Sam Wilkinson, Bandai Namco:
First off, please tell me when and how development for Elden Ring took off.Hidetaka Miyazaki, Game Director:
Development for Elden Ring started just after development for the Dark Souls 3 DLC had ended. At the time, Elden Ring was being planned as a more classic fantasy title compared to others that were either being considered or already in the early stages of development.
We wanted to create a new dark fantasy action RPG full of things that we weren’t able to do in the Dark Souls series.Wilkinson:
What genre do you think Elden Ring will fall under?Miyazaki:
It is a third-person action RPG.
Unlike Sekiro, which has a heavy focus on action, Elden Ring puts more focus on RPG elements.
Of course, we are not shying away from the fun of responsive melee-based combat, and these elements will be present as well.Wilkinson:
Do you believe this title will turn out to be a very From-like and challenging game?Miyazaki:
Yes, I do. The importance we place on the joy the player experiences through overcoming challenges will be the same as it is in our other titles. I believe it will prove to be a very satisfying experience.
Earlier I had said that this title focuses more heavily on RPG elements. This title will include a wide variety of weapons, magic, and ways to engage enemies, that make it possible to provide users with a style of gameplay and strategy that suits them.
Even when compared to the Dark Souls series, I believe this title will provide even more variety in the ways for players to overcome challenges and tweak their tactics when facing enemies.Wilkinson:
Will Elden Ring contain character customization elements like in Dark Souls, or will it be similar to Sekiro in that there is a fixed protagonist that the player controls?Miyazaki:
Yes, it will contain character customization elements.
Similar to the Dark Souls series, Elden Ring allows players to design and control their own unique character. As I said earlier, this title puts a heavy focus on RPG elements, and we thought this approach would best suit that focus.Wilkinson:
Regarding the collaboration with George R. R. Martin, can you further explain how this collaboration came about and in what role it has served throughout the project?Miyazaki:
I suppose the start of this collaboration came from the fact that I myself am I huge fan of Mr. Martin’s work.
I loved “A Song of Ice and Fire” as well as the “Tuf Voyaging” series, however if I had to pick a favorite I would probably say “Fevre Dream.”
I personally see “Fevre Dream” as a masterpiece among vampire fantasy and had even previously recommended it to all new employees.
Me being such a known fan of Mr. Martin caused our executive business director Eiichi Nakajima to reach out to him with the expectation that we would get turned down.
However, we were then given the rare opportunity to talk one-on-one with Mr. Martin which was an incredibly fun and stimulating experience. It was then that I strongly felt that I wanted to work with Mr. Martin.
I am still unable to put into words how grateful I am to Mr. Martin for agreeing to our offer.
The actual collaboration itself begun with Mr. Martin ever so politely confirming what sorts of themes, ideas as well as many game-related aspects I had envisioned for the game.
This allowed us to have many free and creative conversations regarding the game, in which Mr. Martin later used as a base to write the overarching mythos for the game world itself.
This mythos proved to be full of interesting characters and drama along with a plethora of mystical and mysterious elements as well. It was a wonderful source of stimulus for me and the development staff.
Elden Ring’s world was constructed using this mythos and stimulus as a base. Even I myself find it hard to contain my excitement from time to time. We hope that everyone else is looking forward to the world we have created.Wilkinson:
What are some differences when compared to your previous titles (especially Dark Souls)?Miyazaki:
If I were to put aside the world full of fresh stimulus thanks to our collaboration with Mr. Martin, I would have to say the biggest difference is it being open world.
Due to this, the scale of the world and its narrative, as well as the depth and freedom of exploration have increased dramatically. It is without a doubt our biggest title yet in terms of sheer volume.
There are many definitions to the term “open world,” and I might not be phrasing it correctly, but we have simply tried our own approach to a game with a large, open field to play in.
It is a world full of danger and threats, as well as many areas ripe for exploration.
Among those areas, you will also find intricately designed, multi-layered castles and such.Wilkinson:
What is the meaning behind the title?Miyazaki:
Elden Ring is the name given to a mysterious concept that defines the world itself.
As the trailer at the conference implied, this “Elden Ring” has been shattered. The significance of this will be one of the important themes of the game.
That’s about all I can say at this point in time (laughter)Wilkinson:
Will Elden Ring contain the gritty, intense boss fights we’ve all come to love and expect from From?Miyazaki:
Yes, of course. Boss fights are something we enjoy making and make up one of the climaxes to this title as well. We feel there is a wide variety of unique and horrifying bosses for players to look forward to.Wilkinson:
What can you teach us about the character shown in the concept art that was released?Miyazaki:
We chose this character because of his eccentric aspects as well as the way he portrays the darkness that the world and story possess.
While Elden Ring may be a classic dark fantasy title, it is more than just that.
This character also represents one more theme in addition to the previously mentioned eccentricity.
That theme is the will, or ambition of mankind.https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2019/06/09/hidetaka-miyazaki-and-george-rr-martin-present-elden-ring/
Which sounds like a 10/10 game.
Maybe I'll then stop playing an hour in when I get to a boss fight I am incapable of beating, if this is keeping with the difficulty trend of these games lately.
But I'll play it.
Unfortunately, this game is an allegory for the Jets.
Anyway this looks DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE
If it's like Dark Souls, it's only hard at first, but doesn't ramp up all that far beyond what it initially expects from you.
If it's like Sekiro, yeah, fire up CheatEngine if you wanna see it all without busted balls.
FromSoftware games eventually teach you the tools you need to no longer fear ball busting. It's worth the short term pain. Try this one out. Maybe it will go differently for you this time.
Dark Souls 3 meanwhile is pretty easy, probably because there's a zillion build options. You can make it hard on yourself, but for the most part it's a pleasant experience.
But if it has invasion mechanics, I'm IN
Still, I'm buying anything that FS does, despite SEKIRO being a big meh (yes the combat was interesting but man was the world fucking boring). I'm guessing this is their return to Dark Souls without actually calling it Dark Souls which I'm OK with. The open-world though is going to be interesting and I'm curious how they are going to pull it off given how tied they are to the really well done world design in DS and Bloodborne for example (and SEKIRO too with it's level design. . .still boring).
I’ll no doubt get this one too.
Does this mean it's actually quite far along already? 2020 release?
Every FROM game since Dark Souls 2 has released in March, so March 2020 is likely....unless they decide to avoid that already extremely packed month. Which would probably be the smart thing to do right now.
PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126
Well, Dark Souls 3's last DLC was released March 28th, 2017, so over two years at this point. For reference, Dark Souls 3 vanilla took three years, Sekiro a little over three
Switch: 0293 6817 9891
"Don't worry about it, Steve, I'm about to implement the overworld's giant, undead trap-door spiders."
... Admittedly if they're as funny as the catacombs skeleton Boulder was, I'm down.
(I had to much fun 'helpfully' leading people into that/spooking them into it in ds3)
Edit: I should clarify that my main objection to gotcha gameplay is that it completely kills the tension in a replay of the game. I love a good challenge in games, but to often the dark souls series left me feeling like 'and here I pull out my bow and plink stuff down' because I know xyz 'orrible trap is about to happen.
Like give me surprising shit like the Skeleton Boulder - just don't rely on SAHPRISE ENEMY so often, if that makes any sense?
Switch: 0293 6817 9891
"Haha, got you, fucker!" in reverse is great, but I understand it if you're not into it.
Put me on the list.
Martin writing the history of the world sounds like it could be really awesome to me.
I feel like Sekiro had a lot less of that kind of thing? There were very few moments where I felt the game designers were just being mean for laughs, which I felt a lot when playing the Dark Souls games the first time.
Honestly, I feel this is mostly just an issue in DS2. It's one of the core aspects of the game's major flaw, i.e. that it feels much worse the first time through than the second or ninetieth.
GRRM's an awesome world builder. He can't write plot or characters worth a damn, but he's great at detail oriented lore. Perfect fit with Miyazaki's weird bullshit in my opinion.
As much as I LOVE Soulsborne lore, it can be very 'fill in the blanks' at times, so having GRRM writing a whole lore book that they're drawing from is honestly a brilliant idea IMO and the main reason I'm super hyped for this game. I LOVE when there's some deep lore to dig in (one of the reasons why I'm a huge Warhammer 40K fan despite never even having played the tabletop game). It's playing to GRRM's strengths I think. This quote in particular from Miyazaki highlights why:
There might even be some gameplay footage! Right?
This will be here until I receive an apology or Weedlordvegeta get any consequences for being a bully