Craig Stitt

From Sega Retro

Craig Stitt
Place of birth: United States
Employment history:
Sega of America[1] (1990[1] – 1995[1])
Insomniac Games[1] (1995[1] – 2005[1])
Role(s): Artist[1]
Education: San Jose State University (19xx-19xx; BA Art Education)[1]

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Craig Stitt is an American art director and former Sega Technical Institute artist, known for his work on a number of the studio's Western-developed Mega Drive titles.[1] Hired in 1990 as one of the studio's earliest artists, Stitt created artwork for games like Kid Chameleon, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Astropede, among others, and remained with Sega until his departure for Insomniac Games in 1995.[2][1]


From an early age, Craig Stitt spent much of his youth in arcades back in the 1970s, placing games like Space Invader, Asteroids, and BattleZone, alongside tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons and Risk, but never got around to purchasing a home video game system of his own. He had also accumulated a good deal of experience in the creation of computer graphics at a small company called Genigraphics, but was somewhat frustrated by the lack of engaging projects.[3] Sometime in 1990, Stitt came across an ad in the newspaper that read "WANTED: Video game designers and artists, no experience necessary." After getting called back by Sega, he borrowed an NES from a friend and spent the next few days familiarizing himself with as many games as possible. Thankfully, he was officially hired by Mark Cerny[3] as a game artist at Sega Technical Institute shortly after.[2] His very first game would be the 1992 action platformer Kid Chameleon.[4] During his time with the company, he had a hand in creating artwork for a number of the studio's projects, including unreleased Mega Drive titles like Dark Empires, Jester, and Astropede, among others. He also did some minor work for Comix Zone and Kid Chameleon.[2]

Stitt was the primary artist for Sonic the Hedgehog 2's infamous Hidden Palace Zone.

Stitt's most well-known contribution to video gaming was his work on Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Acting as a level artist, he created artwork for a number of the game's Zones. While he was not directly responsible for designing any Zone layouts, he did occasionally have a hand in creative brainstorming in the design process. Stitt was provided with a Digitizer for creating his pixel art and a rudimentary paper map of a Zone layout, and once he created about a couple hundred tiles on the hardware, he would begin implementing them in the actual game. He recalls that some of his work was not included in the final release, including art of a clown/rollercoaster-themed Zone, alongside the famous Hidden Palace Zone, stating "if art had to get cut out it always seemed to be the American's on the team whos art got cut."[2]

Following Sonic 2, Stitt went about designing a mascot-platformer of his very own. Titled Astropede, it spent about 14 months in development before being permanently put "on hold". While described by Stitt as a "solid game", he feels it would have performed well if it had been better managed and actually released. Reportedly, Astropede was the only reason Stitt was remaining at Sega of America, and following its shelving in 1994, he was prompted to leave the company only one year later.[2] Following his departure from the company, Stitt accepted a position as Art Director at the Burbank, California-based developer Insomniac Games later that year.[1]

Production history


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