Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 30, 2017

Email: Level Design

I get your dislike of 3d and VR-obsessed developers, but level design? Level design is a huge part of what makes every great Mario game fun. For evidence of this, you need look no further than all the crappy Mario ROM hacks out there. They aren’t just crappy because someone changed the graphics, more often than not they fall short because they changed the object placement to something that wasn’t as fun as it was originally. Some of these hacks still feel authentically Mario (i.e. it feels like you are on an adventure in the Mushroom World), but are totally forgettable.

Because you need more than just an open field with a few scattered pipes. Design *is* a big part of it, for the same reason that some SMB3 levels are still memorable while others are forgotten. So why are you downplaying the importance of level design?

During the making of the original Super Mario Brothers, Yamauchi was a big believer in it. “You can go over land, in water, underground, in castles, and in the sky! It’s going to be great!” Mario was an adventure game, not a ‘level design’ game.

Miyamoto thinks Super Mario Brothers 3 is embarrassing:

“I look back and play some of these games and there are a lot of places where, to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed,” Miyamoto told Techland. “I look at Super Mario 3, and was like, ‘”This was it?! This is what we thought was good enough?'”

Why is he embarrassed? It is because the levels are short and simplistic. While Super Mario Brothers 3 is very ‘adventure’ based, Miyamoto is sad because there is not enough ‘level design’ in the game.

With the NSMB series, Nintendo elders, who didn’t want to make it, used it as an excuse to teach about level design. This obsession with level design killed the spirit of adventure in the NSMB games. All we got was ‘level design’. This Nintendo’s obsession with level design regarding 2d Mario resulted into Mario Maker. “Why should we get the fun making levels? Let us have everyone make levels!”

As far as adventure? That is intentionally being reserved only for 3d Mario. Miyamoto is telling you to go fuck yourself. 2d Mario is only for ‘level design’ while anything to do with adventure or doing cool stuff is reserved for 3d Mario.



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