It’s hard to exaggerate the impact that Shigeru Miyamoto has had on the gaming industry. He’s responsible for some of the biggest franchises in the industry — including Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda.
Recently, he sat down for an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition to discuss his life and career in the gaming industry. The interview covered a wide range of topics, from his early days at Nintendo to his creative process for game development.
Miyamoto began the interview by discussing his childhood in Kyoto, Japan. He shared how his parents were supportive of his love for art and encouraged him to pursue his passion. This encouragement led Miyamoto to attend art school, where he eventually landed a job at Nintendo.
Miyamoto’s early years at Nintendo were spent working on arcade games, including Donkey Kong. He discussed how his background in art influenced his approach to game development, saying, “When I was making Donkey Kong, I was thinking about how to make the game visually interesting and fun to play.”
This emphasis on both gameplay and visual design has become a hallmark of Miyamoto’s games.
The interview also delved into Miyamoto’s creative process for game development.
He discussed how he starts with a simple concept, such as jumping, and then builds upon it to create a full game. He emphasized the importance of testing and iterating, saying, “I try to make a game that’s fun to play even before it’s finished. That way, I can keep making adjustments until it’s just right.”
Miyamoto also discussed the importance of collaboration in game development. He talked about how he works with a team of developers, artists, and musicians to bring his ideas to life. He emphasized the importance of communication and how he strives to create an environment where everyone’s ideas are heard and valued.
The interview concluded with Miyamoto discussing his hopes for the future of gaming. He talked about how technology has advanced since he first started in the industry and how he’s excited to see where it will go in the future. He also emphasized the importance of creating games that are accessible to everyone, saying, “I want to make games that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their age or skill level.”
Miyamoto’s emphasis on both gameplay and visual design, as well as his iterative approach to game development, has led to some of the most beloved games of all time. And his commitment to collaboration and creating games that are accessible to everyone is a reminder of the power of video games to bring people together.