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Calcific Tendonitis: The Bane Of The New Super Smash Bros.
In a new Famitsu article, Super Smash Bros. lead developer Masahiro Sakurai, explained that he has calcific tendonitis and muscle ruptures in his right arm. These ailments are impacting the development of the next Super Smash Bros. title. “I think the one word I’ve said the most this year, by far, is ‘Ow!'” Sakurai wrote. “Not only am I getting calcific tendonitis, but they’ve also found what are apparently several ruptures in the muscles. My upper arm hurts, and there’s this chronic dull pain in my elbow joint as well. On the lower arm, there’s this feeling of fatigue around the flexor muscles that turns into pain when I use a keyboard or game controller with my fingers.”
There is no instant cure for this and the only thing that can be done to block the pain is through injections and wearing a cast to keep the ruptures from spreading. This is a very serious matter and something that obviously would hinder any development.
“As a director, I don’t have much time in the weekdays to proceed along with my own work. The entire day is spent overseeing other people, holding meetings, working on other proposals, making visits elsewhere and so on,” Sakurai said. “If I can get everything squared away, then I can work on my own stuff, but most of the time there’s just an overwhelming lack of time.”
“Often I go in on my off-days to catch up on my own work, but with my body going on me like this, I have to cut these extra days out of my schedule and even with that I can’t use my right arm very much to control things,” he added. “If this disorder lingers, or if it never gets fixed, there’s no telling what impact that would have on the project.”
Sakurai went on to explain that playtesting the game is near impossible. He is obviously only playing with one arm and can only preform simple moves. This prevents from exploring his creation to the fullest. “I’ve had to control two characters at once in a lot of game projects up to now,” he said. “So as long as I keep it to simple moves, this works well enough. It doesn’t go that easy with the Nintendo 3DS version, though, and the debug camera is pretty hard to control. Still, now I realize how important it is to have your health. I’m glad I’m still in good enough shape to work.”
At least Sakurai is being positive about the predicament and mentions that he is in good enough shape to work at all. It is sad to think that someone who loves to make games for a living cannot use what is most crucial for the field. However, there is some good news. Through further research, I have found that is is possible to rid the tendonitis through surgery. This is usually done at a 90% success rate as well. For now, I will be keeping Sakurai in my thoughts. After all, it sucks to see anyone from this industry kept from doing what they love to do.
Courtesy of GameSpot. Original article by Famitsu; quotes translated by Polygon