A Mario Level like Nintendo(es)

This is my level for Super Mario World, made using the level editor Lunar Magic. My intention was to make a Mario level using the Nintendo level design philosophy. I also wanted to have fun with it by making a fun and hard level for myself! It took around 3 days to make this level with the video.

The Nintendo philosophy

Mario games are based on joy and satisfaction. But how Nintendo does it? According to the Game Design toolkit, Mario level always focus on one mechanic, one idea, and develop it across one level so that the player can master it. This philosophy is divided into four steps:

  1. Introducing the idea – create a safe environment to let the player learn the mechanic
  2. develop the idea – add simply challenges on top of the mechanic
  3. Twist it – turn the mechanic on it’s head to make the player think about the mechanic in a different way
  4. A satisfying conclusion – let the player feel he masters the mechanic in one enjoyable conclusion

Taking this as a guideline, I made a level divided into four sub-levels around one mechanic. The new mechanic is something that I discovered by testing and mixing elements from the main game. I’ve simply added over each others two kind of platforms, which gives the impression that there is only one platform that ‘opens itself’.


This level isn’t perfect: it’s a bit hard, some moments could be cut or tweaked and the conclusion could be better. But the goal wasn’t to make a level “ready to play for everyone”: my goal was to learn the nintendo level design direction and making this level really helped me why Nintendo does that: it’s about how “less is more” can be way more rewarding for the player. By focusing one concept, Mario levels let the player master one idea at the time, making it easier for the player to enjoy the game and feel joy.

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