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Miyazaki on Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, and From Software's Possible Sci-fi Game

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Miyazaki on Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, and From Software's Possible Sci-fi Game

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Mon 10 August 2015, 20:05:53

Tags: Bloodborne; Dark Souls III; From Software; Hidetaka Miyazaki

Gamespot did a very good interview with Dark Souls lead and now From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki, in which he calls Dark Souls 3 "a turning point" for the franchise and discusses the "Miyazaki Touch", aka his approach to leading a project -- a fanboy-ish phrase that he finds scary -- as well as, importantly, the design differences between Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Have the more important snippets:

Dark Souls 2, for example, is a great game, but didn’t have the magic of the first. It lacked the Miyazaki Touch, which elevates the design of a Souls game. How does that make you feel? Knowing that your involvement in the franchise is that important to fans?

I knew that my way of designing a game had unique direction to it, but after hearing there’s an actual term called “The Miyazaki Touch,” it’s a little scary. Dark Souls 3 will be unique, it’ll have unique level design and gameplay design because of the Miyazaki Touch, but now I am a little bit worried about whether that term will still be used positively or become negative after the game’s released.

I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it, it’s a very common shorthand for describing the unique qualities of Miyazaki’s games among fans. It’s definitely used positively at the moment. It’s an imperceptible magic, kind of like Disney’s; anyone can make an animated feature, but only Disney can make a Disney film.

Wow. If that’s the case, I’ll have to work hard to make sure that “Miyazaki Touch” continues to be used in a positive way then. I’m aware that the way I give direction to the team when working on a game is a little bit different from other people. I call it “total direction,” which means I get complete control of how the game is made, not only with regards to the level design, but also the background music, sound effects, and everything else. I think that may give it a unique quality.

What lessons did you take away from Bloodborne for use in Dark Souls 3?

There’s some good things I’ve taken from Bloodborne, but at the same time there were several things that were created because they’re uniquely Dark Souls and only work in this series. From Bloodborne, I’ve taken the limit on resources, which will add additional gameplay strategy. Having certain items give certain effects is another thing that I took over from Bloodborne.

While working on Bloodborne, I realised several unique things that I can only get in Dark Souls. For example, letting players have a variety of character builds, in Bloodborne I tried to embed characteristics into certain characters and weapons, rather than letting players build their own characters.

Bloodborne was also based on gothic, cosmic horror, but I realised I missed working on dark fantasy. That brought me back to Dark Souls. I was always thinking “classic metallic knight armour is awesome,” but couldn’t use that in Bloodborne because it’s a different genre. That’s something you can only get in the Dark Souls series.​

Miyazaki reveals that From Software has several new projects planned, including possibly a sci-fi game:

Fans often speculate about whether the Souls framework and style of gameplay will ever extend to genres outside of dark fantasy. Have you thought about that, perhaps sci-fi Souls?

Dark Souls is my life’s work. Everything I came up with for Dark Souls 3 is based on my personal preferences. However, Dark Souls 3 is also actually the turning point for the franchise. This project was launched by the previous From Software management, before I was appointed president. In that sense, Dark Souls 3 is the turning point for the series.

As president of From Software, I am planning to launch several new projects. I can’t quite specify exactly what they are. Those could be something sci-fi, but you’ll have to stay tuned for more about that in the future.​

He also assures the interviewer that Dark Souls 3 comes first no matter what:

Even though you’re also president of From Software now too?

Yes. Even though I am super busy. Working as a president and also director of Dark Souls is keeping me busy, I’m getting a lot of stimulation, which motivates me to work hard.

[Laughs] As a last resort, I can always skip my duties as a president to focus on Dark Souls 3.​

Read the full interview here.

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