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Smash Bros’ Masahiro Sakurai has started a remarkable YouTube game design series

Masahiro Sakurai

(Image credit: Masahiro Sakurai)

Masahiro Sakurai, most widely known because the creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros., has started a fresh YouTube series on game design that’s quickly becoming probably the most fascinating channels on the platform.

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games launched the other day, and contains already garnered 365,000 subscribers. The channel regularly posts brief, sub-10-minute explainers on certain game design concepts, as Sakurai concisely runs down concepts like risk and reward or frame rate.

Take the hit stop video, for instance. Here, in the area around four minutes, Sakurai explains the brief pause you see once you strike an enemy in Smash Bros., and just why it creates the action feel a lot more satisfying. The video then shows types of several classing shoot-em-ups being improved with various implementations of hit stop to help make the action clearer and much more dramatic.

In the frame rate video, Sakurai briefly explains why 60 fps (the “ideal frame rate,” he calls it) feels so much smoother and responsive, and also finds a little bit of time and energy to explain how frame rates were handled differently on CRT televisions, and just why European retro games ran slower than their counterparts from the united states and Japan.

Sakurai says (opens in new tab) he hopes to update the channel “several times weekly,” and there’s plenty more room to mine game design concepts for further content. He’s also doing videos about their own game design history, such as this explainer on why he wished to build the initial Kirby’s Dream Land as a far more accessible game for a broader audience.

Sakurai says he’s been given clearance showing some early design docs and development builds of their own games, though he stresses that Nintendo does not have any direct involvement in the channel.

“I wish to try and help to make games all over the world a bit more fun” with this particular channel, Sakurai says (opens in new tab). “In the event that you make games, or are aspiring to take action, you will probably find something new here. And when you play games, learning more concerning the mechanics in it might deepen your enjoyment a lot more.”

This past year, Sakurai warned fans never to depend on there being another Smash Bros. game.

Dustin Bailey

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as an employee Writer in-may 2022, and happens to be located in Missouri. He’s been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for pretty much five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere within Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and nowadays it is possible to usually find him splitting his entertainment time taken between retro gaming, the most recent big action-adventure title, or perhaps a long term in American Truck Simulator.

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