The Super Mario property has never wanted for popularity over the years, but even so, it’s never been as popular as it is right now, in the aftermath of the wildly successful The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which released earlier this year. Nintendo is, of course, striking while the iron is hot with the upcoming launch of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, the first new, mainline 2D Mario title in over a decade- but how much of the game’s development was impacted by the movie, especially given the fact that it’s introducing a new look and style for the 2D Mario series?
Well, not too much, really. That’s according to its development team, which touched on the topic in a recent Ask the Developer interview published by Nintendo. When asked about how much The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s success influenced Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s art style and visuals in particular, art director Masanobu Sato revealed that the vast majority of the game’s development team knew little to nothing about the movie and its contents.
“We’re often asked about the film’s influence on the game, but we didn’t hear anything about the film’s content during development,” said Sato. “I think [producer Takashi] Tezuka-san and [composer Koji] Kondo-san were the only members here who knew the details.”
Sato went on to explain that one of the development team’s primary goals with Super Mario Bros. Wonder was to continue using 3D models in 2D planes similar to the New Super Mario Bros. line of games, but in “more engaging and functional ways”.
“New Super Mario Bros. was the first 2D Mario game to use 3D models,” he explained. “The adoption of 3D models provided a natural change and was seen as a significant evolution in 2006 when it was released. In addition to the visual changes we incorporated back then, we wanted to implement more engaging and functional ways of using 3D models in this 2D platformer. Therefore, at an early stage of development, we set ourselves the goal of discovering how this could be achieved.”
Veteran producer Takashi Tezuka added, however, that Wonder’s development team was still very much aware that there would be “some people” who would play the game “because they watched the movie”, and as such, decided to “dedicate ample budget and time” to ensuring that its visuals and animations wouldn’t disappoint players.
“During development, we didn’t know when the movie would be released, but we were sure some people would play the game because they watched the movie,” Tezuka said. “This is why we were conscious of creating a game that wouldn’t disappoint them. So for this game, we dedicated ample budget and time to create the characters with even more care and attention and in greater detail.”
Interestingly enough, a lack of restrictions in terms of budget and development team seems to have been a theme for all of Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s production, based on what its developers have said.
Related Forum: Gaming Discussion