Peter Morawiec was interviewed by Sega16 about his work at the Sega Technical Institute (STI) where Japanese and American developers worked together to create games.
About his move to start working on Sega Saturn games he says: “Comix Zone hadn’t performed as well as we all hoped (the PS1 stole our thunder) and Sega was focused on launching the Saturn. Adrian, Howard (the composer) and I decided to move to LA and develop games for Sega as an independent studio. However, Roger and Shinobu (Sega of America VP) convinced us to stay with Sega and helped us establish a satellite STI office in Burbank, where we were tasked with producing a Sonic game for the Saturn (not to be confused with Sonic Xtreme). We created some interesting technology and designs, but ultimately Yuji Naka [Sonic’s creator] didn’t approve, so that was it.”
Here’s that unreleased game of a 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog with a new 3D cartoon look:
When asked if he thinks a sequel to Comix Zone would work in 3D? Mr. Morawiec answered:
“Yes, definitely — just look at Activision’s Ultimate Spider-Man, which uses many similar ideas. I’m just not convinced that playing “inside” a comic book is as universally appealing of an idea as I once thought. It’s a cool hook and provides for nice visual pizzazz, but I think that most people would much rather pretend being a real comic book hero, as opposed being one just on paper. Besides, times have changed and comic books aren’t as popular anymore. Ironically, it was the rise of video games that contributed to the decline of comics. What have we done! :)”
Download & watch the 3D-ish: Comix Zone demo from STI.
While that Sonic demo from the mid-90s was slow, I thought it was pretty fun to see him do those new moves like the Ring Attack, Buzsaw, and Spike Blast. — Via Kotaku