The Nintendo x LEGO collaboration was unveiled earlier this week and is sure to be a huge success with a number of gameplay development. Brother Brick recently had the opportunity to interview Jonathan Bennink, Design Manager at the LEGO Creative Play Lab and Digital Design lead of Lego Super Mario. Mr Bennink says it was a dream come true for Nintendo to work on the project and have been developing for four years. Continue reading to hear his thoughts.
Can you tell a little about yourself and how you got involved with LEGO Super Mario?
I've been on LEGO for about six years. I've been working on LEGO Dimensions for the first two and got the lead role for Nintendo. Working as a LEGO developer is pretty cool, but then working with Nintendo is a dream come true – a dream I don't even know I dreamed of! I'm really excited to see how the world reacts to LEGO Super Mario and I can tell my friends and family I've been working on it for four years.
How did the LEGO and Nintendo collaboration come about?
I have been working on this project for four years, but about half a year earlier, leaders from LEGO and Nintendo came together to talk about what we can do together and where our substandard skills lie. We decided early on that we wanted to grow what both teams knew. At LEGO, that is to create, create and use your imagination. For Nintendo, it's a seamless interaction with new things. We wanted to make sure that when LEGO and Nintendo merge, the two major brands with the biggest followers, that we're doing it justice.
About half a year into the project we made this first prototype of a working Mario figure. I hope that one day we will share this world because I think it would be really interesting for people to know where it came from and how it came about. But it was actually just a small brick, maybe four upper modules with a screen and speakers that covered the cap and painted red. When we wore the cap, we were all like, "Yes, that Mario!" and we instantly fell in love with him as an active LEGO character
But we do not know exactly what to do with him and how to use it to the full. In that case, we've worked with Nintendo and played-tested with kids for many years until we reinforced the idea of building standards. Actually, you can't go to the wrong building rates but certain combinations and strategies will make that level better and get more coins from it. Design levels are likely to be a great revelation for the project because this is where the LEGO core plays. It's all happening in bricks, and it comes with ideas for standards and building whatever you want with technology and collaboration that is. Nintendo is known for installing it from scratch.