Just a few days ahead of Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s launch, Nintendo has shared an ‘Ask the Developer’ feature for the game. This feature has 4 parts in total, with the final two pieces being released today.

While the entire feature is well worth a read, we’ve gone through to pull out the juiciest details. You can see a bullet point breakdown of the more interesting notes and anecdotes from Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s development below.

  • devs say they started development of this title with a ‘sense of crisis from the beginning’
  • the team felt that 2D Mario games often had the reputation of being unforgiving
  • conversely, the team felt 3D Mario games were made so that anyone could finish them
  • the team used 3D Mario titles as inspiration for Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • the goal was to create a 2D Mario that let players complete courses in their own way
  • the devs used a method in 3D Mario games where you can unlock courses with key items
  • these key items are called Wonder Seeds
  • you get a Wonder See for completing courses, but you can also buy them
  • this allows all players no matter their skill level the ability to see the game through to the end
  • the devs kept character abilities the same so fans could pick their favorite and play with ease
  • to make up for the lack of character-specific abilities, the Badge system was introduced
  • the game has more than 20 Badges, but the team came up with more than 50 prototypes
  • the team considered placing a bar on the screen to adjust the difficulty level on the spot
  • this idea was scrapped, but may be used in another Mario title
  • Tezuka-san asked, “Can’t we have live commentary?” and the team spent 6 months on the idea – the devs tried adding voices to match the player’s actions, but things didn’t feel right
  • commentary has different voices, including a newscaster and Tsundere personality
  • during playtests, many people changed to the Tsundere voice
  • the process required a lot of work to create, so the team decided to pass on the idea
  • these tests paved the way for the Talking Flowers that appear in the game now
  • Kondo says the sound team was able to work more closely with the other devs this time
  • this led the sound team to feel more involved in the game’s creation.
  • typically, the sound team joins a game during the latter half of development
  • with SMBW, the sound team got involved early in the development stages
  • the sound team shared gameplay ideas
  • the programmers also worked together to create prototypes for sound-related areas
  • Kondo always wanted to try having the entire course come alive like a musical
  • this was tested with Piranha Plants coming out of their pipes in sync with the music
  • the programmers had trouble with timing a level to music, as beat and meter were challenging
  • these tests helped the team build a stage where the characters jump on every fourth beat.
  • this also led to the Rhythm Jump Badge for use on all courses
  • from the start, the team also wanted to create a Mario game that’s also fun to play online
  • the devs know that online play presents issues with skill and troublemakers as well
  • this led Nintendo to crafting a multiplayer experience with a ‘casual connection’
  • matching takes place automatically during single player, so there’s no waiting around
  • Nintendo refers to online players as “live player shadows”
  • online player is also why Nintendo came up with 12 playable characters to choose from
  • Kondo says the casual connection online play is the most significant innovation in the game
  • some team members from 3D Mario games helped build SMBW’s map together
  • SMBW has a hidden character who appears in some of the recent 3D Mario games
  • Nintendo will continue to create Mario gameplay, regardless of whether it’s 2D or 3D
  • Tezuka says that Mario games have a bright future ahead of them

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Comments (3)


9M ago

"the team felt that 2D Mario games often had the reputation of being unforgiving"

Who keeps telling Nintendo their games are too hard?!


9M ago

"the devs kept character abilities the same so fans could pick their favorite and play with ease"

I hate this move so much! I'll get the game for my niece and nephew and play it a bit with them but unsure they'll get another purchase from me.


9M ago

Sad how they think they have to make it easier and more limiting online... And they wanna have characters be the same yet they make two characters not the same...