Super Smash Brothers is my favorite video game series. Since day one of Smash 64, I've played Smash consistently with few breaks. I owe much of what I know about gamers, tournaments, community, competition, and game design to this game series. And since the beginning I've always desired to record its history. I missed opportunities to record the Smash history from the outset of all 3 official Nintendo Smash Brothers titles. This is where the fan made Project M comes into play.
"Every game with a metagame worth understanding deserves a devoted video game historian."
This is the message I ended my article series Metagame Meditations on. I recommend reading all 4 parts to get a full understanding of the project that I've started called Project M-etagame. Using a combination of tournament videos, tournament results, and user submitted data I plan on analyzing and recording the metagame of Project M at a level of detail unprecedented for a fighting game (as far as I know). In addition to record keeping, I plan on presenting game design theories. With a little luck, the Project M-etagame records will allow me to test my hypotheses.
Using tournaments as milestones, I will present the Project M-etagame records in 4 forms...
- General Development: Ignoring specific matchups, this chart will reflect the universal tactics, strategies, and playstyles of the community as a whole. An example of the notation system can be found in the metagame meditations series linked to above.
- Character Development: This will be a running list of techniques each character uses. Each entry will describe the technique, cite the discoverer and/or the player who successfully uses the tech in a tournament match, the date, and a link to a video example.
- Tournament Development: A simple list tracking any changes to the tournament rules.
- National Trends: A google map charting strong players, new technique, and how these elements move throughout the region influencing other players.
One of the most interesting features of Project M is that it's a Melee-Brawl-hybrid. As much as the designers of the game tried to recreate Melee, ultimately there are some uniquely Brawl elements that could not be altered and other Brawl elements were intentionally left in the game. This is not to mention the conversion of Brawl only characters, inclusion of Brawl only stages, and the tweaks to lower tier Melee characters that are inspired by Brawl's tweaks. This means that we'll need to take into consideration the development of Melee and Brawl's metagame to best understand the start of Project M's development. The problem is the metagame for Melee and Brawl isn't recorded (as I explained previously). So I did the best I could with my personal observations of both games. Before I get into Project M and Pound 5, I will set the Smash foundation in the next articles.
How You Can Contribute
Bookmark this page. It will always contain the links you'll need. I will update this page as I go along. To reach me directly, you can use the messenger on the side of this blog or my email on the "about me" page at the top of the site. I do not check my smashboards or smashmods PMs as regularly as my email, blog messenger, or twitter.
If you play Project M, there will certainly be a moment when you're training with your friends that you discover a new general or character specific technique. I want to be able to record these discoveries into the records. Fortunately, it couldn't be easier. Just send me a tweet @KirbyKid, include the tag #PMeta, and describe your discovery in 140 characters or less. Use more than one tweet if you need to. If you do use more than one include the tag in each tweet. Also, if you turn the location feature on (all through Twitter) I can mark the time and location on the map. Be sure to include your smashboards name in the tweet so I can give you credit.
Of course, you can always send me information via email if you don't have (or like) twitter.
For any on going conversation, I'd like to focus the discussion to the smashmods.com forums here. You can find me under the username KirbyKid (it's the same for smashboards too). Thread coming soon.
All the Links You Need!
- Melee Metagame Development (added 3/4/11)
- Brawl Metagame Development (added 3/5/11)
- Project M-etagame START Pound 5! (added 3/9/11)
- Project M-etagame H2YL Ressurection (added 5/17/11)
- Project M-etagame Rule 6 (added 5/4/12)
- Project M-etagame Zenith (added 6/1/12)
- Project M-etagame Bowser's Revenge (added 6/7/12)
- Project M-etagame Uprise 10 (added 6/12/12)
- Project M-etagame FC Legacy (added 9/10/12)
- Project M-etagame Limbo (added 10/9/12)
About Me and Smash
- How I got my name "KirbyKid"
- A few of my articles on Smash
- A Smash brothers board game I made
- A video series on Melee v Brawl