Dragon’s Dogma 2 Creator Explains How the Team Crafted its Massive Map

We already know that Dragon’s Dogma 2 will feature a massive map, four times the size of that in the original game. But after a conversation with series creator Hideaki Itsuno, we now know a bit more about how that map was created, and just how stuffed it’s going to be with interesting things to do. The answer? Quite stuffed!

Speaking to IGN as part of our IGN First this month on Dragon’s Dogma 2, Itsuno explained some of his thinking around creating the Dragon’s Dogma 2 world. He says he initially only intended it to be 1.5 to 2 times the size of the first game’s world, but it ended up being roughly quadruple the size. “That’s what’s causing us to struggle right now,” Itsuno explains.

“I don’t want to go too far and make people think I’m exaggerating, but we’ve placed items on the map and figured out ways to guide the player’s eye so that there aren’t any moments when they feel bored,” he says. “This is something that other action games often do as well, and one of the basic elements in such games is the ability to see your destination while being unsure of how to get there, moving from scene to scene. We were able to able to give a lot of consideration to this kind of mapmaking at the grey- and white-box stages, before we really sat down to make them.”

Itsuno goes on to explain that in the first game, the team didn’t have as many tools at their disposal with which to fill a large map, but that wasn’t the case for the sequel. Because this process was so much easier the second time around, the map became larger and more full. They were also able to create “blinders” in many spots so that every single interesting landmark wasn’t always immediately visible, and players wouldn’t get bored too quickly with them all.

Additionally, Itsuno wanted to add a real feeling of danger to the map. He explains how he and his team did a lot of location scouting, including climbing lots of mountains and visiting tall landmarks like Osaka Castle and Abeno Harukas skyscraper. He wanted the team to understand the feeling of danger that comes from being in very high places, and be able to convey that feeling to players simply through environmental cues and design as opposed to, say, in-game warning messages.

And he also wanted the feeling of climbing a mountain to be more realistic than just dragging a character up a slope.

“When we climbed mountains, there were times when the closest way to the summit was a straight line there, but nobody takes those routes,” Itsuno says. “Everyone takes paths that circle around the mountain, so we’d talk about why they did that instead of using some other route, and the answer is that it looks so tough. It’s not that you want to go but can’t, it’s that you don’t even consider taking that route to begin with. That’s why there’s a number of different paths to the top, and we all take different routes to the summit. Nobody thinks of that as a lack of choice, right? That’s the kind of thing we talked about, saying that instead of creating a map that lets you go anywhere you want, placing areas that players won’t want to visit on it will let us decide where we want to focus on while not making the map feel any less free, because users will avoid those other places, just like the mountain we were climbing.”

We have tons more new information about Dragon’s Dogma 2 from our month-long IGN First on the game, including a feature on how pawns are being improved, all about the character creator, and a detailed look at the new Trickster vocation. Dragon’s Dogma 2 debuts on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on March 22, 2024.

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to

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