August 1995, Nintendo Power
Power: " When did you begin work on Super
Miyamoto:"I first had the idea to do a 3-D Mario game when I was
working on Star Fox. That was five years ago. I had always wanted to do a game
that recreated an entire world in miniature, like minature trains. When I saw
what could be done with 3-D modeling on the Star Fox game, I knew we could do
much more. Super Mario 64 as you see it here (at Shoshinkai is about 50% mapped
out. We have worked on this game for a year and a half, but design work on the
game concept began a year before that. During that time, we shared ideas with
the hardware design people." (Mr. Miyamoto later pointed out that the early
development of any game takes a great deal more time than the final portion.
When asked if the game would be completed by April, he said they would be
finished in plenty of time.)
Power: "Do you find that game ideas drive new technology or is the
Tezuka: "Hardware technology is very important, but if we rely too
much on the hardware and not enough on ideas, you won't make games. You'll have
demonstration software. New technology can make things more interesting. For
example, the Nintendo 64 can produce advanced images, but if that's all we
emphasize, the game will be boring. The problem we face is how to use advanced
technology to enhance game play. The technology is just a tool for the
expression of ideas."
Power: "Is there a philosophy that guides your game
Miyamoto: "In Super Mario 64, I wanted to include more details. The
ideas we use in the game come from real life, but they may not seem so. In the
process of including an idea in a game, we often change it many times before
reaching the final version. For instance, during the development of Super Mario
64, Mr. Tezuka got an idea about putting his wife in the game. His wife is very
quiet normally, but one day she exploded, maddened by all the time he spent at
work. In the game, there is now a character who shrinks when Mario looks at it,
but when Mario turns away, it will grow large and menacing. This is the image he
got from his wife and we thought it would be great in the game."
Power: "How does your wife feel about this?"
Tezuka (laughing with a shrug): "She knows."
Power: "What is the most important thing that you can achieve with
the Nintendo 64?"
Miyamoto: "Before, in earlier games, we couldn't show the entire
game world in detail and we couldn't convey all the emotions of the characters.
Now, we can do that on the Nintendo 64. I've always wanted to create realistic
experiences, full experiences such as you or I could have, but in exciting
Power: "How will The Legend of Zelda 64 and other games make use of
Miyamoto: "It's too early to say much about the Zelda game except
that Mr. Tezuka and I will be working on it after we finish Super Mario 64.
Right now, it is only a demonstration. But the read/write disk in general terms
gives us the ability to create software tools that the player can use. For
instance, games such as Mario Paint or SimCity, these can be customized and
saved. We might make a 3-D painting system, like Mario Paint, but in 3-D. In
some games, you could change the background and other elements. You can also
back games up. The 3-D Stick gives you such good control that you don't need a
Power: "Does the 64DD turn the Nintendo 64 into a sort of PC?"
Miyamoto: "We think that the Nintendo 64 will be better in every
respect than PCs. We were plug-and-play long before the PC (market) ever heard
of such a thing. And since we use a TV monitor for display, we don't need extra
hardware for running movies and such things."
Power: "People still ask, why not use CD-ROM?"
Tezuka: "For games, you need backup and flexibility, CD-ROM doesn't
have that but the 64DD will. We aren't making movies, so we have chosen the disk
system instead of CD-ROM."
Power: "Did you help design the controller too?"
Miyamoto: "Design of the controller began at the start of the
process to create the Nintendo 64. We knew that we wanted characters to be able
to move in the 3-D world in certain ways, and that determined what the
controller had to be able to do. So yes, we were involved from a gaming point of
Power: "How much of the game is finished?"
Tezuka: "About 2-% of the mapping has been completed, but about 50%
of the entire game is ready. Currently, we have 32 courses, but the final
version may have more. Maybe 40 courses. That doesn't include bonus areas, of
course." (Big smile. They aren't giving anything away, yet.)
Power: "What can you tell us about Mario Kart 64 R?"
Miyamoto: "Many improvements over the Super Famicom version. We
didn't want to show the game here, thought, because the improvements in game
play have not all been added yet. It looks very good, but it doesn't play much
better than the original so far. That will come. When it is finished, it will
have many new options, more items, excellent control, four-play modes, including
ghost mode and maybe even four-player battle mode, which I would like very
Power: "What is your role in the development of games such as
Pilotwings 64 and Buggie-Boogie 64?"
Miyamoto: "We are working together with some of the finest artists
and programmers in the world on these games. My role is to oversee the project
and direct it where I feel it should go if I see something lacking. I have great
respect for their technical capabilities, and they have respect for my ability
to create games. It is a very good combination. It is more removed from the role
I have on Super Mario 64, where I'm so close to the game, but I am happy with
the results we have seen."
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