Did you know that in 2006, Super Smash Bros. creator masahiro sakurai helped develop a Tamagotchi-like game where you raise virtual beetles on these little LCD toys and send them off to battle other beetles via Street Pass-style infrared connectivity? This is new news for me, and one of many interesting tidbits that the famous game designer has shared on his new YouTube channel, Masahiro Sakurai on making games. To be honest with all of you, I think he might be my favorite YouTuber right now.
Masahiro Sakurai may be best known as the creative genius behind the kirby Y Super Smash Bros. franchises, but he’s worked a lot in the games industry since it started in the ’90s. directed his first game, Kirby’s Dreamland, at the age of 19. He wrote a weekly Famitsu column on gaming for nearly two decades. He even struck out a bit on his own in the mid-2000s, spearheading the design of the falling tile-matching puzzle game. meteors before heading back to Nintendo’s HAL Lab for a little more Super Smash Bros. games. And until earlier this week, Sakurai was posting daily screenshots of what may or may not be the final entry of the crossover fighter, only to announce that he was no longer doing that and was instead focusing on a new project: a YouTube channel where he spills the tea on the ins and outs of game design. YouTuber Sakurai. Sounds good.
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As YouTuber Sakurai said the first video of your channel, Masahiro Sakurai’s goal in making games is “to try and help make games around the world a little more fun.” Drawing on his decades of experience, he plans to dissect what “good” and “fun” could mean in game design, teaching aspiring developers and curious viewers more about the medium through short lessons. Although there are only four videos on his channel right now, YouTuber Sakurai moves fast, the topics he tries to cover seem to cover everything from how frame rate affects the feel of the game to the ways that distance determines risk in games. platform games. He sounds technical, but YouTuber Sakurai assured that game development experience is not necessary to enjoy or learn from his channel because “keeping things simple” is best for accessibility.
Consider the second video, Stop for great moments, which has to do with “hit stop”. A hit parry is an in-game effect that, as its name suggests, stops the action when you get hit. You see it a lot in action games where you wobble a bit and the screen shakes after a hit, but the hit stops are more acutely felt in something like Super Smash Bros Ultimate when you launch a critical attack that sends your opponent off screen. The purpose of hitting parries is to make every hit in a game feel impactful and to shift the weight of the attack onto you, the player. Without them, combat can feel floaty and imprecise, lacking significant heaviness or punch.
What I love about Masahiro Sakurai in making games is the behavior of YouTuber Sakurai. If you have seen any of the Super Smash Bros. live streams he hosted, so you know the vibe here. It’s understated and personable, packed with tons of information delivered in a digestible format. He speaks clearly and simply, and doesn’t spend too much time reading game design jargon to teach concepts. When discussing Hit Stops, for example, he demonstrated multiple times how the effect changes the feel of a game when it’s on and off. What you get is a window into how the developers make combat impactful and rewarding. I really feel like I learned something from YouTuber Sakurai. So if you’ve ever wondered what it is that makes combat in some games so “crisp,” pay attention to the effectiveness of the parry hit.
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As Masahiro Sakurai revels in the life of a YouTuber now, Nintendo is having a tumultuous August. Earlier this month, the company was accused of firing an employee for asking a question about unions at a meeting. A Fire broke out at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto this month as well, possibly caused by a faulty device being charged. Kotaku what’s more spoke to multiple sources claiming that as contractors for Nintendo of America, they experienced a “frat house” culture riddled with sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said the company is “actively investigating” the claims that have appeared in recent media coverage.