3. Use Forums
Most popular gaming forums have a thread for people to post codes for their courses. Unfortunately when you scroll down the pages you’ll see that it’s mostly people typing out their code and moving on. There’s not much chatter about each other's work.
Use this as a phone book for levels. I’ve found that these threads are full of good ideas, or at least those that attempt to make something interesting for the player. Because they post on the forum they frequent there's more of a risk of embarrassment if they post a poor level, so you tend to find the quality on the forums is far better than what you get out of Mario 100.
Again, due to the nature of being on a forum it's the perfect opportunity to leave a comment, talk about the designer's ideas and offer constructive feedback.
4. Game Jam
Super Mario Maker
isn’t just an online game. You can play it amongst friends and with the added advantage of custom sound effects the results can be fantastic.
Whether you work together to create a level or compete against each other to try to outdo the player, this game can be a fantastic local multiplayer experience.
I’ve found that even the most casual gamers can join in. Those that couldn’t tell an Uncharted 2
from an Uncharted 4
still know the basic rules of Mario
and, when given the chance to create something in that world, will offer new ideas and takes that you may never have thought of.
So next time you invite people over and think a bit of gaming is on the cards, put FIFA
away and forget Mario Kart
. Try this out, because if nothing else you might have a new idea to work on that would only have been discovered when more cooks are standing around the broth.
5. Challenge Yourself
Hard levels can really put you off the game. Some can wind you up to the point that you break your pad by smashing down on the skip button, but every now and then you’ll come across something that will challenge but still manage to give a little glimmer of hope that you can reach the end.
Take Midnight Resistance’s Owen Grieve's level, for example. 'Red House' (AECC-0000-0069EF49) isn’t one of those insane levels that asks too much of you, but it is challenging enough to test your skills. With a few clever ideas along the way and the odd trick to discover it hits that balance of difficulty and fun.
Levels like this have a Dark Souls
feel to them. You try again and again to progress and every time you play you feel like you’re learning something. They’re not the sort of courses you'd find in a real Mario
game, they’re too hard, but they still manage to hold your interest enough to stop you from skipping and moving on.
Then there are the jump challenge stages. These focus on the core mechanic behind Mario and very rarely have cheap tricks to hoover up lives. Instead it's simply down to challenging platforming and because of that it's all down to player skill and focus, and due to the simple challenge of making a jump they always feel possible.
Super Mario Maker
has the potential to stand the test of time despite the game fighting against everything it has to offer. It was inevitable that people would make insanely hard courses, or ones that try to show off more than recreate Miyamoto’s magic, but if you hunt around there’s
more than enough quality to keep you playing for a long time.
If you've created something that isn't the usual old pap, then please leave your code in the comments below or send them to me on twitter (@davidturners
), because if there's one game I'll never tire of, it's Mario