01net: Mario Galaxy originates from an external source

#1
So 01net continues with their Nintendo articles and covers the creative process today:
http://www.01net.com/editorial/537994/nintendo-et-la-creation-le-poids-du-mythe-et-la-realite-(3-5)/

http://www.01net.com/genere/article/fichiersAttaches/1314201615-nintendo-english-partthree.rtf

Some key bits:
The concept of Pikmin, for example, was borrowed directly from an unpublished RTS (real-time simulation game) proposed by a creators years before the game’s release. Thus, the official story (Miyamoto got the idea for Pikmin by observing animal life in his garden) is just a clever narrative, fabricated for marketing purposes. Mario Galaxy is another example. According to our source, three totally different versions/concepts had been proposed for what was then called “Mario 128”, but none of them made the cut. Nintendo then set its views on a promising prototype it had bought from an external source some time ago, added Mario and its friends, tweaked a thing or two, and... Here was Mario Galaxy!
According to our source, Nintendo is in possession of a gigantic treasure trove unlike any other, so far largely unexploited. This unique policy of colossal investments into game prototypes and game design concepts has to be fully put to use.
Well it is known that Nintendo shelves a lot of prototypes they make and they made a ton over the years. Then again I'm not sure about the first bit it is known that Nintendo likes to put forward guys like Miyamoto as the creators of certain games that he was only involved in at a management level.



Gaf speculation:
Shiggy said:
A Japanese developer said on some forum that they pitched some gravity project to Nintendo and they used it in SMG.
 
#4
I don't believe it's true. The ideas in this just read like someone who thinks it's totally impossible Nintendo could come up with these clever ideas by themselves or something. Mario Galaxy and Pikmin were definitely Nintendo idea, not bought sources.
 
#6
These are some powerful accusations. Essentially it's saying "Nintendo's not even that original and they're lying about it, to boot."

Before I read the article, is there any evidence or is this more "leaked" stuff?
 
#18
Nintendo is bringing hits to 01net, I see.

Mama Robotnik said:
They've been very right in the past.

I'm not saying there is merit to this story, but regarding Vita and Wii U, the site's history is notable.
French site leaks info from french Ubisoft.
 
#20
wasn't there a rumor long ago that mario galaxy was based on an ape escape concept. i wonder if 01net are running with the same source, in which case they're a few year too late.
 

DDayton

(more a nerd than a geek)
#22
You know, if they REALLY wanted to sound all conspiracy-theory-nuttish, they should have made a comparison to the arcade Donkey Kong, the use of external developers in NES days, and the like. Intelligent Systems used to be an independent company, after all.

(cue organ music)
 
#24
Might as well post the whole thing.
Our source, whom we’ve known for a long time, has always been very discreet about his/her feelings toward Nintendo, but this time something’s different. S/he is visibly upset, and highly frustrated – like a growing number of Nintendo employees - by what s/he describes as the quasi-schizophrenic nature of the company. On the one hand, Nintendo has always been at the forefront of innovation, with a unique flair for what makes gamers and the general public tick. On the other hand, it suffers from a paralayzing structure and anachronistic dynamics resulting more from its own idiosyncrasies than the well-known features of Japanese corporate culture. S/he portrays Nintendo as a colossus with feet of clay, nostalgic of an era when it ruled almost unchallenged, burdened to the extreme by the mythology it has crafted for itself. According to our source, this self-mythology prevents Nintendo from fully measuring its true forces, and breaking free from the heavy layer of varnish that paralyses it.

Since its inception, Nintendo has always been able to attract the best of game designers. No other maker/publisher ever had the means and the prestige to afford to pay a plethora of creators and studios to come up with fresh ideas for game designs, and as many game prototypes. When we ask what s/he means by “the burden of mythology”, our source responds with two relatively recent examples. The concept of Pikmin, for example, was borrowed directly from an unpublished RTS (real-time simulation game) proposed by a creators years before the game’s release. Thus, the official story (Miyamoto got the idea for Pikmin by observing animal life in his garden) is just a clever narrative, fabricated for marketing purposes. Mario Galaxy is another example. According to our source, three totally different versions/concepts had been proposed for what was then called “Mario 128”, but none of them made the cut. Nintendo then set its views on a promising prototype it had bought from an external source some time ago, added Mario and its friends, tweaked a thing or two, and... Here was Mario Galaxy! According to our source, this is typical of Nintendo’s longtime M.O. Let’s not forget that the sublime Super Mario Bros. 2 (Super Mario USA), although designed by Miyamoto, was originally a totally independent title, Yume Kôjô Doki Doki Panic, released in 1987 for the Famicom Disk System.

Now, Nintendo has to face the limits of its promotional model, its commercial mythology : that of a brilliant, ever-present, all-powerful creator, acting as the conductor of an anonymous orchestra. According to our source, Nintendo is in possession of a gigantic treasure trove unlike any other, so far largely unexploited. This unique policy of colossal investments into game prototypes and game design concepts has to be fully put to use. Nintendo, s/he concedes, is in desperate need of new characters and IPs in order to be future-proof, and a gigantic step in the right direction would be to exploit its uniquely rich catalogue of shelved concepts and prototypes, which could become the basis of a ton of new ideas and IPs. Such a strategic upheaval would shake the dust off the company’s leading figures, and allow numerous “young” creators – both internal and external resources – to get the visibility they deserve. Let there be light!
 
#25
This sounds more plausible than the 3DS stuff, at least to me. I don't really think that Nintendo adapted both Pikmin and Galaxy from bought ideas, but it doesn't sound as ridiculous as the analog stick stuff.

Sounds like they started off with some crazy rumors first and it's getting less and less sensationalist. Yesterday was about dev troubles for a system more than a year away...
 
#27
Well Masamichi Abe the game director of Pikmin worked at NST prior to moving to Japan to work on Pikmin. So it's certainly possible that he came up with an RTS design at NST that somehow developed into Pikmin. That is not uncommon for Nintendo.

Memory error bzzt
 
#29
Nintendo then set its views on a promising prototype it had bought from an external source some time ago, added Mario and its friends, tweaked a thing or two, and... Here was Mario Galaxy!
A Japanese developer said on some forum that they pitched some gravity project to Nintendo and they used it in SMG. Actually it was on Tokyopia...don't remember the studio anymore though.
 
#32
Mama Robotnik said:
They've been very right in the past.

I'm not saying there is merit to this story, but regarding Vita and Wii U, the site's history is notable.
They've also been very wrong too, so it balances out pretty well.

For example this site said that GTAV was in development for launch on the Cafe and was going to be revealed at E3.
 
#34
Seems pretty tabloidy/negative for the sake of it.

For example:

The concept of Pikmin, for example, was borrowed directly from an unpublished RTS (real-time simulation game) proposed by a creators years before the game’s release.
Fine, sure, why not? I don't know if Miyamoto came up with the idea of a floating, character-relative target-range and context-sensitive deployed forces. But I don't see why, even if he didn't, that means:

the official story (Miyamoto got the idea for Pikmin by observing animal life in his garden) is just a clever narrative, fabricated for marketing purposes.
Why couldn't Miyamoto have just given the RTS its 'life' when observing his garden and finding the theme meshed well with that control concept he saw years before? That'd still mean that the idea evolved greatly thanks to Miyamoto's input.

It's all in the way you report it as to whether it was OMG TEH STOLEN and Marketers Made Up The Gardening Stuff, or the more reserved and likely 'it was a collaborative effort'.
 
#35
TheOddOne said:
Nintendo, s/he concedes, is in desperate need of new characters and IPs in order to be future-proof, and a gigantic step in the right direction would be to exploit its uniquely rich catalogue of shelved concepts and prototypes, which could become the basis of a ton of new ideas and IPs.
Yup, sounds about right.
 
#36
because nintendo would never buy someone elses game and just slap mario characters into it?

Mario 2 and starfox adventures are two well known examples I dont see why it's CRAZY to think more happened
 
#38
What artistic work doesn't have influences from dozens of others in its medium? Is anyone actually assuming Nintendo is so isolated that they don't see the world around them, and in particular prototypes shown to them?

And adding to that, what makes Galaxy great is not the design of the mechanics, as good as they are, but rather to implementation in the level design, in which Nintendo is still king.
 
#39
Ulairi said:
Publishing a story from a single blind source? Bad journalism but this is the games industry and a blog. Who is going to believe this?
Ever since 01net got like a detail of the Wii U story correct people are now posting whatever they write as if it must be solid :/
 
#41
Super Mario Bros. 3 was made with code stolen from some college kids when Miyamoto broke into their dorm room looking for some cold pizza one night.
 
#42
Fantastical said:
This sounds more plausible than the 3DS stuff, at least to me. I don't really think that Nintendo adapted both Pikmin and Galaxy from bought ideas, but it doesn't sound as ridiculous as the analog stick stuff.

Sounds like they started off with some crazy rumors first and it's getting less and less sensationalist. Yesterday was about dev troubles for a system more than a year away...

It doesn't say Pikmin was a bought idea at all. There are two separate stories in there (Probably should have put a paragraph break between the two). Pikmin, according to the article, was a previously shelved idea that they resurrected and attached a cheesy marketing ploy involving miyamoto.
 
#44
So I don't get the Galaxy part. Like it's meant as an accusation of some sort of not being original, but to my understanding what makes Galaxy great is how it uses all the concepts it establishes. So what's the deal?

Plus, we all know that Nintendo is sitting on tons of prototypes, that's how they, especifically Miyamoto work!
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#45
The article has no clue about what thesis it is even proposing. "Miyamoto designed Doki Panic", "Miyamoto created Pikmin", "Miyamoto got the idea from Super Mario Galaxy from someone else", etc. All that is wrong. Just generic Miyamoto develops everything in his basement, with a conspiracy theory twist poured on top for good measure.

For the poster mentioning "Super Mario 2 USA". That game was originally Doki Doki Panic and released in Japan. But it was always developed by EAD. Miyamoto had the usual producer role on it. The same EAD designers who developed Doki Doki Panic, remixed the game as Mario for the international audience as the Fuji TV properties would not work outside of Japan.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
#49
I'm sure they do prototypes. It may be the case that the overall basic idea for SMG was from a prototype.

I don't think that really means anything for the end product, since each level is so meticulously designed, and almost every mechanic they throw at you works, and it's beautiful, and the music is incredible, and the controls are tighter than they have any right to be.

I also think that their blabbering about Super Mario Bros 2 actually undermines their point. SMB2 wasn't an external game or idea. Moreover, given that Mario had exactly one platforming game, there wasn't a brand equity to "tarnish" by "shoehorning" an independent concept into it. Half of what SMB2 introduces to the Mario Universe is still in regular use today.

So really this is kind of a non-story to me, unless the small team that did the prototype is working on something else that I should care about.
 
#50
Coxy said:
because nintendo would never buy someone elses game and just slap mario characters into it?

Mario 2 and starfox adventures are two well known examples I dont see why it's CRAZY to think more happened
Don't forget Kirby's Epic Yarn.