Bloodborne Design Diary (Part 5)

Design Diary (Part 5): Player Choices and Mitigating Luck

-Deep Breath- “Ok, not sure why that didn’t kill him, but sure… Run number 4.”

I’ve said the above a few times out of frustration during my plays of Bloodborne, but each time, in the end, I know exactly why I did: I got reckless or bloodthirsty. If anything, Bloodborne has taught me that I am, in fact, not as plotting and calculating as I’d like to think… At least not when it comes to killing monsters in the streets of Yharnam. I know full well that I died this time because I went in and just started hacking and slashing away in a closed space filled with five enemies. Naturally, they had stun-locked me in a corner and made me all kinds of dead.

The choice to recklessly run in and try to kill them before they reacted was a choice I had made. In subsequent runs, I had lured them outside the room until the odds were a much better “only two against one”, which had led to my eventual success. The point was, I had initially chosen a tactic, which was clearly the wrong tactic for this scenario, and it failed me. Instead of adapting and changing, I had repeated the same exercise two more times, inexplicably thinking “yeah, it’ll work this time”.

It had led to failure, and that failure was entirely on me. The game did exactly what it was meant to do and what it was programmed. Myself, the logical, can-change-plans-if-needed being that I am, had not utilized what was available to me, so I only had myself to blame.

This mindset was an important one to transfer from the video game to the board. You want the result of your encounters to be driven by the choices that you, as a player, make. With this being one of the single most important facts about the game’s design, it also made one thing starkly clear from the beginning: dice had to go.

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