Yoshiaki Koizumi, producer of Super Mario Odyssey, held an AMA on Reddit during E3
Koizumi answers questions about Super Mario Odyssey and game design in general.
Posted on 2017-06-14 by CiaoCiao

The producer of Super Mario Odyssey, Yoshiaki Koizumi, held a Q&A on the Nintendo subreddit to answer fan questions about the new Mario title, game design, or whatever random question they feel like asking.

The redditor jeffiip asked a question on all of our minds, "How did you come up with the mechanic of Mario possessing enemies and objects?" to which Mr. Koizumi noted how while designing Odyssey, they wanted to focus more on the actions Mario can do, not necessarily the power ups or abilities. This eventually led to a prototype in which Mario could possess enemies. The gameplay worked so well, they decided to roll with it.

The highest rated question wanted to know why Koizumi was interested in bringing back Pauline to a mainstream Mario game. Mario's original love interest occasionally appeared in spinoffs, mainly the Mario vs. Donkey Kong sub-series, but this is the first mainline game since her original appearance in the Donkey Kong arcade game. In response to the question, Koziumi explained that "when deciding which Kingdoms to have in the game, we knew we wanted the city environment, and we wanted something that would have resonance with players. We knew that players know Pauline so we of course wanted to make her the mayor of New Donk City." Another question was directed towards why a city environment was chosen as one of the main kingdoms. Koizumi answered with how a city was one of the earliest experiments his team had while designing Odyssey. His team enjoyed the contrast between Mario and the more realistically designed NPCs.

I managed to get my own question asked, which was about how the theme song "I'll Be Your 1-Up Girl" originated. Yoshiaki said that while "developing Pauline more as a character, we know that she was going to be interested in jazz." Pauline was briefly shown in the E3 trailer singing.

There are many smaller questions beyond the ones listed here. Some other standout ones include: what amiibos functionality Odyssey will have, to which Koizumi answered that "everytime you tap an amiibo you'll receive a costume and in-game assistance"; and a question about Luigi's role in the game, to which Koizumi answered "I hope you look forward to hearing more about that." You can read the rest of the AMA by clicking on the link below:

Yoshiaki Koizumi's AMA on reddit