This is a fascinating article about a legend in the video game industry, the man behind the fabled Super Mario Bros, the Nintendo and the Wii.
There were a few points to take away from the reading that would definitely serve us in our roles as developers. The first is the ability to design mostly in one’s head. I think that’s why the story of the cave is so essential. When you sit and start designing with what you have or trying to make something a derivative of the other, the design you come up with won’t be original and may not even be a substantial improvement on anything. To be truly revolutionary, one really has to design in their head, free from the constraints of possibility and current knowledge.
Throughout the article there is a constant regard for simplicity. For a design to be effective, there need be only a few dynamic elements, only a few moving parts for the user to comprehend. Finding that limit of the users capability is the challenge. In all of Miyamoto’s games, the concept is always simple. Get the girl, find the treasure etc. They show us that even with just a few elements, the user experience can vary greatly and be unique to each person which is what you want your design to do so that it’s fun. In fact the user experience differs every single time the interaction occurs and that’s the key to making something addictive. Its a similar concept to gambling. “This time, things could be different”