Super Mario Maker™

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Super Mario Maker: Crash Course
Mary O. & Yamamura
The story so far...
View Episode 2 >

Yamamura is teaching Mary O. how to make better courses. She just finished his latest challenge: make a course that's satisfying to play. Let's see how she did!

Episode
3
Yamamura's Challenge
• Create a course that's satisfying to play.
• Avoid making the course scroll vertically.
Mary O.
Mary O.

This go-gettin' gal is fun and friendly. She also knows EVERYTHING about how to play Super Mario Maker! But when it comes to actually creating fun courses, well...

Yamamura
Yamamura

He's a pigeon. That much is clear. For reasons beyond our understanding, he's also a master of Mario course creation. He loves edamame and long walks in the park.

Hey, Yamamura! I've finished my homework!
Coo! Coo.

(Excellent! Let's take a look.)

Mary O.'s Latest Course

You can play the course that Mary O. created, too!

Course ID:
2A24-0000-000D-E2B5
Coo.

(OK. Just like last time, I've added numbers to the parts that caught my attention. But first, tell me your thought process for this course.)

Well, I tried to lay out the course elements to create exciting jumps for the player. For instance, it feels great to jump through a bunch of coins or to leap from one pipe to another.
Coo! Coo.

(I see! Go on.)

I also remembered how good it felt to jump on the Big Goomba at the end of our last course, so at the part you marked with a
3
, I placed two Big Goombas to jump on. You can use the first one to leap over the pipe and onto the other one. It feels great!
Coo.

(I see you used a Super Star too. Very good. Now, let's discuss my notes.)

Yamamura's Tips
1
That first Goomba is too close to Mario's starting point, so I moved him back a bit and made it easier to grab the Super Mushroom. I also adjusted the Goomba spacing so it's easier to jump on them all in a row. Squish, squash, squoosh!
2
You're right—it does feel good to jump through a bunch of coins! But if the player has to go back to grab the coins they missed, it can slow down the pacing. Try placing fewer coins so the player can try to grab them all in a single leap. Ka-ching! To be honest, this one's just a preference thing.
3
It feels wonderful to jump on those Big Goombas. Simply sublime! I wouldn't change a thing here.
4
Just like in section ②, I reduced the number of coins. With the perfect jump to the top of the Goal Pole, you can grab them all in one leap. Swoosh!

You can play Yamamura's version of this course, too!

Course ID:
2E9E-0000-000D-E2B4
Your feedback makes a lot of sense...but your version of the course is almost identical to mine!
Yamamura 	...
And all your comments were about minor things like Goomba and coin placement...
Yamamura 	...
It seems to me you were just being nitpicky...
Yamamura 	...

Could it be my course was...
not too shabby?!

COO! Coo! Coo...
(FINE! You win!
It wasn't half bad...)
Wow! Do you mean it?!
Coo.

(I'm as surprised as you are. Your first course was so brutal, some people online were calling it an official Nintendo troll course. It's hard to believe you've improved so quickly.)

I...didn't know people were saying that. (I also didn't know pigeons used the Internet...)
Coo.

(There were two things I was hoping to teach you. The first was to engage the player with moments of tension, like when doing a tricky maneuver, or moments of elation, like when making a massive jump. You passed with flying colors! I didn't change much at all.)

Thank you! That's awfully nice of you to say. I'm curious, though... Why did you remove the Super Star at the beginning?
Coo.

(Having an obvious Super Star at the beginning makes it seem like being invincible is the "right way" to play the course. If the player misses it, they're going to feel like they're being forced to play the "wrong way." That's not a great feeling, so I felt it was best to remove it.)

Interesting. But I like the feeling of being invincible!
Coo! Coo.

(You're right—it's a nice feeling! That's why I hid that Super Star in a Hidden Block. That way, it doesn't seem like the "right way" to play, it's just a different way to play. It's good to look at ideas you've rejected and see if you can make them work in a different way. It helps you build courses with more depth.)

I see!
Coo.

(Now for the second thing I was hoping to teach you. It's about the satisfaction of small victories. Achieving the smallest of things, like grabbing an item or reaching the next platform, gives players a certain satisfaction. This feeling complements moments of tension with moments of joy, giving your course subtle highs and lows to keep players on their toes. I added a moment like that at part A .)

I was wondering about that A ! What's the new platform for?
Coo. Coo...

(When the player leaps into the air to hit the block up above, that platform gives them a chance to relax. The player can land on that platform with a small hop, but if it were higher, it would be trickier. It's helpful to consider how your body moves when you exercise. Those moments of exerting yourself and then stretching out, or the unsteady feeling of standing on a precarious ledge...)

Um, Yamamura...you're a pigeon. What do you know about how humans exercise?
COO!!

(!!!!!!!)

I take it back! I TAKE IT BACK! No need to ruffle your feathers.
Coo. Coo...

(Hmph, humans these days. Let's just change the subject...)


Coo?

(Did you notice anything about the pit just before point 2 ?)

Hmm, it looks a bit shorter.
Coo.

(Precisely. Now players can make it across using a normal jump rather than a dash jump. As for why, that's another lesson for another time.)

Fair enough. We've been here quite a while!
Coo... *coo*

(All that talking made me hungry... *hint hint*)

Here, have some edamame. You earned them!
Coo!

(Thanks! Don't mind if I do!)


Coo... *munch munch* Coo... *crunch munch* Coo...

(Now, while the course... *munch munch* you made this time... *crunch munch* is fun to play...)

Yamamura! Don't talk with your beak full!
Coo. Coo... *munch munch*

(As a whole, there's nothing all that interesting about it. It's a little dull... There's no anticipation or excitement... *munch munch*)

I agree. So why did you make it like that?
!
*munch crunch munch*
Urghh!!
*cough*  *sputter*
Ewww!
You spit edamame all over me!
Coo. Coo!

(Ehem, agree to disagree. Now, time for your next challenge. Make a course that's exciting or has a distinct theme!)

Yamamura's Challenge
Create a memorable course!

(This time, it's OK for the course to scroll up and down. But still try not to use too many different elements!)

Memorable, eh? That's kind of...vague.
Coo. Coo!

(You could try placing elements in visually interesting shapes, or theme it around an enemy you really like. Set a goal and have at it!)

Roger that! One memorable course coming right up!