Elden Ring Director Placed Important Restraints on George R.R. Martin’s Contributions

With Elden Ring finally out in the wild, eager gamers are no doubt scouring every inch of FromSoftware’s new fantasy world for writer George R.R. Martin. Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones series, was invited to Elden Ring to write the backstory for the in-game universe. But in a new interview, New Yorker game director Hidetaka Miyazaki said he placed several critical restrictions on Martin’s actions. According to Miyazaki, Martin mostly wrote bits of text about the world’s history, characters, and mythology, including the destruction of the Old Ring and the subsequent scattering of the shards. Although we learned about this earlier, Miyazaki explained why this is so.

“In our games, the story must always serve the player’s experience,” Miyazaki said. “If [Martin] wrote the history of the game, I would be worried that we would have to move away from that. I wanted him to write freely and not feel constrained by some obscure mechanics that might have to be changed during the development process.

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In retrospect, this approach makes sense for the kind of stories Miyazaki and FromSoftware are telling. Dark Souls and its offshoots are rich in lore, but it is often presented in item descriptions or heavily implied to fire the imagination of knowledge-hungry fans. FromSoftware also tends to depict worlds after some great disaster has taken place, encouraging players to find out what became of the main characters, for better or (usually) worse fate.

“That power of imagination is important to me,” he said. “Giving room for interpretation by the user creates a sense of communication with the audience – and of course communication between users in the community. That’s what I like to see in our games, and it continues to influence my work.”

Martin and Miyazaki were also influenced by the friendship they developed before Martin started working on Elden Ring. Miyazaki considers himself a fan of Martin’s work, including his early science fiction writing, and despite the considerable age difference between the two, the two were able to bond over the course of the conversation, and they met several times, even in Martin’s hometown. The admiration goes both ways as Miyazaki says he was surprised to learn that Martin was a fan of the Dark Souls games, although it could be the influence of one of Martin’s employees.

Of course, if you’ve played Elden Ring enough, you’ve probably figured out exactly what Miyazaki did with Martin’s work. Miyazaki himself said earlier this year that he thinks Martin may be “shocked” by what he did to the characters he created. If you’re still in doubt, you can check out our Elden Ring review or dig into our Wiki Guide to Elden Ring for a boss walkthrough, arrangement of objects as well as tips for getting started.

 

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