for more excellent celebrations this month – October 2010 is all about The Sonic Stadium!

UPDATE: The interview has been cancelled. Yuji Naka has had to leave for Japan early due to “unforeseen circumstances.” There may still be an opportunity to ask some questions via alternative methods, so sit tight. We’d like to thank Premier PR and Rising Star Games for the opportunity up until the event’s cancellation.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. Oh…….My……..God……….
    My question is
    What type of fanbase did you expect from Sonic the Hedgehog?

  2. Is he disappointed in what Sonic has become since he left Sega? (I am just curious, not intending to offend or anything.)

  3. Congrats to the sites 10 year!
    Wow this is so sweet, umm lets see…

    Id like to know what his thoughts are on Sonic 4.

    Id also like to know if hed ever work on a sonic game again if the circumstances were appropriate.

  4. Yeah, I think I’ll semi-echo others in asking,

    “What are your opinions on the directions the Sonic series has taken since you left?”

  5. Well how about:
    “Do you have any plans to create a really big plattformer or game for the PS360?”
    Can’t wait for the interview.

  6. Congrats on getting the interview, and to 10 years!

    My question would have to be:

    “If you were offered the chance, would you have gone back to help develop Sonic the Hedgehog 4?”

    This may have been answered elsewhere, but I’d like to hear a direct answer from the man himself if possible. πŸ˜€

  7. Which sonic game is your favourite so far?
    What do you think of sonic’s future, the way the games are going, and all that stuff?

  8. Ask him what his favourite melody would have to be from any of his games.
    (Ie. The sonics, Nights etc)

  9. 1.- Naka, we all know your dream was to develop games about speed and gameplay skills, when you made Sonic the Hedgehog, did that dream cleared or will you keep it alive?

    2.- Yasuhara, Ohshima and you formed one of the greates divisions ever, do you expect to make another one in the future?

    3.- Ivy the Kiwi seems to fit more like a Wiiware game than a disc one, What were your reasons to make it in physical format?

  10. I think I might be able to think up a question here:

    “Keeping in mind your successes (and failures) over your years in the video game industry, is there any advice you could give to those wanting to get into making games?

  11. Congrats on the site’s 10 years, Svend! Now THAT’s dedication to the blue blur!

    My question:
    “What was your reaction to some of the ‘failed’ titles, like Sonic the Hedgehog Next-Gen or Shadow the hedgehog, and how SEGA has taken your beloved hedgehog over the years?

    Ooh, I’ve got another one, If I’m allowed to!

    “What was your reaction to all the so-called ‘retro’ fans hating on Sonic 4 because it wasn’t ‘classic’ enough? Were you angry at them?”

    I know sure as heck I was.

  12. congratulations!!!!!!!!my question is:can you tell us if there are ideas for future sonic games or will we have to wait for more information?thanks,congratulations once again and good luck.

  13. Ask him what he thinks of the direction of recent Sonic games. Sonic Unleashed, Sonic 4, Sonic Colors…
    It’s like he left his baby and is watching it grow up from afar.

  14. – have you played sonic colors or sonic 4 at E3, if so then what do you think of them?
    – any plans for you to create a 3d gaming icon that could compete with Mario and Sonic?
    – what were your thoughts towards the recent sonic games?

  15. Hmmmm, how about “How do you feel about Sonic’s upcoming 20th anniversary? Did you ever think that Sonic would have such a large, devoted following 20 years later?”

  16. “Was Sonic ever made with an intention to love Amy? Did you ever put it in Sonic’s character that he can fall in love? What does Sonic think about love?”

  17. My question: Do he ever think about working at Sonic Team again? Even though he lefted the Sonic Team years ago, do he still care about the Sonic franchise at all?

  18. When people got mad at you did they ever tease you by saying: Yuji Baka?

    Ok ok, real question.

    Do you think you could re-team up with Sega to help with Sonic 4: episode 2 ?

  19. My Question: Even though you’ve left Sonic Team, is there any chance at all that you would help Sonic Team develop the 20th anniversary Sonic game?

  20. *Eggmans Laugh: Ohohoho” I think my question would be..

    Question: “Is there a certain character from another series you would want to see Sonic team up with?”

  21. Questions,
    Q1,Out of all the other video game companies you could’ve worked with why did you decide to work with Sega and Sonic Team?

    2- Are you amazed that the Sonic franchise is still going after 19 years? and are you looking forward to Sonic’s 20th aniversary?

    3-(Last one I promise) Which Sonic Game are looking forward to the most Sonic Colours or Sonic4? What are your thoughts on both of these 2 games?

  22. Okay, I have lots of questions:

    “If you were to make the Dreamcast 2, what kind of new features would you like to add in it?”


    “Did you ever get the idea, before leaving Sonic Team, that Sonic and Mario would be able to appear in one game?”


    “If you were to make a new Sonic character, what would he/she be like? (Looks, relations, etc.)


    “What do you think of the new characters of the franchise?” (Silver, Blaze etc.)


    “Would you like Sonic to be in SEGA platforms again? Or do you think it’s fine for him to be in Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consoles?”

  23. My question for Naka-san is: What type of thought went into the physics and overall flow of the original Sonic games? Did you intend Sonic to have a sort of momentum-based gameplay emphasis, or was it all part of the end result?

    Thanks, and happy 10th, TSS. ^_^

  24. My question has to be:

    what made you decide that shadow the hedgehog specifically would be the last sonic game you worked on with sonic team?

  25. My question is:

    Since we already know Knuckles & Tails are going to be in Sonic 4; is Shadow or anyone else going to appear in one of the episodes?

  26. My question for Naka: At one point, he was very glad that Sonic became more popular than Mario. How does he feel that Mario and Sonic are starring in games with each other?

  27. “What was going through your mind when the Idea concept/idea of sonic first came into play in the early 1990’s? did you believe that it was going to be sucessful or did you think it was going to be a complete failure?”

  28. “Does Shadow’s Chaos Control require a Chaos Emerald or something like it?” – I’m tired of arguing this with fans who think it doesn’t need anything.

  29. Will you plan another Mario and Sonic Game in the Future, if so? will it be Different, or the Same as the Last 2 Games?

  30. My question:

    Would you ever intend to help, not produce or direct, just help with a new Sonic project?

  31. Mate, you and your bloody Aussie impressions… πŸ˜€

    You’ll have to tie TEN kangaroos to get this far with TSS!

    Dude I should call you up when I’m free this week and congratulate you on another top achievement with your wonderful website that is The Sonic Stadium. Be proud dude, do celebrate and party hard cuz you deserve every spoonful of goodness that comes out of your contributions!

    Happy 10th Anniversary mate! Here’s to another 10!! (God we’ll be 35 by then!?!) *thumbs up*

    Kind regards,

    Elson ‘Darkspeeds’ Wong

  32. I like some of the questions here already, but I hope mine have a shot of getting in:

    1. You mentioned you are working on two new IPs, and you just revealed that one is underway for the PS3 and 360 set to be unveiled this month, is there a possibility of this one making it to Wii or 3DS? Is it even something that’s family-oriented like Ivy and Sonic?

    2. Will you be making a free-roaming Sonic-like platformer for Wii or 3DS? You were underway with a “Sonic-like” platformer a bit back which you said got canceled, but surely there’s a shot of something like that being made for a Nintendo platform at some point isn’t there?

    3. How about an Ivy port for 3DS? What are the odds of that happening? Isn’t your old co-worker Ohshima working on Cubic Ninja for it? It’s not confirmed, but the signs definitely point towards Ohshima being behind it. It’d be great to have two of Sonic’s creators release a side-scroller localized by XSEED for it! XSEED is owned by AQI after all (for Cubic’s case) πŸ˜› . Something nice to have on the shelf together, isn’t nice when those sort of things just come together? XD

    4. Why don’t you program stuff these days if that’s your specialty? I mean that’s your passion, and yet you seem to be not doing so! Look at what Capcom’s been doing on the 3DS (see Super Street Fighter 4 3D, Resident Evil Revelations and Mercenaries 3D), why not show Capcom and do something outstanding on the 3DS? Or is graphics not the kind of programming that you specialize in? Can you elaborate?

    5. Final question is, while you’ve shown interest in the 3DS and obvious we’ll see a game from you there sooner or later, are you still making any Wii games?

    Thanks, and good luck Yuji Naka! πŸ˜€

  33. I see a few grammar typos, if mine are used, just edit them to fix them up please. πŸ˜›

  34. Since your sonic legacy goes on, will you buy and play Sonic the hedgehog 4? πŸ™‚

  35. Probably a bit late with this one… but still…

    “Mr Naka, books, music, films, plays and artwork are often studied in education, be it the original intention of the artist to get their work to be studied in such detail is not always the case, but with that in mind. Do you think videogames should be included into this type of accademic study?”

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