A common criticism of open world games, like most titles in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, is that they’re often filled with bugs. With such massive worlds and so much to do, it’s difficult for development teams to test every location and item very thoroughly, so many devastating glitches can make their way into the final game. Despite its gargantuan overworld, however, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is remarkably bug-free. In a recent interview with The Verge, Takuhiro Dohta, the technical director behind the game, explained how his team was able to achieve this.
According to Dohta, Breath of the Wild is clean of bugs because his team established a firm set of rules for world-building, which made the different areas more consistent and less likely to glitch out. The development team also devised a clever automatic bug-testing program, which alerted them immediately to tons of the random glitches that were present in the game.
The Verge: “Open-world games are often really buggy, because there’s just so much going on. But I experienced very little of that in my time with Breath of the Wild. How did you pull that off? Was it just a really extensive QA process?”
Takuhiro Dohta: “There’s two points I’d like to underscore. Once we realized we wanted to go about filling the world, or linking the world, with a set of rules, as opposed to filling the world with a number of handmade objects, I think one of the positive effects we got was that the world was kind of stabilized by those rules. And that cut down on a number of bugs.
“There was another point that we developed during our QA process. We came up with a number of scripts that would basically allow the game to be played automatically, and allow Link to run through various parts of the game automatically. And as that was happening, on the QA side of things, if a bug did appear I’d suddenly get a flood of emails about it. That was one tool that we found to be really handy.”
In the same interview, Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game’s director, was asked about speedrunning in Breath of the Wild. Because it’s such an open-ended game, with so many different ways to approach every task, Fujibayashi said his team was looking forward to seeing what the speedrunning community could come up with.
The Verge: “Are you excited about what will happen when speedrunners pick this up and see what they can do with it?”
Hidemaro Fujibayashi: “We’re all looking forward to it, very much so. We’re really excited to see people who are able to figure out things we weren’t able to figure out. Because we made the game so that, even though you can do things that we weren’t expecting, it’s not a bug, it’s all part of the game mechanics and game logic. And once we decided to make it so that you could basically go to Hyrule castle after seeing it from the beginning of the game, we immediately thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to have to wait and see if someone actually figures out a way to do this.'”
What do you think? Have you had problems with bugs in open world games, and do you believe that Breath of the Wild is better than other titles in this regard? Are you interested in seeing what the speedrunning community can do with Breath of the Wild? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: The Verge