Dark Souls: New Content & Porting Problems Explained

Published 2 years, 6 months ago by Dan Page

From Software, developer of hardcore action RPG Dark Souls, is hard at work on new content, though still suffering significant issues in its efforts to port the game to PC.

Daisuke Uchiyama, the game’s producer, has explained that he underestimated just how difficult the task of porting Dark Souls over to PC, revealing the unlikelihood of any optimizations to the original console edition.

"To be completely honest, we're having a tough time doing it due to our lack of experience and knowledge in terms of porting to PC. First we thought it would be a breeze, but it's turned out not to be the case. We're still developing right now - we're crunching right now.

"In Japan there's not much of a PC market and we haven't really taken into consideration that audience before. That's one of the reasons why we haven't been able to step up on the PC platform until now."

Uchiyama made it clear there won’t be any fixes to the frame rate issues console players have experienced during particular parts of the game.

"In terms of the frame rate for say, Blighttown, From Software sincerely apologizes for that happening [in the console version]," he explained.

"In terms of the PC version, the quick answer is no, [we won't be fixing the frame rate problems]. Because we wanted to get the PC version out as soon as possible, it's more strictly a port from the console version. We haven't been able to step up into doing any specific optimization for PC.

"However, in exchange for that, we have prioritized adding new content for both original players and new players."

And don’t despair, it seems the new content is pretty meaty. Uchiyama reckons an average playthrough of the new arenas will total around 10 hours.

As a little icing on the cake, the new sections are fully integrated rather than just pinned onto the end of the game or accessible via a menu option. Console gamers who purchase the content as DLC will be able to play through it with the current character though they’ll need to be a significant way into the game before they can get to the new areas.

"We have three new venues, four new bosses and additional weapons," he explained.

"Accessing the new content is a little bit complicated. Depending on where you are in the storyline it may differ in terms of how it's integrated.

"There will be a certain point in the game that you'll have to surpass to access the new content. It won't be right from the beginning - the new content will be accessible more in the later half of the game."

The new story sections are focused on Artorias, a character often referenced though never seen during the original game.

"In the console version only the name of Artorias has been brought up, but in the new content you'll actually see him as a character," Uchiyama disclosed.

"The story itself is going to take place in the past. The player will be dragged into the past, 300 years back when Artorias was not a legend but actually existed."

To conclude, Uchiyama broached the subject of porting the game to other consoles or creating a sequel.

"We are fully concentrating on delivering the PC version and DLC. There has not been any discussion about anything past that. So there's nothing in the works right now," he said.

"Speaking from the developer's perspective, even considering the new Wii U features or the Vita, because they are so specific to those platforms, if we were able to do something on those systems the game would be designed to fit those platforms rather than just be a port from the PS3 or 360."

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition comes out for PC on August 31st, consoles will be getting the content as DLC on PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime towards the end of the year.

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