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The open world of Elden Ring “required a lot more effort” than previous Souls games

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In a new interview with Edge magazine, creator Elden Ring Hidetaka Miyazaki talks about how FromSoftware handled its first truly open-world game, and the challenges of merging it into the Souls formula.

In an interview, Miyazaki acknowledged that the reason Elden Ring was previously delayed was at least partly due to the strict open world design.

“The level of freedom that we wanted to ultimately achieve in Elden Ring went beyond what we originally envisioned. This complexity gradually increased, and the time required for debugging and quality control, in particular, required much more effort.”

The open world presented challenging challenges that the team was not used to. Where Dark Souls has often been cramped and claustrophobic, pushing players into a constant state of nervous alertness, Elden Ring’s open world will inevitably offer a few quieter moments.

“There are a lot of areas where we’ve had to use trial and error since the inception of the Dark Souls series, iterating those mechanics and formulas, expanding them in this new sense of scale,” Miyazaki said. “A lot of that was about the pacing of the game – the rhythm and the flow of the game so that the player doesn’t get bored.”

FromSoftware had to learn some open world design tricks to sprout the world of Elden Ring. Miyazaki said that about 80% of the game’s vegetation and tree placement tasks were done using a procedural system, allowing the team to focus on other areas.

Elden Ring’s grander scale, despite all the design challenges, will ultimately enhance the sense of exploration, world-building, and mystery that define FromSoftware games, Miyazaki said.

“It actually allowed us to convey a lot of detail and elements that we might not have been able to capture on such a smaller scale before.”

Elden Ring releases February 25 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S.

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