Why Super Mario Bros’ Level 1-1 Is Perfect

There are lots of great examples of level design out there, but the example probably most frequently referred to is the first level of Super Mario Bros. In five minutes, this video will explain why.

Extra Credits is a long-running show covering various issues in the gaming world, and they just started a new show called Design Club, focusing specifically on game design. Naturally, the first episode had to be about level 1-1.

Design Club [YouTube]


  • interesting stuff. I’d never thought about it before and it can’t just all be coincidence.

  • Anyone who isn’t already a fan of Extra Credits they have a *ton* of stuff on their Youtube channel (formerly of Escapist and Penny Arcade TV) so seriously check it out if you ever wanted a peek behind the curtain at the thought processes behind game deisgn.

  • If you dig a bit on google, you’ll find the design documents of the first levels of SMB, drawn on graph paper with colour pencils. Fascinating stuff.

  • Love it. This is why I love the internet. 101 in course design without being exclusionary in it’s approach.

  • I really do like what they are doing with this series and look forward to seeing more episodes. I’ve been following Extra Credits since before they went to PATV and it’s nice to see them finally branching out into more series

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