Sakurai Speaks: Researching balance patches, Not opposed to DLC, Shots fired at PSABR

Forever

Banned
Jul 7, 2010
6,717
0
0
for people who can't read french. I know it's not accurate but better than nothing.

http://www.p-nintendo.com/articles/interviews/masahiro-sakurai-nous-parle-de-ssbb-235210
Edit: Kurtofan's Translation

Puissance Nintendo: At E3 2011 Satoru Iwata surprised everyone by announcing that the next Smash Bros. game would come out on 3DS and Wii U. What will be the major differences between the two versions?Can we expect a few surprises, regarding for example connectivity?

Sakurai: While the development of Kid Icarus Uprising was coming to an end Satoru Iwata came to ask me to develop the next SSB and asked me if it should be developed on 3DS or Wii U.We arrived to the point where the series couldn't really evolve anymore and we wondered if going handheld was the solution.In the past we raised the number of characters and stages but it wasn't enough.

Around this time we could have chose to develop only a 3DS version, but we realized that there were several limitations.I'm talking about playing a game like SSB on a small screen.So even if it is complicated to develop two versions of the game at the same time, we decided to adapt the Smash Bros experience to the characteristics of both platforms.

If on the one hand the characters are the same on Wii U and 3DS, the stages will be on the other hand completely different.The 3DS stages are based on games released on handheld consoles while the Wii U stages will be based on games released on home video game console.

PN:How did you organize the development of two versions of the same game?Is there a "lead platform" or are both platforms developed simultaneously, with a dedicated team for each versions?

Sakurai:The team is the same for both versions of the game, which are developed side by side.There's no "lead platform".

PN:In the E3 2013 Developer Direct you mentions the fact that characters on 3DS are circled in black in lines in order to distinguish them a small screen.What kind of technical limitations did you have face on 3DS?Did you have to reduce the number of items or special effects on screen?

Sakurai: We had to take several factors into considerations to produce a satisfying experience for both platforms.

On the 3DS version for instance, we had to look at characters' bodies proportion on home consoles and adapt them on 3DS to make the characters look more recognizable on a small screen.Same thing for the hands' deformation.[when you punch a character, see article screenshot]

All of this serves to make the 3DS game a pleasant experience.

PN:Considering there are two versions of the game, players are expecting a form of connectivity between the two.Can you give us some examples of connectivity features?Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 allows save data transfer between its two versions, can we expect similar features in SSB?

Sakurai: The save data of the two games are completely separate, but there will be some degree of interaction, as it will be possible to transfer data relatives to the characters from one version to the other.

PN: In all your games, and especially in Kid Icarus Uprising and Smash Bros, the amount of game content is very important, with sometimes hundreds of hours of game.Why do you always put so much content in your games?Is it because you are not really fond of DLCs and instead prefer to have access to a complete game right away?

Sakurai: Oh it's not that I dislike DLCs, it's just that I don't really have time to think about it.I'm too busy working on the game and put as much content as I can. The goal is to give a full and interesting game to players.

I'm not opposed to DLCs on principle. I really liked the Fallout 3 DLCs for example.

PN:Music always had an important role in SSB games, with great number of tunes, remixes and composers, why do you think that is?

Sakurai: I think it's a matter of respect. I have a lot of respect for all these characters and for how all these games affected people while playing them. I believe that music played an important role in these games and so to please the fans of these games and original series we have to recreate the same music so that it corresponds to their desires and expectations.

PN: In the past you said you want to work with the original composers. In your eyes why is it so important to work with them?

S:I've never really said that only some specific composer can work with some songs and not others.Instead I talk with the people who composed the original tracks of a game, like the composer for instance, and ask them how they want to contribute to the project. Usually we find an agreement and they compose special versions of their songs for SSB games.

PN: You take an active part in your games' playtesting, every nook and crannies: details, changes etc...You even playtest the multiplayer yourself.Why do you do that? Is it the only way for you to be sure that a game stays on the right path?

S: It's hard for me to find an easy answer to a question like this one about the nature of my work. I can explain it this way: developing a game is way harder than it looks like from the outside.

That's why I think the Director has to involve himself a lot and care about even the smallest details of his game, each gameplay elements. It's hard for me to conceive developing a game any other way.

PN: In Famitsu magazine a few months ago you said regretted not being able to patch SSBB on Wii, especially the online mode. This is not case anymore on Wii U and 3DS where it is possible to modify a game after its release. What aspects of the new SSB game will be scrutinized in prevision of possible patches?

S: It's hard to tell right now but of course we always try to keep the best balance.Nevertheless I do not know yet if it will be easy to patch the games once they are released.For example, if you have a person playing a patched version of the game playing against a person without the patch problems may occur. We will have to do a lot of research about this.

That said I think patches are very important to keep the game balanced once it's out.As you already know players are very interested in knowing whether a character is considered strong or weak on the Internet.

And sometimes you have to see if those perceptions are correct or if people are just following the popular opinion.We really want each character to have their special abilities, with statistics balancing their strong points.

We want to put forward specific each characters' specific abilities but at the same time players have to ask themselves if they accept the Internet reputation of a character.It's something we have to take into account when we will create patches.

PN: With each new game in the series you added more stages, more characters, but Brawl felt less polished than its predecessors. For the new Smash are you going to change your approach by including less content but making sure the game is more polished?

S:Until now I always considered that I was responsible for each and every aspects of every characters, the balance of the game, to the point where I created each different attacks separately for every characters. I'll share this work with other people this time around, to make sure a good balance can be found for this game.

In the past I was often overwhelmed and I'm trying to avoid that now.Of course working on a game like this one takes a huge amount of time, especially since we have to work on two different versions.Polishing and finding the right balance will take a lot of time. Of course I fully assume my role as a Director of those two games and test every aspects of them, but I also try to delegate some tasks.I try to focus on the things only I can take care of.


PN: Will the new SSB game players looking for a casual experience or the players looking for a competitive experience? Is this something you pay a lot of attention to when making the game?

S: If you consider that Melee is perfect for fighting game experts who are only interested in competitiveness and that Brawl is more suited for newcomers trying to discover the series... then maybe we have to find the middle ground for the new Smash Bros game?

I'm not talking about changing the game system, but rather to take into consideration the level of each players. Mario Kart is often described as the most accessible game for players of all levels. This series has several gameplay mechanics reducing the gap between the players.

But Smash Bros is a radically different series compared to Mario Kart, it has to find its own mechanics to offer a similar level of accessibility,offering a neutral ground for new players and experimented players alike.Nonetheless it is still a game requiring some experience to master it, we just want to make sure everyone's having fun with it.

PN: There was a big focus on Story with Brawl, notably with SSE, the very first "story mode" of the series.Is there anything similar with the new SSB.

S:Actually we are not planning to include a similar story mode this time around. As you already know SSB has a great number of different characters who all had their own cutscenes in Story mode. These were supposed to be rewards for players finishing this mode with every characters.

I think this is fun for players but at the same time all these cutscenes ended up on the internet.Players watched them online, which didn't correspond to our intent when we made them in the first place.That's why we won't do the same this time.

Nevertheless we will still present the new characters with intro cutscenes, as we already did with the Villager, Megaman and Wii Fit Trainer.We have several collaboration to make these cutscenes at the moment.

PN: In the weeks preceding the release of Kid Icarus Uprising you released several animated cutscenes to the players, are you going to do the same with Smash?

S:As you've seen with WFT, which we revealed earlier this week, I like revealing characters with cutscenes before the game is released.But they have a cost so I can't promise.

PN:During the development of Brawl you were very open with the fans through the Dojo, where you revealed many a lot of information on the game.Are you going to do the same or are you going to keep some surprises for the release of the game? Many players felt like they knew everything about Brawl before it was even released...

S: We won't share as much info this time around.You'll have information on characters and pictures through the official website but not always detailed info like it was the case in the past.

PN:What level of customization will be present in the game?In the past players had access to a great many options, notably regarding items.Are you going to implement new ones, such as being able to switch off damages caused by stage hazards?

S:You will still be able to control the apparition of items, but you won't be able to turn off stage hazards.If we did that, you'd find yourself with PSASB!

PN: Will the new SSB have players created content, with a stage or character editor?

S: I'm sorry I can't talk about this for the moment

PN:Let's talk a bit about the new characters, Megaman looks "normal" for the series, but the Villager and WFT who are pretty surprising choices, not so much.Why did you choose to include them in the game? Do you want to appeal to those games' players?

S: The first thing I want to say about those characters is that they're pretty fun to play with, and that I understand that people think that Megaman is perfectly suite for the series.

But when we decide to include characters in the series we ask ourselves: "What can this character do that existing ones cannot?" and so I've spent a lot of time thinking about what Villager and WFT could do. I've realized that they were many interesting things to be done with these two characters.

PN:You receive a lot of requests for new characters, from fans and even developers.Do you take those requests into account or would you rather keep your vision of how the game should be pure, keeping the sought-after balance intact?

S: Actually I do take into account fans requests.But the phase where I gather this information is already over and we're currently adding content to the game.We always strive to put as much content as we can in our program.

PN: In conclusion, can you tell us what you prefer when developing SSB games?Something you love to take care of. What is the most complicated aspect?

S: I think it's by making the game system itself, by trying to create a neutral ground for players of different levels that I have the most fun. I want to make an interesting gameplay, making sure players never get bored requires a lot of efforts.As for what is the most complicated aspect of development...I'd say everything else!

To be fair we have to deal with a huge volume of content and so we have to think on how to balance it all: there are many hardships.That said even if making Smash Bros requires a lot of effort, it is absolutely worth it and that is why I am so serious in my work.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
Par exemple : vous avez une personne avec une version patchée du jeu, et une autre avec une version non-patchée. Si ces deux personnes jouent ensemble, ne rencontreront-elles pas des problèmes ?
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
 

PhoReal

Member
Feb 22, 2011
10,002
412
615
Virginia
I'm just conveying the feelings of the Smash thread. Until now I don't think Sakurai has even acknowledged that game exists.
As well he shouldn't.

Anyway, I like how he mentions Fallot 3 DLC specifically. Some of the most content packed DLC from this generation. More developers should strive to match that.
 

dallow_bg

nods at old men
May 8, 2007
28,696
3
0
Texas
www.dolefulorange.com
I'm just conveying the feelings of the Smash thread. Until now I don't think Sakurai has even acknowledged that game exists.
Well of course folks in that thread would react that way.

Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
I laughed when I read that portion.
It makes no sense.
 

Kandinsky

Member
Jun 8, 2004
10,138
0
1,305
I love this man so much, him, Ueda and Spector(shut up!) are my holy trinity.
That's not really a shots fired...
Yeah seriously, I'm actually shocked he even knows what PSABR is.

Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
But this is how MK7 works.
 

Mlatador

Banned
Jun 28, 2011
5,093
0
0
Sakurai scares me somehow. His dediction is really something else. I have the utmost respect for him.

I just hope that he does not overwork himself or get sick.
 

Darryl

Member
May 3, 2011
10,543
9
525
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
mario kart requires that as well. sakurai is probably just hands off in that department
 
Mar 10, 2005
50,827
0
0
www.theimrankhan.com
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
The way I interpreted it is that it's not that he doesn't understand how to solve it, but he wants to solve it without making people download patches very often or launching to software without the patch finishing.

Basically he can force it, but he doesn't want to, which is perplexing but I imagine they'll just do it rather than not patch.
 
Sep 20, 2005
18,208
45
1,335
I think third party characters should be DLC. It gives the third parties a way to get a cut and it gives fans a chance to vote so to speak.
 
D

Deleted member 126221

Unconfirmed Member
So we're not getting a Story Mode this time because some players watched the cutscenes on Youtube? Okay... :/
 

KillerTravis

Banned
Mar 25, 2012
4,730
0
0
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
What about the 3DS version, where local play between different systems is so abundant?
 

chaosblade

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 14, 2009
21,130
0
0
No big Subspace type mode is probably the biggest news here. Surprised that wasn't in the thread title or even bolded.
 

PhoReal

Member
Feb 22, 2011
10,002
412
615
Virginia
what kind of dlc did fallout 3 have?
They would add new areas to the existing map or create new maps entirely (like the wonderful hillbilly one set in Maryland). On top of that there would be new weapons, armor, characters, and various other goodies. You got a lot of bang for your buck.

Also, I'm not upset to see the story mode being excluded. I thought it was pretty terrible and quite a chore.
 

Kyari

Member
Oct 19, 2011
2,513
0
0
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
I think Mario Kart on 3DS already does this even.
 

JazzmanZ

Member
Aug 18, 2010
5,816
1
0
They would add new areas to the existing map or create new maps entirely (like the wonderful hillbilly one set in Maryland). On top of that there would be new weapons, armor, characters, and various other goodies. You got a lot of bang for your buck.
that sounds....smashing
 

VGChampion

Member
May 5, 2007
10,997
0
910
Winter Park
I'm really getting nervous about this game. I loved SSE and all the cinematics were great. I really hope this game is packed to the brim with content but I can't shake the feeling we're going from a Mario Kart Wii -> Mario Kart 7 content wise.
 

Roo

Member
Sep 4, 2011
19,124
0
565
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
Yeah, it's not a hard thing to do.
Actually they already did it with Mario Kart 7 that forced players to download a patch in order to play online.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
The way I interpreted it is that it's not that he doesn't understand how to solve it, but he wants to solve it without making people download patches very often or launching to software without the patch finishing.

Basically he can force it, but he doesn't want to, which is perplexing but I imagine they'll just do it rather than not patch.
I'll translate so we can both interpret from a language we speak :p
PN: A few months ago, you expressed regret that you were unable to have patched SSBB, especially in terms of the level of online play (performance?). But with the Wii U and the 3DS, it is now possible to modify a game after release. What are the aspects of the new Super Smash Bros that you will keep a close eye on in looking towards eventual patches?

Sakurai: It's difficult to say right now but obviously we always want to keep the best balance possible. Just the same, I don't know if it will be easy to patch these games once they are released. For example: You have a person with a patched version of the game and other with a non-patched version. If these two people play together, won't they run into problems? We need to do a lot of research about this.

That said, I think patches are an important tool for preserving game balance after release. Like you surely already know, some characters get a reputation for being weak or strong based, and this is something players on the internet take an interest in.

And it's also important to ask yourself if these reputations are correct, or if people are just jumping on a bandwagon because it's the cool thing to do right now. We want to be sure that each character has their own specific attributes, with stats that compensate for their strengths.

We want to to accentuate these individual characteristics, but at the same time players need to ask if the reputation the charatcers get on the internet are true.That's something we need to think about in order to create a patch.
That's as literal as I can make it.

There's nothing there that sounds to me like he's worried about the inconvenience of downloading or forcing players, rather in the words he expresses he seems to be suggesting he can't solve the problem of how to deal with two players at different patch levels. That's an easy problem. Patch to latest in order to play online. Ta-da.
 

SatoAilDarko

Member
Mar 3, 2013
12,619
3
0
Is anybody else really sad they don't seem to be doing any single player mode based on his comments? I really liked the Subspace Emissary as something different to do. You could still unlock everything without even touching it so it wasn't forced onto anybody.

I would love a story mode of some kind. I don't need expensive cinematics, it was just so much fun seeing all these different characters interacting together and teaming up against a threat. It was just so enjoyable. Sakurai didn't write the story for Brawl but after playing Kid Icarus I have absolute faith he could write a better one for SSB4. I also thought the platforming while not meant for the controls it was still a lot of fun as a diversion. I really would happily have the mode back even in a reduced form.
 

kurbaan

Banned
Mar 4, 2013
3,258
0
0
What really baffles me is his reason for not wanting to do a story player mode. Who cares if cut scene get uploaded to youtube by that logic no one should make games with story modes.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
Is anybody else really sad they don't seem to be doing any single player mode based on his comments? I really liked the Subspace Emissary as something different to do. You could still unlock everything without even touching it so it wasn't forced onto anybody.

I would love a story mode of some kind. I don't need expensive cinematics, it was just so much fun seeing all these different characters interacting together and teaming up against a threat. It was just so enjoyable. Sakurai didn't write the story for Brawl but after playing Kid Icarus I have absolute faith he could write a better one for SSB4. I also thought the platforming while not meant for the controls it was still a lot of fun as a diversion. I really would happily have the mode back even in a reduced form.
His reasoning is crazy town too:

PN: In Brawl, there was a big focus on story especially with Subspace Emissary: the first "Story" mode of the series. Will you do something similar in the new Smash Bros?

Sakurai: Like you already know, Smash Bros has a number of different characters, each owed their own CG/movies in the Story Mode. These movies were supposed to be rewards for players finishing the game with each character.

I think it's fun for players, but at the same time, all the movies ended up online eventually. Players watched them online, something that didn't really mesh with what we thought would happen. It's for this reason that we won't do a story mode like that this time.

Just the same, we expect to give the new characters cinematic introductions like we've done with the Villager, Mega Man, and Wii Fit Trainer. We have many collaborations in the works to make cinematics of this type.
 
Jun 7, 2004
14,567
1
1,300
What really baffles me is his reason for not wanting to do a story player mode. Who cares if cut scene get uploaded to youtube by that logic no one should make games with story modes.
Well, I don't know about you, but if I can just watch the cutscenes on YouTube, I'll probably just do that instead of buying the game. I've generally enjoyed Smash Bros. for its filmic aspects.
 

blamite

Member
Dec 15, 2010
7,149
0
0
Chicago
blamite.tumblr.com
Aww I liked the Subspace Emissary. If nothign else it was a nice painless way to unlock all the characters, and the cutscenes were really cool too, even if the story didn't make a ton of sense. People watching cutscenes on Youtube is a pretty bad reason to cut that mode. I wonder what the real reason is...
 

Meelow

Banned
Mar 14, 2012
7,568
0
0
Is anybody else really sad they don't seem to be doing any single player mode based on his comments? I really liked the Subspace Emissary as something different to do. You could still unlock everything without even touching it so it wasn't forced onto anybody.

I would love a story mode of some kind. I don't need expensive cinematics, it was just so much fun seeing all these different characters interacting together and teaming up against a threat. It was just so enjoyable. Sakurai didn't write the story for Brawl but after playing Kid Icarus I have absolute faith he could write a better one for SSB4. I also thought the platforming while not meant for the controls it was still a lot of fun as a diversion. I really would happily have the mode back even in a reduced form.
He confirmed before there will be a single player mode, just that it won't be like Subspace Emissary.
 

Tookay

Member
Oct 26, 2011
9,987
0
0
His reasoning is crazy town too:
I think that it has more to do with cost and rushed development time than anything. Something like SSE involves a lot of asset creation that I'm sure they'd rather not do again for such minimal gain, especially when they're developing two versions that need to be released ASAP to put some wind in the Wii U's sails.
 

FlyFaster

Member
Jan 30, 2013
2,883
0
0
5
Err, the solution to this is force the unpatched person to patch by requiring the most recent patch to play online. This is not a problem for anyone who has ever played a game on a non-Nintendo system before.
ya, I felt the same way. If you are playing online the update will come up the next time you log on. Happens in every fighter, hell every game this way. Not sure what he's trying to get at, hope it's a bad translation because this is really a non-issue and makes him sound incredibly out of touch with modern games.
 

Darryl

Member
May 3, 2011
10,543
9
525
What really baffles me is his reason for not wanting to do a story player mode. Who cares if cut scene get uploaded to youtube by that logic no one should make games with story modes.
they planned out a lot of content that no one bothered with. i wouldn't waste my time making a sequel to that useless mode, either. i never even knew there were ending cutscenes for each character. i just never bothered with it at all.