The second part of the Super Mario 3D Land Iwata Asks article has revealed some interesting new details…

  • Following Galaxy 2, Hayashida wanted to make a game that would be an “introduction” to the 3D Mario games
  • Basic direction was worked out from summer to fall the year that Galaxy 2 was finished
  • Prototype was up showing the relation between the player-character and the landforms; included Coins and Blocks
  • “Mario” was actually a block in this prototype
  • Mario was a mushroom in the prototype for Mario Galaxy
  • Important theme early on was making a 3D Mario game that would be close to 2D so everyone could play
  • Adjustments made to the parallel-track camera used in Galaxy 2
  • Dev. team thought they could make something fun by mixing all that had built up in the 3D Marios with 2D Mario rules
  • Hayashida has a collection of Miyamoto’s sayings
  • Hayashida: I was an instructor at the Nintendo Game Seminar last year. I passed on Miyamoto-san’s wisdom to the students and analyzed it for them. I did a point-by-point analysis of the Super Mario Bros. games on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and tried to apply those points to this game. That really motivated me.
  • Hayashida began making Mario 3D Land in the mindset of an archeologist
  • The staff said it was like making the Super Mario Bros. game for the NES
  • Fun elements on Super Mario on the NES were imbued for this title
  • Team looked back at the processes they went through in the NES days for making corrections
  • Tezuka felt like it was a 2D Mario game since the team was trying to reconstruct the game with the original Super Mario elements
  • With Mario Galaxy, the Coins originally would fly to the player, but was changed so that the players pick them up because it would have felt impersonal otherwise
  • You go towards the goal in Mario 3D Land, so collecting them would be a nuisance if they were scattered in the opposite direction
  • Hayashida lengthened the timer because he felt it was too short
  • The team decided to make the game as if it were a short-distance rather, not a long-distance race
  • Started to think about how to make the game in a short time; thought about cutting out cinematics/boss battles but decided that wasn’t a good idea
  • Took a different approach: “Let’s make the best game in a short time!”, “What can we do to in the short timeframe to make the best game possible?”
  • Re-thought about how a cinematic should be to get the point across instead of cutting them completely
  • Changed the combination of landforms or move to make a completely different kind of fun gameplay when fighting enemies
  • Team made full use of the game pieces
  • They didn’t stray too far during the initial approach to the project
  • Koizumi told Hayashida to put in interesting elements from Galaxy 2 and to do so quickly; also said that Hayashida didn’t have to put in many new elements
  • Plan was to include only one new power-up for Mario originally
  • Time was set aside to review how good the software could become; staff came up with Boomerang Mario
  • Dev. period didn’t drag out even though new material was added
  • Combining Fire Mario’s movement with the enemy’s Boomerang gave birth to Boomerang Mario
  • Staff would fix all sorts of elements in one day, which helped development
  • Tezuka loved the idea of the Invincibility Leaf
  • Comment from a tester led to the Invincibility Leaf
  • He said he couldn’t get past an area, but didn’t want to fly over it with the P-Wing; thought the tester could go up that spot by continuously being Tanooki Mario and if invincible, he could move on
  • The leaf comes out if you lose Mario five times (originally eight)
  • Tezuka suggested five since eight times felt like a lot; he used his instincts as a player
  • P-Wing was originally available after 16 deaths
  • Invincibility Leaf lets you destroy anything
  • Miyamoto found stomping satisfying because they redefined what stomping is
  • Wanted to make an action game in which you could enjoy stomping things
  • Mario can change direction while he’s in the air
  • Miyamoto used to be against putting in unusual movements, but realized hanging direction in the air would be a big plus and gradually came to allow it
  • Miyamoto so happy about the new things we came up with that eh can barely stand it
  • Staff made a room that looks like you’re peeking into it from above
  • This was never done in a 3D Mario
  • Tezuka had a very positive reaction to this level, decided it had to be an homage to Zelda
  • Koizumi believes Mario 3D Land will be key in leading to the next Super Mario game (a new point of origin, or a crossroads)
  • Super Mario 64 DS sold almost four times as much in America as in Japan
  • Miyamoto feels that a lot of players in America are used to playing 3D Super Mario
  • Miyamoto believes not everyone is used to 3D Mario yet
  • Iwata hopes Mario 3D Land removes the borders in our brains between 2D and 3D Super Mario

[Source]