Gordon Myers

Articles on Life, Truth, Love, Computers, and Music


My Mario Maker Wishlist

I bought my copy of Mario Maker bundled with my brand new Wii U console the day the former came out. I have always been a fan of Mario, but an even bigger fan of puzzle games. And the fact that Mario Maker was a way of blending those two concepts made it too hard to resist. And there are some wonderfully creative levels out there. With that said, although Mario Maker gives level designers a fairly broad palette, overall the game still seems a little premature to me. So without further ado, I present my wishlist of the top three things I'd like to see added to Mario Maker.

#1. Better Level Searching

The interface for finding levels seems like little more than an after-thought in the mind of the developers. Understanding how looming deadlines and high demands for features probably pushed the level choosing interface to the back-burner, I can sympathize. But now that the game's out, I'd really like to see (preferably in the form of a free update) some kind of revision that will make searching for courses and course creators easier. This doesn't seem like a tall-order to me. Really, we just need to two things:

  1. Search for courses by name
  2. Search for authors by name

That would make a world of difference. Right now you need to know the obscure 16-digit course IDs in order to find anything, which means you really have to want it. Nintendo, please make this easier for all of us.

#2. Conditional Power-up Blocks

I'm really surprised that Nintendo chose to do power-ups the way that they did with Mario Maker, because it broke all past conventions. In every Mario game ever, when Mario's small, a power-up block would yield a mushroom. Once he's big, it might yield a different power-up like a fire flower or a feather. Or it might not. But in any case, being big was a prerequisite to getting the more "advanced" power-up. I'd like to see this element brought back because I think it adds some challenge to the game. Instant fire flowers cheapens things a bit.

#3. Vertical Levels

Nintendo gives you quite a lot of space to work with horizontally, but only two screens maximum of vertical space. I really wish they had included some sort of toggle for horizontal and vertical mode in much the same way that Microsoft Word lets you choose between portrait and landscape mode. Some folks have already tried to emulate this by using doors and warp pipes to make tessellated faux-vertical levels, but it's really not the same. Think auto-scrolling. How great would it be to have a level that makes you climb with the risk of being swallowed up by the auto-scrolling bottom?

Of course this raises a different concern, namely that people would want vertical levels that you could descend. And if you have two possible positions for the start and end, doesn't that mean you'd also need to allow for horizontal levels that move left? Well, yes! I think that would be a delightful side effect. Especially since some folks are already doing this in their sub-levels anyway.

What do you think about my wishlist? What things you would add? I purposely left off a lot of items that are, well, items, because I wouldn't be surprised to see some of that coming in the form of DLC. But let me know in the comments what you think.


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