Mario Maker Turns You Into the Designer

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own Mario levels? Admit it – everyone has. Your time to shine has come! Mario Maker will let you create, play and share levels with your friends.

When you think about how those old Nintendo games were made, it’s incredible how much detail they fit into the technical limitations. Everything was designed to fit into 8×8 square stamps that were painstakingly placed to create those memorable levels. The limits of those early systems informed game design in ways modern hardware doesn’t impose. Would the gaming landscape be the same today if the original hat-less Mario character design ended up on a cartridge.

Mario Paint DNA

Remember Mario Paint, that mouse driven gem from the Super Nintendo? You were given a sandbox in which to draw, build pixel stamps, create music, do animation and play simple games. We must have spent hundreds of hours trying to beat those giant gnats, only to discover that the mini game had no real “end”. The piece de resistance was putting together a feature-length animation for a school project, 9 animation frames at a time.

Mario Paint had a fun but slow fly swatting mini-game

Until then, we were just kids who had played games their whole lives. Mario Paint was our first taste of what it takes to make those games. When you have to write your own music, paint your own screens and control how your bricks animate you get an sense of the craft of game building.

Mario Maker started as a plan to bring Mario Paint to the Wii U. The game pad is a great input device for a game like this. At the same time, touch-sensitive drawing pads have brought artistic freedom that wasn’t available when Mario Paint came out. Drawing on your Wii U might be fun, but you can draw right on your computer screen or iPad for the same price or free.

Create and Share

Nintendo announced Mario Maker at E3 by showing off its classic Mario and new style tile set editors. Since then, the company has said the game will feature the art styles of Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World.

Build levels by moving tiles using the stylus on your Wii U game pad. Once happy with your design, play through your level and share it with your friends. It’s the joy of creation without the barrier of needing to draw using an awkward mouse.

Mario Maker Release Date

Mario Maker is scheduled for release in September 2015. I think it’s safe to say we can expect a huge marketing blitz leading into Christmas. That is the perfect amount of time to crank up the hype machine.

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