Nintendo discusses Breath of the Wild's development at GDC 2017, showcases 2D prototype


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is almost here, but before the game officially launches, Nintendo has decided to give fans a a little tidbit of information as to how Breath of the Wild was developed. According to BOTW game developer, Hidemaro Fujibayashi during a GDC 2017 panel, he described that the team used a 2D prototype, which looks a lot like the original Legend of Zelda, in order to test gameplay mechanics and to get a grasp on how new concepts introduced in Breath of the Wild would work. He claimed that having this retro styled 2D prototype allowed Breath of the Wild to remain close to the series' origins, and that it also helped the developers brainstorm ideas for the open-world gameplay. Technical Director Takyhiro Dohta is credited with creating the prototype, which you can see in the video above.

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I wanted to create a game where the user could truly experience freedom in this play field, and a sense of adventure again and again, as they freely navigate through it. When I started to think this way, the NES Zelda came to mind. Every time the screen scrolled, there was a new discovery to be made.

When the players have diverse actions, items, and choices, an active game was created, where a user can freely create solutions. Through this simple, primitive experimentation, we made the call of what to change and what not to change to complete the game design.
 

kiais

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Can barely call it a prototype since there was no way they weren't going to release a console feature that played like 3d Zelda. This must have evolved from a I'm an idiot and didn't read everything, they used this to map out game mechanics and such which is cool. Hopefully this gets leaked in the future.
 
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VinsCool

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This is pretty cool! Simplify the whole concept, to have a better overview. I totally agree with it.

Huh, the shadow effect applied to the sprites in the prototype reminds me a whole lot of Super Mario Maker. It would be sick if Nintendo was secretly showing off a prototype for Zelda Maker or something..
I wouldn't be surprised if they actually used the same engine to build the Zelda prototype.
 

tiduscrying

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This is pretty cool! Simplify the whole concept, to have a better overview. I totally agree with it.


I wouldn't be surprised if they actually used the same engine to build the Zelda prototype.
I am totally down for Nintendo to make more Mario Maker esque titles. Giving creative freedom to the community always has such interesting and fun results. Applying the same type of thing to Zelda, Metroid or literally any of their other classic IPs would be really cool.

Hell, better yet, I'd just be down if Nintendo made a Game Maker style engine or development suite for both themselves and the community to toy around with. Imagine a tool where people could use assets from classic Nintendo games and make anything they wanted. Top down metroid? Sure! A Zelda karting game? Why not! A Shy Guy focused RPG? Hell yeah! Something like that would probably be hell to code, but hot damn would it be cool.
 

raystriker

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Did that Dev make it only for that 'level' or the whole game?
Anyway, I think it's a great coding practice- making a simple prototype to envision what you really want to do
 
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grossaffe

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Can barely call it a prototype since there was no way they weren't going to release a console feature that played like 3d Zelda. This must have evolved from a I'm an idiot and didn't read everything, they used this to map out game mechanics and such which is cool. Hopefully this gets leaked in the future.
You may have figured this out from the time you started the post to the time you ended it, but a prototype in gaming is not the same thing as an alpha or a beta. With alphas and betas, those are early incarnations of a game that are still being iterated upon until you reach the final polished product. Prototypes are more of a proof-of-concept tool to quickly mock up an idea. It's not uncommon to make a prototype with zero intent of incorporating any of the code or assets into the final product; perhaps making it in a different game engine or coding it in a different language. Heck, depending on what you're trying to test out, the prototype could be something physical rather than a piece of software.

Did that Dev make it only for that 'level' or the whole game?
Anyway, I think it's a great coding practice- making a simple prototype to envision what you really want to do
I don't think there were any levels involved at all. I think they put together a rudimentary environment from which they could show off some of the gameplay ideas they had.
 
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kiais

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You may have figured this out from the time you started the post to the time you ended it, but a prototype in gaming is not the same thing as an alpha or a beta. With alphas and betas, those are early incarnations of a game that are still being iterated upon until you reach the final polished product. Prototypes are more of a proof-of-concept tool to quickly mock up an idea. It's not uncommon to make a prototype with zero intent of incorporating any of the code or assets into the final product; perhaps making it in a different game engine or coding it in a different language. Heck, depending on what you're trying to test out, the prototype could be something physical rather than a piece of software.


I don't think there were any levels involved at all. I think they put together a rudimentary environment from which they could show off some of the gameplay ideas they had.

Yeah I figured it was to establish some base ideas to incorporate into the game, I just never gave it a second thought that they would use the 2d zelda format that resembles the Nes game. It makes a lot of sense to do that, and since they wanted to expand on the idea of open game presented in the first Zelda makes it more clever with how Nintendo approached BOTW development.
 

AyanamiRei0

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Now I would play this It looks pretty nice now only if Nintendo released this it looks to cool to just leave it as is flush it out and make it's own game.
 

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Only Nintendo would have enough money to make a 2D tech demo just to see if it gives them any ideas.
 

Retroboy

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i find this to be just a bunch of lies just to get its sheep fans going wow.

how on earth can you use a prototype of the NES style game, to test out ideas/features of such to the likes of what BOTW is..... it just wouldn't work at all.

ohh yes we have a 2d side stroller to test ideas, but hold on, this is extremely limited, BOTW is an open world adventure, you climb and interact with everything in the environment..... not even possible in the above "prototype".

I dont see the point is claiming this crap.... why not say ohhh we maybe intended it to be a simple NES game for the fans, or did a NES version, not claim this was your prototype to test features.
 
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good point- when developing a game with lots of new features you should start testing them as soon as possible, not to wait to the engine or other things.
PLEASE NINTENDO- RELEASE THIS PROTOTYPE!!!
 

retrofan_k

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i find this to be just a bunch of lies just to get its sheep fans going wow.

how on earth can you use a prototype of the NES style game, to test out ideas/features of such to the likes of what BOTW is..... it just wouldn't work at all.

ohh yes we have a 2d side stroller to test ideas, but hold on, this is extremely limited, BOTW is an open world adventure, you climb and interact with everything in the environment..... not even possible in the above "prototype".

I dont see the point is claiming this crap.... why not say ohhh we maybe intended it to be a simple NES game for the fans, or did a NES version, not claim this was your prototype to test features.

I agree, full of shit imo to claim this was used a prototype and is click bait for fans by some delusional person who thought of the idea in the first place.
 
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grossaffe

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i find this to be just a bunch of lies just to get its sheep fans going wow.

how on earth can you use a prototype of the NES style game, to test out ideas/features of such to the likes of what BOTW is..... it just wouldn't work at all.

ohh yes we have a 2d side stroller to test ideas, but hold on, this is extremely limited, BOTW is an open world adventure, you climb and interact with everything in the environment..... not even possible in the above "prototype".

I dont see the point is claiming this crap.... why not say ohhh we maybe intended it to be a simple NES game for the fans, or did a NES version, not claim this was your prototype to test features.
So either:
A) Nintendo lied about prototyping some features in 2D and then proceeded to make a fake prototype in order to have a video of it to trick a small handful of people will ever see it because... um... reasons
B) Nintendo prototyped some features in 2D and showed us a video of that prototype in action. And you don't know jack shit about the game development process.

Hmm, which is more likely?
 

nolimits59

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*troll mode on*
So, finnaly they came up with a solution for the framedrops on the WiiU version !
*troll mode off*

Joke, that game feel so polished in a lot of ways when you play it, not surprised that they did that kind of test just to find new ideas and tryout so gameplay mechanics,
and i just got "dumbed" by the video showing some piece of the first land when you have to go trough the really cold water, didnt even thinked about going there THAT way lol.
 
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