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Zefah
Member
(06-18-2014, 06:33 PM)
I just visited 4Gamer.net and saw they put up an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki about Bloodborne.

http://www.4gamer.net/games/260/G026038/20140611091/

edit: now that I've finished the translation, I'll post the whole interview in this and the following post. Please let me know if you spot anything weird.

It Was Never Demon’s Souls 2

4Gamer:
Thanks for your time today. I’d like to start by asking how Bloodborne became a completely new title instead of being simply Demon’s Souls 2? Since it’s another collaboration between SCE and From Software, and you are the director again, it just seems natural that the project would be a sequel to Demon’s Souls.

Miyazaki:
This project actually started out with the proposal to make something new on new hardware.

4Gamer:
It was SCE that came to you with that proposal?

Miyazaki:
Yes. I think it was around the time that development for Artorias of the Abyss Edition of Dark Souls settled down, and it was still before the initial PS4 announcement, but the idea of working on new hardware was very appealing to us, so we eagerly agreed.

4Gamer:
So the whole thing never even started as Demon’s Souls 2. That definitely sounds like SCE, even if it’s a little crazy.

Miyazaki:
Yes. Those of us actually working on the game never even considered making it Demon’s Souls 2. Even looking at it objectively, it does seem like a very SCE-like decision.

4Gamer:
How about yourself? Were you interested only in creating something new?

Miyazaki:
That’s a difficult question and I can’t really say for certain. Working on an all new game is definitely appealing, but on the other hand—and I felt this way while working on Artorias of the Abyss Edition—but there is a unique kind of fun when you’re working on a sequel. You can make lots of straightforward additions to what you’ve already built, and there are a lot of things you can take for granted, allowing you to really expand on the scope of the game.

Partially because development on Artorias of the Abyss Edition and Dark Souls II was going on simultaneously, I was kind of removed from the development of Dark Souls II and then I began work on Bloodborne. As it turns out, I’m having a ton of fun working on it, too.

4Gamer:
One thing that’s always seemed strange to me is that you removed yourself from the development of Dark Souls II. How did that happen? I assume that since Dark Souls was so successful, a decision was made to develop a sequel. Not only that, but the sequel would be a big title that could ultimately decide the fate of the company and yet you decided to put someone else in charge of the project. That seems like a pretty crazy business decision for the company to make.

Miyazaki:
I understand what you’re saying.

I’m not in a position to say what kind of decision the company made at the time, but my personal thought on that matter was that the Dark Souls II project could be a huge chance for even someone other than myself.

I had already received plenty of chances, and if someone else in the company could take that same chance and make good on it, then From Software could grow as an organization. Also, speaking as a developer—and I’ve already said this in previous interviews—but I also wanted to see what kind of possibilities awaited when the base concept of Dark Souls was unshackled from myself.

The Three Concepts of Bloodborne

4Gamer:
I’d like to talk in a bit more detail about what kind of game Bloodborne is.

Miyazaki:
The format of the game is very close to Demon’s Souls. It’s in the action RPG genre and it features a behind-the-back camera. From there, however—the setting, story, various gameplay elements, etcetera—will go in their own direction for this game.

4Gamer:
So the concept of being a challenging action RPG for gamers remains unchanged?

Miyazaki:
Definitely. That concept won’t change.

From the very beginning of this project, the whole premise was to make a serious game for people who like games. On top of that premise, we have a multiple themes throughout the various layers of the game, but three big ones would be “exploring the unknown,” “the feeling of fighting for one’s life,” and “new online elements.”

4Gamer:
Those are some intriguing keywords. Would you mind explaining each of them?

Miyazaki:
First, in regards to “exploring the unknown,” we wanted to make it fun to explore the environments, but we’re not limiting it to just that. We’re using the phrase to apply to a broader range of concepts. For example, it applies to both the setting and story, too. We want to create a mysterious space for the players to explore.

4Gamer:
Speaking of which, the setting of this game isn’t all “swords and sorcery,” and appears to be a bit more modern.

Miyazaki:
That’s correct. The concept for the general feeling of the era is very much based on the Victorian era. However, the first thing most people think of when they hear “Victorian era,” is probably London. The setting for this game is not based off London, but more on the remote towns that may have existed in the era. Towns that would feel really old and gloomy. The setting we created takes these old gothic towns and layers more Victorian era elements, such as street lamps, on top of them.

4Gamer:
Watching the video, the gothic horror atmosphere definitely came across.

Miyazaki:
Yeah. To start off I wanted to convey a similar atmosphere to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We have this old city in an outlying region, and it was a town long known for its medical community, but now there’s a disease spreading called the “plague of the beast—“that kind of setting.

4Gamer:
What made you want to go with that kind of setting?

Miyazaki:
I have a few reasons, but first and foremost, the setting really matched the new gameplay I had in mind.

4Gamer:
What kind of new gameplay?

Miyazaki:
That ties in to the second theme I mentioned—“the feeling of fighting for one’s life.” In Demon’s Souls, the battle system was really defined by swords and shields, particularly shields, and it ended up feeling a bit passive.

4Gamer:
Yes, I remember hearing that you wanted to recreate the feeling of sword fighting that was in the movie Excalibur—that sense of deflecting the opponent’s attack with your shield, and using that opening to counter attack.

Miyazaki:
That’s right. With Demon’s Souls, we had that more passive feeling in mind when creating the battle system, but with this game, we want to make it more active—make it more of something where you’re fighting your way out of a dangerous situation.

4Gamer:
Taking the angle of active vs. passive definitely seems interesting.

Miyazaki:
When I thought about how we could express this idea of more active battles in the game, I thought that guns could be effective. However, I didn’t want to turn the game into a shooter. I wanted the guns to show their true usefulness in close quarters combat. That’s why an era in which guns existed, but they are still more like old-timey guns really worked for this game.

At the same time, the elaborate designs of the Gothic and Victorian eras, and the images and atmosphere that can be created by layering those designs on top of each other, are things that we can now make a reality with the power of the PS4, and that kind of direction is something we really wanted to pursue. So it’s from both a gameplay and visual standpoint that brought us to this setting.

4Gamer:
So, with this more active direction you’re taking with the gameplay, does that mean we can expect to quickly dispatch tons of enemies as we make our way through the game?

Miyazaki:
No, that’s not what I meant.

One of the other themes is “the feeling of fighting for one’s life,” so I definitely think the feeling of the gameplay and the challenge that people have come to expect from us will remain intact.

4Gamer:
I see. That puts some of my fears to rest.

Miyazaki:
Going back to the theme of “exploring the unknown,” we want to apply that concept to the various gameplay elements, too. The tactical aspect of having more active battles is part of that, but we also want to include a variety of unknown elements in the other facets of gameplay, such as character builds and the routes and strategies that players take through the game. We want players to enjoy groping their way through the game and exploring.

One example I can use to explain what I mean would be the weapon contraptions that, in addition to the gun, kind of defines the weapons of Bloodborne. In the E3 version of the CG movie, we showed the saw machete weapon. This weapon has a very unique shape and it can also transform. Its abilities also change depending on which transformation it is in.

How you use these different transformations becomes part of the gameplay, and there are even unique attacks with their own traits that can be performed only while the weapon is mid-transformation. I think players will find a lot of room for exploration when it comes to mastering the different weapons

4Gamer:
Interesting. I can’t wait to see more.

New Experiences Brought by Fighting for Your Life

4Gamer:
Could you talk a little more about the second concept, “the feeling of fighting for one’s life?”

Miyazaki:
That concept is applied both to the presentation of the game and the game’s systems.

On the presentation side, we want players to fear the enemies and feel like they are fighting for their lives, so we are putting a lot of effort into the expressions and interactions in the game to accomplish this. A very straightforward example would be blood splatters.
 
However, the goal isn’t to simply be grotesque or to make people feel revolted. We want the players to feel scared of the enemies and for the combat to feel deadly. That way, when they emerge victorious, there’s a very strong sense of joy, or relief. We want players to feel like, “That was crazy! I can’t believe I won…”

4Gamer:
Interesting.

Miyazaki:
With Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, we always wanted players to feel a sense of accomplishment. That’s the only reason we went with a higher difficulty.

4Gamer:
That makes sense.

Miyazaki:
And in this game, too, we want players to feel that sense of accomplishment. In order to make that feeling even stronger than before, we needed another pillar other than just a high difficulty.

To allow for players to feel that sense of accomplishment, the difficulty must be set at a level that players can overcome. Difficulty isn’t something that you can just endlessly raise.

4Gamer:
No matter the game or genre, getting that balance right is always a difficult problem.

Miyazaki:
Indeed. So, our way of thinking is that we have the high difficulty on one side, but on the other side we have this feeling of fighting for your life to help bring about that sense of accomplishment. You encounter an enemy and know it’s going to be a tough battle. You start fighting and your hands get sweaty, and you feel like you barely scraped through by the end of the encounter. We knew we wanted elements to make players feel that way other than just numerical difficulty settings.

4Gamer:
That makes a lot of sense. What are some of the actual systems in the game that you used to express that feeling?

Miyazaki:
The more active battles I just explained are one part of that. We’re also thinking of certain elements that entice players into engaging in these deadly battles. Unfortunately, I can’t talk in detail about this right now.

4Gamer:
This applies to Demon’s Souls as well, but I’m always impressed with how you can take certain themes and concepts and really express them within the game by implementing them into the game systems. I’m really excited to see how this “feeling of fighting for one’s life” concept is expressed in the final game.

Miyazaki:
Yeah. We hope to effectively convey that feeling both from the presentation side of things and the game systems.
Last edited by Zefah; 06-19-2014 at 03:08 AM.