Miyamoto on the story/interaction dualism: «making gameplay fun» comes first

There are now many possible approaches when creating a video game – and if there is anyone who has set the standard, with his, it is the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto . The Japanese author, who laid the foundations for Nintendo franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda (you can book the outgoing Tears of the Kingdom) and Pikmin, was recently interviewed by colleagues from IGN USA, who also discussed with him the dualism between giving priority to the gameplay and giving priority to the narrative, when building a videogame experience.

But, according to Miyamoto, which of the two souls is the more important? In reality, the author explains, it’s more of a matter of approaches and priorities.

Some might think that, due to his gameplay-centric approach, the father of Mario and Donkey Kong might in his own way dislike “challenging” stories ” within video games, but that’s not exactly the case.

As ​​stated by Miyamoto:

“It’s not that a complex story is unnecessary — that’s not what I’m saying at all. History is a way of explaining a video game. For example, if there is an interactive game, the experience will be different for everyone.

One of the best things about a PC or a computer in general is that it offers everyone the same. It’s an interesting aspect that you have to keep bringing up as you keep playing, keep playing, keep playing.

I think a story is just another way to bring out the enjoyment of the gaming experience“.

The starting point given by the medium, in short, is the same: we all sit in front of a screen with a controller or mouse in hand. What happens from that point varies depending on how we approach the game – and a strong narrative skeleton is one way of making what happens next enjoyable. Sure, obviously he’s not the only one.

Mario too was born from the genius of Shigeru Miyamoto

Miyamoto’s focus is more on gameplay, as we know and as he explains great him:

«Another way to focus on that enjoyment and keep the focus on the gameplay experience that drives you to try and try things again. As I said, the story is a way of explaining the game and, when all goes well in that approach, sometimes people decide to go that route and create their next game right from the story.

For me, the story from which I start is how to make gameplay fun, and that’s how I start thinking about how to create a video game”.

But Miyamoto underlines it: this doesn’t mean at all that the approach he puts before the story is wrong, it’s just different. “I don’t think history is unnecessary. Simply, this is how I create games » he specified, reflecting on the subject.

Shigeru Miyamoto, born in 1952, has been working at Nintendo since the 1970s, but it was in the 1980s that he was able to start following up on his brilliant ideas. From Donkey Kong to Star Fox, the Kyoto-born author is today considered one of the fathers of video games and one of the central figures in the history of this medium.

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