Friday, July 1, 2022

Breath of the Wild 2: House Building?

The sequel to Breath of the Wild will re-use the same overworld, which makes it important for Nintendo to introduce new things, because otherwise it won't be very interesting to revisit this world for the players. And this is where some of their original ideas could come in, which ultimately didn't make the cut in Breath of the Wild, like the Hookshot.

One of these ideas was customizable housing for Tarrey Town, where there is an excellent explanation about this by DidYouKnowGaming. The original statement came from the Nintendo Power Podcast (found via ZeldaDungeon), where Aonuma and Fujibayashi have revealed in an interview that they wanted something where the players uses game design tools and create something of their own.

This is heavily reflected in the block housings invented by Bolson Construction. On page 291 of Creating a Champion it gets explained how these houses use a container design that can be stacked together any way you want. Then you can can add flower beds, decks, and similar elements to them. Maybe this idea was even an influence on the Chamber Dungeon in the Link's Awakening remake later on, just that it had evolved into stacking dungeon rooms together, instead of rooms for houses.

Link wearing the Zora Armor at Tarry Town looking at the sunset

Sadly, in Breath of the Wild we ended up with what's essentially a glorified fetch quest, even though it's one of the best, if not the best sidequest in the game. But the construction is all done by Hudson and his crew, the player has no influence on the house design whatsoever. The artbook implies that this type of new housing might spread all over Hyrule in the future, where it's likely that we will see more colonies like Tarrey Town in the sequel.

It's also possible that we will finally get that house designer, so we can put together houses ourselves, just like it was intended at first. With five years of adding more stuff to the same game world you would think that there was enough time for Nintendo to make this happen somehow. Plus, there are plenty of games by now that allow you to build things wherever you want in a 3D environment, like Valheim or Rust for example, so they wouldn't have to come up with something revolutionary here. But since this is Nintendo we're talking about, they probably would try to make things as simple as possible. Design a house via the containers and then place your creation. Stilts could be used to put them on uneven terrain.

Breath of the Wild also had randomizable characters for its engine, where it could just create NPCs on the fly. This is why many of the characters in the game look so awfully generic, but something like this could be used to repopulate Hyrule in the sequel. You build new villages with these Bolson block houses and then the game creates some random NPCs to live in them. Every player would end up with completely different villages at the end.

The only question is how this would work in a typical Zelda world. What would happen for example if you were to build some houses next to a Lynel spawning point? But maybe then no one will move in there and the Lynel may even go out of this way to destroy the houses. This could be an interesting gameplay mechanic, where it's your goal to find or create safe spots within the Hyrule from Breath of the Wild. If they only were to let you build in designated areas, like it was the case with Tarrey Town, this would be a lot more boring.

In addition, there is your own house at Hateno Village and there is the question how the game will handle this. It should probably still be Link's house and should also have all the things in it, just like the fully developed Tarrey Town should be there. It would feel disappointing if you were start from scratch with these quests and it makes sense for the sequel to continue from where you can potentially leave off in the first title. Alternatively, something may have happened to Link's house, like a rift to the underworld opening right under it, so it got swallowed by the earth or something. And this could even be the start of a new quest line, where Link seeks out to create new homes, first for himself and then for others.

In any case, there is a lot of potential with the idea of a house designer and hopefully Aonuma's team has kept the interest in something like this.


Raul said...

If they give player a lot of freedom could see a system where it shows a radius of the area where your house would be before you start building. As long as no enemies are in the radius or trees (that are too thick to be destroyed) you can build your home. Also depending on size of house. Could see option of small, medium, large that you pick at the start. The house should always be a warp point too imo.

I have a feeling it could be end up being restrictive where it's only possible on certain types of terrain in very specific areas but i hope not.

First thing I'd probably try to do is build a home underneath the floating Hyrule Castle for laughs if possible. The real spot I might pick is Satori Mountain (love those cherry blossoms) or a relaxing area with water like Lurelin. Or when i really need one I'd build it in an item farming location

Ikhana Kingdom said...

I would loOoOooove this so much..