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Sakurai uses trackball to ease RSI as he works on Smash Bros Wii U

Repetitive strain injury "getting to the point where it's starting to restrict my work and lifestyle," says Sakurai

No wonder it is taking Sakurai so long to make Smash Bros Wii U. In his latest column in Famitsu he wrote that he has such bad RSI that it's getting to the point where it's starting to restrict his work and lifestyle.

Sakurai wrote: "Using a mouse, keyboard or gamepad make my arm tired, so I can't use them in a continual manner. The only device I can use for an extended period of time is a joystick. It's posing problems when I'm test-playing something in progress.

"I figure that if I cut down on writing emails and other things, try not to type in so much data myself and start giving more verbal directions, that'll reduce the amount of keyboard-oriented work I have to do but if I'm going to be supervising other people's work, there's no way to cut down the amount of mouse usage I need to perform.

"I'm trying to work it with my left hand in order to give the right one some rest, but that definitely cuts down on my work efficiency..."

As well as a joystick, Sakurai is returning to one of his old gadgets at work. A trackball. As reported on Polygon, Sakurai's old company HAL made trackballs in the 80s and Kirby was actually designed with one.

Click to view larger image
"Kirby was drawn with a trackball on the Game Boy and NES," continued Sakurai. "The internal hardware team at HAL came up with a way to connect a trackball to the NES, then use a dev tool that ran on a Twin Famicom disc to draw graphics."

It seems Sakurai plans to use a trackball until his right hand heals. "I've been familiar with trackballs for years, so controlling one should be easy... in theory! Hopefully the day will come when I'm able to use them for extended periods with my right hand again. I hope this gets healed up!"

It's either that or barking orders at Namco Bandai!

Comments

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  1. lminett Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 15:14

    Im not surprised, hes got to be under alot of pressure not only to show of something of the new smash bros at E3 but also to get this game complete to the expetations of fans. He should really take some time off

  2. Wiimote Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 15:43

    I got RSI in my wrist so I know what pain he is going through but I'm ok as I can wear a wrist strap when I mop as my RSI is done by my job being a cleaner. Looking forward to Smash Bros. though :)

  3. S0raBuzz Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 16:27

    As a single, male teenager I suffer from RSI on a regular basis.

  4. MartinIsAwesome Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 16:32

    It's not surprising considering he's been working non-stop since Kiid Icarus Uprising started development. All that Tweeting probably doesn't help either.
    I hope he takes a step back and trusts his development team, and that he makes a speedy recovery.

  5. smash-brother Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 19:08

    This is going to be a long,loooooooooooooooooooong develiment time :roll:

  6. Kirby8 Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 19:39

    He has been working non-stop and his projects have come with a lot of pressure. Firstly he was developing Kid Icarus, bringing back an old series back from the dead, and fans had huge expectations. And he moved straight on to SSB 4, which is a massive game and a staple part of each console since the first game. So again, a huge pressure to deliver a great game. He should definitely take a break after SSB4.

  7. ThePokekid78 Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 19:44

    This is going to be a long,loooooooooooooooooooong develiment time :roll:


    Your spelling and grammar gave me cancer...

  8. abovethewell Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 20:26

    It's not surprising considering he's been working non-stop since Kiid Icarus Uprising started development. All that Tweeting probably doesn't help either.
    I hope he takes a step back and trusts his development team, and that he makes a speedy recovery.

    I don't know what context you mean this in, whether the amount of gaming or... other activities, but either way, kodus on that joke :P

  9. MartinIsAwesome Thursday 31st Jan 2013 at 11:06

    This is going to be a long,loooooooooooooooooooong develiment time :roll:


    Your spelling and grammar gave me cancer...


    Agreed. Not to mention that it's because of selfish and impatient "fans" like smash-brother here that Sakurai is over-working himself.

    It's not surprising considering he's been working non-stop since Kiid Icarus Uprising started development. All that Tweeting probably doesn't help either.
    I hope he takes a step back and trusts his development team, and that he makes a speedy recovery.

    I don't know what context you mean this in, whether the amount of gaming or... other activities, but either way, kodus on that joke :P


    What joke?

  10. Pichu10585 Thursday 31st Jan 2013 at 23:09

    As a musician I need to be careful with this too. Though I haven't had problems as yet, it's only a matter of time.

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