From Software’s game director Hidetaka Miyazaki is renowned for helping out the gamepad peripheral industry. How? By having fans of his games break controllers out of pure frustration at the no-nonsense sink-or-swim challenge imposed by the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
It seems that Miyazaki may want to be more than the guy who made those “git gud” games, as evident in a keynote for Reboot Develop, a boutique games industry event. He wants to work on a story-focused game one day.
In the same keynote also featuring ICO/Last Guardian director Fumito Ueda, Miyazaki was on the same boat as his peer, stating that games are organic and feel that changes in tech can help with informing players about the narrative. High-level plot and visuals/art usually starts first in the design process, followed lastly with story and dialogue.
Miyazaki added that the creation of a world and the levels can affect the story; it doesn’t make sense to start from there. Gameplay is the soul of the game; once that’s in place, he can form a story that fits and augments the experience.
“You’re playing with clay and it slowly comes into focus.”
Having said that, the From Software director said that this isn’t the only way to see game design. As stated before, he loves to one day create a game where story is the focal point like Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2. This also confirms that the recent Bandai Namco George R.R. Martin collaboration rumour may have some ring of truth to it.
Of course, to do that, he needs to get better at communicating the story of the game to his team, who often do not understand the overall plot of the games they’re working on. I’m guessing that’s what a director wants to focus on after making so many punishing and hardcore titles; it’s fine to take a break or two doing your equivalent of a story-based walking simulator.