Iizuka Speaks on “Making 2D Work”

Iizuka Speaks on “Making 2D Work”

by January 6, 2011

“A game cannot be constructed with only speed elements”

On paper, the current head of Sonic Team seems to get it.

“It” is the basic mechanics of a 2D platformer, and more important how it applies to Sonic.  Takashi Iizuka spoke about that to CVG division XBOX World 360, as did a handful of other developers and industry names, on a myriad of topics tying into a central question: What makes a good game?

Iizuka was asked on “making 2D work.”  He used his experience with Sonic to elaborate, talking about the balance between speed and jumps within the frame of the Sonic franchise.  Though there are more quotable quotes within, do you think he understands?  Sound off below in the discussion.

I think there are various kinds of 2D platformers and each one of them focuses on different game elements. In the case of Sonic games, I put a premium on the game tempo of the stage.

A game cannot be constructed with only speed elements and a game with only jump actions is not a Sonic. Though jump actions bring a feeling of tension and cause a lot of stress, it’s an element giving the player a great sense of achievement when completed.

In addition to that, maximizing the feeling of achievement and exhilaration in a game whilst still providing the speed is the basic concept – and also real pleasure – of Sonic games.