Creating a Mario game takes a lot…fire flowers, upright-walking turtles, shiny golden coins, and a whole heap of mushrooms. Maybe you have to start with the mushrooms….but that besides the point. According to famous Nintendo game designer Takashi Tesuka, Mario games are all about the level design…and that’s what was taught at “Mario Cram School.”
Kotaku reports that while the upcoming DS platformer New Super Mario Bros. 2 was in development, Nintendo had employees from various departments in the company come in to learn how Mario games are developed (likely sans-mushrooms, but who knows). Tezuka wanted to “spread that knowledge [of course design] across other within the company,” and supposedly, the knowledge took to many of the course’s participants.
Yusuke Amano, game director for New Super Mario Bros. 2, commented on a Mario Cram School courses he played, saying “I had the opportunity to try out a course made in the Mario Cram School that was worked on by about twice the number of staff it usually takes to make Mario courses. A lot of the courses were a blast to play and showed a lot of new ways to play, I really felt we were on to something.”
Will there be more Mario Cram Schools in the future? I’m guessing so. But probably not with mushrooms…you can only get away with that kind of stuff once.