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The most in-depth Miyamoto interview you'll ever read - tons of details, insights and anecdotes from Miyamoto

- “I can still recall the kind of sensation I had when I was in a small river, and I was searching with my hands beneath a rock, and something hit my finger, and I noticed it was a fish. That’s something that I just can’t express in words. It’s such an unusual situation. I wish that children nowadays could have similar experiences, but it’s not very easy.” - Miyamoto
- Miyamoto’s business cards say that he is the senior managing director and the general manager of the entertainment-analysis and -development division at Nintendo Company Ltd.
- “There’s a big difference between the money you receive personally from the company and the money you can use in your job.” - Miyamoto
- Super Mario Bros. franchise has sold more than two hundred and forty million units
- that does not include Mario Kart, Mario Party, and other offshoots
- “At the end of the day, most of the designers out there now grew up playing Miyamoto’s games. He approaches the games playfully, which seems kind of obvious, but most people don’t. And he approaches things from the players’ point of view, which is part of his magic.” - Will Wright
- the first game Miyamoto ever played was Western Gun
- “Our goal was to come up with a machine that moms would want.” - Miyamoto
- “Miyamoto starts from the kinesthetics of the controller. What is this thing going to feel like in my hands? Will I feel like I’m instinctively connected to this world? As opposed to, I’ve got sixteen buttons, and I’m trying to figure out which button does the super-thrust power-up, in which case it’s very cerebral, kind of like learning to play the piano. Rather than, you know, just picking up a shovel and starting to dig. He’s had an amazing impact not just on software and games but on the hardware as well.” - Will Wright
- Miyamoto’s original interview with Yamauchi was obtained through Miyamoto’s father
- Miyamoto started out by designing a console for a car-racing game
- Yokoi originally told Miyamoto to simplify his approach to games
- “The (NES) hardware wasn’t much better than Atari’s. The polish and the depth of the games were. Super Mario was so approachable, so simple, so addictive, and yet so deep. When you play his games, you feel like you’re a kid and you’re out in the back yard playing in the dirt.” - Will Wright
- Miyamoto’s adventures into neighbors’ basements and yards, as well as a stand-off with a neighbor’s bulldog that would charge him each time he passed by, lead to many game ideas
- Hyrule is “a miniature garden that you can put into a drawer and revisit anytime you like.” - Miyamoto
- “Many video games ask for a lot in order to be played, so it is not surprising that some people do not play video games. Video games ask for much more than other art forms.” - Danish ludologist Jesper Juul
- “Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock and roll!” - Miyamoto
- “to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games. In game worlds, I believe that many of us become the best version of ourselves.” - Jane McGonigal
- “A lot of the so-called ‘action games’ are not made that way. All the time, players are forced to do their utmost. If they are challenged to the limit, is it really fun for them? You are constantly providing the players with a new challenge, but at the same time providing them with some stages or some occasions where they can simply, repeatedly, do something again and again. And that itself can be a joy.” - Miyamoto
- to preserve his anonymity, Miyamoto makes it a point not to appear on Japanese TV programs
- “Mr. Miyamoto is the person who is very difficult to find. In Nintendo, everyone wants to find him.” - Nintendo assistant
- “It’s about enjoying something. I used to draw cartoons. I’d just show them to some of my friends, expecting that they were going to appreciate them, that they were going to enjoy reading them. And I haven’t changed a bit about that. When I’m making video games today, I want people to be entertained. I am always thinking, How are people going to enjoy playing the games we are making today? And as long as I can enjoy something other people can enjoy it, too. Nowadays, my main focus is on trying to find some new, unprecedented experiences that people can get deeply into, deeply absorbed in. But some of my job involves something completely different—when there is a game that is not yet interesting, I have to think about how I can change it or adjust it so that people can be entertained. I always remind myself, when it comes to a game I’m developing, that I am the perfect, skillful player. I can manipulate all this controller stuff. So sometimes I ask the younger game creators to try playing the games they are making by switching their left and right hands. In that way, they can understand how inexperienced the first-timer is. What we demand in development is sharing the common feeling. Kyo is the sharing and kan is the emotional feeling. Suppose someone is talking about his children. If I am a father, I can understand personally what he’s talking about. We have kyokan.” - Miyamoto
- “We always use the term ‘difficulty’ when we talk about gameplay. If a game is too difficult, people may not want to play it again. With the appropriate level of difficulty, people may feel like challenging it again and again. As they repeat it, the amount of information they can acquire naturally increases. . . . I always try to be conscious about that kind of gradual improvement. Sometimes the test players complain that there are too many enemies in one stage. And when I approach the designer of that scene with that kind of complaint sometimes he or she says, ‘Oh, maybe they couldn’t find the stars at the beginning. As soon as they find out that the star makes you invincible, it’s more joy.’ And the developer insists that hiding the star in the beginning is going to be great. But if game players don’t understand this, and they can’t find the star, then the game doesn’t make sense at all. To what extent are you going to hide the secrets? In order for a mystery or a joke to work, we have to provide the necessary amount of information. Not too much, not too little, but the perfect balance, so that in the end people can feel, How come I didn’t realize that? The difficulty with video games, unlike movies or novels, where the authors themselves can lead the audience to the end, is that in games it’s the players who have to find their own road to the end.” - Miyamoto
- “Take the guitar. Some people, when they stumble over how to accurately place their fingers in an F chord, they actually give it up. But once you learn how to play an F chord you become more deeply absorbed in playing the guitar. If the bridge is too easy to pass by, it’s called ‘entertainment.’ If it’s rather difficult, it can be called ‘hobby.’ ”
- Miyamoto used to ride a bike or walk to work, but now Nintendo makes him drive for his own safety
- “If I find that a certain musical phrase is very nice, probably the first thing I am going to do in my office is I am going to pick up the guitar and try to imitate that phrase until I can get it right.” - Miyamoto
- when Miyamoto turned forty, he decided to give up cigarettes and pachinko to get in shape
- “It’s a shame if we narrowly limit the definition of video games.” - Miyamoto
- “I like changing the interiors of the house, or sometimes even the exterior of the house. Sometimes I’m called the Sunday carpenter. Even at midnight or at some early hour in the morning, I will change the location of the sofa in the living room. That’s me. Something tells me that by changing it my life is going to be more enjoyable. At least it’s going to give me some fresh feeling.” - Miyamoto
- “I’m not as good at so-called ‘strategic games’ at all.” - Miyamoto
- “Anything that is impractical can be play. It’s doing something other than what is necessary to continue living as an animal When it comes to other animals, they play to prepare themselves for hunting. If you ask me why human beings play, well, I just don’t know. It must be just for pleasure. We generate chemicals in our brain so that we can have some pleasure, and by now we’ve come to understand that pleasure makes you happier, and being happier makes you healthier.” - Miyamoto
- “I became more conscious about the environment in which people play the video games, especially after we had our first child. I don’t think I ever talked about doing homework first. But, if there was any rule, it was that inside our house the video games—hardware, software—they are my property, so that when the children want to play they have to borrow them from me. So, for example, when I said, ‘It’s time for you to stop. Otherwise you cannot play again at all’—I think it worked!” - Miyamoto
- “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell, from the looks and the play of the games, who has created the software.”
- Miyamoto named Will Wright as a game dev he is impressed by
- “I recognize that there are certain types of games for which the photorealistic graphics are suited. But what I don’t like is that any and all games are supposed to be photorealistic.”
- “When they (manga artists) became much older, they started to destroy the style they themselves had created. When I started working for the company, I thought that someday I would like to do the same. I wanted to destroy the styles that we ourselves created. I don’t think we can do so completely, but I think that in the way that we are making video games today we might be getting closer to my idea of destroying the original style. Because we ourselves have created the original format or style of video games, we understand why we had to do it at the time. Because we understand that, we can also understand why some of them must be kept intact and why some of them we can destroy.”

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Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: wii

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