FromSoftware has released no shortage of instant classics over the course of more than a decade, and with Elden Ring promising a vast, open world experience that translates the developer’s design philosophies to a scale much larger than what any of its previous games have done, there is, understandably, no shortage of excitement surrounding it.
But with this being an open world game, questions about it are being asked that get asked about any other open world game. For instance, how does the game maintain a consistent level of quality and variety across all of the content it has to offer? According to FromSoftware president and creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki, that’s something the developer focused on quite a bit.
In a recent interview with EDGE magazine (via MP1st), Miyazaki said that in particular, FromSoftware focused on the game’s tempo and ensuring that players always have something new and interesting to do, whether that’s a quest, a dungeon, or simple exploration.
“There were a number of challenges that, of course, came with the scope of this game and of the world,” Miyazaki said. “There are a lot of areas in which we’ve had to use trial and error since creating the Dark Souls series, iterating on those mechanics and formulas, expanding on them in this new sense of scale. A lot of it was related to the game tempo – the rhythm and the flow of the game, to keep the player from getting bored, to keep them interested, exploring and having fun. And, of course, in this brand-new huge world that we’ve created, we wanted to prioritise that fun and level of player freedom more than anything. So with that comes a lot of characters, a lot of events that you’re trying to incorporate, and you don’t want anything to tread on the toes of anything else – you want it all to mingle and to mesh nicely with the player and their own motivations as well. But you want it to be there, and you want it to provide that stimulation for progressing forward and exploring.”
Interestingly, Miyazaki also explained that Elden Ring was delayed past what was initially targeting because the game offers more freedom to players than FromSoftware had originally intended, which meant it required more polishing than anticipated as well.
“The level of freedom that we wanted to ultimately achieve in Elden Ring exceeded what we were initially planning for,” he said. “This [complexity] gradually built up, and the time needed to debug and QA in particular took a lot more effort.”
Elden Ring launches on February 25 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.