Dark Souls Developer Q&A: Bigger maps, More Scythes, And More Mind Flayers
For its spiritual successor, Dark Souls, director Hidetaka Miyazaki and company plan to give players a much larger (and more open) world to explore, but it will doubtlessly be every bit as claustrophobic as before. In this quick email Q&A, he talks about some of his plans for that world, and drops a few hints on what kind of new weapons and online features fans can expect for the sequel.
1UP: Probably the biggest change is the introduction of a seamless world. Will players find unique bosses guarding different parts of the map like in Demon's Souls? Are they divided into multiple sections?
Miyazaki: To pose a sense of achievement to the players, we will most likely maintain the "one boss per map" format. However, the game will not be structured in this way completely.
1UP: Just how big do you expect the map to be?
Miyazaki: To simply put, compared to Demon's Souls, the map will be approximately 1.5 times the size. It may feel even bigger to the players.
1UP: What sorts of things will players be able to do while exploring the map? Are you planning to include hidden areas and side quests?
Miyazaki: Not so many hidden maps but there will be areas that are hidden away that are not critical to game completion. In regards to side quests, they won't be stated as specific quests but we will implemented in small events to encourage players to create their own mini-objectives.
1UP: Weapon customization has been identified as one element that needs to be made clearer. How do you intend to streamline it?
Miyazaki: We do plan to make changes to the weapon customization but we unfortunately can not release details at this point yet.
1UP: What kind of weapons are you planning on including in this version? Scythes? Whips?
Miyazaki: We unfortunately can not release information regarding specific weapons at this time. Please look forward to more updates to come. However, the "Scythe of the Death God" is a favorite motif. Personally I would definitely like to use it for Dark Souls.
1UP: Some of the classes were very powerful in Demon's Souls, such as Royalty. Will there be many new classes in Dark Souls, and what steps will you take to ensure that they're balanced?
Miyazaki: We unfortunately can not release very much information regarding classes at this point in time. Please look forward to more details to come. Furthermore, for Dark Souls, we will most likely not call the initial character settings and equipment as "classes".
1UP: The Demon's Souls story gave us a glimpse of an interesting world but never went into much detail. Will that change with Dark Souls?
Miyazaki: I wanted to create a game where, ideally, the player's game-play would become a "story in itself". Hence, there is little difference in terms of approach to the concept of the story from Demon's Souls.
1UP: Will XBOX Live being a subscription-based service have any impact on the online components in Dark Souls?
Miyazaki: Hm, this is a difficult question and it is difficult for me to answer, however, we will make sure we create the game to be enjoyable while being played completely offline as well.
1UP: With the "Soul Tendency" feature being removed, are you planning on creating something new to replace it?
Miyazaki: For Dark Souls, we will be implementing several new online features, but there will not be one aimed specifically to replace "Soul Tendency." This game will use a new network system which does not utilize a specific server. We plan to provide a new online experience using this new method.
1UP: Can we expect any enemies as powerful as the Mind Flayers from Demon's Souls? Those things were terrifying.
Miyazaki: Of course!