You are currently browsing the archives for the interviews category.

Who's Online

  • 0 Members.
  • 16 Guests.

Past Updates:

Archive for the ‘interviews’ Category

 

Thanks to Kev over at Sonicwrecks we now have a wonderful video of our Hoshino-San interview. It was so inspiring and great to sit there talking to the creator of all our favourite NiGHTS characters. Enjoy the NiGHTS chatter! :)

Share
 
 

Listen to the Kazuyuki Hoshino interview MP3
[PLAY] – Kazuyuki Hoshino interview 2013

Summer of Sonic 2013 – Kazuyuki Hoshino interview
Special thanks to Bobby Wertheim for translating

It was a Saturday. It was Summer of Sonic. It was sunny. Very sunny. London was over-run by hundreds of bicycles. Tesco Local was a warm sandwich gauntlet of death. Small hyperactive children ran around in circles outside with pointy blue hats… Oh and we spoke to the legendary SEGA artist/designer Kazuyuki Hoshino about all things NiGHTS. It's not often you get to sit down and have a jolly good chat with the Lord of Nightmares dad, so yeah! Prepare to be slightly awed by the creator of everything wonderful from Jackle to Metal Sonic!
{The following is an transcript of our short interview we have on audio recording unedited. There also exists a video version by Mr Awesome Eva who loaned us his camera, but for now have the full untouched version with the lols, rustlings, insanely obscure questions and jokes still included. As we were pressed for time and didn't get the chance to have our other interview with Iizuka san (long series/story based questions) we kind of had to just pick short questions on the fly since our plans got messed up a bit. But what we got was still very very cool.}
Also random Jun Senoue *happened* which was hilarious at the time.
Read on for the full interview:

[DiGi] Allllright! Cool.
[Hoshino-San] *spots DiGi's NiGHTS E3 T-shirt* What a great T-shirt!
[DiGi] It's hers! *laughs*
[TRiPPY] It's mine… he took it off my shelf :<
*T-shirt/camera related ramblings and interview begins*

[DiGi] Okay, so firstly, how did you end up working for SEGA and how did your career begin as an artist?
*insert comedy group harassing of translator* Come on Bobby. *fast writing*

[Hoshino-San] I actually went to an art University and always liked pictures and drawing art, I always wanted to be a designer of some sort. Now in Japan at the time games were all the rage and the Famicom was huge for example. When I was in University I wanted to and had the ambition that I want to make games and be involved in that. So in my mind I either wanted to apply for Nintendo or SEGA. Nintendo's HQ they're based in Kyoto, which is quite far away from Tokyo. Now after University when I was going through the whole job hunting phase I was asked by Nintendo to come down to Kyoto for an interview. 'Where do I have to go for this interview?' I said. *laughs* They said 'Kyoto', as at the time they didn't have a Tokyo office. So I just immediately ruled that one out because that's just -too- far away.
*laughter*
So I applied for SEGA. I passed the entrance exam and joined the design/artwork section. That was the beginning of my career.

[TRiPPY]
What is your favourite NiGHTS cameo of all time out of all the Sonic games?
*pause*

[Hoshino-San] Pinball (in Japanese).
*TRiPPY and DiGi laugh*
[DiGi] It's ok you don't need to translate that *laughter*

[DiGi] For the NiGHTS series what did you have a hand in creating? What characters were your creation? What did you create for that series?
[Hoshino-San] *starts listing character names in Japanese* But suddenly does a VERY familiar noise. This is the ingame sound effect of Elliot's voice when he jumps in the air* (wow!!)
*pause* [Hoshino- San] What's the name of the fish?
*group laughs*
[TRiPPY and DiGi] Gulpo, Gulpo.
(Translated)[Hoshino] The characters that I specifically created were Elliot, Claris, they were the playable characters that I created. You probably already know but did you know I was the voice for Elliot? I done all the the 'HYAH!' *motions*
*bemused laughter from TRiPPY and DiGi (We didn't know!)*
And also I designed all of the bosses, Puffy and all of them.

[DiGi]Jackle! I LOVE Jackle.
[TRiPPY] You're a Jackle fanboy.
[DiGi] Amazing.

*Jun Senoue suddenly walks in the room. Everyone stops and looks up. Jun pauses and waves.*
[Jun] Yo.

[TRiPPY] Hello Junnn~
[Group] Eyyyy! *laughter* /end random Jun (Is shushed by TRiPPY)

[TRiPPY] -Begins confusing question of doom about concept art- About Reala! He used to have a different design, he had a different shaped head. I think it was uh, one part Ohshima-San's design and the other part you designed and then they both came together.
[Hoshino-San] *surprised*
Can you tell us a bit about why Reala was changed because the design seemed pretty final, then he got the red and black colour scheme?
[DiGi] We seen some concept art for the first game for Reala and his design changed completely from what he was.
[TRiPPY] *laughter* He used to have earrings.
[Hoshino-San] *laughing* You know too much, you know so much.
[TRiPPY] I know – everything! *laughs*
[DiGi] Fangirl.

[Hoshino-San] So originally it was actually Ohshima-San's job to create Reala, he was designing NiGHTS. He was really struggling, so he actually asked me like 'Hey, Hoshino help me out'.
[LAUGHTER]
[TRiPPY] Do my homework for me.
[DiGi] I need a favour.
[Hoshino-San] So I was like 'Okay' and I started making some designs. So Ohshima-San basically took what he liked from the designs I made, like the nails and stuff like that.

[DiGi] Out of ALL your creations, which one would you say is your favourite and why?
[Hoshino-San] (Japanese) Wizeman.
[DiGi] Yeaaah.


Photo thanks to sonicwrecks.com


*insert Hoshino-San enthusiastically describing Wizeman by doodling on paper and mimicking his hands and cape*
(TRiPPY and DiGi fangirl mode while the translator needs new paper to write on)
[DiGi] Keep going.
[LAUGHTER]

[Hoshino-San]
In the story Wizeman is like the all knowing, all seeing, be all and end all, he is the creator of creation. He is everything. He is the ultimate god. So I really wanted to sort of scale that and represent that visually. That sort of scale of what he represents. So i took inspiration from the Buddhist statue. You know like a Buddhist statue, a typical Japanese Buddhist statue has multiple hands and they've got this sort of halo effect thing going on in the background.

[TRiPPY]
Journey of Dreams has the halo in.
[DiGi] Yes!
[Hoshino-San] It's not your sort of Christian halo though, it's like Japanese halo in the background. So I've taken inspiration from those statues for that. So he has all floating hands, *in the circle* so that's what it's forming. And instead of having a body, he's got no body but he has a cloak – and by not having a body it represents like infinity.
[DiGi] That's awesome~
[Hoshino- San] He hasn't got eyes, but he's got eyes in his hands. That's basically him, he's not looking because he hasn't got eyes, but he's seeing everything. Like he sees – everything. So it's that sort of sense of spirituality, that mythic feeling that he has, that sort of religious motif, that's what I think of, I really like that.

[DiGi] He is a great design.
*laughter*
[TRiPPY] Well done!
Wizeman in Journey of Dreams was amazing, I loved him.
*thinks* Uh, If you voiced Elliot who voiced Reala? *laughter* Does anybody know? I know how the voices were done for the game (*Anon members of Sonic Team recorded the voices during sleep overs at the office in secret)(Just because)(Sonic team)(90's!) So does anybody know?

[DiGi]Nobody knows.
[TRiPPY] Everyone asks me!
*long think*
[Hoshino-San] I'm not too sure.
[TRiPPY] I think it's better if nobody knows *laughs*
[Hoshino-San] I will ask Ohshima-San!
[TRiPPY and DiGi] Yaaay, cool.

[TRiPPY] Where any of the Nightmare designs inspired by nightmares in your own dreams?
[Hoshino-San] Well from when I was a student I was always interested in dreams and what it meant, what it could mean. I read up a lot about it, the philosophy and academic side of what others think of it, like Freud and Jung. So that's what really I was basing it all around. But it turned out, different, what we were concepting at first was quite a difficult and academic thing to grasp. Ohshima-San wanted to implement a more entertainment based, feeling of festivity, of almost like a circus. So it really transferred from being a really academic point of view to start with- to a more light-hearted entertainment colourful and flashy sort of thing. So anyone should be able to understand. It's more sort of mass acceptable entertainment content. Then, with it being a very evil world as well, rather than it being being based specifically on my experiences.

*End of interview ramblings, signing and nattering*

Thank you Hoshino-San for a great and funny interview! :) Thank you everyone for your questions. Don't be disheartened if your question didn't get asked this time because I'll try to get everything answered eventually by those in the know.

 

Share
 
 

NiGHTS fans! We have personal interview time at SoS with both Iizuka san and Hoshino san next week *happy dance* If you have any questions that you'd like to ask then list them below and the best ones will be picked. They can be either NiD or JoD related, infact it would be nice to have a lot of JoD questions this year since we've focused a lot on NiD in the past interviews.

Questions must be respectful, sensible and not massively long/obscure.

Comment to have your questions considered! The resulting interviews will be recorded and uploaded for your listening pleasure.

Share
 
 

A real nostalgic treat for you all today here at Nidcom. The wonderful Josh Goring recently put together an interview with the two original singers of DREAMS DREAMS for the community. The young Cameron and Jasmine sang on the track way back in 1996 giving us our favorite themesong. Josh catches up with them both to chat about the infamous song and what they're up to today.
Enjoy!

 

First, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

 

C: My name is Cameron (my friends call me Cam). I’m 30 years old. I’m a Kiwi but have spent a lot of my time in Japan, which I also consider my home along with New Zealand. I love reading a) manga and b) old horror anthology books. I play fighting games competitively and hope to be NZ champion one day. My best result so far is 5th equal in last years NZ nationals (Super Street Fighter 4 AE v.2012).
 

 

J: Hi, I`m Jasmine Allen, 27 years old.
I was born in Seattle WA, and came to Japan when I was a little wee one (8 years old). I went through Japanese elementary, junior high, and have been in the Japanese entertainment industry for nearly 15 years. That`s my story in a nutshell!

From what I understand, you have lived in (and still go back and fourth to) Japan. What is it like growing up there?
C: There is good and bad in every culture. Japan has a pretty high ratio of Awesomeness compared to lameness so I can’t complain. I looooooove Tokyo but I wouldn’t want to live there anymore. I hope to visit once a year in the future.

J: Yes, I have been living here for almost 20 years now.  I never expected to be here this long. In fact, for the first few years I was always expecting my dad to say “Jasmine, start packing!  We`re off to another country!” lol  We were always moving around in the States…
Japanese school was difficult for me, especially catching up to my other 3rd grade peers, when I had all those Kanji to learn. I was lucky to make so many friends and be accepted, so I never really had any issues with “fitting in”. I didn`t expect to be here, but the longer I stay, the more and more I started to accept this as my home.  I do occasionally visit my extended family in the U.S. and travel here and there, but I always get homesick!
I love the food, and people…and my friends…I pretty much have everything I need. And my older sister is married to a Japanese man and has 2 kids, so yes, I do have my family nearby, and they`re a huge part of my life.

So, how did you first get involved singing the NiGHTS theme song "Dreams, Dreams"?
C: I come from a singing family and a family friend heard of a job requiring a little boy singer. I auditioned for it and got the job. I would have been eleven at the time and it was my first paid job. I was a Sega fan boy (die Playstation die!) so I already had a Sega Saturn (they offered me a free one) but they did give me an armful of games and paid me a handsome sum. I was quite lucky.

J: To be honest, I can`t recall the exact events, but I think I was about 10? When my parents received a phone call and told me that I would be singing for a game software. I didn`t know much about games, ‘cause my dad never really let me play them (yes…it`s true) but I was certainly excited about being able to sing in the studio.  I had already had some professional experience by then, and I liked being in front of the microphone with headphones.  I had always been singing at home in the shower or in my own little space, so it was an exciting feeling for me.  I had a couple days to practice, but I had it down all right. I really liked the song, and was happy to be a part of the whole project.

Have you played the game(s) yourself?
C: I played the original and loved it. I think the music was especially notable (not just because I was involved haha). The boss battles, themes, etc. You could tell a lot of heart went into the game. I was mildly disappointed at the end because a secret boss I was told about never made it into the game but then I saw my name in the credits and I felt much better.

J: I have to admit, I have never been much of a gamer.  I have an older sister that always beat the crap out of me with Super Mario Brothers, so I guess I never really got into it that much. I`m really a chicken when it comes to fighting off the “enemies”, I always cringe when I fall in a pit or do anything self destructive.
At one point, I really got into Mario Kart, but I think I got too into it, because I ended up racing in my dreams, so I had to give that up too.

Jasmine, you were brought back to sing the "Sweet Snow" version for the sequel Journey of Dreams in 2007. How did that happen?
J: Yeah, so almost 10 years later, my agency gets a phone call, asking me to sing a song called “Dreams Dreams”. By then I had already sung many songs, so it wouldn`t be a surprise that I would forget it, but actually I was like, “Oh THAT song, of course I`ll sing it!”  I`m the kind of person that doesn`t remember much of their childhood, but I remembered this in particular, so I just had to say yes.
It`s funny…the songs that I loved the most as a child always come back to me, one way or another.  I can honestly say that “Dreams Dreams” is one of them, no joke. Yes, this version was slightly different, but I thought it was perfect, and connected with it on a deeper lever. And I hope the listeners can sense this too.

What do you think of the original NiGHTS game being re-released for the current-gen systems?
C: Awesome. I plan on playing through it again soon. I’ve been following Trippy and DiGi on facebook for a while now and their involvement and efforts have been truly inspiring.

J: I`m really not the person to talk to when it comes to games. lol But oh well, I`ll give it a shot. I suppose with this rapidly advanced technology, people are wanting “Newer” “Better” and “Faster” everything. And with games, things are advancing as well.
Maybe it`s a good to take a step back, and give the gamers a taste of what the “Original” system is like and to appreciate the simplicity in it.

Would you be willing to come back and perform again for another NiGHTS game?
C: Of course.

J: Yeah, see you in 10 years! yaay
I`m excited to think what kind of version of the song they might come up with.

Are there any other projects (movies, games, music, TV, etc) that people might not know about that you were involved with?

C: Most of the work I did over the years (as an adult) was for Japanese TV commercials; singing little jingles and writing lyrics. I usually had 2 or 3 commercials that were running at any given time. I usually wasn’t credited so it was very much "in the shadows" type of work. I still get paid from time to time for commercials I did years ago if they get renewed and my agent still gets me lyrics jobs when she can which I can do from down here. I wrote some lyrics for a Mr. Donut commercial and a Jim Beam commercial a week or so ago which was fun.
Video game jobs didn’t come around nearly as often but I was the singing voice for the green blob in Loco Roco for the PSP and sang a few tracks for the English and Japanese versions of The World Ends with You for the DS. My sister-in-law Joelle has done more of that stuff than me. I think she did a track or two for Final Fantasy XIII-2 and sang the theme song for a game called Bravely Default.
I translated and subtitled a couple of minor Japanese movies that none of you would have seen. A yakuza film called Amazing Grace (2011) which was actually pretty good and a really weird one called Made in Japan ~Kora!~ (2010).

J: Pretty much everything you need to know is added on my Japanese Wikipedia page. As for game software. I remember doing something for SONY, the 2nd edition of Shenmue. I played the character, Fang Mei.
I did radio for a couple years when I was 22.  I had my own little show every Sunday on a small, small internet radio site called RAINBOW TOWN FM.  I coordinated the whole program, so I used up a lot of energy and time, but this was great experience for me, and was a valuable starting point in trying new things, not only as an entertainer, but as a director/creator as well.
 
What are you up to these days?
C: I’ve struggled to get work in NZ due to my lack of work experience in any of the relevant industries here but as of an hour ago I have a full time job as a night security guard at the local university.
Music-wise I’m auditioning for X factor New Zealand later on this month so wish me luck.
Game-wise I’ll be leveling up at Street Fighter and entering all the tournaments I can.

J: For the past year or so, I have been working as a manager and translator at a narration agency. Now being actively involved “behind the scenes”, I can see things from an entirely different perspective. I guess I`m developing the management/business side of me, and I`ll just see where that takes me.
I haven`t been singing lately, as I have developed a vocal dystonia, which affects my singing and speaking as well. It`s been an ongoing battle for me as with my voice, singing (and speaking too) and I have been currently going through therapy sessions. So, if any of you have wondered where I have been for the past few years, just letting you know that I am definitely on the road to recovery. And hopefully in the near future there will be a cure, and I would like to continue with voice acting as well as singing.
Because I need to rest my voice, lately I have been writing lyrics.  In fact, this has been a passion of mine since childhood and I figure this might be a good time to hone it.  I hope to continue singing, but if not, I will be involved in music in any way I possibly can.  

How can fans stay in touch with you?

C: My personal facebook page (Cam Strother) is all I’ve got right now, but later on this year I’ll be starting a new Youtube channel for my music.

J: I`m on Facebook (Jasmine Allen) so just give me a holler.  

Any last words for NiGHTS fans?
C: Keep on following your dreams.

J: I`m glad to know that you all enjoyed the game (and the song) just as much as I enjoyed being a part of it…
Thank you…and keep gaming!

Thank you very much Cameron and Jasmine!
- And don't forget to check out the DREAMS DREAMS Sweet Snow complete version if you missed it last Christmas.
 

Share
 
 

We love SUMO Digital. We love Steve Lycett. And now with NiGHTS returning back to his rightful spot on the character roster for 'Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed', we love Steve and his company even more. With the Don't Forget NiGHTS campaign now successful in its goals, it seemed to be the right time to sit down with Mr. Lycett and talk about everything that's gone on with the character in the last three years, including how the Flagwaver cameo came about and what went into NiGHTS being drafted for this sequel.

Hello, Mr. Lycett.

Thanks for agreeing to have a very NiGHTSy themed Sonic & AllStars Racing Transformed interview with us here at NiGHTSintoDreams.com.
Steve – No problem, it’s a pleasure to take some time out to have a chat!


1 –
The first time around when you SUMO's were making a SEGA themed racing game, by our knowledge NiGHTS was absent from the roster. That's when we ignited your email inbox, lol. What was your first reaction to the outcry for NiGHTS? Was you expecting such a fan response for the character?
Steve – Panic! All of a sudden I’d got a huge flurry of emails about a character we’d not planned to include, and at a stage when really it was just too late to add anything major to the game! I think both ourselves and SEGA hadn’t understood how much of a big deal it was that we’d not planned inclusion for ASR, we were certainly corrected on that in a very short space of time!


2 -
Naturally, we understand that due to that time in development it would have been impossible to implement NiGHTS as a playable character. However, you didn't want to leave us empty-handed so you incorporated the character in to one of his greatest cameo moments yet, the flagwaver. Who's idea was it to give NiGHTS the checkered flag and how did you go about including it so late in development?
Steve – Yeah, buy that point we were pretty much deep into Alpha, one of the later stages of closing a game down. You’re not really supposed to be adding anything that late in the day! Our first discussion was if we could add a character, but creating a vehicle, building a character and a full set of animations had to be ruled out as we simply didn’t have time available to do it. At the same time though, we were trying to solve how we could add more life to the opening of a race. When we looked at both problems at the same time, we released we could use NiGHTS as the flag man and solve both problems in one go!
However, just having the solution was only the start of it, we then had to take the character model from SST, get it in and working, resolve how he’d enter and leave the scene and discuss it with Iizuka-san to make sure he felt we were using NiGHTS in an appropriate way.
By the time all that was done and approved, we were into Beta, and there you *really* shouldn’t be adding anything. We reached an agreement that if caused any serious bugs or problems that we’d have to let it go. Thankfully though everything went right thanks to the passion of everyone involved to do it, and finally it made the final game. Phew!


3 –
Moving on to the sequel that you're currently working on. When you decided you were heading for the Racing genre again was NiGHTS a strong candidate for the roster after all the initial backlash from the first game or did he take a backseat while other characters were decided upon first?
Steve – Well we didn’t dare not include NiGHTS this time! NiGHTS was on the original character shortlist, plus we also wanted to base a level around the original game too. However, that didn’t mean an automatic inclusion! First we needed to make sure we could work out how we could make NiGHTS work as a vehicle on land, air and sea, plus the same needed to be true of the track!
We also had to run initial designs past Iizuka-san again to make sure he was happy we were capturing the spirit of the original game, and it was Iizuka-san who suggested the character actually transforms into a vehicle. Once this clicked into place, we knew it would work!
You still need to test the characters at focus groups though to make sure they appeal to a wide audience, both of SEGA and non-SEGA fans. Here though, what we discovered was that NiGHTS really resonated with a wide audience, especially with the fairer sex.
That all done and out of the way, finally NiGHT’s made the cut!

4 – The first time around, we all asked for NiGHTS as playable. This time you've not only given us NiGHTS but Reala too, as well as an entire race course dedicated to NiGHTS into dreams history and nostalgia. Going from a cameo in the first game to two playable characters and a track, what made you guys suddenly decide to pour on the NiGHTS sauce for this game? Furthermore, what made you guys decide to include Reala as the second NiGHTS related character and not another character, such as one of the dreamers (Elliot, Claris) or Jackle (another fan favourite boss)?
Steve – Track wise, it made sense for this game. We did consider it for ASR, but when you’re track bound, and the original game really didn’t have tracks in that sense, it didn’t make for an automatic fit. Now though, we’ve got land, air and sea. When we looked for classic SEGA games where you fly… Well let’s say it was a shoe in!
Reala came about as when we asked Iizuka-san about how NiGHTS would work, he drew concepts for us showing both NiGHTS and Reala as vehicles. Since they work in a similar way, we decided to include Reala too.
We have set rules for sizes of vehicles in the game though, with Jackle being a boss, this probably wouldn’t have worked as well. Plus for the track we went with the theme of dreams and nightmares. We felt boss characters definitely belonged in the nightmare sections, so we saved those for there. In fact you’ll see Gillwing, Puffy and Wizeman in those sections!
For the drivers, we did consider the dreamers from the original game or Journey into Dreams, but we felt that no matter which set we’d chose, fans would complain we should have used the others! Instead we thought it’d be fun to use the Pians and one of the enemies (the Guardle) to act as drivers instead! Especially as they need to fly sometimes!

5 - NiGHTS and Reala as characters are able to morph and shapeshift. You've incorporated this element in to their design in Transformed, seeing as they become the vehicles themselves. How did you come about this idea and what other designs did you go through before settling on the ones that you have given them? At any point were they considered to drive a vehicle or were you heavily set on making them the vehicles from the get go?
Steve – Well originally we designed a very abstract vehicle that morphed to match the surface. On Land it has Ideya like nodes to make it float, on water it sprouted a fish like tail to move – and in the air it grew wings.
However, once we saw the concepts from Iizuka-san, we dropped this in favour of the transforming characters, which in hind sight were much closer to what the characters did in the original games. Given the transformation aspect of the game, I think this was the right choice to make.

6 – The first time around, SUMO was blasted with the lame overused response "But, why is Sonic in a car?". You all handled the negative flack really well and went on to selling one of the best kart-esque racing games of the last few years, so Sonic in a car actually worked out pretty well, lol. The flack in regards to NiGHTS now is "But, why is NiGHTS the car?" …how are you choosing to deal with this years cliched negativity? Personally, i love what you've done with NiGHTS because i feel it shows that you've paid attention to the characters details and made them stand out from the rest of the roster.
Steve – LOL, you know, the ‘Hedgehog in a car’ statement has become part of the teams vocabulary! For example when we were discussing tracks and what kind of water surfaces we could race on, I put forward the idea that we could race on Lava. There was some dissent to this. ‘But you’ll burn!’ we heard ‘Lava is dangerous!’ they added. I explained that we really could take some liberties as at the end of the day, we had fantasy characters racing in fantastical environments, with the exact words ‘Yes, I see your point, but there is a hedgehog driving a car…’ It was a done deal from that point on!
We also appreciate that NiGHTS being the car, plane and boat are a surprise, and I hope that as fans were hoping to see what kind of vehicle we’d develop as they’d loved the ones from ASR. However, we agreed with Iizuka-san – who created the whole series – that this was the right thing to do. Once you sit and think about it, it’s perfectly natural in the context of the game, I think with time the NiGHTS fans will accept this.

7 - It could be that people are worried they won't get to see NiGHTS or Reala as themselves at all throughout the game. Can you prove those theories incorrect and will we be seeing the characters in their normal forms too?
Steve – You know, people really shouldn’t worry about this. You will see both characters in their natural forms in the game. You’ll also hear them talk, and although it wasn’t shown in the work in progress trailer we revealed at Summer of Sonic and Sonic Boom, they’re very much animated now!  So relax, it’s in hand!

8 - As far as NiGHTS goes in Transformed, this is the first time we've seen new content designs for NiGHTS (such as the character never being a plane or a car before). You had NiGHTS and Reala in AllStars Tennis but they were pretty much just as they were, straight from 'Journey of Dreams' and handed a tennis racquet. Regarding Sonic Team, how did you go about getting these new designs and features for NiGHTS approved by them? Was there any moments where the designs weren't working at all? Anything left on the cutting room floor that you can tell us about?
Steve – I guess I’ve already answered this, but really, it was Sonic Team who provided the ‘transforming’ characters angle to us. They’ve been really supportive, not just for this game but for Tennis and ASR too. For example when we were making Tennis, it was as Journey into Dreams was being made. We were provided with assets direct from their game to use how we saw fit, which resulted in the Aqua Garden court. In terms of things cut, there hasn’t really been anything bar the original vehicle concepts, and with hindsight, I think we’ve got the better solution!


9 -
The track itself is phenomenal, seeming to be inspired heavily from Spring Valley from 'NiGHTS into Dreams…' then allowing us to head through portals in to various boss levels, such as Gillwings Lair and Wizemans arena. From what i've seen, it's technically 4 courses all mixed in to one race track! What made you decide on such a course for the NiGHTS brand and how did you go about choosing which bosses and levels would appear? Were there any moments where it was designed as just one level without all the extra's included?
Steve – Actually, if anything it was waaaayyyy more complicated before. The design team had this concept that you’d have two Dream Doors to choose from at one point, and depending which route you’d take you’d wind up on sort of a dream river, either on the normal surface, or racing on the surface but from the other side! We had to tone that down a bit.
They also wanted to take a perfect dream like Spring Valley and then make it change it to a nightmare version, but when we discussed this with Iizuka-san, it was clear this wasn’t in the same frame as the original game. There is always a disconnect from Nightopia and Nightmaren basically. It’s fine to transfer between them via a Dream Door- but you can’t mix elements from one with elements from the other.
At this point we decided to do the dream and nightmare sections, so this is what you’ll see in the final game!

10 – Speaking of NiGHTS levels, the character has flown through some pretty amazing places, Soft Museum and Memory Forest are some of my own personal favourites. When choosing a level to focus on what made your team decide on Spring Valley and were other levels considered to be base grounds for the track?
Steve – We always try and find what we consider to be iconic things from the source game, and bring these into our game with some form of twist or change. When we looked at NiGHTS we really wanted to have some nightmare sections and for that, you need contrast. Hence we picked Spring Valley, it provided the contrast we needed, and it was iconically NiGHTS. We also tried to pick elements from the original game – we discussed elements from Journey of Dreams and NiGHTS into Dreams being mixed but again on direction from Iizuka-san that the games were separate, we pulled back to sticking with elements seen in the original.

11 - From your experience in handling the NiGHTS brand for this game and dealing with fans such as ours, what do you think it is about NiGHTS that would make people want to campaign for him? Do you personally see any qualities in the character yourself?
Steve – Really, if you look at the series, it often weaves elements about overcoming doubt and fear and believing in yourself. If you believe you can do things, usually you can. I think that’s resonated with the fans, and certainly, what you tend to find with NiGHTS fans is they’re overwhelming positive – most of the time!
Do I see elements of the character in myself? Not really! I think I have a less than serious frame of mind a lot of the time which could perhaps be compared – but I’m not sure I’d look good in purple!

12 – Now that NiGHTS is too busy racing, who's going to be waving the flag now?
Steve – On this one, you’ll need to wait and see. All I can say is as we start races in the air, it needs to be a character who can fly. Let speculation commence!

13 – Who knows where the future will take SEGA and SUMO, but if the two teams would ever create another entry in to the AllStars series are we going to have to remind you all of NiGHTS again or are we in safe hands from now on? (I know i'm waiting on a SEGA BrawlStars. Would personally love to, as NiGHTS, paraloop Shadow the Hedgehog while fighting on top of a Tem-Jin Virtuaroid, lol) ;D
Steve – You know, we’ve got plenty of ideas for more All-Star games, but we really need to finish this one first! If we did more would we include NiGHTS? Well certainly, if it fits with the game we’re making, but as always I better not make any promises as you never quite know what you’ll be doing next!

—-

A huge thank you to Steve Lycett for his time in answering these questions for us.

Share
 

Recent Posts