Today, Nintendo published an interview with the 3DCG designers of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In the interview, one interesting question was raised – why Nintendo calls their Environment Artists/Background Designers as Terrain Designers.
Below you can find the reason why as translated by NintendoSoup:
Q: The term “terrain designers” seems to be something unique to Nintendo.
A: At other video game companies, terrain designers are called scenery designers or BG (background) designers. Outside Japan, they are called Environment Artists.
However here at Nintendo, terrain designers don’t just design the ground and scenery, and certainly not just the structures and plants you see in the game. The “terrain” in terrain designers also refer to how they create terrain that players could play. Terrain designers have to work together with planners to think and create gameplay experiences involving terrain. So that’s how we came up with “terrain designers”, as they have a wider scope and more responsibilities (than environment artists).
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.