Nintendo is internally discussing how to get to the fun faster in their new games like they used to in their classic games.
The rate at which Nintendo games get truly fun has slowed down considerably over the years. Looking back on the original The Legend of Zelda, after playing for mere minutes you are on your way to a long journey through deep caves and dungeons. Looking at the recent games like Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, the adventure takes quite a bit longer to actually start. If you have found yourself thinking this over the past few years, don’t be alarmed. Nintendo is internally discussing this fact and how to possibly change it.
In a recent interview with r4i3dshouse, everyone’s favorite video game developer Shigeru Miyamoto discussed this in depth with Stephen Totilo. When Totilo asked Miyamoto if he has noticed the issue of Nintendo games taking longer to become fun, he answered in depth:
This is actually a topic that has been a big discussion internally for us lately, I think there a couple of things going on. One is that, often times we’re creating games where you’re doing a lot of different actions. Zelda is an example of one of those. And, particularly with these types of games, you have to first learn the action and then you have to master the action and then you have to have more actions added in and master those. Then, when you have a lot of actions you can do all at once is when the game really becomes fun. And with a game like Zelda, on top of that, you have the story elements that also take additional time to tell.
Basically Miyamoto is saying that over time these games, Zelda in particular, have gotten much more complex. There are many more layers than there were originally and these layers need more explaining than they used to. Is that a good enough answer though? Many find long tutorials annoying and grating. Some recent games, like The Witcher 2, have simply let you decide whether you want to play the tutorial or not which seems like a good idea to me.
The good thing is that Nintendo is working on this internally and actively discussing how they can balance the level of tutorial out with having fun:
So one of the things we’re talking about internally is how can we get people to that point of fun more quickly, and ‘How do we balance the need to teach them how to do something with the need for them to be able to master it and feel they can do it well?’—and also tell the story—and ‘What is that overall balance and how we approach it?’ That’s one of the key things we’re talking about with Zelda right now.
It is good to hear that the Miyamoto and other key members at Nintendo aren’t blind to what many gamers have been calling boring for years now. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a fantastic game but really did take a long time to start. Hopefully in the future the Zelda series will find a better way to ease players into the experience while getting them into the action sooner.