How to Create Your Own Mario Game

Written by erin ringwald
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How to Create Your Own Mario Game
Use your computer to create your own Mario game. (computer image by blaine stiger from

Mario and his brother Luigi are two of the most readily recognisable video-game characters around. Since Mario's debut in 1981 in Donkey Kong and later in 1983 in Mario Bros -- when Luigi came on the scene -- these beloved characters have been seen in more than 200 games and countless user-created games. If you want to create your own Mario Bros game, you can do so with just a little bit of effort and some advanced planning.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Photo editing program
  • Graph paper
  • Platform creator

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  1. 1

    Use a photo-editing program such as Adobe Photoshop to make your characters. You can either use existing JPEG-formatted images -- a simple online-images search for "Mario Bros" will yield pages of them -- or draw your own. If you select the latter option, draw your own characters, scan them into your computer with a flatbed scanner, and then import them into a photo-editing or drawing program to colour them. Once you have created each individual character you intend to use, save it separately.

  2. 2

    Design your levels. Since Mario games are generally platformers, start your design with a piece of graph paper. Draw your planned level progression, determining obstacles and the gameplay path. Consider vines to climb, pipes to enter and gaps to jump. This is also the time to determine where power-ups and hidden objects will be, as well as the location of any enemies.

  3. 3

    Design your background. Do this on graph paper as well. Pull inspiration for your backgrounds from existing Mario games. For example, if you look to the original Super Mario Bros, create an underwater background or a cloud background.

  4. 4

    Utilise a program such as Platform Studio or Jump Craft to translate your graph paper drawings into digital form. Use the tools in the program to create your levels and backgrounds.

  5. 5

    Utilise the Tile Set editor in your platform creator program to transfer the digital drawings you have rendered of the characters. Use this program to determine the patterns and behaviours your characters will exhibit when not controlled by you. For example, this is how you would program your Hammer Bros to throw hammers in a given pattern. Also, add the power-ups in at this time.

  6. 6

    Run your game to ensure you are happy with the final results. As you play each level, make note of anything that does not work. After the entire game has been tried, utilise the Platform Studio program to make any necessary changes.

Tips and warnings

  • Here is a list of Mario characters you can use to design your game. This is list is not all inclusive and you can create your own as well: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Boo, Hammer Brothers, Goomba, Lakitu and Ba-boom.
  • There are also websites, such as MIT's Scratch, that give you all the components and allow you to put a short game together.
  • Create a custom Mario Bros game for your entertainment only. Do not try to sell the game or distribute it to others, as this would be copyright infringement.

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