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How Paper Mario Sticker Star abandoned the RPG

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How Paper Mario Sticker Star abandoned the RPG

Nintendo's Paper Mario Sticker Star started out with lots of role-playing game elements before its developers decided to abandon the RPG structure and opt for short bursts of gameplay not dictated by narrative, the game's developers revealed in the latest "Iwata Asks" Q&A.

In the interview, conducted by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the game's developers talk about how game design veteran Shigeru Miyamoto advised them that Paper Mario Sticker Star was "fine without a story" and that their own surveys found that story wasn't particularly important to those who'd played the 2007 Wii release, Super Paper Mario.

"With regard to the story, we did a survey over the Super Paper Mario game in Club Nintendo and not even one percent said the story was interesting," said Kensuke Tanabe, a member of Nintendo's Software Planning and Development Department.

With that in mind, Taro Kudo from Vanpool — the studio in charge of the direction and script for Super Mario Sticker Star — said that what the game needed was simply an objective to win the boss battles at the end of the game, and it did not require a lengthy RPG-esque story to drive the action.

He says: "Instead, we looked at the characteristics of a portable game that can be played little by little in small pieces and packed in lots of little episodes and ideas. I always did like putting in little ideas, so I actually enjoyed it."

The full interview in which the developers talk about why they decided to make stickers a central component of the game and how they came up with the game's paper aesthetic can be read here.