Protecting Time For Creativity

If I asked you to draw the Mona Lisa in 30 seconds & in 30 days, which version do you think you’d be more proud of?

30 days.

When it comes to creative problem solving, having more time can lead to surprising results.

That’s why I’m so excited for the upcoming Mario game from Nintendo.


I’ve grown up with video games.

Some of my earliest memories center around waiting for my [older] brother to go through his 3 lives on Mario so I could get my turn at the controller.

I’ve played more Super Mario 3 than I’d like to admit. Tanooki Mario is the best, btw.

When the Super Nintendo came out, and the brand spankin’ new Mario Mario World came out with Mario’s cape, Yoshi, and crazy graphics, I would spend houuuuurs playing it.

I’ve never played a Mario game (let’s not talk about Mario Bros. 2) that felt janky like a lot of off-brand games can feel like.

And that’s why I was surprised by a recent insight.

Present Day

There’s a new Mario game coming out, “Mario Wonder” and the image at the top is pulled from their promo push.

Mario Wonder is a return to the 2-D “side scroller” dynamic, but here’s the twist.

The team that was working on Wonder didn’t have a due date.

Leadership had recognized that other projects would come up with a fun or interesting idea but it would get put on the back burner because of launch schedules and other time constraints.

So, for this project, they said screw it; we’re not going to put a deadline on creativity.

The result?

They opened up the suggestion box to anything & everything. Then they tried it all out.

I think they said it was something like 2,000 suggestions & ideas for new gameplay / dynamics / whatever.

Eventually, the cool ones stuck around & got honed.

Now, it’s getting close to release, and there’s a lot of hype around it.

It looks amazing & initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

It’s a tough thing for a major company to be this patient with a promising new project, but I’m betting that it’s going to pay off.

I can’t wait to give it a whirl when it finally drops in late October.

In the meantime I’ll try to take the lesson to heart: stay patient & give myself time to be creative instead of being a slave to the clock & churning out Yet Another Piece Of Crap™.

Best thoughts,

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