As we narrow down the days to the much-anticipated release of Super Mario Bros. Wonder for Switch, Nintendo has released the first two parts of a unique ‘Ask the Developer’ interview series. The conversation touches upon several subjects, from the game's visual and sound enhancements to the thematic elements that motivated the team. However, one highlight that piqued our interest was a discussion around the impact of Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie on the development of the game.
Given the projected success of the film and the simultaneous timeline of both development processes, one might assume the movie would have a considerable bearing on the developers, perhaps influencing the game's new character designs. But as it turns out, this wasn't actually the case.
During the discussion pertaining to the film’s impact on Wonder’s dynamic character designs, the panel, comprising of major industry names such as producer Takashi Tezuka, director Shiro Mouri, and sound director Koji Kondo among others, confirmed that the movie had no influence on the game design. Masanobu Sato, the Art Director, clarified that the team didn't have any information about the movie's content during the game's development. The commitment to surpass the 3D models in New Super Mario Bros. was, in fact, the driving force behind the refreshing character designs.
In this new game, Mario and his friends boast richer facial expressions while their movements are significantly more animated. The team wanted to leverage the 3D models in more engaging, functional ways in this 2D platform-based game, charting the course for a significant part of the development process.
Tezuka further noted that while there was awareness that the game would find a new audience thanks to the movie's success, this did not influence the decision process in designing the new models. The team was mindful to create a game that would meet the expectations of those who came to the game after watching the movie. The focus hence was on dedicating substantial budget and time to design even more intricate characters with greater detail.
As the developers clarified the lack of influence from the Mario movie on Super Mario Bros. Wonder, fans can expect to see their favorite plumbing brothers in more expressive and animated avatars. It’s indeed a delightful treat for all Mario fans. Those interested in an in-depth understanding of the game's creative decisions check out the full ‘Ask the Developer’ interview on the official Nintendo site. The third and fourth parts of the interview will be going live soon. Enjoy the game and its new character designs!
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