|Weekly Famitsu Column "Masahiro Sakurai's Thoughts About Games"
Reproduced with permission from volumes 130-vol.132
|So, I decided to become director. And as of May, 2005, I was the only member of the new Smash Bros. development team.
As an independent designer, my decision to participate and Smash Bros. development caused me a great deal of damage.
If I were to work as director, that would mean I would have to be involved in that project exclusively. What's more, it would require all of my strength to create a Smash Bros. caliber of game. It was not the type of "just providing a little input" type of work that I was trying to do going forward.
The result was that with the exception of one project that was already underway, I had to decline the other offers of work that I had received.
Including those individuals whom I had asked to wait until after E3. So I am filled with apologies for those people who had sent work my way.
If I could ask for one thing it would be that they not abandon me.
So what of the magnanimous development staff?
It turned out that Nintendo would build a new team around me in Tokyo.
In other words, we would create a new studio.
There was also a proposal to develop the game in Kyoto at Nintendo headquarters, but the there you'd draw a different people, and I had need to be in Tokyo anyway.
Additionally, there are several people in Tokyo with experience developing Smash Bros., and it was decided that they would join the team. And the name of talented staff members were offered up.
So, development would not be occurring at Hal Labs. But, the code and development environment of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which I had developed in the past, was offered. Having this versus not having this means the efficiency of the development changes dramatically, so I'm thankful.
But we still didn't have enough people. To create a game like Super Smash Bros. Melee, I would want a team with a minimum of 50 people. Getting together that many people would be a back-breaking task.
So it was that Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto introduced me to a "particular team" that had just completed a large-scale game.
Until the day comes when I can announce the team's name, I shall simply refer to them as "The Studio."
"Let's do it. Let's definitely do it!"
The words of The Studio's executive were very simple.
I was surprised when I saw the GameCube controllers they were using. The coating on the analog stick was worn down like an old eraser...
"Our guys have played Smash Bros. more than 10,000 times!"
It had to be a lie.
But when I saw their battle records, it showed a terrible number of matches that were not fabricated.
This was the result of years of uninterrupted playing of Smash Bros. during lunch breaks. There are often cases where your team doesn't understand the content of the game you're making, but that wouldn't be a concern this time.
It was promising.
This had to have been fate.
So, with the members of The Studio as our core, we dramatically increased our staff members.