Lessons learned from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD's development are feeding directly into the new Zelda for Wii U. Series producer Eiji Aonuma told Wired about how Nintendo's new system is influencing both games.
"[I]t’s a shared team working on both of those projects, Wind Waker HD and the new Zelda for Wii U," Aonuma said. "Every day, they’re learning something new. As we develop the controls for Wind Waker, they’re learning how to apply those controls in the Wii U version. There’s a feedback process where when something’s discovered in development for Wind Waker, all that information is fed to the Wii U team."
One tough Wii U design decision is how to integrate the GamePad: make using it together with the TV screen essential, or leave the GamePad's screen mostly untouched to make for easier off-screen play?
Aonuma said he will try to accommodate both preferences.
"You’ve got one group that really likes the possibilities that using two screens affords, and then there’s the other half of the group that just likes the simplicity of one screen, they don’t want to bother with two screens. I’m the same way, I’m very fickle. I totally understand where they’re coming from. As a developer, I need to listen to these things and I need to, maybe, make it possible to do either one, do whatever your preference is. "
While Wind Waker HD is by and large a graphical upgrade, players can expect a few gameplay changes, too. Aside from new MiiVerse-enabled Tingle message bottles and GamePad controls, Wind Waker's treasure-hunting third act will get a tune up.
"You had traveled this long distance, invested this time, you got somewhere and the experience was very shallow. The reason for that is that tuning was not complete, it’s not that there was a missing dungeon or something was removed. What we’re doing with this version of Wind Waker is, we’re making those adjustments so that the payoff is there. The payoff seems to match your investment."