Sakurai has quietly started one of the best gaming channels on YouTube

smash bros' masahiro sakurai has started a fascinating youtube game design series

(Image credit: Masahiro Sakurai)

Masahiro Sakurai, best known as the creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros., has started a new YouTube series on game design that’s quickly becoming one of the most fascinating channels on the platform.

Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games launched last week, and has 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 example. Here, in the space of about four minutes, Sakurai explains the brief pause you see when you strike an enemy in Smash Bros., and why it makes the action feel so much more satisfying. The video then shows examples of a number of classing shoot-em-ups being improved with various implementations of hit stop to make the action clearer and more dramatic.

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

Sakurai says (opens in new tab) he hopes to update the channel “two or three times per week,” and there’s plenty more room to mine game design concepts for further content. He’s also doing videos about his own game design history, like this explainer on why he wanted to build the original Kirby’s Dream Land as a more accessible game for a broader audience.

Sakurai says he’s been given clearance to show some early design docs and development builds of his own games, though he stresses that Nintendo has no direct involvement in the channel.

“I want to try and help make games around the world a little more fun” with this channel, Sakurai says (opens in new tab). “If you make games, or are aspiring to do so, you might find a little something new here. And if you play games, learning more about the mechanics behind them might deepen your enjoyment even more.”

Last year, Sakurai warned fans not to count on there being another Smash Bros. game.


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