Breathing in the Wild: Village Design

The villages in Breath of the Wild each have their own personality fitted to the type/species of inhabitants it has, in addition to the history it holds. The designers and art directors of the game talked about the importance of ‘formative experiences’ which was discussed in past weeks blogs. Formative experiences were defined by them as something that breathes life and movement into even little things like swaying grass, “things which would give a feeling of presence to this world; and also that we might be able to establish one view of a world in which there is a “beauty of nature detached from human activity” even after the calamity.” (Lloyd, 2019)

These designers made it quintessential to include formative experiences to every little detail, this included neighbourhoods and villages.

“We all talked a lot about wanting to resurrect those real-life childhood experiences like climbing the mountains behind your neighborhood to explore, encountering wild animals and picking mushrooms there.” (LLoyd, 2019)

Takehara was the designer responsible for the design of villages and neighbourhoods and towns, he said he drew upon his own experiences to reflect on realistic designs of the villages, “I tried to think back on my own real-life experiences to give lots of consideration in trying to imbue those designs with an authentic and tangible sense of the sort of lifestyle and hobbies those people have.” (Lloyd. 2019). Takehara mentioned that village construction was based on how he thought a guest would be mesmerized upon visiting each village, this is how each place obtained its own personality. 

Some resources have analysed the design of Tarry Town. The architecture is much more modern in comparison to the world of Hyrule’s counterparts. The prefabricated architecture is an architectural phenomena introduced to create simple structures that fit well with the surrounding environment that can be doubled and doubled next to each other with little to no design changes. The purpose of prefabricated houses was to create economically efficient and quick homes for people to live in due to growing populations. The author found it interesting that Tarry Town as a modern prefabricated town was incorporated in Zelda. (Talbot, n.d.)

Furthermore, Kakariko Village is seen as an interesting village in both design and historical significance. Kakariko Village is very much a spiritually grounded place with religiously centred inhabitants. It was analysed that the Sheikah people of which would have founded the place took upon their refuge in a place such as Kakariko Village as they were looking for safety and isolation (Talbot, n.d.). The Sheikah religion seems to take influence from the Jomon Period of Japanese history, the design and architectural choices are very much informed by the pre-buddhist japanese society and the japanese ancient religion of Shinto (Talbot, n.d.)

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