The creative potential of the superb Super Mario Maker is a powerful thing. There are people crafting levels you'll never beat, while others conjure wondrous designs that'll break your heart with envy. It's all about imagination, but it's tough knowing where to start with the modern interpretation of Mario Paint. Lucky for you we've got some advice from the red-capped source itself. In the latest issue of Edge, Nintendo producer Takeshi Tezuka reveals it's all about finding the right balance.
"When we are designing levels for Mario games, we think about the balance of the game as a whole," he says. "Players must go through a large number of courses whose difficulty, themes and gameplay need to be determined as an integral part of a larger whole, rather than as one course that stands alone. When playing Super Mario Maker, you don’t need to make those considerations, so you are free to unleash your creativity."
Yet Tezuka warns against creating a level so finely crafted it's almost impossible to traverse. "As I mentioned earlier, since creators know everything about the course they are making, the final outcome will tend to be harder for others to clear than intended, It’s important to keep that in mind. Also, I recommend making really short courses, since this will help you understand the game better. I think the key question is for whom the course is intended.
"In the Mario games we are trying to please as many people as possible, but in Super Mario Maker you are able to make your courses for a more specific audience, whether that is for expert players, your parents or your children," adds Tezuka. "The best way to make a good course is to think about who will be playing it. The art book that comes included with the game also contains lots of hints for good level design and recommends videos to watch. I hope it will be a good starting point for people."