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Miyamoto shares his thoughts on players making their own goals in games, struggles of mobile development, and the challenge of being a dev

Details just keep pouring out from Miyamoto's CEDEC 2018 keynote. A number of other topics have now been translated, and you can find the info below.

The challenge of making the game’s fun about reaching goals, and allowing for player freedom

- having players make their own goals in games is an important aspect
- with the invention of the Famicom, Miyamoto realized it was possible for devs to not have to set predetermined goals
- one of the first Nintendo games that really explored this was Super Mario 64
- the original plan was for the gameplay to continue after you collected a star in Super Mario 64
- while this didn't happen, the idea was finally realized with Super Mario Odyssey
- Miyamoto was very impressed by Minecraft's allowance for player freedom
- Miyamoto was blown away by a Youtube video of somebody who had made a convenience store in Minecraft
- the fact that Minecraft also had a map sharing feature was also something that left a deep impression on him
- the goal of Super Mario Maker was to give the player the freedom to create, and show that creation itself is fun

On the trials and errors in the making of Super Mario Run

- Nintendo wanted to have as many people play Nintendo games as possible, which is why they started making mobile games
- Super Mario Run distills the Mario formula into the two actions of running and jumping
- Miyamoto stated that balancing difficulty
- the game was meant to gradually amp up in both challenge and satisfaction, but Miyamoto requested it to harder
- this lead to many players finding the game too difficulty
- these complaints lead to the creation of the Remix 10 mode
- Miyamoto showed regret that he and the dev team should have made Super Mario Run more like Remix 10 from the start
- the decision to make the game a one-time price was made early on
- Miyamoto was taken aback by the public reaction to Pokemon GO
- Miyamoto had harbored doubts about the gameplay, finding it too simple for a smartphone game
- he missed the value in that simplicity, and now rates the game quite highly

On the problems of a game designer

- Miyamoto shared a memo written by him in the past, titled “The Anatomy of a Game Designer’s Problems”
- this was a list of problems that occur after staff and test groups show criticism and doubts over game design
- the list reads as follows:

1. Everyone says it’s not fun.

2. Even you yourself don’t know anymore, and you decide to come up with new concepts.

3. Coming up with new concepts takes time. You start to feel frustrated!

4. Even after looking at the results, it doesn’t strike you as fun –> partially return to number 2.

5. You start coming up with various concepts, and now can’t manage to bring the elements together.

6. Because you can’t string them together, it can’t become a refined idea. You get more frustrated, and your thinking becomes less flexible.

7. Return to Step 1.

- Miyamoto says the best way to deal with these problems is to “thank the others for their harsh opinions”
- he also says “no matter how you receive the criticisms, respond in a positive manner”
- it's not only a technical matter, but one of mindset, and that this helps with motivation

Comments

The challenge of making the game’s fun about reaching goals, and allowing for player freedom

Zelda:BOTW did just that, and I sure hope they expand that in the next game! ;)

Wow! The memo to himself is quite sobering. But, well, there must be a reason why he's considered a genius.

- the original plan was for the gameplay to continue after you collected a star in Super Mario 64

Then a few decades later, Kaze Emanuar actually managed to Mario 64 work exactly like that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq2iQPCXyZ8

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