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GDC: Miyamoto offers Nintendo insight

The consumer press may bemoan a lack of announcements in his keynote, but Shigeru Miyamoto's packed-house presentation offered a glimpse into the work ethic of games development at Nintendo.

Develop reports that in a light-hearted and personal address, Miyamoto relayed both his personal vision and explained how that fit with Nintendo's own corporate strategy for video games. And while some may think that the 'personal' and 'corporate' worlds don't vie, his message was quite the contrary.

Key to Nintendo's strategy was a "devotion to entertainment", explained the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda.

"We don't have to worry about business diversification," he added, explaining that in having a strict games-only focus (which rivals such as Sony and Microsoft arguably lack) Nintendo's software developers and engineers work side by side to ensure they "have a deep understanding of entertainment". For Miyamoto the best example of this is what he called the creation of the format-holder's biggest risk, the Wii.

"The choice for collaboration occurs all day long," he said of the Nintendo working environment, adding that this helps make risk-taking a viable and enjoyable corporate strategy: "Corporations don't make videogames - people do."

As for how this fit with his own view, and how he creates games, he said: "What I always think about is the core element of fun. And to do that I visualise the face of the player. Everything they are feeling is reflected on their face."

Having previously pointed out that a few years ago a sales chart populated by shooters and GTA games may have suggested that "as sales went up, our reputation as an industry went down", he said that "there is no right or wrong" in what feelings a developer may want to make a player feel - just that his focus was on fun, and that it seemed to paying off for Nintendo and its pursuit of making accessible games with a large audience.

He added: "It is up to you what you want the player to feel. In my case I want to them to feel positive."

And buy way of advice on how other people may pursue making accessible games, he said that some developers get too caught up in over-complicated ideas and concepts that alienate players. "We as game designers often make the same mistakes. We forget that gamers come to our games without knowing anything.

"We have to free ourselves to think as the player does. This will bring your vision as close as possible to what the player will feel."

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Tags: Nintendo , miyamoto , mario

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