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Mario 3D World devs on power-ups, free-roaming on the world map, Yoshi, stereoscopic 3D was considered, more

Posted on November 7, 2013 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

IGN has published a new Super Mario 3D World article featuring quotes from Kenta Motokura and Yoshiaki Koizumi. The two talked about free-roaming on the world map, Yoshi’s non-inclusion, stereoscopic 3D, and more.

Head past the break for all of the comments from Motokura and Koizumi. We also suggest checking out IGN’s full piece here.

On the Cat Suit

Kenta Motokura: When we started out, we were thinking about different kinds of actions that Mario could do. Talking to the designers, some of the things that came up were a Mario that could walk on four legs, or on his hands and feet, and also a Mario that could climb walls. If you climbed walls, that meant you could go to places that you normally can’t. Also, if you’re not such a great player, you might be able to save yourself when you fall off a wall. Thinking about those different actions, running around on all fours and climbing walls, it turned out that a cat was a perfect animal that everybody knows.

On the process behind making power-ups in a Mario game

Motokura: Going off of our monitor tests, we wanted to see what beginners thought was difficult about the game, and also what was fun about the game. We learned from those tests is that if you were a beginning player, when you come to a cliff, you might stop, think about jumping, then jump and maybe not make it and drop. But what if we added this element of sticking to the wall so you could prevent yourself from dropping down? We also thought about some new ways that classic power-ups could be integrated into this game. That’s why we have the clear pipes where you can throw fireballs in them and see them going down there. Also, another new experience is the double cherry, which allows you to create two or three characters who… If you combine that with the fire power-up, you’ll have a number of characters throwing fireballs at the same time. Those are totally new experiences using classic power-ups.

On the Double Cherry

Motokura: It’s not as if we tried to make gameplay more difficult with that power-up, but it’s something that you can use in single-player and also in multiplayer. Sometimes it goes well for the player and sometimes it doesn’t. [laughs] I guess what you could say is that something unexpected is more likely to occur when you use that power-up. It helps to replicate some situations where you need to have multiple players, to activate an event for example. It’s also a good stand-in when you’re playing single-player and trying to access a multiplayer event.

On free-roaming on the world map

Motokura: We think a very important element of this game is that you can move about freely on the world map. One of the reasons for that is that normally, in a Mario game, you would have the difficulty level increase from easy to more difficult, but because of the way this world map is made, there’s more freedom in where we locate the more difficult levels. I can’t tell you too much about it, but there are some hidden elements included on the world map, where it looks like you wouldn’t be able to access them, but you might be able to somehow. Also, there’s a Miiverse element to the world map, where you can actually see comments that people have posted on Miiverse on the world map itself. You’ll see those comments as you walk around the world map. In just one world, the world map, you can have all kinds of different experiences.

IGN: Would this open format allow players to tackle levels out of order?

Motokura: In order to clear a certain course and open up another course, you might have to go through the stages in a certain sequence. But we want to emphasize some of the other elements that are free-form within the world maps.

On Yoshi

Motokura: We did think about including Yoshi, but I guess you could say that in this game there are certain abilities that are similar to what Yoshi could do. For example, there’s a piranha flower that you can carry and attack enemies with. Also, Peach has her floating jump. So we did include those elements in the game. We also like to bring up this other dinosaur character that’s called Plessie, that all four characters can ride at the same time to go through the stage. I love Yoshi as much as anybody else, but I also love this new character. The thing that you can experience with Plessie that’s totally new is that you can ride one animal, basically, using four different characters at the same time. That’s a new experience.

Out of the box thinking at Nintendo

Yoshiaki Koizumi: You brought up Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. I wanted to ask a question. It seemed to me that people were like, “What’s this?” Is that what you thought? Were you just totally flabbergasted by the concept behind that game?

IGN: I was very surprised. I remember seeing it for the first time and saying, “Wow, that’s very different.” But when I played it, I instantly fell in love with the idea.

Koizumi: Thank you very much. It was originally a music game. I thought of those controls when I saw the manner in which you had to hit the controller in order to make the beat [and] make the music. The reason why I came to the conclusions I did was, it wasn’t from watching the television monitor. It was watching the expressions on people’s faces as they played, or when they used those controls. I thought of the original Famicom, when I saw one person say, “Hey, give me the controller so I can play.” When I told my staff all about this, I basically expressed how I was putting people’s reactions to the gameplay over the functionality of the game. This is kind of a special case, but it goes to show how we take experiences with our own families at home, or in places other than work, and bring those experiences back to our work. We think that the one thing that people can relate to the most is family, or interactions with their own families. That’s very important.

On whether stereoscopic 3D from current 3D televisions ever a consideration for this game…

Koizumi: Of course, we did all kinds of research about different ways that the game could be created. We did look into a stereoscopic aspect for the game, but when I personally thought about four players sitting there with 3D glasses all right next to each other, it just seemed a little funny to me. [laughs] So we wouldn’t necessarily want to do that.


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