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How early CGI and pinball helped make Sonic the Hedgehog a success

'Making of' video shows the inspirations and development tricks SEGA used to make Sonic a game changer

YouTube creator, Stafefox, has made an excellent video (above) looking into the inspirations SEGA used to make Sonic the Hedgehog and how they helped to make Sonic an instant success and a household name.

Of course, there have been tons of articles and videos that talk about Sonic‘s creation and some of the facts in the video may already be known to many SEGA Nerds. But this video takes seems to take a new stance as it explores the early beginnings of Sonic‘s creation, through to the logic behind certain gameplay mechanics, the famous soundtrack and how they all came together to make Sonic‘s experience engaging to players.

It shows how early CGI effects were an inspiration for the visual design in Sonic‘s levels, such as the palm trees and ground that Sonic runs along. It also explains more technical aspects, such as how the parallax scrolling worked and how SEGA was able to produce a game that appeared to have multiple layers of depth, with limited hardware power.

Source: Strafefox, YouTube
Special Thanks: M. Anthony, via email

Graham Cookson

I'm the European Editor of SEGA Nerds and co-founder of the original SEGA Nerds website with Chris back in 2004 or 2005 (genuinely can't remember which year it was now!). I've been a SEGA fan pretty much all my gaming life - though I am also SEGA Nerds' resident Microsoft fanboy (well, every site needs one) and since SEGA went third party, I guess it's now ok to admit that I like Nintendo and Sony too :0) I'm also the Content Manager of the big data company, Digital Contact Ltd, in the UK: http://digitalcontact.co.uk/company/team/

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  • shadow1w2

    While I found the ring sound blaring out the voice and the 3D effects constantly in your face to be bother some the overall voice work and information was well put together.
    I really like how they talk about the level design as I find most people skip this completely for some reason.
    I’m usually critical on other games for not having slopes and varied terrain design, part of this is because I was spoiled with Sonic design where it was an integral part of the game play and kept things constantly fresh.

    Also love the technical talk, we often forget how hard it was to do those effects back then.
    Perhaps a large staggering contrast when you think about how easy those effects are to do now but we don’t see then used as often oddly.

    Overall thanks for sharing that, it was a good high quality video and the 3D level recreation pieces in transitions and the like were nice despite kinda being shoved in the users face a little. Though if I put that much work into it I’d probably do that too heh.
    Reminds me of the Sonic 3D ride video from an obscure park ride in Japan a bit.

  • EvilDhalsim

    I really prefer edgy sonic over americanized sonic. SEGA would do good to go back to their edgy roots.

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