Eiji Aonuma has provided an insight on working with a larger team to bring players the superb Zelda: Breath Of The Wild for Wii U and Nintendo Switch. In an interview with 日経トレンディ (Nikkei Trendy) magazine, he also touches upon seeing videos online of players finding out different ways to play the game, most notably the video of someone soaring through the sky on a mine cart by cleverly utilising the Magnesis rune.
On fans posting new ways to play Breath of the Wild online…
“When we apply the laws of physics in this game – based on the physics engine, various kinds of ‘interesting things’ will happen.
We intentionally give [much] freedom in testing them out, but I’m surprised on the tricks of using the Magnesis item that can carry anything metallic. When you place a block on a metal trolley, and when you stand on top of it and then pull the trolley [with Magnesis], it will gradually soar up into the sky. When we saw the video that used that method to move mid-air, all the staff become speechless (laughs).”
On using a development team of 300 people…
“The organisation of 300 people was really made at the very end of the development so I don’t want to exaggerate this too much. This kind of thing [game development] happened normally in the past; in the era where a small number of people could develop game software.
When that has grown to a large number exceeding 100 people, anyone would have only thought that it’s ‘impossible’, so I don’t think it’s that surprising.
However, if we’re looking at a simple way of thinking such as cost-cutting, it becomes ‘no way [it could happen]’, so at the start of the development I also had a bit of resistance with the viewpoint of a producer.
But when we actually tried doing that, it makes quality control smoother, and on the contrary I also actually felt that it connects to cost-cutting, so we decided to go through with this until the end.”
After recently promising surprises for the next instalment in the Zelda series, I’m intrigued to see what size work force will be employed when the time comes (if it hasn’t already!).