When most folks hear the word "platformer," one of two classic game series inevitably pop into their head: Mario and Mega Man. ("Sonic" is also an acceptable answer, depending on your capacity for heartbreak.) In terms of names associated with Mega Man's history, there's few closer than Keiji Inafune, longtime series producer and the character artist responsible for helping turn the iconic Mega Man sprite into a character design recognized around the world.
During a recent trip to Comcept's Tokyo headquarters, we introduced Inafune for the first time to Super Mario Maker, Nintendo's Mario stage creation tool released last year for the Wii U. After spending some time getting comfortable with the software, he created a level he says he designed to be reminiscent of retro platformers (and his company's upcoming entry in the franchise, Mighty No. 9), with a huge emphasis on jumping challenges.
In our time with Inafune, he also noted the presence of Mario's run button and how it affects physics of Mario's jumping, which he mitigates in one clever platforming sequence by putting a low ceiling over Mario's head, effectively cancelling out the usefulness of the run button and making the whole sequence feel like a classic Mega Man platforming section.
Above, watch Inafune create and explain his Mario Maker stage — and when you're done, play it for yourself: the Course ID is 780C-0000-020E-166A, and you can add it to your in-game bookmarks on Nintendo's Mario Maker bookmark site.
For more on Keiji Inafune, read Polygon's retrospective interview with Inafune on Comcept's five year anniversary.
This is just the beginning of Devs Make Mario's second season — we've got plenty more episodes on the way each Wednesday featuring creators from all over the world. Special thanks to DDM's Ben Judd for helping with this week's episode!
Have a game developer you'd like to see try their hand at Mario Maker? Let us know in the comments and they may appear in a future episode!