The designer I admire is Hidetaka Miyazaki who is the creative director of the Darksouls videogame series. He is a Japanese creative director working for FromSoftware and has inspired a whole new genre of video games. He focuses on making hard difficulty games that do not rely on a heavy dialogue focus to tell you a story. Instead the story is slowly discovered by players through the environment or chance encounters. “Miyazaki stated that he does not dislike direct storytelling but prefers players to interpret it for themselves, as they get more value from it when they find out hints of plot from items or side-characters” . He was also heavily inspired by English architecture and uses it a lot in his game environments.
The Video Games he has directed are:
- Demon Souls
- Dark Souls
- Dark Souls 2
- Dark Souls 3
- Sekiro: Shadows die twice
- Elden Ring
Honestly, I hadn’t thought of Miyazaki when thinking about designers I admire because we’ve been discussing a lot of architectural and product design aesthetics, but he is a designer nonetheless, and definitely a great one. I’ve played Demon Souls, all of the Dark Souls games, and Elden Ring too (I’m waiting for that new DLC to drop). Everything about all of those games are great, from the storytelling (or lack thereof) to the visuals and environments.
I really like the idea that the creative medium used for storytelling is not the dialogue, but rather the environment – this means that more detail and depth must be added to Miyazaki’s worlds in order to convey a powerful story. The creative style and definition with which he creates his characters and architecture is very interesting to me as well, and seems to be a combination of multiple different intermeshing styles.
I really like the theme of being able to let the player figure out the storyline for themselves. It makes the game more of a journey rather than orders. I think that aesthetic decision is really smart and allows for the game to generate lessons by allowing the users to have to think deeply about it instead of just being told to go do something for no reason. I am curious about why he is your favorite aesthetic artist? What makes him stand out against the others to you?
Hi Colin, I also really like the creative direction of Miyazaki! I think that his choice of not having too much story revealed directly is both interesting and at times frustrating. On the one hand, it makes the games feel more immersive, but it can also turn into several hours of watching YouTube videos to understand more of the plot. At times I feel this is a bit tragic because of how detailed and fascinating the lore is, and how it can so easily be missed. I was wondering if you had a favorite game or piece of lore? I am personally partial to both Elden Ring and Dark Souls 3, especially with its dark and gothic aesthetic. I was also wondering if there are other areas that Miyazaki draws influence from, especially since the games are so diverse?