The Secret of Mario's Jump (and other Versatile Verbs) | Game Maker's Toolkit

In this video, I look at “versatile verbs” – player actions that can have multiple uses, depending on how you perform them – in a number of excellent games.

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Game Accessibility Guidelines:

I’m using Anna Anthropy / Naomi Clark’s “A Game Design Vocabulary” for game design lingo:

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance):

Donkey Kong (Nintendo, 1981)
Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo, 2013)
Luftrausers (Vlambeer, 2014)
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (Evolution Studios, 2008)
Devil Daggers (Sorath, 2016)
Bayonetta 2 (PlatinumGames, 2014)
Ms. Splosion Man (Twisted Pixel Games, 2011)
Owlboy (D-Pad Studio, 2016)
Mega Man X (Capcom, 1993)
Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2014)
Dark Souls III (From Software, 2016)
The Order: 1886 (Ready at Dawn, 2015)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios, 2015)
Gears of War 4 (The Coalition, 2016)
Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions, 2005)
DOOM (id Software, 2016)
Yakuza 0 (Sega, 2015)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo, 1988)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, 2016)
Thumper (Drool, 2016)
Downwell (Moppin, 2015)

Music used in this episode:

Garage Band Loops
Tunnelbound (animeistrash)
From a Friend (Blue Wednesday)

Blue Wednesday:


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  • Just to clear up my use of the word "verb" (instead of action, mechanic, or input), I'm using the book "A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design" by Anna Anthrophy and Naomi Clark for design lingo, to try and keep my videos more consistent going forward.

    I believe veteran designer Chris Crawford was the first to really popularise the word verb for this use, though.

    Also, I agree that some of this stuff might be quite basic but 1) you gotta get the basics right first and 2) it doesn't seem to stop plenty of devs from screwing this up!

  • Tittle: Mario Jump
    Video: 90% other games and 10% Mario

  • this video gave rags ptsd from how mind-numbingly meaningless it is, multiplied from the fact that you make money from this shit

  • 2:50 What is that backing track music? 🤔 sounds lit! 🔥

  • 1:30 What’s the song in the background called?

  • Is this satire?

  • using verb is so fucking pretentious

  • Example that came to mind: In the Enter the Matrix game, Neo would break the opponent's guard with on button (throw button, basically), then during the guard break animation, you had 4+ throws you could do by hitting one of the face buttons, including the throw button itself. Pretty great part of the game play, imo.

  • I was so expecting you to bring up smash bros. it seems like the easiest example

  • PeterPeter

    Author Reply

    after watching EFAP 26 I am so happy this video is still available

  • Brother …. the music and voice in this video make a shity mix ….

  • I feel really bad, I consume these videos like peanuts and forget to like. Please forgive and keep making great content!

  • man i just love game maker's vrqonmv.

  • Hit me up if you want more subtitles… love the channel and want to be a part of its growth😁

  • Jet Set Radio on the DC was special. I like it and i still play it these days on my OG DC. Some things never change and that's fine : )

  • He is: The Jump Man! Mr.Mario Mario

  • Good video but a bit of a misleading title and thumbnail. You barely talked about Mario's jump and instead talked about other games and their jump. I know you put in the title "other versatile verbs" but I think you knew that wasn't a very attractive title and decide it to trick people into believing this was gonna a Mario focus video analysis.

  • Fuck things based on length of a press. Wanted to do <thing>? Too bad, you pressed that button for one polling-rateth of a second too long, you failure.

  • Fat people get to vote twice because they're twice the size of a regular person.

  • One thing you could mention in part 2 is sometimes its not the best. Fallout 4 has grenade and power attack are the same key with grenade being if you hold. On paper that sounds good, but in practice I hear soo many complaints about this button.

  • You should verb yourself after this video.


  • But does mario's versatile jump make mario feel playful and toylike?

  • I'd love to see him break down the often hidden complexity of Streets of Rage 2's fighting system. A lot of people write that game off as 'just another beat em up" but it is by far one of the more complex fighting wise, and is easily one of the best beat em ups ever made.

  • I'm glad you brought up disability. It's pretty rare to hear it discussed.

    Personally with regards to Mario Odyssey, there is an action I really struggle with, but would have an easier time with remapped inputs. But additionally, the reliance on motion controls also screws me over a lot because of unstable hands. Let's just say, I won't be a speedrunner anytime soon.

  • whos here from thomas game docs