Director Yoshiaki Koizumi shares lessons in developing Mario, stretching from Super Mario 64 to this season’s Super Mario Galaxy.
At the 2007 Montreal Games Summit, Nintendo Developer Yoshiaki Koizumi took to the stage to share lessons from his history of working on Nintendo games, like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Recently, Koizumi has just finished directing Super Mario Galaxy, so Nintendo’s mascot figured greatly in his presentation, as related by Gamasutra.
Specifically, Koizumi identified three problems that kept people from easily playing the games: difficult depth perception, getting lost in large 3D worlds, and motion sickness due to camera movement. These lessons learned from earlier Mario games went on to shape future incarnations, manifesting in everything from indicator shadows projected directly onto the ground regardless of light source, to Mario’s new spin attack in Super Mario Galaxy.
Koizumi even related a lesson that he carried over from his experience developing Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Players wrote letters to Nintendo with stories about how their families complained about the loud noise when they couldn’t stop playing, so in Super Mario Galaxy, the team tried to get not just the player, but the rest of the family involved and invested through the game’s co-op mode.
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