Shigeru Miyamoto on Mario Galaxy 2, violence in games and the Vitality Sensor

Miyamotolead

First of all, congratulations on receiving your fellowship into BAFTA.
Thank you.

Some might say that such an honor is decades overdue and deserved on the merit of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. alone. Do you agree, or do you place more importance on your recent works?
I don’t really know… I think that my best work is yet to come, actually. I mean, in the past five years I’ve been working on such unusual game titles, like Wii Fit Plus or Wii Sports Resort. And, probably, ten years ago I could never have been able to imagine that I would be making games like that. I’ve really enjoyed making unusual titles like those, that can remind me that in the next ten years or so I’ll be able to have unexpected joy in creating some very different genres from what I can imagine today. That’s why I can say that the best is yet to come to me.

Since you say that the best is still to come, do you foresee retirement in your future?
Well, I am one of the company workers and the company has to retire me some time. So from that perspective, yes I may have to retire from Nintendo some day. But when I look around and see how aged cartoonists continue to work on their manga and how movie directors create new movies all the time, I understand that they would never retire. And by the same token, I guess I will still be making games somehow. The only question is whether the younger people will be willing to work with me at that far point in the future.

Is there a definite sense that the type of games you enjoy creating are changing as you mature?
Well I just don’t know, but when I look back I can tell that after I started having a family, I certainly wanted to make games that could be played with all the family members. That was definitely the big change in my life, as well as my career in making games. As I am ageing, naturally, how I want my videogames to be played must be changing. Having said that, however, I have never lost my passion for making the so-called ‘traditional’ type of games, which is why I have devoted so much of myself to the creation of Super Mario Galaxy 2. So all I can say is that the type of game I will be willing to work on must be varied and expanded in theme. Right now, I have to ask myself what kind of game I would be willing to work on right before my death. I just cannot imagine that right now, but in the near future I think the kind of themes we work in as videogame creators will be expanded, so I’m very excited to see what kind of games I can make in the future.

Returning right back to the game that defined the beginning of your career, we wonder if you’ve seen the King Of Kong documentary film…

Oh, yes.

What did you think of it?
Well, I was certainly flattered and glad to see the film. I was surprised to see people reacting so well to a game that I had worked on in various unexpected ways, and doing some very crazy things in the process. That really flatters me.

Why do you think a game as old and primitive as Donkey Kong still inspires such a following across the globe?

Well, I think it reminds us of the importance of the very basic structure of videogames. Knowing that basic structure when creating a new game will have a huge difference compared to if you weren’t aware of the basics. In the case of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, for example, from the perspective of new developers, we were able to take the basic structure and then change it into something new. And we also have the Virtual Console on Wii, of course, where people can enjoy the traditional, classic types of videogames. I think that can be a good thing for game creators as well, because they can now learn how games used to be. I think we need to repeat that kind of process. Whenever we are trying to make some step forward, we should understand what was the origin and how we started making some of those complicated things.



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  1. The Daily Pron Stash « GamePron

    […] to hear of the Infinity Ward sackings, and happy that he wasn’t working with the company. Even if Nintendo choose to retire him, Miyamoto plans to continue working, which makes us happy. Garry’s Mod creator wants you to pick his brains, if you’re that […]

  2. Ryan

    Miyamoto is the whole reason why I decided to become a video game designer. Every day I strive to learn more and more about the field of interactive entertainment in hopes that perhaps, one day, I'll be able to design games that are at least 1/10th as great as his works.

  3. The Daily Pron Stash « GamePron

    […] were curious. Hideki Kamiya wants you to make him make a new StarFox, but you have to ask nicely. Miyamoto will never, ever retire. (Not that we want him to!) Hideo Kojima ‘unhappy’ with Peace Walker censorship, having […]

  4. Mike

    Well, I think that the Zelda enemies have been way too easy for quite some time, so rather than have the difficulty increase when I am nervous or scared, I would rather just have the difficulty at maximum all the time.

  5. Marcus

    I always love these interviews with Miyamoto and this one by GAMES tm is especially interesting. The questions are a good mix of on the spot and pre-written while Miyamoto himself always seems particually honest about his life and his work.

    He acknowledges the company’s (Nintendo’s) achievements but also admits areas that could and should be explored such as HD visuals and other new tech. The idea of combining the vitality sensor with Zelda to make enemies tougher was such a quick, simple idea that it surprises me that I couldn’t ever think of it and how brilliant it would be .

    Rock on Miyamoto.


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