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Super Mario 3D World Director Koichi Hayashida Explains The Origin Of "Miyamoto's Teachings"

Posted by Damien McFerran

"They’re part of the criterion used for proposals from everyone"

Shigeru Miyamoto is arguably one of the most famous games designers in the world, and it goes without saying that he has influenced countless other developers over the past few decades. He's taken more of a backseat role at the Nintendo of late, but thanks to the efforts of Super Mario 3D World director Koichi Hayashida, his advice and guidelines remain in place.

Speaking in an interview with Famitsu magazine, Hayashida-san explains how he put together a collection of Miyamoto's quotes to create a development manual which has become something of a Bible within the walls of Nintendo:

Back in the day, I would read and gather various interviews with Miyamoto from Famitsu and other video game magazines, but I wasn't exactly collecting them [at the time]. However, about three years ago, I was instructed to be a lecturer for a game seminar, and while I had the necessary know-how for developing games, I didn't know how to teach it [to others].

Furthermore, you’re required to plan different things out in your head when it comes to teaching. So that’s when I decided that I should take points from Miyamoto’s interviews and simply pass them along, and began collecting his quotes. That was about the year I was directing Super Mario 3D Land, and I also felt that it could be useful for my own work. After rearranging [the quotes], they became what’s known as the ‘Miyamoto’s Teachings’.

Hayashida-san then goes on to explain how this collection of comments has directly impacted the development of Nintendo titles, and how the company's staff approach each new game:

It definitely makes it easier to find out what parts will be essential to the game’s development.

Personally, I think that there’s a huge gap between the Super Famicom’s Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. I don't think it was just a plain evolution, but rather, an evolution of the direction in which things were going.

During the Nintendo 64 era, if there was a hardware with the Nintendo 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D technology, and if Shigeru Miyamoto were to direct that game, ‘what kind of Super Mario would he have made?’ was the theme behind the making of Super Mario 3D Land.

I believe that Super Mario 64 was able to be what it was thanks to its effective use of the Nintendo 64’s characteristics. So I figured that with the Nintendo 3DS and its characteristics of easily grasping depth perception — a Mario game that uses 3D stereoscopic vision to give us a good representation of ‘space’ would be perfect.

Finally, the director explains how Miyamoto's teachings have left a big impression on him personally:

They say that ‘ideas are something that can solve multiple problems,’ but they also say that ‘ideas are about finding answers.' For example, Super Mario 3D World has a shadow picture-like stage, where you see the shape of a star in a shadow, and as you look for it while thinking ‘huh? where is it?’ you advance forward and find it.

You see it on the wall, but the moment you think three-dimensionally, you think ‘I see!’. I believe that such ideas are very important. Ideas like that weren’t originally put into words, at least not until I put ‘Miyamoto’s Teachings’ together, and now they’re part of the criterion used for proposals from everyone, including myself.

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User Comments (21)



Mask0Gears said:

Nice.... this shows that even after Miyamoto is gone, his legacy and words will stay with Nintendo.



sinalefa said:

This is why I found Cranky's Twitter so funny, because it is true. When he said that everyone at Nintendo respects their elders.



Shworange said:

I think I should start making "WWMD?" bracelets. What Would Miyamoto Do? That may have dated me. Lol.



DreamOn said:

@Mask0Gears yes, Hayashida-san is ensuring that the brilliant Miyamoto-san is sufficiently cloned. It's very reassuring to hear that Nintendo is keen to remember and preserve the inspirations that have led to its successes then and now.

With the blowing up of the video game industry since I started gaming on a game boy in '89 and all the tech that's out there now I sometimes get nervous about the future of games as I'm just a simple old schooler nowadays, but Nintendo hasn't given me any reason yet to think that it's games will stop appealing to me.



Goginho said:

It's good to know that Miyamoto's philosphy will live on.
I hope to return to a more Super Mario 64-like experience in the future. That is one game with exceptionally tight and responsive controls and is simply a joy to play through the many, vast open-field levels. For its time, they've certainly perfected it.



Lance168 said:

So, why didn't they use the gamepad to much in SM3DW then? Shouldn't they have done, what would Miyamoto do if Super Mario 64 had the gamepad? I mean, the gamepad is only used in a few levels. I guess this is why SM3DW didn't really improve sales(and why Knack is selling better and uses the PS4 new features)...



Andyliini said:

This guy is great! It's great to rest assured that Miyamoto's teachings have been passed down to Hayashida and Aonuma, at least. Does Miyamoto have other "pupils"?

I know Yoshio Sakamoto was hired by Nintendo because of Miyamoto, but they are more friends than anything else.



Artwark said:

I love Miyamoto man! No one can beat this legend regardless of how influential he/she is. He made what gaming is and should be!

I hope they use this knowledge to not only make Mario games, but also Zelda, Metroid, Starfox and F-Zero as well.



Hy8ogen said:

It is sad to think that one day the "Tony Stark" of gaming will have to retire. However the future of Nintendo game development is looking very promising and I hope Miyamoto's legacy will continue with the new generation.



HyperSonicEXE said:

Ah, this quite clearly explains the difference between Sakurai-Kirby secrets and Nintendo-Kirby secrets.

Sakurai hid treasures and main items in the environment to be discovered by diligence and exploration, or behind midbosses (emphasizing gameplay).

Nintendo's Kirby games show you the object(s) you need to collect, but might let you fail once, and scratch your head as to how to get to it. Once you do that, you've learned another way of looking at things (emphasis on learning).

Interesting stuff.



supremii said:

The stereoscopic 3d helped a lot to get a feeling for space in 3D Land as he puts it. I missed that feeling in 3D World...



SecondServing said:

LMAO Super Mario 3d World didn't utilize the Gamepad at all. Still waiting on a REAL successor to the Galaxy series.



SomeBitTripFan said:

Preserving someones game design philosophy is always a good thing, but I don't necessarily support choosing to make the people coming in Miyamoto clones. I'd rather see someone new come in with new ideas on game design than someone new come in just to preserve the old.



LetsGoRetro said:

I really like the idea of preserving the Miyamoto way of doing things. He's a legend. I remember being 12 years old in the mid 90's and reading what was then (later became the n64 section of IGN) and being in shock that most of my favorite SNES and N64 games came from one guy. I followed what he did until I quit gaming in 2002/2003. When I returned to gaming in 2011, the first thing I did was look up whether Miyamoto was still making games, and I was thrilled to learn he was. It'll simply be a day that changes the industry forever when he retires and I hope he works until he's 90.



JaxonH said:


Ughh, ok. First of all, Knack is not "selling better" than Super Mario 3D World. It sold better in its opening week, when the PS4 launched> since then, Knack has been far surpassed by Super Mario 3D World, which is nearing the 2 million mark already (withOUT counting digital sales).

Having said that, understand that Super Mario 3D World is selling VERY well. About 1 in every 3 of the 6 million Wii U owners out there have bought the game. That's selling pretty good in anyone's book. And considering the Wii U sold about 2 million consoles over the last quarter of 2013 (the quarter in which the game released), you cannot definitively say this game was not the reason. In fact, I would argue that without 3D World, the Wii U wouldn't have come even close to selling that many consoles in the 4th quarter. This game was THE reason to buy Wii U over the holidays.

You act as if the game is unwanted or something. The game was critically acclaimed, unanimously, by reviewers and gamers alike. People aren't going to pass up a great game simply because it doesn't have some special gamepad use. And for the record, I own a PS4, and what special features are you referring to that Knack uses? The mousepad? You think people bought that game because it uses a mousepad on the controller? Eh, no. People bought that game because there was nothing else to buy.



gingerbeardman said:

I'd love to have a copy of these teachings/quotes. The concept makes me think of Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies"

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