Game Informer‘s month of exclusive coverage about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continues, with the magazine asking The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma how fan feedback has helped to shape Link’s latest adventure.
In response to the question, Miyamoto touched on how he placed importance on the development team learning from those that have been given the chance to play the game, to understand whether the idea or concept that they had originally envisioned was understood.
“In terms of gameplay, I’ve really stressed the important of white paper testing or monitoring testing to get feedback,” he explained. “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 a 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? And so a lot of times I have people do monitor testing and then I just watch without talking to them or I have them do the monitor testing, have it recorded, and then just watch that recording.”
For Eiji Aonuma, he admitted that they have perhaps relied on the same formula for too long. But, after The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was released, he was struck with inspiration after a fan who lamented not being able to ride Epona around a huge world anymore.
“For me, it definitely has changed,” Aonuma added. “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 realised there is a little bit of a gap between fan feedback and what my strategy was.
“So there was something that the fans said before starting development that changed what I thought. There was a fan that said that he really, really loved Zelda. But, while playing Skyward Sword, he missed experiencing this huge world where he could just ride Epona around. 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.”
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch and Wii U worldwide on March 3rd.