It’s a shame for Nintendo that there had already been rumours circling about Mario Maker. A photo of Nintendo’s E3 2014 booth showing a large Mario Maker banner was leaked on Friday, and many fans could hazard a guess that the mysterious title would be some kind of Mario level creation tool. Now Nintendo has officially announced the title during the company’s Digital Event at E3 2014.
Mario Maker — which is only a working title for the project — will let gamers to “create your custom Mario courses,” according to the trailer. It shows user-created levels, with customization of piranha plants and other enemies, bricks and pipes. Players can take away the floor, change the colour and style of Koopa Troopas and even add elements to the scenery after the level is over. The navigation looks simple to use, with a simple pick-and-drop dynamic, making good use of the Wii U touchpad and stylus.
What’s more, Mario Maker seems to allow a graphical switch between the traditional 8-bit Super Mario Bros. and the modern version used in the New Super Mario Bros. titles. There is also a fun, nostalgic callback for older Nintendo fans, with a fly swatter mechanic as used in Super Nintendo title Mario Paint.
It’s not the first time Nintendo has toyed with the idea of a level editor. New Super Mario Bros. U had the Coin Edit mode for the Coin Battle levels. However, Mario Maker looks far more detailed than that, and there certainly seems to be a lot of potential on show.
It’s hard not to get excited about the chance to make Mario levels. One can imagine that players will be able to share their courses with other Mario Maker users. That way, there is the tantalizing prospect of never running out of new Mario content due to the constantly updating stream of levels available.
There are lots of unanswered questions, though. As of yet this sharing aspect has not been confirmed — although it seems like it would be a huge positive of any Mario level editor. There are no details yet on how it would work, and just how far the level editing goes. Could gamers create entire worlds full of levels? Is it possible to create boss matches? So far only Mario’s overworld has been seen, so it will be interesting to see whether players can create their own underground courses as well. Whatever happens, hopefully there won’t be too long to wait until we find out just what the scope of this title is.
Mario Maker has no release date scheduled as of yet, but is expected to be released in the first half of 2015.