The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer reveals he has a trick for making the game’s story fun and compelling, while not diminishing the open-world experience.
While the idea of playing open-world games is appealing to gamers, the concept presents many struggles for developers. One of the biggest challenges developers face with open-world games is balancing player freedom with progressing a story and character forward.
Fortunately for those looking to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, game producer Eiji Aonuma has a secret for finding this balance. While speaking with Game Informer, Aonuma opened up about his insight into how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will allow players to manage both open-world freedom and campaign progression. Aonuma said:
“There is a little bit of a trick that I implemented this time. This idea is something I’ve had since I started developing games 20-some odd years ago. So I really want you to look forward to playing the game and finding this something that I put in there.”
Sadly, Aonuma didn’t reveal exactly what that trick is or how it’s implemented in Breath of the Wild. However, what he did reveal is that, due to the way his team implemented this trick, it will be possible for players to miss some of the game’s story moments, including some seen in recent trailers.
Aonuma elaborated on this thinking, giving gamers some insight into how Breath of the Wild was developed and what players can expect. Based on his comments, it seems Nintendo wants players to enjoy the story they created, while not being restricted by it. Aonuma said:
“When you’re playing a game, the story is there to give the big world you’re in some substance and meat. And because you’re the protagonist in the game, that’s what you should be doing. I think, also, when a story is set too strictly already, you can only follow a certain path. There’s also times where it takes so much time to set up the story, that you just want to get into the gameplay, but you can’t because there’s so much setup.”
This is an interesting concept and one that will be interesting to experience. When it comes to open-world games, developers seem to have different takes on how gamers should experience their world. Some games, like Minecraft, give players near perfect freedom where the story and experience is entirely up to each individual player. There are also open-world games that are only open-world in idea, but still push players into a linear campaign experience with little else available in the “open world.”
With Breath of the Wild, it looks like Nintendo is hoping to bridge the gap between the two by allowing gamers to easily transition between Nintendo’s scripted gameplay and their own open-world exploration. If this method of storytelling is successful, it will undoubtedly drive many other developers to follow suit and implement similar “tricks” in their open-world titles.
What do you think about Aonuma’s comments on Breath of the Wild?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases on March 3, 2017 for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.