Yesterday, VGC interviewed the development team for Paper Mario: The Origami King about what went into the creation of the game. During the interview, Tanabe and the rest of the development team revealed a number of different things about what the most important aspects of the design of the game were, as well as revealing that all the new characters introduced in Paper Mario: The Origami King couldn’t resemble any previous Mario characters, and that modifying Mario characters also wasn’t allowed when making Paper Mario: The Origami King.
One of the most important rules for this game was that all the new characters had to be completely original. In the interview, Tanabe stated that “Since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it’s no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe.” He then further explains that whenever Mario characters aren’t being used as bosses, that they need to create “original characters with designs that don’t involve the Mario universe at all.” Sadly, this means that the loveable Origami siblings Olivia and Olly might not be featured in any other title Paper Mario or otherwise. Tanabe credits the reason for this with the fans, stating that, “Whether a character becomes an all-time hit or not isn’t up to us on the development side; I think it’s more the case that characters that fans truly accept naturally end up that way. I hope that the origami siblings in Paper Mario: The Origami King will stay in players’ memories, even if they do only end up appearing in this title.”
Another important aspect was the way in which characters were presented in origami form. Masahiko Nagaya revealed how they managed to bring out the individuality in each character with them being turned into Origami. In the interview, Nagaya stated that “our character artists worked with each individual character to analyse whether a side-on or front-on view would be best to bring out their individuality.” He then continues by stating that the process also required that they create physical paper versions of the origami characters in order to understand what would make the characters look “origami-like” as well as using these elements to form rules as a base for all the origami characters.
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One of the arguably most important aspects of creating Paper Mario: The Origami King is the balance of aspects to please the fanbase. Regarding this, Tanabe stated that “Nintendo’s philosophy on game creation is that we don’t ignore casual players in creating our games.” In order to do this, the design team tried to cater to both casual and veteran players when creating the puzzle-solving elements of the game. According to Tanabe, players can either “guess the weak points of bosses based on their characteristics and search for the solution to defeat them,” or players can use coins in battles in order to receive hints from the nearby Toads.
Paper Mario: The Origami King released just today and is available on the Nintendo Switch.