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Game Dev Indie Yuji Naka has gone indie following Balan Wonderworld disappointment

IbizaPocholo

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ibiza

Naka posted on Twitter today that he was celebrating his 56th birthday and revealed that he’s literally gone back to the drawing board, learning how to code again.

“Thank you for your birthday messages, I’m 56 years old,” he tweeted.

“I’ve recently started learning how to program again, and I’m working on a simple game for smartphones with Unity. I’m making it by myself, so it’s not much, but I’m enjoying programming it. I hope you’ll be able to play with the app when it’s available.”
 

Alcibiades

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Happy to see the guy doing what he wants (maybe he has no choice?).

Anyway, I jumped in this thread to say that there was absolutely no acknowledgement of Naka in the Paramount Sonic movie. He deserved a huge special thanks when the movie ended, if not at least somewhere in the credits, but nope, he got nothing.

Can you imagine a Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong movie with no acknowledgement of Miyamoto? As a matter of respect Naka should have been mentioned.
 
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SantaC

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Happy to see the guy doing what he wants (maybe he has no choice?).

Anyway, I jumped in this thread to say that there was absolutely no acknowledgement of Naka in the Paramount Sonic movie. He deserved a huge special thanks when the movie ended, if not at least somewhere in the credits, but nope, he got nothing.

Can you imagine a Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong movie with no acknowledgement if Miyamoto? As a matter of respect Naka should have been mentioned.
Hmm i remember you from the old days. Efralope?
 

Fake

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Happy to see the guy doing what he wants (maybe he has no choice?).

Anyway, I jumped in this thread to say that there was absolutely no acknowledgement of Naka in the Paramount Sonic movie. He deserved a huge special thanks when the movie ended, if not at least somewhere in the credits, but nope, he got nothing.

Can you imagine a Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong movie with no acknowledgement of Miyamoto? As a matter of respect Naka should have been mentioned.

He did? Wow. I was worried about the movie when I saw the first trailer, but in the end the movie was damn good. Good to know he is involved on that.
 

MrA

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Probably should've done that before making Balan Wonderturd.

he did with prope and it didn't result in train wrecks, ivy the kiwi, let's tap, and let's fish are good games, so is the wii version of Rodea the sky soldier (3ds and wiiU on the other hand are something else)
making an indie let's Yuji Naka do what he's good at, arcade style games
 

lachesis

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Someone like Yuji Naka or other big name producers who went indie but never really rebound their former fame...
It makes me think that game developer isn't really all about one director. It's a work of collective effort thru and thru.
Also a lot of old Sega producers came from arcade-centric mindset and era, which I believe one of the many reasons not being able to survive as 1st party console maker - so there haven't been that many who really succeeded after leaving the company.

Someone like Kojima took and kept in contact with key people whom made his signature works become so renounced, along with his movie director persona/fame - in the end it was one of his biggest asset to begin with whether one likes his games or not - and that made him one of the exceptions of this rule & kept him one of the director/producer who still is a force to reckoned with to a lot of gamers even after leaving the big name publisher.
 

Alcibiades

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He did? Wow. I was worried about the movie when I saw the first trailer, but in the end the movie was damn good. Good to know he is involved on that.
Sorry I didn't mean to give the impression he was involved at all - I meant that Sonic wouldn't exist without him.

His creation has spawned countless sequels and spinoffs, become the face of SEGA (which has earned billions off it), and is a cultural icon with TV shows, toys, etc....

That's merits at least a "thank you" from the producers of the Sonic movie. Not cause they have to, but out of respect.

Like you always see movie credits near the end giving special thanks to lists of people or entities, he couldn't even merit a mention there?



Look at the actual thanks from the end of the movie. No appreciation for the guy that made it all possible.

Anyways I enjoyed playing Sonic as a kid and Samba de Amigo was a blast in Dreamcast. Hope he succeeds in whatever he's working on now.
 
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lh032

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This is what we called, a one hit wonder.
 
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Yuji Naka is a cool dude but his sensibilities were so out of touch with Balan Underworld it's almost a shame. He's a good producer and has been behind some very cool games. He directed ChuChu Rocket!, he designed Ivy The Kiwi? and produced NiGHTS into Dreams... among other cool games which don't have punctuation marks in their names.

Balan held a similar sensibility to the first NiGHTS, which made sense in 1996 but now would just feel either creepy or stupid, and that's precisely what happened. Maybe the director's chair just wasn't for him, but in all honesty from seeing how the game ended up I'm really surprised how no one stopped the project in its tracks while there was still time. It baffles my mind.

I hope he goes back to produce fun, inventive arcade-like games and it able to retain a good position (and name) afterwards. The internet can be very cruel.
 
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nkarafo

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Yuji Naka is a great programmer but not a game designer.

His one hit wonder was the programming of the original Sonic and it's physics. That was some amazing coding but i dunno how much he had to do with the actual game design, the level layouts, etc.

Other than the very first Sonic game (which, again, was amazing, don't get me wrong) i don't know anything else worth of note.
 
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Impotaku

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He better learn to code a hell of a lot better as even in the indie scene there is solid quality so even stuff like balan wouldn't fly. Balan is shovelware disguised as a AAA game.
 
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PJX

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He hasn't created a single good game in his life.
Is this a joke or you're trolling to get attention because no one cares about you? Hard to tell on the Internet nowadays.

I've heard a lot of it had to do with Square Enix and their horrible decisions regarding the game.
 
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Aldynes

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Balan held a similar sensibility to the first NiGHTS, which made sense in 1996 but now would just feel either creepy or stupid, and that's precisely what happened. Maybe the director's chair just wasn't for him, but in all honesty from seeing how the game ended up I'm really surprised how no one stopped the project in its tracks while there was still time. It baffles my mind.
This exactly, but they got the wrong idea to also copy another thing outside the sensibility, the walking section without NiGHTS, the one with Elliot and Claris where you just run and jump around, they made a whole game out of this.
 
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McCheese

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in a way this guy was the root cause of chrischan having sex with own mum..

Good on him for getting back into coding, it's far easier now than it was back coding assembly for the m68k but it's reassuring to know your never too old to relearn things.
 
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SirTerry-T

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He better learn to code a hell of a lot better as even in the indie scene there is solid quality so even stuff like balan wouldn't fly. Balan is shovelware disguised as a AAA game.
He's an old school assembly guy which automatically makes him a better coder than a lot of folk hammering away at C++ these days...
 

BabyYoda

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Yuji Naka is a great programmer but not a game designer.

His one hit wonder was the programming of the original Sonic and it's physics. That was some amazing coding but i dunno how much he had to do with the actual game design, the level layouts, etc.

Other than the very first Sonic game (which, again, was amazing, don't get me wrong) i don't know anything else worth of note.
Exactly, he didn't create Sonic, he was a very good coder though, maybe should've stuck with that...
 
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Speedwagon

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He better learn to code a hell of a lot better as even in the indie scene there is solid quality so even stuff like balan wouldn't fly. Balan is shovelware disguised as a AAA game.
He wasn't the programmer for Balan Wonderworld.
 
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YoshiMadness

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One hit what?
Sonic, Samba de Amigo, Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star Online, ChuChu Rocket, Nights into Dream… and everything between.

please don’t understimate him like new generation understimate Peter Molyneux
Exactly. Quoting this simply to spread the message. Anyone calling him a one hit wonder clearly doesn't know their history, and they should feel ashamed. A simple Google search isn't that hard, people.
 

Neff

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Yuji Naka IS a hack.

He's a great programmer who has coasted on past glories for too long, in addition to purportedly burning many bridges with egotistical tantrums, to the point where his prospects in the games industry are extremely finite. He's always needed good creative minds to back him up (Kodama, Ohshima etc), and without that, he's languished.

Can you imagine a Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong movie with no acknowledgement of Miyamoto? As a matter of respect Naka should have been mentioned.

Very different situation. Miyamoto is creatively steeped in those games, having created the characters and directed many of their early, defining works along with Takashi Tezuka. Naka didn't create Sonic. He never directed a Sonic. His major contributions to the character are coding and designing his physics, and offering the idea of rolling into a ball to defeat enemies. The actual visual design of Sonic and the idea of a fast-moving 'anti-Mario' are attributable to Naoto Ohshima.

He hasn't created a single good game in his life.

No, but he's been involved with some very good games as a coder or producer.
 
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He's a great programmer who has coasted on past glories for too long, in addition to purportedly burning many bridges with egotistical tantrums, to the point where his prospects in the games industry are extremely finite. He's always needed good creative minds to back him up (Kodama, Ohshima etc), and without that, he's languished.



Very different situation. Miyamoto is creatively steeped in those games, having created the characters and directed many of their early, defining works along with Takashi Tezuka. Naka didn't create Sonic. He never directed a Sonic. His major contributions to the character are coding and designing his physics, and offering the idea of rolling into a ball to defeat enemies. The actual visual design of Sonic and the idea of a fast-moving 'anti-Mario' are attributable to Naoto Ohshima.



No, but he's been involved with some very good games as a coder or producer.
“The origins of Sonic can be traced farther back to a tech demo created by Yuji Naka, who had developed an algorithm that allowed a sprite to move smoothly on a curve by determining its position with a dot matrix. Naka's original prototype was a platform game that involved a fast-moving character rolling in a ball through a long winding tube, and this concept was subsequently fleshed out with Oshima's character design and levels conceived by designer Hirokazu Yasuhara

Naka si the creator of the game, and important voice in all the decelopment phases
 

Neff

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Naka si the creator of the game, and important voice in all the decelopment phases

The Wikipedia article is poorly-worded, Sonic Retro's article is a great deal more in depth-


At the same time, designer Naoto Ohshima was busy trying to come up with his own proposal, a character that could not only star in a video game, but be something more. Writing up a small proposal for a game that would feature a speedy character that could run around loops, he showed what he had worked on to his boss. Having a hard time getting consent to work further on the proposal, he was told that the only person at the company who might be able to program such a game was Yuji Naka. When Ohshima learned that Naka was free, he approached his fellow Phantasy Star alumni, asking if he would work with him on the game concept.

While certainly a joint effort, It's pretty obvious that Ohshima's contributions overshadow Naka's.