Between Sonic 2 HD, the Streets of Rage remake, and the Segagaga English patch, 2011 is shaping up to be a big year for independent projects. Team S2HD recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Sega Addicts. They discussed everything from programming to the removal of the Streets of Rage remake. You can catch the full interview after the jump.
How far along is S2HD?
Level art wise, Emerald Hill Zone is done and plenty of work has been completed on Hill Top Zone as well. After those two are finished, we plan to start on Chemical Plant and Death Egg. We have an extremely talented musician who has already completed almost all the tracks that will be heard as the default music for the game as well. The final preparations for a playable, bug free engine are being made right now.
Are you currently seeking any additional programmers to assist with the project?
Right now we have two programmers contributing their skills in different ways to the project, but that may change in the future depending on the project’s needs. We still have yet to begin implementing the multiplayer aspect, so we will be needing code assistance for that area when we work on building it in.
You have previously mentioned on your blog and Facebook that we can expect the game in the second quarter of this year. Is this still correct?
S2HD is gearing up for its first alpha release with a tentative timeframe of Q2 2011, yes. We can’t give a firm release date because this is a fan-created project that is being fit into the real lives of people who have full time jobs, family, and school coursework to balance out.
What are some of the biggest technical challenges you have encountered thus far?
Getting a solid art pipeline down was far and away the biggest obstacle for our team. Until early 2010 there was still no established art direction for the project outside of making assets fit with Sonic when placed in a scene with him. It took the combined efforts of three of our artists forging a three phase pipeline from concept sketches to base frames to final polishing that finally allowed us to work within a unified workflow for all the art. We’ve been making a series of visual changelogs that are viewable on our project blog that show the evolution of various character, Badnik, and level assets toward this end. Beyond the art, just getting Sonic to interact with his environment accurately was a massive challenge. People have grown to expect that classic Sonic physics work in a very specific way, and a great amount of time was spent tweaking the engine to ensure this would work flawlessly with the game.
With Sega recently shutting down the Streets of Rage remake, do you fear any similar treatment?
We definitely hope not. We’ve taken care to place the necessary disclaimers on all the work we’ve done and shown publicly that S2HD is an unofficial, not-for-profit project. All of the contents of S2HD is original fan art in HD. There isn’t a single sprite rip from Sonic 2 in our game.
Have you spoken directly to Sega about the project? Has Sega contacted you?
So far there has been no communication between Sega and Team S2HD. For the time being we’re entirely focused on making the most polished, enjoyable experience for Sonic 2 fans above all else.