Given the big teams of developers and large corporations involved in making video games, there aren’t a ton of famous designers working on high-profile, big-budget titles these days. Of these famous designers, though, the most famous one is almost certainly Shigeru Miyamoto. He’s the longtime Nintendo visionary who created basically everything the company is known for these days, from Super Mario to The Legend Of Zelda. Gaming site Kotaku sat down with Miyamoto at the recent E3 expo and—with most of Nintendo’s upcoming releases still shrouded in secrecy—the interviewer decided to just pick his brain a little.
The whole thing is worth reading, but the most interesting parts come from Miyamoto trying to explain why Nintendo games feel so special and unique. He ends up chalking some of it up to a Japanese concept called “tegotae,” which essentially means “hand response” in English. It sounds sort of like the video game equivalent of “mouthfeel,” which is to say that it’s basically the sensation you get when you touch something. For Miyamoto, that means making sure that doing something in a game feels realistic, even if it involves a cartoon plumber stomping turtles or a kid in a green tunic slicing monstrous octopi with a sword.
He also talks about the design philosophy behind the Zelda series, which has always been loosely related to recreating the feeling of exploring the outdoors as a kid. The first game simply dropped the player into a crazy world and had them figure out the proper path, and the newest entry—Breath Of The Wild—kind of returns to that with a big open-world and a lot of nature to contend with. Kotaku asks Miyamoto if this reminds him of his own youth, back when he was working on the original Legend Of Zelda, but he just laughs off the question, saying, “I personally don’t feel like I’ve gotten old.”
The chat is fairly brief, but it’s as delightful as you’d expect. You can read the whole thing at this link.