MARIO MAKER

EDGE - - WII SPEAK - De­vel­oper Nin­tendo EAD For­mat Wii U Re­lease First half of 2015

Orig­i­nally meant for in­ter­nal use, Mario Maker is part tool, part game, en­abling you to craft your own 2D Mario lev­els on a GamePad. You can play it straight, but Nin­tendo’s sam­ple de­signs en­cour­age ex­per­i­men­ta­tion – one ex­am­ple level fea­tures a screen-wide pyra­mid of fly­ing Goom­bas, for in­stance.

You’ve said that Mario Maker was con­ceived with in­ter­nal teams in mind. Why did you de­cide it was suit­able for the public, too?

It all started when our in­ter­nal tool team re­alised how fun it was to cre­ate and play 8bit Su­per Mario cour­ses us­ing the pro­to­type tool they were mak­ing. But we didn’t want to re­lease this tool just as it was as a game, since our job is to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment. We felt that a game where all you can do is make 8bit Su­per Mario cour­ses wouldn’t be enough, so we in­ves­ti­gated what made the tool team so ex­cited and tried to turn that pro­to­type into a game that’s fun to play.

How were Mario lev­els made be­fore­hand, if you felt an in-house ed­i­tor would be use­ful?

Cour­ses in past Su­per Mario games have also been de­vel­oped us­ing spe­cial course edi­tors, but on a PC. The dif­fer­ence here is that we were de­vel­op­ing a course ed­i­tor that would work on Wii U. This means that it’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate cour­ses while us­ing the GamePad to quickly and in­tu­itively test how they play.

Will in­ter­nal teams also use it?

Cour­ses in future 2D Mario games won’t be made us­ing the ac­tual Mario Maker game. How­ever, we will con­tinue de­vel­op­ing Mario course edit­ing tools for use on Wii U be­cause of how won­der­fully easy they are to use on a GamePad. Mario Maker is es­sen­tially a game based on cre­at­ing; we don’t con­sider it to be just a course edit­ing tool. The kinds of fun el­e­ments in­cluded in Mario Maker – set­ting up en­e­mies piled up like a tower, for in­stance – aren’t nec­es­sary for mak­ing ac­tual Mario cour­ses. The ed­i­tor would need a

“WE WILL NEED TO HAVE A SYS­TEM FOR SHARING COUR­SES ON­LINE, ONE THAT’S TAI­LORED TO MARIO MAKER”

higher level of func­tion­al­ity tai­lored for the spe­cific game be­ing made, so nat­u­rally we will need to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing spe­cialised tools.

How are you go­ing to ap­proach play­ers sharing their creations?

Are you con­cerned it could harm sales of future Mario games? What I most want to achieve with Mario Maker is to stim­u­late the imag­i­na­tion of the peo­ple play­ing it. I want them to try out their creations – some­times get­ting an ex­pected re­sult, [and] other times, some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent – and then use that ex­pe­ri­ence to come up with even more cre­ative things to try the next time.

In ad­di­tion to the fun you can have mak­ing cour­ses, I’m sure there will be peo­ple who want to share the cour­ses they made with oth­ers, and also peo­ple who want to play on cour­ses made by oth­ers. For th­ese users, we will need to have a sys­tem for sharing cour­ses on­line, one that’s tai­lored to Mario Maker.

I think part of the fun of Mario is how you play and ex­pe­ri­ence a se­ries of cour­ses, with boss bat­tles too, all of which get pro­gres­sively harder. Mario de­vel­op­ers build up the whole world, mak­ing sure the dif­fer­ent cour­ses all fit well to­gether. I don’t think the over­all fun you can have with an en­tire Mario game is the same as play­ing a sin­gle course made in Mario Maker, and of course future Mario games will in­clude lots of new fea­tures… so I don’t think the two will ever be in com­pe­ti­tion.

Ex­am­ple cour­ses are meant to get you think­ing about Mario in dif­fer­ent ways, stack­ing en­e­mies here to be taken out with a sin­gle red shell

Cur­rently, you can only switch between the art styles from Su­perMar­i­oBros and Wii U launch ti­tle Su­perMar­i­oBrosU, though more will be ready by launch

TAKASHI TEZUKA

PRO­DUCER, NIN­TENDO

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