It’s a bitter sweet moment. On one hand I feel that all stories must have an ending, even when I wish they would never end–I’m not much for on-going series. On the other, the Soulsborne games (that is Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series) have been a singular source of entertainment and inspiration for me for the past eight years. With the recent release of the final Dark Souls III DLC, The Ringed City, From Software has brought an end to the Dark Souls story and possibly an end to an era in gaming. Read more… ›
Yesterday the final DLC for Dark Souls III, The Ringed City became available; however, as I haven’t had the chance to delve into it heavily, instead of a review I offer the final part in the trilogy of writing pieces on what the experience of playing these games offers to everyone but especially creators.
I understand that game play and design is a sort of broad topic to tackle with any game. Though in this particular context I mean as it pertains to the experience Dark Souls and the related titles of the Soulsborne series create. In truth, and with any well designed game, the way you play the game, the way you explore it is as essential to the player experience as the graphics and the story. In the best designed games, game play and design are the story. Because, after all, experience becomes story in the end, does it not? Read more… ›
What I think has drawn people to the Soulsborne series (affectionately named by its fans for the Dark Souls series, Demon’s Souls, and Bloodborne, collectively) and evolves to obsession for many of us, is the experience the games provide. Not the story. Not the gameplay. But the totality of all of the games’ collective parts.
For anyone who is not a gamer (or game designer, for that matter), I’ve heard it said that the highest point in the art of game design, the greatest achievement a game can make, is to seamlessly integrate all of its parts into a complete experience for the player. Like reading a book or watching a film, you never once want the game to feel disjointed, a part of it forced or out of place; the suspension of disbelief should never be broken. And having been a gamer all of my life, and speaking as someone with a bit of amateur experience and classes in game design, I can honestly say I have never played a game or series which has achieved this so (near) perfectly. Read more… ›
It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since I stated I wanted to take some time in this blog to focus on writing about the Souls series from developer From Software. Of course, for those keeping up with my work and this site, the publisher for my comic Chadhiyana, Rosarium Publishing, ran a successful IndieGoGo campaign. That, coupled with some time for recovery (promoting it was the most aggressive I’ve ever been about promoting anything), threw off my schedule a bit. But now that things are stabalising, and since I’ve completed my first play through Dark Souls III (with my own creative work, I can’t put as much time as I’d like into gaming), I thought I’d begin this week by writing about my reactions thereof. Read more… ›
Though this past weekend Japanese gamers saw the release of Dark Souls III, we in the United States will not be getting it until April 12th. However, with this recent overseas release, an intriguing Dark Souls related article that was recently brought to my attention, and the fact that I finally finished my second play through Bloodborne (just one trophy away from my Platinum–yes, I play slowly, as I don’t have as much time to game as I’d like), I thought it would be a perfect time to write again about my anticipation for the next installment in the only game series in recent years (relatively) which has had a profound impact on me as a creator and storyteller. Read more… ›