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Sakurai details the extreme stress of making Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS, character choices, Mega Man and more

by rawmeatcowboy
18 June 2013
GN Version 4.0
The following comes from a Pology interview with Masahiro Sakurai.

- choosing who stays and who goes on the game's roster is "almost deadly in the amount of time it takes me."
- even more difficult is the removal of characters that previously appeared

"The amount of stress I feel, it's almost to the brink of death. Because it's not just a matter of me personally thinking this character or that character is going to be in the game; it's that we also have the game balance, animation, graphics and sound to think about in order to make that character fully fleshed out in that universe. I have to think about all of that when I go through this decision-making process."

- without the inclusion of Mario, Kirby, Samus or Link, some would say, "it might not be Smash Bros."

"Whether it's a minor character or a character that is one of the most highly skilled and most played if that character is removed from the game, the people who live for that character in Smash Bros. are going to have their feelings hurt. I think we have to really consider that, so I take a very serious, hard look at that and have empathy for the players who look for these type of characters when we're making these decisions."

- Sakurai make these decisions based on his own thoughts and surveys

"What is the uniqueness of this character? What does this character bring into the Smash Bros. universe? What do they have that other characters don't? How do they complement or contrast other characters?"

- Mega Man was the most requested character after Sonic
- getting Mega Man in the game was easy

"We approached Capcom with the idea and they were very favorable and open to it. The approval process, in terms of how we're representing Mega Man, was actually really smooth and went really quickly."

- the dev team starts from scratch with every character
- choices for color, precision and resolution must be considered before they're designed
- then the team tackles game balance
- this includes how an established character will coexist with new ones

"For example, look at Samus. She's sort of floaty [in Super Smash Bros.]. The reason we've represented her that way is we've taken some of the inspiration from the original Metroid. I think the reason Samus felt floaty in the game is becasue you have to jump so much, you have to have a certain level of accuracy while you're jumping and shooting. By enabling her to be floaty, you're slowing down that motion allowing for better accuracy in her shooting. At least, that's how I interpret why she was floaty in the original game.

What's important about that is realizing why Samus moves the way she does, not just saying, 'This is how she moved in a previous game, so we're going to represent that because that's the way she's always been.' I have to really go and think about it all again before I give her that representation. It's making sure we understand that and using the same logic in creating her in this world."

- Sakurai promises "daily visual updates" from his desk via Miiverse and official site
- don't expect too much more from Sakurai during development

"I'm not going to talk as much."