Aonuma on how Nintendo approached making dungeons in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is taking a much different approach to dungeons. Whereas dungeons continued to increase in scope over the past few entries in the series, Nintendo has decided to turn things down a notch this time around.
Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma told Game Informer this month:
“Way back in the day, dungeons weren’t all that big. They were rather small. But around Twilight Princess, they started getting bigger. We tried to cram in a lot of surprises for the player, or a lot of emotions, meeting other characters, or injecting story elements into it. But then we kind of realized, do dungeons really need to be that big? Do we have to cram that much stuff into it? We quickly realized that a lot of the fun was actually in getting to the dungeon, and so we focused on getting to the dungeon in this game. We wanted to create an environment where it is fun to find the dungeon in this large world.”
Game Informer mentions in its preview that it didn’t come across the traditional animation / tune of Link opening a chest in the dungeon Nintendo allowed the magazine explore. There was also no sign of a signature Zelda item or compass.
Regarding the latter, Aonuma explained:
“Dungeons have always been like mazes, so we needed that compass to let the user know where the bosses were placed. But then, as you probably saw, you can kind of see the goal right away. You won’t get lost – you just have to figure out how to get there.”