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The Zoonami website’s Zelda: Ocarina of Time design analysis

Thursday 15th March 2012 Leave a comment

UPDATE 12 April 2015: I originally created this post purely so that Google would notice and index the Zelda OOT article, to draw attention to a fantastic article on game design. Alas, the company and the website are gone again now; probably for good this time. So I’ve reworded this post and added Archive.org links.

Martin “GoldenEye And A Bit of Perfect Dark” Hollis once formed a company called Zoonami. They never released a game I was interested in (although Funkydilla, their proposed post-Amplitude/pre-Guitar Hero rhythm action game, sounded promising), but they had a website that was surprisingly useful in some unexpected ways.

For me the most informative thing on their site was definitely
The Making of GoldenEye, a transcript of a speech given by Martin Hollis about the creation of what is, as we all know, the greatest game ever made. (There are also a couple of other GoldenEye Making Ofs online, such as this 2011 one at NowGamer and one that was summarised by Rllmuk forumite Graham S. David Doak also made some interesting comments about it in Retro Gamer #6, July 2004.)

The Zoonami website was also home to this excellent analysis of the puzzle design in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, by someone credited as G. Rees. (That author also seemed to have published this version on his website.) I always love reading good analyses of videogame level design, and that article is one of my favourites. Ever wondered just how complicated the Water Temple is that led to you getting stuck on it for so long? Now you know.

Other really good breakdowns of game level design that I’ve come across online:

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