👸👷 Maker Time! 🚧📐🔨
June 28, 2019 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Super Mario Maker 2: much more than a game design toolkit [Polygon] “Don’t let the title confuse you. Nintendo hasn’t merely made a game for makers; it has made a nearly full (and fittingly experimental) Super Mario title that just so happens to be paired with an exceptional creator’s suite. [...] That’s the magic of Super Mario Maker 2. Maybe you’re after Miyamoto’s title, an aspiring level-making genius. Or maybe you just want to kick back and experience the wide array of stages the game throws at you. Or maybe you want to make something that really pisses off your friends. In Super Mario Maker 2, these are all totally viable and accessible options.”

• Super Mario Maker 2 is a great sequel that makes me miss the Wii U [The Verge]
“At its core, Super Mario Maker 2 is the same as the previous iterations in the series, which includes the sadly hobbled Nintendo 3DS version. It’s really more of a tool than a game, one where you can build something very specific: classic 2D Super Mario levels. You can choose from a range of terrain, power-ups, enemies, and gadgets to do whatever you like, and you can utilize the visual style from games like Super Mario World and Super Mario 3D World, each with their own unique elements. These levels can then be uploaded to the internet and shared with other users (provided the level is actually beatable). The result, at least with the original game, was a huge community of creators designing a seemingly endless supply of strange, challenging, and inventive levels that Shigeru Miyamoto would’ve never thought of. The Switch version simply adds more — a lot more.”
• Super Mario Maker 2: More Than Just Making Mario [Kotaku]
“The major difference between the two Mario Makers is that on the Wii U, Nintendo knew that the player would be holding the GamePad controller while in front of a television. That meant there was just one control scheme for the level editor, which was using the touchscreen. With the Switch, Nintendo needed both controller- and touch-based options. Although the controller option is designed about as well as it could be, I found touch to be vastly preferable (and using a nice pen-sized stylus to be vastly preferable to jabbing the screen with my finger for hours). But who knows, maybe you’ll find it more comfortable to use a Pro controller and your big-screen TV. Can it be a bit overwhelming at first, as Nintendo may have feared long those many years ago? Perhaps. I looked all through Mario Maker 2's layers of menus but didn’t see a glossary-type mode that explained all of its many tools. There are so many decisions to be made as a creator, starting with the type of course you want to build. Do you want to set it in the open air? Underground? A snowy field? A forest halfway submerged in a lake of bubbling, purple poison? The idea seems to be that you’ll learn about how these levels all differ from each other by playing around with them, rather than reading about them.”
• 'Mario Maker 2' Is Brilliant, But I Hope Nintendo Doesn't Fail the Community [Vice Gaming]
“There are a lot of ways to review a video game, but what do you do with a game like Super Mario Maker 2, whose potential is currently unknown? Nintendo doesn’t know what people will do with it, and I certainly don’t. What do you do about a game whose community, the beating heart of its future in the years to come, will be shaped by the way its developer responds, especially when said company is known to be opaque about the questionable and often frustrating reasons for its actions? That’s what will ultimately determine the game’s future, not whether they added cool tools (they did) or, finally, slopes (which they also did). As someone that closely covered the Mario Maker community for years, who has been still writing features about the wild things those players are still up to only weeks ago, I cannot help but look at Mario Maker 2 through that lens, and spend more time wondering about the unknowable future, rather than walking through a checkbox of the game’s features. Of course that’s great—Mario Maker is one of gaming’s great achievements in the last 10 years.”
• Super Mario Maker 2: Building On Success [Game Informer]
“Super Mario Maker 2 looks, plays, and functions similar to its predecessor, which is still one of the most fun creation games ever released. Complicated elements like enemy A.I. and setting start and end points for levels are all taken care of for you, which frees you up to focus on the fun part: laying out the building blocks of the level. The menus are generally the same as the first game, and the core building blocks return. The tools, like seeing Mario’s trail in create mode to identify proper jump distances, are all back, which is a great. The big updates for the sequel are mostly additions as opposed to sweeping changes. [...] Super Mario Maker 2 is not a radical reinvention of the original Mario Maker, but it earns the “2” in its title with a story mode full of great Mario levels, worthwhile additions to the creation toolset, and new options for playing and creating cooperatively. The future is bright for Super Mario Maker 2, and I can’t wait to see what the community makes with it. But even at this starting line, I had plenty of Mario to play and enjoy.”
• Super Mario Maker 2: whether you're building or not, this is a joy [Eurogamer]
“Everything in Mario Maker 2 feels good to place, to delete, to mess around with. Subtle musical cues are everywhere, reminding would-be designers that the best Mario levels obey a rhythm as much as anything else: they are dance routines from an alien dimension. And talking of musical cues, oh man, I would read a (short) book on exactly how the placement and movement of objects in a level you're editing affects the audio you don't even realise you're listening to. Beyond that, as ever, it's easy to go back and forth between creating a level and testing it, and not much trickier to upload it with a title, a description, a handful of tags so that people know what they're getting. Then they can play it comment and like it and help you unlock new outfits for your Mii avatar. They can search for it, follow your work, or have your level randomly scrambled into the same mini-campaigns that you could play through in the first game. And like the first game, Mario Maker 2 is similarly fascinating in terms of the stuff people are already making and sharing. You get to see what people who don't normally make Mario levels do when they get their hands on the controls. This is the part of Mario Maker that evolves over time, but there's much more to the scene, I would argue, than the levels that are extremely challenging and complicated and get to go viral on YouTube. Mario Maker allows you to make something that's sweet and goofy, something that's weird and disarming.”
posted by Fizz (37 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can work be over? Can I stop responding to emails and just swing by the local gameshop, pick up my pre-order and play infinite Mario levels forever??!? Please, make time go faster.
posted by Fizz at 7:43 AM on June 28


Dammit I need to buy a Switch but moneeeeeey
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:45 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Mine should be getting dropped off soon and I can't wait.
posted by deezil at 7:48 AM on June 28


I pre-ordered this months ago, forgot about it in the midst of a rough couple of months of work and family stuff, and it just arrived this morning. This post is making me really look forward to playing it.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:10 AM on June 28


Have assigned making levels for me to play to the kids as their summer task.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on June 28 [17 favorites]


Have assigned making levels for me to play to the kids as their summer task.

You beautiful, evil genius you.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:59 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Counting down the hours until delivery. I loved Mario Maker on Wii U and even enjoyed the limited 3DS version. Have never touched the course editor.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:04 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


@porn in the woods, I suspect I'll not be fussing too much with the course editor. My mind doesn't really work that way, I'm not too good at the creation side of things.

I'm mostly here for the community levels, the weekly officially released Nintendo levels (they did this previously on the WiiU), and the never-ending uploads that we'll have access to. Like just all the 2D/3D mario we can handle. :-D
posted by Fizz at 9:11 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Dammit I still haven't beaten New Super Luigi U yet, and I promised myself no new Mario games until I finished it.
posted by General Malaise at 9:20 AM on June 28


We are all going to share our levels with each other here, right? Those of us who make them, that is. One of my Wii U version levels won a prize so I can honestly refer to myself as an award-winning level creator.
posted by Servo5678 at 9:33 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


We are all going to share our levels with each other here, right?
*ahem*
posted by Fizz at 9:35 AM on June 28 [12 favorites]


whose potential is currently unknown? Nintendo doesn’t know what people will do with it

Really? Because my kids (grown now) fondly remember Little Big Planet. (They were firmly in the PS-ecosystem, up until a couple years ago when they finally got a WiiU for Splatoon)

(But this will be nice for those of us who have fond Mario memories)
posted by jkaczor at 10:16 AM on June 28


Really? Ok, sorry for harshing the mellow, Nintendo "irks me" a little bit, because they are very very "not invented here, so it doesn't exist yet, nor has it ever existed" and the press eats that all up.
posted by jkaczor at 10:22 AM on June 28


When I was a kid, Mario was the guy in the coin-op Donkey Kong arcade game. The game that looked so easy, but was devilishly hard for a 10 year old.

I missed the Nintendo home console and Gameboy era. I had Intellivision then a Commodore 64. Then a whole bunch of years went by and I barely played a video game at all until the Xbox 360. I'm a PS4 Pro guy these days. So I have no nostalgia/fondness for Mario or any of the other Nintendo workhorse franchises. These games don't really pique my interest. To each their own, I say!

I have to wonder though, how do kids these days get into Mario the character? It's a weird character to begin with, but the mythology and lore seems huge. He's an Italian-American stereotype plumber who was popular in the '80s. How does this appeal to 10 year olds today? Do they know him from their parents' video games?
posted by SoberHighland at 10:38 AM on June 28


I love the idea of Mario Maker but I'm not sure I have any creative juice left after obsessively playing Dreams for a couple of weeks.
posted by Memo at 10:48 AM on June 28


Rolling Hills: 05H-PNV-M1H

I remind everyone of the existence of a Metafilter Mario Maker blog at http://mefimariomaker.blogspot.com/. If you want to post your levels let me know, I can either post them for you or add you to the list so you can post them yourself!
posted by JHarris at 10:54 AM on June 28


Really? Ok, sorry for harshing the mellow, Nintendo "irks me" a little bit, because they are very very "not invented here, so it doesn't exist yet, nor has it ever existed" and the press eats that all up.

SIGH yes there were commercial game creation programs before Super Mario Maker, going back to things like Bill Budge's Pinball Construction Set, Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set and Garry Kitchen's Gamemaker, among many others. And yes Nintendo has a tendency to ignore things they didn't make, but more often that bites them than anyone else.

And yes, Little Big Planet and its sequels exists, and are great. But SMM and SMM2 are something subtly different from that, in that it's an order of magnitude more accessible in that there's no scripting or coding at all. Yes, a lot less is possible with SMM, but the ratio of accessibility to playability is very very high because of the ubiquity of the Mario universe and the versatility of the Mario elements.

If I may suggest, it might be more useful to be upset at the walled garden approach to user content creation where users in both ecosystems can create tons of content, but it cannot be removed from those ecosystems, and can only be used to increase the value of The Product. In other words, you can create lots of neat things, but only if you don't mind Sony or Nintendo controlling access to it.
posted by JHarris at 11:03 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


In other words, you can create lots of neat things, but only if you don't mind Sony or Nintendo controlling access to it.

Indeed, even though it's day one of releasing, fans/consumers are feeling a bit shady about the fact that Super Mario Maker 2 is currently capping your uploads at 32 courses.

• Super Mario Maker 2 Currently Lets You Upload Just 32 Courses [Nintendo Life]
“Now, for some, 32 might seem like plenty, but for others who spend hours and hours with the game, 32 might not sound like all that many. There are a couple of things to think about here, though.

Firstly, the original Super Mario Maker on Wii U initially only allowed for ten courses to be uploaded, so 32 gives players much more freedom. The reason players are upset at the news is thanks to the Wii U game's star rating system, however; in the original, your ten-course limit could be increased if your uploaded levels earned enough stars from others players who enjoyed your creation. Eventually, the best designers found themselves able to share 100 courses, but this doesn't seem to be the case with Mario Maker 2.

So that leaves the 32 number somewhere in between - better for those who can't make masterpieces and who would have been stuck with just 10 uploads, but worse for those who can. ”
posted by Fizz at 11:09 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


For people who are curious about how this game compares with the original, in the annoying arbitrary limit department:
- Limits are mostly the same, but with an important exception. The Ground blocktype has its own limit separate from other items now, and it's two thousand blocks per map! That's enough to fill about two-thirds of a maximum size map by itself! That makes it much easier to make a convincing cave level that's full of walls, which alleviates one of my chief complaints about the original.
- On the other hand, at the moment at least, makers are limited to 32 uploads total, regardless of any medals you've earned or how popular your courses are. In the original, the base limit was 10, it's true, but as your courses gained likes your maximum went up, eventually potentially getting up to 100 courses. Being limited to 32 seems like a step backwards, which is especially annoying because there wasn't any word about this before release. (On preview: What Fizz said.)

Also, the 100 Mario Challenge has been replaced by an Endless Challenge, where you just go as far as you can. I'd have liked to have seen more continuity between levels, like a mode with player-curated sequences of levels where powerups and lives could be retained going from one to another, or even branching maps you could explore by finding alternate exits. Or just more uses for player-made levels besides Challenge mode and the usual search modes.
posted by JHarris at 11:13 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


32 levels is a full Mario game (1-1 through 1-4, repeat for 8 worlds). That's a lot. If people are bumping against the limit, seems like they're concentrating on quantity over quality.
posted by explosion at 11:49 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


The main problem with the previous system was that once the Wii U started to die off it became all but impossible to get enough people playing your courses to reach the next tier. I don't know if 32 is enough (Mario Maker courses tend to be far more bite-sized than the levels in a full game, plus people may want to keep their "learning experiences" around after they get better), but I'm glad they dropped the rolling limit.

The only real disappointment I've seen is, as JHarris pointed out, the inability to arrange levels into cohesive "worlds." You'd think this would be the most natural thing in the world for a game like Mario Maker....maybe they're worried about long-game troll setups, where World 8-4 is impossible unless you held on to the fire flower from World 1-1 without ever getting hit?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:56 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


With all due respect explosion, my experiences with the course upload limits in the original were very negative, I was constantly bumping into it. It took a lot of earning stars to get the cap high enough for all the levels I wanted to upload. (I eventually uploaded 44.) The problem isn't just a limit of 32 courses, it's that Nintendo, in their typical tight-lipped fashion, has provided no guidance on whether the limit will be increased at any time. They've always been infuriatingly opaque about such things.
posted by JHarris at 12:12 PM on June 28


maybe they're worried about long-game troll setups, where World 8-4 is impossible unless you held on to the fire flower from World 1-1 without ever getting hit?

There's no need for that if every level, as it currently is, must pass a clear check by the course creator. If 8-4 can't be finished without a fire flower from 1-1, then it won't pass a clear check starting Mario out without powerups.
posted by JHarris at 12:14 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


(There ARE possible trolls for the slim cases where a level cannot be completed WITH a power-up, such as ones with passages that require small mario and there's nowhere to take damage, but that is such a rare case that it might best be handled with moderation. Of course, there's no predicting if such troll collections would become fashionable among the various internet stupidhead communities.)
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on June 28


That was a pretty common troll in the "Super Expert" tier of levels before, so I wouldn't be surprised.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:23 PM on June 28


"Really? Ok, sorry for harshing the mellow, Nintendo "irks me" a little bit, because they are very very "not invented here, so it doesn't exist yet, nor has it ever existed" and the press eats that all up."

Thing is, in some cases I really believe Nintendo is so far up it's own butt that it really hasn't "heard" of these other things. There's that story of a company that was consulted by Nintendo for help building their online services. They were pitching them all the normal features, talking about basic stuff Xbox Live, Steam, etc had standard for decades plus some stuff unique for Nintendo. After a time the translators asked the company to stop referencing Steam/XBN/PSN because the execs had no familiarity with those things at all.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:30 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Nintendo isn't that clueless, it's not like they can't hire people to know these things for them, but it's telling that the story is so believable.
posted by JHarris at 1:23 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Given the rest of gaming is for the most part an utter hellscape are we sure we want Nintendo learning from it?
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


The hellscape is there, it exists yes, but there are good things out there as well. Especially in the way of technical advancement, which is where Nintendo's always lagged behind a bit.
posted by JHarris at 7:38 PM on June 28


This game is everything I wanted it to be. I'm having fun and feeling joyful. I'm screaming, laughing, and/or dying. Often at the same time. 🐢
posted by Fizz at 8:42 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I love this! I've been at it four hours and all I've done is make my first level. The creation system is really intuitive, a few times I was confused but just trying stuff tends to work. I tried to make a big Pyramid filled with trapped rooms, using P Switches to make puzzles in the rooms. F1Q-RS7-GVF is the code if anyone wants to try it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:46 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]


I had the day off work yesterday, and while I had other adult stuff to get done, I was able to spend a few hours playing this. My one big wish so far is for better large-scale editing tools. For example, if I want to add some extra space between two challenges after the fact, I have to tediously move everything in the level. (I understand this was the case with the previous game, so I guess I wish Nintendo had changed that.) Since we're sharing level codes, mine is FRR-QJB-PKF. I was playing with the custom clear conditions, so in this one, you have to kill a bunch of spinies.
posted by eruonna at 2:42 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


For example, if I want to add some extra space between two challenges after the fact, I have to tediously move everything in the level.

It's slightly easier using the multigrab tool but even that has a small limit.
posted by Memo at 2:58 PM on June 29


I have a lot more respect for the decision to make 3D World its own thing having played with it, as it's a completely different physics engine. (Observe, for example, the different effect that spawning inside a solid wall from the editor has - in Mario Maker Classic, Mario can jump out of the wall, but in 3D World he's immobilized.) As far as I can tell, they literally adapted the (very good) 3D World game engine into Mario Maker, and then offered the same UI for interacting with both engines. The reason that you can't preserve a level when switching between 3D World and the others, and the reason why a lot of the parts aren't shared, is because they'd need to reimplement every single one of the old Mario Maker parts from scratch.

It's kinda like a bundle of two games - Mario Maker 3D World, and Mario Maker Wii U + all the possible DLC, with a lot of design overlap where they added things to both games, and the same UI shell for playing and building levels.
posted by NMcCoy at 3:11 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I should mention, the Metafilter Mario Maker level sharing blog is not generally something that people communicate their levels to me and I post them. I add you to the list of posters and you can post them yourself! If you want in on it, send me a MeMail and I'll get you set up.
posted by JHarris at 5:15 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


This game rips, it’s almost too good to be true.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:36 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I have to wonder though, how do kids these days get into Mario the character? It's a weird character to begin with, but the mythology and lore seems huge. He's an Italian-American stereotype plumber who was popular in the '80s. How does this appeal to 10 year olds today? Do they know him from their parents' video games?

The mythology's largely irrelevant for both the 2d and 3d platform games - instead it's a case of form follows function. If it looks squishy and you try to jump on it it will probably squish. If it looks spiky it's not a good idea to jump on it. The mythology of why red koopas stop at the end of a ledge and green ones go is more or less irrelevant beside the fact they do. Some of the spinoff titles need the lore but it's utterly unnecesary for the platform games.

Also all the Mario games are extremely good at explaining how they play - and with its assist mode Super Mario Odyssey (the latest 3d platformer) has had four year olds beating it (of course there's a vast amount of post-game content)
posted by Francis at 1:43 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


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