Forum:The state of Smash 4's development

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Forums: Index Smash 4 Talk The state of Smash 4's development

A known legitimate inside source was able to give a lot of information on Smash 4's development process. Warning, it's a long read:

The full info[edit]

  • Smash 4 has a HUGE advertising/promotional budget.
  • Sakurai and co. likely began considerable planning for Smash 4 after Brawl came out.
  • Planning for pre-production began at latest in 2010.
  • Smash 4's pre-production team did a GODLIKE JOB and did better than anyone could have hoped.
  • Smash 4's pre-prouduction began possibly in late 2010 but probably in 2011. That means development for Smash 4 has been about 3 1/2 years as of right now.
  • Smash 4's pre-production was roughly a year, or 4 times as long as 64's, Melee's, and Brawl's pre-production (all those games had roughly 3 months of pre-production).
  • Pre-production heavily involved all the directors not at Bamco as well as top Nintendo heads. This includes Sakurai and Miyamoto, and probably Iwata as well.
  • Sakurai claims he wasn't fully working and programming the game until the end of pre-production in around January-March of 2012. However, he clearly was doing a lot of non-programming things during pre-production.
  • Smash 4's roster was likely mostly finished early this year.
  • Smash 3DS back earlier this year (2014) was said to be "going gold" sometime shortly after E3 this year.
  • Smash 3DS can't be released after 2014 because the team "can't afford it."
  • Until we're a bit under a month until Smash 3DS is supposed to come out, we won't know for sure about Smash 3DS, and until say October, we won't know for sure with Smash WiiU.
  • Smash WiiU could very well be delayed into 2015 if the development team are going to do a lot of balancing and gameplay changes in response to fan reactions to the game and characters and how everything felt.
  • The Bandai Namco staff working on Smash 4 is from all parts of Bamco.
  • The Game Arts staff that worked on Brawl that Sakurai and co. liked basically all got hired to be a part of Sora.
  • There is basically no part-time staff. The only part-time staff were head Nintendo honchos during pre-production, some staff that may be switching over to Tekken 7, and the staff dedicated to DLC.
  • DLC, specifically DLC characters and patching, is definitely happening.
  • Pre-production starting earlier, being more organized, and going so well is likely why the roster and a lot of the game was finished early.
  • The work schedule is light for everyone. No one has been in overtime or working overtime, at least not yet. They might start doing that or might have just started doing that right about now.
  • Smash 3DS was, according to an outside source, rumored to be "nearing the process going gold" early this year, with the set time as sometime a bit after E3.
  • Based on these things, it's safe to say that we're getting additions to the roster than what was originally intended perhaps. I think it's pretty obvious Lucina was a case of this, but I doubt it ends at that.
  • I think there may have been a point Lucina may have gone from an alternate costume to a DLC idea, but due to everything being ahead of schedule to this year plus of planning production going so well, they easily added it.
  • I also think that DLC has been thoroughly thought through at this point, given how ahead of schedule everything is. So, if they properly looked at the best playable character standpoints from the gameplay perspective, they're gonna have quite a few left off the initial roster left.
  • Melee's advertising/promotional budget was in the mid-6 digit numbers. It actually had less of a television advertising budget than Smash 64. If not for the demos, the Melee marketing budget would be less than 64's budget. (This was a common issue with the GCN; no advertising)
  • Brawl's advertising/promotion budget was only roughly $1 million.
  • Conversely, Smash 4's advertising/promotion budget is at least $23.5 million, including promotional events (The Invitationals, demos, advertising, the trailers, and just in general getting the game out there).
  • Melee and Brawl both had about 3 months of pre-production.
  • Bandai Namco wasn't fully on board until likely late 2011 or early 2012
  • Smash WiiU will likely get delayed into 2014 if they change a lot of things related to programming and overall character design for multiple characters from the demos.
  • The Namco staff involved are from all kinds of games and parts of Bandai Namco to develop Smash 4. It's like a trail mix of the whole company.
  • Sakurai removed around 4 people at Sora and HAL Laboratories from developing Smash 4 because they refused to work on the SSE. Sakurai was later convinced by EVERYONE it was a bad idea. It is likely there was never any work on the SSE. As for those staff members, it is unknown if they were re-added later on.
  • Since then Sakurai has been pretty laid back and very open to opinions. He hasn't gone full dictator mode like he did with Brawl in 2007 and 200 when crap went down when they added Sonic and cut a huge chunk of the SSE. Of course his staff is more competent at making a Smash Bros. game than the primarily JRPG staff he had at Game Arts.
  • The workload is minimal given the huge full-time staff and excellent work done in pre-production.
  • With Melee and Brawl everything was always overtime after the first few months, especially Melee. A few employees lived at the office for weeks during Melee's development, including Sakurai himself. Many of the Melee development team members at this time worked at different hours throughout the 24 hours days.
  • This, ironically, is where in Melee's development that characters like Falco and Pikachu became truly exceptionally built. Also, EXTRA clones got into Melee because after the initial 21 characters were finished, Falco, Ganondorf, Pichu, and Dr. Mario were added. That situation could be repeated.
  • With Smash 4's development, the only time people might be working overtime or anything close to overtime is from now until when Smash WiiU goes gold. Heck, it might stop when Smash 3DS goes gold, and they could "ease" their way into Smash WiiU.
  • Both Robin and Chrom may have been planned to be in, before the latter was scrapped, rather than it being one or the other.
  • Smash 4 only has 3 full-time companies involved known, according to said source (HAL Laboratories, Bandai Namco, and Sora). My source doesn't know of any company directly involved with development, lol.
  • Capcom and SEGA have provided some content related to their franchises (similar to what SEGA and Konami did in Brawl). Also, since we got the Rayman trophy, we now know the same is true of Ubisoft to an unknown extent.
  • Also, Nintendo EAD Team 3, known for their Zelda titles, submitted the Toon Link model from the Wind Waker HD for Smash 4. This is funny, since the only Brawl model they didn't give for Brawl's production was Toon Link, as he was the only character not using his Twilight Princess appearance.

TL:DR notes[edit]

  • Smash 4's development process has been much more thoroughly thought out than the previous games', and has a bigger budget than ever.
    • Its development is also in much more competent hands, and is going much much smoother than the previous games' notoriously rocky development.
  • Wii U version may get delayed into 2015 for farther character balancing and tweaks.
  • DLC and post-release patching is definitely happening.
  • Unlike the previous games', where characters got scrapped mid-development for the team not having enough time/space, we're going to get pretty much everyone that was planned, along with extra characters added mid-development because of how smooth and efficient everything is going.
    • This also means Lucina will likely not be the only bonus clone.
  • Sakurai was fervently going to put in another SSE, up to the point of firing people who refused to work on it, until everyone else convinced him it was a very very bad idea. So we should thank the non-Sakurai development team for there being no SSE, rather than the cutscenes on youtube.
  • It's likely Chrom was intended to be in the game, alongside Robin, before being scrapped for being too bland; it was never either one or the other.
  • Gematsu leaker is most probably a Bamco guy, with severely outdated information, and who definitely did not have the full roster.


So there you go, definitive evidence Smash 4's development is going absolutely incredible, and should be far better than the previous games. Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 08:18, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Oh, also from the same people, if you were having a pessimistic outlook that the roster was going to be in the high 40s, or 50 at absolute most, relax; the roster is going to be around 60 characters, pre-DLC. That's the beauty of more prepared development, having a more competent development team (e.g. Bamco), and not having the shackles of SSE hogging 60% of development (so those whining about no story mode, this is what we get from it, so stop whining about it). Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 08:22, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Thanks for informing me I won't be buying this game to have fun. Toomai Glittershine ??? The Xanthic 10:03, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Eh? Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 10:20, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
It says up above that they're ahead of schedule but still planning DLC, thus proving beyond a doubt they are incompetent at...well, anything really. I mean, I already new that SSB4 would be way more different than the previous 3, with Sakurai not being the executive decision-maker for his creative vision, with the blatantly pointless changes to veteran movesets (case in point, the majority of changes made to Bowser have made him less true to his character), with the publicized stronger focus on competitive play, and with the money-grubbing decision to have a handheld version. But if indeed everything on this list is true, I very strongly suspect it's going to feel like wiki-work playing it and analysing it, not fun. Toomai Glittershine ??? The Yoshi 10:54, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
"It says up above that they're ahead of schedule but still planning DLC, thus proving beyond a doubt they are incompetent at...well, anything really."
What, how would that be at all incompetent? It's not like they're skimping out on content for DLC, notice this note about Lucina; she was an alt that went to a DLC character idea, who they then went and added to the game because they had the time. The initial roster is going to be what was planned plus more, and the DLC would be pure bonus of characters who wouldn't have been in otherwise, rather than content intentionally left off to sell later.
Regarding the stronger focus on competitive play, there's no reason to have gripes about it, it has absolutely no effect on your ability to enjoy the game casually (it's not like items and other casual stuff are being skimped out on for it, and you're not being forced to play competitively nor with competitive players). At worst, it has absolutely no effect on you; at best, it makes the game much better and much more lucrative for competitive players, and in turn, can only help the sales and longevity of the game.
Regarding the handheld version, it is not necessarily a "money grab". Whether we like or not, there was a high demand for a handheld version among the casuals, and it's just plain bad business sense to ignore it. And despite what we feared, the 3DS version is not hindering the Wii U version to any significant degree (unlike the SSE, which killed a lot of Brawl's potential). I'm someone who was always against the idea of a handheld version, but even I can recognise that there's nothing really for me to angry about it for, as it's not actually holding the Wii U version back.
Overall, Smash 4 is exceeding our expectations (especially roster wise), and from how it's turning out, the only way you won't be able to have fun in it is if you're a diehard Smash 64/Melee/Brawl competitive player who absolutely can't handle physics/mechanics different from your old game of choice (or can only play a single character designed an old specific way for whatever reason). Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 11:38, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
Small comment on DLC: No one wants to pay more for stuff that was previously given to them for free.Qwerty da beast Nessytrewq.jpg 11:45, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
If DLC is planned, then they are holding back content from the initial release. Simple as. You cannot claim something is "bonus content for a finished game" because by definition a finished game cannot be changed. I don't care what the content is, that fact that they're planning it before the release is one of the three major problems of today's gaming industry. Toomai Glittershine ??? The Undirigible 12:00, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
No, there's a planned time slotted for development, and there comes a time when they can't extend it anymore without cutting into their bottom line and possibly harming the game's quality, thus when that time comes they can't add anymore content. DLC, when done right, allows for extra content to be added in to the game that couldn't have been added in otherwise. They're not holding back characters they could have added in without delays (evident by Lucina not being DLC). Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 14:18, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Who is this "known legitimate inside source" that you speak of? How am I supposed to trust this "known" source if it's anonymous? If I may ask, how did you find this info, OT? That said, all of this seems believable, except for the part on DLC being planned already and a possible Wii U delay into 2015. Sakurai at some point said that he would consider DLC after launch, but he could've changed his mind. And they will not delay it to 2015 for balance purposes since the versions are supposed to play identically and Nintendo needs this system seller for Black Friday. N64icon.jpgintendrone42 13:26, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

From these guys, and it's on Smashboards in the leak threads.
And it was never stated that the two versions would play identically, just that they would have identical rosters, with mostly the same items and assists. Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 14:18, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Oh also, Nintendo apparently accidentally leaked Wario being in Smash 4, though not like that's a real surprise. Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 14:22, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

I pray to god that this is horseshit because DLC characters are almost always the worst fucking thing to include in a fighting game.

--- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 14:50, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

I don't tend to take "leaks" about this kind of stuff seriously in general. This one in particular I hope is false, because DLC characters would be a pretty big slap in the face to fans. Smash is already going to sell well and move consoles on two systems, plus they're primed to make a boatload of cash off of amiibo. They shouldn't need DLC on Smash to make a healthy profit from it. Miles (talk) 15:35, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

What, exactly, is wrong with DLC? It can't hurt the game's level of enjoyment, and it's not likely that anyone is going to be charged for it. Blue Ninjakoopa 15:43, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
I'm not as optimistic that it'd be free DLC. If it is, it's more palatable. I'm not expecting that, though. Miles (talk) 15:44, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
If they sell individual characters (like, just Dixie Kong) I would be annoyed. But if they sell packs (like Dixie Kong, King K. Rool, a DK stage, etc.) it would be kinda cool, I think. ...a new NuttaNutta's Mallo sig.pngis approaching... 15:52, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Here's another thing about Brawl's development (and why SSE was so bad for the game)

With Brawl, according to sources @thethirdkoopa has (note: don't apply this to Smash 4), the SSE killed production of a ton of characters.

Like, a ton.

And according to them, the last "cuts" to make the roster a full 38 characters (Sonic was added in 2007, and this was in 2005) were...

Roy: They found him boring. He was cut sometime in mid-2005 or some time around then.

Mewtwo: They wanted to partially remake him. They had programming issues with this and was kind of glitchy. So, they cut him sometime in late 2005 or early 2006. He was much further in development than Roy though.

So yes, it was the SSE that cut those 2, and a lot of other character (ideas) then.

Don't expect something like that to happen again.

There will be no equivalent situation to that again.

So Mewtwo apparently encountered technical issues? (and as anyone with a brain would have known, Lucario's inclusion had nothing to do with his exclusion).

Also you all are too phobic of DLC. You really gonna be that against some extra bonus post-release content you might have to pay for, that you hope this is all made up, even though it would mean we would have a roster around 60 characters before DLC, and that Smash 4 wouldn't have a ton of scrapped characters and content and ridiculous delays? Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 16:31, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

I'd much rather have a polished 50 character roster released as a complete game than have 60+ where I have to pay for more on top of the game's price to get all the playable characters. Miles (talk) 16:39, 24 July 2014 (EDT)
You don't have to pay DLC if you're that stingy, and this would leave you with a much larger and "polished" roster, so you would have more characters either way. Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 16:46, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

Have you heard of Eternal September? It was basically the time when the Internet became available to the average person, and what was a small influx of post-secondary students once a year became an endless tidal wave of newbies that destroyed the cycle of "new stuff happens, deal with it, refine and perfect it, get ready for the next new stuff". I feel patches and DLC would invoke this kind of change to the Smash Bros. series and this wiki - we might never get a down-cycle again, always having to stay on top of the newest version without time to improve what's already here. Toomai Glittershine ??? The Producer 16:47, 24 July 2014 (EDT)

That's an exaggeration; DLC and patching would not be infinite, they would stop happening at some point. The patching would also reasonably be spread out, and wouldn't make significant changes. Plus, whether the wiki can hypothetically keep up or not is completely irrelevant to peoples' enjoyment of the game. But the wiki should be able to keep up anyway; the Minecraft wiki can keep with their constantly updating game, we should be able to keep up with some patches and DLC characters. Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 17:22, 24 July 2014 (EDT)