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Archive for February 2nd, 2010


Happy Hedgehog Day!

It was over a decade ago today that this phrase was commonly heard – and with good reason, as it marked the monumental release of a game called Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Now, sixteen years later, we’re back and ready to use it again – because we’ve got big things in store.

As we mentioned over the weekend, we’re turning this week into Hedgehog Week as celebration for the game’s announcement, and for all the amazing work that fans around the world have put in to go above and beyond our challenges. The celebrations kick off today with two pieces of concept art from the first zone, a special giveaway of Sonic 3 signed by one of the Senior Level Designers from the original team, and swag giveaways all day! Then, on Thursday, we’re going to make the internet explode as we announce the real name of Project Needlemouse.

Hedgehog Week Calendar:

  • Tuesday, Feb 2nd: Hedgehog Day Celebrations begin! Two new pieces of Concept Art from the first zone, a sneak peek at the game’s music, and a Signed Copy of Sonic 3 giveaway!
  • Thursday, Feb 4th: The big day! Project Needlemouse’s actual title revealed, and an extra Bonus…

We know a few of you out there are going “But why can’t you just announce the name of the game today?” For you guys: Please trust us when we say that announcing the game this Thurdsay, which will let us do so alongside the bonus, is going to be completely worth the wait. :)

Hedgehog Day Reward #1: Concept Art!

When you’re making a 2D Sonic game, there are some things you’ll almost always need if you want to recapture the feeling of the classics. While momentum based gameplay is a heavy piece of that, the levels themselves also have to exude a style that matches or improves upon what came before them. Often, it is not about attempting to revolutionize, but rather to stay true to the formulas for Sonic’s success that already exist.

The zones themselves – and their environments – do more to immerse players into the world than we might notice at first. Today, we’d like to present two pieces of such concept art, which we hope bring smiles to your faces. Let’s start with a classic:

The Sunflower has long been a defining feature of Sonic’s beginnings ever since it first appeared in the original Sonic The Hedgehog. Along with the Badniks, it returns in the first zone of Project Needlemouse – and, yes, it actually spins.

If there’s one thing we know about Palm Trees, it’s that they tend to hide hidden boxes with power-ups like invincibility. We do not question how exactly such a box managed to find its way to the top of a palm tree, but we do know that finding such boxes hidden in Palm Trees is still pretty awesome. So, consider it official – these guys are coming back, too.

While we know that these two pieces of concept art may literally only be a sunflower and a palm tree, and aren’t exactly the most action-packed pictures you’ve seen this year, they express a spirit of the game that we feel is even more important. From Badniks to Zones, there are some things that mean a lot simply because they exist within a game.

Hedgehog Day Reward #2: Sonic 3 – Signed Copy Giveaway

The concept art may be cool, but it’s not really much of a celebration unless we’ve got even more to give out, right? So let’s get to it!

Today we are going to be giving away a ton of Sonic merchandise, including an exclusive signed copy of Sonic 3, autographed by Iizuka-san, one of the Senior Level designers from the original Sonic The Hedgehog 3 / Sonic and Knuckles team! If collectable merch from Sonic’s early days is your thing, or even if you’re only interested mostly because it’s both rare and awesome, then here’s how you can score it:

1: Post a comment on this blog!
2: Be the person who makes the 333rd Comment.
3: Win signed copy of Sonic The Hedgehog 3, boost coolness by +10.

Additional prizes will go out to people whose comments hit milestones along the way, including the following comment numbers:


UPDATE: Holy cow – we’ve never seen that many comments come in at once before. You guys literally broke our blogs for a few minutes from sheer traffic!

Please sit tight as we approve all the comments so we know exactly who our winners will be – and also, due to the amazing amount of comments that came in, we’re going to add even more prizes to the pot for every 50 comments, starting at 500 and up! We will announce our winners *Thursady* in a new blog here!

Update II: 2,000+ comments, oh my! Due to the massive amount of comments we’ve seen and that are still incoming, we’re going to have to limit the swag giveaway to the first 2,500 comments that arrived on the blog! Please give us some time to go through, remove any spam, and approve all the remaining comments in queue! (Roughly 1,654 in queue at the time of this update.)

Even if a comment may be listed as a winning number now, remember that numbers may change if a spam comment below it gets deleted! So even if yours doesn’t show up as a winner just yet, keep an eye out on Thursday when we announce the usernames of those who won!

Which means we’re going to be giving out at least 17 different pieces of Sonic swag today, including the signed game! Items you could win include a Sonic & Metal Sonic Wall Scroll (Featuring classic Sonic – who has black eyes), a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog Clock, a Sonic Towel and more! All you have to do is be the lucky person who gets their comment in one of the places above, and you’ve won the goods!

Q: Can I spam? What if I just post “ASKDJFLASDJFLKASDJF over and over again?
A: No spam, please! Comment with your thoughts on Needlemouse, your hopes for the game, what you thought about the concept art, etc. Spam comments won’t be approved, so only people who take the time to write out real comments will win the swag!

Q: Do responses to previous comments count?
A: Yes!

Q: Can I post more than once?
A: Yes!

Hedgehog Day Reward #3: The story continues…

Also in celebration of Hedgehog Day, we’ve added up a shiny new piece of flash to the front page of our website! We highly suggest checking it out – after all, it includes the first sneak peak at a few seconds of music from Project Needlemouse! Oh, but don’t go thinking that’s the big bonus – this Thursday, when everything finally goes out, we’ve got something extra special for you guys to complement the game’s real name.

Until then – awesome job once again on the amazing concept art you guys have sent in! We’re going to feature even more of it tomorrow and throughout the week as we celebrate Hedgehog Week, and the upcoming reveal of Project Needlemouse!

From all of us here at SEGA – Happy Hedgehog Day!