In the most recent issue of Famitsu, Zelda creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, discussed several aspects of Skyward Sword. Some of the topics included are the game’s length, development, and more. One of the more interesting things mentioned was how he wished to limit then game’s development to just 3 years. As we all know now, it took more than 5 and this is because 2 of those years was spent experimenting.

For the full discussion with Miyamoto, click through.

Miyamoto on the not-so-smooth development process…

“It’s occasionally the case during game development that the project doesn’t proceed along as planned or doesn’t turn out as fun as expected when you make it. This Zelda had some of those problems. We ran into this issue of people wondering who really wants to make a Zelda sequel — whether a sequel was necessary from the company standpoint, or whether it’s just me saying ‘Let’s do it.’ A game really gets its start when you have someone who says ‘I want to do something like this,’ but sometimes it’s born simply because it’s a series title or there’s more story to cover.”

Miyamoto on trying to figure out what a Zelda sequel needed…

“For us, games provide a structure for play, and if you’re making a sequel, you have to have that desire to improve, strengthen, and expand things right at the core of the project. To put it in an extreme way, the ideal for me is to build the play structure up to a certain point, then decide whether to make it Zelda or Mario. It’s like building up the engine and chassis, then deciding later what sort of car you want to use it on.”

Miyamoto on how more experimentation was needed for Skyward Sword…

“We went through several fragmentary tests, something which I think was the most important point of this project. The structures we made with this experimentation — the Siren world is probably the best example of this — we then looked at and said ‘Maybe we can use this.’ The project was, in a way, driven on how we could take Siren and tie it up with the game’s story in a single package. It’s a more fundamental ground-up process than we went through with The Wind Waker and later Zeldas.”

Miyamoto on the development time of Skyward Sword…

“I had wanted to keep it within three years, really. When you have a development period of five years, it’s often the case that around two of those years wind up being completely wasted effort. With this game, though, I think all the work that everyone put into this project gets fully seen in the final product. I did say it was five years, but the first two of those were spent with assorted experimentation, so essentially it was three years. We went through kind of a long experimentation period, I suppose.”

Miyamoto on how MotionPlus is used for more than just sword play…

“You may think the Wii remote is just used as a pointer in this game, but it’s not. Wii MotionPlus allows us to detect how the remote is being tilted, so you don’t have to point it right at the screen to get it detected any longer. In other words, all you have to do to move the cursor is change the angle of your wrist. It’s kind of like a 3D mouse that way. You can also press down on the control pad if the cursor’s offscreen to reset its position to the center of the screen.”

Miyamoto on how fewer buttons were used in Skyward Sword…

“In previous Zeldas we had players assign items to specific buttons in order to make it as instinctive as possible. Just having multiple buttons, though, opens up the possibility of making mistakes. With this game, you use the B button to switch between items and A to use all of them, which cuts down on mistakes. We’re able to do this because you don’t use A to swing your sword any longer; that comes from flicking the remote. That’s really important, and it makes it feel like that much more of an action game.”

Miyamoto on the change in the game world this time around…

“With previous Zeldas, we took what we thought was good from the past and used that as a base to build on. Sooner or later, though, we need to add some new play structure to the thing, or else people will say ‘Well, Zelda’s just the same old puzzles going across the same eight dungeons.’ I don’t feel a need to stick with that system, because I think Zelda’s core lies in playing around in the same world over a period time, gradually learning more about it and building experience as you discover new secrets. The NES Zelda had a small map so that worked, but as hardware progressed, the scale got large enough that often you’d see places that you only visited once in the game. I wasn’t entirely sure that made for a real Zelda-like experience. That thought drove us to structure this game so you play in the same places many times through the game, and the story is built on top of that. Outside of Link’s home turf, there are essentially only three major sections — but there are lots of events in each of these sections, as well as dungeons to explore. It’s not a set system of eight dungeons, but instead three sections that gradually open themselves more as you dive deeper in. Maybe it sounds complex, but as you play, it’ll basically feel like you have the sky, and then three different areas to play in.”

Miyamoto being confident that players will get into this new type of Zelda experience…

“I think this Zelda offers a new adventure, a new type of gameplay. I think we were able to bring multiple things that are important to Zelda into a single package. We’ve evolved Zelda without having to turn it into an epic thing.”

Source: Nintendo Everything

  • AzTno

    good article

  • The Cozmologist

    What does he mean by "We’ve evolved Zelda without having to turn it into an epic thing.”

  • joe

    Not as epic as Skyrim.

    • Look Skyward!

      HOW COULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT! didn't you hear Miyamoto, this is supposed to be the best Zelda game ever, and it took over 5 years to create, SO HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY BELIEVE SKYRIM IS BETTER!

    • sdddd2

      Not as unique as Zelda.

    • Skyrim sucks compared to Skyward Sword, heck every main Zelda Game

      • Some Zelda Fan

        Agreed 🙂

    • princess

      lol. You have no idea how much I'm tired of that name now. The only reason why people are comparing the two because they both have 'Sky' in the name. Seriously, go lay your ass down. This is Zelda. Your bullshit, typical, nothing but high-end graphic "game" doesn't have shit on this franchise.

    • Hack

      Don´t turn this into a nosense fight. I´m a huge Zelda fan, but I think that Skyrim is epic too… not as epic as Zelda of course but it´s still a very good game 😉

  • Senat

    Miyamoto, you truly are a magnificent game creator. You set the standard and made Zelda a really awesome game.

  • Cool! Miyamoto-San happened to have a birthday yesterday. =]

  • Bradley

    Miyamoto seems to like the things he does according to that big smile.

    • FiLover

      Remember Majora's Mask if you ever played it? Link's statue which is made by playing the Elegy of Emptiness is actually based off of Miyamoto's face.

  • Mammaan

    I like other games too, but will Zelda be my most favorite

  • Ashmic

    did anyone else think OMG CANDY when they saw this article lol

  • Soeroah

    I love that they changed the controls so you don't have to point at the screen. Now I can play while laying on a couch.

  • Miyamoto is teasing us with that candy. D:

  • Frro

    Well if Link eats those chocolates then he will get cavities

  • mario_master

    i broke my wrist… probly i have a half cast on will not know till tomorrow. i will play ss though. through hell and back again

  • maikeru1992

    a little bit of topic but i got Zelda skyward sword yesterday. So happy that i pre-ordered it and live in europe }:3

  • MDH

    I find it really admirable that he takes the time to explain the rationale behind the team's design decisions. It makes you appreciate the final product even more.

  • David Wevill

    I love Miyamoto, I'm not afraid to sound like a nut but he's my all-time hero! He's inspired me to use my imagination. He's not just a games designer, he's an artist (so suck it Roger Ebert).

  • bob

    they took a picture of miyamoto wife holding a box of chocolates, idk what she has to do with anything but alright.