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SMBO Developer Interview #1 (01/21/2012)

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Author Topic: SMBO Developer Interview #1 (01/21/2012)  (Read 219 times)
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« on: January 22, 2012, 08:02:56 pm »

So recently, Kimi had the idea of the other mods and I interviewing the dev team about Super Mario Bros. Online.  Here's the first such interview, between Kimi (normal text) and myself (bold).  Hopefully, there'll be more of these to come!

To start, how did you get inspiration to make SMBO, and how long has the idea been around?

Hmm... well, at first, Hydra and I were going to make a Nintendo online game, but we thought that was too big and we knew the most about Mario, so we decided to make SMBO.  As for how long it's been around, SMBO started in November 2009, so quite some time now... I decided to make it after a rollback on SMO destroyed a lot of work I already did.  I also didn't like Ne0n's ways of developing, so I thought it was best for me to be in charge of development for my own game.

What are some of the fundamental rules you've established and followed during your development of SMBO?

I keep reminding myself to take my time and never rush development because doing so would result in poorly made content.  As a resuly, I rarely ever announce release dates... When I map I make sure I'm absolutely satisfied with the map before moving on to the next one.  Maps usually take around a day each because I make them so carefully and modify them hundreds of times before settling on a satisfactory one.

Wow, how long did it take to make the Mushroom Kingdom town maps altogether?

I don't really remember, but at that point in time I was trying to get them done relatively soon.

Is that also why the balance of the MK seems a bit off?

For the NPCs, yes; Hydra and I thought it'd be the last place in SMBO, so to be honest, we made up some values we thought were okay instead of using our EXP formula.

You said at some point that you planned on working on the balance of the game as a whole... what types of changes do you intend to make?

Well, I believe the main problem in SMBO is the difficulty of the bosses and the low drop rates of the Ability Special Badges.  So, what I intend to do next update is weaken many of the bosses and increase their drop rates.  I also hope that this will encourage more exploration and less grinding in the game.  I might scale down some enemies as well.

If you don't mind my asking, what are the current chances of a Hammer Barrage Badge drop?

I don't remember off the top of my head, but I believe it's around 1/12, which I believe is too low after you have finished going through MK Path and fighting Kamek.

It seems from the last few escorts (and my recent trek through there myself) that it's more on the order of 1/25, lol.  At least there are the Bob-ombs to give an easy way out to safety...

Yes, that's something I feel is helpful.

At what level do you intend for people to finish the current areas after the changes?

Roughly level 50, give or take 5 levels.

I guess to change gears back to the development process, what are some of the hardest challenges you've come across while making SMBO?

Well, let's see, I'd say thinking of the next area to make is the hardest. Tongue I try to take players' suggestions whenever I can, but sometimes they're either too superficial or too demanding.

I understand that; I know probably even some of my suggestions were a bit off-the-wall... Are any things currently in the game a result of player suggestions?

Yes, players wanted a minigame that can be played with as few as 2 players, and we'll be delivering that next update.  Additionally, before we released FH, some players wanted a boss battle with more enemies.

Will the new minigame have rewards akin to the others'?  There's still pretty high demand for those Dodgebill badges, lol.

I haven't decided, but I do want to do something other than make a Mushroom and Flower Badge that give 5 ATK and DEF, respectively

More like the DE-shop rewards, then?  Or something completely different?

I'm still not quite sure yet.

So what Mario games have been the greatest source of SMBO?

The Mario RPGs by far.

Any one in particular that stands out the most?

Not quite; we were going for a mix of Paper Mario and the M&L series.  We incorporate some Super Mario RPG elements in there too, though.

I have to say, with the first strike system now implemented, the turn-based system makes SMBO seem a lot more like a proper Mario RPG.

Yeah, I agree.

Are there any major elements from the Mario RPGs you feel that you haven't pulled from yet, but might in the future?

I'd say we're missing out on Status Effects. However, I don't currently have any plans to implement that.

"Our new feature - enemies can now inflict DEF-Down!"

(laughs) Haha.

So what in-game area is your favorite and/or was the most interesting to develop?

That's a very good question; let me see... I enjoyed developing all of them; however, I feel the new area I'm creating will become my favorite.

You said you're fifteen maps in and not even halfway done, so I imagine it'll be fairly expansive.

I'm 18 maps in as of today.

Would I be correct in assuming that the Shy Guy Caves will serve largely to connect the two areas together?


Hmm, it'll be interesting to see how that pans out... will Star Pieces play a larger role in the game from this point out?  I note that the SP pickup rate increased substantially in SGC.

Yes, Star Pieces will be used from now on instead of DSP.

Are you planning any other special features of the new area, besides the minigame?

Yes, and I can't wait to release them. Smiley

Well, I'm sure everyone else shares that sentiment.
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 12:19:56 am »

Great interview!
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 05:01:29 am »

Interview? Awesome!
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