Sakurai discusses the importance of fun in game design, explains how he arrived at the idea for Kirby's Air Ride

Can we get a sequel, please?!

Sakurai is back once again with his latest Famitsu feature. This time he takes a look at game design and sussing out fun mechanics. You can read a summary of the interview below, courtesy of PushDustIn and Sephazon.

- conceptualizing a unique idea for a game is the difficult part
- it's even more difficult figuring out how to express the fun factor of the game in the planning process
- in some cases, games will capitalize on the same game style as their predecessors
- for the purposes of this feature, Sakurai decides to explore how you can make drifting fun in a game with vehicles
- if you start with the notion that drifting can’t be fun, then you hold back the potential
- the fun factor is easy to mess up
- if you were to think about why drifting is fun on a fundamental level, it’s because there is a risk
- you could potentially make drifting more fun by adding in greater speeds, but this approach is a bit too basic
- you could make it possible to accelerate by gathering power while drifting and then releasing it all at once at corners
- this is the thought process that led Sakurai to Kirby Air Ride
- Sakurai says that understanding why it feels good to control an air board or glider is key to the process
- these concepts combine to create a balanced design
- devs should dig deep to understand what makes an element fun, and then rebuilding based on that in order to make a concept
- the person who plans a video game is the director, but it’s important to understand what makes the video game fun at the start
- when you build a game around the element of “fun,” many obstacles and challenges become clear
- in order to separate the project from other titles, Sakurai believes understanding what makes different games fun is crucial

Categories: Consoles


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