Fans are praising The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's artwork after its unveiling at E3 yesterday, and Producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed in an interview why they decided to go with the en plein air art direction. He said that The Wind Waker was a massive influence, but he felt that it now looks dated. When they were developing The Wind Waker HD, however, they found its graphics style was the best way to convey elements they wanted users to find. As the world in Breath of the Wild is so large, it was essential that they had this style so players would know what to look for. It was Bill Trinen, Treehouse's product marketing manager, who suggested the "open air" art style to the game.
"Before starting development of Breath of the Wild, I began from the assumption that I had to break the conventions of Zelda. When I was developing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, that's around the time I started thinking they needed to change. Wind Waker's graphics style led to creating Breath of the Wild's art style, and when I look back at Wind Waker now, I think 'Oh yeah, that's kind of outdated.'
"We actually decided among director [Hidemaro Fujibayashi], the art director and myself. One of the first reasons we decided to do this was because while developing Wind Waker HD, we realized that creating this animation style was the best way to go about identifying the elements we wanted users to look for and find. So when we created this large, vast world, we knew that a style like that was going to be necessary to show users what they needed to see. And then the open air concept came from Bill Trinen, our product marketing manager at Treehouse. My main point was that we wanted to create a clear element in this large world." — Eiji Aonuma
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