Storytelling can be done in many different ways, and for each developer, that form exists in their own style. For Bandai Namco and From Software, they choose to tell stories in the Dark Souls franchise through more subtle avenues than what we usually see in games these days.
Dark Souls has been around for the past five years and its third iteration is only a matter of days away from being released. Dark Souls 3 Director Hidetaka Miyazaki spoke about how the unique style of storytelling in Dark Souls 3 will continue, and why he leaves interpretation up to the player.
“First of all, I don’t dislike direct storytelling — people seem to think that about my games! Actually, the truth is, I’m just not good at implementing direct narrative in my games. Another side is, I want to leave the interpretation of the world’s stories to the player.
“That’s actually my biggest reason for focusing on environmental and subtle storytelling. Rather than the game itself automatically telling the story, the player gets more value from it when they themselves find out hints of plot from items or side-characters they encounter in the world,” Miyazaki told Wired.
Discovering the story through your own intrigue and curiosity can be an interesting storytelling element, however, some players can end up missing things too. This avenue of narrative delivery is more interesting though, than the usual cutscene, led by the hand story and is part of what makes Dark Souls unique.
The Dark Souls franchise has found so much success over the years and it is one of the biggest brands out there today. Miyazaki spoke about whether or not he has any desire to bring the Dark Souls franchise into another genre or medium, given its massive popularity.
“I think my philosophy towards game development is first, set a certain game system, and then apply a world view that matches that. When it comes to Souls, first of all I came up with the action RPG game system, and then applied the mythology.
“I might come up with, for instance, a simulation or strategy system, and then if the Dark Souls world view worked with that system, there could be a chance the universe might expand into that gaming genre. But the other way around doesn’t work for me — I couldn’t start from a world view, like Souls, and then make another type of game fit that mold,” Miyazaki said.
Dark Souls 3 is rapidly approaching launch and we’ll have our full review in the coming days. Dark Souls 3 will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC this coming April 12.