During E3, we had the opportunity to speak with Super Mario Maker producer Takashi Tezuka and director Yosuke Oshino about creating the Mario game where you create. We posted a small excerpt from the interview during the show, but you can find the full dialogue below. We talked about why the game received the "Super" prefix, how Mario Paint influenced the game's development, and if this game opens the door for a Zelda Maker in the future.
Game Informer: Why "Super" Mario Maker?
We have a couple of reasons. The first is that compared to the playable version that we saw at E3 last year, the version we have now is so much more packed with features – we feel like it's powered up – that it makes sense to call it "Super" so people would know how different it is.
The biggest reason, though, is if we call it just Mario Maker, people might think it's a tool for making all Mario games and we want people to know it's really about Super Mario levels in particular, so we thought the name would convey that really well.
Why hasn't this type of game existed from Nintendo before now? Is this something Nintendo has wanted to do for a long time? Or did it just appear in the last couple years?
I first was inspired to create a game like this when I saw the Wii U Gamepad, and I thought it would be perfect for creating a gameplay experience kind of like Mario Paint. While I had a Mario Paint kind of gameplay experience in my head, at the same time we have an internal tools team who is working in creating an editing application for creating side-scrolling courses for our developers, so they were prototyping some different versions, and I saw that. These are tool developers. They're not creators, so when I saw them having fun with the tool and it was simple enough for them to make courses, I saw the the potential, and when they proposed we make a gameplay experience out of it, I agreed. It was such a great idea.
Our idea of making a Mario Paint experience would have involved drawing, but we thought creating courses directly on the GamePad was so intuitive it was kind of like doing your own artwork there, so we kind of merged the two ideas together to come up with what we have today.
Was Mr. Tezuka involved in the development of Mario Paint? Will there be a fly swatting minigame?
No, I wasn't involved with the original development, but I had a colleague in a different department who was involved in it. And of course you will see the fly swatter!
Super Mario Maker producer Takashi Tezuka (left) and director Yosuke Oshino (right)
Did you look at LittleBigPlanet while developing Mario Maker?
We're familiar with that, but we weren't really looking at it at the time. We played LittleBigPlanet, and we thought it was really well made, but of course when creating our game we made it according to our concepts and what we wanted. Our ideas are to have a fun creative experience that was intuitive enough for anyone to pick up and play. Yeah, we looked at that game, but we had our own goals in mind.
Will you be able to upload video replays of created levels to YouTube?
We thought about having YouTube uploading, but that’s not in our game. The reason for that is other than just watching movies of courses, we’d rather players play them and experience them in that way.
If Super Mario Maker is a success, will it open the door for a comparable Zelda Maker?
Zelda Maker might be a challenge to make I think. Personally, making Super Mario Maker that was a challenge in itself, and we hope that it's a success, so thank you for saying that, but I think that might be a difficult task.
For our hands-on preview of Super Mario Maker, head here. Takashi Tezuka is also a producer on Yoshi's Woolly World and was a director on Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for Super Nintendo. We'll have our interview with him regarding the latest Yoshi game tomorrow.