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Submission + - Super Mario Bros 3 Level Design Lessons (significant-bits.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Super Mario Bros. 3 contains many obvious design lessons that are also present in other games, e.g., the gradual layering of complexity that allows players to master a specific mechanic. What surprised me during my playthrough, though, was how some of these lessons were completely optional.

The game doesn’t have any forced hand-holding, and it isn’t afraid of the player simply exploring it at his own pace (even if it means circumventing chunks of the experience).

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Super Mario Bros 3 Level Design Lessons

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A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.