News Article

Miyamoto Open To The Idea of User-Generated Content

Posted by Damien McFerran

He'll bring the tools, you make the games

Shigeru Miyamoto has stated in a recent interview that he's very interested in the notion of user-generated content in Nintendo games, which has given rise to the hope that he's prepping some kind of LittleBigPlanet-style title.

Speaking to Joystiq, he had this to say about the concept:

This is an area that I have a lot of interest in, and I think that the side-scrolling Mario games in particular are well suited to that idea.

Of course the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series is one that’s made in North America by NST, but it’s one that I’ve been involved in and from early on. We did have a lot of discussions about how to enable that kind of level creation in that series. And I think those types of interactive experiences are going to continue to broaden and we’ll see a lot more user-generated content going forward. I’ve always had an interest in those kinds of creative tools, so I will definitely be open to ideas like that in the future.

Just imagine a game in which you could create your own world and place Mario in it...sounds great, don't you think?


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User Comments (52)



Bass_X0 said:

Super Mario Bros. Stage Creator please, Nintendo! I've been wanting that kinda game for years. I know people create custom stages using ROMs and stuff that I've never tried to do.



KDR_11k said:

I thought they realized it's a horrible idea when Wii Music tanked. User generated content sounds neat until you sit in front of those tools and realize it's really damn hard to make a game and that's why you pay game companies 50$ to do all that work for you.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I bet we can count on Nintendo to make a better interface than most user-created content games, LittleBigPlanet included (I found my efforts to create cool levels held back due to the clunky creation tools WAY too much). I'm all for it, so get cracking, guys!



Sean_Aaron said:

Wii Music actually worked pretty well and provided enough structure that it's not just the user and a blank slate so you can do as much or as little original stuff as you like. I think the thing that hurt Wii Music the most was the fact that you couldn't share your creations easily or get new songs.

I do find it interesting when a title that's sold over 2 million copies worldwide is described as "tanking."



V8_Ninja said:

This could be the Wii game that IGN was teasing. A mass user generated content game from Nintendo. Nintendo has already done user generated content in almost every other game series that can use user generated content. But the question is that is this really the case? not all signs lead to it, but it's not a bad guess.



KDR_11k said:

Stuffgamer, the problem isn't the interface, never has been. The problem is the creativity, to have ideas, know which ones are good and how they should work out. Try drawing a level on a piece of paper, even with perfectly easy tools you still face the real challenge of designing something. It's not enough to know how to implement a level or even a whole game, that can be taught easily with today's tools. The hard part is designing something that's worth playing. When given the option to make UGC people tend to copy already popular works because that saves them the whole creativity and design step, lets them create something great without needing to be great themselves.

And after all that you have the bigger separator: Those who have the creativity and skill to create something new and great can just as well spend their effort on a real game development tool and create their own game with control over every element, most of the people who remain are the lazy or bad types who cannot create great new works.

Sean: Wii Music tanked hard. Nintendo expected it to sell more than 10 million and maintain Wii momentum until the release of Wii Sports Resort. Whether it's fun or not isn't really important, it failed its mission.

Nintendo is great because they create great content. Any idiot can copy Nintendo's game mechanics but almost noone can fill that copy with content that's up to the standard that Nintendo produces. The game business is the content business, the content is what people buy the games for and it's why people will buy mechanically unoriginal games and still call them the greatest ever because the mechanics are just a small part of what makes the final game experience. If people wanted to buy game creation software they'd buy Visual Studio or whatnot. When people buy a Mario game it's because they want to experience Mario content.



Token_Girl said:

Sort of agree with KDR here on this one. Level editors are cool, but I'd rather play levels I know are going to be excellent. Part of it is I don't really experiment with levels made by others, which probably involves wading through a lot of crap, and the other is it would take too much effort and time for me to think up a really creative level myself. For people who really like doing this sort of thing, I think it would be cool though.



warioswoods said:

He's also open to user-generat-ing content, like the Super Guide.

Regarding a Mario level editor, though, I believe there's truth on both sides. On the one hand, I agree partly that it's the ingenious and incredibly polished design of the levels made by Nintendo that makes their games so appealing, so that you'd rightly feel gypped without that content, no matter how many users try to fill it in. However, there could also be great benefits to an open level editor for Mario; I've played a whole lot of SMW hacks over the years, and some of them are downright wonderful.

So, certainly user-generated content shouldn't be something that replaces Nintendo's own legendary in-house level design, but that's not to say that it wouldn't be a great thing on the side nonetheless. MvsDK, for instance, pretty much got it right: tons of levels designed by Nintendo were included, but you could also create or share your own. A new Mario game like that, preferably on WiiWare, could be a wonderful thing.



maka said:

"Well they're already heading to do that with Warioware:DIY"

Exactly! That one is a sure buy for me!

Well, even though most people might not have ideas to create cool levels, some people will. On many computer games I've played levels created by users and some were excellent. Just look at games like DROD ( ) with a thriving user community that makes levels, many which end up being part of later comercial releases...



Adam said:

About time. I'm surprised it's taken this long for the idea to occur to him. Little Big Planet's editor is indeed horribly overwrought, Stuffy. I can't do a thing with it. And yet I've made hundreds of enjoyable levels on other simpler level editors (Jumper 2, N, Lode Runner, etc.). Even Brawl's crappy stage editor has some room for good levels, though it's a bit harder for that game, and they all end up looking ugly due to the lack of stylized blocks and decorative objects. Platformers are especially ideal for level creation because they're not that hard to make. I'd certainly rather play my own levels than the NSMB (DS) levels.



Rensch said:

Come to think of it, isn't it weird that there's never really been a Nintendo created level editor for Mario games?



deshadow52 said:

seriously they need to relase super mario all stars for the wii and being able to use all the engines from each game you would be able to make levels for super mario bros 1-3 and lost levels not only will this sell like hotcakes but it will be a lot better than little big planet due to using different games for level editor



MarkyVigoroth said:

Finally! I can make a truly-truly Bowser-based game! (Oh, and Waluigi also needs some representation, even though I am not that interested in him.)



blank_user_1 said:

I think level editing is something that, unless somehow made incredibly intuitive, should be just "tacked-on," like in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I liked the level editor in that (though it's limited), but I would hate it if the game were pure level editor. The levels created by Nintendo have cool cinematic effects that my puny, custom levels cannot match.



blank_user_1 said:

Oh yeah, and that picture in the article, who the heck made that? Does he know he looks like Nintendo's Messiah more than a innovative game designer?



Golgo said:

I really don't want to believe that Shigeru-san really uses contemptible manager-speak like "going forward"? I hope it was a skewed translation of "in the future" or "at some point" or something...

Speaking of Warioware DIY (as some have): where is it? Seems to have dropped off release schedules after underperforming in Japan. Man, I hope it's still enroute...



Kid_A said:

You can read the full interview at IGN. It's really worth a read. He had some very insightful things to say.
And yeah, the next Mario game had better have a stage creator! That'd be boss!



Knux said:

Super Mario Bros. Stage Creator would be the best idea Nintendo has ever had!! Just imagine, my created levels in a Mario game!!!



Golgo said:

Given the drought of first-party games (NSMB being the upcoming exception), I'd be up for some Nintendo-generated content.

Arf arf arf...



Golgo said:

But the FPS modding scene is at an entirely different level of expertise than the kind of any-idiot-can-have-a-go thing Shigeru is (belatedly) driving at. I think, anyway?



Objection said:

I would be so game for a SMB Level Creator. I hope that this finds its way in my hands soon.



KDR_11k said:

Proper modding involves modding the source or at least the script code. I can't see Nintendo allowing that.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@KDR_11k: I'm full of level ideas, believe me...but my creative working kept being ruined by the lousy level creation tools of LittleBigPlanet! Sadly, I know not enough about computers and such to just get into real game design either, so I'm stuck waiting for a user-generated-content game that works for me! I think Nintendo could provide that.

I also second Golgo's question about Wario Ware DIY; is that even coming out West anymore?



aaronsullivan said:

Super Mario Worlds
Eh? Like it?

The key is to introduce a bunch of stuff that has multiple purposes so there are interesting ways to build stages. If you just make it possible to make traditional SMB stages, that will be BORING very quickly. Haven't we all played 100's of stages of SMB already? Right?

No matter what they do, I want many games involved (ala Smash Bros) so we can make metroid games and kid icarus games, etc.

On WiiMusic which someone brought up:
WiiMusic is a brilliant idea completely botched in execution. We had fun with it, as a family, for about two days. We might go back to it again though. The interaction with the music is SO much more satisfying than trad. rhythm games, imo.

What it needs: Better sounding instruments (WAY BETTER), about 200-300 more songs in all modes, a competitive mode with some sort of online ranking or something and the ability to sing with it.



Titanarc said:

from what i have read here and the picture, i infere that it would be something like a game creator instead of a level editor, you would put your own bosses, your own characters, your own levels, your own music, your own genres, you can do your own game!, it would mean you can make a zelda shooter with bowser as a final boss, pokemon NPC, starfox music and a kirby 3d world with traps or an application that helps you with your homework or something like that, and it would be saved as a wiiware game and shared with the other world players!, it is ONLY AN ASSUMPTION and highly improbable, but it would be great.



StarDust4Ever said:

When I was a kid, I dreamed of creating my own Mario levels.

As an adult, I used a level editor to hack old nintendo ROMS.

The idea of being able to create my own levels in a liscensed game: AWESOME!!!



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Titanarc: What you describe sounds like a very logical release to combat the Homebrew Channel. As such, I doubt that's actually what Nintendo has in mind.

It does sound totally awesome, though.



mushroomer said:

Okay, to make this different than anything thats out there.. It'l have to be a 3D mario game.. Like maybe for the next Galaxy 2 game.. And it doenst have to be too theme heavy.. It can just be rotating boxes and moving platforms.. My dream is if they made a level editor based on Mario Sunshine's "Secret of" Levels .. here is an example of one



mushroomer said:

I'm sorry for posting 2 in a row.. but I wouldnt mind if Nintendo released a mario game that was ONLY levels like this vid i just posted.. All 120 levels are like this one.. Rather than exploring forests and castles.. I dont need story line.. I just want a great platformer.. That's all I expect from a Mario game.



bonii said:

This would be a great idea. The fans would get what the want (they would make what they wanted).



Ch3p3 said:

+1 Go Mario stage creator this is going to be a kick game suck this Little Big Planet that game fail



Ren said:

I have to say the whole UGC thing is kind of overrated. Like someone said earlier, we don't buy games so we can design games. We buy them so we can have fun playing games that incredibly skilled, focused game designers have spent months or years designing.
Like with LBP it was kind of silly hype to put so many eggs in a basket that they were hoping consumers would carry to success when everyone was just waiting to bring home a great game to play and hoping other creative people out there would do the work.
The core game always has to be solid on it's own. Level editors have been around a long time, but it's never a selling point, just a perk. Game design just takes a long time, thats all there is to it.
Music posed a unique opportunity, but it still needed to rely more on games. I just got it, and as a pretty skilled drummer I really love the special drum section for it's accuracy, but everything else requires so much dedication that it's just not fun for long periods and doesn't really simulate the real instruments well enough to be worth it as transitional learning. It should have focused on the games like sports did and the free playing instruments should have been secondary extra content.
I know thats a lazy attitude but it's a consumer attitude and thats what I am for games. I consider myself an artist, but I would still always rather play games that come from the creative genius of Miyamoto and his peers, than spend countless hours trying to make a half interesting single level that I can post online for random other teens to scroll past.



odd69 said:

Mario level editor + share with everyone = never need another game peroid



Cthuloops said:

Since I have way too much time on my hands, some user generated content games would do nicely for me on the Wii.



mjc0961 said:

"Just imagine a game in which you could create your own world and place Mario in it...sounds great, don't you think?"

We have that already, it's called LittleBigPlanet. Hell, it's called every game with a level editor ever: those things always have people re-creating Mario levels.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@mjc: No, he said create your world and put Mario in it, not recreate a Mario world and use the characters and gameplay from whatever game you're using.



CowLaunch said:

I like the idea as an extra to the main game once you've completed it, nothing more.



Ender said:

You already have a superb Super Mario World level creator.
There's some superb levels out there designed by very talented amateurs.

But yeah, that requires A LOT of hours, etc...
Not simple



Superman said:

What a great idea! now if only a company with some vision could invest in it.

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