Just a few days ahead of Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s launch, Nintendo has shared an ‘Ask the Developer’ feature for the game. This feature will have 4 parts in total, and the first two have been released today.

While the entire feature is well worth a read, we’ve gone through to pull out the juiciest details. You can see a bullet point breakdown of the more interesting notes and anecdotes from Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s development below.

  • Nintendo was thinking about the next 2D Mario game while working on Super Mario Maker 2
  • press saying Super Mario Maker 2 eliminated the need for a new 2D Mario motivated the devs
  • early in development the team decided to use a different engine from New Super Mario Bros.
  • development on the game continued without worry of keeping a schedule/meeting a deadline
  • Tezuka gave the team the task of creating a Mario game full of hidden surprises and wonders
  • Mouri wanted to include at least one element in each course that would surprise or delight
  • ideas used to create 3D Mario games were applied to 2D Mario
  • everyone from programmers to designers and sound designers wrote down gameplay ideas
  • this resulted in over 2,000 ideas for the team to consider
  • Sato proposed the idea of players warping to another world by collecting an item
  • Kondo shared the idea of an eight-heads-tall, life-sized, live-action Mario that hummed
  • Kondo’s idea didn’t make the cut
  • to make the Wonder effects more unconventional, up-tempo background music is used
  • environmental sounds and sound effects were made more dynamic
  • the course music has also been redesigned, combining instruments and digital synthesizers
  • Koji Kondo had input on Elephant Mario and how he sprayed water
  • the team didn’t hear anything about The Super Mario Bros. film’s content during development
  • ample budget and time was given to create characters with even more care and attention
  • this decision was made to please new fans who enjoyed the Super Mario Bros. movie
  • the team were able to make movements and facial expressions more dynamic than before
  • the number of joints on characters has been increased, making for a broader range of motion
  • joints and animations have more than doubled in number since the previous title
  • facial expressions that are difficult to express using joints were created by replacing the models
  • the devs revisited Mario’s iconic poses from the days of pixel graphics
  • the team struggled with when the character faces toward players to show their expressions
  • things like Mario’s nose would get in the way when trying to show off expressions
  • it took time to find the balance of showing expression and not obstructing design elements
  • players can see both the direction Mario is heading and his facial expressions
  • each character has a distinctive jump sound
  • the sounds of musical instruments have been incorporated into the sound effects
  • an electric ukulele made of Yezo spruce was used for Mario’s jump sound
  • the team used strings to accompany the traditional action of running before jumping
  • this is the first time the jump sound changes based on how the player jumps
  • timing for sound effects had to be adjusted due to new player animations and actions
  • Goombas greet each other as they meet or sleep peacefully
  • even before development, the team was looking to broaden the range of enemy expressions
  • the designers created fed-up expressions for Goombas caught in gaps
  • remote work was used during development and some meetings took place online
  • this caused struggles, but new opportunities as well
  • Miyamoto says Mario takes damage when he bumps into a Goomba because they bite him
  • the same biting attack was used for Koopa Troopas
  • new foes called Rolla Koopas , which are Koopa Troopas on roller skates
  • Elephant Mario was another idea that came out of Nintendo’s dev idea-sharing session
  • the idea came from wanting Mario to have a bigger body
  • a bigger body lets Mario step on enemies, hit blocks, and collect coins easier
  • the devs also wanted Mario to hit blocks from the side and to spray water
  • all of these ideas combined led to Elephant Mario
  • one scrapped idea was blowing up shells with Elephant Mario’s trunk
  • when a character collects an Elephant Fruit and transforms, you hear “wowie zowie”
  • the background music’s arrangement changes when a character transforms into an elephant
  • lots of attention was paid to the sounds of footsteps, jumps, and sucking up water
  • the final 6 months/year of development was when a unified direction for the game took shape

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Comments (1)


8M ago

Interesting that the final 6 months is when the direction of the game really took place, I wonder what exactly that means?