Nintendo’s partnership with Facebook to create the ultimate level!
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
What happens when the world’s most addictive social networking site partners with everyone’s favourite koopa stomping plumber? Apparently a “Hackathon.” If you’re confused by what that is, don’t worry—you’re probably not the only one.
September 11 will see the release of Super Mario Maker, a new game for the Wii U that will allow players to create their own levels based off of content from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World,and New Super Mario Bros. U. Users can then share their creations online and allow others to play through their levels. But we here at the Life & Style section (meaning me) don’t really care about the adorable artistic opportunities this might allow burgeoning game designers. Instead, let’s talk about Facebook!
In order to promote the release of their new game, Nintendo reached out to Facebook, issuing their employees a bit of a challenge.
In teams of five, design the ultimate level using pre-release copies of the game. The best level—as judged by a panel consisting of both Nintendo and Facebook staff members—would then be offered to players for free upon the game’s release next month.
Here’s the challenge: Nintendo being the sadistic, albeit lovable scamps that they are, decided to make the contest a “Hackathon.” A Hackathon is a software-development-specific kind of competition that requires collaborative teams consisting of programmers, designers, project managers, and other people involved in the software development industry, to create and execute a project (in this case, a level), all within a very tight timeframe.
Nintendo gave the Facebook teams two days to complete the challenge, which was held July 28–29 on the Facebook campus grounds in California—a specialized living complex specifically for Facebook employees that was designed with the help of two consultants from Disney (talk about an adult playground).
Luckily, Facebook employees are more than used to these sorts of competitions, as Facebook uses them frequently to help brainstorm new ideas for their site. Additions such as Facebook Chat and Facebook Wi-Fi for businesses are all products of this incredibly nerve-wracking process. Taking a break to play an upcoming Nintendo game was probably a welcome change.
Any word on the winning level has yet to be released, and probably won’t be until September. The game itself is currently available for pre-order, with a gameplay trailer available online courtesy of Nintendo’s showing at the video game industry conference, E3.