When you think of Hyrule Warriors and the challenges its development team likely comes up against, you’ll probably find yourself thinking about the hundreds of enemies on-screen or keeping on top of the faithful Zelda lore present throughout. What we dare say you wouldn’t think of, is its… grass?
Yes, as it happens, the game’s grass turned out to be one of the trickier puzzles faced by the team behind Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. In an interview featured within Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream, development producer Masaki Furusawa, director Ryouta Matsushita, producer Yousuke Hayashi, and art director Yuu Oohashi spoke about the troubles it caused when trying to recreate Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s Hyrule Field.
Thanks to Nintendo Everything for the translations below.
Matsushita: Initially the plan was to go with something a little different, but it ultimately ended up being quite a faithful reproduction. The atmosphere of BotW’s world really made its way onto the battlefield. With that said, there were also parts we inevitably had to change up as well.
It really gives the impression that even grass grows the same way.
Oohoshi: Yeah… That grass took ages!
Furusawa: It was a real pain, wasn’t it?
Oohoshi: It took about half of development time to finish touching up the grass in the game. We really struggled to recreate the atmosphere of Hyrule Field.
Nintendo’s very own Zelda team was asked to offer advice, but things remained difficult even with their help:
Furusawa: We asked the Zelda team at Nintendo how they made the grass in BotW and even though they shared everything down to the finer details of their methods, there was still uncertainty about whether we could reproduce it. The game has a lot of grass, so we also considered if there were other methods available to us.
Oohoshi: We experimented with a bunch of different options to make the grass stand out as one of the strong points of the game.
Matsushita: The whole company got dragged into the grass mess, didn’t they?
Oohoshi: How many hundreds of people was it? (laughs)
Matsushita: It’s no exaggeration to say we were in talks with development staff, CG departments, background and technical support the whole time.
We don’t know about you, but we’ll never take video game foliage for granted again.