So what's it like to work with Nintendo's tiny titan Shigeru Miyamoto? Super Mario Galaxy director Yoshiaki Koizumi talked about the experience at length with GameLife's Chris Kohler. You should read the entire interview, really, because Nintendoites usually keep pretty tight lipped about the design process. But here's a spot I found interesting from within the interview in which Koizumi talks about Miyamoto's feedback.
Mario has a creator, Miyamoto, and you have to consider Mr. Miyamoto's thoughts when you're making a Mario game. But we share thoughts back and forth first for quite a long time. And once I start to outline some really broad strokes about where we're going with the game, then I can get a little more feedback from Miyamoto. Then, getting a version together, I have to go to Miyamoto as soon as possible as we can get more feedback.
The process continues...
Over time, as all of these broad ideas get a little more narrowly defined, the feedback becomes a little more subtle, until finally it gets to the point where Miyamoto will give us feedback, and the only person who has any idea what it means is me. And everyone else who is CC'ed on these emails from Miyamoto have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. So I'll translate for everyone else, "I think he's trying to say this." Having that sort of information gap is sort of like a puzzle or a riddle. It's like playing Brain Age.
And we think that's a compliment. Interview: Super Mario Galaxy Director On Sneaking Stories Past Miyamoto [gamelife]