Nintendo Power Interview with Yuji Naka

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 28 July 2003 (approximate date)
  • Interview Topics: Billy Hatcher, the games industry, NiGHTS, E3, GBA Link-up
  • Interview Source: Nintendo Power at Sonic Classic external.png

NP: How did you come up with the idea for Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg?
YN: I originally wanted to create a four-player game [that featured] rolling balls. However, in order to enrich the single-player, I thought it would be interesting to give players a sense of expectancy. Therefore, I chose eggs instead of balls so something could spring out from inside.

NP: After working on Sonic Adventure and Phantasy Star Online for the past few years, how important was it for you and the rest of SonicTeam to create something completely new?
YN: Most of the games currently being released are sequals, which I feel is not good for the gaming industry. I believe it is very important for creators to attempt something new, so I plan to continue developing new content. Although it is really hard to create new game play, I believe something fresher can always be created.

NP: How many people are working on the game, and what other titles have they worked on in the bast?
YN: Around 20. Many are members of the Samba de Amigo development team.

NP: Some aspects of the game are reminiscent of NiGHTS into Dreams (for Sega Saturn), especially the monsters. Are any of the artisits wh worked on that game involved in Billy Hatcher?
YN: Hmmm, it may be because the art director was involved with Christmas NiGHTS. So, a similar atmosphere may have been inherited.

NP: Has SonicTeam considered doing a sequel to NiGHTS into Dreams?
YN: I am always thinking about it, but I feel the time is not right yet to actually develop one.

NP: Are there any other SonicTeam franchises that you'd like to bring back?
YN: If we had the opprotunity, I want to resume work on every one!

NP: Are there any A-Life elements (such as the Chao in Sonic Adventure) in Billy Hatcher?
YN:There are none. However, since you have Egg Animals instead, do your best by utilizing them in order to achieve your goals in this world!

NP: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers to know about Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg?
YN: Adventures where you can clear missions by yourself are fun, but battles with four players using the special eggs are enjoyable, too! So please experience both types of play.

NP: Youve stated in previous interviews that you really like developing games for Nintendo Gamecube. What about the system appeals you?
YN: I like Nintendo because their attitude toward games and connectivity between GCN and GBA are interesting. As for a link-up with GBA, I would like to see it realized in Billy Hatcher.

NP: Are there any genres or subjects that you have not worked on before that you might be interested in exploring in the future?
YN:Personally, I would like to develop a car game.

NP: What are some of the most important things you've learned about game development during your career? Do you approach development differently now than when you first started out?
YN: My first action is to consider the sensation I want users to feel, and then convey this to the team for a shared vision. To achieve this, teamwork is important.

NP: What most impressed you at E3? In what direction do you think the industry is heading?
YN: I feel there were lots of seuels and licensed titles, and there were few fresh surprises. I'm afraid this industry will cease to be fascinating unless creators produce new ideas

Transcribed up by Gene Hidokiri Fujimori from Nintendo Power Volume 171


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