Super Mario Maker is now only a few weeks from release. Soon a community of (hopefully) millions of players from around the world will be cranking out brand new Mario levels on a daily basis. The latent game developer in each of us will be able to use the game’s intuitive toolset to take Mario on adventures that we’ve dreamed about– and maybe even mapped out on graph paper– since we were kids. In a video posted to Nintendo’s YouTube channel today, we get a full rundown of what to expect from the final game, as well as a first look at some previously unannounced features.
One of these newly revealed features is the progression of the editor. In the same way that level creation itself feels more like a game than a tool, the player gains access to new features of the toolset simply by using it. When you first start designing, you’ll begin with a very basic selection of tiles and objects. By spending time with initial tools, you’ll earn access to additional ones on a daily basis, eventually leaving you with access to everything the game has to offer and some amount of hands-on experience with all of it.
Playing with sound
Next up is audio. Until now, we hadn’t heard much about the role of music and sound effects in Super Mario Maker. Though players won’t be creating their own musical tracks to accompany their custom levels, Nintendo has included some interesting ways to empower players in the area of sound design.
After spending some time with the editor, players will gain access to the Sound Effect Frog. This tool allows players to integrate a variety of sound effects into their levels, and even record their own. Some of the premade sound effects will even generate visual accompaniments, ranging from fireworks and confetti to full-on laser and light shows.
Another way players can add a custom audio touch to their levels is through the use of Music Blocks. In a full-on Mario Paint nostalgia grab, Music Blocks will play a variety of notes when touched, corresponding to the height at which they’re placed within a level. In the video, we see an example of how these blocks, items, and enemies can be used to conduct a virtual symphony within a level. I’m certain players will do some amazing things with this feature.
We already knew that a huge number of amiibo (officially 50+) would be supported in Super Mario Maker. The function of most will be to generate Mystery Mushrooms Costumes that will change Mario into a variety of other characters, which will share his moveset but include their own custom animations. It’s worth noting that, for now, these alternate skins are only for use with the 8-bit Super Mario Bros. tileset.
Something we didn’t know yet was exactly how the new 8-bit Mario amiibo would function in Super Mario Maker. This amiibo generates a big mushroom. When Mario collects it, the screen gets a low-res, tube TV filter, Mario gets huge and overpowered, and all of his enemies sprout mustaches. As if we needed any more reason to track down this amiibo on launch day!
UPDATE: Nintendo has clarified Super Mario Maker’s amiibo functionality a bit further. While designing a level, players can use amiibo to place costume and big mushrooms freely. Once uploaded, these mushrooms, and the benefits they provide, will simply be a part of the completed level– no amiibo required.
Level sharing and 10/100 Mario challenges
Sharing levels will obviously be the backbone of Super Mario Maker. With such a massive number of new levels coming to the game literally every day, what will be the best way to experience them? The game will include search functions to new or highly rated courses, and even allow you to find and follow popular creators or friends.
Another way to experience a wide variety of levels is the 10 and 100 Mario challenges. These modes stock you with either 10 or 100 lives, and give you a random stream of user-generated levels to tackle. On a personal note, this sounds like a mode that I could play on a daily basis for a long, long time.
If this video, and the new features it details, are any indication, there’s still plenty about Super Mario Maker that we don’t yet know. We’ll be on the lookout for any new details over the next few weeks, and we’ll have a full review when the game launches on September 11th. In the meantime, check out the video!