Along with various other interesting bits of information confirmed by an interview of Koichi Hayashida by the website Modojo. Indeed, there’s a lot of interesting things said here which should interest people who want more Super Mario 3D Land, as well as about the Mario series in general, so read on!
They first ask:
Do you see this as a possible series? Could there be a Super Mario 3D Land 2?
To which Koichi replies:
Well I guess I have to turn around and ask, is that something you’d like to see?
Immediately this is getting interesting. They’re not counting out direct sequels to Mario games! Then again, is that really a surprise? First we had Super Mario Galaxy 2, then recently we had Pokémon Black and White version 2, I think a Super Mario 3D Land 2 seems like a fairly plausible choice of sequel for Nintendo to make. I also love how naive the guy is when he asks ‘is that something you’d like to see?’ Because apparently, there are some people on the planet who would say they don’t want a sequel and would be disappointed if one was made.
Would you consider adding downloadable content to the game? How easy is it to create new levels?
This question seems pretty interesting too. Good thing they asked how difficult it is to make new levels, my experience in the past indicates that making a new level in any video game is much a more difficult challenge than it looks. But hey, Super Mario 3D Land has a fairly simple graphics style which relies almost on 3D tiles for making up the levels, so it can’t be that difficult, right?
It’s not something we had initially thought about. Thinking about it now, there would be some challenges, but if there was a really good opportunity to use the stereoscopic effect to create some interesting new elements to introduce to the game, I suppose it’s a possibility.
However, the response worries me. I think Nintendo are putting far too much stock in ‘gimmicks’ with their recent titles. Why not just make it so you make fun levels? No one cares if you come up with ‘interesting’ new elements using the stereoscopic effect other than elitist ‘critics’ who think that games should be all art like. The rest of us just want fun levels regardless of how technically fancy they are.
I guess if you look at the staff credits for the game, including the localization teams at NOA and NOE, it would come out to about 100 total?
When asked how many people worked on the game. I won’t quote the full interview for legal reasons, but it comes out as about 100 people and two years of development.
What do you think of Mario becoming a yearly franchise like Call of Duty?
Yikes, talk about a difficult question to ask someone on the internet! Have you seen how much hate Activision gets for releasing games every year with minor changes?
Well, the way we approach the Mario series is through evolving hardware. Every time we have a new piece of hardware, we look at it and say, what can we do with this? What sort of gameplay experiences can we create? Then we take that and try and match it to the world of Mario, the kind of expressions you would find in Mario games.
Unfortunately, the answer given worries me even more. In fact, some will say that its Nintendo’s biggest problem with their recent titles, they seem to be designing them based on the hardware rather than just letting the games dictate the console. Putting the cart before the horse or something.
Really, as much as his ideas are rather disliked, Sean Malstrom said it best with this quote:
A video games console is just a box people buy to play video games.
Paraphrased of course, but you know what he means there. People don’t enjoy buying games consoles for their own sake, they’re just there as a means to play the games It’s best if Nintendo realised this and just made their games just as good games first and foremost and the console ‘gimmicks’ thrown in where appropriate to the series and game design.
If we were going to come out with a Mario game every single year, the only way we could really do this is if we also came out with new hardware every single year, which starts to get a little difficult to imagine.
Well no, you could also just make some new Mario games that aren’t designed around the hardware, or just make more use of the existing hardware. Like Super Mario Galaxy 2 was. Or Super Mario Land 2 on Game Boy was. Or heck, like Super Mario Bros 2 and the Lost Levels were back on NES. The whole one Mario game a system stuff was a fairly recent invention if you look back at Mario history, it only held true of the SNES (assuming you don’t count Yoshi’s Island), Nintendo 64 and Gamecube. Hell, if you were bored enough and wanted a change, you could even have a successful Nintendo system with no mainstream/new Mario games at all like the Game Boy Advance.
What about the possibility of a Super Mario Bros. level editor? Would it do more harm than good to the franchise to give users that sort of power?
I’d love to see some sort of level editor. Because it’s not that hard to make one given how every Mario game to date has had an unofficial one built by fans. Is it really that difficult a concept to release an official equivalent to Lunar Magic or Toad’s Tool?
so we’re certainly not opposed to the concept of introducing a level editor
So it’s not entirely hopeless.
but in my mind, it’s not really about the users having power or hurting the way the franchise is viewed, but rather, whether we can see the possibility to create a really unique and fun experience with that level editor. It’s not something we’ve explored in any detail yet with the Mario universe, but as with everything, if we sense a good idea and a good possibility, it’s certainly something we’d pursue.
Yet while hope for an official level editor exists, it seems Nintendo’s staff seem to have missed one key point. See the bolded.
No one finds a level editor fun in itself. What is fun is playing the levels others have made and sharing your work with other people. That’s not something that can support a whole game (hence why fairly few people bought WarioWare DIY), but it should still be an optional feature or tool you can either get for free or buy seperately. No one who would use a level editor would give a toss whether it was fun to use in a conventional sense.
You can look at this as comparable to an art set or a writing/office program. No one thinks paint in itself is ‘fun’ in the same way a video game is fun, but they enjoy the activity in a different way. No one thinks using Microsoft Word in itself is an entertaining activity but they might like writing a novel Any level editor for the Mario series would be enjoyed in the same way.