"Should I be doing this at my age?"
Eiji Aonuma has been making the rounds lately to discuss his work on the monumental Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The latest instance of that is a new interview with The Washington Post. The article requires a Washington Post subscription to read, but you can find a few tidbits below if you’re unable to check it out:
- Aonuma sometimes feels he’s “reaching his limit” putting in long hours at his age, says “I don’t want to push myself too hard”. That said, he has no plans to step down as Zelda director at this time.
- Aonuma made his own toys as a kid by tying tree branches together
- Men in Aonuma’s family were carpenters, and he was working to be a marionette designer before joining Nintendo
- His first job was designing sprites for NES Open Tournament Golf
- Aonuma was initially against the visible glue seen when sticking objects together in Tears of the Kingdom because it was unsightly to him as a wood carver. He eventually realized that “being able to clearly see where the objects you’re connecting are put together makes this kind of gameplay fit well and in line with the ethos of Zelda”
- The Tears of the Kingdom team worked on the gameplay first, and did not develop a story until they were confident in that department
- Aonuma still won’t say exactly where Tears of the Kingdom takes place in the Zelda timeline and hopes fans will “discuss this among themselves”
- Nintendo put together the 13 minute demonstration video of Aonuma showing off Tears’ new mechanics because they were worried there was a lack of understanding and enthusiasm
- Aonuma plays Ring Fit regularly and is level 430
- Tears of the Kingdom was pretty much complete when it was delayed, and the team used the next year to polish and debug, making sure physics worked properly and so on
Click here to view the full article for more insight, including discussion of Aonuma’s appearance at the Tears of the Kingdom launch event in New York.
I'm not a fan of the new game design. I liked it when the dungeons would give you a new toy and then showed you how to use it, via the Dungeon. And then the next one would give you a NEW toy, but you'd still need the previous one(s) to get through to that boss, which would then show you how it's done. And in between those dungeons you'd have open space to play and explore with your new toys.
This dump everything onto the player within the first few hours and let them sort it out just feels lazy to me. I'm sure it's not. I'm absolutely positive it's a lot of work, but front loading mechanics has never been my thing.
But I sincerely hope anyone who is having fun, keeps having fun.