Masahiro Sakurai’s YouTube videos are being used in game development lessons

Image Credit: 「Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games」 on YouTube

The videos on Masahiro Sakurai’s YouTube channel, “Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games,” have drawn even more attention after it was discovered that they are being used to teach students in game development lectures.

Masahiro Sakurai is a game creator best known for working on the Super Smash Bros. and Kirby series. His most recent role was serving as director on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games channel launched in August and contains videos that provide easy-to-understand explanations about various game design elements and methods. Sakurai created the channel in order to help raise the standard of games today and make them a little more fun (related article).

Recently, someone posted a tweet showing that Sakurai’s videos were being used in a game development lecture. The tweet, which includes a photo showing one of Sakurai’s YouTube videos (“Draw the Light, Not the Asset”) being displayed on a projector screen, has gathered the attention of many.

In that particular video, Sakurai talks about depicting in-game assets and backgrounds, explaining that it’s important to not just focus on the 3D models and textures themselves but also the way that light reflects off these objects. The video also points out that rather than simply creating a model, if you think about how it would look with shading and lighting, it can lead to greater visual depth and a reduced processing load.

Naturally, the entire class would not have been spent on Sakurai’s videos, and the student who took the photo noted that they only spent around five minutes on the video out of a two hour and forty-five-minute class. The professor teaching the class may have made use of the video to grab the attention of students while also laying the groundwork for deeper understanding of the content.

Even in Japan, Sakurai’s videos have become well-known among game developers and gamers for being high quality commentaries on game development. The videos have also received praise for being accessible even to viewers without game development knowledge and provide pinpoint, succinct explanations.

Not even a full month has passed since Sakurai created his channel, but the English version already has over 456,000 subscribers, with that number continuing to increase rapidly. The Japanese version of the channel currently has over 393,000 subscribers and is showing growth that is similar to the English channel.

On the other hand, each video on the Japanese channel has around 100,000 more views than the equivalent English version. This may be because more subscribers of the Japanese channel make sure to watch every video that is posted, or maybe there are more who rewatch the videos multiple times. No matter the case, it’s clear that there is a high demand for game design videos created by someone as accomplished as Sakurai, whether those videos are in English or Japanese.   

Sakurai has said that his channel will only cover the very basic elements of game design and that his goal is to create videos that can be easily understood by beginners in the field. The fact that these videos are being used in actual classes can be seen as evidence that the content is exactly what Sakurai was aiming for.

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-09-15 19:27 JST)