September 26, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Super Mario Bros. didn’t have that.  Wonder deadline during the prototype phase

Super Mario Bros. didn’t have that. Wonder deadline during the prototype phase

Image: Nintendo

Super Mario Bros. has been praised. Wonder is already in early hands-on previews for being one of the most refreshing 2D games in the series in a very long time, and part of the reason for that seems to be related to the fact that there was no deadline in the early stages of its design.

Speaking to Wired, game producer Takashi Tezuka mentioned how during the prototyping phase, there was no deadline, which seemed to encourage more creativity and ideas. Here’s exactly what he had to say:

Takashi Tezuka: “I wanted to prevent people from saying, ‘We’re not going to meet this deadline, and that’s why we didn’t do it — we can’t do it.’”

Mario Wonder director Shiro Mori added to Tezuka’s comment, noting that the number of ideas created for Wonder’s effects was apparently in the thousands, and from there, the best ideas were refined:

Shiro Mori: “The number of ideas we got was probably over a thousand or 2,000.”

Brilliant effects have the power to completely transform courses in all kinds of unique and unexpected ways. The upcoming Switch version also has a lot of other immediately noticeable differences compared to your average 2D Mario game – like elephant power-ups and talking flowers.

This insight into Wonder’s evolution is certainly interesting – especially when conversations from within the gaming industry these days are often about a culture of studio crunch and new releases having to meet certain deadlines.