Sumo Digital: ASR Started With Sonic Running

Sumo Digital: ASR Started With Sonic Running

steve-lycettSonic 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.

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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. I always thought Sonic would be too small compared to other racers were he to be on foot. Besides, we have 50+ games of Sonic on foot, let the poor guy have a seat for once!

  2. So iddy biddy hedgehogs and 20 foot tall mechs getting lost in the traffic of a fully sized biplane and a balanced race car? Sounds like rubbish if you ask me.

    The only thing that’s “rubbish” is the fact that you seem to forget that Sonic is, has, and always will be faster than a 20-foot tall mech, a biplane, or whatever the hell else gets thrown into the fray. Sonic doesn’t need a car to win a race, and the mere idea that he does is nothing short of ridiculous.

    Frankly, the earlier ideas for the game’s handling sound a lot better than another bock-standard racing game with SEGA character skins on them. Sonic can run fast, so he should run fast.

  3. Well, you just blew your whole argument by saying “Sonic can run fast, so he should run fast”.
    So if Sonic were on foot, he would either win every race by being the fastest, or be intentionally slowed down (how about Slow-Down Boots from Sonic Labyrinth) and thus piss off fans who want him to be faster. It’s a lose-lose situation. Look at this from a developer standpoint, not a fictional universe standpoint.

  4. If we’re looking at things from a “developer” standpoint, then don’t expect me to support the developers’ view; depending on who you ask, Mario is capable of beating Sonic in a foot race. Seriously, what the fuck?

    Sonic R could handle Sonic vs. other characters’ vehicles before and had everyone on equal ground… there’s no reason ASR couldn’t do the same thing. It’s more elaborate, but it’s not too elaborate to put on-foot mechanics on equal ground with vehicle-centric ones.

  5. “Sonic R could handle Sonic vs. other characters’ vehicles before and had everyone on equal ground… there’s no reason ASR couldn’t do the same thing.” But heres the thing: they found a reason. For all the characters to be balanced, they had to give them similar vehicles to maintain the same physics. Were they to have Sonic on foot, he would adhere to completely different controls. Compare SA1&2 to Sonic R: very different. Sumo isn’t going to develop a completely different code for running when only one character would be doing so. Give it up, hes in a car.

  6. I’m pretty Sonic R didn’t have to add a different control scheme for Amy’s car or Eggman’s eggpod. There’s no inherent need for “new controls” as much as a user-friendly way of manipulating those controls. For example, you could have an accelerate button to proper a car forward, but you could also allow the player to hold up on the control stick to proper the character forward. Yes, on-foot characters would likely have a different feel of handling, but so do differing characters in Mario Kart. It’s not out of the ordinary to have different characters control differently.

    Finally, your “give it up” statement is acting like this is some sort of ongoing tirade or petition to change how the game plays. I know exactly how the game plays; I’m just calling it retarded because I think they direction they decided to go in is fucking stupid. That’s why I don’t plan on buying the game or even playing it. That doesn’t give me any less of a reason–nor a right–to complain as I please, however.

  7. I’m sorry, everyone. I guess I forgot the kind of audience I was conversing with. Let me know when you get out of middle school and we can smoke a doobie and watch porn together or something.

  8. Can we just respect whether one or another thinks it’s a good idea, bad idea, or a donkey of an idea plz? You know, different opinions and all that. You’re not 100% right, and neither is the other guy. Chill out. Peace, etc. <3

  9. Well, I Sonic running in the game sound stupid to me.
    It wouldn’t look good and if Sonic was running he would win every time, right? By the way, why Sonic is a car is a part of the story. They said that in an interview.
    But anyway, who gives a shit as long as the game is fun, haven’t tried it. But if it’s fun, then it dosen’t matter.

    Just my opinion.

  10. Well, it’s not even about right–it’s all a matter of subjective opinion, I’m not trying to say I’m right at all as much as I’m trying to justify my own rationale. There literally is no “right” or “wrong” in a discussion like this unless you’re debating the legitimacy of facts, which so far I don’t see any particular occurrence of.

  11. Let me put it like this, Sonic 3 feet tall, supersonic speeds. Tails’ Biplane is 12 feet tall, and as wide as the whole track. If, like in any of the Mario Kart series, there were crashes betwwen racers, Sonic would be CRUSHED. #

    Secondly, Sonic can travel way faster than anyone or anything else other than Shadow, so who ever it Sonic or Shadow in a race is GOD. Plus its hard to steer a supersonic Hedgehogs.

    Finally, in the context of the series, Sonic is competitive, if he ran, it would prove nothing, he would still be the fasted thing alive. If he was in a car however, the others stand a chance, so if Sonic wins he is the fastest DRIVER

    So various reasons why Running was discluded.

  12. “How do you get a Hedgehog to drift”

    um didn’t Sonic show us that he can do it in sonic unleashed.

  13. I think it really all comes down to size (as Sumo mentioned) and balance (as the fictional universe of Sonic dictates). Tiny super fast hedgehog versus a large and slower Eggwalker.

  14. I thought that was a pretty logical explanation, Much fairer when everyone is in a “car” of some description.

  15. I can’t believe this argument still thrives. I used to have some respect for you, Tweaker, but now… ehhhh I’ll wait until YOU grow up.

    I… what? What the hell does expressing an opinion of personal preference on the comments section of a news article have to do with my credibility or to what extents others should respect me? What part about my argument warrants “growing up”? Am I no longer “worthy” of respect because my own personal views don’t align with your own? What exactly are you trying to say?

    I have no idea what you’re going on about, bro. Start making some sense for me.

  16. What if sonic was on a mobile treadmill with wheels, which required more momentum on the treadmill than what was exerted by the wheels? That way Sonic would run at top speeds, but still be in a vehicle that limits his speed. Oh wait… that would look goofy.

  17. Wow this discussion has got heated. Y’know personally I don’t care whether Sonic is racing in a car or not, but I just don’t have enough faith in Sumo Digital to believe that this will be a great game. Good maybe but I doubt it’ll be anything special.

  18. Wouldn’t it be funny if Sonic got chopped up the propellers on Tails’ tornado? He’s in a car for the sake of the game. It’s no different from swords, hoverboards, tennis rackets or anything else. Tweaker, remember the audience you’re dealing with- people who want to remain optimistic and look at the good side of things.

  19. Ah, Brad got to it before me. Balls.

    @Tweaker: I’m just surprised people are still complaining about Sonic being in a car. It’s such a silly argument. I thought you were above that, but I can see you can’t look past the concept of a spin-off. You didn’t lose any respect, it’s just that I can’t edit my comments when I realize how stupid they sound. @_@

  20. Why would I be “above” it? What defines it as something petty to complain about? I don’t think Sonic should be in a car given the nature of the character and I’m expressing as much. I’m not losing sleep over it and I’m not going to file a petition, but I think it’s stupid and this seems to be an appropriate place to talk about it.

    Me not liking Sonic in a car is no more objectively worse than you wanting Sonic in a car. They’re opinions and nothing more. I don’t see why I need to “look past” anything to have an opinion on how I think the game should have been approached.

  21. I love how people keep bringing up Sonic R, as if it where a good example. The ONLY reason why that game was “balanced”, is because Sonic controlled like absolute CRAP in that game. He couldn’t make a turn, let alone drift, and it was very easy to veer right off the track. Whenever I play that game as Sonic, my strategy is to just find the easiest way to run straight then stick to it.

    It just didn’t work. And in this game, I can’t imagine how racing a tiny blue hedgehog against an assortment of vehicles would really work all that well. And on top of that, they actually tried it; and it didn’t work for them either, much like it doesn’t really work all that well in Sonic R. I’d like to say, I do have fun with the game…just so long as I’m not playing as Sonic.

  22. Err… Let’s just say the little fuzzy likes fast cars, things that can try to match his speed and, in special cases, do… and then let’s be done with it. It’s not like he actually has any reason to hate them. (Especially the awesome blue supercar-type he’s got here with the fins on it. -Fins-, people! So very awesome…)

    Anyway, Barry and Brad. Currently having the most fun out of all of us. *lifts glass of apple juice*

  23. @Tweaker: It’s not so much that I want Sonic in a car as it is that I don’t really care if he’s in one or not. You can keep your objections to yourself, because in the end, Sonic is still probably the fastest one in the game. I mean, take him out of the car. How fair is THAT? The little speedster can go 765 in no time flat. It’s a matter of recreational fun, and should be treated as such. We all know Sonic can run faster than that, and his All-Star move actually involves it! (+ the chaos emeralds of course) So I really don’t see the problem is all.

  24. HOLAS: ™

    I’m actually tired of Sumo trying to justify why Sonic is in a car, can’t they just say Sonic wanted to be in the car?

    He did it in the genesis days D:

  25. From my experiences from the sonic fan base I’ve created this:

    The Sonic Fan commenting cycle:

    1. Sonic News Topic is Posted.
    2. People state their opinions.
    Then either…
    3A. Back to step 1.
    3B. Someone says something negative.
    4. Someone replies, trying to prove the person (who said something negative) wrong and tries to change his/her opinion.
    5. Debate between 2 Fans begins.
    6. Other fans throw in their 2 cents on the debate.
    7. Debate turns into either an Argument or a Flame War.
    8. People get bored and stop commenting until the next interesting news article on sonic is posted.
    9. Repeat, depending on topic.

  26. What?! These fools aren’t thinking right! This could have been their answer to Rare’s canceled Sabreman Stampede!

  27. It’s a racing game, so why not? If we’re gonna have a game where everyone’s gonna drive a vehicle, why not Sonic? And the fact that he can run faster than any other vehicle is the more reason he should be in a car.

    @imarafan: Because the “TROO FAHNZ” will want to have nothing to do with it. And argue why it isn’t just Sonic, Tails and Eggm– I’m sorry, ROBOTNIK.

    …yeah, I’m done.

  28. they should have given amy roller blades, tails and knuckles on foot like sonic, Robotnik in a hover eggpod and shadow his hover skates. They also should have let beat have his kates too and AiAi in his ball. Ef vehicles, be unique….Be SEGA!!!!

  29. @SOS

    How would those ideas you mention be unique if it’s all been down already in Sonic Riders? Going by that, they’ve already been “unique”, right….? Why have a Sonic Riders clone I might ask?

  30. @SOS: Haha! See, here’s someone with a brilliant idea. Dude, that’s just it. SEGA’s not SEGA anymore. They’re playing second banana to Nintendo. They’ve lost their focus.

    And Sonic R was bad? Ha! That game was awesome! It WAS possible to drift. It was possible. And it was rather fun to play as practically every character due to their different handling and speeds.

  31. @Greg: I half-agree.

    Sonic R was indeed the shit. I did manage to get all seven Chaos Emeralds.
    Or six. I dunno, it was the original franchise; they did have six Emeralds for a while back then.

    What I don’t agree on is how badly SEGA’s being beat down – BY THEIR OWN FANS. I CAN NOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH.
    Younger/Modern Sonic fans got insane ideas for the series? SEGA takes them into consideration.
    Older/“Tuh-REEOOO-Wuh” Sonic fans want the old series back? At times, that happens too.
    But why in the fuck do people complain, bash, and just plain hate SEGA for this? I DO NOT GET IT. Hell, my first Sonic game was given to me a few Christmases ago when the Sonic series was hurtling downhill. And ya know what? I’M FUCKING FINE WITH IT!!!
    Get the fuck over it and play something else for a change – something I wouldn’t normally suggest, like…oh I dunno…OOOUAERRALD OOUVU OOOAARKRAAHFT!!! Or something like that.


  32. @SSV

    I get what you’re trying to say, but do you have to be so damn vulgar about it? Damn!


    You seriously think that’s a brilliant idea? It’s not really that unique. And Sonic R was no spectacular racing game. Only a decent “Sonic game”.

  33. I seriously think it’s right for Sonic to be in a car. On foot, he’d wipe the floor every time! Besides, the way the game started out sounded terrible to me. Who wants vehicles in a game that are all different sizes? It’d be hard to play.

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