Posted on December 11 2017 by Alexis Anderson
In an interview with IGN, Breath of the Wild Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi explained the programming difficulties associated with letting Link pet the many pups of Hyrule. He explained that Link can only perform a limited number of actions, but they’re versatile so his abilities seem endless. In order for Link to pet dogs, however, an entirely new action (that wouldn’t have been functional elsewhere) would have been necessary. For this practical reason, Link wasn’t given the ability to pet dogs.
“In the game it seems like you can do anything, but what it really is are all these interlocking systems where you actually have a pretty limited number of actions that can do a ton of different things… So if it came down to something like petting a dog, we would actually have to put in a custom action just for petting a dog that couldn’t really be used for anything else.”
“In terms of design philosophy, it just didn’t fit with how we actually made the game world… It’s actually more about taking a smaller number of actions and using them in as many ways as possible.”
When IGN suggested a petting system could allow Link to pet enemies or pet Ganon into submission, Fujibayashi laughed and said “maybe if there had been some good reason to do that, we might have done that.”
I thought it was strange that Link could neither pet nor pick up dogs in Breath of the Wild, so I’m glad IGN asked this crucial question. Do you wish a petting mechanic had been added to the game? Share your thoughts in the comments!