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!
Wow, they worked fast then.
I hope we get more third party crossovers like this. Personally, I'm not a strategy game fan, but crossovers in other genres would be great.
Davide Soliani and his team are the most adorable people ever. They "get" Nintendo so well that they made an essentially Nintendo game that just happened to have the Ubi label.
That's impressive and fast work. I heard some other M+R: KB news today, not the DK DLC.
Mario + Rabbids inspired the creative director of XCOM to reevaluate the genre
I wish NintendoLife would post a transcript of the video, for those of us who are not so interested in watching a guy reading a script in front of a camera. No judging, I know a lot of people like that, but I would like to have the option.
I rented Kingdom Battle and although I don’t plan to buy it, I enjoyed my time with the game. Glad it is getting continued support for fans.
@RazumikhinPG Go here for that:
@SLIGEACH_EIRE I'm a fan of Nintendo Life
@RazumikhinPG Well if you want a transcript, that's where you'll find it.
This made me wonder what a Paper Mario-esque version of this game would look like.
Best third party game on the switch it also has mario. Love it
I really need to pick this up yet. Been waiting for a price drop.
I kind of wish they’d have stuck with the paper aesthetic. Games like Paper Mario, Tearaway, Little Big Planet, and Yoshi Woolly World that have “crafty” worlds are some of my favorites.
The passion for the project really shines through in this gem of a game.
Makes me feel bad for the guy that sooooo many people acted like the sky was falling when the E3 art got leaked — including this very site. Well deserved that it ultimately became a success.
Can we please have a Zelda themed game in this style? Different items to use like Bows and Arrows, Hookshots, bombs, and boomerangs?!?!
I would love the art style to be similar to the drawings from Link to the Past/Link Between Worlds!!
@justin233 By paper they mean tabletop, a good way to prototype a battle system for strategy games is to do pen an paper. They were always going with 3D.
@Smash_kirby Oh - I misunderstood. I couldn’t watch the video and the article made it seem almost like the graphic style would be paper-based. I understand what they meant now.
@KirbyTheVampire I'm not a strategy fan either, but I ended up really enjoying this game. Give it a shot if you have the chance.
@Spike6958 I might consider it, although I've currently got too many games that I plan to buy as it is.
That is actually quite the inspiring story, and endearing as well, much like the E3 moment when Davide Soliani was so touched by the credit he got from Nintendo and Miyamoto-san.
Although the world is a pretty nasty place sometimes, especially online, it is comforting and nice to see that great stuff still happens, even today. A nice pick-me-up to set the stage for an enjoyable weekend with only happy thoughts...
Also an interesting read about Soliani's journey to success :
This is pretty old news tbh
@KirbyTheVampire I agree completely. I've always wanted a Nintendo 2D Beat em up ala Streets of Rage. I mean with deeper cut characters too. Imagine a Hammer Bro, Skull Kid and Starfy trashin waves of Lakitus and Battalion Wars enemies through over 30 stages. Over 50 characters to choose from and tons of cheap DLC. I can dream right!
I've been a fan of XCom since the (1994) original - turn based strat has always been a favourite genre of mine. I absolutely loved M&R:KB, in fact it was a deciding motivation to get a Switch. Great game, glad Firaxis have taken note. Now I just want to see XCOM 1/2 come out on the Switch!!! PLEASE!!!
It's stories like this that rekindles the gaming candle. With the likes of EA and Activision with their so called "triple AAA" productions, sucking the soul out of gaming, it's developers like Davide who puts the soul back in and restores the balances.
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