Most of us instinctively know when we're playing a game with fantastic design - it feels right and works to our instincts to teach us how to play. Unsurprisingly the Super Mario series is often cited as a key example of game design that's simple to understand but with complexity underneath the surface.
It's held up as a standard bearer, then, and we think a mini-series of videos from the PBS Game/Show is full of potential, with the first video being well worth a watch. It looks at the 'hidden language' of the design in Super Mario Bros. and its successors, breaking down actions and consequences in sentence form to show how they work. It's a short but interesting introduction to an assessment of what makes the Super Mario series a true representative of first-class game design.
Check it out below and let us know what you think.
Fantastic video. I had never thought about it like that. The part of the video that hammered it home for me was when he referenced Batman's usage of verbs.
As a "budding developer", I thought that was awesome.
That's actually a really interesting way to think about game design.
Interesting. I'll be sure to keep watching the series.
This was made in a similar vain, although covers some quite different points. I think it's well worth watching.
I think it's telling that this is PBS while the CW was showing the Mortal Combat X finals last night at 8PM in prime time. (How MKX wound up in the family hour is a discussion for another time.)
Mario may be legendary, but the Kardashians are the queens and Trump is running away with the nomination for President. Mario may belong in a museum, but most people would rather go get drunk and play shootme up games at Dave and Busters.
That's more of a lament of the decline of western civilization than of Nintendo, but Nintendo needs a spark in the gutter for NX, like Wii Sports. A console with the casualness of Wii Sports but the power of PS4 would be a nice combo.
Good stuff. Explains why I love Mario Maker.
Very interesting diagnosis, though he oversimplified his exampling rationale a bit, at least in the case of Bonk (whose "bonking" does more than simply making enemies disappear).
thqta all not even including the fact that Mario has different jumps and super powers that augment the jump.
Basically from here you can infer tons of depth that was incorporated into a seemingly simple mechanic.
@Maxz Another great video exploring Mario level design is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH2wGpEZVgE Explores the design behind World 1-1
Seriously? How many videos do we actually need to tell us that SMB's design is good?? Can't these people change it up a bit and cover the design genius of Super Mario Land or something?
Seventeenth! (I can't believe people still do this).
Goombas don't die they are "defeated"
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