Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Interviews and Additional Information

18 Apr 2012

Now that the embargo has lifted, more details and write-ups about Dark Souls; Prepare to Die Edition, the PC version of Dark Souls, are surfacing from Namco Bandai's event, including this interview with director Hidetaka Miyazaki from EGM:
EGM: One of the big components of Dark Souls is its player-vs.-player elements. On the console versions, there were a few patches that came out to help prevent players cheating, or to fix bugs which caused balancing issues. When bringing the game to the PC, however, you’ve suddenly got a platform where modifying games or applying trainers or bots is far, far easier and prevalent. How do you deal with those concerns for the PC version?

Miyazaki: If I said those concerns didn’t exist, of course it’d be a lie. However, we didn’t want those concerns to stop us from bringing Dark Soul to the PC. So, for now, I guess what I can say is that I feel some anxiety over the issue. [laughs]

...

EGM: At this point, you’ve said that you can’t give us any big details regarding the new bosses that are in the game, but can you speak at all to the inspirations your team had that brought us the new enemies we’ll be facing?

Miyazaki: I might not be directly answering your question, but we visualized the character of Artorias from the text and NPC conversations that were a part of Dark Souls. So, that visualization of who he was was part of the inspiration for making the new bosses or NPCs that will be in the PC version. For us, that was a fun and exciting part of putting together this project.

The Guardian has some tidbits on the new content:
Miyazaki did provide a few small details about the additional chapter. Apparently, it will feature "three to four" new boss characters and the same number of areas, as well as a fresh storyline. "There will also be more NPCs and more enemies," he said. "And the equipment of these characters will be available for the player to wear." He also mentioned that the area will fit into the game at some point after the middle of the game, and certainly later than Sen's Fortress.

Apart from this addition, PC owners can pretty much expect a straight port of the console version. "There were many things that I didn't like or would have changed in the console versions," Miyazaki admitted. "But if you change every single element, it won't be Dark Souls anymore. We might tune it a little bit but we're not going to make any drastic changes."

I also asked whether the area in the chapter was something originally cut from the console version, but apparently it's brand new. "The new areas were designed after the console release," he said. "However, we did have the idea when we were developing the game, but none of the team members took it seriously at the time. It's 99% new content."
GameSpy has a short Q&A on GfWL:
GameSpy: So you have confirmed Games for Windows Live?

CC: Yes, for today.

GameSpy: In your keynote, you definitely called up a lot that you took notice of the petition for Dark Souls on the PC...

CC: Yes, I also saw the petition that just started now, about three hours ago, as soon as the announcement was made.

GameSpy: Yes, and that one is gaining signatures at roughly 1,000 an hour, to remove GFWL from the product. How high would that have to go to sway you?

CC: Can't really answer that question, but look: ultimately what we have done is that we've answered the question by saying that we want to bring content to the fans. Definitely technology implementation, different ways of making sure the consumer has the best experience possible, those are all things that we will look at, and are in the process of. I would say there's a lot of evaluation being done. The great thing about marketing is that you don't necessarily announce everything at once. There's a lot leading up from now to a small event called E3, to the actual release date of the game in August. There's more to come, I can assure you of that.

Finally, GameTrailers has a video interview on the additional content, while Japanese magazine Famitsu has a written interview (obviously in Japanese) which has been summarized in English by a NeoGAF user. Some of the information contains sounds almost ludicrous, so I'll have to chalk it up to the developers being unfamiliar with PC development or using the wrong terms:
- The PC version of Dark Souls is a Bandai Namco Games initiative which was brought up after the release of the console version. Remember that From Software published the PS3 version themselves in Japan, while Bandai Namco requested the 360 version for the international market. This seems similar, and Bandai Namco is footing the entire bill and helping them with development as well.

- The PC version is 70-80% complete, the content is basically all at the end stages of development, with the focus being balancing and QC right now. In particular Bandai Namco has been helping them with QC and specifications.

- Miyazaki says that the base game is intended to be a straight port with no change in resolution and he specifically says not to expect 60 fps. This is probably his most controversial statement, because it does seem to suggest that it will run at a locked resolution and framerate. Until he clarifies further, I do feel that is the intended message to manage expectations.

Locking the resolution to the consoles' sub-HD just doesn't make any sense and it sounds like one of the fastest way to make this port sink financially.