In light of the discussion during our week 2 class about designing games such that young kids will be able to learn them (short tutorials, limited text, etc.) reminded me of this great blogpost I read a while back. Sara encouraged me to write a post about it on the class blog, so here it is.
To all of you who played Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, you may recall that, while that game had virtually no text in it, I don't think any of us had any difficulty figuring out how to play. On his blog "Significant Bits", Radek Koncewicz wrote a smashing in-depth analysis of the level designs for World 1 of Super Mario Bros. 3, detailing how each level cleverly encourages the player to discover the mechanics of the game.
It is a very interesting and relevant read for this class, and can be found here: http://www.significant-bits.com/super-mario-bros-3-level-design-lessons.
I know it looks long but a lot of it is screenshots. At the bottom of the post he links to parts 2 and 3 of his discussion, in which he discusses cleverly designed levels in Worlds 2-8, as well as design choices for the level selection "hubs."
Happy designing, everyone.