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Monday, September 5, 2022

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games YouTube Channel

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Do you want me to write about these?

Approximately two weeks ago, Super Smash Bros. series director (and Kirby series director up to Kirby Air Ride) Masahiro Sakurai stopped posting daily Super Smash Bros. Ultimate screenshots (with an occasional cat photo) on his Twitter account (here's an example of the type of thing he'd tweet). However, he has a new project: The Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games YouTube channels. One in Japanese, and the other with English sub-titles.

He has several high-quality, concise videos already, releasing about three to four a week. That might slow down, since he's obviously recorded these well before they're being uploaded and he's uploading faster than he's making them, so he's going to run out at some point and have to slow the upload schedule down. Sakurai, in his first video, also discussed that Nintendo is not involved in his channel, that it's a personal project, and that he's not trying to profit off of it, so he is actively trying not to have ads appear. He also has to pay the video editors and translators. That combination means Sakurai will end up losing money as a result of his channel (like how Koopa Kingdom loses money by having KoopaTV exist without any revenue method besides a never-advertised donation method), but... I'm sure he has enough to sustain the channel and his well-being. (He drives cars for fun, so...)

Sakurai's audience are (aspiring) game designers and people interested in that, and his videos have a mix of him talking, animation, and real game footage. He's already had videos on categories he is establishing, which so far are Game Concepts (dark blue on his thumbnails), Design Specifics (green on his thumbnails), Planning & Game Design (yellow thumbnails), Game Essence (light blue thumbnails), Work Ethic (red thumbnails), and Grab Bag (pink thumbnails). I figure that he has to be surprised by how many people are interested in what he has to say, given this line from his first video:

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games YouTube channel be extremely niche game developers
Masahiro Sakurai is vastly underrating his reach, since he already has nearly half a million subscribers.
That's not extremely niche. That's mainstream. If you want extremely niche, that's KoopaTV's audience size.

Here's my question for the KoopaTV audience: Would you like me to write an article for each of Masahiro Sakurai's videos? Because they're all talking about interesting and evergreen topics in game design or in the gaming industry, and that's what KoopaTV is supposed to be publishing articles about. I mean, I have things I can say about these topics as both a long-time commentator on these issues, as well as someone who has designed several videogames (for this very website). Please let me know in the comments section how you'd like me to publicly interact with this goldmine of content. (And how often I should do so.)

And I still feel bad about how as recently as seven months ago I wrote I wanted to remaster those games but I haven't actually done anything since. But watching these game design videos certainly is inspiring.

Unfortunately, game design is still consumes a lot of time, which Ludwig lacks, between playing games and writing about them on KoopaTV. (As well as his actual day job of being a Koopa Kingdom prince.) Still, he really wants your feedback on if he should write, say, an article a week on a topic that Masahiro Sakurai has discussed on his channel. There are several other game design channels out there on YouTube that Ludwig hasn't considered this sort of article privilege for, but... it's Masahiro Sakurai. That is a very powerful factor. Sakurai has also had a now-ended Famitsu column for a long time where he's written about many other design-related concepts, including those currently covered in his videos, but those were rather inaccessible due to being in a Japanese magazine without an official English translation. (And the unofficial and possibly flawed fan translation on Source Gaming has been gatekept in terms of ease of writing about it without running afoul of their terms of use.) ...Also, Ludwig totally forgot that September 5, 2022, is a Monday. Felt like a weekend when KoopaTV wouldn't publish!

Ludwig criticises how Masahiro Sakurai did his Game Concepts video on Super Smash Bros. Melee.


  1. I'd support a series on his videos, absolutely!

    1. Definitely noting that. ^_^
      Thanks for lettin' me know.

  2. I would support a KoopaTV series on his videos if it focuses on the things he glosses over or willfully ignores.

    Like how he distinguishes "hit stop", which just freezes characters, from "boss stop", which freezes everything on the screen at the end of gameplay, without explaining why you wouldn't want to freeze everything while the game is still going (e.g. Mario Maker multiplayer).

    Or how he picks out Kirby's Adventure as a "responsive game" in the Lag episode while conveniently omitting its horrendous slowdown from the Frame Rates episode.

    1. I can't promise I'll "focus" on things he glosses over or ignores (I don't plan to dedicate a series to trying to "debunk" him or anything), but I certainly would want to express my disagreements over things he says, or inconsistencies in his narrative, when they do pop up. Kirby's Adventure being one, but more obviously, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's input delay being another.


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