Super Mario Maker is all about creating, sharing, and enjoying custom levels made with all the tools in the game. People have the potential to make some pretty amazing things. But someone may not realize that the title also encourages a sense of community.
Every time I load up Super Mario Maker, the first thing I get is a notice of new pieces being added for level creations. The second is a series of notifications concerning levels I have created and uploaded to the servers. The game wants me to know and see how many people played my levels, what comments, if any, were left, and how many medals were received.
The medals matter most to me. You are allowed to upload 10 levels when just beginning Super Mario Maker, but if people like you contributions, you are allowed to contribute more. This is shown by starring a level after you’ve played it, if you enjoyed something about it. It’s a show of faith by the community. People approve of you. They’ve played your levels and enjoyed what you did. As a result, their willingness to award your actions will allow you to become more active.
Comments are nice too. Sometimes, people will leave suggestions, as to what might make a level more interesting. They may praise someone for an idea or concept. It lets you know someone is there, paying attention to you and your work. It’s reassuring.
But people don’t have to take any action to leave a mark. Checking your uploads says it all. A little icon shows how many people stopped by, and how many of those people decided to give you a star for your efforts. A percentage in the bottom left corner of the box tells you the clear rate, which is how many of the people who attempted your level actually beat it. You’re constantly aware of the fact that you aren’t alone in Super Mario Maker, that other people are also out there.
Sometimes, I’ll get notifications while I’m creating or playing a level. Some text will appear, letting me know someone is playing one of my creations. It’s small, but makes you feel appreciated. Even if it only came up randomly during the 100 Mario Challenge, still. Someone is (hopefully) enjoying something I did.
Visiting the Miiverse board is telling too. Super Mario Maker already has a fairly active community. People are taking the codes assigned to levels they’ve created and added them to the forum, to make it easier to find an audience. I’ve even tried doing it myself, and found that it did help draw more people to my designs.
There’s a surprisingly level of connectivity in Super Mario Maker. It’s always letting me know what’s going on with my creations, and that feedback is a powerful tool. It’s helped me discover what people do and don’t like, and comments received on levels go even further to encourage interactivity. If there’s one recommendation I’d have from these early moments, it would be the suggestion that people be generous when starring a level. If there’s one element you enjoy in something someone’s made, go ahead and tap the icon. It’ll make the creator feel good and encourage them to keep crafting.
Super Mario Maker will be released on the Nintendo Wii U on September 11.