One of Sonic’s original founding fathers shares wisdom, concept art
A couple weeks ago, we ran a story about heretofore unseen Sonic the Hedgehog 2 concept art, acquired by Gamasutra’s Brandon Sheffield from Hirokazu Yasuhara. This concept art shed some more light on Sonic 2’s mysterious time travel mechanic, as well as revealing the names of many more Sonic 2 levels we had never heard of before. But where did these images actually originate from?
The answer: a talk Yasuhara gave at “Digital Dragons,” a digital entertainment conference held annually in Poland. According to its website, Digital Dragons is the largest game industry conference in Central Europe. Yasuhara’s talk at Digital Dragons was titled “How To Make A Game Fun,” which opened with the aforementioned Sonic 2 concept art and then proceeds to be a very deep dive in to his game design methodology and how to utilize that in order to identify what is fun. Running for 45 minutes, it’s heady stuff, touching on everything from why visual design matters to how players perceive pressure from different game mechanics, and how a child’s understanding of what to do can matter.
If you’re interested in creating games, it may be worth your time to check it out. For Sonic fans just craving more long-lost Sonic information, Yasuhara also discusses more elements of his concept art at the start of the video.