Nintendo reveals rejected Super Mario 3D Land ideas

Pro Skater Mario with cockroaches, anyone?

The director of Super Mario 3D Land has revealed the strange fruits of an early brainstorming session for last year's hit 3DS platformer.

Speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today, Nintendo EAD's Koichi Hayashida showed off a number of crude post-it note sketches he'd saved from pre-production.

Among them was a giant Mario where the player would only be able to see the plumber's legs, and a stretched Mario with freakishly long limbs.

"That's sort of scary. I would like to give this idea to the Luigi's Mansion 2 team," he mused.

Another sketch showed enemy cockroaches that you would kill by slamming the 3DS shut. Then there was "Pro Skater Mario" showing the Nintendo mascot riding a koopa shell down a half pipe. Finally, another mooted feature saw you being to able replace Princess Peach's face with that of a friend.

He stressed that not all of these were seriously considered but pointed out how important the brainstorming process can be in the game-making process.

"It reminds me of something important. We must always consider ideas outside the normal range from what people expect from a Mario game. We must make others laugh with strange new ideas. We have to keep a feeling of joy in the development process," he said.

Elsewhere during his talk, Hayashida revealed a few tricks the development used in ensuring the game's 3D effect was never distracting for the player

He implemented a rule that no game object should ever fall between Mario and the game's camera, so as not to cause blurring. Similarly, the decision to lock the camera was made to ensure the stereoscopic effect was never compromised by items straying in front of the screen and throwing the picture out of focus.

The team also deliberately shortened the game's depth of field to help secure the 3D visuals.

Hayashida explained that the development process was fun and lighthearted - something that he hopes is reflected in the game. He added that the team's mantra was: "Enjoying making something leads to making something enjoyable."

He's not wrong - the 3D platformer is among the finest entries in the long running series, winning a glowing 9/10 from Eurogamer. Refer back to our Super Mario 3D Land review for details.

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