Early Sonic Boom Designs Caused 'Discomfort' To Original Sonic Team

Early Sonic Boom Designs Caused "Discomfort" to Original Sonic Team

At one point, the current iteration of Sonic and his friends looked even more different compared to their original selves. So much so that it caused quite a few headaches to the series' original creators.

Speaking to GameSpot, Bob Rafei, head of the studio in charge of the character redesigns, said that early on, the team experimented with different colours and features for the characters, adding things like scales or realistic fur. When they showed these designs to Sonic Team, they were less than thrilled.

"Sonic Team [quickly] came back with their discomfort of that. Early on, when we had our first review of all the crazy things we wanted to try, [Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka] came down to Los Angeles and looked through all the different concepts. I felt sorry for the guy because sometimes he couldn't actually look at the screen — it was too traumatic seeing all the crazy stuff we wanted to do."

But, as Rafei explains, this was actually very helpful feedback. "They were great guardrails for us to understand when we were deviating too far from the character. Without their input, the character would have been a lot more alien and different from what Sonic is known for."

So, if you're not a fan of the team's new look, rest assured: it could have been far worse. That's a good thing, right? Right?

Sega Explains Sonic and Knuckles' New Look [GameSpot]


    I came here looking for a link to Street Fighter....

    They were great guardrails for us to understand when we were deviating too far from the character. Without their input, the character would have been a lot more alien and different from what Sonic is known for.

    He need guardrail to see how far he was deviating? Sonic with scales and completely off from the original design is designer getting too full of himself.

      I think the scales were for that Crocodile thing. However realistic fur on an anthropomorphic Hedgehog is a scary thought in itself.

      How did you get adding fur and scales to characters as adding scales to Sonic?

      You also have to understand they were hired to make changes and while he speaks about how many of those changes were denied, some were obviously greenlit as the characters are different to the original.

      They would have had a whole bunch of different paths laid out for the Sonic Team to look through. That's not getting full of yourself, that's putting effort in to your work and taking risks to explore new ideas.

        It is great if they are taking risks to explore new gameplay ideas. Not taking risks into making Sonic design NOT Sonic. If you change the iconic character too much it will deviate too far and can no longer be Sonic.

        Imagine our Tomb Raider reboot used Emma Watson as her character model, sure it looks great and all but it's just not Tomb Raider anymore. Her iconic feature is the boobs and lips. Take them off and it will no longer be Lara we all know.

    Honestly, Sonic Team hasn't made a good game for over a decade, so they can just let someone else ruin it for a change.

    Who knows? Maybe we'll get something amazing like the Metroid Prime series. Everyone was convinced that was going to be terrible.

      Have you played a Sonic game in over a decade? They've had a pretty solid run of games since Colours (and the half of Unleashed that wasn't terrible werehog platforming and combat).

        I haven't played Colours. If Colours is good, then good for them. But one good game in a sea of turds is not great.

        I have played Sonic 2006, Sonic and the Black Knight, Shadow the Hedgehog, Unleashed etc. They are awful. Sonic is Get Rings, Go Fast. Sonic team started losing their shit as far back as Sonic Adventure 2 and their track record is not great.

          Have you played Generations? 'Cause it seems like you haven't.

            To be honest, I gave up on hoping Sonic games were good when he fell in love with a Final Fantasy character who destroys the world if she cries while some future hedgehogs do something for some reason. So I've been kinda lax on playing the new ones, especially since most haven't been great.

            So no, haven't played Generations, or Colours.

              That's pretty funny. You give up and don't play the 2 games people love unconditionally. :P

    Yeah I'm generally a sonic hater, but generations was pretty good.

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