At this point, Hidetaka Miyazaki has cemented himself as one of the best video game directors and creators of all-time. Not only has he been one of the most consistent directors the last decade with Demon Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die twice, but Dark Souls specifically has been one of the most influential games of the last two generations. Heck, it has a whole gameplay style coined after it. If Miyazaki were to retire tomorrow, he'd retire well decorated. But Miyazaki isn't retiring, and the ambitions he does have left go well beyond the style of games he's made a name for himself creating.
Speaking at Reboot Develop, a games industry event located in Croatia, Miyazaki talked about his design ethos, which has largely championed gameplay over story, and used more vague and open-ended storytelling techniques than a traditional narrative-driven experience would use. That said, Miyazaki would love to make a more story-focused game in the future.
According to Miyazaki, gameplay is the soul of a game, because the creation of gameplay, levels, worlds, can impact the story. So it's difficult to start with a story first and build from there. In other words, once gameplay has been established, then you can find a story that fits around it. At least this is how the Japanese visionary goes about game development. As you may know, for many Western developers, it's actually the reverse. "You're playing with clay and it slowly comes into focus," said Miyazaki about how gameplay shapes story.
This is how Miyazaki approaches games, but he points out that this isn't the only way to do things. In fact, he would love to make a game where the story is the focus, a narrative-driven experience like Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2. However, to do this, Miyazaki admits he needs to get better at communicating the story of his games to his team, who often doesn't understand the overall plot of the games they're working on until the end.
That all said, I don't know about you, but a narrative-driven experience, like Red Dead Redemption 2, but from the mind of Miyazaki, sounds amazing. Hopefully, he's granted the luxury of one day creating such a game.
Thanks, VG 24/7.