With Mario Kart 8's arrival creeping agonisingly close, Nintendo has lifted the lid on more details and removed embargoes on a fair bit of information. One set of details is actually from last month's GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco, with quotes from a round table interview finally emerging.
One interesting answer that's come out of that interview is from Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno, who tackles the reasoning behind the absence of a track editor in the upcoming Wii U racer. It's been on fan wishlists for a long time, and isn't without precedent — the rarely seen F-Zero X Expansion Kit editor on the Nintendo 64DD is a retro example, while kart racers on rival systems have included the feature in more recent times. Despite this, it seems that Nintendo's desire to ensure the strongest experience is behind its absence.
...With Mario Kart, course creation is key to the series, and it's really tough.
This is the eighth game in the series and when we work on a Mario Kart title, we work on courses and we create them and then we work on them again, and again, and again, and we revise until we come up with something that we think is going to be fun for everyone to play over and over again. So we have a lot of confidence in our ability to do so, but we understand what a tough challenge it is to create those courses.
I just don't know that at this point we're able to do that at a level that would satisfy anyone, myself included, or the customer. Someday, if we can come up with a solution and implement in a way that makes everyone happy, or we think will make everyone happy, we'll come back to that issue and maybe re-address it.
We're always optimistic and thinking about what we're going to do in the future.
Perhaps the wait for this title highlights the attention and care that is required for these tracks, which are shaping up rather well. There may be a little bit of spin here, naturally, as we suspect fans would be happy to create mediocre courses if the option was included — it would be understandably tricky to support a feature, however, that includes the flying, underwater and anti-gravity aspects of the course design in MK8.
In any case, it's not happening this time around. Despite this we should certainly be excited about this one — you can read what we thought of the latest build in our Mario Kart 8 preview.