Demon’s Souls PS5 devs grew so fond of placeholder ducks there was concern they’d appear in the final game

By Dom Peppiatt
3 December 2020 11:35 GMT

A staffer from Demon’s Souls PS5 developer Bluepoint Games has revealed that little rubber ducks had a hand in aiding the development of the successful PlayStation 5 launch title.

According to Collin Harris, a technical artist at Bluepoint, towards the start of Demon’s Souls PS5‘s development there were plenty of rubber ducks placed around the grim and imposing world… and another massive duck towering over the play area, too.

Harris told GamesRadar that the shipped version of the game had removed all these playful little development aids, but that they genuinely had a large impact on how the game was built.

As per an email exchange with GamesRadar, Harris found the duck stashed away in an assets folder (his friend, Alex, had made the duck whilst interning at the studio). As development progressed, Harris began to see just how useful the squeaky lil’ fella could be.

“It just so happened to be the perfect model to test with due to its size and shape,” Harris told GamesRadar “It didn’t hurt that it was also a funny juxtaposition to see a bright yellow rubber duck sitting in an incredibly detailed dark fantasy environment.”

The ducks were eventually deleted wholesale from the code because the dev team was concerned one of them may have slipped into the final build – and that would have been something of a contrast from the dark, gloomy setup of the rest of the game.

“We used it for a bit as a placeholder mesh, but eventually it got to the point where there was a good amount of concern (for good reason) that due to the duck’s internal popularity, that it would somehow find its way into the final game.”

Though you may not find any of the ducks in-game, the meme lives on in the real world: Harris 3D-printed the ducks out and gifted them to other Bluepoint staffers as gifts.

It’s nice to know that behind the grizzly and imposing exterior of the game lies a sweet and fun story like this. Remember that next time you’re being beaten to a pulp by a particularly tricky boss – it might help lighten the mood.

If you’re still struggling, you may want to keep our big Demon’s Souls boss guide bookmarked.

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