Dark Souls is a bloody hard game. Everyone with a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 knows this simple fact. And if you didn't, we certainly told you so in our review last year. But one segment of gamers had been left out of the fun - PC owners. No longer, with the arrival of the Prepare to Die Edition.
Namco Bandai and FROM Software decided to develop an updated version of the controller-chuckingly-difficult role-player, on the back of an overwhelmingly popular petition to bring the game to PC. I was able to fire a few questions to FROM Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki to find out more about the changes made and the future of the series.
SPOnG: Dark Souls has been available on console for some time, so you must have had time to reflect on its development before working on the PC version. Did you learn anything from the console version that you wanted to change in this PC edition?
One thing I learned from the console version and reflected to the PC version is to increase the number of bonfires that enables players to teleport. Based on systematic restriction, all bonfires are not teleporting points but these could reduce stress of players caused in moving from place to place in the latter half of the story. In addition, all new bonfires in the additional map are teleporting points.
SPOnG: What was your reaction to the original PC version petition that caught the attention of Namco Bandai? Did you not consider developing a PC version of Dark Souls until this petition became so popular?
The petition campaign was absolutely a big surprise and pleasure for us. I had not considered the development of the Dark Souls
PC version at all before the campaign started.
SPOnG: Were you surprised with the cult following these games have had in the West?
Support from passionate fans was such a big surprise for me, as well as the team at From Software.
SPOnG: How will the new areas, bosses and enemies add to the Dark Souls experience?
I always hope that gameplay of Dark Souls
could be an adventurous story for every player, and believe that the additional content will unfold another adventure toward players and deepen the relationship laid between each player and the world of Dark Souls
. I can not tell you the details here but I believe that the additional content leads to a wonderful adventure for all.
SPOnG: Prepare to Die Edition includes an online matchmaking system for co-op play. The original console version imposed limitations to add atmosphere. Have you worked hard to make sure that atmosphere is not ruined with the addition of more online play options?
As for the new online mode called “Battle of Stoicism”... I do not know how to exactly describe it, but you could say that is quite experimental.
"Battle of Stoicism" is a completely new feature that is different from the existing online mode in the console version. But, this experiment won't break the atmosphere and universe of Dark Souls
- it will be quite interesting for us to see how this new online mode is welcomed and enjoyed by fans.
"Battle of Stoicism" is just a sub-feature for the game, so I do not consider this mode as one of the main elements of Dark Souls
SPOnG: What is your opinion of the PC games industry right now?
That’s a tough question. This is the first time for me to create a PC game and as a game creator that has just started PC game development I am not in the position to mention something about the current industrial circumstances.
SPOnG: Has the popularity of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls been encouraging? Would you want to make more games in the Souls series in the future?
Comments from Demon’s Souls
and Dark Souls
fans actually encourage me a lot and motivate me to create a video game as well as give me a happy feeling.
I can not tell you anything regarding the sequels yet but I personally love all of the games I have directed. On the other hand, there are some things that I could not have modified and wanted to try in this series. So I would love to get involved in the sequels if a chance is given to me. But, honestly I have no idea about the sequels and there would be various perspectives.
SPOnG: Thank you for your time.