Game Informer recently had the chance to chat with both AlphaDream and Nintendo about not only the recently released Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam but about the Mario & Luigi series as a whole, as well as Paper Mario. Akira Otani, the producer of Paper Jam, answered our questions on behalf of Nintendo while Shunsuke Kobyashi, the game's director, answered for AlphaDream.

Game Informer: How inspired by the Paper Mario games was AlphaDream when it started making the Mario and Luigi games? Did they communicate much with Intelligent Systems when creating this new game?

AlphaDream: While we referenced all of the Paper Mario series games during production of this title, the title we were influenced by the most was definitely Paper Mario: Sticker Star. This is because we wanted to base the game on the latest data. We of course received advice and supervision from Intelligent Systems during production. We think that this is one of the reasons that we were able to refine our depiction of paper elements and better express the "paper-like" design in this title. If you look closely, you can see a white border around the paper characters, right? This did not exist in Sticker Star, but we think that this design makes it easier for the player to understand that "this is a paper character!"

Would AlphaDream ever consider making a pure Paper Mario RPG? Or would they be more interested in making an original game like Tomato Adventure again?

AlphaDream: We have not thought about making a Paper Mario RPG. That series is designed in the style of Intelligent Systems, and we think that if we made a Paper Mario game it would be "not quite right". While we would like to continue making more games in the Mario & Luigi series along with exploring new challenges, we are thinking about expanding our repertoire with original titles as well.

What do you consider some of your personal favorite RPGs?

AlphaDream: In the past I liked playing multiple RPGs and slowly leveling up by myself, but recently I feel that it is fun to progress in MMOs while communicating with various different people. While they were difficult to get into at first, once I tried it out I was very enthralled by progressing in the game while communicating with other people at the same time.

Why do your Mario and Luigi talk while Paper Mario remains silent in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam?

Nintendo: There is a rule that the Paper Mario series is silent, and while Mario & Luigi don't actually talk, they have voices, so it is simply that we did not change this rule. Also, we thought that the contrast would serve to highlight the characteristics of each series.

How are Paper characters born? From a tree?

Nintendo: (laughs) Hmm, we are just the creators of Mario & Luigi, so we don't know. We would like to leave it up to everyone's imagination.

Mario & Luigi games always have false endings. You think you're at the end, but then you have a whole lot more game. Why is this?

AlphaDream: We think that having an epilogue after the ending (staff credits) is "traditional" in a sense. This is because there are some players who wait for a punchline or epilogue to the story. In addition, we try to include additional elements other than the story (Hard Mode, music player) as much as possible. There are also players whose purpose in playing the game is more for full completion or challenges rather than just playing through the story. We would like different types of players to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible.

Mandatory tutorials have been almost entirely removed from Paper Jam. Can you talk about why you decided to make them mostly optional?

AlphaDream: We didn't "remove" the tutorial for this title. (Laugh) There are actually tutorials (or guides) for all of the action and battle systems. In previous games, we had the game ask "Do you want to see the Tutorial? Yes/No". Players who didn't have any other information would have to choose "Yes", but when they actually viewed the Tutorial it was information that they already knew. This time, we implemented a system where the game would detect whether the player was skilled at action games or not, and had the game display a detailed tutorial for players who were not as good at action games (who cannot get "Excellent" or perform Countering Attacks).

The tutorial is not displayed for players who are good at action games, leading them to think that "there is no tutorial for this title". Of course, we show tutorials for all players for game systems that were newly implemented in this title, such as Trio Attacks and Battle Cards.

Be sure to check out our review of Mario & Luigi Paper Jam and our feature on the history of Mario RPGs.