In a recent interview with Gamasutra about Game Design Psychology Hirokazu Yasuhara was asked a few questions regarding the creation of Sonic. Heres a portion of the interview –
Ahh, that’s great. So…this may be a question you answered long ago, but when Sonic was created, Sega, as I understand, wanted a mascot. So how were the three of you chosen, or were you just coming up with this yourselves? Like, Ohshima, Naka and yourself.
HY: Like, how we wound up choosing between an armadillo and a hedgehog?
Did they tell you three to do it, or did they say “OK, everybody at Sega, come up with an idea”?
HY: No, it was just us three, and the mission statement was just “You guys have to make a mascot for Sega.”
How many design iterations and ideas did you go through before you came up with this?
HY: Well, in the very beginning, the project staff consisted entirely of Naka and Ohshima, back before I joined them. The main thing Naka had thought up at that time was a game engine that scrolled really, really fast — the problem after that was to figure out what kind of game we could make with that.
We didn’t have any game at that time, so we had to think about that first. I thought it’d be enough to have a game where you ran really fast, but we couldn’t get anything to work. Naka was really adamant about the idea that the game should be playable with one button, since Mario needed two — jump, and run or attack. Continue reading Hirokazu Yasuhara talks about inventing Sonic