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IGN - Zelda: BotW devs talk early designs, breaking conventions, dev team's approach and much more

Coming from an IGN interview with director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, technical director Takuhiro Dohta, and art director Satoru Takizawa...

- Breath of the Wild development started with less than 10 people
- a small team can work on early ideas to make a game for roughly a year or possibly longer
- first phase is spent figuring out the game idea the team wants to make
- once the initial prototype is completed, the findings are presented to Nintendo’s senior staff
- if that team proves the ideas will work, the team begins staffing up
- after the first phase was completed, technical director Takuhiro Dohta joined the team along with art director Satoru Takizawa
- the developers knew they wanted to create a large field full of player-driven actions that could result in lots of possibilities
- the 2D prototype that was made was a great way to explain core goals/ideas to the biggest dev team
- the 2D prototype was presented to Miyamoto, which was somewhat of a surprise for him
- after viewing, he said it will be the collection of all these objects that makes the game world work
- the team came up with some very "out there" ideas to break with series conventions
- the art team used an online bulletin board where staff could freely upload their ideas
- the team could give an idea they liked a rupee on this board, with great ideas getting multiple rupees
- this is how the team decided on what elements should be included in the game
- the game's unique sense of discovery manifested toward the end of the game’s experimentation phase
- ideas were removed that made the game hard to play the game or that it didn't break the convention in certain ways
- the Great Plateau ended up being a culmination of what the dev team was trying to do
- different cultures within the game and the NPCs were added in later
- Guardians were based off of Octoroks in the original game

Reggie says Nintendo is going to have a 'big E3' this year

- Nintendo is focused on creating the next big idea
- reaction to Switch has been remarkable
- as of March 14th, when the interview was recorded, Switch was setting sales records every day for Nintendo in the U.S.
- Nintendo is going to have a big E3 this year
- E3 will be a majority opportunity for Nintendo

GoNintendo Podcast Webisode 606

Another show where Mom Brain and I hold down the fort. These one-on-one shows are turning out to be a pretty interesting take on our usual podcast! I like this lady. Maybe I should make a life with her.

Download the episode here (thanks NovaAlamak!)

Nintendo working on multiple new IP, also embracing "out of the box ideas" for Switch games

The following info comes from Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi, as translated by NE...

- Nintendo is preparing new IP one after another
- there are titles inn development that take advantage of the Joy-Con
- Nintendo is also working on "out-of-the-box titles", meaning more non-traditional games like Brain Age
- Brain Age was used as an example by the interviewer, and was in no way confirmed for Switch

Low Switch stock, Zelda: Breath of the Wild interest giving bump to Wii U pre-owned sales at GameStop

Coming from an interview with GameStop senior director of merchandising, Eric Bright...

“With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild coming out, we’re seeing great results in our pre-owned Wii U sales. We’re selling a lot of pre-owned Wii U consoles along with brand new Wii U copies of Zelda. Breath of the Wild has reinvigorated sales of the Wii U with Nintendo Switch being sold out at so many retailers. The Switch launching and Zelda launching completely racked up the Wii U market.”

Let's hope those picking up the Wii U now will dive into its library and check out all the great games they missed. Then they can trade it back in and grab a Switch later!

Nintendo remains quiet on BYE-BYE BOXBOY!'s North American release date

Coming from a Nintendo rep...

“incorrect information about an upcoming game for Nintendo 3DS was posted on Nintendo of America’s social media channels. Nintendo will provide additional updates once the information has been corrected and confirmed.”

This answer was in relation to BYE-BYE BOXBOY! not releasing in the states yesterday. Japan has had it for awhile, Europe got it yesterday, and we are waiting on info. Man, I really hope Nintendo is being quiet due to the amiibo getting a stateside release.

GameStop talks about huge Switch demand, great attach rate, Zelda: BotW almost 1:1

Coming from GameStop COO Tony Bartel...

- GameStop is seeing "incredibly strong" demand for Switch
- as soon as stock comes in, it's sold out within hours
- GameStop anticipates chasing stock supply this entire year

Mr. Bartel also talked about the great attach rate Switch is seeing.

"The other thing is, every game that’s out there, to have over a five and a half attach rate to this, signifies that a lot of people are finding this a great platform and they’re picking up any games that they can. I mean, we have almost a one-to-one attach of Zelda.”

Nintendo of America opens official Tumblr for Treehouse team

Welcome to the official blog of the Nintendo of America Treehouse team. We wear a LOT of hats, but in a nutshell, we help Nintendo make great products and promote them. All day, every day, we work on video games. We LOVE what we do.

Check out the Tumblr here (thanks Seven5three!)

RUMOR - Zelda: Breath of the Wild's framerate issues are related to software bugs, not hardware power

Coming from a dev at Bplus Games...

Most of the frame-rate issues in Zelda are just programming failures. If Nintendo sets the right people to it they can totally fix them.

Some dev friends and I have the same feeling about that. Because sometimes it is just a specific zoom ratio that makes the frame-rate drop. Just zoom in a bit closer or further away and it runs super smooth.

The problem is that the game wants to show both near and far LOD (Level of Detail) objects. This is a frame-rate killer if two objects are in each other. To show that, it would need around 10 times the power.

And if you see Kakariko Village, the framerate hell there, and then the more beautiful Hateno Village, which runs super smoothly, you see that doesn’t make sense. So something else is going wrong there.

Yet another wrinkle in the discussion of Breath of the Wild's framerate hiccups. There's even more said by the unnamed Bplus dev, which you can check out right here. If this is indeed true, it'll be interesting to see if Nintendo sends out a patch that fixes the hiccups. I'm not anywhere near qualified to discuss whether this bug discussion is a valid one or not, but it's certainly interesting.

SEGA Japan wasn't happy about SEGA America's decision to making Sonic's original design more soft & friendly

By now, we're sure you know the story of Sonic's original design. He used to have fangs, a human girlfriend named Madonna, and even a rock band. Turns out SEGA America thought this vision for Sonic simply wouldn't work on a worldwide scale, so they turned him into the character we eventually got with the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Not surprisingly, the team behind Sonic's original iteration wasn't happy with these design changes. The blurb below comes from a Polygon interview with former SEGA of America CEO,Tom Kalinske.

“[I] think they resented the fact that we changed him from being aggressive, and having fangs and [a] very sharp personality — and to some degree a menacing personality — to being soft and friendly. I think they resented that. But I don’t know [if] I’d carry it so far as to why they didn’t do the things that should have been done. I think it might have been part of it, however.”