Breath of the Wild: New System One-Page Pitch

Objective

Design a repeatable system with a focus on combat for Breath of the Wild. This system must support Breath of the Wild’s overall core experience of exploration and systematic experimentation.

Solution Overview

The new system I designed is called High-Value Targets.

How does the player find these targets?

My first thought to answer this question was to have the game automatically mark it down on the player’s map for convenience. However, Breath of the Wild isn’t a game about convenience, it’s a game about a purist sense of exploration. We want players to feel like they’re discovering these surprises.

Where do targets spawn?

The target’s spawn locations will be at designated spots on the map. Each region can have a bunch of different possible spawn locations, but there should only be one spawned target per region at a time (so targets are more spread-out, encouraging exploration).

What kind of enemies are these targets?

How do High-Value Targets spawn?

We don’t want too many of these High-Value Targets to be spawned at once, since the loot drop is pretty valuable. If there are too many targets, it could completely shift the economy balancing of the game. It would also make players feel cheated if a bunch of targets spawn and they aren’t able to defeat them all without them disappearing.

Open Questions

In a real game development environment, this system would be open to iteration based off feedback from the team. With that in mind, I wrote down some open questions that are edge cases, how to define the parameters of the system’s success, and details of the actual implementation.

  • How do we know this new system will engage players more than the new golden enemies in the endgame?
  • Does having guaranteed rare loot drops and a timed-spawns differentiate it enough from the other enemies?
  • What data points should we track when looking at the analytics for this system to see if it is successful?
  • Number of Targets Spawned per Blood Moon
  • Number of Targets defeated per Blood Moon
  • Percentage of Targets defeated per Blood Moon — The higher the percentage is, the more successful the system is. However, if it’s too high (more than 90% maybe), then maybe we can consider spawning more targets. However, this may also indicate that the loot drops are TOO good and may need rebalancing. We don’t want people to only focus on doing these objectives when the Blood Moon appears. It should facilitate exploration, not railroad the player into an objective too good to pass up.
  • How will we know this system has succeeded?
  • In what ways can this system fail?
  • If we are rewarding rare loot to players that have already defeated Calamity Ganon, what are those players getting the loot for? Are these players only the hardcore players that want to collect everything?
  • If we are only targeting hardcore players with this design, is the resources required to build this system less than the engagement of this niche player demographic?

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