‘Elden Ring’ creator Hidetaka Miyazaki wants to make dying in games “enjoyable”

"If death is to be more than a mark of failure, how do I give it meaning?"

In a recent interview, Elden Ring creator Hidetaka Miyazaki spoke about how he wants to make death in games “enjoyable.”

Speaking to The New Yorker, Miyazaki dived into his thought processes behind the way he designs his game. “I’ve never been a very skilled player,” Miyazaki said in the interview. “I die a lot. So, in my work, I want to answer the question: If death is to be more than a mark of failure, how do I give it meaning? How do I make death enjoyable?”

Miyazaki is also obviously conscious of how his games are not for everyone, saying he does “feel apologetic toward anyone who feels there’s just too much to overcome” in his games, but he also wants “as many players as possible to experience the joy that comes from overcoming hardship.”

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Elden Ring review
Elden Ring. Credit: FromSoftware.

And Miyazaki also found the question of how difficult a game should be or not be an interesting one, but noted how it is an important part of FromSoftware‘s games. “We are always looking to improve, but, in our games specifically, hardship is what gives meaning to the experience. So it’s not something we’re willing to abandon at the moment. It’s our identity.”

One of the most notable aspects of Elden Ring is the fact that Game of Thrones writer George R. R. Martin was involved in developing the story for the game. But Miyazaki notes that Martin only worked on the backstory, not the script itself. “In our games, the story must always serve the player experience,” Miyazaki said. “If [Martin] had written the game’s story, I would have been worried that we might have to drift from that. I wanted him to be able to write freely and not to feel restrained by some obscure mechanic that might have to change in development.”

In other news, Knockout City is going free-to-play, with EA no longer publishing, and developer Velan Studios now self-publishing.

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