I am trying to construct a table top scenario where I can accurately portray the feeling of the Souls games. The following is the mission statement I wrote to help myself understand what makes something a Souls game to me.
The Secrets – The lore is built into the world, but it’s almost never obvious. It’s expressed through every other aspect of the world, though mostly items. I will need to spread the lore of my world throughout everything in the game, but I must remember to NEVER tell the whole story.
Art Style – The Souls games are beautiful, it sets the mood for the game, it’s an interlocking system that brings things back full circle if you look hard enough, even things stripped out of the game still have remnants lying there as yet more secrets for the player to uncover. This will be hard to translate into an audio medium. I will have to picture important set pieces far ahead of time and write up a description that is elaborate yet succinct.
The NPC’s – They have their own mission. You cross paths but part quickly. Their story progresses between encounters. Their stories are tragic and will only become more so as the game progresses. My NPC’s need to have true depth, have their own stories to tell, their own morals they follow. The players should question from time to time who they can and cannot trust.
The World – The player is a secret as much as anything and really only serves as a pawn to accomplish something the dying world around them needs. The player will be asked to save the world, but in doing so the players will have to choose between embracing death and DELAYING the world’s death. Their journey to this world is a mystery to them, obscured and tragic. These mysteries will be slowly revealed to them in the same way all secrets are revealed.
Themes – In Demon Souls there was a theme about greed destroying the world.
Dark Souls there was a theme was that nothing lasts forever. All things perish. Dark Souls 2 was about cycles. Nothing lasts forever because there is always something that will replace it In Bloodborne there is a theme that you should not envy what others have or you will lose what you do have. For my game, I need a central theme, a basic thing that runs the world or humanity. I will look through basic human fears and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and other such resources to create a theme similar to the Souls games.