Author Topic: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2  (Read 8468 times)

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Offline oksoda

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Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« on: August 01, 2012, 10:56:35 AM »

Time constraints and technical limitations nearly left the ability to play the entire game with a friend on the cutting room floor.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/31213

New Super Mario Bros. 2's cooperative mode, which allows two players to progress through the entire main game together, was nearly unable to be included in the final product, the latest Iwata Asks revealed.

During the development of New Super Mario Bros. 2, Takashi Tezuka, who was overseeing the development of the game, suggested that a robust cooperative mode be added. Rather than the competitive mode that was featured in the original New Super Mario Bros., Tezuka instead envisioned a mode more akin to that in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

While this inclusion seems like a no-brainer, it was met with hesitation from Yusuke Amano and Masaaki Ishikawa, the Director and Art Director of New Super Mario Bros. 2, respectively. Though a prototype of the mode was up and running, the pair didn't believe that they would have enough time to go back and retrofit the levels that had already been completed to accommodate a possible second player. More than that, they also pointed out that, unlike other entries in the series, New Super Mario Bros. 2's level structure allowed for a lot of exploration, not just simple left-to-right progression. This would prove troublesome in terms of how to focus the camera on both players.

The solution? Have the camera focus on one player, while allowing the two to compete for who that player is. Amano and Ishikawa rationalized it in a few ways, including how a less-skilled player can improve by watching a better one, and how two players can work together to collect the multitude of coins present on the screen at one time.

So, after some trepidation, the cooperative mode was included in the final product after all.


Offline UncleBob

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 10:59:53 AM »
Boo.

Want NSMB Mario vs. Luigi mode.  With cool new levels.

Regarding the camera problem though... isn't that why we each have our own screen?  Why not let us each have our own camera?
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Offline Chozo Ghost

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 11:15:30 AM »
They should make it like the "co-operative" multiplayer in Battletoads where you can hurt and kill the other player.
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Offline EvilMario

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 11:21:03 AM »
Given that the title isn't Download Play / Single Cart, we won't be playing the co-op. We could justify two copies of Mario Kart, but not for a Mario platformer.

Offline Pale

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 12:17:55 PM »
Boo.

Want NSMB Mario vs. Luigi mode.  With cool new levels.

Regarding the camera problem though... isn't that why we each have our own screen?  Why not let us each have our own camera?
I can only assume there is some technical reason that the desired release timeline made them not want to solve. If I could hazard a guess, I bet there are environmental factors like enemies and what not that only trigger when Mario is in view and having multiple ones possibly trigger caused some snafu.

It would have been nice if they opted to delay the game a year or so to fix that problem and get online in. You know it would still be profitable.
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Offline marty

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 02:53:24 PM »
What was that, Nintendo?  You almost left out features?  You didn't put a feature to good use?  You have to speak up, I can't hear you over your screaming laziness.

Offline Pale

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 03:07:38 PM »
What was that, Nintendo?  You almost left out features?  You didn't put a feature to good use?  You have to speak up, I can't hear you over your screaming laziness.
I can't help but speak up in instances of people calling developers lazy. This is almost definitely not an issue of laziness. These games get set forth with a budget and timeline in mind. Features are added and removed based on what's doable in those constraints.

I would bet substantial amounts of money that virtually all of the developers involved would want to improve these features. There just wasn't enough time in the day. As I said in my last post, the producers needed to make the call that the budget and timeline needed to be extended to get these features. They did NOT need to hit the 'lazy' people with sticks.

You can consider this response a general, non-specific one because I am only guessing in this case.
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Offline StephenKelly180

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 03:14:11 PM »
This solution is... creative? The thing is, I don't find that co-operative gameplay (despite my undying love for it) works particularly well in a Mario game. That said, it's mostly what the New Super Mario Bros. series has going for it, so it would be a shame to go without. I feel like the solution is "Make less games, take more time, beware of spamming the platformers" but maybe that's asking too much.

Offline marty

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 03:19:10 PM »
What was that, Nintendo?  You almost left out features?  You didn't put a feature to good use?  You have to speak up, I can't hear you over your screaming laziness.
I can't help but speak up in instances of people calling developers lazy. This is almost definitely not an issue of laziness. These games get set forth with a budget and timeline in mind. Features are added and removed based on what's doable in those constraints.

I would bet substantial amounts of money that virtually all of the developers involved would want to improve these features. There just wasn't enough time in the day. As I said in my last post, the producers needed to make the call that the budget and timeline needed to be extended to get these features. They did NOT need to hit the 'lazy' people with sticks.

You can consider this response a general, non-specific one because I am only guessing in this case.
Did you read the IA interview?  The reason it wasn't being worked on was because it "would be harder" on the devs.  I don't know how you think they AREN'T being lazy when they basically say it:  We don't want to do this because it might be hard work.

Offline oksoda

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 03:33:44 PM »
As I put this together this morning, the most disconcerting thing to me was the fact that having multiplayer in this fashion came late in development. After NSMBW, why wouldn't you always enter a 2D Mario game with cooperative play on the checklist of things that need to be done?

And to Marty's comment, they (Amano and Ishikawa) did both comment that they didn't want to do the extra work to put it in, but I think they were being fairly coy with that answer. I'm sure they saw value in the mode, but like any of us, who wants their boss to drop in midway through a project and tell them to add something pretty substantial?

Offline marty

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And to Marty's comment, they (Amano and Ishikawa) did both comment that they didn't want to do the extra work to put it in, but I think they were being fairly coy with that answer. I'm sure they saw value in the mode, but like any of us, who wants their boss to drop in midway through a project and tell them to add something pretty substantial?

Iwata:You actually got to play a two-player version?
Tezuka: Yes. There was one made as an experiment, and playing it was a blast. Technologically, it wasn't impossible. It looked like we could do it if we worked at it. I kept saying, "If we're gonna do this, let's go all out!"


I just think these sorts of omissions and weird work-arounds are symptomatic of Nintendo's lazy approach to this series.  Relatively speaking, duds like Zelda:SS get as much time and money as necessary and a game that 10 to 20 times as many people will buy gets rushed out to make a deadline?  Why isn't Shiggy upending tea-tables like crazy over there?  You a--holes are making the game synonymous with Nintendo and it's not the most amazing mario game ever? Why is there shitty midi-music?  Why is the art-direction dry and uninspired?  Why is this co-op mode shoehorned in?
Anyone with any sense that played NSMBWii thought "I wish the screen just followed me and no one else."  And co-op was clearly something considered.  So is it laziness at the start?  Is that the defense?  Sonic 2 had split screen 20 years ago, so it's not like it's some new idea that has never been done before or some technical marvel (like Nintendo ,somehow, thinks it is).  It's just a good idea that Nintendo seems lazy by not utilizing properly.

Offline Pale

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 04:20:17 PM »
"it would be harder" translates to "it would take more time." it's only laziness if these people didn't do it AND they didn't come to work at all. You honestly think that's the case?

Or is your definition of lazy anyone that doesn't work 110 hours a week? Get a clue. Features always get dreamed up in game development, however, deadlines rarely move.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 04:23:42 PM by Pale »
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Offline marty

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 04:27:21 PM »
"it would be harder" translates to "it would take more time." it's only laziness if these people didn't do it AND they didn't come to work at all. You honestly think that's the case?

Or is your definition of lazy anyone that doesn't work 110 hours a week? Get a clue.
Nintendo could make and has made a better 2d Mario game then the ones in the NSMB series and it had nothing to do with everyone working 110 hours a week that you envision.  Quit being a pansy.

Offline Pale

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 04:37:18 PM »
Marty,

So you are trying to make the case that these people came in to work, didn't care about what they were doing, coasted to gold, and that's the reason these games are 'bad' in your opinion. Your problem is that you lack all perspective. Even in these few statements you switch between treating Nintendo like a single entity and calling out the actual people making the game.

I guarantee you the team on this game had a lot of pride in what they were doing. I suspect that they worked incredibly long hours leading up to gold. I suspect ideas that are even more exciting than online multiplayer got cut because of the timeline. Given all of this, you still have the nerve to call them lazy?

Give the people that made the game a break. If you want to be pissed, be pissed that Higher-ups made a budgetary decision like this on a game that will surely sell millions. Then again, if they delayed it, I'm sure you'd call the devs lazy for working so slow and causing a game drought.
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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 05:03:38 PM »
Man I forgot how much fun Mario VS Luigi was till it was mentioned above. I spend hours in that in the college breakroom

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Offline marty

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »
@pale,
You assume a lot of things about what I think.  Feel free to stop it because it's entirely creepy.  I never said that NSMB series was "bad" but lazy.  It could have been a lot better if more effort, meaning money, were invested in it.  I don't think anyone, even Nintendo, would deny that.  AND I'm blaming Nintendo, as a whole, for continuing to put out a series that feels half-baked for no apparent reason.  I quoted individual people because they are the ones responsible for making Nintendo games.  You seem to divine something out of my posts that I wish someone were cracking the whip at a particular code-monkey.  This is a ridiculous idea that I never said anything resembling it.


We seem to agree on the point that NSMB2 will be a highly profitable game for Nintendo.  Again, I bring this up because it seems very strange that a company would, as they've stated, rush out a game they know will sell tens of millions of units.  Is Nintendo not basically saying, yes this could have been better but making it better would not improve our bottom line enough to make the effort?
Isn't coasting by on mediocrity the definition of laziness?  Isn't that the NSMB series in a nut-shell?  These games could have unique engines that allow Nintendo to fully utilize the hardware with better graphics, music, and multi-player but they don't because... really, they'll make a bunch of money either way and not trying to make them better is a lot easier than making them better.  Isn't that why there are two unnamed toads in NSMBWii and no internet play?


When you play a NSMB game, do you think: wow! Nintendo really, really cares about this series?  I sure as hell don't.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2012, 07:34:26 PM »
Since the first NSMB came out in 2006, 2008 is the only year that hasn't had a new Mario platformer.  The series has become like Call of Duty where this is now an annual thing.  Hell this year we're getting TWO of them.

On the N64 Nintendo would routinely delay games to get them perfect.  These days they clearly consider getting the game out on time as more important.  I wouldn't blame the devs for being lazy as much as I would blame the suits for insisting on this schedule.  If you were told you had to release this game for 2012 and going full out with co-op would miss the deadline or would require insane overtime, you would probably just do what they're doing here.

The devs aren't lazy.  If anything they deserve credit for fitting this in the best they could.  Blame the executives at Nintendo for over milking Mario.  This game is coming out LESS THAN A YEAR after Super Mario 3D Land.  What is this?  Guitar Hero?

Offline UncleBob

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 09:52:00 PM »
Sometimes, it feels like folks forget that Nintendo is a *business* with a goal of making money.  Sure, they have folks there who honestly want to make "art" - but Nintendo is - and always has been - a business in it for the money first and foremost

Some folks have their rose-colored glasses on too tight

And don't none of you come out of the woodwork and crap on me for "hatin' on Nintendo".
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 10:13:02 PM »
Since the first NSMB came out in 2006, 2008 is the only year that hasn't had a new Mario platformer.  The series has become like Call of Duty where this is now an annual thing.  Hell this year we're getting TWO of them.

On the N64 Nintendo would routinely delay games to get them perfect.  These days they clearly consider getting the game out on time as more important.  I wouldn't blame the devs for being lazy as much as I would blame the suits for insisting on this schedule.  If you were told you had to release this game for 2012 and going full out with co-op would miss the deadline or would require insane overtime, you would probably just do what they're doing here.

The devs aren't lazy.  If anything they deserve credit for fitting this in the best they could.  Blame the executives at Nintendo for over milking Mario.  This game is coming out LESS THAN A YEAR after Super Mario 3D Land.  What is this?  Guitar Hero?

For the millionth time Ian, the 2D and 3D Mario's are completely different gameplay wise from each other.  To say having a 3D and 2D Mario released within a year of each other is the same as Guitar Hero and Call of Duty is completely idiotic in every way possible.  That's like saying they're milking Paper Mario because they released Mario Tennis.

Now yes, there can be an argument about having two 2D Mario games released in the same year is milking because they're only a few months away from each other.  Of course the thing to remember is 2D Mario games have very long legs and system sellers that do over 20 million for the system they're on.  This means they'll only be one 2D Mario for both the 3DS and Wii U this gen and they're both coming out this year.  So if the 3DS which came out first, has a 6 year lifespan like the DS did before it's successor came out, that would mean the earliest the next 2D Mario will come out is in 2017.

So even in the case of 2D Mario, Nintendo isn't really milking it since after NSMB U comes out this Fall,  they'll be a 5 year gap before we get another one.
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Offline DonnyKD

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 10:54:53 PM »
"Regarding the camera problem though... isn't that why we each have our own screen?  Why not let us each have our own camera?"

Considering that co-op in general was about to be removed, I guess the Have Your Own Screen part wasn't even going to be in here without more time.

"Since the first NSMB came out in 2006, 2008 is the only year that hasn't had a new Mario platformer.  The series has become like Call of Duty where this is now an annual thing.  Hell this year we're getting TWO of them."

Yes, because having platformers is bad in general, despite the fact that MARIO GALAXY (and 3D Land) AND NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. ARE TWO. DIFFERENT. SERIES.

"This game is coming out LESS THAN A YEAR after Super Mario 3D Land.  What is this?  Guitar Hero?"

Because this game and this game are totally comparable, right?

Oh wait, they have Mario in the name, dat means teh milk, derp a herp.

"Isn't that why there are two unnamed toads in NSMBWii and no internet play?"

No, it's because the Wii's online sucks and the Toads are there for the sake of balance. Amazing. It's like you people try to find things to bitch about.

Offline famicomplicated

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2012, 01:21:30 AM »

Starfox 64 3D - incomplete (no online, even leaderboards) pushed out cos 3DS needed games ASAP.
Mario Kart 7 - incomplete StreetPass/online features (again no leaderboards), no mission mode/tournaments.
NSMB2 - unrefined 2-player mode, again no leaderboards (can see a pattern here)


Pikmin 3 won't have online, despite is having 5 playable characters, the perfect setup for it. Miyamoto says it would be impossible with that amount of Pikmin. Hmmm..
Maybe he doesn't know about the world record for amount of simultaneous players in an online game at once, is 999 (with a FPS game no less), quite a bit more than let's say 400-500 Pikmin, which aren't even individually human controlled anyway!
It's almost like Nintendo are using a different version of the Internet/reality sometimes!


Looks like with this generation we're going to have to get used to incomplete games, but at least we'll get them faster and more frequently. *trying to be positive*


Maybe this way we can have two 3D Mario games, a Starfox, Metroid, F-Zero, Smash Bros, Zelda - all within the next 3/4 years.
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Offline Chozo Ghost

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2012, 05:20:15 AM »
Of course the thing to remember is 2D Mario games have very long legs and system sellers that do over 20 million for the system they're on.

Unless as Ian pointed out this becomes a yearly thing. Then these games will not have long legs, because the legs will be tripped out from under them by the sequel that comes out a year later.

You can argue 2D and 3D Mario games are different, but they are also similar in that they are both platformers and are both Mario games which I think is obvious. The only difference between them is the dimensions. The enemies, the characters, and the powerups are all familiar and formulaic to anyone who has ever played a Mario game. Other than the obvious dimensional difference, 2D and 3D Mario games are more similar than dissimilar and there is overlap because one who is a fan of one and would buy one would also be a fan and potentially buy the other. They are competing over the same demographic. But consumers only have so much money, so if they buy one that comes out first they will be a little less likely to buy one that comes out 6 months later. Even if one is 2D and the other is 3D they are still getting their Mario fix satisfied and might not really be in a hurry to get another one.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 05:22:23 AM by Chozo Ghost »
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2012, 09:45:44 AM »
@famicomplicated
I've been criticising Nintendo for their hubris and unwillingness to implement basic online features on the 3DS for the best part of a year now, but I now realise that I had been looking at the games individually. When you list them out like that though, it really highlights just how ridiculous it all is. Nintendo are certainly making strides when it comes to the eshop, especially with DLC being given a big push, but the company still seems to lack either the desire or the ability to provide what among their competitors would be considered the most basic of online features.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Cooperative Play Almost Left Out of New Super Mario Bros. 2
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2012, 08:08:53 PM »
It sure feels like most 3DS games are made quick 'n dirty like...