Change is in the air, as the team working on Nintendo's upcoming Super Mario Odyssey are (according to the game's Japanese Twitter account) breaking from tradition and doing away with the concept of a "Game Over" screen.
While this isn't a new idea (lots of games eschew traditional "Game Over" fail states, and some devs argue such hard stops are a failure of design) it's interesting to see Nintendo take this approach to a big-budget Mario game, given that the franchise has served as a perennial example of how to effectively design platformers around concepts like lives, 1-Ups, and the looming threat of a "Game Over."
As Polygon points out, Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi recently said the Odyssey team was doing away with these mainstays in an effort to avoid breaking playersr' immersion in the game.
"We also wanted people to be able to, you know, you get into a kingdom and you can just kind of continually keep going through that kingdom without being pulled out," Koizumi told Polygon at E3 last month. "So that was why we kind of wanted to get rid of the lives idea."
According to the official Twitter account, when the protagonist of Super Mario Odyssey would traditionally lose a life the player will instead lose ten of the coins they've collected in-game; if the player's coin count dips below ten, they'll still be able to continue playing without seeing a "Game Over" screen.
マリオの体力が0になったり、奈落に落ちると、持っているコインが10枚減ってしまいます。ただし…！いくらミスしてもGAME OVERはありません。 pic.twitter.com/6oEia6LcVr— スーパーマリオ オデッセイ (@mario_odysseyJP) July 4, 2017