Demon’s Souls’ creator looks back at the making of an RPG classic
Regular PlayStation Blog readers will be well aware of what a huge fan I am of From Software’s two phenomenal Souls action RPGs, so it is with great pleasure that I can announce that Demon’s Souls, the first game in the series, will be available as a digital download on PlayStation Store from tomorrow, priced at £15.99/€19.99.
Not only that, but as way of celebration, Artorias of the Abyss – Dark Souls’ recent DLC expansion – is on sale at a 38% discount (£6.49/€7.99, down from £9.99/€12.99). I can heartily recommend both purchases.
We had hoped to coax the games’ enigmatic creator Hidetaka Miyazaki onto the Blog to personally introduce Demon’s Souls to the uninitiated. While that wasn’t possible, Miyazaki-san was however kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the game. Read on…
The Souls series has a reputation for being very challenging, and many newcomers to the series might be scared to pick up the game. Are they right to be afraid?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: I find it very sad if people who get interested in Demon’s Souls do not try it due to the difficulty, so I would like to say please do not be afraid of jumping into the game universe. Rather, ‘challenging’ means ‘a lot of fun’.
What advice can you give players coming to the series for the first time?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: New gamers may think, ‘this game is too difficult and not my game’. However, I believe that not only skilled players can have fun moving forward by learning from failures. I would like players to conquer the difficulty and enjoy taking on formidable enemies and going back and forth in dungeons. The process of overcoming the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment brought by breaking through each difficulty is the value we would like to offer to them.
What were your ambitions when you first started making Demon’s Souls?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: It was to express all the cool and interesting things from classic CRPG titles through the latest consoles and technologies, and to add inspiring elements achieved by the use of network technology.
Since its release, the series has slowly snowballed into one of the biggest new franchises of this console generation. Why do you think it has taken off so dramatically? And why has it proved such a hit in the West when many Japanese titles have struggled in recent years?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: This is difficult to answer, since we can’t fully analyse the result perfectly. However, one thing I could possibly say here is that, this game was designed and created to directly focus at the core essence that lies within ‘game lovers’ that commonly exist all around the world, instead of focusing on matching gamer preferences according to markets such as Japan, US, Europe or Asia. Creating a game aimed at this sincere element in gamers was one of the policies I have put efforts to maintain throughout the development process.
The PSN release is of course the same version that was originally released in 2009. However, if you could go back in and change anything about the game, what would you alter?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: Apart from obvious bugs, there are currently no intentions to modify the game. I do not believe that Demon’s Souls is perfect, but one remarkable thing is that all games have a living aspect and a tendency to fit the generation in which it was born. Demon’s Souls is not an exception. That is why I would like to cherish the Demon’s Souls that has been enjoyed and grown along with the fans. I do have some regret, and points that could have been improved on, but I will keep this in mind for any additional future opportunities.
Fans of the series argue back and forth about which of the two Souls games is the best – which one are you personally most proud of?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: This is really a tough question. It is like choosing a favourite child, which is not something I can do.
How different will Dark Souls 2 be compared to Demon’s Souls? Is it a huge progression on the series’ original roots?
Hidetaka Miyazaki: Although my role in Dark Souls 2 is a supervisor who would not directly get involved in the development, I believe that the game will show further evolution and new possibilities by welcoming a new experienced director. I am glad if our fans are looking forward to the new game.