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Elden Ring’s world design had a boss-first approach

Hidetaka Miyazaki had a boss-first approach when designing Elden Ring’s open world.

Speaking to Xbox Wire Japan (translated by IGN), Miyazaki discussed development of the game’s world and key inspirations.

“Our first step when designing the map was to decide where the bosses would appear, especially the important ones,” said Miyazaki. “Therefore, the map was really designed on the basis of boss gameplay, then we adjusted the boss gameplay based on their location on the map.”

That approach was similar to FromSoftware’s previous Souls games, plus Bloodborne and Sekiro, despite Elden Ring being the studio’s biggest and most open world to date.

“I don’t think we took specific inspiration from any particular game,” he said, “but I’ve personally played a lot of open world games that are considered classics of the genre, and I’ve been influenced by all of them.”

He added: “These include The Elder Scrolls series, The Witcher 3, and more recently The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

The latter is certainly no surprise, what with Elden Ring’s player-driven progression, sense of discovery, and lack of quest markers.

But which of those bosses is his favourite?

It’s Starscourge Radahn, translates Games Radar, which comes as little surprise what with the grand festival buildup and extensive battle arena.

“As a single character, he’s appealing,” said Miyazaki, “but I also like the Radahn Festival.”

“It’s literally a festive time,” he continued, noting its “autumnal colours”.

“The first time I talked about the idea of the Radahn Festival, no one on the team took it seriously,” he said.

It’s certainly a more elaborate setpiece compared with Elden Ring’s other bosses.

Godrick and Rykard are Miyazaki’s runner-ups. What, no Malenia?

If you’re struggling with the bosses yourself, check out our Elden Ring boss guide.

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