Miyamoto and Tezuka struggle with balancing Mario’s difficulty
Nintendo loves to make games for everyone, the problem with that is everyone plays games with a different proficiency to each other. Nintendo balances this pretty well with power-ups and in more recent times Super Guides. You know, those suits that literally finish the game for you. Good for those who need it, weirdly annoying for more seasoned gamers.
This balance weighs heavily on both Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka who despite having 30 years of Mario under their belt still struggle to get a good balance. Speaking in a new interview with GamesTM magazine Mr Miyamoto had this to say about getting the perfect balance;
For me one of the things was maybe the gap between the really advanced players and the first-time players. The difficulty balance is always something that I hear frustrations about from the public, whichever way we decide to go. We always have the testing team test our game, but whatever they say is really fun, the first-time players might consider to be very difficult. One of the things I do sometimes at the later phases of development is go in and hear the testing team’s requests and actually pull that away and lower the barrier or change what it is they want. Sometimes I even hear from the testing team, ‘You’re destroying the fun’, but on the other hand, the flipside is you hear the first-time players saying ‘If I can’t clear a level it’s not fun for me. If I can’t complete a game it’s not fun for me’. The more years that have passed, the gap between advanced and first-time players has become wider.
Tezuka also added;
Even though we put a lot of time and effort into trying to balance the difficulty, when we actually release there are a good group of people who can’t complete the whole game, and so we always have that internal struggle of the gap between the advanced and first-time players. That’s why one of the things we’re trying with Yoshi’s Woolly World is to have two different versions of events for the advanced and the beginner players. We changed the performance of it, but then even in the beginner mode we did put a lot of stuff in there so that advanced players can still have fun. We put a lot of time and effort into trying to balance that out.
So where does Nintendo sit right now now with difficulty in their games. Some feel like they hold your hand for an hour – others let you go pretty much right away. What’s best for you?
Source: GamesTM via Nintendo Everything