MarioWiki:Pre-release and unused content
MarioWiki:Pre-release and unused content is a writing guidelines page designed to show how to organize the information present on the pre-release and unused content pages, instead of having it presented with randomly formatted paragraphs filled with unrelated factoids.
Some ideas may be seriously considered during parts of development and even have concept art drawn for them, but are subsequently abandoned before even being programmed into the game.
Example: The development team of Super Mario Galaxy 2 seriously considered including cameos from the Pikmin and Donkey Kong series, but Shigeru Miyamoto shot down the idea. The cameos were not programmed into the game before being abandoned, but the fact that they were considered at all is still a significant aspect of the game's history and development.
Some games get completely overhauled during development, resulting in the finished products sharing almost nothing with their earlier incarnations. Other games jump from one console to another, and even if the look or gameplay appears to change very little from one platform to the other, it is still a major shift in the game's development.
Example 1: Paper Mario was originally titled "Super Mario RPG 2" and featured noticeably different visuals. Even though the Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG 2 builds are almost nothing alike, they're part of the same development cycle, so they're considered the "same" game.
Example 2: Super Paper Mario was originally planned for the GameCube but was converted into a Wii game, resulting in different controls, yet affecting the overall gameplay and style of the game very little. Nevertheless, the fact that the final game was a Wii title is a marked difference from the original plan.
A build closer to the final game may have content not present in the data of the final version. Cut content can often be found in press kit material (screenshots, videos, etc.) or in appearances at conventions such as E3, the Consumer Electronics Show or the Tokyo Game Show. Outdated screenshots in the instruction manual and public demos also fit in this grouping.
Since builds are rarely named, they should ideally be named by the time and place they were exposed. For an example, a build shown at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo should be named "E3 2011 Build".
Often, unused assets (sprites, sound files, etc.) remain on the disc.
Note: Saying that "there is unused content" on the disc/cartridge and then describing the content without supporting media is not enough. Unused content needs to be uploaded directly to the wiki, or else there must be a properly cited reference link to a page or video describing the unused content. The Cutting Room Floor wiki is an excellent source for this.
Any other information that doesn't fit neatly in the above groupings can be placed here. This info frequently takes the form of magazine or website writeups, which report that something is different from the final product. Title changes (if they're not paired with platform changes or retooling of the game) also go under this header.
Example: The UK Philips CD-i magazine featured an article presenting a different plot for Hotel Mario. As no other known publications reported the information and the magazine shows no proof of its affirmation, it could be reasonably considered to be an error on the magazine's end. However, it cannot be proven wrong either, and so it should be included just to be "safe", although the uncertainty of the situation must also be noted.