GDC 2008: Meeting Masahiro Sakurai

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PanzerOceania

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it's not just controlling 3, but fighting yourself? like even going from 2 to 3 is NUTS, you have to be like schizophrenic!

he's been around and making smash since a lot of us were just kids.
 

Thinkaman

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...and that Sora is really only two people, himself, and another guy. Who is that other person who is also a member of Sora?
Just a personal assistant to help him manage everything. It was under the Sora part of the slide introducing him.
 

tafutureboy

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wow, sonic is the only character that got added last year (see, petitions do work)
wait, thats Family Guy

but it takes forever to make characetrs look as good as they do, it doesnt surprise me
 

Senshuu

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You're right, Dojo was way more than we deserved. Another reason why I admire that man.
 

Thinkaman

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I think the big issue was that the actual people working on the game did the dojo (with localization help) rather than some marketing division.
 

JoJoRukus

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Man, I expected a director like him to be awesome, but man... three pads like a pro, huh?

Also, I'm glad to know that they had been balancing the characters since the very beginning. I've had fun speculating what characters were actually going to make it, but I've gotten mad sick of threads and posts saying that characters can be added within the last few months (or month, I've seen... even AFTER the Japanese release) of development.

Well, just another post to quell my undeniable rage that I'm not playing it yet. ;-;
 

PanzerOceania

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I just had a thought too. How consistent Brawl is to the other games is a testament to how much he is a part of making them. Usually when an entirely new team makes a sequel it feels different, but he really does make the games. Iwata admitted that he needed Sakurai to make this game. I just hope they never try to make a smash game without him, he really has made them practically himself.

also, somewhat unrelated, but is it just me? or do a ton of japanese developers dress like rock stars?
 

Thinkaman

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Actually, the fellow CA who spoke Japanese to Sakurai for me told me later that many young Japanese game designers seem to think they are rock stars! :p
 

ChronoBound

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Hmm, I would wish I would have a one on one chat with Sakurai, it would be interesting to say the least.

I am actually planning on designing Smash 4.... on paper. This project will take me a year or two to complete, so I need to draft up my roster ASAP. I have already decided on most of the characters in the roster, and even the number (around 50-55). People who know my work know how much I go into detail. I am planning on crafting movesets for all the newcomers I have planned as well as very detailed reasoning for their spot on the roster, as well as a list of new Assist Trophies (with descriptions), Pokemon (with descriptions), a list of music tracks, a list of trophies,a detailed descriptions of the new stages, new gamemodes, new gameplay mechanics, as well as plot to the game's adventure mode. It is my most ambitious project yet, and I hope you all enjoy it when it sees completion.

I really want to make a topic that relays my progess on this project. There will be a lot of text when it is done (well over 100 hundred pages on a typing program with a size 12 text, perhaps going to 200). However, I don't want to be marked for being off-topic, so would it be okay to post such a topic here (in regards to the progress of it)? I am trying to be as fair as possible in regards to roster representation, and although I won't be able to please everyone, I will do my absolute best to make as many people as possible happy.
 

Thinkaman

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Chrono: FYI, the design document for Brawl included a photo of Sakurai's fingers posing a figurine for each stage of every move in the game for every character. He brought one to show that was doing a Hadoken, only to insist that no Street Fighter characters were in Brawl. :p

Chrono, do you have any game development experience or interest in the industry? I'm in game development mode still, feel free to IM me.
 

ChronoBound

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Chrono: FYI, the design document for Brawl included a photo of Sakurai's fingers posing a figurine for each stage of every move in the game for every character. He brought one to show that was doing a Hadoken, only to insist that no Street Fighter characters were in Brawl. :p

Chrono, do you have any game development experience or interest in the industry? I'm in game development mode still, feel free to IM me.
I am thinking of maybe going into game designing, I especially want to work side by side on Sakurai on the Smash series, and I am going to try and learn Japanse to at least communicate with him.

If you click on my profile, view some of the threads that I have made to see how much I go into detail regarding things.

I have no knowledge about programming, but I have a lot of creative ideas. I am literally thinking about posting all of what I think Smash 4's content should be on paper. The script alone for the Smash 4 Adventure Mode should be at least 15 pages.

Interestingly enough about the comment how Sakurai had a figure posed as a Street Fighter character (Ken to be precise), according to my plans, I am going to implement Ryu and Ken as playable characters in Smash 4, and they will be interesting....

Edit: Topics you should particularly read are the ULTIMATE Probably Playable Characters in Brawl Analysis Topic, ChronoBound's Thoughts on the Brawl Roster, "Something to remember when the Brawl Roster does get leaked...", and the Story of Roy & Mewtwo Rumor as well as the Brawl Roster Leak.
 

Thinkaman

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The ambition is great man, but the wall is very high. It requires years of experience and success in another field like animation or programming to get into any sort of design position at all, in any company. Furthermore, Japanese companies have no need to hire outside help for their internal teams, especially those that do not have Japanese as a native language. It just doesn't happen, top American designers end up as Valve or Blizzard.

I'm really not trying to put a damper on your attitude, but plans and ideas alone are nothing. It takes building an in-depth experience of what games are, how they are constructed, and how to lead their development to be a game creator, not a simple brainstorm.
 

ChronoBound

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The ambition is great man, but the wall is very high. It requires years of experience and success in another field like animation or programming to get into any sort of design position at all, in any company. Furthermore, Japanese companies have no need to hire outside help for their internal teams, especially those that do not have Japanese as a native language. It just doesn't happen, top American designers end up as Valve or Blizzard.

I'm really not trying to put a damper on your attitude, but plans and ideas alone are nothing. It takes building an in-depth experience of what games are, how they are constructed, and how to lead their development to be a game creator, not a simple brainstorm.
Hmmm, at least my ideas my ideas might increase the popularity of certain characters in my roster. And it would be very nice to salivate over what Smash 4 might be.

I work extremely hard, and I hope the project's conclusion will help gain a sort of prestige for me among the many Smash communities on the internet. I will use this well-found respect to help direct opinions and ideas on what characters and game modes would be great for the roster in Smash 4.
 

Thinkaman

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Sakurai had 4 criteria that all characters must observe in order to be considered for being added:

1. The character's inclusion must make people want to play the game.

This is infinitely harder than you and I think, because we are so jaded by our own perspective. I would insist that Viewtiful Joe would be the best character ever, but I'm not sure people would really want the game more. Neither of us would have ever thought of ROB, and yet "ROBOT" was the CROWD FAVORITE by FAR in the GDC matches the CAs had. Everyone loved him! We as gamers are way too biased to make this decision easily.

2. The character must be unique.

The character must have identifying features and abilities that would make them different from existing characters, so that they add something to the game.

3. The character must fit into the style of Super Smash Bros.

The character obviously has to be able to fit into the framework of how smash works, obviously Pac-Man and L Block would not work. Personally, I never saw Mega Man working for this reason. No, I don't want to debate it.

4. They must contribute to the game balance.

Everyone has to fit together. Every new character must counter some characters and be countered by others, and they must fit in one giant contiguous mesh.

-----

It is this sort of specific consideration and decision making that game designers have to adhere to, there must be reason and understandings established about both the mind of the player and the constructs of the game itself.
 

unreon

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Very informative post. I just wish Nintendo wasn't so guarded with their information. I would have loved a video of his panel.

You are the envy of all of Smashboards, how does it feel? =P
 

GenG

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I knew the games were overly dependant of their directors, but I pictured them merely as supervisors... I didn't think Smash Bros relied so much on Sakurai, and I also can't imagine a single person involved so much on a game... Sakurai picks characters, music, composers, designers, stages, story, options, trophies, measures attack frames, plays as three characters at once...

This is more awesome than I could ever imagine.
 

DarkShadowRage

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This thread is full of win, kudos to you TC.
 

Flatfeet

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Cripes, 3 controllers?

I would've loved to hear him sing the SSBB main theme. Brawl Karaoke!
 

yoshi_fan

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Now, Sakurai stole Miyamoto the title of GOD.

Sakurai, is GOD, you hear me? GOOOOODD

:O
 

J18

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wow reading that just makes me realize how much i love sakurai.
i wonder exactly how good he is at smash, man what i wouldn't do for a match
 

Indignant

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Thank you for posting this...other sites are good, but the descriptions were lacking some detail that made this nice. Nobody else has mentioned the 3 controller thing, so thanks, that made it all the more awesome! Kudos to you!
 
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