Nintendo‘s Super Mario Maker is a bona-fide hit for the Wii U, allowing players to let their imagine go wild to create game levels, then upload them online for others to play. Unfortunately, since the game’s release last fall, Nintendo has been constantly observed deleting player-created levels from the online hub where they can be discovered, offering no explanations or detailed criteria about why they were unacceptable. The company has finally tried to address players’ frustrations, posting course guidelines on a new support page.
Players’ concerns are justified, as we’re not just talking about course levels with inappropriate content or intentionally designed to be unbeatable being removed. Rather, it’s when Nintendo seems to remove levels that have been thoughtfully created with attention to detail — the whole experience Super Mario Maker aims to give players — without justification.
Nintendo’s new support page now offers four reasons why players’ levels are sometimes deleted from Course World, the online hub where they can be browsed by others.
1. “Low stars/plays” – Player-created levels can be rated with stars by those who download and try them, while the actual number of times a level has been played is also stored on the server. Nintendo says that if these numbers are too low after a fixed period of time, levels will be automatically deleted.
2. “Bugs” – This one is fairly obvious. Nintendo can’t allow levels with known bugs to remain on the server, even if they’re unintended by the creator, as it can ruin the experience for everyone.
3. “Requesting stars from other users” – Courses that ask or beg for stars from players are also deleted; no one wants to play a game just to help strangers improve their rating. Nintendo says that players should not use the words “Like,” “Yeah!,” or the star symbol in their course names, and they should be changed before uploading.
4. “Inappropriate Content” – This one is also obvious. Players that try to include something inappropriate, such as offensive language or phrases, in their course will see the level promptly deleted.
Unfortunately, these guidelines don’t make everything as clear as players would like. In the case of low stars/plays, Nintendo doesn’t specify the timeframe or rating numbers that players need to meet before their level is deleted.
And when it comes to inappropriate content, there’s no mention of what might be considered “inappropriate.” One popular Twitch streamer recently saw all his levels deleted, likely because his username is “GrandPOObear.” How are players supposed to know what Nintendo’s standard is for “inappropriate”?
The worst problem that continues to exist is that Nintendo still gives players no feedback or comment about why their level is deleted. It just vanishes. Even worse, creators can’t edit or change the issues with a level, and they can’t re-upload it. They have to create it all over again.