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Book Title: Dark Souls II: Design Works|
The author of the book: M. Kirie Hayashi
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 393 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
Edition: Udon Entertainment
Date of issue: February 9th 2016
ISBN 13: 9781927925560
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My fandom for the Souls series extends beyond the games; I've been captivated by their design since popping Demon's Souls into my PS3 nearly sight unseen in October 2009, and devour any and all material related to their composition. Dark Souls II: Design Works is a sequel of sorts to Dark Souls: Design Works, a hybrid art/interview book that collects concept art from, and an extensive interview with the designers of the game in question.
In terms of artwork, DSII: DW once again sics its larger sweet tooth on any and all cake in the vicinity. The book was delayed several times, and I hazard a guess that one reason had to do with the sheer amount of artwork it collects. Concept pieces from the base game as well as all three excellent expansion packs are represented, and absolutely stunning. Better yet for devotees like me, designers off numerous comments on the making of this or that environment, character, or weapon.
But DSII: DW's interview was what I'd been looking forward to the most, and ended up being a mixed bag. Like the interview with series director Hidetaka Miyeazaki and some of the principles from Dark Souls collected in DS: DW, this interview features the game's director and a few key players in its design. They discuss the making of environments, characters, the DLCs, and the development process overall. However, some areas get glazed over, perhaps due to DS2's greater variety of areas. Some, like Majula and Things Betwixt, are discussed in detail. Others, such as The Gutter, are given a cursory sentence or two before the interviewer moves on.
The interview's questions were lacking in that they weren't questions so much as prompts. To paraphrase: "After Majula, players make their way into the Forest of Fallen Giants," prompting the designers to discuss any facet related to designing the topic at hand. Most of the time, the designers come back with something interesting. Other times, they just don't, because (I presume) the interviewer didn't give them much to work with. As someone who has conducts countless interviews for nonfiction books and articles, this sort of non-question method of questioning left me frustrated. I wanted to delve into deeper subjects, such as the decision to create a hub world rather than a seamlessly connected one, a move still considered a divisive topic among Souls fans.
For all my issues, I still enjoyed DSII: DW. It educated me on the topic of one of my favorite games by divulging trivia I didn't know about going in, and the staggering collection of concept artwork puts similar books to shame.
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