There are more than 7 million courses available in Super Mario Maker 2† And at least seven of them are pretty fun.
But seriously, making a good Mario level is one of those tasks that is harder than it looks. So what distinguishes a satisfying level from a frustrating level?
To find out, we contacted both the Mario Maker and Nintendo Switch subreddits, asking readers to submit their favorite homemade levels for review. After sifting through pages and pages of submissions, we’ve picked a handful of interesting examples for a more in-depth review by Corey Olcsvary of Nintendo’s legendary Treehouse product development division.
In the video above, Olcsvary plays through the levels, giving his real-time ratings of what they did good or bad. For example, it’s a good sign if he says things like “if I failed, I feel like it’s my fault.” A strong theme can make a level stand out, as in an example here that looks like the inside of a computer. Another course offers players a “sneak preview of … impending doom” via a quick trip through a clear pipe, a touch that Olcsvary appreciated. Then there’s the largely enemy-free theme park-inspired level that proves that “you don’t have to make a course difficult to make it fun”.
Olcsvary also took us a little behind the scenes, showing how Nintendo Treehouse’s designers used playtesting and feedback to fine-tune a level that ended up being used in this year’s Nintendo World Championships. That led to what is arguably his most important piece of advice: “Get someone tested [your level]† You could change it based on their feedback.”
Here are the course IDs for the levels shown in this video, if you want to try them out on your own copy of Super Mario Maker 2†
Big thanks to the members of /r/MarioMaker and /r/NintendoSwitch for showing us some of their work!