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Hidemaro Fujibayashi

In the official Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide, two of the game’s most important developers left messages for readers. Series producer Eiji Aonuma and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi both reflected on creating the massive title.

Aonuma’s message was particularly interesting. In it, he spoke about the developing process of “creating while playing”. Aonuma also touched on not being completely satisfied with development due to “a desire to keep evolving and growing.”

As for Fujibayashi, he touched on the difficulties of trying to rethink Zelda’s conventions. He also said that the team has “on occasion observed things happen in the field that not even we, who created the game, could have imagined.”

We thought it might be interesting to share both of these messages from Aonuma and Fujibayashi. Read the full transcriptions below.

Not every idea made it into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For instance, Nintendo considered including tiny people as well as the Hookshot and Beetle items.

Art director Satoru Takizawa and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi revealed another cut idea while speaking with GameSpot. At one point, players would be able to stab their weapon into a wall. Doing so would let Link recover stamina.

Midway through development, the team decided against including the mechanic. This was in large part due to feedback from Shigeru Miyamoto, who essentially vetoed the idea due to it being illogical. The developers thought about stabbing weapons into cracks or crevices, though that wouldn’t work either since you’d be limited in where it could be done.

Takizawa and Fujibayashi said:

This week, Famitsu is publishing an interview with some of the developers behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and series producer Eiji Aonuma spoke about the game in-depth, among others. Ahead of the magazine’s official release tomorrow, some tidbits from the interview have appeared online.

First, Famitsu asks about how Nintendo settled on Ganon’s role in the game. Zelda was given a fairly deep portrayal, but Ganon only exists as a calamity. Fujibayashi responded by saying that, role-wise, it was unnecessary for him to be personified. If he talks, then his background would need to be shown and that would only be an obstruction in the game. That’s why Ganon is shaped as it is.

IGN caught up with Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, technical director Takuhiro Dohta, and art director Satoru Takizawa to discuss the game’s creation in greater depth. Some interesting comments were shared about the game’s development. Fujibayashi, Dohta, and Takizawa talked about starting out with a small team, the 2D prototype, making The Great Plateau first, and more.

You can find a summary we’ve done below. For the full piece, head on over to IGN here.

It’s always interesting to see game ideas that were left on the cutting room floor during development. In the case of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi revealed in the game’s new “making of” video series that the team scrapped something relating to characters.

Fujibayashi and the rest of the team were hoping to include “tiny people”, complete with “tiny-sized towns” and Link himself shrinking. However, “with all these other characters that stand out, we thought it would be difficult for these little guys to be able to live out their own place in the game.”

Fujibayashi’s full explanation:

In the past, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has spoken about being inspired by games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in creating Breath of the Wild. But what about the game’s director, Hidemaro Fujibayashi?

Fujibayashi cited two games while speaking with EDGE this month about games that inspired him: Minecraft and Terraria. He told the magazine:

“I was rather inspired by playing Minecraft and Terraria. I was able to learn from the gameplay and the possibilities found in. I could learn from the sense of adventure, exploration and how it inspired curiosity.”

As for real life inspiration, Fujibayashi is involved with an adventure club with other Nintendo staff in which they participate in outdoor activities:

The Verge recently chatted with Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, art director Satoru Takizawa, and technical director Takuhiro Dohta. Tons of topics were discussed in the new interview. Among them include how the team approached development, the game’s difficulty, speedrunning, the crazy concept, designing Shrines, and making the experience as bug free as possible.

We’ve rounded up notable excerpts from the interview below. You can read the full discussion on The Verge here.

The concept for Zelda: Breath of the Wild began with Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma asking what would players would be able to do in the new game. Hidemaro Fujibayashi, who became the project’s director, responded by saying you could do everything.

Fujibayashi told Kotaku:

“But I had to sell it to them. How we’re going to make this happen. And I felt like the best way to convey this idea to them was to show them that you could climb walls.”

Work on Breath of the Wild began with a prototype. The team created a starting area with a small field and trees, along with rupees hidden throughout. Fujibayashi describes how Miyamoto played the demo:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s huge map is based on Kyoto, Japan. That’s according to director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, who revealed the information while speaking with The Verge.

Fujibayashi told the site:

“When I first started looking at this game, I had Link in an empty game field and I would just walk around and try to map out and get a feel for the distance and where landmarks should be. What helped me with this was my hometown, Kyoto. I took a map of Kyoto and overlaid it on the game world, and I tried to imagine going to places that I know in Kyoto. I’d think ‘It takes this much time to get from point A to point B, so how does that translate to the game?’ And that’s how we started mapping out the world in Breath of the Wild.”

Fujibayashi added that using Kyoto as a base was helpful during development since developers were familiar with the region:

Before the Switch version of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game was planned to have some touch features on the Wii U GamePad. Ultimately, those ideas were scrapped. The GamePad simply tells players that they can tap on the controller to enable off-TV play.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi recently chatted with IGN about the decision to cut the game’s touch features on Wii U. Once Switch was brought in and tests were done, Nintendo “noticed looking back and forth between the GamePad and the screen actually took a little something away from this type of Zelda game.”

Fujibayashi’s full comments are below.

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