There are many more interesting nuggets from Aonuma’s recent Wired interview, from which we reported yesterday on his personal connection with Wind Waker. Firstly, he describes development on the new HD remake as a somewhat “test case” for the upcoming original Wii U title, with controls and ideas for Wind Waker HD translating to Zelda Wii U’s development.
“Wind Waker is kind of a test pattern for the team. In converting Wind Waker, there’s a lot to be learned. We can’t change too much, because in changing one thing you can break something else, which is not something we want to do. But it’s a shared team working on both of those projects, Wind Waker HD and the new Zelda for Wii U. Every day, they’re learning something new. As we develop the controls for Wind Waker, they’re learning how to apply those controls in the Wii U version. There’s a feedback process where when something’s discovered in development for Wind Waker, all that information is fed to the Wii U team. So we’re working on those things, polishing as we go, and all of those things — it’s a learning process, it’s a test case almost, and we’ll apply all of those learnings that we’ve acquired in developing the Wii U game.”
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Stepping out of the Wired interview briefly, Aonuma elaborated on this subject in a recent Kotaku interview. He mentioned the Miiverse integration in WWHD being considered as an idea for Zelda Wii U.
“Wind Waker HD is kind of a testing ground for us,” Aonuma said. “With Wind Waker we were able to accomplish, for the first time, to create a seamless experience. You traveled a great sea… also [we are adding] the Miiverse communication of playing with others virtually. So we’re going to take things like this and add to those so the Wii U [new Zelda] experience should be one that is satisfying to players.”
Back to Wired again, he discussed the gaming community as being “very fickle” when it comes to control schemes. With this in mind, he is considering implementing two different play styles for Zelda Wii U.
“The gaming community is — I don’t want to sound rude, or anything — very fickle. You’ve got one group that really likes the possibilities that using two screens affords, and then there’s the other half of the group that just likes the simplicity of one screen, they don’t want to bother with two screens. I’m the same way, I’m very fickle. I totally understand where they’re coming from. As a developer, I need to listen to these things and I need to, maybe, make it possible to do either one, do whatever your preference is. I certainly have my preference, but I shouldn’t limit everyone to my preferences. I need to provide an experience that is flexible, allows for maybe both of those options.”
He also discussed how he struggles with meeting two conflicting demands; delivering Zelda games as quickly as possible, while providing large enough experiences to satisfy fans.
“You said that Nintendo releases Zelda games regularly. We do release them regularly, but we don’t release them that often. Mario games, if you push to get it done, you can finish it in a year. Zelda games take at least three years to complete. At the same time, I’m getting pushed to release them quicker but the users are expecting bigger experiences. And those things don’t match up. So I struggle with that all the time. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do to meet both of those demands.”
And finally, Aonuma talks multiplayer. Again, he touches on incorporating a concept similar to the WWHD’s Tingle Bottle into Zelda Wii U.
“Actually, multi-play has been a high hurdle for me, something that’s plagued me for a long time. We did come out with Four Swords but I don’t think that offered a whole lot of surprises for the user. I still believe there’s one Link; the one-Link philosophy works for Zelda. But there are other ways to incorporate kind of a multiplayer experience. One of those ways is the Tingle bottle that we announced. It uses Miiverse. In Wind Waker there’s this vast kind of sea world that you’re traveling in, and there are lots of Links exploring this space. Through the Tingle bottle, that’s where that communication happens with those other Links. They may not physically appear in that space, but you know of their presence through the messages that they leave. They share their experiences, things that they’ve discovered through their explorations, and so again you can feel their presence without their physically being there. That’s a kind of multiplayer, if you think about it. With the new Wii U Zelda, we’re coming up with new ideas that still allow the one-Link idea but are the same type of multiplayer.“