Mario Maker

Nintendo played a prominent role during last week's début Game Awards in Las Vegas, with Reggie Fils-Aime on hand to introduce a few segments, including the well-received Legend of Zelda Wii U footage. Yet there was another prominent Nintendo figure on hand in Koji Kondo, the iconic composer who's produced some of the most memorable and loved music in gaming history — including, of course, that famous Super Mario Bros. theme. He's still particularly prominent in Nintendo's biggest releases, notably contributing to Super Mario 3D World in 2013.

He's also involved in the Mario Maker project, which will allow gamers to create their own stages and play them in at least four stylistic variations that take in the biggest releases in the franchise. Though there won't be the option to compose entirely new music, Kondo-san has stated that there'll be "robust sound editing functions". Speaking to IGN, he explained how music will be an important part of the experience.

There are two modes to this game. You have the mode where you’re playing whatever it is you’ve created, and then the actual creation mode where you’re placing different blocks, enemies, and whatnot to build your level. What I really wanted to focus on was the seamless transition of music between those two modes.

So when you’re playing, you’ll be hearing the kind of music you’d expect, Then, when you transition into edit mode, the sounds might become a little brighter, cleaner, livelier, but we don’t really want you to notice that change. That seamless transition between the two modes is where we’re really focusing.

We also want to make sure that players, who will be spending a lot of time in the edit mode creating their levels, don’t get tired of the music. We have all the different tracks – the base track, the piano, the drums – which we try to do some interesting things with using our recent technology. Whether it’s lowering or increasing volume, or bringing them in and out of these separate tracks, we always want to make sure the music sounds fresh and new so the players never get tired of hearing it.

...The sound effects that you hear when you’re placing the different elements within a level are pitched to match the music playing at that time. It’s pretty fun to add and subtract elements and see how those sound effects change to fit with the music that’s playing.

Similarly, a lot of the music in edit mode will be standard arrangements of some of the original scores you’ll be hearing in play mode, but I’m really looking at making those arrangements branch into a lot of different genres as well. Some of the songs will be pretty unique and abstracted versions of the original score.

Is Mario Maker high on your list of anticipated Wii U games in 2015, and is the classic music a major part of the game's draw? Let us know what you think, while the latest trailer is below.

Thanks to Benson for the heads up.