GSJ10: The deal of the art

Tomm’s gushing ode to Mario Paint has made me sad I didn’t discover the game in its day. I assumed it was, you know, just an art program, and that seemed pointless to me. I knew how to draw, and what was the sense in creating art in a medium where nothing was permanent?

The follies of youth.

Sadly, I don’t think most Mario Paint devotees realize that last year’s WarioWare DIY was in fact the game’s spiritual successor. DIY doesn’t really seem to have done too well for itself, and I think that’s because Nintendo was more up-front about its objectives and purpose rather than disguising it as a more casual sort of experience. The irony of that, given Nintendo’s biggest successes over the past half-decade, should not be lost on you.

4 thoughts on “GSJ10: The deal of the art

  1. There’s a lot about Mario Paint that really hasn’t been duplicated. I remember wondering, the first time I put together a Flash animation, why I couldn’t just have a two-frame animation moving across a path like in MP. (That was before the turn of the century; maybe Flash has that feature now. Obviously it’s a fully-fledged programming environment and Mario Paint isn’t, but I can appreciate simple things.)

    I bought WarioWare DIY but haven’t gotten into the actual design portion yet. 8-year-old me would have been much less of a procrastinator.

  2. As a kid I was already a specs junkie so I was kinda bummed that Mario Paint only gave the player control of a tiny sliver of the SNES’s full graphics and sound abilities. Woulda been nice if we could have had N64’s Mario Artist in North America.

  3. The mouse isn’t exactly the best tool for drawing, but if I had my own copy of Mario Paint back then I definitely would’ve gotten some mileage out of it.

    And WarioWare D.I.Y. is definitely an awesome (albeit limited) game creation tool. Whether you’re making original creations or modeling sprites from existing 8-bit games, it’s surprisingly accessible for a game-making tool.

    I had no luck getting into the PS1 RPG Maker outside of constructing little mini-scenarios, but with D.I.Y. I easily got into making games with cucumbers punching persimmons and Wario trying not to get hit by Rudy the Clown’s flying fists. Not so skilled on the music front, but that’s what the maestro’s for.

    • “Limited” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I believe it was Parish who pointed out that too many people try to make Final Fantasy 7 as their first game instead of focusing on the fundamentals.

      I participated in a BioWare script contest some 5 years back and the strict limitations were paradoxically liberating. (Submitted a test mod as an audition for them awhile later; failed to follow their guidelines as closely and wound up with something that was a bit more of a mess. I think if I’d played Mass Effect first I would have had a much better grasp of the rhythm they were going for, but oh well, spilt milk.)

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