The Smart BOTW Development Decisions That Make It So Good
Breath of the Wild was a monumental leap for Nintendo’s fantasy series. Here are the development decisions that made the open world adventure so good.
Nintendo’s 2017 release of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Not only has it become one of the most beloved open-world games of all time, but it redefined the way Nintendo approached its 35-year-old fantasy series. The series had toyed with the idea of large-scale non-linear adventures in the past, but nothing quite like Breath of the wild. The release managed to merge the confusing DNA of previous entries in the series, with the awe-inspiring virtual world of games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. All because of Nintendo’s unique development strategies throughout Breath of the wildfive-year development cycle of.
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Just like the past Zelda installments, Breath of the wild gave players minimal instructions on how to tackle the game. Doing so with a game of this magnitude is a risk, as players could find themselves completely lost and unaware of the process. Nintendo overcame these potential hurdles by masterfully making exploring the game as natural as possible.
DidYouKnowGaming? posted a YouTube video on March 4 which chronicles the new development techniques used by Nintendo Breath of the wilditeration of Hyrule to life. Players might be surprised to learn about the bizarre but clever approach of the Zelda The dev team has created one of Link’s most memorable quests. Here are three creative development decisions Nintendo made to piece together Breath of the wild.
Breath of the Wild: Hyrule was based on Kyoto
Nintendo had experimented with open world game designs a link between worlds, but nothing as massive as Breath of the wildinterpretation of Hyrule. Despite its expansive size, the game has managed to sprinkle just enough enemies, shrines, Korok Seeds, and other secrets across its expansive landscapes to consistently reward players for exploring the map without rendering exploration obsolete. . Game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and his team achieved this harmony by using Kyoto, Japan – the city where Nintendo’s headquarters are located – as the setting for Breath of the wildthe environmental rhythm of.
The team developed a map of Hyrule the same size as Kyoto to help understand the scale of the game. They used mapping software, like Google Earth, to incorporate actual landmarks into early versions of the game. game in order to decide the distance between the points of interest of the game. Breath of the wild featured genuine historical landmarks, like the 400-year-old Kiyomizu-Dera Buddhist Temple and Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan, which once stood where Hyrule Castle is located. That’s why discover new places in the game feels so natural, and Hyrule’s environments feel alive because Nintendo has spaced everything out to look like a real-world city.
Breath of the Wild: Unorthodox Development Team
Breath of the wildThe development team grew from ten core members to around 300 developers towards the end of its inception. About 100 employees of Xenoblade Chronicles developer Monolith Soft was called in to help complete the game, but Nintendo didn’t want to Breath of the wild team made up of players for life. Instead, producers Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma wanted to bring in game designers with a wide range of interests outside of gaming so they could incorporate new ideas into the game. Breath of the wild, rather than trying to improve on what other open world games have already done. Aonuma said IGN the kind of unconventional skills Nintendo expected from its development team in an interview in 2019:
“I don’t necessarily want to work with someone who is good at playing games. I prefer to work with people who maybe have an interest in mountain climbing or who enjoy scuba diving in the ocean. Just someone very different [skills]. And so maybe by having these skills, we can incorporate them into our games. “
Climbing has proven to be one of the Breath of the wildbasic exploration mechanisms. The motorbike was almost not included in the game, but Aonuma, who rides a motorbike, continued to push for this feature until it was added as a reward for completing the game’s latest DLC. The Diving submarine never succeeded, but there is evidence that Nintendo had plans for underwater exploration. Cave diving is one of Fujibayashi’s personal pastimes, and players have found corals and underwater life detailed under Breath of the wild lakes and seas. This content that was never presented as gameplay could potentially be added as part of Breath of the wild 2 see how the sequel trailer shows Link and Zelda exploring the cavernous depths beneath Hyrule Castle. Nintendo’s creative strategy for the first game in the open world Zelda has been such a success, it will likely continue to build on the development techniques that made it shine.
Breath of the Wild: a unique approach to playtesting
In addition to ensuring Breath of the wildThe development team had the advantage from many points of view, Nintendo also broke down barriers that often drowned out the opinions of new staff. From Fujibayashi’s perspective, one of the issues that plagued the development of the 2011s Skyward sword The opinions and ideas of young developers were drowned out by senior managers. So for Breath of the wild, he decided to set up a Reddit-like system that would allow any member of the team to express their thoughts anonymously, which the game director dubbed “outdoor development. “
Every three to six months, it would take a week for developers to play the entire Breath of the wild. Throughout these play-testing periods, any developer could create in-game signs on parts of the game that they liked and parts that they felt needed work. The rest of the team could vote on which grades they agreed to, so by the end of the week Fujibayashi knew which parts of the Breath of the wild needed the most attention. The Game Director took his unique approach to game testing a step further by using a prototype version of Breath of the wildThe Hero’s Path mode to follow the in-game actions of each developer.
Fujibayashi basically used his team like lab rats to see which parts of Hyrule they died and lost hearts in most often. This allowed the team to alleviate the difficulty of some portions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, like the Sheikah Towers which brought down many developers to their deaths. Nintendo’s unorthodox yet innovative development strategies and techniques have not only created one of the most memorable open-world adventures of all time, but they have paved the way for future installments and other franchises that may follow in his footsteps.
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