Dark Souls 2 director says aim is to reduce 'tediousness'

Dark Souls 2 co-director Yui Tanimura explains how previous comments about making the game straightforward and understandable were about reducing tedious and repetitive tasks.


Dark Souls 2 game director Tomohiro Shibuya raised some fan concern when he said this new game would be "more straightforward and more understandable." Long-time fans of the series worried that the notoriously difficult game would be compromised for the sake of a larger audience. Shibuya clarified that he simply wants a smoother difficulty curve and clearer story elements. In addition, co-director Yui Tanimura now says that he was referring to reducing tedious tasks throughout the game.

"What we meant by that was, based on feedback we got on Dark Souls, we got a lot of feedback that said that it was challenging and that the satisfaction was there, but there were a couple of areas that were a little bit tedious or a little bit time-consuming," Tanimura told Polygon, thorugh a translator. "Those are things we want to sort of streamline - to sort of cut away a lot of the fat, to make some revisions and enhancements so that we can really deliver the pure essence of the challenge in the Dark Souls experience."

He pointed out that in Dark Souls, players would often have to backtrack across large areas multiple times. He said they're attempting to "get rid of all the tediousness and the time-consuming stuff so you can actually get into the game and not worry about having to do certain tasks like this."

That sounds less like dumbing down the difficulty, and more like reducing the repetition. We'll have a clearer idea when the game releases in March 2014.

From The Chatty
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    June 18, 2013 12:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Dark Souls 2 director says aim is to reduce 'tediousness'.

    Dark Souls 2 co-director Yui Tanimura explains how previous comments about making the game straightforward and understandable were about reducing tedious and repetitive tasks.

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      June 18, 2013 12:06 PM

      This is good news to me if I'm understanding it correctly. It's one reason I slightly prefer Demon's Souls. I can hop right into an area rather than trekking across a map to get to it. They did a great job with the overall map layout and how it folded over itself in Dark, but that plus the limited bonfire fast traveling wasn't enough to stop all the backtracking. In Demon's Souls I always felt like I was progressing.

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      June 18, 2013 1:51 PM

      Honestly, Dark Souls is a master class in level design (aside from upper Blighttown and 'that one bit' in Anor Londo). There's no game that can really compare. The trek through the world never felt tedious to me anyway (except getting back to Firelink Shrine from Blighttown before getting the Lordvessel).

      I kind of really wonder what he means. There's a bit of a grind at times and the 'quests' are vague as hell (try and figure out how to keep Solaire alive or get Siegmeyer's Titanite Slab on your own), they'd need some work but otherwise - No clue.

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        June 18, 2013 1:55 PM

        Lost Izalith would like a word with you. Boring, tedious crap.

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          June 18, 2013 1:57 PM

          the upper part isn't too bad. interesting stuff (especially the poison pit).

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          June 18, 2013 2:16 PM

          Lost Izalith is interesting. There is a path through it where you don't have to fight any of the huge weird things. I didn't know that the first time through and ended up just wrecking them one by one with my Claymore. If you do that, it's a piece of cake and rather short. The boss was rubbish though.

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        June 18, 2013 3:23 PM

        demons souls level design is better, in every way except perhaps scale. in fact dark souls has some spots that, were i teach a class in level design, i would use to demonstrate the absolute bottom of the barrel. oddly it also has some of the best levels in a long time as well. overall i would rate the level design in dark souls as poor to fair, but its not really about that. i will take shit level design in a game that is basically masterwork in every other way and call it GOTY all day.

        blighttown, lost izalith, the crystal cave, tomb of giants. these are all terrible, terrible levels. pretty much the entire games aesthetic and geometry are bland, derivative, and uninspired forgettable "www.fantasygameassets.com" trite. i argue this every couple of months and get shackpiled over it, and im comfortable with that. i do not want dark souls to go down in history as "BEST LEVEL DESIGN EVER" in the same way that Doom is remembered as "THOUSANDS OF ENEMIES AND CONSTANT ACTION". lets remember dark souls for the things about it worth remembering and stop pretending its less pleasant aspects are better than they are because the rest of the game is so good. dark souls is one of the best games EVER MADE. it really is. but not because of its level design.

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          June 18, 2013 4:32 PM

          Dark Souls' design strength is not in any individual area, but in the overall vision.

          Taken as a whole the game is one of the most tightly designed experiences ever.

          It's only in the specifics that it breaks down. Sen's Fortress and Lost Izalith represent the best and the worst of the game, respectively. There is no area in the game more tightly designed than Sen's, and no area more unfinished than Lost Izalith. Most of the game falls somewhere in the middle. And even some of the "bad" areas you mention aren't badly laid out. They just have terrible gimmicks that no level design could save. Upper Blighttown would be so much better without the FPS problems, for example.

          If Dark Souls 2 can keep the overall experience as tight while also bringing that level of attention to individual areas, well, it may end up being not just one of the best games, but the best game. The idea of an entire game with the overall vision of Dark Souls with the attention to detail that is shown in Sen's Fortress makes me more than a little shaky in the knees.

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      June 18, 2013 2:17 PM

      I didn't mind all of the backtracking.

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      June 18, 2013 3:31 PM

      god please dont fuck it up

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        June 18, 2013 3:40 PM


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        June 18, 2013 3:49 PM

        Tanimura went into further detail on the Rewind system:

        "One of the biggest frustrations players had with Dark Souls was the penalty for dying. If you made a simple mistake, you suffered greatly. With our unlimited Rewind option, players are able to re-do the previous 30 seconds of gameplay and avoid aggravations."

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          June 18, 2013 3:52 PM

          He further elaborated with an example of how they were working to reduce tediousness.

          "If you are are stuck on a particular boss, you can purchase Gods Blessings DLC to instantly kill your foe for a minimal fee."

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            June 18, 2013 5:00 PM

            I hope there is DLC that allows you to randomly kill people on your friends' list.

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              June 18, 2013 5:35 PM

              Perfect Dark on the N64 had a neat 2p mode where p2 would play as weak enemies in a level. Can't think of many games that have done that since. Except for Demon's souls' 3.3 Boss.

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                June 18, 2013 6:10 PM

                I really hope they keep the spirit of the MP stuff from DS and just build on it. Hopefully right off the bat having dedicated servers will fix the fact that MP barely worked half the time. On top of that having more spooky shit like seeing blood stains and other players ghosts running around was really awesome, I'd love to see that get even more elaborate and still be real subtle and uncontrolled in the same way.

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      June 18, 2013 7:02 PM

      I didn't really feel like it was tedious? The interconnectivity of the levels and the slight backtracking made it even cooler.

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      June 18, 2013 8:10 PM

      Backtracking is a part of the game and it should not be removed, there are plenty of shortcuts in the game to allow you move anywhere in the world quickly. It gives an area purpose and each time you travel through that area you remember the things that happened before. I would compare Dark Souls level design to Super Metroid, one of the best games ever made.

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