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Sakurai shares thoughts on what makes a good game director

Wise thoughts from the master

The latest issue of Famitsu has another feature from Sakurai. This time around, Sakurai discusses the factors he believes make for a good game director. Check out out a rundown of the feature below, courtesy of Sephazon and PushDustIn.

- Sakurai is often asked about game directors, and also asked the question, “I want to make games, so what should I study in the future?”
- Sakurai says these might be the most important frequently asked questions when one doesn’t have solid experience in game production
- Sakurai believes “sensibility” is most important
- he defines this as the ability to anticipate something that can’t be physically seen or a thought that isn’t on the forefront of the mind
- having a detailed plan, the ability to convey ideas, teamwork, negotiation, communication, and judgement skills are also important
- Sakurai says these are skills that are learned naturally, but sensibility is not something that people can be trained in
- game designers have their own individuality, and while skills can be taught, it’s impossible to learn a personality
- in his eyes, there isn’t one trait outright that all the game designers possess
- it's important that directors are able to stay focused when being pulled in many different directions
- It’s not as simple as just pointing out areas that need improvement
- during a difficult development cycle, the director must prioritize and improve the areas that they can
- Sakurai thinks they must go beyond simple calculations, and instead focus on what would create the most fun
- if you would like to improve your sensibility, you should become acutely aware of what is fun and what creates positive feelings as well as understand your own merits

Nintendo brought back Captain Falcon's original voice actor to record new audio for Min Min's Smash Bros. Ultimate reveal

Packing a punch

Yesterday's Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter reveal might have been all about Min Min from ARMS, but it also featured a cameo from Captain Falcon. While the good Captain only has a bit part in the video, Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai went all-out on the appearance.

According to Sakurai himself, Nintendo brought back Ryo Horikawa to provide voice work for Captain Falcon. Horikawa, who is the Japanese voice for Vegeta in Dragon Ball, hasn't recorded for Captain Falcon since 1999!

We made a new fighter video, in which Captain Falcon is slurping a bowl of ramen. For just that one specific scene, we invited the voice of Captain Falcon, Mr. Ryo Horikawa, to join us. Mr. Horikawa is a very famous voice actor who also voices Vegeta in the Dragon Ball series in Japan.

Since the Nintendo 64 version, we've done many voice recordings for the Super Smash Bros. series. However, Captain Falcon is the only voice we haven't done new recordings for. Except fighters like Yoshi, for which we use pre-recorded assets, of course.

It was a very fun VO session. He mentioned that he still occasionally receives requests from fans such as, "Captain Falcon! Please do Falcon Punch!"

It's equal parts crazy and wonderful to think that Horikawa was brought back in to record a series of silly grunts and noises for yesterday's video. It certainly shows that Nintendo does care to go the extra step for their titles. Now if they only cared a bit more about F-Zero!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate "Mr. Sakurai Presents a Fighter from ARMS" live-stream

Who could it be?

Join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Director Masahiro Sakurai on 6/22 at 7am PT for a roughly 35-minute video livestream featuring an in-depth look at the upcoming DLC fighter from ARMS!

There will be no further new fighter reveals other than a fighter from ARMS in this livestream.

Smash Bros. Ultimate's ARMS character reveal was filmed from Sakurai's home

I hope he tidied up!

While every Smash Bros. Ultimate character reveal is an interesting one, the upcoming ARMS presentation has a unique tidbit associated with it.

As Sakurai and the team are working from home, that means quite a few behind-the-scenes elements had to be changed up to make this presentation work. That includes Sakurai recording the presentation from his own home. Sakurai knows people will over-analyze every little detail they see, so I'm sure he's going to keep the on-camera action as straightforward as possible.

Sakurai says Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC remote work is going well, proceeding without problem

Working from home has its benefits!

In Masahiro Sakurai's latest column for Famitsu, he opens up about what its been like working from home. His team continues to toil away on DLC for Smash Bros. Ultimate while in self quarantine, but it seems like things are going well. Check out a summary of the article below, courtesy of Sephazon.

- Sakurai says working from home has been going, and staff should be commended for their hard work
- some staff usually commute two hours one way to work, so working at home has been a lot more effective
- there are temptations to play games or sleep while working from home, but Sakurai says he can still focus on the task at hand
- Sakurai says he responds to emails up until midnight, but he's eating more regularly now, and has a better sense of time
- Sakurai says he oversees almost everything in Smash Bros. Ultimate, so new work is always coming in
- some situations require a lot of work to explain to the team, which is easier done in person than email
- video calls can help bridge the gap in these situations, but scheduling a time to work with everyone is challenging
- Sakurai bought a microphone and capture unit for working from home, and also built a studio to play and assist in development
- the team continues to figure out what works best for remote work
- work is proceeding without any problems so far

Masahiro Sakurai celebrates Kirby's 28th anniversary

These two know each other well!

Masahiro Sakurai shares a Smash Bros. Ultimate picture every day on Twitter, and in honor of Kirby's 28th anniversary, he shared the image above. Along with that, Sakurai mentioned a bit about Kirby in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Sakurai mentioned that Kirby provides a unique challenge in the Smash Bros. series. Every time a new character is added to the game, Kirby has to get an update as well, as a new Kirby "hat" and ability are needed. There simply can't be a character update without a Kirby representation!

Sakurai says Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC work will continue remotely due to coronavirus

Japan is set to announce a state of emergency for select prefectures due to coronavirus, and this is going to have an impact on Nintendo's work going forward. Sakurai has shared via Twitter that he'll be working remotely because of this, but it's going to be difficult to get that work done. You can see Sakurai's message on the matter below.

I'm also going to be working remotely. In other words, I'll be supervising from home. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate needs to maintain extremely tight security and is therefore difficult to work on remotely, but now's the time to do so. Let's work hard and get through this together!

This all comes as video game rating company CERO has announced that all reviews will cease for a month, as they're temporarily closing due to coronavirus.

Sakurai shares a look at an early version of Sans for Smash Bros. Ultimate

It's all about the finer details

Sans made his way to Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Mii Fighter costume, but today we get a look at a slightly different version. For the Smash Pic of the Day, Sakurai shared the above image. While it might look like the version in Smash Bros. Ultimate, this Sans is actually an early model for the costume.

Turns out this version of Sans was the one that Sakurai and the team sent to Toby Fox for approval. Fox, creator of Undertale, only had one thing he wanted changed. Instead of the fingers Sans has in the image above, Fox wanted something that was more mitten-like. That's what the team ended up doing, which is closer in style to what Sans has in Undertale.

Sakurai explains how the Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Picture of the Day' series started, and why he keeps it up

A man of dedication

Did you know that Sakurai has been doing a Smash Bros. Ultimate "Picture of the Day" Twitter post every day since Dec. 27th, 2019? In the latest issue of Famitsu, Sakurai explains how the whole idea got started, and why he keeps it up. Check out the info below, courtesy of a translation from PushDustIn, Nokoloc, and Sephazon.

- the Picture of the Day idea is something Sakurai has done for the staff since the development of Kid Icarus: Uprising
- Sakurai uploads the pictures to a private network that is only accessible within the studio
- sometimes the PoTD interferes with his meetings or when he’s driving
- Sakurai even posts them to Twitter on weekends
- the first Smash PoTD came about back in August 2012
- at the time, Smash for 3DS/Wii U was being built
- for Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sakurai's been using pictures from later in development (around March 2018 to now)
- Sakurai first started PoTD as a way to create a good atmosphere among the hundreds of staff
- since every picture varies, it creates an exciting atmosphere for the staff
- Sakurai keeps up the posts as a way for the project to be more open to the entire development team
- because these projects are so large, staff may not see the bigger picture, so it’s important to bring the team together with PotD
- whenever a good opportunity arises, Sakurai may take several photos at once
- when shooting, Sakurai doesn’t think of a ‘story,’ but instead uses a random assortment of fighters and stages
- Sakurai is usually quite busy with development, and these posts do take some time to write
- ‘Picture of the Day’ began as a service directed towards our staff, but it's also become entertaining for fans

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