The art of game creation is always interesting, but looking behind the curtain of Mario Party 8 is a particularly wonderful experience that shows the power of a highly controlled camera.
In the newest episode of Boundary Break, a show dedicated to moving cameras around to find the hidden things in games, we get to see lots of strange parts of Mario Party 8 that we weren’t meant to see. As the host explains, it’s because Mario Party 8 has such a highly controlled camera; the player cannot look around, so the developer knows exactly what you’re seeing at any given time.
What’s so great about this Boundary Break video is that it shows how much care goes into that camera positioning. At several points in the video, like in the bowling mini game, we can see that the giant voidspace outside the level geometry is being used to project an image that is then replicated within the scene we are seeing. The fact that we will never (or should never) see anything outside of what the developers are showing us with their controller camera means that this big empty space can function as a kind of resource for the developers to work with.
As the host says in the video,
“I suppose the developers had no problem doing this because the camera is so controlled in these games, so there’s no fear or worry that the player is gonna be able to manipulate the camera in such a way that you’d be able to see these things in the void.”
While every “behind the scenes” video of game exploration is very cool, seeing how Mario Party 8 is constructed around controlling what the player can see is fairly unique and worth checking out.