Written by ValH on January
FromSoftware’s open-world action-RPG Elden Ring should be going live in about a month, and as such, now’s the perfect time to check out a few interviews with the game’s director Hidetaka Miyazaki. You’ll find the main one on the official PlayStation blog. It covers a broad range of topics, including FromSoftware’s approach to player feedback, the challenges of creating a more open-world game, enemy design, and more.
Here’s a sample question to get you started:
What were your biggest lessons learned in making a sprawling open world game?
There were two major challenges we faced developing Elden Ring. The first was expanding upon the level of freedom. More so than our previous games, Elden Ring has a vast world with an open overworld, so we were faced with the ordeal of how we maintain our gameplay style while offering a renewed sense of openness. So with elements like balancing the player’s exploration alongside boss fights, the order of progression that players go through the game, and the progression of the events themselves throughout the map–trying to expand on player freedom while balancing all of this was a significant challenge. But we learned many great lessons attempting to achieve this.
Another challenge making an open world game is the tempo and pacing of the player’s progression, essentially trying to balance how the player paces themselves as they explore this vast open-ended map and how that factors into the scope of freedom and progression they provide. So we also learned some valuable lessons while making adjustments in that regard.
Game Informer now also offers a bunch of articles covering the game. And while most of them serve as previews for particular areas or boss fights, there’s a couple of quick interview chunks in there as well. The first one is dedicated to everyone’s favorite poison swamps, while the second one revolves around how FromSoftware ended up transforming some of the characters initially conceived by George R.R. Martin.
A quick excerpt from the latter:
“When Martin wrote these characters, and when he provided that origin story that mythos for the world of Elden Ring, these demigods were much closer to their original form, and maybe closer to human form back then, before the Shattering, before it all started. So it was more up to us to interpret this and say, ‘how did they become such inhuman monsters? And how did the mad taint of the shattered shards of the Elden Ring and its power affect them?’ So that was our job to take these grand heroes and sort of misshape them and distort them into something they were not,” says game director Hidetaka Miyazaki.