Miyamoto: So especially in Breath of the Wild, the ground is really there. The player is walking on it. The player sees the grass and the rocks, but program-wise it’s obviously not really grass and rocks. But it’s really how we use the sound. So when you’re in a forest, we try to play sound effects that really remind you of a forest. So if a player goes into that forest, they’re reminded of a forest that they know.

Really, a game is about helping the player remember what they know. And that creates the illusion that they are there. In that sense, sound effects are necessary, and I think Nintendo always taken the time to create the sound effects. For example, checking the ground that the character is running on and making sure it matches that. We use a combination of the skills that we’ve had and what’s available now to create this.

Trinen: That’s why I love this game so much. When I lived in Japan I used to do a lot of hiking. I used to hike by myself a lot. And it’s amazing kind of tapping into the visuals and the sound effects and how they remind me of how I used to go out into the mountains on my own, trying to follow these trails and climb up these peaks and get that breathtaking view. It’s really just resonates with me.

Kotaku: Yeah, sound can definitely bring you back.

Miyamoto: And I think when you’re hearing the sound, the wind or when you go underground you hear this echo, coming up with ideas and throwing around ideas is really, really fun. He might have said if you hear this sound of falling rocks it might trigger this kind of memory. Throwing around ideas like this is a lot of fun.

Kotaku: At this point, a lot of the sound in newer Nintendo games, of course, reminds me of the sounds of older Nintendo games. Bill was talking about references and memory as it related to real life. But also now the newer games you make are also reminding people of the older games that they played.

Miyamoto: There’s also things like melody or music that does that. Now, these days, people play with headphones. I think playing on the headphones is also a really great experience.

Kotaku: When you’re working with younger game designers, whether it’s on this game or other games, what advice do you find yourself often giving them? Do you see them making mistakes that you made as a younger designer and find yourself giving certain key pieces of advice to people?

Miyamoto: I think, in terms of directors, they are sometimes vague. They might tell the programmer, ‘Alright, the enemy chases the player.’ That’s kind of vague. So, a lot of times, it’s up to the programmer to have to kind of figure out how that happens and how they make that into a reality. It’s about: How exact or vague are you being? When you say: the enemy checks the player every 10 seconds, is that vague? Or it does every 10 seconds, five out of those 10 times they make a mistake. Those are the details, and I try to tell everybody to make sure that they include those details when they talk to the programmers.

And not just directors, but any kind of person in a management role: leaders should be more specific, I tell them. [laughs]

Kotaku: It’s a tricky balance, though, right? You don’t want to feel like you’re micromanaging somebody and telling them everything to do.You want to give them some freedom. But if you’re not specific, as you’re saying, they may not do anything.

Miyamoto: But it’s not like I’m trying to force them to do this. If you give them specific instructions you get specific feedback. What happens is the discussion that gets born from there is really important, too.

And just like that, the Nintendo PR rep nearby told me we had time for one last question. So I asked him about the experience of delaying games, something I’d also discussed with longtime Zelda producer Eiji Aouma. You can read about that here.

The interview came to an abrupt end, but, as always, it’s to be continued, the next time Miyamoto wants to talk.