The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Director Comments on Player Creativity and Zonai Device Design
Posted on September 17 2023 by Kora Burton
In a recent email response interview with National Public Radio (NPR), The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom director Hidemaro Fujibayashi provided some commentary on how players have responded to the game’s flexible, open-ended design and its main set of tools for creativity.
While confirmation that there is currently no DLC in development for Tears of the Kingdom took center-stage in NPR’s article with Fujibayashi, who answered questions alongside the game’s producer Eiji Aonuma, the developers also took some time to discuss aspects of the game which work well without any promise of future expansions. When asked by interviewer James Perkins Mastromarino whether players’ approaches to the game have surprised him, Fujibayashi responded in part:
Fujibayashi: Right after Breath of the Wild was released, we had the idea that it might be fun if in Tears of the Kingdom, you could construct things like vehicles by sticking things together… we were confident that a variety of things could be done with a system like that and that we could make it into an enjoyable experience, so we developed the final product with the goal of allowing players to create things with as few limitations as possible… However, players are making vehicles and creations that are far beyond what we had expected, so we are really amazed at the imagination of our players.
The player’s imagination has certainly become a stunningly brilliant aspect of Zelda culture following Tears of the Kingdom‘s release, with mindblowing compilations of vehicles, automatons, weapons, and more readily available all over the internet. Key to this ability to build and experiment are the various Zonai devices found through the game. Mastromarino also asked Fujibayashi whether there were any Zonai devices he wishes could have been included in the game, but weren’t. Fujibayashi responded:
Fujibayashi: We actually thought that there shouldn’t be too many types of Zonai devices… it was important to have players take a limited set of functions and appearances and use their ingenuity to create new functions. So at this point there aren’t any devices that I wish we could have included, and I am actually glad that we kept the number of devices low, because we have really enjoyed seeing the unbelievable things that the players have created with such limited resources.
Personally I don’t know if I could keep up with many more Zonai devices and functions! Hearing this perspective from the game’s director also makes the fact that players have accomplished so much with a relatively limited number of devices all the more impressive.
What do you think of Fujibayashi’s recent comments concerning player creativity and Zonai device availability? How does the news that there is no Tears of the Kingdom DLC in development affect your opinion of the game’s structure? If you could add an additional Zonai device, what would it be? Let us know down in the comments below!
Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
Favorite Zeldas: Breath of the Wild, Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time
Date Joined: March 2022
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