The Paper Mario art that started it all 15 years ago. Intelligent Systems director Naohiko Aoyama, then a new guy at the developer, was in one of three teams at the studio tasked with dreaming up visual concepts for a Mario game on the Nintendo 64:
"While the design remained undecided, I naturally spent a lot of time waiting. Then, during that free time, casually for my own interest and totally apart from the course the team was taking, I made a rough image. I hoped it would somehow serve as a kickoff point and submitted it. … Then they called me to a planning meeting saying, ‘Bring back that picture,’ and this is what I presented."
There’s more fun Paper Mario stuff in the latest Iwata Asks roundtable interview for Sticker Star.