Super Mario Maker™

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Super Mario Maker: Crash Course
Mary O. & Yamamura
The story so far...
View Episode 4 >

Mary O. is taking lessons in course creation from Yamamura. Overwhelmed by her love for Yoshi, Yamamura challenged her to make a course featuring Yoshi! Did she do her favorite friend justice?

Yamamura's Challenge
Create a Yoshi course!
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...thanks to Yamamura's helpful tips, she's getting pretty good!


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.

Hello there, Yamamura! ♪

(Wow, you're in a good mood today!)

Of course I am! I got to make a course using the incomparable Yoshi. Today, my green buddy gets the attention he deserves! ♪

(Whoa, this is the first time I've seen you act like this. It's a little...frightening.)

Mary O.'s Latest Course

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

Course ID:
For this course, I used Yoshi's incredible abilities like so:
  • 1 Flutter-jumping to get to higher areas
  • 2 Eating a Fire Piranha Plant to attack enemies with fireballs
  • 3 Riding a Thwomp to get to higher ground

I think that's everything!

(Hmm, interesting. Those are the exact parts I wanted to discuss.)

Uh-oh... I've got a bad feeling about this.
Coo! Coo?

(Coo hoo hoo! Don't get defensive! Now then, the path splits at sections A and B , right?)

Yes, it does. I'm glad you caught that! Route A is the easiest since it's the more straightforward path. Route B is a bit tougher because you have to cross the clouds, but it rewards you by making it easier to reach the top of the Goal Pole.
Coo? Coo! Coo...

(You put a lot of thought into those alternate routes, didn't you? My, how far you've come! Now then, let's take a closer look at your course...)

Yamamura's Tips
You can't see the rest of the course from the left ledge. That makes it scary to move forward, so I made the gap small enough that you can still see where you're jumping to. I also added some coins, but I'll explain that later.
Having Yoshi eat a Fire Piranha Plant to defeat Spinies is great, but players might not know to do that since they can't see the Spinies from there. I changed the placement so players can see both the Fire Piranha Plant AND the Spinies. This will make it easier to figure out what to do.
I love this part! It's a Thwomp-evator! With those coins there, it reminds players that they can ride the Thwomp with Yoshi. After they get on, they'll also see the coins surrounded by clouds on the left. This is a great use of Yoshi's abilities!

You can play the course that Yamamura created, too!

Course ID:
Wow, that's it? You're not going to completely trash my course? I...I can't believe it! But why did you skip over the explanations for the letter points?

(Do you really want to know about those?)

Of course! I want to hear all of your Yoshi-related thoughts!!
Coo. Coo...

(OK, I get it. The girl likes her Yoshi. Now then, my points won't be explained in alphabetical order this way, but let's discuss Yoshi first. Like I said last time, what makes Yoshi special is...)


(...Being able to eat enemies.)

Yes, that's one of the reasons Yoshi's so lovable!
Coo! Coo.

(Good grief! You're impossible when you're like this.)

Coo? Coo.

(There aren't many enemies to eat in this course, are there? To fully utilize Yoshi's abilities, there should be more edible enemies around. That's why I added a bunch at point D ).

Ah, I get it. Nothing's better than gobbling up Goombas!

(Too true. As for point E , I arranged some coins in a squiggly line to match Yoshi's flutter-jump pattern. Some players might not be used to jumping with Yoshi, so those coins will help them practice their flutter jumps on solid ground before jumping over the ledge later.)

Yoshi makes the cutest sounds when he flutter-jumps... *sigh*
COO! Coo. Coo...

(EHEM! In any case, that last edit is optional. Moving on, let's talk about a much bigger problem with your course...)

A problem?! But I was doing so well!

(The problem lies where the path splits off at points A and B .)


(...Do you see the problem now?!)

Yikes, you're a little scary today! Sorry, but I don't see it. What's the issue?

(When you're on that ledge, you can't see the route below. When you can't see a place to land, you assume that you'll lose a life if you fall down. That will make players avoid the bottom route like stinky cabbage! Remember, if they don't know, they won't go. If you want people to use a route, they need to be able to see it! I fixed it so you can see the landing area.)

That makes perfect sense! So people will choose the A route now, right?
COO. Coo.

(WRONG. Even though you can see the lower path now, there's no way to know it's the easiest route. You get a glimpse of route B with that cloud there, which makes it look like a fun way to go. I believe most players will assume that's the main route.)

Is that...a problem?

(Well, not necessarily. It just means route B looks really fun! That's why I decided to beef it up.

There's a hidden door there now! It warps you over to point C , right?
Coo. Coo! Coo.

(That's right. It takes players to a hidden area! To thank Yoshi for all his hard work, I put a lot of enemies there for him to eat.)

OHMYGOSH! Are those Inklings?!?!

(...Those are Bloopers. Duh.)

I suppose they DO look rather Blooper-like.

(That would be because they ARE Bloopers!)

Oh, by the way...


You made the gap smaller in 1 and made the ground taller in A . Was that to show players how to progress through the level?

(That's right.)

Even if you can't see safe ground to walk on, wouldn't players normally find a path to follow anyway?
Coo. Coo? Coo!

(Remind me to never go hiking with you. If your path just drops off in front of you with nothing below, wouldn't you assume it's a cliff? As in, instant death? Most players will think it's a dead end and assume they missed something earlier in the course, so they'll backtrack to search for it. They'll search and search...for all eternity!!)

So they'll waste their time going on a wild-goose chase? Or perhaps...pigeon chase? Ha!

(This is no laughing matter. If players think something might be hidden in the stage and then find out there's nothing, they'll have a horrible experience. That's what happens when the creator doesn't consider the player's perspective.)

So I have to be careful not to give players the wrong idea, right?
Coo. Coo!

(Right. Of course, it's OK to make a dead end on purpose if the point is to make players search for the correct path. That's a technique often used by expert course creators like myself!)

Oh, speaking of making gaps smaller... In Episode 3, you made the gap at the beginning of that course smaller too. I forgot to ask why you did that.

(That was for a different reason. I wanted to make sure players could jump over it without having to dash first.)

Why? It's not that hard to push the dash button!
Coo: coo.

(No? Think about it this way. To dash, you have to:
・Push the dash button
・Control Mario
・Jump at the right moment
And all at the same time! That can be very challenging for beginners.)

Wow, is it really that challenging for new Mario players?

(It is. That's why in the New Super Mario Bros. series, you can clear most stages without using the dash button at all. Many people playing Super Mario Maker are used to playing Mario games, but if you want to create a beginner-friendly course, you might want to keep things like that in mind.)

I've really learned a lot today! Seeing how you think about the people playing your courses, I think I've discovered something very important.
Coo? Coo.

(Oh? Do tell.)

Through all the lessons you've taught me, the thing you always came back to was how important it is to think about the player's experience when making a course. You always ask yourself if people will have fun with any given feature. I think I can summarize your ultimate course building secret as...
Coo! Coo...?!

(Yikes! I’m not THAT cheesy, am I...?!)


(Even still, I think you've finally learned the most important thing about creating courses. I have nothing more to teach you, my apprentice.)

What?! Really?

(Really. That said, here's your final challenge.)

Yamamura's Challenge
Beat Yamamura in a course-creation battle!!
Coo. Coo! Coo.

(This time, there are no rules or limitations. Just make the best course you can! For the pupil to become the master, you must first defeat me in my Ultimate Course Creation Battle.)

You can't be serious!
Coo... *coo*

(I never thought this day would come... *sniffle*)

Hee-hee, don't get all weepy on me now!
Coo? Coo!

(Huh? I...I'm not crying, I swear!)

Yes you are, you big ol' softie!

(No. I'm not. I just have some edamame in my eye.)

Liar! And to think, I brought you some of your favorite brand today. But if you can't even bother to tell me the truth...
Coo! COO!!

(You're right! I'm wrong! I'm sorry! GIVE ME THE BEANS!!)

I knew it! I must have made you really proud today. I'm going to start working on my ultimate course right away!