IGN - Miyamoto details the Mario design process, making old characters do new things, discusses Mario remakes

Coming from an IGN interview with Shigeru Miyamoto...

"There’s only a certain amount of things that you can create on your own. It’s important to get young minds in, too. I think it becomes more fun if young minds are involved.

When it’s internal teams, they really understand it, although they try to push that line a little bit further. But when it’s an external partner, I make sure that line is very clear. I have times where I’m actually strangely open and it’s the team that’s worrying too much. But then other times, I’m really strict in certain other points.

I was worried about how players would react to being in a world where Mario is this tall and normal people are a little bit taller. Or the fact that people don’t get mad at Mario when he’s jumping up and down all over the place, but with all that said, I think I realized that the character Pauline has already existed, and the idea of this game taking place in the city worked out really well. And so we ran with it

Fundamentally, I think that it’s ideal if we can get old characters to do new things. When there is a new game mechanic introduced and there’s a new character that really, really fits well, I think it’s great. But I do have a little bit of hesitancy and resistance when someone’s trying to overbearingly bring their thoughts in, and trying to create new characters over and over again.

As a child I wanted to be a manga artist, and as a manga artist usually you have this symbolic character that’s yours. And you try to use that character in many different stories and episodes that you create, almost like how Hitchcock is in every one of his movies. For me, Mario is that, and I want to create as many different games as possible using Mario. And I still think there’s a lot of potential and possibility left.

I really feel like as a manga artist, I had this concept of Mario and he did look a lot more realistic than the 2D images that we were able to create, but then when you come to Super Mario World, there was a Japanese artist, Yoichi Kotabe, he was able to create a more fleshed-out, evolved version of Mario. And then when you come to Super Mario 64, Mario evolved from a 2D drawing to a 3D character.

Before, we only had a simple mechanic to work with, so all we could really play around with was how polished we made it, but now we can have the freedom to do all different kinds of expressions, all different kinds of resource management, all those things. So I feel like we have more in our toolset than just polishing the game.

I really start with the game mechanic, and then trying to make sure that the character that gets put into the game fits that mechanic. If you divide things into large categories, you could go the Mario route or the Zelda route. And then, for example, with a game like Luigi’s Mansion, I really thought that Luigi was the perfect fit for that game, and that’s how it manifested. And for characters like Pikmin, for the mechanic that current Pikmin games have, they were perfect.

In a sense, I really feel like I own this talent agency and I am casting all these great talent into these games. In Mario, it really is what you can see and what you can touch and trying to build creativity there, whereas Zelda is about exploration and really going out [into the distance]. So there is that difference in density.

I usually spend a lot of time thinking about games when I’m actually playing games, looking at something and thinking to myself, 'Would it be more fun if this thing came at me, or if this thing was running away from me?' Things like that.

I think it’s really essential and crucial to be able to communicate to the programmer in exact detail how you want your concept to come to life. It’s important to know what happens if they do something, or what they can touch and can’t touch. I feel like that is a really important aspect, and I do that for everything. That’s the kind of designs and drawings that I try to create.

I wouldn’t want to see the world go in the direction where all you need to do is think to make things move, or all you need to do is control things with eye movement. I really think that movement is fun, and in that sense there’s a lot more evolution that something like movement can have within a game. For example, even with the gyro sensor that we have now, you need to calibrate it to have it work. Maybe in the future, it will somehow read the magnetic poles or axis of the Earth so you don’t need to calibrate it, or will use almost no electricity whatsoever. It would be great to see things happen in that aspect.

It’s great that there are people who are making those creative ideas (in Super Mario Maker). That’s what really makes me happy. When I think about games, for the player to be able to play creatively within a free space is important, and that’s something that I try to have in every game that we put out.

Simply put, in Mario, you run, you jump, you fall, you bump into things. Things that people do all the time in everyday life, and that’s just inserted into the game. Going on to future generations and iterations of Mario, I think obviously, the developer who makes these games has to be creative, but I also think the players must be creative as well. They need to think and act themselves.

I think what makes Mario really relatable for a lot of people is the fact that it requires creativity on the side of the player to be able to think and act and learn from those actions. When you look at games like Super Mario Odyssey or even Super Mario 64, that’s what they’ve been doing. That’s the key to what has made Mario so accepted and popular."

Miyamoto also briefly touched upon the idea of remaking older Mario games, which is something he's not really interested in.

"I don’t really feel like I want to remake any of them. It’s more natural to always create new mechanics and new games."

Eiji Aonuma appearing at Japan Expo to give a "Master Class" on Zelda

We imagine this talk will focus entirely on Breath of the Wild, and will certainly be interesting for fans around the world. Let's hope Nintendo decides to share some official coverage of this event!

Zelda: Breath of the Wild dev blog update - Korok Mask and hidden Koroks

The following blog post comes from Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the Director on Breath of the Wild

- the Korok Mask helps you find the hidden Koroks
- the dev team thought it would be fun to hide all sorts of things across the landscape, including Koroks
- they originally hid stone objects, but decided that wasn't much fun
- they then thought about hiding something under stones, which is where the Koroks came up
- originally, the Koroks could only be found deep in the Lost Woods, but the team decided against that
- if you happen to get near a spot where a Korok is hiding, the mask will shake to warn you
- the stone object in the image above is actually the Master Sword pedestal from Skyward Sword

Bethesda shares how Zelda: Breath of the Wild content got added to Skyrim

Coming from Bethesda VP of PR / marketing Pete Hines....

“… talked to the Breath of the Wild folks, and they were big Skyrim fans themselves and loved the idea. We really wanted to kind of do an integration with them – their open world thing, our open world thing. It was a lot of fun. They were great with proividing us with all kinds of assets to make it feel like a cool, unique thing for Skyrim.”

NCSX import - Legend of Zelda Historical Metal Charm Gashapon Set

With a new Legend of Zelda game shipping this year on the new Nintendo Switch, Takara Tomy Arts celebrates the history of Zelda with six metal charms which include one based on the upcoming Breath of the Wild game. The six charms in the set are:

» The Legend of Zelda
» The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
» The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
» The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
» The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
» The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Grab yours here

Japanese actress for Zelda in Breath of the Wild details the recording process

The following Zelda: Breath of the Wild dev blog features an interview with Yu Shimamura, who voices Princess Zelda in the Japanese version of the game.

- she felt pretty uneasy at the beginning, and she even remembers asking “Is it really OK for me to talk?”
- she was told that “It’s all part of our challenge to revisit the conventions of the Legend of Zelda series.”
- the scene at the beginning of a ceremony caused Shimamura a bit of trouble
- the lines of the ritual did not properly reflect Zelda’s personality, her motivations, her powerlessness, and awkwardness
- Shimamura talked about it with Naoki Mori (who was in charge of Cinematic Design, including screenplay, and cutscenes)
- the whole thing was rewritten several times, until they arrived at the final result
- there’s quite a lot of scenes she really likes in the game
- her favorite line is the “Yes” Princess Zelda gives as an answer to the Deku Tree in a particular scene
- in that scene, Zelda thinks about what she should do, but she cannot see it at all
- she refuses to give up, and wants to give hope to Link
- Shimamura tried to convey all of those feelings through the single "Yes" she spoke
- recording felt completely different than for animation, the dubbing of (foreign) movies, or other games
- there was no fixed routine of how to approach it, as all different things were being tried out
- lines were redone even after other lines were implemented in the game, as the team found better ways to say things
- Shimamura finally managed to beat the game the other day, but she wants to keep practicing her shield surfing
- Shimamura explains that she really gave it her whole when voicing Princess Zelda, to give her emotions
- she hopes that players will remember their memories of Princess Zelda