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This week on Masahiro Sakurai’s YouTube channel where he discusses the development of video games, the Smash Bros. and Kirby director talked about three subjects:


  • Making Your Game Easy to Tune [Programming & Tech] – When tweaking the little details of a game – size, weight, speed, so on – it’s important to make sure that information is easy to sort through and implement. Sakurai discusses adjusting these various parameters in clear and fluid ways, as well as his own process for converting the numbers into the actual game build. Hint: It’s all about that Microsoft Excel, baby.
  • Eight Hit Stop Techniques [Design Specifics] – One of Sakurai’s first videos on the channel discussed freeze-framing the game during weighty or impactful moments. Branching off of that, Sakurai discusses eight different ways to enhance hit stop animations: Shake the character getting hit more, don’t move the hit box, shake horizontally on the ground and vertically in the air, gradually lessen the shake, control the amount of hit stop, interpolate frames into the damage pose, keep the attacker moving just a little, and change the amount of shaking based on camera distance. It’s a lot of nitty gritty details that Sakurai uses specifically, but it’s wonderful to see such specificity.
  • Let Players Cheat The System [Game Essence] – What’s wrong with an exploit or two? Sakurai discusses “strategy” in games – what he defines as players minimizing losses and maximizing gains – and how letting players reap huge advantages from little cheats can be fun and refreshing. He uses tricking enemies to fall to their deaths in Dark Souls and Metal Slime farming in Dragon Quest as examples.


That’s all for last week’s Sakurai videos. We’ll be rounding them up every Monday, so make sure to check back then for more!





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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.