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Parue le jeudi 24 juin 2004

Yuji Naka Interview & photos

Le site vient de publier une nouvelle interview assez interessante de Yuji Naka, qui aborde un peu toute l’actualité de la Sonic Team en ce moment...

L’interview est en anglais et assez longue, donc je coupe les parties qui nous interessent mais si vous souhaitez tout lire, rendez-vous ici.

Je vous met dans la news quelques images des locaux de Sega/Sonic Team et tout ce qui va avec =) Si vous voulez voir les grands formats, allez voir la page originale.

J’ai la flemme de tout traduire, mais je vous fait un résumé de l’info à retenir aprés le paragraphe :P

 TNL : What gave you the idea to set up the gameplay with three controllable characters at once ?

 Naka : Well, it’s the rule of threes, I guess. We have one dark team and three light teams each consisting of three characters and since this was the first time we were pushing a game simultaneously on three different platforms, it made sense.

 TNL : Do you think future Sonic games will follow a similar format ?

 Naka : For us the end-users come first, so it really all depends on how the consumers react to it. If people like it, we’ll probably put out more like it.

 TNL : This is Sonic Team’s first PlayStation 2 game. We’ve heard many stories of the difficulty the hardware poses for first-time developers. Did everything go smoothly for you ?

 Naka : It took more time for the PS2 version compared to the other versions, yes, but it was also hard because we were working for two other platforms at the same time. I think that if it was a PS2-only game, we could have really optimized it for the system, but since we had two other consoles to worry about, we had to divide our limited time and resources amongst all systems. However, I think Sonic Heroes still manages to look better than many PS2-only games out there.

 TNL : The recent Sonic games have had excellent soundtracks by Jun Senoue and the Wavemaster team. How do you go about working with them ?

 Naka : Jun Senoue is actually with Sonic Team USA at the moment and has been with us for quite a while now. He communicates with Wavemaster on a regular basis, and they do a lot of support with him and us for the sound and musical aspects of the Sonic games. We do the recordings and things like that here in our own studios.

 TNL : Many long time Sonic fans were very happy to see the return of favorite characters from Knuckles Chaotix [Sega 32X]. Do you think the Chaotix crew will show up again in any future titles ?

 Naka : Hmmm . . . I don’t know that much about Chaotix, really. I didn’t have all that much to do with that game. [laughs] Well, since we’ve expanded the platforms the game is put out for, this might be a lot of new players’ first experience with Sonic. We wanted to put in a lot of characters from the old Sonic legacy to introduce them to the worlds of Sonic. We also thought that old-school fans would get a kick out of it, too.

 TNL : What are your thoughts on the recent Sonic anime series ? Are you pleased with how it’s turned out ?

 Naka : Yes. We didn’t have any control over previous animated series, such as the ones that aired in the West many years back. This one we had a lot more personal involvement in, story- and design-wise. We knew it would be airing in the U.S. and Europe as well, so we wanted to present a show more in line with the current vision of Sonic that we have. So yes, of course, we like the new one more because we actually have a lot of input on this one compared to the other ones in the past.

Donc en gros plusieurs choses :
 le game play en 1 ou plusieurs caractères à la Sonic Heroes dans les prochains jeux sonic dépendra du ’feed back’ des joueurs. Donc si vous aimez, dites le, et si vous n’aimez pas, gueulez !
 on sait pas vraiment si on retrouvera les Chaotix prochainement...
 la Sonic Team a travaillé en étroite collaboration avec la production de Sonic X (contrairement aux autres dessins animés Sonic), donc ils sont assez content de l’histoire et du design.

Vala sinon, ya aussi ce paragraphe qui contient quelques trucs sympas (surtout sa vision de la programmation que j’aime beaucoup) :

 TNL : You recently participated in the Famicom 20th anniversary exhibit running at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. What was that experience like ?

 Naka : Well, it was something I enjoyed a great deal, and it has major significance for me personally. Sega’s first stuff came out at around the same time as the Famicom. They really set something we had to try to follow and outdo. But everyone wanted the Famicom. It made me sad, and more than a little bit envious. "We’ve got great games here ! I worked very hard on these ! Why aren’t people buying our stuff ?" I thought. [laughs] Sega’s real strength at the time was in the arcades, though.

 TNL : Rumors have it that you even programmed a Famicom emulator for the Megadrive at one point in time, for your personal amusement. Is this true ?

 Naka : Oh my. [laughs] How do you people know about that one ? Well yeah, actually I did. I did it primarily for study purposes. It ran things like Dr. Mario, although it did not work perfectly, actually. It was something fun to amuse myself with at the time.

 TNL : You mentioned in the interview shown at the exhibit that you would love to go back to being just another programmer. A lot of people don’t really understand why you love working with code so much. What is it about programming that you find so enjoyable ?

 Naka : Well, it’s kind of an abstract concept, but as a programmer, I can make something from nothing. Like for example, paper is made from wood, potters create pots and vases from clay. Usual "creative" work is just to change the shapes of certain materials into something else. With programming, you start with only the code basis, and you can make it into a big, interesting world. It’s like a big empty ocean which you can start filling with plants and fish and coral and then make them behave and work however you please.

That sense of creating something, the control you have to make something out of nearly nothing and control what is going on gives you a feeling of omnipotence, of god-like power. It’s a feeling that is very hard to describe.

Damn, I really want to go back. [laughs]

 TNL : Besides working with games and code, what sort of hobbies do you enjoy these days ?

 Naka : I love car racing. I’ve really gotten into that lately, though I’m still just a beginner.

 TNL : Oh that reminds me : Sega in the early 90’s heavily sponsored the Williams Formula 1 team with a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed car, do you guys still have that car ?

 Naka : Oh yes. That’s a while ago. It’s supposed to be in our offices or warehouses somewhere. We just can’t seem to locate it anymore ; we don’t know where we put it ! [laughs]

Voilà, il ne vous reste plus qu’à vérifier si vous possédez bien tous les goodies sur les photos, puis vous pourrez fermer cette fenêtre et reprendre votre GBA ;)



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