Bloodborne: Lots of Info on Gameplay, Design, World Size, PS4 Development and More from Tokyo Event
Bloodborne is just a little more than a week away, and on Friday I went to From Software HQ in Shibuya, Tokyo, to gather some more info on the upcoming game.
Luckily, the developers of the unforgiving PS4 exclusive were very willing to share quite a lot on the game’s features, inspirations and more.
Below you can read what I learned:
- To create a Chalice Dungeon you have to use a series of ritual altars in the Hunter’s Dream.
- The altars activate a menu that lets you create, share and search for Chalice Dungeons.
- Once the ritual is activated, you will be asked to use one of many chalices you can find around the game.
- The Chalice of Pthumeru is the first, basic chalice you can find, but there are quite a lot more.
- Once the chalice is selected, you have to spend a number of materials that can be gathered around the game.
- Each dungeon has an unique ID that you can share with your friends. Otherwise you can share it openly to everyone.
- The basic chalice dungeon created by the Chalice of Pthumeru has three levels, with a boss at the end. The boss room is sealed, and needs to be unlocked via a lever somewhere else in the level. Once the door is unlocked you can access the boss room directly even if you die.
- You can get multiple chalices of the same type, like Chalice of Pthumeru II, Chalice of Pthumeru III and so forth. Each has an increasing difficulty compared to those with a lower number.
- Different chalices bring to different areas, different types of enemies. Many different kinds of dungeons can be created.
- The player doesn’t have direct influence on the layout of a dungeon, but depending on what chalice is used and on the ingredients, they can cause the dungeon to tend towards a certain kind of dungeon.
- Some of the things that the team could do thanks to the power of the PS4 compared to the previous generation are the transformable weapons, the complex and intricate environments.
- Besides the loading to the Hunter’s Dream and the chalice dungeons, all the areas of the city are seamlessly connected.
- There are different times of day, even if the cycle is not dynamic. There will be gameplay changes associated with different time, like different enemies placed in different locations.
- The city of Yarnham is very vast. There’s a huge variety of areas, like snowy ones, or frightening ones.
- There are a dozen areas in the game (excluding the Chalice Dungeins). The area of the alpha test is just half of one of the smallest areas. The further you get into the game, the bigger and more intricate the areas get, so the whole game is “several times into the tenths” bigger than the alpha area.
- The new game plus option allows you to play the game a second, third, fourth time and more. It allows you to retain what you have gained in the previous playthrough, but the difficulty increases.
- When the Chime Maiden spawns, announcing an invasion, you can hunt her down and kill her. If you manage to do so before an invasion comes, you will stop the invasion before it happens.
- The developers are very happy and proud of the level of anticipation the game has created. They also feel the pressure, but they try not to think about it. Masaaki Yamagiwa’s goal as a Producer was to create a game that would cater not to a western or Japanese audience, but to allow From Software to do what it normally does, to create games that are just for “gamers” regardless of nationality.
- According to Director Hidetaka Miyazaki, there are similarities and differences compared to both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. In terms of the action and the pace of the game, it’s a little closer to Demon’s Souls, but the way the different areas of the game are all linked together is more similar to Dark Souls. Having a HUB area of the game you can warp to and from is close to Demon’s Souls. There are a lot of different things that are similar to both games, and a lot that are different from both.
- There are weapons that haven’t been revealed by Sony yet, and each of them is very unique.
- Hidetaka Miyazaki is “super happy” that so many people are anticipating Bloodborne. He does not categorize players between core gamers and casuals. He likes to make games that are fun for everyone.
- Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls were very successful, and that changed a lot of things for From Software.
- According to the Lead Programmer, Sony’s support with the PS4 has been very good, and made things a lot easier.
- The advances in the hardware allow Bloodborne to shine, while the fact that it’s a big title allowed the development team to go overseas and do research.
- The most challenging thing from a programming point of view is that the team didn’t really know much about the specs of the PS4 at the beginning, so they had to refine things afterwards.
- It’s difficult to say what’s best between creating an exclusive game and a multiplatform. There are certain features that you cannot do on multiple platforms, but at the same time, from a programmer’s perspective, it’s an interesting challenge to make everything work on more than one console.
- According to the Lead Character Designer, the Souls series is fantasy, so the enemies are focused on strength and ferociousness. Bloodborne is set in a Victorian setting. There’s a lot of economic expansion, but in the underbelly of society there’s a lot of anger and suffering. The game’s character design focuses on this frustration and horror.
- The fact that the main character initially looks very weak is intentional, and has to do with the horror theme, to make the player feel uncomfortable and not confident on whether he can survive. He also comes from a far away land, so his looks represents the anxiety of being lonely and not knowing what to do. Furthermore, it emphasizes the progression during the game. It wouldn’t fit in the horror theme to have a very buff and strong main character.
- There’s a lot of variety in equipment and clothing, including things that contrast greatly from what we’ve already seen.
- The inspiration behind many character designs is that of inhabitants of a forsaken place that didn’t benefit from the contact with civilization. The theme of the beast and that of anger, frustration and darker emotions pervades everything.
- The Lead Character Designer mentioned that the Cleric Beast is quite representative of the theme of the game, and it became a reference for the design team. It’s represents the ferociousness of the beast, and the team managed to do a lot of nice graphics things with it, so it’s a character that the developers particularly love.
- No specific details about the main characters have been emphasized, as the team intends him or her to be played as an extension of the player.
- Quite a few members of the Bloodborne team loved Demon’s Souls, and were inspired by it, so they applied to join From Software, including boss and level designer Masanori Waragai (who designed Anor Londo in Dark Souls)
- According to Waragai-san map design includes real architecture with a sort of twist that fits the game’s environment, and the team hopes that this twist will cause players to be curious and intersted in what lays beyond every corner.
- It took three years to design the city of Yarnham from the concept phase, while it took a couple of years starting from the actual modeling.
- To create the maps, Director Miyazaki-san gave the team some keywords for each area, and they threw ideas back at him. A back and forth between team and director followed until the final result. Miyazaki-san was very active in the game’s design, almost like an art director. There were regular, almost daily conversations between him and the art team on how things should look.
- Some maps remained exactly the same from the concept phase, some got canceled because they didn’t work at all, some were reformulated into others with completely different concepts. As design progresses smaller changes are made, like the addition of certain structures, with a constant refining process.
- The Cleric Beast changed quite a lot from the concept to the final model. The horns were changed, the rib cage was emphasized, and the claws were different as well.
And that’s pretty much it, at least for now, but you can expect a lot more information and some special treats on Bloodborne today here on DualShockers.