Over the years, FromSoftware’s titles have formed their own genre with some signature gameplay mechanics such as high difficulty, high-risk combat with hard-hitting enemies, sparse checkpoints, and enemies dropping souls (or other resources).
FromSoftware titles have always had a massive community of modders, and one of the biggest names in modding has been that of Garden of Eyes. From the Boss vs Boss series to restoring the Cleric Beast Shortcut Door, he has created a lot of content for fans of Bloodborne to enjoy.
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda’s Suryadeepto Sengupta, Garden of Eyes opened up about his experience modding, hopes with Elden Ring, and soul-like games.
The following is an excerpt of the conversation.
Garden Of Eyes, of Bloodborne fame, sheds light on his work and hopes for the future
Q.1 I don’t think many of your fans know a lot about your origin story and how you got started with content creation. So can you tell us a bit about your early days and what inspired you to create content on FromSoftware titles?
Garden of Eyes: Well, I have been creating content based on the Souls series since 2014, however that was on another channel. I used to mainly do unused and cut content videos from Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne, which were received quite well in the community and allowed me to even collaborate with some of the other great modders in the community to showcase that type of content.
I have always been interested in how games change during development, and the Soul Series always has these interesting leftover assets that can tell us a lot about that.
Q.2 What were some of the hurdles you faced during the early days?
Garden of Eyes: I think the lack of proper tools was something very important during the early days, but in the last 2 years alone, there has been a big revolution in terms of Souls-games modding, where people are starting to make tools for everything!
It made things so much more organized and easier, and have more accurate data about datamined things. I think PS4 modding especially is also very difficult, because of the lack of tools, but things have been getting better and better with time.
Q.3 The Boss vs Boss series has been instrumental in the growth of your channel. What inspired you to create the series? Did you anticipate the level of success?
Garden of Eyes: The idea has been in my head ever since PS4 modding became a thing in 2017, but at that time, I didn’t have the necessary knowledge or resources to create high-quality Boss VS Boss videos.
However, I started seeing people doing these types of videos for other games like Dark Souls 3 and The Witcher 3, so I thought now is the time to do them for Bloodborne; since I have learned a lot in the last couple of years, and the tools help out tremendously with making such content.
Q.4 Tell us a bit about the selection process for your Boss vs Boss. How do you choose which boss to pit against whom? Is there any selection parameter you follow, or does it depend completely on the community votes?
Garden of Eyes: It’s a bit of both really, since sometimes community suggestions do not always result in an interesting fight to watch, but I do read all of the suggestions in the comments, and have a huge list of all people’s suggestions that I go through every video, and see if it works or not.
However, my favorite fights are the ones where it follows something in the story of the game, as it kind of gives us a glimpse of this part of the story.
Q.5 You recently restored the Cleric Beast Shortcut Door in Bloodborne. What motivated you to restore the Shortcut door?
Garden of Eyes: I think the door has been in the mind of every modder in the Souls community, and as I said, there are more tools and knowledge about the game files now that it became much more plausible to be able to do something like this now. I’ve always wanted to fix this door ever since the Alpha Test time, and I am glad to have finally been able to achieve this dream of mine!
Lance McDonald had access to the Alpha Test build of the game three years ago, while the door was still intact. However, even though it can be opened from the other side by modifying the game files, you couldn't travel through it due to an invisible wall placed by the developers in case someone was able to go through the other side.
I used some of the leftover assets to restore the shortcut door in the Retail version of the game, which required modifying collisions, map files, and scripts to ensure that the regions loaded properly.
The shortcut door can now be used normally, allowing you to enter Central Yharnam from the opposite side of the Cathedral Ward, near the Cleric Beast bridge.
I also considered what would happen if the Cleric Beast had not yet been slain, so I included a fog wall to prevent game-breaking problems.
I will be releasing this mod very soon, which can be used by people with a modded PS4.
Q.6 Speaking of modding, PlayStation isn’t known for being as open as a PC platform for modding. What was your experience modding Bloodborne for the PlayStation platform?
Garden of Eyes: The process of modding the files is very similar to modding on PC, however, the problem with PS4 modding is that you can’t edit the files in real-time. So, every time I want to test out an edit, I have to create a new patch file and send it to the PS4 from my PC.
It can become stressful if there’s lots of testing occurring; as the Cleric Beast shortcut door had me create more than 100 patch files for testing.
Q.7 What other FromSoftware title are you interested in modding? After Elden Ring releases, do you plan to mod the game?
Garden of Eyes: Yes, definitely! I am very excited about Elden Ring’s release, and can’t wait to see what bosses it holds, and what content I would produce about it.
Q.8 From Demon Souls to Dark Souls to Bloodborne to Sekiro, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and FromSoftware have skillfully crafted several Souls games over the years. Which among them is your favorite and why so?
Garden of Eyes: It’s a tough call really, but I think Bloodborne and Sekiro easily take the top place for me; due to their unique setting and very different gameplay mechanics in terms of combat, which really keep you on the edge of your seat. They change up the formula of the Souls games, while still retaining the feeling that you are playing a FROMSoftware game.
Q.9 What are your thoughts on the way Miyazaki crafts the lore for the games? What is your expectation from the lore of Elden Ring, considering George R R Martin is bringing his talented storytelling to a FromSoftware title?
Garden of Eyes: I think it is brilliant, really! I am a big fan of stories that do not “feed you story details”, and would want you to focus on small details and create theories to build up the world and its inhabitants, and I think FROMSoftware does that brilliantly.
I am a big fan of Game of Thrones’ world-building, so I am very excited to see what Elden Ring will bring to the table!
Q. 10 FromSoftware’s upcoming game Elden Ring has garnered a massive fan following with sky-high anticipation. What are your thoughts and expectations regarding the title?
Garden of Eyes: I have been seeing a lot of people calling it a “Dark Souls 3 Clone”, and while it is true that it has a lot of elements from the previous Souls games, I believe that it will be its own unique experience and I’m very intrigued to see what new mechanics and story it will offer.
We have already been seeing a lot of new elements like horses and the open-world details, so I can’t wait to play the game in January!
Q.11 Have you tried any other souls-like games, not developed by FromSoftware? What are your thoughts on games such as Jedi Fallen Order, Code Vein, or Nioh?
Garden of Eyes: I have played Jedi Fallen Order and Nioh, and I think each of them are unique in their own special way. They do make use of mechanics that were introduced in Souls Games, but they put their own twist into it to make it a special thing for their game, and I am all in for that!
I mean, all video games get inspired by other games, and trying to put a creative twist into how to make it something unique to that game, and that’s something that drives developers to make better and better games!
Q.12 What’s in the future like for Garden of Eyes? What can fans expect from the channel in the coming months?
Garden of Eyes: I have been starting with a couple of new series’ other than the Boss VS Boss videos recently, one being “Bloodborne Insights”, where I showcase some of the secrets and trivia that are hidden in the game and I can de-mystify it with data mining, and has been doing very well ever since its start in July.
I also do “Model Showcase” where I showcase the 3D models of the Souls games bosses and enemies, allowing artists and fans of the game to see the amazing details being placed in creating such models.
I am honestly very excited about the future content I will be producing on the channel, and I still have a couple of “special” ideas in my mind that I can’t wait to show to everyone!