Nintendo’s design team has told us that work has begun on the next Mario game, and that if it is to be a Wii U title, it could make greater use of the console’s GamePad.
We speak to the team behind Super Mario 3D World in the new issue of Edge, which is published on April 10 in print, on iPad, Google Play and Zinio. Within that feature, Nintendo producer Yoshiaki Koizumi says that while work has begun on the new game, it could not confirm whether it’ll be 3DS or Wii U title. “That’s still a secret!” he says. “I can tell you, though, that we’ve already started approaching our next challenge.”
Elsewhere, Koizumi says: “There’s still a lot more room for discovery and invention, and we’ll continue to propose new and exciting game mechanics going into the future.” If follow-up to Super Mario 3D World is to be a Wii U game, co-director and EAD Tokyo team leader Kenta Motokura says his team “might need to make even more use of the GamePad.”
There’s extensive discussion of the story behind some of Super Mario 3D World’s finer moments in our Making Of feature, including the how the Double Cherry power-up was conceived entirely by accident. “The Double Cherry came about during development on Super Mario 3D World when one of the level designers mistakenly placed two of the same characters into one of the courses,” says Motokura. “We ended up with a single player being able to control two versions of Mario at the same time! We all tried it and it was really amusing, so we scrambled to readjust the game so that this feature would make it into the final product. If the game had locked up with two identical characters on the level, I don’t think we would have the double Mario feature we have now!”
Nintendo’s designers also explain the inclusion of the game’s trademark ability – the Cat power-up. It came about as a way to solve two issues with one neat solution, says Motokura. “We wanted Mario to make use of not only the ground but other surfaces, which is what led us to this idea. At roughly the same time, we were looking at ideas for more exciting ways for players to run around the courses.
“One of the things we investigated was having characters scamper around on [all fours]. For both movement styles, the test characters were either a normal-looking Mario or a version with a slight difference in colour. In finally putting all this together into a new Mario ability, we felt that a cat ticked all the boxes…for the final design, we strove to make it as cat-like as possible, while keeping it clearly distinct from [3D Land’s] Tanooki Mario.”