Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has created beloved game franchises and characters that have had a part in shaping game design into what it is today. With such colorful characters like Mario or heroic icons like Link, many would probably assume that Miyamoto puts the most focus on building characters and franchises but that isn’t the way he approaches game design. In a lengthy interview with Polygon, Miyamoto delves into Nintendo’s past, present, and future where he talks about the design process that he takes, in which he is focused on the gameplay experience rather than the game characters.
“From my perspective,” he said, “we approach it not from, ‘What is the next character?’ But really, ‘What is there within this structure of video games or this sphere of video games, from which we can create new play structures?’ and ‘How can we develop these new types of play structures and new types of games and deliver those to consumers in a way that will be satisfying for them?’ In some cases it may be that those new structures will use existing franchises. So we’re focused more on the play and the interaction rather than necessarily on a specific character as the IP.”
Gamasutra points out that Miyamoto is very intent on this way of designing his games and telling people this, such as when he told TIME in 2007, “If a new experience is better suited to a new type of character or world than one of our existing franchises, then we might create a new character or world around it.”
He mentions that he is aware of the fact that there are many gamers out there who want to play games with new characters and assures that there is a small team in Nintendo that “is working on new ideas”. “Hopefully we will be able to share those with you at a time when those ideas have taken more concrete form”, he said to Polygon.