Super Mario 3D World's 4 Step Level Design -

Super Mario 3D World’s 4 Step Level Design

Game Maker’s Toolkit
Views: 890223
Like: 17898
Super Mario 3D World is a game with creativity in abundance. But Nintendo has developed a reusable level design structure that allows for ideas to be properly taught and established, in about five minutes flat. We break down this four-step philosophy, and chart its history from Super Mario Galaxy to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

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Learning from Super Mario 3D Land’s Director | Gamasutra

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance):

Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo, 2013)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo, 2007)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, 2010)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo, 2011)
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo, 2014)
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo, 1988)

Music used in this episode:

Light the Colour Panels! (Super Mario 3D World)
Beep Block Skyway (Super Mario 3D World)
Fort Fire Bros. (Super Mario 3D World)
Champion Road (Super Mario 3D World)
Rainbow Run (Super Mario 3D World)
Sprawling Savanna (Super Mario 3D World)

Clip credits:

“Super Mario 3D Land – Walkthrough” – ZackScottGames

Contribute translated subtitles –


  1. Could you make a video on how the Paper Mario Series is changing and what went wrong?

  2. 1. Pick an old game to remake
    2. Randomly select another idea from another game to give a semblance of innovation
    3. Perfect the visuals and family friendliness
    4. Market to death while creating artoficial scarcity and attacking the userbase

    No need for 5 minutes

  3. who here from game grumps except after arin mostly butchered the content of this video

  4. Anyone else here from Game Grumps today?

    (Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (BONUS WORLDS) PART 7 for anyone wondering in the future)

  5. My brother needs this because he is making a game about ma movie… It better be good

  6. I don’t like how they never reused ideas though. There shouldn’t be 1 twist imo. They should’ve first made a challenging level with many twists, at least 5 or 6, and then gone back and made an “intro” that would safely introduce the mechanic, and a conclusion. The intro and conclusion should be removable though and the level experience should still feel satisfying. That’s why I found 3D world to be somewhat non-replayable. After you’ve played it, there’s not much of a challenge afterward. And like you said, they limited the gimmicks to only be ~1-3 per level.

  7. I get a feeling Half-Life 2's invisible tutorial is very similar to this design philosophy.

  8. 4 words!
    Established, expanded, adapted, finished!

  9. And now, 3D World is a style in Super Mario Maker 2. I’m coming back to this video for level design tips for my own levels.

  10. Probably his best video, just as far as explaining a game design concept so well that is so applicable.

  11. OMG this video has 4 years already and only now youtube recomends it, GOD DAMN

  12. This is probably my favourite Mario game, sadly I don't have the Wii U but I would buy a Switch for sure if they release the same version there.

  13. 3D World is one of my favorite Mario games thanks to its superb level design, and one of my main inspirations as a developer.

  14. so manny times when im doing school work they tell me to watch this again and i am not complaining.

  15. This is exactly why Mario games are so satisfying to play – because you learn how to play the game as you're playing it.
    Overall, good game design should bring out the inner subconscious potential of the player through its difficulty curve, where the player shocks themselves with "whoa idk how I'm doing this but I'm doing it!"

  16. Mario Galaxy is much better than 3D World. The developer think we are dumb and need to be introduced to a new idea in a safe place? This is ridiculous, just let us try and discover we are not baby's.

  17. I absolutely love this design philosophy. I think it's the best way to design a level, and just design things in general when introducing other subjects.

  18. this game is a bible in terms of game design. There is so much under the hood that you could easily make a mini series about it.

  19. If super Mario bros was made for you to collect the mushrooms٫is it possible to beat the game with out them?

  20. Excellent note for level design. I will keep this in mind and improve myself.

  21. A filmmaker speaking here: Kishotenketsu has inspire me to make better films

  22. nintendo gameplay is just satisfying in the best kind of way

  23. Incredible explanations – this is genuinely a BEAUTIFUL video that explains and shows the concepts perfectly. I keep coming back to it, it should be required watching for all game design – thank you

  24. Can't wait for this to rerelease on the Switch. 🥰

  25. I will forever consider this one of the essential videos to bring up when talking about video essays, it's one of the most applicable game design talking pieces ever written.

  26. Mario levels do a better design of teaching mastery of a concept from beginner to advanced level than most schools

  27. That was an important lesson you just imparted for Level Designing. As a student of Game Design at Langara, your videos have been quite useful for me. Thank you, GMTK!!!

  28. So interesting! A post in a screenwriting group about Kishōtenketsu led me to this video! Thank you!

  29. GMTK is legitimately one of the best channels on all of YouTube. Every time I come here and watch something I feel like I learned something and my time was well-spent. Please keep up the terrific work!

  30. this is legit one of your best videos.

  31. Its cool, how often we have to watch your videos in the GameDesign module at our university^^

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