Nintendo

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Was Developed By A Younger Development Team

Influential publication TIME has run an interview with the one and only The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma. During the interview Aonuma revealed that the team working on the latest Legend of Zelda game Zelda: Breath of the Wild has seen some of the veteran Zelda developers step aside so that a younger team can come in with new ideas. From what we’ve seen and heard so far it could well pay off. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out next year on the Nintendo NX and Wii U.

As the first fully open-world Nintendo’s worked on, what’s the hardest thing about designing for an open world?

This is definitely the first time we’ve created a game this large. We didn’t know where to start. So it happened to be there was a team that was working on creating a larger world. And this team was a group of younger developers. So we had our old programmers from the Zelda team take a step aside, so we could introduce this new group of programmers.

But then these new, younger developers had no clue about how past Zeldas had been created. The group of new staff actually would ask us, like ‘Well I know that it’s been done, traditionally, in other Zelda titles, but why does it have to be that way?’ And among those questions there were some I just couldn’t answer, that I didn’t know the answer to myself. That was because I just took those things on as a tradition, and I didn’t really know why the tradition existed.

When you think about it, maybe those things really didn’t need to be there in the modern world, those traditions. So I started destroying these traditions I’d inherited in the series one by one. But it’s a process that takes a lot of time. And because we were destroying everything we’d done in the past, and rebuild new ideas from the ground up, that was the hardest thing, and it’s really taken a long time to create the thing I most wanted to create.

46 comments

  1. ||First Splatoon and now Zelda…with our new finest scientists…our future is darker than ever…||

    1. So dark that Splatoon is one of the most popular franchises actually. And the new Zelda looks fantastic that I barely noticed any Aonuma crap in the game. Will be fantastic.

      1. ||Darkness shall once again…cover Nintendo…and lead us into a new age…until the day comes…when my essence is truly restored…||

        1. I mean that’s nice, I would probably choose to play with it if they don’t have motion controls, but I really enjoyed Skyward Sword’s motion controls, so I was hoping that would be an option.

  2. I have this game in my cart in Amazon (I’ve had it since early last year). Does Amazon allow you to cancel preorders? Just in case GameStop has some awesome bonus with their preorders.

  3. I’m glad, this game looks amazing! Good job on the young programmers and Aonuma for changing the Zelda formula for the better.

  4. I was so damn wrong about not getting hyped fo this! Get very hyped people:D
    I will, however, be buying the NX version though, and yes, I’m aware that there will be no upgraded version of this on the NX over the Wii U version, but I do prefer cartridges over disc media, and I do believe that the NX version will be higher resolution with much more stable fps! Besides, I want a completed version of SB on cartridge anyway, so kill two birds with one stone;)

    1. I heard about cartridges for NX from other people, but where did you hear this?? When did Nintendo ever announce cartridges? If it’s one of the millions of rumours, don’t take like it’s true.

  5. The lack of pride in Aonuma is inspiring. Think about it: we have one of the most celebrated game makers in history, with a proven track-record no less of making best-in-class games, and yet he’s willing to let the young developers question everything he’s done, and he’s willing to admit when he may be wrong.

    Mad props to Aonuma here for being such a rare kind of human who wants to continue to learn and is willing to listen from the lowest of the low and consider what they have to say.

  6. Good on him for changing… but it’s so frustrating to hear that they aren’t constantly questioning traditions in the name of making a better game.

    Hopefully Masuda and the rest of the Pokémon team will have a similar revelation soon enough…

      1. Agreed. Witcher 3 might not have the best combat, of course the combat system looks better at higher difficulties because then it makes preparing before a fight all the more important, making the combat system better, but it has it’s ups, too. Like caves, for instance. Not one cave looks exactly like the others. In other games, caves & mini dungeons tend to look the same as others after awhile because the developer wanted to cut costs so they reused assets from other caves.

      2. I didn’t imply whether it was good or bad. I’m just saying questioning one tradition while taking from others is not exactly a fresh take.

        With that said, I’m not a big fan of western RPGs and Zelda has never been one, so to me, yes it is a bad thing. Western RPGs add way too much useless fluff to extend playtime and add an “addicting” feel to it (e.g. Fable) that it becomes tedious. The worlds are also unnecessarily huge and it makes it tedious to progress, whereas the pacing and progression of traditional Zelda games is one of its strong points. Feel free to disagree with me, but that’s my 2 cents.

        1. If you want to be a casual gamer & not put “too much work” into the new Zelda, least you can go straight to the final boss if you don’t want to do all of the hard work of going through the entire story! Just find out where it is, collect everything you come across on the way there, beat the final boss, then go play something else! There! I just fixed your entire problem with the new Zelda for you!

          1. Where on earth did you read that I want to put less work in? I shoot for 100% in every single game I play.

            I’m less thankful that you didn’t take the time to comprehend what I actually said. Never once did I imply that I didn’t want to put in effort in a Zelda game, or any game for that matter. I merely explained what I dislike about western RPGs and why I’m skeptical of that direction for the Zelda franchise. The fact that I told you to feel free to disagree and you still wanted to be an asshole about says more about you, not me.

        2. By the way, you should be thankful. I was originally going to be far more harsh & go into full asshole mode but I realized that wouldn’t have been productive. So I gave you a productive response by giving you a “Point A to Point B” path to take in the game when you play it. If you play it.

  7. We need more devs at Nintendo to do this. Miyamoto did it with Splatoon and I wish he’d do it with other games his name is still attached to since he’s definitely slipping whether him or anyone else wants to admit it or not. Aonuma’s done it with the new Zelda. Now if only Sakurai would do the same. But he’d rather continue hogging up all of the damn work & only using HIS ideas. Nintendo still has a long way to go before they stop being so egotistical and let the new generation take over. It’s like Vince at WWE: he doesn’t want to relinquish control when Triple H has shown he’s better than Vince these days since NXT tends to outshine Raw & Smackdown.

    1. I don’t think Miyamoto had anything to do with Splatoon. I read the only thing he did was, when he first saw Splatoon and how flat it was, he told the devs he didn’t like what he was seeing and challenged them to push themselves. I think a more apt connection to make with Miyamoto would be with Star Fox Zero- had he let someone fresh lead it, we might have gotten a control scheme that made sense, online play, and an awesome game that would have still gotten the Miyamoto seal of approval.

      Sakurai I fully agree on with you. I don’t think we can ever thank him enough for creating Smash, but he definitely held the latest one back with his my-way-or-the-highway line of thinking and Sm4sh just doesn’t hold my interest the way Melee and Brawl did.

      1. Good point about Splatoon. I forgot about that. Miyamoto & Sakurai both need to take a step back before they ruin the love some of us have for them. Their ages, and egos, are sadly showing. :/

        1. I’m glad Miyamoto said that to the devs though, because that directly brought on new aspects. I think that was the comment that prompted the idea of adding more verticality and the ability to swim up/hide in walls, which is a big part of the game.

          Not only does Sakurai need to let other people into the work he does, he needs to learn that the best results CAN come from teamwork, even compromise. And to keep nepotism and bias out of projects that encompass all of a bigger group (that is a novel by itself; you probably know all the examples, so I won’t go into that again).

          1. Yeah but the moment Miyamoto takes on a bigger role, shit hits the fan and we end up with… Star Fox: Gimmick Edition, otherwise known as Star Fox Zero! It’s a sign that his presence in development should be kept at a very low minimum these days.

            Agreed. We need not speak anymore on Sakurai and his ego.

            1. Mm, I say give him another shot with NX in its early days. If his first NX project is another SFZ situation with gimmicks that detract from the experience rather than enhance it, then keep him far, far away. That will prove he’s sadly lost his touch. Insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results, after all.

              1. The Mario game he’s working on, and Pikmin 4, are his last chances. Fuck those up and my faith in him will be lost forever.

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