This Kid Asked Shigeru Miyamoto Some Seriously Probing Questions

I'd wager that Shigeru Miyamoto, behind that perennial goofy grin, must be pretty sick of answering the same old questions from journalists. That's precisely why this interview by Time For Kids reporter Yusuf Halabi is so charmingly refreshing. If you've ever wanted to know which of his characters Miyamoto would most like to be, then this is the interview for you.

(For the record, his answer was Super Mario.)

But there's some genuinely insightful stuff here and some good questions. It almost feels as though Miyamoto let his guard down a bit. He talks about his start in the games industry, the pressure he faced whilst creating the original Donkey Kong and reveals his favourite Zelda game. The answer to that one may surprise you.

I also liked the way he talked about Nintendo's first move into the 3D games with the N64.

"When we started creating the hardware and games for the Nintendo 64, we were transitioning from 2D games to 3D worlds," he said. "This was the first time people were using 3D technology in an interactive way. There was nobody to tell us how to create these types of 3D games. We were essentially creating our own rules of how 3D games should be designed. It was very exciting and fun for us. These rules and designs lead to many patents. While others may have found it difficult and challenging with the new technology and game designs, I had fun."

It's a really entertaining interview.

Get to Know Shigeru Miyamoto [Time For Kids]


    Mother of god...gaming journos could learn a lot from this kid.

    And Shigsy is still a titan among men.

    "Actually, I am not an engineer. I started off as an artist drawing with brushes and things like that."

    I wish there more people like that in charge in the gaming industry. We need less engineers and more artists in gaming. I want to hear more things like "We wanted Luigi to jump differently than Mario so we designed a higher and more “floatier” jump for Luigi. We also made Luigi a little taller and skinnier than Mario but we didn’t make Luigi as brave and bold as Mario" rather than "THERE ARE OVER SIX BILLION TRILLION PARTICLES IN THIS SCENE!!11!"

    My favourite interviews are the ones where the expected questions aren't asked.

    I think that's why I used to like catching snippets of Rove McMannis' interviews. First time I ever saw one was Matt Damon, who got all excited like a big kid when he was advised that yes, that is a bowl of m&ms on the table, and yes, you may have as many as you like.
    Hard-hitting moments in that interview were, I think, something along the lines of 'who would you go gay for' and talking Damon into performing some weird finger trick which inflicts incredible pain on the person doing it.

    Always kinda liked tuning in for the interviews after that - I think the interviewees preferred the unusual questions as well, giving them a break from the tired old press junkets getting asked the same question over and over ("What was it like working with Big Name X? How did you feel getting into the role? Had you read the source material before, were you already a fan?").

      I still fervently yearn for the day Rove dies in a fire. Can't stand him.

      "Who would you go gay for?" is not a deep, hard-hitting question. It's just Rove trying to show off how random he is, play up the awkward factor on his shit show for ratings, and forgetting to take his Ritalin. Rove's interviews are not about the interviewee. They're about Rove.

      Rove is an idiot. I'm glad he's buggered off to America. They can have him.

      You want hard-hitting, thought? See Andrew Denton, or Michael Parkinson. Both will speak about ten times less than their subject, they know how to push, know when to hold back, and will uncover stuff about the subject no one knew before.

        The "who would you go gay for" thing wasn't even random; if I recall correctly it was a question he asked just about every guest. The issue with it is there's no answer that's as funny as the question because the question itself is the joke, and yet Rove would always wait for a response despite how disappointing and awkward they inevitably were. He might as well just say "Say something funny right now!"

        I think he's a decent interviewer, just with a few glaring flaws, and his style would be far better suited to the kind of interview that is actually rehearsed beforehand (as they are on the big tonight shows in the US), so you don't have to endure the discomfort of watching some hapless celeb spontaneously scramble for a humourous answer to a gimmick question.

        Andrew Denton, yes!

        Enough Rope was a fantastic show, he is certainly an interviewer that deserves a larger audience than just Australia.

        Uh, 'hard hitting' was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek joke, as evidenced by the inclusion of a finger trick on that list.

    Still better journalism than Kotaku.

    Hey I have that shirt Miyamoto is wearing

    I wish he was my grandpa *looks wistfully off into the distance*

    Wow, there was some really great trivia in that. I like how Luigi's colour was picked

    Yeah but when will Captain Rainbow be released outside of Japan?

    Great interview, nice to get a refreshed view on the core things.

    One thing about the pull quote... did Miyamato really imply people only started working with interactivity in 3D games with the N64?

    Sega (especially - Yu Suzuki in particular) and Namco were way ahead in the arcades and in home console titles before N64. Of course he's only referring to Nintendo, but people have a habit of glossing over and attributing more to the names they know than they sometimes deserve.

      He might have been talking about game designers building polygonal 3D games in general, just prior to the Playstation and N64 releases.

      I played all the 3D games of the time, and although there were quite a few notable ones released up to 8 years earlier going all the way back to the Amiga. Xwing and Alone in the Dark being a notable PC examples, these were still not typical of most games up until that point the Playstation and N64 we released, when 3D perspective become the norm.

      And certainly Nintendo did come up with their own, new ways of doing 3D interactivity with both their Mario and Zelda releases, as whats suggested, which doesn't imply that they were the only ones in the area.

    See? This is why my faith in Nintendo is still strong. Miyamoto approaches game design in a way that I really value.

    What’s important to the player is to think creatively, then try out what they’re thinking and then see it [come to life] in the game.

    This is fantastic. When a game puts you in a position where you, using your own intuition and logic, have to use your creativity to figure out a plan to overcome a challenge, that's what separates it from mediocrity. As an example, take Shadow of the Colossus. Shadow of the Colossus just puts you in an area with a giant a million times the size of you, and it's up to you to use your imagination in studying the colossus and coming up with a plan to kill it in order to progress in the game. That is good game design, leaving it up to the player to overcome your challenges using their own wit and skill, instead of watching over the player and holding their hand through the story. I personally think that's a lot more immersive as well; you feel like you're there if you have to think like you are in order to progress in the game.

    Half-Life does it a lot, too, and so do a lot of Nintendo games like Metriod and Zelda. This attitude is the sign of someone who has mastered game design, and knows that it's not about you, the designer, but the player.

    Last edited 16/05/13 12:17 pm

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