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Zelda: Breath of the Wild Devs On How Complete Freedom Impacted The Game’s Development



The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for a week now, and a new interview from The New Yorker with the game’s development team offers up a new look into the creative process behind the title.


First off, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi spoke about having full freedom with the game, noting that they focused on changing up “stress points” from previous Zelda games to make Breath of the Wild more enjoyable:


“They said, ‘Change anything you want.’ So we wrote down all of the stress points, the things that make Zelda games less enjoyable, and we replaced them with new ideas.”


Next, Takuhiro Dohta, the game’s technical director, discussed the many problems encountered with creating the game’s chemistry engine during development. The chemistry engine, which allows players to cook, for instance, is built on top of the physics engine. About the engine, Dohta said the following:


“At many times in the process, there were things that just weren’t functioning at all. We’d have to remove everything and build back up again.”


On a much more poignant note, Fujibayashi and Shigeru Miyamoto noted the stark impact late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s passing had on the team during the stages of Breath of the Wild’s development. “When he passed away, there were moments we’d come up with an idea which we’d be excited to talk to Iwata about,” Fujibayashi told The New Yorker. “Then we’d remember he was no longer here. Miyamoto told me it was the same for him. He’d come up with an idea at the weekend and would feel excited to speak to Iwata about it on Monday, only to remember. The sadness runs deep. This is approaching spiritual talk, but we had the sense that he was watching over our work. That became a source of motivation, a drive for us to improve and be better.”


To read the full interview, you can go here.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available for Wii U and the Nintendo Switch.