Shigeru Miyamoto Designed Original Mario Bros Levels on Graph Paper

By James O Malley on at

There's no escaping it. Last night's Nintendo "Digital Event" E3 presentation was stunningly disappointing as the company seemed to forget to announce any significant new games. But there was one bright spot: when talking about Mario Maker, the Wii U title that will let players build 8-bit style levels for Nintendo's mascot, we got to see how it all began for Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

In the video, Miyamoto shows how when it came to designing levels for the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES he started by drawing levels out on graph paper, which he'd then give to the programmers to turn into code.

What's wonderful is the level of craft that went into it. In one part of the video, Miyamoto talks about how Level 1-1 acts as a tutorial, using the placing of enemies and question blocks to reveal how the game works. When you try to jump on one of the first enemies in 1-1, you'll instinctively bump into the floating row of blocks, which when hit reveals a power-up.

Similarly, the level teaches players about pits by first introducing one they can fall into, before bringing along one that does cause death. The reason you've never noticed this before is because it is a genius piece of game design.

Watch the video above, starting from around 30 seconds in, and prepare to be inspired. [Kotaku]