We rarely hear about the people who work hard on the video games we play. Sure, we hear from the companies, and the “team leaders,” but we rarely hear about the ones who help deal with the nitty-great side of things and help make the games better through their input. When Super Mario Bros Wonder was shown off back in June, gamers, including myself, were blown away by how unique the 2D Mario title looked compared to past entries. Everything felt fresh, new, intriguing, etc. Since then, that feeling has only grown, and people are excited to get it later this month.
But now, we can point to what led to this big swing in innovation. Super Mario Bros Wonder producer Takashi Tezuka noted in an interview with Game Informer that his team was comprised not only of veterans like himself but younger talent that helped bring fresh ideas to the franchise:
“When looking at creating a new Mario, we actually went ahead and brought in a lot of younger people into our staff. They’re, of course, developers, but they’re also people who enjoy playing games, and so they wanted to create something that they themselves would enjoy as players. We got a lot of different ideas and different thoughts from as many people as we could within that group.”
And it wasn’t just a ceremonial “let us hear your thoughts!” kind of thing. Many of the changes you’ll see in the game are because of them. There’s no more timer for levels; you can jump right back in after you die, and you can stomp enemies underwater for the first time! The team admitted that because of their “younger disposition,” they knew where to put changes in the franchise so that it wouldn’t feel “too nostalgic.”