Eiji Aonuma has recently spoken to 4Gamer and has told them that The Wind Waker HD only took six months to fully develop. Despite that, Eiji Aonuma and his team spent a quite a bit of time fine tuning the game and wanted to give people a Zelda game to play while they wait for Zelda Wii U.
4Gamer: I see. My impression is that there is a good balance between feeling of the original and a fresh feeling at the same time. Aonuma: Yes. I thought it would be a waste to for this to simply be a test of the hardware. After that, I was told by staff, that this would not take too much time to develop. It takes a long time to develop a brand new game, so I thought it would be a shame to not have a Zelda game on the Wii U for a while. So I felt like it would be best to deliver something that can be done quickly and began work on the HD version. 4Gamer: Ah I see. Aonuma: With the original release of Wind Waker, the first half of the game was well received, the later portion on the other hand, needed to be re-evaluated. That was my first time in control of the direction of the game and designing a game from scratch, there were some portions that I wanted to expand upon. If a remake were to happen, I believed I could work on some of those portions. 4Gamer: Does that mean the development time was not so long? Aonuma: It took about 6 months. Development was still difficult. You had to consider the difference in hardware at the time. Additionally there is a technique known as toon shading, which gives the game a very animated look. At that time, the technique was established, but had not be used before by our staff, everyone had to do everything by hand.