A key developer for Nintendo, Takashi Tezuka, worked closely over the years on several Zelda and Mario titles. Two of his most recent projects for Wii U, Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Woolly World, were announced in Nintendo’s 2014 E3 Digital Event broadcast, and Tezuka recently sat down with the folks at NZGamer to discuss his new games — and a couple that haven’t been announced.
Among the topics discussed was how Kirby’s Epic Yarn inspired Yoshi’s Woolly World’s art style. “I had a chance to play Kirby’s Epic Yarn and I really admired the aesthetic sense of the dev team who made that game,” Tezuka said. “I wanted to make a Yoshi action game and I just loved the yarn aesthetic so I thought, well, let’s make a Yoshi game using that, including craft materials, to make a whole new Yoshi experience.”
When the team realized that Yoshi was harder to recreate in yarn than Kirby, who only needed a single strand of yarn as an outline, Tezuka said they had to look at different approaches. The game designers knitted and crocheted real Yoshi figurines to get the complicated look of Yoshi correct. The end result is a fuller, and woolier, world than present in Kirby’s Epic Yarn.
Before revealing that Yoshi’s Woolly World will not feature online multiplayer, Tezuka hinted at an unannounced gameplay element regarding the color of the Wonder Wool items. Three Wonder Wools will appear in each level, and Tezuka says that the colors are significant, but won’t say more. Could this be related to the different colors of Yoshis in the game? We’ll have to wait to find out more.
Tezuka also revealed that Mario Maker, the upcoming level-editing game that allows players to craft their own Mario-inspired stages, is a spiritual successor to the SNES’s Mario Paint. At first wanting to make a Mario Paint sequel, Tezuka says he was hesitant making a drawing game since he thought it would be intimidating for some players. He found a level editor to be a more accessible alternative and a great way to use the fun Mario Paint feel. Yet, Mario Maker is still in development and Tezuka is considering adding elements from the SNES classic, including a music editing mode.
Mario Maker will not have multiplayer, Tezuka announced, but his team is considering several different methods of sharing levels once created, including posting videos to YouTube (which could factor in to Nintendo’s new YouTube affiliate program) or Miiverse. Other ideas the team is tossing around include using different “skins” for the levels rather than the original Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. U skins demoed at E3 and the option of running through courses with characters other than Mario.
Finally, when asked about the possibility of a Super Mario Sunshine sequel or a 3D remake of Majora’s Mask, Tezuka laughed. “I mean, of course I wish we could,” he said. “I personally would like to enjoy those again but I don’t have any information.”
Tezuka was a producer for Super Mario Sunshine on GameCube and a supervisor for Majora’s Mask. Fans have been clamoring for a remake of Majora’s Mask since Ocarina of Time was remade for 3DS three years ago. A new job listing on Grezzo’s website, however, may hint at a future remake of Majora’s Mask, but it seems Tezuka is remaining silent for now.