Famed Dark Souls and Bloodborne creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has revealed in a recent interview how he maintains balance between maintaining the series’ trademark difficulty without making it unfair. Speaking to VG247 as part of a Dark Souls III preview event last week, Miyazaki was quizzed on all things Souls, including how he manages to maintain such an unforgiving yet completely fair difficulty level for those that relish the challenge.
Surprisingly, Miyazaki doesn’t approach the challenges each game throws at the player with the concern that something is too difficult, but rather, if the challenge is fair and surmountable without being unreasonable.
Well, there were of course several moments where I had to stop things and take a step back and consider the difficulty. But it’s not necessarily that I say ‘oh, this is too difficult,’ but instead the term I usually use is ‘unreasonable.’ So, that’s the term I tend to use when I have these conversations with the development team.
When you think about it, the difficulty in the Dark Souls franchise so far has been something that players have eventually been able to overcome. So when I show concern to the development team members, that’s why the term I use is unreasonable – basically, we don’t want to go too far. It’s about striking a balance.
It’s fascinating to get a glimpse of Miyazaki’s design ethics, and his comments on how both he and the development team have managed to maintain such a consistent and fair difficulty across the span of four – soon to be five – games in the series is a testament to how talented they are. There are, of course, times when things don’t go exactly as planned, but let’s just pretend the Bed Of Chaos doesn’t exist, eh?
Dark Souls III releases for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on March 24 in Japan. The rest of us will have to wait an agonizing three additional weeks to get our hands on it on April 12. To read the full interview with Miyazaki, head over here.