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Miyamoto wonders: Is story really necessary when gameplay will do?

"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?" - Kensuke Tanabe, software planning for Paper Mario: Sticker Star, recalls how veteran designer Shigeru Miyamoto asked specifically for story elements to be left out.
"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?"
- Kensuke Tanabe, software planning and development department for Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the Nintendo 3DS, recalls how veteran Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto asked for story elements to be left out of the game. In a new Iwata Asks interview on the Nintendo website, president Satoru Iwata discussed the development of the latest in the Paper Mario series with the team behind it, who in turn revealed why the game was so light on story compared to previous installments. As it turns out, Miyamoto -- who had a hand in the game's design -- instructed the team to lay off the story elements, as he believed that the gameplay elements were what players really wanted. "With regard to the story, we did a survey over the Super Paper Mario game in Club Nintendo, and not even 1 percent said the story was interesting," noted Tanabe. "A lot of people said that the 'Flip' move for switching between the 3D and 2D dimensions was fun." Taro Kudo, the co-director of scenario design on the game, added, "I originally saw it in a way that's similar to Miyamoto-san. Personally I think all we need is to have an objective to win the boss battle at the end of the game." He continued, "I didn't think we necessarily needed a lengthy story like in an RPG. Instead, we looked at the characteristics of a portable game that can be played little by little in small pieces and packed in lots of little episodes and ideas. I always did like putting in little ideas, so I actually enjoyed it."

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