In an interview with 4Gamer, former Dark Souls director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and new director, Tomohiro Shibuya, discuss their new roles and plans for Dark Souls II.
No longer in the director’s chair, Miyazaki is now acting as the “supervisor” for Dark Souls II. What exactly will he do as a supervisor?
First of all, Miyazaki would like to reassure fans that might have concerns about the change of directors to not worry.
“As far as being a developing games, Mr. Shibuya has far more experience than I do,” Miyazaki says. “He understands exactly what it takes to do a great job and we’re on the same page regarding where we’d like to take the Dark Souls franchise. I fully trust him and his judgment.”
Due to personal reasons and more, Miyazaki and From Software came to a mutual agreement regarding his change to supervisor for the next installment. Although he’s saddened that he will no longer be the director, he’s satisfied by the fact that he’ll still have a role in the development of the series he’s grown to love. He believes there’s still a lot of potential in Dark Souls, which will only be realized better over time.
Miyazaki says his role as a supervisor will allow him to have a say in what he likes and dislikes during the ongoing development for Dark Souls II, which he considers selfish but at the same time, crucial.
A couple of those decisions that are already in the works include: a game server for Dark Souls II and to refrain from having DLC weapons and items.
As a supervisor, Miyazaki will monitor development and will make sure it stays true to its core as a Dark Souls game. However, he’s going to hold himself back when it comes to the world, story and artwork, as he believes that most of that should be up to Shibuya, as the new director.
Tomohiro Shibuya is known for his work in the mecha all-star game, Another Century’s Episode. Aside from A.C.E., Shibuya has worked in developing a new high-end graphics engine, which he plans on implementing in Dark Souls II. He recently stated that he’d like to evolve the overall experience of Dark Souls II, but in order to do that, he believes that it needs to start with the overall graphics.
Shibuya shares: “Rather than focusing on shading and lighting technologies, I believe that having a more realistic atmosphere while showing better details of the monsters and their expressions would definitely have a bigger impact.”
In regards to how Dark Souls II will connect to its predecessor, it will take place in the same world, although it won’t be a direct sequel. The story will take place in a different area with different people. Shibuya decided to stick to the original Dark Souls map style, instead of opting for an open-open world. As far as recurring characters go, not much can be said for the time being.
Shibuya believes that the most important thing is to stay true to the original game, which already has many fans. Rather than making something completely different as the new director, he’d like to see what he can do to make it better.
“My concept is to get Dark Souls and what made it great, and give it a major upgrade,” he states. Shibuya also clarifies that there are currently no plans to increase the game’s size. If anything, it will just be slightly larger than the first. He’d also like to keep the overall gameplay time required to beat the game as close as possible to Dark Souls.