Mistborn author Brandon Sanderson thinks you could apply Elden Ring storytelling to novels, comparing it to Dune and Watchmen

Prolific fantasy author and number one Ranni stan (“I’ll pick the ending where my character gets a waifu”) Brandon Sanderson has been thinking a lot about how to apply Elden Ring and the Souls games’ signature storytelling approach to novels. During a recent playthrough on his YouTube channel, he was asked if he thinks there’s a way to replicate Souls-like descriptions in books. “I’ve wondered that. I really have,” Sanderson replies.

“I think you could do some interesting…” Sanderson starts, before describing Souls’ method of storytelling, and possibly getting distracted by a collectable cookbook in the distance. He talks about the reserved use of NPCs and cutscenes, and the item descriptions that tell snippets of the game’s overall stories. “They don’t want to hand you the story. You gotta piece it together.”

He goes on to compliment this approach for videogames specifically. “It doesn’t stop the action, you get to stop it when you want. Games are about playing.” Sanderson reckons that having to work to piece the mystery together aligns with FromSoft’s approach to mood. “There aren’t a lot of answers, so it creates a game on top of the game.”

“Can you replicate this?” he continues, referring to writing traditional fiction, “I think you possibly can. It’s like how we use epigrams as a supplementary storytelling style.” A supplementary storytelling style to stealthily slide the Souls series’ signature storytelling into Sanderson’s softbacks? Do go on! “Obviously, Dune is the great big pioneer of this. Watchmen’s the other really great example.”

Sadly, we’re denied more of Sanderson’s insight, as he immediately gets distracted by a gnarled tree with strung up corpses. “I bet those guys fall down and attack me,” speculates the big 34 million copy-selling nerd, before going to investigate.

Sanderson has been vocal about his love of FromSoftware’s work in the past, and Bandai Namco seem keen to work with him, having previously sent him a care package containing an expression of interest in collaboration, and also a massive sword. It’s always the men who can afford massive swords that get sent free ones, to quote Engels. Ah, he deserves it, I’m sure. Back then, Sanderson commented that he’d actually already thought up an entire pitch for a Soulsborne game, having previously expressed good-natured salt at George RR Martin being the one to write Elden Ring’s lore.

“From Software decides to make a fantasy game and partner with a fantasy novelist, right? And they choose someone who spends his days blogging about the NFL, rather than the person who has played their games since King’s Field, and has listed their games among his top 10 consistently over time? What are you thinking, people?”

Sanderson, who also wrote lore for tabletop skirmish game Moonbreaker, is also not above some additional playful salt over the series’ previous lack of a dedicated jump. “Whoever went to to Myazaki and said ‘um, hey, you know there’s this revolution that’s been made in video games. You may want to try it – it’s called a jump button! And showed him Mario and he’s like, oh wow you can have a button for that nowadays?” Of course, real fans know that if you use jump to clear an obstacle in Elden Ring, you haven’t really cleared it.

By admin

Related Post