If you’re a competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee player, chances are you’ve memorized a lot of numbers, either intentionally or subconsciously. From kill percents to ledgedash timings, Melee is arguably, at its core, a game of math—and data. To that end, Florida Melee competitor and computer engineer Jas Laferriere has announced an ambitious new project called “Project Slippi.”
With this project, Laferriere hopes to use software modifications to make it easier for Melee players to record their matches and extract statistical data from them, including such metrics as neutral wins, average damage per punish, and number of rolls per match. A better understanding of this data could inform the way we view the game, potentially allowing players at all levels to tailor their practice regimens based on their own strong points and weaknesses. Such a development could revolutionize the metagame. Early versions of Laferriere's software were used to great effect at tournaments such as HTC Throwdown and Smash Summit 4, helping to both provide a more entertaining experience to viewers and aid high-level players in their quest to become the best.
According to his announcement (which you can find in full on Medium), Laferriere plans to begin by tackling the issue of replay files; currently, there’s no way to pull replay files directly from games played on console. Software such as 20XX TE allows players to record replays on console, but those recordings need to be run through a recording setup in order to get them in digital form. Furthermore, there’s a huge difference between visually recorded replays and replays that include data from the game itself.
If this project interests you, join the Project Slippi Discord in order to learn more or participate in the development process. Improving Melee’s data collection process is a step towards the legitimization of the game as a profitable esport and for that reason, Project Slippi is more than worth the labor necessary to get the service off the ground.