Two weeks before completion, you had to make special Coin Battle courses. Are they that easy to make?
Well, we'd actually shelved a few courses along the way, so we revived those.
Courses that had been shelved for other reasons might be all right for Coin Battles?
That's right. I thought courses that had the wrong tempo when the goal is clearing the stage might present a different kind of enjoyment when the goal is competing for coins. We distributed coins around those courses and wholly restructured them for Coin Battles.
Then, when we finished the Coin Battle courses, the staff was having a blast playing them, and the next-door team got mad at us. (laughs)
How are the Coin Battles different from normal multiplayer gameplay?
When you play in multiplayer mode, how you play changes depending on who you're playing with. Even if you're from the same development team, when guys like Ikkaku-san gather together, a battle develops fairly rapidly.
Rather than get coins, I just think of ways to interfere with others. (laughs)
But the design team around me tends to play laid-back and peacefully. We finish up saying, "Ahh, that was fun." But even we can get somewhat aggressive during Coin Battles.
I suppose it's a good thing there are clear winners and losers in the Coin Battles.
Yeah. Even if you give someone a really hard time, when you lose, you lose.
Ah, I see. As you're competing for coins, you don't know who is winning during play, so it's interesting to see the final results.
That's an important point of the game design. At first, we had it so you could see your progress as you went. But when you display how many coins you've got and a wide gap opens up, someone who's behind might give up. When you hide the count, however, you don't know whether you're winning or losing, so your heart is racing right up until you see the results.
You hear ching-ch-ching! sounds, but that could be someone else getting coins.
The players themselves don't even know where they stand, so they race right up until the goal. What's also interesting is that people standing around watching don't know who's winning either - not until the results screen comes up.
So everyone is on the edge of their seats.
I think that's really great. And another thing about the Coin Battles - I think it's great you can use one of the normal courses for a Coin Battle, racing toward a goal. You're running for the goal as usual and having Coin Battles over and over, and before you know it, you're good at the main game as well.
Oh, I see. Because you learn how to jump in whatever direction there are coins.
Right. The coins are basically placed so you can grab them with a nice jump. You learn those jumps and get better.
I see. As the makers of the game, is there anything else you would like to recommend, anything about which you'd like to say, "Playing this way is fun, too!" New Super Mario Bros. Wii gives all kinds of people a "play area" of sorts, so perhaps the rules for playing are relatively lax. If you have any suggestions for the kinds of rules players can make up on their own for interesting play, I'd like to hear them.
For me, it's the speed runs - dashing forward and reaching the goal even one count faster than before. For example, on World 1-1, I said, "I did this in 45 counts!" but the person next to me said, "I did it in 44 counts!" That was really fun. So I think it's really fun if you compete with your friends and say, "I cleared this course in however many counts!"
What do you recommend, Mukao-san?
Earlier we talked about how amazing some of the playing was for the Super Skills movies. Among them are some you might be able to try for yourself. For example, there's a course in which cannons fire lots of Bullet Bills. If you jump on them one after the other without falling to the ground , you get all kinds of points. Then you end up getting one extra life, then two, then three, and it just goes on up. Repeating that forever was popular among players around me.
There were people who could do that even on your laid-back design team?
There was a time when everyone was trying to get a new record. (laughs) It was completely during single-person play, but at first some got like 20 or 30 lives, and everyone was like "Wow!" Then someone got 40, and everyone was like "Whoa! Wow!" Then suddenly someone would get like 100. In the end, we were up to around 200.
Whoa, that's pretty amazing. (laughs)
When I was able to do a skilful performance like that, I felt rather good, so I hope players will watch the Super Skills movies and try some of the moves out for themselves.
In other words, the skilful performances in the Super Skills movies are not only for certain specially-chosen people. Uchida-san, what do you recommend?
I was the laid-back type, too, and always getting inside a bubble. What's more, I was like, "Don't let me out!"
You wouldn't shake the Wii Remote. You'd just take it easy for a while. (laughs)
Yeah. (laughs) Even then, I would mess up a lot and Mario's turn would reach zero rather quickly. But then you can't duck inside a bubble, so I'd just sit and stare with nothing to do. And it wasn't just me. Several members on the sound team were like that, too. The sound director said, "When you reach zero you don't have anything to do, so let's put in something you can play around with." We made it so that if you press the buttons on the Wii Remote, you can play musical instruments.
So playing with sound came about because the sound team was always running out of turns.
When the number of turns you have reaches zero, I hope players will have fun making all kinds of different sounds.
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