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Bloodborne director expands on the game's Chalice Dungeon, character customization

Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki held an extended gameplay demonstration and question and answer session at PlayStation Experience today, during which he further detailed the game's newly revealed Chalice Dungeon and other game systems.

Miyazaki explained that players will generate their own Chalice Dungeon after acquiring the special chalice and performing a ritual. Bloodborne will build a self-contained level that players can explore alone or cooperatively, as well as share with other players.

A player's Chalice Dungeon will be "fixed" after it's created, meaning the level's layout, trap and enemy placement will be the same each time a player visits it."Once you have generated your dungeon after the ritual, the dungeon will stay fixed," Miyazaki said through a translator. He also said that dungeon bosses will be part of the procedural generation, and that the flaming, giant guard dog shown in the demo won't be the only boss creature.

"It's going to remain unchanged for that time. The benefit of that is that it allows us to give the players an opportunity to master the dungeon. You may not do it the first time around, so now that your dungeon is fixed you can try another path or tactic...

"Just assume that the difficulty level of these dungeons are quite high. It's not going to be easy to breeze through these."

From Software had two objectives in creating the Chalice Dungeon system, Miyazaki said: strategically keep Bloodborne fresh and interesting and give players freedom in sharing strategies and tactics. Miyazaki said he wanted to extend the feeling of playing a game like Demon's Souls and Dark Souls for the first time, when players are sharing strategies and hints with each other. Over time, players learn pretty much everything about the game, leaving few mysteries to uncover long term.

"Similar to when a game first comes out, when people are talking about completing a dungeon or a level, we want to continue that momentum," he said. "The fixed format of the dungeon is necessary to keep that idea of wanting players to contribute but also have something to look forward to.

"The sharing of these experiences, we're trying to expand the scale of the actual share. Players will be able to share these generated dungeons and the methods they used to beat them. [We're] trying to raise the bar for freedom and scope that allows players to share their experiences. That will hopefully lead to strategies you've never seen or experienced. It's a loop of communication and discussion. It's somewhat open-ended in that sense."

Responding to questions from attendees, Miyazaki confirmed that Bloodborne will feature player-versus-player multiplayer, but wouldn't confirm precisely how players will interact with each other competitively.

Miyazaki also promised extensive character customization, saying that the options players expect from a role-playing game — different weapons, faces, items and equipment — would be present in Bloodborne. He added that customization features that are "very unique" to Bloodborne would be in the game, but added no further detail.

And while Miyazaki wouldn't confirm whether systems present in the Souls games, like becoming a hollow or soul when dying, would be in Bloodborne, he said that the development team knows what players like about their previous games and it's safe to assume that similar systems will be in place.

One feature of Dark Souls that may not transfer, however, is the popular "Praise the sun" gesture. Miyazaki said that because that gesture is closely associated with Dark Souls, he worried that Bandai Namco, the publisher of that game, may not appreciate it. A fan in attendance shouted out an alternative ("Praise the moon"), which Miyazaki seemed to like.

Bloodborne is coming to PlayStation 4 on March 24, 2015 in North America.

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