Friday, September 13, 2013

Aonuma Says Some Good Stuff Lately

It's known that I'm not the biggest fan of Aonuma. He has never beaten the NES games and therefore probably doesn't know what made them great at their time (he couldn't even get past the Octoroks!), he has made a Zelda game about trains for his little son and regularily expressed that he's tired of making Zelda... so, it's only natural that a fan would blame the guy for everything that's wrong with the Zelda series at the moment. After all he now became the face of Zelda after Miyamoto left.

But I must say that lately he has been saying some good things. Things I wanted to hear for a long time. For me personally exploration and freedom are very important aspects to a Zelda game. I want to explore on my own, I want to play dungeons out of order, I want to have many solutions for a single dungeon. Linearity and hand holding are usually the poison that plagues the modern Zelda games. I also want environments rich of secrets and other things to discover. I want to feel like I'm exploring and not just following some linear path.

Now Aonuma already announced in January that they want to let you play dungeons out of order. And in A Link Between Worlds it seems like you get to chose the next item, which determines your path through the game. So far so good. Maybe a little bit too extreme, but it's an interesting approach that I like.

Now, here are some quotes from an interview with IGN:

"Well, as you know, Wind Waker really takes the biggest look at Hyrule. It has the biggest world of all the games in the Zelda series, and players are able to move around it freely [...] I think it’s something that I’d like to be able to implement in other games moving forward. Again, just the idea of giving players the freedom to move about and have an enjoyable experience is definitely something I’m keeping in mind when looking at new development."

"[The player is] always discovering new things within that world, rather than just wandering around a physically large area. That’s something I want to continue doing in development going forward – creating that environment where [they] can go explore and find new and interesting things."

Exploration. Thank you! That's something that has mostly been missing from Skyward Sword. Well, I enjoyed Skyloft and the Faron Woods, but the rest has been pretty linear and/or empty.

And this is just an example. He's been talking about exploration and giving the player freedom a lot lately.


Another quote from an interview with MTV Multiplayer:

"What I really, really want to create, what my ultimate hope or goal is, to create a game without a story - not to say that the story is nonexistent, but it's a story that isn't already created. It's a story that the player, in interacting with the space or environment, creates. So, a story that is defined by the player, not one that is already prepared, and a game that just kind of follows that path, if that makes sense."

This goes well in hand with my idea that an entire Zelda game might get generated while you play. Every playthrough offers a different experience. I would like to see this in Zelda, but he might be talking about something that turns into its own IP here.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Krieger said...

the wind waker did not really have that much freedom as many players claimed. the dungeons are pretty linear if I recall correctly and they cannot be done out of order, there are many cut scenes that are required to progress through the game and the king of red lions does force you to stay on the path until the end of the 2nd dungeon. oh and tingle is a troll.