Smash Brothers and Sisters,
My name is Richard Terrell, but I commonly go by “KirbyKid” within the gaming industry, a nickname that I received maining Kirby in competitive Smash. I’ve been planning a project (code name: PROJECT SMASH) to help the Smash community in a big way, and I need your help. I can’t serve the future smash community without first hearing from its current members. For the easist way to contribute:
For more information about me and this project, see the details below.
I’ve been playing Smash and organizing events since Smash 64. I was a part of the grassroots effort to grow the Smash Melee community in Texas back in 2002. I’ve written game design articles about smash on my blog, conducted interviews of Smash players, polled players for research, and created multimedia presentations to help others understand Smash and the people who play it. I’m a game designer of a Smash-inspired fighting game (BaraBariBall) that has launched on the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 as part of the Sportsfriends compilation. And I gave a design talk at the IndieCade East 2014 game conference titled “How Kirby and Smash Brothers Taught Me to Design Better Games.” From all of my work and experience with games and gamers, I believe now is a crucial time to step up and help the next generation of Smash in a significant way.
It’s hard to deny that 2014-15 is the year of Smash Brothers. Inside the competitive Smash community there is plenty of dedication, appreciation, and attendance for the various Smash games. There are streams everyday, tournaments every week, and major events every month. Outside the competitive Smashers, the majority of Smash fans feverishly anticipate the release of the next generation of Smash Brothers games for the 3DS and Wii U. Due to the growing web presence of Smash thanks to youtube and twitch, the EVO13 campaign where Smashers rallied support with their donations, the Smash Documentary, EVO14, MLG, and the Smash Invitational, Super Smash Brothers is in the spotlight. For this reason, the overall Smash community is at a pivotal point.
As Smash and its players have grown up so has the community. As we, the competitive community, have grown in size the issues we face have grown in complexity. We’ve tackled venue and housing challenges, tournament rulesets, ushering in international players, streaming events, and building our public image. Moving forward, one of the most important things we as the smash community can improve is how we communicate. Everything from making a clear statement about who we are and what Smash Brothers is requires clear communication, which is key in talking among ourselves and, more importantly, to the larger Fighting Game Community, gaming industry, and the world.
I specialize in game design, community, and language. Over the last seven years I have pioneered a blog explaining and teaching game design concepts not just for the purpose of creating better game designers, but for the purpose of making games more enjoyable for players. I also believe that being able to clearly communicate about the games we love (or hate) improves our appreciation for these games and each other. I’ve worked for years to give a voice to the players who didn’t have the words to express themselves and the players who didn’t have voices loud enough to rise above the caustic internet rabble. I’m 27 years old, which means I was born before the internet was the powerful tool that’s integrated into our lives like it is today. This also means my foundational community experiences are based around face-to-face meetings; enjoying the company of and respecting the player in front of you. I have high standards for how I communicate with other gamers, and I have the highest hopes for helping the Smash community do the same. For an example of what I mean, I created this website for the indie game Starseed Pilgrim: www.starseedobservatory.com. I want to do something like this for Smash but even better!
Before I share the ideas that I have for PROJECT SMASH, I’d like to hear from you. I want Project Smash to represent the plurality of voices in the Smash community in a fair and clear way. In other words, I don’t just want your help and feedback, I can’t move forward with this project without it. The whole process starts with the this Smash survey.
I am open to hear anything you have to say about Smash and the Smash community. To share your thoughts beyond what you entered in the survey, use one of my contacts below. I’m compelled to undertake this project because it needs to be done. After spending years of listening to how the gaming industry talks, how it understands games, and how this affects how we see each other, I see a need and I have to serve my fellow Smashers.
Serving the Smash Community,
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid)