Zelda Bosses Miyamoto and Aonuma Discuss How Fan Feedback Helped Shape Breath Of The Wild

Zelda Alums awaiting Fan Feedback

Fan feedback has always been an important part of developing video games.  Whether it be for a brand new studio working on their first IP, or for a massive developer working on their latest game in a series, listening and adapting to fan feedback is an integral part of making successful video games.  The minds behind the Zelda series are no strangers to the importance of fan feedback.  In an interview with Game Informer, The Legend of Zelda’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma discuss how fan feedback helped shape their latest Zelda game, Breath Of The Wild, along with what they are most looking forward to experiencing within the game.

Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto submits that while regular testing is important, it isn’t always enough.  For gameplay purposes, he prefers to use white paper testing or monitor testing to obtain the kind of feedback he is looking for, which helps him understand whether or not the concept they are going for comes across to the players.

“In terms of gameplay, I’ve really stressed the importance of whitepaper testing or monitor testing to get feedback.  But I’ve also conveyed to my team members that you can’t just have somebody play and ask them, ‘how was it?’  I really think it’s important to have an idea or concept of what you want to convey in this game and what the monitor testing does is test whether that idea or concept has been conveyed.  Were people able to understand it?”

Series producer Eiji Aonuma tells us that while he’s been doing things a certain way for a long time, he admits that there has been “a gap” between fan feedback and his personal views in the direction of the game.

“I’ve felt like there are ways that the game should be and I’ve stuck to it for a very long time.  But then, right before I started developing Breath of the Wild, I realized there is a gap between fan feedback and what my strategy was.”

For example, he notes that one fan said that he “really, really loved Zelda,” but when he played Skyward Sword, he missed exploring a huge open world with Epona.  This seems to have in turn helped shape how much Link is able to do in the open world.

“During Ocarina of Time, he really loved doing that.  And somewhere within myself, I felt the same way.  So, for Breath of the Wild, it’s something that I definitely thought about.”

Miyamoto and Aonuma were also asked what part of the game they were looking forward to the most.  They each gave very, very different answers.  Miyamoto has always loved Epona and all the other animals within the world.  He discusses how excited he is to find wild horses, raise them, and ride them, as well as interacting with the other animals throughout the game.  Aonuma, on the other hand, is most excited to use Link’s hang glider.  Apparently, our beloved series producer is afraid of heights, so this lets him “jump off a high place and fly around,” which is something he is unable to experience on his own.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild arrives on March 3 for the Nintendo Switch and the Wii U.  Excited for the game?  What are you most excited to do once you get your hands on your copy?  Let us know in the comments section below, and come chat with us about it on Disqus!  As always, stay tuned to DFTG for all the latest Zelda news, and come follow us on Twitter for our 24/7 news feed!

Ryan "Cinna" Carrier2417 Posts

Ryan is a writer and the head editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.

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