Have you ever had an experience where one of the younger members of your team ended up working on a project that you thought you stopped, and it turned into something really interesting?
Oh, that’s happened to me a few times. Because when I stop a project it’s because it’s risky, not because it definitely won’t work.
Oh, I get it.
Right. It might work, but it’s risky.
It’s a question of the odds.
Right. When the odds are low.
When you’re making something with computers and you invest in something with low odds, you end up spending a lot of energy on it when the odds are that you’ll probably have to throw it all away. So it’s up to Miyamoto-san to use his eye and his experience to stop projects like that.
Oh, I see.
So if it looks like something has an endpoint, I’ll have out with it, even if it’s a project that I originally put a stop to. You know how in Super Mario 644 you can grab Bowser and spin him around by his tail? 4Super Mario 64: The first 3D action game in the Super Mario series. Released for the Nintendo 64 system in June 1996 in Japan.
I actually stopped that.
I didn’t tell them it was impossible, but I said, “Don’t explore that direction anymore.” I just felt like it was pretty risky. Then something happened to get the program working, and I decided that since there was now a light at the end of the tunnel, we should go with it as one of the main features.
To pick up Bowser from a programming perspective, it needed to be a system that worked by pairing a parent object and a child object. If the parent object moved, the child object would move with it. But when we tried to get it running, it turned out to be a really heavy system.
Since it was a game that was being developed in conjunction with the Nintendo 64 system, no one had any idea what the processing capabilities of the final hardware would be. If the feature needed to be heavily reliant on a lot of processing, the odds would be low.
But it worked the way it should, so I decided we might as well go as far as bringing that action of grabbing Bowser by the tail, spinning him around and throwing him out of the arena.
So you originally stopped that plan not because of the direction it was going in, but because you thought it would be difficult to execute.
You have to think of things in terms of the system, after all.
I get it. That’s really interesting.
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