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  • Jackie Spencer

A Trip Down the Big Green Pipe


First of all, I had to share this particular screenshot because I’m loving the running animations that’ve we’ve recently added to the game. I like the way Jae closes his eyes and runs hard wherever he goes. Seriously, it’s almost tooooo cute.


Secondly, we’ve been celebrating 24/7 about being included in Indie MEGABOOTH 2019. So much so, that I’m going to try and take a step back and talk about something else for a little bit.


I was looking through some gaming history and found that on this day in 1996, Super Mario 64 came out. I got “super” excited about this and looked it up and found out that actually, no, not today in history but June 23rd, or September 29th in the US. 


I was initially bummed as I was going to write all about my love for the franchise, but then I realized, why don’t I just write about it anyways? Who cares? I’m in control here. (Pending approval from the guy up top.)


[Jimmy's Note: I approve.]


The first video game that I can remember playing was Super Mario 3. Honestly, we also had the first one, but I think my family might have bought the 3rd game first. Either way, there were many nights spent huddled around playing as Mario & Luigi. I have a lot of fond memories of Jimmy and I duking it out in the sewers and then taking turns to beat levels. (W-1, S-4 terrified us!) 


[Jimmy's Note: It was an auto scroller that was only platforms! I hated it!]


Finding the magic flute had its own special allure. There was no way to save our file at that point in time. To move forward, you had to find the flutes. We’d use these to take a swim with the frog suit in W-3, or hop around in the exaggerated staging of W-4. 


You name it, we probably played it. We played almost anything labeled “Mario”. We attended his parties, raced his go-karts, and played games of tennis and golf. 


I remember when the big breakthrough happened in gaming. The Christmas morning when the n64 was unwrapped was huge in my household. Jimmy’s shaking hands as he lifted the box before immediately disappearing to go hook it up. The look of Mario, in 3D, his nose round and fully fleshed out in his coveralls. It was mesmerizing.


We hooked it up, Jimmy taking the lead as we all watched. Mario walked around, it was like we had gone from the black and white world of Kansas, to the lush, colorful world of Oz. 

I loved the scene in the castle where you could see Peach’s profile in stained glass. The penguins in the snow world, and exploring the castle grounds.


I spent an embarrassing amount of time falling into a sunk cost loop on the stairs to the final battle, firmly believing that I couldn’t give up having spent so much time running up. I had already gone up this many steps, surely it couldn’t be much farther?


What does this have to do with Studio Kumiho? 


I feel like gaming today is in an interesting time period. There are an infinite amount of games that can be designed and played. So why do we keep coming back to Mario? I think there is something universal about playing a simple platform/puzzle game. Kids of any age can figure out the controls, it’s easy to play, but extremely difficult to master. It encourages teamwork to figure out where to go in each level, not to mention all the easter eggs! 


At Studio Kumiho, we want to make games that share universal messages, while being simple to play and endlessly entertaining. Part of the reason that we got into making games was to chase that feeling of wonderment at seeing something new, something fun and endearing. We want to share that feeling with everybody.


[Jimmy's Note: "Games with Empathy" is our thing.]


I feel like anybody who has played a videogame probably has a fond memory of the short plumber with the red hat. 


What’s your favorite Mario Moment?

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Redmond, WA, USA

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