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EDGE Online Interviews Dark Souls' Creative Director
Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Tue 12 June 2012, 17:51:22Tags: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die; From Software
As the release date for the already controversial PC port of Dark Souls, Dark Souls: Prepare to Die, draws closer, EDGE Online has interviewed From Software's Creative Director Hidetaka Miyazaki and translator Ryan Morris on the inspirations behind Dark Souls' storytelling as well as the game's localization. Have a snippet:
Hidetaka Miyazaki: It was a while after Dark Souls was finished and on sale that the idea for the PC version came about. So it’s all new. We felt we’d put everything we had into Dark Souls when it came out; it was the perfect state of the game. It was actually quite difficult to come up with new ideas, as it was a new project.
Does the sparseness of dialogue add extra pressure to the localisation effort, since each line has to carry more weight in conveying story and gameplay direction?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: One of the goals of the Demon’s Souls concept was to tell more with less, and so the sparse dialogue becomes very important. We did our best with the localisation. I’m not confident that I’ve perfected this method of storytelling. There are probably things that weren’t clear enough, or could’ve been done more effectively. When I was young and reading fantasy novels - and this is at an age where I could only understand maybe half of what I was reading - there was an allure to not knowing entirely what was going on. So I had this idea that perhaps there would be some way to create that kind of feeling in a game. My method of storytelling comes from that inspiration, from the shadowy parts of a story or a legend that you can’t make out.
Many studios working on RPGs will employ a person to keep track of continuity in the game’s story. Games that stretch out over several entries might even have a so-called bible that lays everything out. Do you have a lore bible for the Souls games?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: It does exist. I create the whole story and worldview so it’s a very shorthand, rough document of my own. It’s inside my computer and it also includes photographs of whiteboard layouts from the FromSoftware meeting room, but it’s mostly text. I really like reading that type of background thing, like if you can get your hands on the bible for this or that, I really like that kind of document.
Is that something he shared with you [i.e., Ryan] as a contextual aid during the localisation process?
Ryan Morris: I saw some early documents.
Hidetaka Miyazaki: I’m embarrassed to show it to anybody. It’s too rough: it reveals too much about me.
When did the ideas that ultimately became Demon’s Souls begin bubbling up?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: The overarching theme is something that I’ve always had. It’s hard to put a date on it because it’s so general. Probably around university age, maybe high school, when I became able to read the more difficult fantasy properly. I love to read the backstory documents of Rune Quest and Lovecraft.
You can read the full interview here. (Note that it is a 2-page interview.)
Thanks to Gamebanshee