- Aug 28, 2009
By adding larger and more open environments, he believes that the game will evolve on a larger scale.
“With a larger world, new systems and action mechanics inevitably become necessary,” he said. “In that sense, I think that Elden Ring is a more natural evolution of Dark Souls.”
“While the narrow and complex dungeons of our previous games were indeed interconnected, Elden Ring’s environments will be much more open and vast,” said Miyazaki. “The more extensive world will form the base of Elden Ring’s gameplay, and its mechanics are designed with that type of environment in mind.”
Miyazaki gives three reasons to why he wanted to introduce this new type of environment: showing the game’s world and lore on a grander scale, adding more freedom and depth to exploration, and creating more variation to battles.
As an example of how Elden Ring’s new scale will change the Souls-like formula, the main character will be able to traverse the world on a horse, with the ability to fight enemies while mounted. While combat in Dark Souls was focused on positioning yourself favorably even in small rooms and narrow corridors, Miyazaki believes that more open environments can create more diverse situations.
However, a more open world doesn’t mean that we will see vibrant towns and cityscapes in Elden Ring.
“Villages will be the dark dungeon-like ruins that you have come to expect from us,” Miyazaki said, laughing.
“Creating a more open game is a big challenge for us. If we were to add towns on top of that, it would become a bit too much, so we decided to create an open-world-style game focused on what we are best at.”
Miyazaki says that while studying various open-world games, he refrained from being too heavily inspired by them, and rather chose to focus on making an experience only FromSoftware could deliver.
Instead of creating Elden Ring’s main story, Martin wrote about a time long before the era the player actually explores. Miyazaki gave two reasons for why he wanted Martin to write Elden Ring’s mythology, rather than the main story.
“Storytelling in video games – at least the way we do it at FromSoftware – comes with a lot of restrictions for the writer. I didn’t think it was a good idea to have Martin write within those restrictions. By having him write about a time the player isn’t directly involved in, he is free to unleash his creativity in the way he likes. Furthermore, as FromSoftware we didn’t want to create a more linear and storydriven experience for Elden Ring. Both issues could be solved by having Martin write about the world’s history instead.”
Miyazaki compared the mythology that Martin wrote for Elden Ring to that of the dungeon master’s handbook in a tabletop RPG. As a writer, it must have been a largely different experience for Martin as well.
“It really is like a guide for the world’s lore, and therefore feels quite different from his novels. As someone that loves to learn about a world’s setting, it was very exciting to read,” Miyazaki told me.
“The player will be able to learn about Martin’s mythology through exploration,” confirmed Miyazaki. “We are known for letting the player explore the game’s lore through fragments of environmental storytelling, and this time around Martin’s story is what you will be trying to unravel. The period the player actually explores is still connected to the old times, so as you slowly discover why the world has become the way it is, you will learn more about Martin’s mythology as well.”
Now that Miyazaki is collaborating with Martin, one would think that Elden Ring is going to be an even more direct and storydriven experience, but the contrary appears to be true. Not only Martin’s mythology, but also the approach of the main story by Miyazaki himself is closer to Dark Souls than Sekiro.
“There is no fixed main character in Elden Ring,” said Miyazaki. “We mostly leave it up to the player to decide the characteristics and personality of the character they create.”
Miyazaki did say that he and his team enjoyed portraying NPC characters in a more detailed manner for Sekiro, and with Martin’s mythology as a source of inspiration, he believes that Elden Ring’s NPC characters are more compelling than in his previous works.
More at the link:One thing that Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne and even Déraciné have in common is that they all have a Western fantasy setting. Sekiro was Miyazaki’s first game to have a Japanese setting, but for Elden Ring Miyazaki is going back to his Western fantasy roots.
“Depending on the game’s setting, beauty, justice, and strength all have a different nuance,” he mused. “With a Japanese setting, those aspects had to be portrayed in a different way. I always want to create worlds with a beautiful aesthetic, but the approach toward that goal is always different. While for Elden Ring we are going back to Western fantasy, the game’s themes are very different from our previous works, which means that beauty, justice, and strength will be different once again. That difference has a big impact on our games as a whole.”
FromSoftware’s Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, sits down with IGN to tell you what to expect from his new game Elden Ring.