Created by Runouw in 2009, the original Super Mario 63 was an incredible Mario Flash game. Filled with interesting levels based on those in 64 and mechanics cribbed from Sunshine and Galaxy, the title merged 2D and 3D Mario in a way that few games ever had, creating something that felt both familiar and fresh at the same time.
It was a great title, and one which garnered quite the community thanks to its feature rich level editor.
Unfortunately, it also got screwed over by technology. Indeed, with Flash’s discontinuation, actually playing the game is a fair bit harder than it used to be. You need to either find an old browser where Flash support is still present, download the standalone Flash players via third party sites or run it via a system like FlashPoint.
Yet where technology hurt the original, the fanbase have stepped up to create their own replacements. There’s Super Mario Galaxy 63, which aims to recreate the title in 3D as a Super Mario Galaxy 2 ROM hack. There’s Super Mario 127, a full blown sequel in development for the game.
And then there’s the subject of today’s interview, Super Mario 63 Redux. Led by Creyon and developed by a team of very talented individuals, the project aims to fully remake the game in the Godot engine, complete with entirely original graphics and music! Here’s a trailer for the project from F3 a while ago:
It’s an incredible looking project, and with features like mobile compatibility and in browser play, one that seems to break new ground for how fan games are meant to be played.
So in this interview, we’re gonna talk to the team and learn all about this amazing game. You ready folks? Let’s go!
Starting with some personal background first. Who are you guys? Who is on the team for Super Mario 63 Redux?
jaschutte: Hi I’m jaschutte. I’m 18 years old and I love all things programming, partially like games programming or embedded systems programming. So, in my free time I spend a lot of time just programming whatever is in my mind at that time.
aloelucidity: My name’s aloelucidity! I’m a programmer/pixel artist obsessed with 2010s era flash content. SM63 was and is one of my fav Mario games of all time, so I’m super happy to be working on the remake 🙂
creyon: I’m creyon, I’m project lead and programmer for the project. My job is kinda like, arrange things for people to work on and manage stuff like the GitHub repository (where all our code is stored)
I also do a lot of the coding side of things
River J: Hey! I’m River, and alongside being a part of the Gaming Reinvented crew, I’m also being interviewed by them… weird.
I’m a 20-year-old musician and composer, and a HUGE fan of the original Super Mario 63, so I was and still am THRILLED to be involved in the remake, especially when it means I get to do what I love most, write music!
Lena: I’m Lena, I’m a musician and not much else. At least not on this project. I do work on graphic design and visual art though.
Juno: Hi there, I’m Juno, a French translator for this game, Mario and SM63 played a huge role in my childhood and I’ve been so hyped to see 63 was getting remade! I couldn’t help but think back at the fun times I had even back when I didn’t understand English, now that I’ve grown to be fluent in English, I want to make other people discover this game, notably through my French translation inspired by the official Mario French translations ^^
brickblock369: Hi, I’m brickblock369, and I love to compose and arrange music.
Randomcatdude: I’m cat. I just kinda exist here.
I’m a shader and gdscript programmer, which is what I contribute to this project. I also have mild ability to 3d model and create textures/pbr materials.
However, my main interest is vfx in the form of shaders and particle effects.
I would eventually like to make my own game using Godot 4, but that’s very far away from becoming a real thing
Sirius Bizdness: Hi, I’m Sirius Bizdness, the newest team member (joined November 25th). I consider myself a music guy, but I’m actually on the team as a programmer, artist, and sound designer.
xirnpox: I am Xirnpox, one of the coders of the team. I am currently studying software engineering in real life, and I also study programming as a hobby, hoping that I can be earning as a programmer soon.
Chri_ti_03: Hi, well I’m Chri, the Italian guy that worked for the Italian translations and maybe on level designing the campaign when time comes
NanTheDark: I’m NanTheDark. I’m in the artist team for Super Mario 63 Redux.
And how did you get into gaming? What was your first game?
jaschutte: New Super Mario Bros, got it when I was young, love the game ever since. Before I could program, I spend a lot of time just drawing levels on paper and simulate Mario in my head (this was before Super Mario Maker was released).
aloelucidity: Can’t remember, but probably a flash game. My first introduction to Mario was a banner ad on some sketchy flash game site lol
creyon: Honestly hard to remember
I think I “played” Ratchet and Clank when my mom controlled the analog stick and I pressed the jump button when instructed to
The first one I actually played myself was I think Super Mario Bros. on the Wii virtual console
River J: New Super Mario Bros. DS was my first ever game, and I never looked back from the Mario franchise, especially after Galaxy came along
Lena: Mirror’s Edge. Love that game. One of the most beautiful games ever, both in the audio and video department.
Juno: My first game ever must have been Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive. Still one of my favourite Sonic games to this day with some of the most iconic soundtracks of gaming imo
Randomcatdude: Don’t remember lol. I vaguely recall playing Minecraft and sm63 when I was very young, but I don’t remember what was first
Sirius Bizdness: I’ve been a gamer since I was old enough to talk. My first game was Mario Kart on the GameCube, but the first game that I played extensively was Commander Keen, a side-scrolling platformer for MS-DOS (by the same guys who made Doom, actually). I was about two or three years old, and I loved this game–but I straight-up could not handle it without the moon-jump and invincibility cheats on!
xirnpox: I need to give a bit of background here, as it’s a bit personal for me. The first console I ever got was the Nintendo GameCube when I was a kid, and having an overprotective mother, lead me to be limited as to what I could watch on tv as well as what videogames I could play, at that moment I was obsessed with the chicken little movie, so they bought me the GameCube and a copy of that game, not exactly the greatest platform ever, but I spent so much time on it and I remember because it’s what got me into gaming.
Chri_ti_03: Well, uh, it may be a bit sad but that one Nintendo DS I got was a gift by my dad to get my distracted on the chronic disease I have been diagnosed with.
NanTheDark: I can’t be super sure, but it was either Contra on the NES or Super Mario Bros. I have precious memories of playing SMB as a kid.
What games are you playing at the moment?
jaschutte: Omori & Detroit Become Human, waiting for Deltarune chapter 3 (hype). I also like the Hitman series & Payday 2.
creyon: I don’t really play games that often but I like ULTRAKILL, I’ve been playing it a fair bit recently
Kinda waiting on Act 3 though
River J: Honestly? Not many. I’ve been so focused on creative projects LIKE 63 redux, and my job as a web designer, that sitting down and playing video games hasn’t been on my radar recently.
Lena: The game I’m playing the most right now is probably Session: Skate Sim. Been following its development for a while and it got its official release not too long ago! Highly recommend. Other than that, probably Project Zomboid.
Juno: For the past few years, I’ve been trying to complete all the Assassin’s Creed games at 100% and I recently began Brotherhood, however I also just started Far Cry Primal and Pokémon “Version Rouge”
brickblock369: StarCraft II. That game is really mentally stimulating for me.
Randomcatdude: Current fixation is Deep Rock Galactic, picked it up just over a week ago and have been addicted since. Rock and Stone!!
Sirius Bizdness: I’m hardcore obsessed with Deltarune, but I’ve also been playing through Secret of Mana for the first time. Also, the Super Mario World Vanilla Level Design Contest 12 ROM hack.
Xirnpox: Mostly multiplayer because I hang out often with my friends, I hardly have free time to play games for my own enjoyment: Fortnite, Killing Floor 2, but as I just bought it recently, I’ve been playing a game called Bug Fables, it’s heavily inspired by the old Paper Mario games, I highly recommend it.
Chri_ti_03: Right now, uhm, I play mostly Fortnite and Super Mario 127 (I’m also a dev over there hehe), but very recently I was playing Celeste, very nice and challenging one (thank you Charlie <3)
NanTheDark: None right now, really. I’ve played Arkanoid for the NES a bit on my phone lately, but otherwise I haven’t made the time to play much recently.
What was your introduction to game development?
jaschutte: Scratch! When I found out I could turn my drawings into actual moving things using scratch, it was like my mind exploded. I quickly fell in love with it. Then I found out Roblox existed and I promptly dumped scratch in favour of Roblox and just started developing games on there.
aloelucidity: I spent hours making microgames in WarioWare DIY as a kid, a lot of that knowledge transferred over as I later moved onto actual game engines
creyon: Scratch. I made an Undertale fangame.
Then Game Maker Studio 2, in which I made another Undertale fangame that was a lot more robust
Both of those were not user-friendly experiences though, so Godot is my current tool of choice
River J: I worked with the Newer Team for a little bit on Newer Super Mario Bros Wii, but my biggest introduction was probably Super Mario Bros. X, a fan-made game/level creator for SNES-style Super Mario Bros games!
Juno: I got introduced into game development through Scratch and that one Minecraft Hour of code thing
brickblock369: My introduction to participate in game development was when a friend invited me to compose music for his own video game.
Randomcatdude: It was probably the Scratch website, the one made for teaching programming to kids.
I ofc made Undertale fangames primarily at the time lol
Also a few FNaF clones, and a decent clone of the game Super Hexagon.
I gotta say — it was surprisingly polished and relatively high-quality stuff for how young I was… guess I always had a high standard for my creations, didn’t I?
Sirius Bizdness: I’ve been trying to make games literally since I can first remember. I’m told I wanted to make my own Commander Keen levels, and was furious when Mom couldn’t find a level editor for me!
When I was older, I discovered RPG Maker, started playing around with that. That was the first time I was able to actually make a game of my own.
xirnpox: Believe it or not, it was a self-discovery in my personal life. One day when I was playing, a question came to my head: “How are videogames made?” As we all know, everything has a reason and has a process of how it’s done, so I asked myself that, and after a bit of research on the internet, I was amazed at what it takes to make a game, but what stood to me the most was coding, that was what interested me and I eventually began to learn it at my schools, but nowadays I learn more on my own than at school if I’m honest.
Chri_ti_03: I’m not really sure, it was the boredom of the 2020-2021 winter holidays, randomly came to Unity and game jams and saw it as a very cool world. Sadly, I kinda of abandoned that there cause of how miserably failed my first ever game jam because the dude I worked with wasn’t that much available and at the end I discovered he thought we were participating in a different jam and the deadline was longer: skull:
NanTheDark: I’ve been kind of interested in game dev all my life, sort of. Ever since I was a kid playing videogames, I always wanted to make games of my own. I would draw up ideas on notebooks, and imagine all sorts of things I could do. Sadly, nothing has come out of that… yet, at least. But in the meantime, I’ve been eating up a lot of videos and articles about game development, and studying up on some game design stuff.
How about fan game development in general? How did you get interested in working on these?
jaschutte: From the start I was drawing levels on paper, it’s the main reason I got into programming. So, I always wanted to develop fangames of the games I liked.
aloelucidity: I grew up with Mario fan content!! I had a Wii but stuff like SMBZ and SM64 was still super cool to kid me.
creyon: Aforementioned Undertale game was the start of it
Then Redux was my next and current project 😛
(I didn’t start it; I joined it and then took over later on)
River J: It was the Newer team that started me off on that path, with 63 Redux being only my second project thus far.
Lena: I’m very personally invested in fan content, open-source programs/games, etc. I love when a small team of dedicated people make something cool and share it with the public.
Juno: Even if I’m not a developer for fangames, I love the idea of fangames because it means that the original media was so influential, that the fans were inspired by it or by its universe in order to create something huge (I think the same thing for mods)
brickblock369: I’ve been interested in composing for games related to Mario, for example. It has been easier to find fangame / ROM hack dev teams.
Randomcatdude: Seeing Undertale and FNaF fangames at the time when I was obsessed with both things, and wanting in on it
None of that went anywhere though. 63 Redux is the first real fangame that I’m a dev for.
Sirius Bizdness: I don’t know, actually. I think it must’ve been when I discovered the Hello Engine, which was an engine for making Super Mario Bros 3-style fangames. I learned a lot of coding basics by tinkering with that.
xirnpox: I wanted to work on fangames in other communities I’ve been, but none of them either went past conception or pre-production, though as for my interest in game development and me being a fan in those communities, naturally I wanted to make a fangame, even if the fangames I was involved never got anywhere.
Chri_ti_03: For that, I think it was with the 127 Team, getting better and better with level designing and July 2021 ended up being hired in the team and worked on the latest sample level with another LD guy.
NanTheDark: I really liked Super Mario 63, so keeping the legacy alive is something that is kind of meaningful to me.
What other fan games do you really like?
jaschutte: I played a lot of Mario fangames, which included Super Mario 63, which had its own build in level editor and I loved it! To this day there’s levels on runouw.com of 11-year-old me trying to make levels written in broken English.
creyon: Super Mario 127, naturally.
Juno: I haven’t played any Mario fangames in a very long time, but I did play the Newer Super Mario Bros Wii mod recently and I found it to have great game design. Though SM63 will remain my favourite Mario fangame
Sirius Bizdness: The most influential fangame, for me, was Thy STiNKO-MAN 2003!!! (Lowercase i intentional.) I was big into Homestar Runner when I was a kid, and Thy Stinkoman was an RPG Maker fangame mashup of Homestar Runner with a whole bunch of classic RPGs. Weirdly enough, this was the first RPG I ever played.
xirnpox: If we talk in general, FNAF’s, but I can hardly get into the gameplay mostly because of my lack of time to finish one properly.
Chri_ti_03: I think really no one right now, except the 63 Redux and 127.
NanTheDark: I really like this one game called Power Bomberman. It’s a Bomberman fangame that lets you play online against other people. It’s really well made and has content from all across the franchise. I haven’t played in a while though, it’s been hard to get people to play with me, hehe.
Onto Super Mario 63 now. How did you first discover the original flash game?
jaschutte: No clue, probably some Mario fan game site. I remember playing it a lot on Newgrounds though.
creyon: An ad somewhere? I don’t remember clearly.
Whatever it was, it led me to the Newgrounds version, and then i clicked on the Runouw opening sequence thing that brought me to runouw.com and that’s when my interest really kicked off.
River J: I imagine a lot of people probably found it the same way as me, via googling Super Mario 64 and getting the last number wrong…
Juno: I was just a small kid looking for Mario games on Google or something, and I randomly came across that gem.
brickblock369: Some flash game portal, when I was searching for flash games as a kid.
Randomcatdude: Came across it at some point during my age of playing flash games on various websites that hosted them. of course, it completely hooked me with its quality and sheer scope.
Sirius Bizdness: I can’t really remember. When I was seven or eight, my official gaming choices were sorely limited, so I would Google all the Mario fangames I could. I might’ve discovered it through a YouTube video, actually…. Either way, I found the pre-release demos on SheezyArt first, so when I discovered that the full version was out it blew my mind.
xirnpox: Another personal background. When I was 9-11 years old, my mother used to bring me to work in her offices, there was a guest computer laying around and I would be sitting there, I looked up for flash games as I was too bored, and I ended up with Super Mario 63, though for a long time I was playing the demo because the website wasn’t any official media of runow’s fan game.
Chri_ti_03: That definitely was while little me was going around flash games websites and searching “Super Mario” in the searching bar lol. I barely understood how to play back then without even entering the castle…
NanTheDark: I can’t be 100% sure, but back in those days I would often play flash games, and go through various portals for flash games. That must be how I came across Super Mario 63.
Did you try out Super Mario Sunshine 64 before that?
jaschutte: Nope, never played it.
creyon: Not before, but after, I think.
I don’t remember really.
It was a strange transition period, but i think it turned out pretty great.
River J: Yes, in fact my small child mind didn’t comprehend that Super Mario Sunshine 64 wasn’t actually the same game as 63, so when I first played 63, I was very confused about why everything hadn’t turned red after Bowser showed up!
Juno: I tried it out around the same time as SM63, I think it was a demo or something? But I remember the game being very short
brickblock369: No, I ran into Super Mario 63 before Super Mario Sunshine 64.
Randomcatdude: Definitely played it at some point, but i can’t recall if after or before.
Sirius Bizdness: Oh, yes. I played through the whole thing multiple times, collected every shine. This was before SM63 came out. Actually, when I found the first demo of SM63 I literally didn’t realize it was made by the same person 😄
xirnpox: I did, and I was always confused as to why it was very similar to super Mario 63, but I discovered that it came before 63, so I got answered by that question I had.
Chri_ti_03: Sadly nope
NanTheDark: I think I might’ve tried it out after the fact. I’m actually not sure.
What are some of your favourite parts about the original Mario 63?
jaschutte: By far the level editor. It just made my brain explode with creativity. I also really loved the secrets all over the map, it was so fun discovering each one and getting a Star Coin.
aloelucidity: The level editor hands down. The amount of control it gave u was huge, u could get really creative with your levels.
creyon: The general movement system, particularly dives, as well as the possibilities afforded by the level editor.
River J: The main thing that first made me fall in love with the game was the INCREDIBLE number of secrets, like discovering the Princess’ secret tunnels, or the secret entrance to the final level that allowed you to unlock it early.
Lena: Might be an obvious answer but the music. I like how it’s really kind of unpolished but also very creative at the same time. The OST is basically a Mario-themed mashup album. It’s great.
Juno: I loved Super Mario 64 for its amazing gameplay elements and Super Mario 63 managed to bring those elements into 2D and make them actually fun! Also, I discovered FLUDD in Super Mario 63 as I’ve never played Mario Sunshine until last year. Oh, and Mario 63 brought back some of the best music from the 3D Mario games which I absolutely love.
brickblock369: The completeness of the game overall. It really felt like I was playing a real game.
Randomcatdude: Banger music (paragonx9 my BELOVED), the level designer, and despite its jank — the climactic escape at the very end of the final bowser castle level
Sirius Bizdness: When I was young, I was impressed at how thorough it was compared to other Flash Mario fangames. There were all these, like, single-screen puzzles with bad physics, or that were too slow for my computer…and then there was Mario 63, this absolutely huge fangame that controlled like a dream and had like 75% of the levels from Mario 64 in 2D form!
Now that I’m older, I’m fond of the 2009-fangame aesthetic. It’s really charming seeing assets from Yoshi’s Island and from Super Mario 64 and from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga blended together using Flash-drawn vectors, used in ways that were never intended, all tied together by the Flashy, reference-y, edge lord-y sensibilities of a classic Internet kid. Also. the secret passages in the castle are a lot of fun.
xirnpox: I can’t stress this enough, all the Super Mario Galaxy elements it had were the best for me, Super Mario 64 nor Super Mario Sunshine weren’t part of my childhood, but because of the Wii I got in 2006, and the game eventually when it released, I enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy a lot, so seeing Super Mario 63 having those things made me excited about it.
Chri_ti_03: Probably all of the secrets, and the way it reimagined the original 64 levels in a 2d environments, with its own twist, pretty impressive for the time
NanTheDark: I haven’t played in a while, so I can’t quite remember everything, but the space level kind of made a big impression. I had yet to play Galaxy, so this game was kind of my first exposure to stuff from Super Mario Galaxy.
And which levels and bosses from the original game are your favourites and why?
jaschutte: I loved the escape sequence; I suck at it but I love the theming and the dopamine rush you get from playing it. As for bosses, the Kamek boss fight is my favourite, I don’t know why but I really like it.
aloelucidity: Hazy Maze Cave is still such a cool level design, it’s like a huge sprawling labyrinth rather than being closed and claustrophobic like most cave levels, and the tileset works super well for it.
creyon:The third bowser level, particularly Space and Escape because it’s a climactic ending to the story
River J: My favourite level was probably the underground level; Hazy Maze Cave – it was just so big and confusing and I got lost in it so easily – it was such an experience
Lena: Nothing beats the first level, in my opinion. It looks great and plays like a classic Mario 1-1 level.
Juno: There are so many things but I remember loving the escape sequence from the Volcano which was tense and also cool at the same time. My favourite boss was probably the Big Boo because he just chases you around while you sprint across the basement.
Randomcatdude: I can’t really pick favourites, but i like Bowser 3 for both the level and the real final boss — the slightly unique Bowser-grabbing mechanic in that section just felt really epic to me for some reason.
Sirius Bizdness: Boo’s Mansion. Ghost houses are awesome. Also, Lethal Lava Land feels way cooler than the Mario 64 version.
xirnpox: All the bosses where you get the coloured shines, nothing else.
Chri_ti_03: I think Rainbow Ride and King Boo, because of the creativity back them
NanTheDark: I had not played Super Mario 64 before playing 63, I didn’t have an N64 growing up, so this was kind of my first exposure to that. As of now, I haven’t really played it for more than an hour maybe, so I can’t really answer this question.
Any least favourites?
jaschutte: I dislike the final Bowser fight, I never liked any of the bowser fights. The 2nd Bowser fight is close though since it’s broken and you can get soft locked there which screwed me over so many times..
aloelucidity: Edge of the mushroom kingdom is kinda annoying and not all that hard.
creyon: Red Shine, The unavoidable autoscroller before the top layer of the castle. It gives good plot development but the gameplay is annoying, especially for speedrunning
River J: Ironically, my least favourite thing is in my favourite level, Hazy Maze Cave. I just couldn’t get to grips with the magic carpet, it drove me insane!!
Juno: Maybe the desert level, I wish it was bigger and had more things to complete, but that’s just me cherry-picking.
Randomcatdude: SCREW that ‘Edge of the Mushroom Kingdom’ secret level. That’s the only one I never beat and I never intend on doing so because it destroys my sanity. Argh!
Sirius Bizdness: Been replaying the game to study for the remake, and the Castle Gardens gauntlet is just *boring*.
xirnpox: I struggled with Bowser’s boss stages because I found weird how the controls to grab him and then throwing him worked.
Chri_ti_03: Honestly no, I have favourites but not ones I dislike or I consider inferior
Why did you decide to start a remake of the game? Was flash being discontinued a major part of it?
jaschutte: I was getting limited by the normal level editor, I was missing a lot of QoL features and I wanted to add those in, so I started making my own standalone editor. Later Tricia invited me to work on SM63R, which I joined because why only remake the editor when you can remake the entire game!
creyon: I don’t actually know why specifically the project was started, but I’d say my main motivations for working on it are like:
- Flash dying
- love for the game’s mechanics
- wanting to evolve the speedrunning scene
- wanting to improve the level editor
Lena: I joined after the project had already been in the works for a while, but I’ve always wanted to make music for a game. Also because of my love for fan projects that I mentioned earlier.
Juno: I joined the project because I felt personally involved for multiple reasons, firstly SM63 and Mario games in general playing a huge part in my childhood as I said earlier, but also because I believe this remake can update this game for a more modern audience (with new graphics for example) and a more international one thanks to the translations
NanTheDark: I think this question isn’t targeted at me, but the discontinuation of Flash does mess stuff up.
What does Runouw think of the project?
creyon: I don’t really know the details but I’ve talked to Robert and he seems to like it. He offered to help out once or twice, and also gave some improvements and advice that we found really useful.
Also, his advice was why we switched to Godot, despite my initial stubbornness, which I’m very grateful for 😛
NanTheDark: I think he approves of it.
Either way, Redux is very different from the original, with the all-original art style being a huge highlight here. What was the thought process behind creating this style for the game?
creyon: We wanted something more consistent, because the original was certainly very cobbled together from all sorts of sources, particularly Yoshi’s Island.
So respriting things helps us capture the theme of the original while having a more uniform style.
Do you believe that more fan games should try and go for a more consistent, unique style?
aloelucidity: It’s not a question of whether u want to, a lot of ppl making fangames are programmers who don’t have art experience, so stitching together existing assets allows them to still make the game they want even if it isn’t very pretty.
creyon: Not necessarily.
In fact, I think the somewhat disjointed style is part of 63’s charm, especially for its position as a nostalgic flash game. Its use of different assets is pretty well-done
River J: I believe creativity should be the first and foremost. Whilst I PERSONALLY prefer a much more cohesive art style, I’d much rather people were able to explore their full scope of creativity, regardless of whether it looks “consistent” to others!
Lena: If they want to. I don’t think that should be a huge worry to most creators, if you have the same people working on something you’re gonna develop some sort of style no matter what. That’s what my experience is, at least.
Juno: I may not be an artist for this project but I think the style of the fangame you want should be based on what you want your game to be. You can go for a faithful style to the original game and remain within a certain set of rules by inspiring yourself from the concept art for example. But if you feel especially inspired to make something unique, you can go for a completely new artstyle.
As a player, I wouldn’t mind either as long as the graphics bring service to the gameplay in question, though it would be especially interesting if someone who played your game looked at a screenshot and could actually say “yeah I know this game, this is
Maybe a balance between usefulness (useful to the gameplay) and uniqueness/faithfulness (depending on what you want to create) would be something to reach for if you intend to make something memorable.
Sirius Bizdness: If they can, that’s awesome and they totally should–but it’s important to remember, most fangames are the work of amateurs. If all you can do is build your game from recycled parts, great! Build your game from recycled parts. A lot of fangame development feels like a group of garage tinkers–building neat stuff out of welded-together bits of scrap, maybe making the occasional custom piece using Ben’s plasma cutter. It’s not about making something consistent–it’s about making something cool, using whatever material is on hand.
NanTheDark: Yeah. The mashup of assets from different places was a negative aspect of the original SM63. You had sprites and textures from various games together, as well as Flash-made objects, which didn’t quite mesh together.
The music has seen a huge overhaul too. What made you decide to go for a more original soundtrack this time around?
River J: There’s a lot of more technical and creative reasons but, from my own perspective as a composer… I just sorta thought it was fun!
Lena: I think the general consensus was to pay homage to SM63s original soundtrack while creating something original. I think one of the primary reasons is that the original soundtrack is incredibly low fidelity, which would be odd with the higher graphics quality of our version.
And how do you create songs for this game? There are some fantastic pieces here…
River J: I use a pretty low-tier piece of software, Mixcraft Pro Studio, but I’ve ripped HUNDREDS of samples and instruments from my favourite games, so my music has become a cobbled-together mix of about 10-15 different video games I love. My melodies are mostly from the top of my head, but I take a lot of inspiration from my favourite composers, Yoko Shimomura, Koji Kondo and David Wise!
Lena: I use Ableton Live 11 and a plugin called Sforzando to get that classic MIDI file sound, and some stock Ableton instruments also.
brickblock369: Depends on what I want to achieve. Sometimes the original game’s music choice already did the best job fitting the gameplay, so I would mostly be faithful to it, otherwise I would try to understand the gameplay and level mechanics and then try my best to find a way to musically complement it.
And regarding the music, I noticed there are multiple musicians on the team. How do you all decide who does what songs? Is it random or is there a system?
creyon: Sometimes I’ve mis-organised things and had two people work on the same thing, so there’s some room for improvement.
But generally, we just assign things based on who’s most interested in doing a particular song. So, I ask people “anyone wanna do this?” and get a show of hands and we go from there.
Also, sometimes musicians will just make tracks on their own terms when they want to, and we then implement those as required
It’s mostly down to whatever each composer has inspiration for. If I have a cool idea regarding what a level should sound like, I just… ask if I can write it, and they usually say yes, because they love me 😉
What’s your favourite song so far?
aloelucidity: From the original, either file select or Bowser’s Road.
File select has a really carefree nostalgic feel, and paragonx9s Bowser remix is almost as iconic as the original (plus those drums ooo).
creyon: From the original, Buoy Base Galaxy, in the Space section.
River J: Out of the songs I’ve written, I’m incredibly proud of the music for the space section before the final boss. I can’t say much about it yet of course but, hopefully one day you’ll get to hear it for yourself!
Juno: From the original game, I love the music of the Bowser levels, because I could recognize what was the original song (from Mario 64) but in 63 it was remixed to be more epic while still keeping an era of mystery at the beginning. Oh yeah Buoy Base Galaxy as well, now that i think about it
Sirius Bizdness: You guys haven’t heard the new track for Hazy Maze Cave, but it is a BANGER. River knocked it out of the park.
Either way, this isn’t just an aesthetic improvement to the original Super Mario 63, it’s been improved game design wise too. What was the thought process behind changes to level and boss design here?
creyon: We’ve kinda been trying to keep things the same as the original where possible, but refining things as we go.
So, the level layout is mostly the same, and so is the player physics, but we adjusted and fixed some things to make them more fun (especially for speedrunning).
Which updated levels are you most proud of here?
creyon: Tutorial 1, the only one we’ve done so far lol.
Are there going to be any entirely new levels? Like new secret levels not present in the original Mario 63?
creyon: Maybe, no promises
How about story changes? The original’s story had a very neat twist with the Mario Galaxy references and finale, so is that maybe foreshadowed a bit more here?
creyon: We’re still kinda talking about that, and I don’t want to spoil anything.
Is Luigi going to be present this time around?
— shima 💜 ΘΔ (@ShiiNoctua) July 30, 2022
creyon: Probably, he wouldn’t be too hard to implement.
NanTheDark: How could he not be? He’s the best!
One thing that was always cool about the original 63 was the level editor. How’s that being expanded on this time around?
jaschutte: You had to unlock new tilesets, it built up some hype to unlocking new sets and it felt really amazing. As for the level editor in the remake, we completely rework some features. People won’t be limited by a grid anymore, just draw a shape and terrain forms around it! Also do we plan to support several shines within a single level, something which sadly lacked in the original editor.
Will everything from the main game be available here?
creyon: We plan to build most of the main game within the level editor, so yes
What about content that you originally had to modify the level files to use? Like the no music option?
creyon: We will probably manually implement some of that stuff. Particularly some stuff that was originally relegated to level designer mods in the original.
Sidenote, editing Redux level codes will probably be a tad harder than editing OG 63 codes, because we (currently) use a more compressed binary format to save storage space.
But worst-case scenario you could use a hex editor for it, and we plan to make the level editor itself good enough to avoid the need for code editing anyway.
Are elements using things like HTML going to be updated? We remember basic HTML tags being used for the text on signs before…
creyon: Don’t expect stuff like <img> elements, but we already have a formatting system using BBCode that covers most use-cases 😛
Is there going to be a service to share levels, like Super Mario Maker’s Course World?
creyon: Level Share Square exists, and that seems to be coming along nicely
Another neat feature is how the game is playable in the browser, despite not being a flash game anymore. How was that implemented?
creyon: Modern browsers use WebAssembly, which works without the need for a plugin. Godot exports to that by default, so all we needed to do was fix some compatibility issues
NanTheDark: Arcane Magic.
Was getting it playable there a key focus of the game’s development?
creyon: Not initially, but we realised after a while that people do actually care about it.
So, we’ve been working a bit more on supporting it
It’s also seemingly going to be playable on phones and other devices too. How do you decide what platforms the game should be available on?
After an overwhelming number of requests to improve the game's touchscreen controls, we've begun implementing some alternative control options. Let us know what you think!#PixelArt #Fangame #GodotEngine #IndieDev pic.twitter.com/xhz0IQOLwB
— Super Mario 63 Redux (@63Redux) October 15, 2022
creyon: Really, we try to port to any platform we reasonably can, but in particular we focus on platforms that people show demand for.
We’ve had a lot of people replying to Google Forms surveys saying they want the game on mobile and web, and the mobile version gets a lot of downloads, so, we know people want it.
Either way, it’s looking awesome, and lots of people are very excited to try it out. How does it feel knowing people are this interested in your project?
It is actually an incredibly amazing feeling, especially when people contribute to the git or mod, just knowing they’re building onto the foundations we put down gives me a feeling I cannot describe, it’s honestly incredible
creyon: Pretty good! it’s nice that people are enjoying it. We get messages saying that people are amazed to find that 63 still has a community, and that’s cool to hear.
Juno: I’m very hopeful that many people will get to enjoy Super Mario 63 under a new fresh paint of coat, and maybe it may even encourage them to play or revisit the original so they can see what changed or so they could pick their favourite!
Sirius Bizdness: Tbh I’m barely aware of that. But my brothers were VERY impressed when I told them I was on this project.
xirnpox: It’s not mine, I’m just part of it, but it feels good to know there’s people excited about it, and to practically work on something that was vital for my late childhood years is nice too.
Chri_ti_03: It’s definitely great and encourages us in continuing it despite being a free time no profit project
Do you have any other ideas for how to promote it? Like in more fan run fan game presentations or stuff?
creyon: Promotion isn’t a big priority for us, but attending some more presentations could be fun.
Juno: I’m just gonna talk about the game to my friends and let them discover it, and also letting them play with the French translation if they’re French
Chri_ti_03: Not that much, we understood how it goes after some time, and we don’t really have to worry considering we won’t make money off it and it’s not like Nintendo will want to make a Super Mario 63 Redux exact game haha
One thing that always comes up when fan games are discussed is the dreaded cease and desist, with every Reddit thread having at least ten people claiming Nintendo will shut it down. Do you ever worry that’ll happen with 63 Redux?
aloelucidity: Nintendo mostly takes down remakes of official games, probs they see it as piracy.
Redux is very different to most of what Nintendo puts out, so they don’t have much of a reason to care
creyon: The concern is certainly there, especially since we’re kinda breaking new ground by making it available on Android and making the whole thing open source. We don’t really have precedent for that.
But it’s not a particularly significant source of anxiety because we’re not doing any of the major things that alerts Nintendo’s attention, and the original 63 has existed for longer than many of its players have been alive and is still up and running just fine.
Juno: I highly doubt that, the game is transformative enough in my opinion to be ignored by Nintendo
Chri_ti_03: If it happens, it may be difficult but its Nintendo’s will be changed in some character sprites and in levels, just that
What’s your plan if it does? Could the game be rebranded?
creyon: I’d rather not comment on that without legal counsel.
jaschutte: BUT I WILL!
AHEM, prepare yourselves.
Assuming the release goes well, what next? What other fan games or projects do you guys have in mind?
creyon: Personally, I’ll probably continue supporting and updating it moving forward.
I also wanna move onto making actual indie games in my spare time, and I think working on Redux has helped a lot with my understanding of that field.
Juno: I’m also working on some translations here and there but never on a professional level, I haven’t considered making it my job
Sirius Bizdness: Who knows? I’m just glad to have a team to work with. I definitely want to hold onto the relationships, at least.
It’s like that one Tumblr meme says: “Don’t chase your dreams. Humans are persistence predators! Follow your dreams at a sustainable pace until they get tired and lie down.”
xirnpox: If the team decides to stick together OR if they split apart yet consider everyone for their future projects, I will be there, I want to contribute in other projects besides making mine.
Finally, what advice would you give someone looking to get into fan game development, or game development as a whole?
creyon: Toughest question yet.
Try to enjoy the journey and destination.
At times it can be frustrating, at times it can be rewarding, and it’s also good to have something to work towards. Just remember to keep a balance you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance, and always be prepared to learn more.
In terms of specific advice for indie programmers, I advise using the Godot engine (as of 2022 at least), because it’s powerful and has a user-first attitude. That way, you can trust the software not to work against you. If it’s doing something wrong, it’s just because somebody hasn’t gotten around to dealing with it yet – not because they want you to pay a fee for it to work properly.
Also, try to keep your code clean and commented. Write it as if you had someone over your shoulder. Because someday, when you go to add a new team member, or show it as evidence in an interview, or even when your future self looks back, you’ll want them to know what it does
Juno: It’s probably gonna take you ages at first, but the more you try and experiment, and the more you’ll know about it. Learning programming is also highly recommended since it’ll give you a certain point of view about your own work and you’ll be able to think about how to optimise it better, or at least you won’t be confused about certain terms like attributes, int, char, etc.
Sirius Bizdness: Never stop making, never stop learning, and above all make LOTS of games. Make ’em big, make ’em small, it doesn’t matter, just make ’em by the dozen. Every one you make will be a little better than the last one. As with any art form, getting good is slow, so just keep working at it and take pride in the little improvements you’re making.
xirnpox: Find whatever talent you think could fit you, while I’m a programmer, I’ve explored the idea of getting into 3d modelling and a bit of concept art, I’m not an artist though, so it’s a constant struggle and I know how it feels, for a long time I felt like I couldn’t fit into development in general because I lacked art skills.
But I always keep forgetting that I already know how to code, so even I don’t end up becoming an artist, I can still work on my own game one day with the help of other people, so my advice is: Just keep going, you’ll eventually find your place and the right moment to make a game, because I’ve been in that situation too.
Chri_ti_03: Definitely try it out, it’s a very cool experience, but first of all find your thing in game dev, and then have a team to work with even if it’s just your two best friends
NanTheDark: Just try it. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s worth it. If you’re just starting out, you just have to make stuff. And at first, it’s not gonna be anything amazing, but what matters is to just do something, to get experience, and continuously get better. Don’t expect to make a masterpiece on your first attempt. Start small, otherwise you’ll just get frustrated. This especially applies if you’re making a game all by yourself.
Thanks for the advice guys! There’s a lot to unpack there for sure, but it’s definitely all stuff we agree with nonetheless. For instance, Nan is 100% right that making stuff is the best way to learn, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to make the fan game of your dreams unless you actually go out and start working on it. Experience is gained by doing stuff after all.
And as quite a few other people have said there, you’ll definitely need to be patient too. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were most successful games (fan made or otherwise). So don’t rush it. Don’t take on a game development project under the assumption you’ll be done in a week, or assume you’re a failure because you’re a year or so in and don’t have a game ready to release to the world.
Because that’s not realistic. Making games takes time, and finishing them off takes about as much time as the work required to get to that point. So stay calm, keep working, and eventually you should be able to make your dream game.
Still, that’s the interview done and dusted. It’s been great fun talking to the Super Mario 63 Redux team about their work, and we’re very excited to see what the future holds for this project in general too. But what do you think of it? Are you excitedly awaiting the game, and happy to see a childhood favourite get remade in this style?
What are your memories of the original Super Mario 63 as a whole?
Leave your thoughts on those things and more in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!