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LEGO Super Mario details (no word on level packs, optical sensor use, Nintendo's involvement, and much more)

by rawmeatcowboy
14 March 2020
GN Version 5.0

Earlier yesterday, we posted up a snippet from a Brick Brothers interview with Jonathan Bennink, Design Manager at the LEGO Creative Play Lab and Digital Design Lead for LEGO Super Mario. Below you can see a round-up of details that weren't included in the segments that we shared earlier.

- No word level packs for different Mario games/themes
- no word on LEGO Super Mario sets at minifigure scale
- Mario uses an optical sensor
- LEGO collaborated with Nintendo on the technology as well as the play concept
- Mario has a display where his eyes, mouth, and belly screen are animated with game information
- This includes how many coins you get, how much time you have left, and the interactions that you have with the set
- Mario has a speaker so he can talk to you and play music at the same time
- Mario has a color sensor on the bottom between his feet so we can read a selection of the LEGO color palette
- You can add your own bricks in the levels that you make and get coins from that
- The main action rates come from scanning barcodes
- barcodes are pre-applied stickers that come on 2×2 tiles
- Mario reads those barcodes and then has a unique reaction to them
- Not thought of as a video game
- A lot of design thinking went into creating Mario
- LEGO worked very closely with the Nintendo IP team
- Nintendo was very specific about what colors they were able to use
- LEGO tried Mario with a LEGO yellow skin, but it just didn’t look good on the figure
- they went for this hybrid mix between LEGO and Mario colors to get as close as possible to the IP character
- Mario’s head comes off, and LEGO “will have some more exciting news to share on that in the future”
- the team wanted to make sure they don’t set the figure at such a high price that nobody can afford it
- the size ultimately followed from what technology they needed to fit inside it
- they played around with some completely sculpted characters
- they tried a single injection-molded piece for a Goomba and Bowser Jr, who are both rounded
- they tried to find the right balance between technology and playability in terms of pricing
- the characters are brick-built to fit the square look of Mario
- there are also new 8×8, 6×6 and 4×4 square plates with rounded edges that are two plates high
- new decorations like the Bowser flag, Bowser Jr., and Koopaling
- Takashi Tezuka was the creative lead on Nintendo’s side
- If you jump on the question mark block, you see the question marks rotate
- when you jump off the block, you'll get an item
- there are different things you can get, including a 10-coin bonus
- When you stomp on an enemy, you’ll see an image and an accompanying sound
- talking to Yoshi makes Mario happy so he has a little heart on his belly screen
- Mario has different phases that say “Hi!” or “Hey, it’s me again!”
- Target age range is 6+
- LEGO tested a lot on this project in focus groups in the US, Germany, Japan, the UK and Denmark
- Original Mario prototype “was a little bit gimmicky like some of the other tech toys out there that are fun to play with for a few hours but wear off after”

[Link, Link]