Get Inside The Head Of Legendary Nintendo Game Designer Shigeru Miyamoto

Often referred to as the “the father of modern video games,” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed the secrets to his design process in a new video from Vox. Since 1977, Miyamoto has been working with Nintendo to create some of the biggest selling video game franchises of all time, including Mario, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda.

In the interview, Miyamoto explains how he made the first iteration of Donkey Kong a success by focusing on plot before programming—a unique decision in the game development world. He also revealed how the three starring characters are actually based on the 1980’s Popeye movie, but when Nintendo couldn’t secure the rights to those characters, they chose a gorilla, a princess, and a carpenter—a figure who went through many changes over the years before becoming the character we now know as Mario.


Late last year/month, Nintendo released Super Mario Run, their first game for the mobile app market. The app is the gaming giant’s first venture into creating a game for software they didn’t design. Nintendo has constantly been are the forefront of console and controller development and had to grapple with how to create a title that’s exciting and complex enough to engage users but is also convenient and accessible enough that it can be played with just the tap of a finger. Miyamoto speaks to the differences in creating a mobile app vs. a console game in the interview and how it’s important to him to create “a game anyone can play.”

If hearing all about Miyamoto’s design process has got you itching to play some new Nintendo games, you only have to wait a little longer for the Nintendo Switch‘s March 3 release date.