Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma Talk About Solving Open World Storytelling Issues

One of the most crucial issues that video game developers find themselves consistently facing is player freedom. It can prove difficult to maintain a semblance of cohesive flow in a story where players are free to roam around for hours before proceeding to an “urgent” task in the main campaign. For The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma seems to have a trick up his sleeve for remedying this problem.

Game Informer asked Shigeru Miyamoto how Nintendo is handling the problem, and he stood behind Aonuma, saying, “He knows the secret of how to do it.”

Aonuma then proceeded to explain his method. “There is a little bit of a trick that I implemented this time. This idea is something I’ve had since I started developing games 20-some odd years ago. So I really want you to look forward to playing the game and finding this something that I put in there.”

The duo did not shed any further light on what this “trick” could entail. But when pressed, Aonuma did say that it would be possible for players to miss some of the story moments seen in recent trailers.

These comments came after the two shared their thoughts on the importance of story. Miyamoto addressed past comments he doesn’t believe story truly matters in games, saying those may have been “misconstrued.”

“I might have said things like that, but it’s not that I think that story is unnecessary,” he explained. “When you’re playing a game, the story is there to give the big world you’re in some substance and meat. And because you’re the protagonist in the game, that’s what you should be doing. I think, also, when a story is set too strictly already, you can only follow a certain path. There’s also times where it takes so much time to set up the story, that you just want to get into the gameplay, but you can’t because there’s so much setup.”

He concluded by asking, “But that’s not the case for Breath of the Wild, right?” As you might expect, Aonuma agreed.

The full interview conducted by Game Informer can be watched here.