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Bloodborne creator Hidetaka Miyazaki: ‘I didn’t have a dream, wasn’t ambitious' (theguardian.com)
110 points by alacritythief on Apr 1, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 51 comments



Great quote from Miyazaki, who rose from programmer to president of the company.

“Now I’m president,” he says, “I get to meet a lot of other company presidents. They’re such weird people. I’m fascinated by them.” With a smile, he adds: “I use some of them as enemy characters in our games.”


This quote reminded me of an anime/manga called Attack on Titan, where it's said that its creator draws inspiration for Titan looks from bullies that had in his school years.


>But Miyazaki had a problem: at 29, he was too old to apply for graduate positions and too inexperienced for anything else. “Not a lot of places would take me,” he says. “From Software was one of the few.”

Career switchers who are slow to find their knack in life deserve a fresh start. I say that from the position of being one. Talent does exist among the people who are trapped in mediocre, unfulfilled lives, and all they look for is their chance to shine.

I bloody love Dark Souls and Bloodborne.


I am considering a career AND industry change, and I'm almost 40. Can you give me some general advice or pointers about career switching. I'm not entirely sure why I would think you might have a basis, just reaching out.


This is not an advice, but just a comment. I think many software engineers would KILL it if they worked for small mom and pop shops, or small practices. They could help turn many $500,000/year businesses into several times that revenue. Plus they would have WAY more autonomy then working at startups and tech companies, which in my opinion are just factories.


I agree with you, but there are a lot of catches when dealing with small businesses. They don't apply to every business, and my experience could be anecdotal. But there is an argument to be made that some of these businesses remain small for a good reason.

The first problem with many of these small businesses is they don't want to pay market rates for people with the skills and talent. If you do generate that much revenue, it's not guaranteed that you'll be brought up to a market rate.

You might not even get credit for achievements, where people view you as a commodity worker. You'll encounter owners or employees who know just enough to be dangerous, and therefore don't value the skills you bring to the table. Their son knows some HTML, how hard can it be? You can't build Facebook or automate all of their business processes in a weekend?

You'll be caught in situations where your time will be micromanaged to the point where you can't be productive. The farther away a business gets from software, the less experience management has with managing software projects and the people who work on them. It's difficult to get autonomy for a project that might take days and weeks for tangible results, when most people are used to being able to see the progress and results more immediately. They won't understand everything or anything you're doing and may doubt you actually know what you're talking about or understand their needs.

Your "maker's schedule" will be sliced and diced into useless microblocks of time. Because you know computers, you'll be tasked with keeping printers and desktops running. You will be the first person people disrupt throughout the day with any issue.


One of the issues with a late career/industry change that is often not discussed is the pain that comes with a (usually?) sharp downward adjustment in lifestyle due to lower wages, similar to Mizayuki's 80% salary cut.

Immediate family concerns and other obligations (e.g. parental care) at a later stage in life may necessitate a more gradual shift through successive job transitions, rather than a sudden career change.

Technically, an "experienced hire" should be attempting to shift into careers that allow for maximum skill transferal, but this isn't always possible, and it certainly isn't easy.


I've been playing Bloodborne every evening for the last week or so, and it is tremendous. It's the only game that minor spoiler has ever gotten Lovecraftian horror correct in a really convincing way. The tone is pretty much one hundred percent on target.

I'd love a couple of my cosmic-horror-loving friends to play it, but it is fucking hard. I'm not sure they'd make it to the first boss, to say nothing of past it and the next however many there are.

As someone else points out, it may unfeasible for you to get a copy of your own (it's a PS4 exclusive), so you can of course watch others play - but seriously, it's not the same thing. Creeping around corners waiting for an ambush, inspecting hideous statues, hearing the slither of some nearby yet hidden hostile creature - the mindset you enter while playing is important to the consumption of the content. Watching another play, you don't quite have that. If at all possible, don't watch, just wait for your chance to play it - outside of Dark Souls and to some extent its prequel and sequel, it's pretty much a one-of-a-kind experience.


> I'd love a couple of my cosmic-horror-loving friends to play it, but it is fucking hard. I'm not sure they'd make it to the first boss, to say nothing of past it and the next however many there are.

> outside of Dark Souls and to some extent its prequel and sequel, it's pretty much a one-of-a-kind experience.

Weird. Bloodborne is the first of the "series" that I've even been remotely tempted to play. The combat mechanics look fresh and exciting. Every video I've ever seen of its predecessors featured gameplay that looked boring and clunky (even if challenging).


The combat in Dark Souls was amazing. The hitboxes were so finely tuned you could just about dodge by a hair. The Artorias boss fight was the most fluid battle I've seen in a game, though maybe Bloodborne can top it. The PVP was absolutely great also, with skill-intensive counters for everything meaning the most skilled player almost always came out on top.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWLsLb-tK8A (audio possibly NSFW)


The hitboxes are done very well in Bloodborne, to the point where the Bloodborne subreddit has dubbed it "hitbox porn".

Examples: http://gfycat.com/FlatOffbeatDrake http://i.imgur.com/WWUzhSe.gifv http://gfycat.com/LinedCookedKoodoo


Thanks for sharing that. It's one of the more interesting DS vids I've seen. However, and this is subjective, it still looks clunky and slow. I also don't care for the aesthetics.

From what I've seen of Bloodborne play, both of these concerns have been addressed. The removal of sword and boarding and the non fantasy/medieval setting make it so much more appealing to me than DS ever was. Just my personal opinion.


> It's the only game that minor spoiler has ever gotten Lovecraftian horror correct in a really convincing way. The tone is pretty much one hundred percent on target.

I would recommend the game Darkest Dungeon, which convincingly nails the atmosphere of some of Lovecraft's work, for me. It's pulpier and less serious (more purple) than Bloodborne, but I believe that Lovecraft himself was pulpier, purpler, and less serious than Bloodborne (going so far as to hide inside jokes in his work).


Lovecraftian horror in video games? I have just the link for you! :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF_cCOKXgvk


This game is just phenomenal, I find myself thinking about the game and it's creatures late at night while trying to sleep. It has a quality to it that requires your undivided attention and I think that's why it permeates so easily into your psyche.

If you haven't tried it out yet, do yourself a favor and at least rent it. It's one of the best game to come out in the past decade. You'll hear people whine about it being hard, but it's not like that. It's fair. You mess up you will be hit. If you're patient and time your movements you'll glide through the areas and make the game seem like a typical hack n slash. You will make it look easy.


Does this game also require you to pointlessly repeat large chunks of levels after death on bosses like the Dark Souls games did?


Usually you can find shortcuts to the boss areas, and most enemies in the game can be just run past. They leash back to their spots pretty quickly from what I've seen so far.

But I guess relatively speaking to non-Dark Souls style games, then yes, you do have to fight your way to the boss fights.


Only if you don't bother exploring to open up shortcuts, or if you insist on killing every enemy every time you respawn.


I've noticed a lot of fans of these games are defensive about them to the point of being weirdly hostile to anyone who dares express criticism.

Chill. You can explain the mechanics without turning everything into a weird "your fault n00b" blame game.


I don't think it's valid criticism. If something repeatedly fails and you keep doing it, is it the fault of the game or of the player?


He's describing a fundamental game mechanic, namely the way the series handles saves and respawns.

But by all means, keep the downvotes coming. It really just proves my point.


> He's describing a fundamental game mechanic, namely the way the series handles saves and respawns.

No, he's describing how a fundamental game mechanic (namely the way the series handles saves and respawns) was misunderstood by him to require him to "pointlessly repeat large chunks of levels" to get back to the area Boss, because he missed or misunderstood a separate fundamental game mechanic (exploration is rewarded with discovery of shortcuts that lead to you discovering that the world is heavily connected and you generally never spawn more than 30-45 seconds away from a Boss via the shortest path)


> No, he's describing how a fundamental game mechanic (namely the way the series handles saves and respawns) was misunderstood by him to require him to "pointlessly repeat large chunks of levels" to get back to the area Boss, because he missed or misunderstood a separate fundamental game mechanic (exploration is rewarded with discovery of shortcuts that lead to you discovering that the world is heavily connected and you generally never spawn more than 30-45 seconds away from a Boss via the shortest path)

We're talking about a game that quite literally prides itself on not communicating this stuff explicitly to the player.

This isn't like they didn't read the instruction manual (lol), or failed to observe the tooltip (lol) : they just didn't play the game "enough", whatever that means.

As far as I'm concerned, if they then didn't sufficiently grok the ethos of the game that's not their fault. The fact that %Souls decides to be eccentrically weird, by industry standards, shifts the burden of responsibility back onto them and away from the player.

It's then supremely pompous for the fanbase to insist on always blaming the player for every criticism uttered, real or perceived. It's not everyone else's fault your cherished game is a bizarro outlier.


that's a whole lot of words to say "it's too hard for me, and I think it's unfair".


lol, I was speaking in the abstract. I'm actually a huge fan of BB, and generally find the difficulty in NG to be on the easy side.


Unfortunately I don't have a PS4 to play it on, but from what I've seen and heard, it's meant to be more than just a hack-and-slash.

Many of the encounters are almost like puzzles where you need a strategy to get through. Here's a pretty good take on it from PA: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2015/03/27/provisional-resigna...


Yes, coupled with a 30 second load screen after every single death. I've never played any of the other games, but I can tell you after playing this for a while that this game is not for me due to how they implement the difficulty.

Just to give you an idea, it took me 7 or 8 years to beat Kingdom Hearts 1 because of how bad the camera was. I got to a point where I just walked away. I really dislike games that are difficult due to ackward controls, cheesy mechanics (such as enemies popping behind you in an area you just cleared), that sort of thing

I played it for a few hours but I got tired of things like

- you roll and the camera lifts up so you're staring down at yourself and can no longer see the enemies you rolled from

- if you hit the enemy at the end of your range your attack pushes them back further than your characters steps forward so you miss the followup attack and they end up killing you (or hurting you badly).

- Sometimes when you attack an enemy they'll slide sideways (I say sometimes, I mean quite often). I've seen them slide so far they slide behind the camera at which point you're guessing where they are based upon where they disappeared.

- Your attacks do random amounts of damage. Sometimes it takes 3 hits to kill a mob, sometimes 4 or 5. But because every attack uses stamina, you really want to use as few attacks as possible and sometimes you die for it because that 1 random enemy required an extra hit. I never figured out why.

- the healing items appeared to give a random amount of health back.

- Some of the level designs appeared to be such that it maximized the pain of the camera. One enemy in particular I'm thinking of is big and surroundedin by innumerable unbreakable boxes and such. He wasn't that difficult himself, but being able to avoid his attack successfull due to the aforementioned boxes, etc, was a tedious chore.

I can see the appeal to the game, but it just isn't for me. And this is coming from a guy who plays most games on hard. But there's a certain kind of difficulty I don't enjoy and unfortunately this game lands right square in the middle of it.

edit: The thing that caused me to respond in the first place.

The game moves slow overall. You kill an enemy, he drops loot, but not immediately, so you end up waiting to see if he dropped loot. If he does, you run to the body, hit X, wait for the confirmation to pop up, hit X again, and then eventually go on about your day. When you're playing the same level over and over again it gets really time consumingly tedious. Add on to that the 30 second load screen (that's not an exaggeration) and you have a game that's pure tedium (atleast for me).


If you find the combat system annoying to the point where you lose interest in the game I would recommend watching the walkthrough/lore videos by EpicNameBro and study how he approaches combat.

The combat system can be VERY punishing if you don't pace yourself correctly or attack when you should defend. You don't really need to go slow, but you can't really play it like other games either.

Imho Bloodborne does not use "cheesy mechanics". For example, enemies don't pop behind you, they just ambush you (look above you / in side alleys). Once you get used to the system the camera is rarely an issue, damage is very predictable and healing is not random. Exploring is also generously rewarded and there are usually significant shortcuts you can unlock to reach bosses.

Also, try out other weapons. Perhaps the Threaded Cane is not a good match for you.

I realize the game is neither perfect nor for everyone. I just hope you'll try it a bit more! :D


when I pop the healing item it fills my hp bar different amounts. If that isn't random then how do you explain it?


Your attacks do random amounts of damage

No, it matters which part of the weapon hits the enemy. With the hammer for instance, you really need to aim it right - to hit the enemy with the head part and not the hilt part.

Some of your other gripes can also be summarized as "you must become proficient at the mechanics" and the rest is fucking bullshit which Miyazaki put in because he hates you.


I figured that's what it was, but I couldn't ever see it. Someone else created the character so I didn't choose the weapon, but it was a long whip/blade thing that would open and close (for faster/slower attacks). It may just be harder to see with that particular weapon, I did actively try and check if that was the case.

For the point about the mechanics, there are some mechanics I simply don't want to deal with because I don't personally find them fun. The designers are free to design the hit system so that the enemies have a tendency to slide back towards the camera. I'm just as free to avoid the game because I don't want to get good at turning my analog stick at just the right angle because they slid back in a way that makes no sense.

That isn't me attacking the game, there are obviously a lot of people who really like the game. I've been gaming since the Atari days and I've grown to have my own set of likes and dislikes for games.

I will say there was something really addictive about the game. I wanted to keep playing despite the frustration, but the frustration itself was due to mechanics I simply don't like (and the slowness of the play is a huge pet peeve of mine. I played Tales of the Abyss on emulator because I couldn't deal with the slow load times on the actual PS2, I actually stopped playing the game because of them).

OTOH, I ordered my PS4 from Amazon and it bricked w/i 6 hours of getting it, so maybe if I put in a bit more time I'll learn how they want you to play the game... We'll see, I could not believe it when the PS4 shut off and refused to start up again.


Haha, yeah, I can see where you're coming from. The game really is meant to be bullshit and to hurt you. From what I've seen though, Bloodborne has a lot less bullshit mechanics-wise than the previous games. Just look at the Capra Demon fight from Dark Souls: small room with pillars all over, one huge boss and two attack dogs crammed in there with you. Your weapons bounce back when you hit the geometry; theirs don't. Have fun. Also: The Archers in Anor Londo.

For me though, that's part of what makes it special. It wouldn't feel so good actually getting past the obstacles if it was fair.


> No, it matters which part of the weapon hits the enemy. With the hammer for instance, you really need to aim it right - to hit the enemy with the head part and not the hilt part.

I haven't played bloodborne but if it's anything like its predecessors that shouldn't be the only mechanic at play. Weapons that combo (which in bloodborne seems to be all of them) will do different amounts of damage on different stages of the combo and if your hit connects during an active frame of the enemy it will get a counter attack damage bonus (based off of the thrust damage of your attack).


Yeah, that's what bounced me off of older DS games as well - after playing games like Bayonetta (which are of similar genre) the slow clunky controls, downright bad interface and having to slog through the same groups of slow enemies to retry a boss was simply too annoying.


The combat of Demon's Souls turned me off of the series because I was looking for something like Bayonetta 2, and this was years before Bayonetta 2 would even be announced.

If you similarly tried Demon's Souls and felt like it was just a little too slow and clunky, you might want to give Dark Souls a try if you can find a way to avoid paying for it. Don't pirate it, but if you have a ps3 or an xbox 360, see if one of your friends can loan it to you. The combat isn't faster, but it feels much smoother than its predecessor, and as long as you can get into the mindset of "block, counterattack, dodge" as opposed to the Bayonetta mindset of "Dance stylishly around the enemies and string together intricate juggle combos because you want to break the system over your knee", you might find that you enjoy it more than you expect.

I'm only a few bosses in, but it definitely feels like there's less slogging through the levels to retry bosses as well, which I agree was a major complaint about Demon's Souls


Most of the randomness you mention isn't actually random, it's just stuff you haven't figured out yet. For example, weapon damage isn't random at all, but it depends on various factors like your character and weapon stats, whether your weapon is extended or not, what the enemy is doing (blocking, neutral, attacking) and any resistances it may have, and so on.


If you want to see more of the game but find it too cumbersome to buy, I started by just watching it on Twitch[0].

http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Bloodborne


You can also watch videos from one of the guys who helped write the guide, and is a long time well known member of the Souls community

https://www.youtube.com/user/epicnamebro/videos


How would it be too cumbersome to buy?


It's a PS4 exclusive, so anyone who doesn't already have the console have to buy it ($400) to be able to have the privilege of buying it.

(it was worth it)


There's some chance it comes on PC later on. Maybe. Just like Dark Souls did.


Dark Souls never was an exclusive and it was published by Namco. Demon's Souls would be a better comparison and it was never ported to the PC unfortunately. Sony is publishing the game and I'm not sure it would be in their best interest to have one of their only notable PS4 exclusives available on an other platform.


That seems unlikely. Bloodborne, like Demon's Souls, is published by Sony as a PlayStation exclusive. Dark Souls wasn't.


There is no chance of that. It's a Sony game.


Requiring a PS4, which many people haven't bothered with yet (whether from not enough exclusive games that can't also be bought on PC, owning an XBox One instead, or just being too broke to drop $400 on a console for one game).


I purchased a PS4 from amazon and got it in today. I got Bloodborne with it for someone else in the household (nothing out I particularly care about currently).

It bricked within 6 hours and looking at the negative reviews on Amazon the way it bricked and it doing so w/i days turns out to be a very common occurrence for the PS4.


It's not common at all. More than 20 million consoles have been sold to date. If it was a common thing you'd hear about it a lot more places than Amazon reviews.


hit up google for the most common issues with the PS4.

I'm glad you've gotten lucky. Really, I am. But when a PS4 bricks after 5-6 hours of use and you find thousands of reports of the same thing on a single website.

Well, you may want to define common, but the point remains.


I'm sorry but thousands of reports out of 20+ million units sold is a drop in the bucket.


I remember when people said the same thing about the XBox 360's RRoD before it was publicly acknowledged.


amazon sold 20+ million units?




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