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How Nintendo draws  Mario Maker  design cues from an SNES classic

How Nintendo draws Mario Maker design cues from an SNES classic

July 16, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

July 16, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Design

"I wanted to take the essence of Mario Paint, the really fun elements where it was enjoyable just interacting with the software itself, and bring that into our new game."
- Nintendo's Takashi Tezuka explains how Mario Maker is expected to circumvent a common Mario design challenge -- level difficulty -- by drawing design inspiration from a classic SNES game.

Speaking to USGamer, Mario Maker producer Takashi Tezuka offered a bit of insight into how Nintendo went about designing the upcoming Wii U Mario level-making game with inspiration from an SNES cult classic.

Tezuka claims his long-running desire to design a Mario Paint-esque game revolving around creativity and user-generated content was reignited when he saw a prototype level editor designed by a Nintendo tools team for use in making actual Mario game stages.

"The tools team, they just make developer tools, they don't make courses," said Tezuka. "But they had a lot of fun with this editor, so they thought we could make a game out of it."

And sure enough, now that's what Nintendo is doing. While discussing the design process, Tezuka points out that the company sees Mario Maker as a game that can potentially satisfy both experienced and casual players by bridging all skill gaps, since players create their own levels.

"When the original Super Mario Bros. came out, it was the first of its kind. No one was good or bad at the game," said Tezuka. "Now we have people who like action games and many other kinds of games — it's really varied. With Mario Maker, anybody can play it and use it any way they like."

The full interview is worth reading over on the USGamer website, as it offers interesting insight into how Nintendo is circling back around to building a game focused on user-generated content again, now that titles with like Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet have seen remarkable success with similar features.

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