Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle continues to astound us with its depth and seemingly effortless splicing of Mario, some imbalanced French rabbits and turn-based strategy, but did you know the the very first prototype was paper-based and involved dice, rulers and action figures?

In a new and enlightening video feature from Chris Bratt and the team at Eurogamer, it turns out creative director Davide Soliani was given such a small team for the game that would become Mario + Rabbids that they didn't even have a programmer. However, keen to impress, Soliani and his fellow developers began playtesting and refining the concept in earnest, simplifying out the traditional turn-based mechanics and fleshing out the unique character moves that set the concept apart from similar titles such as X-COM.

Soliani and co would eventually get their hands on a programmer, who helped code together a playable demo in a mere three and a half weeks - just in time for a meeting with Nintendo. When they pitched said demo to the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Mario was so impressed he gave them another chance to pitch three months later. The rest, as they say, is history.

Check the video above and let us know what you think. We're not sure we could love Davide Soliani any more if we tried. Oh, and Mario + Rabbids is getting some new DK-related DLC. Excite!