A few days ago, “Final Fantasy XVI” producer Naoki Yoshida received interviews from major overseas media one after another, explaining the game content and development progress, and talking about things some players may want to know before the game is released.
Yoshida Naoki believes that the core of the “Final Fantasy” series is composed of plot, gameplay, art and sound effects, as well as Chocobo (Chocobo) and Moogli; and the “Final Fantasy” series for 35 years The guidelines that have remained unchanged for 35 years are: Each new sequel had to be the best the producers could do at the time.
Recalling the feeling of playing the first generation of “Final Fantasy” at that time, Naoki Yoshida felt like he was playing the protagonist in a movie, so he wanted to apply the feeling of that year to the current game experience, which is currently under development “FF16” .
Simultaneous development of FF14 and FF16
As you all know, Yoshida Naoki is currently the producer and director of “FF14” in addition to the producer of “FF16”. Before taking over the development of “FF16”, he also thought about whether to let him Players are worried about affecting the development quality of “FF14”.
At that time, the president of Square Enix, Matsuda Yosuke, asked Yoshida, who was in charge of the third development division, not long after the release of the third expansion piece of “FF14” “Ishgard of the Sky”, that is, after June 23, 2015. Is Naoki willing to invest in the development of “FF16”?
In order to develop two games at the same time without affecting each other, Yoshida Naoki first selected a small group of people from the core team as a warm-up, and spent several years transferring and undertaking new work development work until the entire development team officially formed an army.
Yoshida Naoki admits that being the director of the Final Fantasy game is much more difficult than he imagined. The reason is nothing more than to meet the expectations of fans and the media. At the same time, he must also bear the pressure from the development team and be ready to face challenges at any time. .
The development team of “FF16” had only four people at first. In addition to himself, one of his most trusted colleagues, Hiroshi Takai, and two other members, constructed the game world view with only four people, and then started to write the main story line. , I always thought about it during this process: I can’t delay the development of “FF14”.
At that time, the earliest core members of “FF16” were as follows: Yoshida Naoki (producer), Takai Hiroshi (director), Mae Hiro Kazuto (creative director and original script), Quan Dai Guangjun (the overall game system and battle); In the past, Hefeng was responsible for writing the script of the expansion expansion piece “Ishgard of the Sky” for the third chapter of “FF14”, which allowed players to give quite good comments.
Yoshida Naoki himself has experience in making non-MMORPGs. In addition, the scale of each expansion expansion of “FF14” is almost the same as that of an independent RPG, or even richer. The nature of the development work on both sides is not much different.
About the design and development status of “FF16”
Naoki Yoshida appreciates the logo designed by Yoshitaka Amano for “FF16”, and believes that it is rich in meaning and does not disappoint everyone, showing a picture of two heroic spirits confronting each other. As for the other meanings contained in the logo itself, Naoki Yoshida has not yet method disclosed.
The grading content of “FF16” that will be launched this time is designed for players over 17 years old, and will try to do as much as possible within the threshold of under 18 years old, creating psychological and physical pain. As the grading review is getting stricter now, if it is the same grading as before, the range of content that can be expressed will be relatively narrowed, so the age grading will be raised to 17 years old.
For the development progress that many players care about, the game can be operated from start to finish without any problems, and there are still some languages that need to be dubbed continuously. Naoki Yoshida believes that if the development time is delayed for too long and the difference between the two originals is too long, some young people will have no chance to contact the “FF” series at all.
This time Square Enix has invested a lot of money in the development of “FF16”. If the sales performance is not as good as expected, it will be difficult to continue to develop new works. Therefore, this is why it is necessary to make players recognize “this is a very powerful game” and create “I want to think about it now.” to play” atmosphere.
Judging from all kinds of information, “FF16” is an action game. Although players who have played the series are very accustomed to the turn-based and command-based combat habits, considering the differences in player generations and maintaining a sense of impact, the final decision is maintained to allow the game to adopt Action combat allows even players who are not good at action games to experience the fun.
Among them, the combat director Ryota Suzuki (joined SE in June 2020) has helped a lot. He is in charge of all combat actions. Many people in the third development department lack experience in developing action games. With Ryota Suzuki’s experience Joining also symbolizes progress in development quality.
The development team is now working on adjusting the difficulty for playability testing, as well as putting the finishing touches on the cutscenes, and completing a comprehensive debug process, all in the final sprint for the upcoming release date.
Specifically, what kind of game is “FF16”?
Integrating reports from many overseas media, “FF16” is a non-open world game composed of four maps. It has main quests and branch elements for players to explore one by one. The game will open a high difficulty mode after customs clearance. There will be additional restrictions on equipment in the difficulty mode, and a trial version will be considered next.
The story stage of “FF16” is located in Valistea (ヴァリスゼア). There are huge crystal mother crystals everywhere. Relying on the power of crystals, the countries on the earth begin to prosper; the six major countries on the earth: the Principality of Rosaria, the Holy Land The Blake Empire, the Wald Kingdom, the Republic of Dalmakia, the Iron Kingdom, and the Crystal Dominion have risen accordingly.
From a modern point of view, the concept of crystal is somewhat similar to that of an oil field. The owner of a summoned beast can feel like a nuclear bomb. Due to the depletion of resources in various countries, they are limited by the fact that they have weapons that can contain each other in a short period of time. Maintained a state of balance like walking on thin ice until the relationship was broken and turned into a world war.
Yoshida Naoki attaches great importance to the quality of the plot, and he emphasized that “FF16” will be made to bring players the most exciting and best plot content, just like directing a movie.
At present, it has been determined that “FF16” is a linear plot with no divergent endings. Players will follow the protagonist through the three stages of life: youth, youth, and adulthood, and experience the entire “FF16” with the people and things that the protagonist encounters as a starting point.
As for whether “FF16” is related to “FF14”, Yoshida Naoki believes that if there are too many connections between the two games, players who have not played “FF14” will be confused about the content of “FF16”.
The AI teammates of the team will change with the recommendation of the plot. One of the specific characters will follow the player to participate in most of the battles, and the player can also give them instructions, such as healing or specifying attack targets.
In addition, the summoned beasts of this game can be controlled by the player. At the beginning, players can choose between “story-focused” or “combat-focused” directions, which is a little different from the traditional easy, normal, and difficult difficulty grading method, but neither of the two gameplay will affect the development of the plot.
But having said that, although the two games are works of different content, since they are both made by the same development team, there will be more or less similarities in many places.
Although Yoshida Naoki believes that both the command system and the open world are good concepts, if it will cause pressure on the development team, it is better to abandon these elements directly.
To put it simply, the depiction of “FF16” in Naoki Yoshida’s heart is probably: the story of the protagonist saving the world, summoning beasts to demolish homes everywhere, not letting players wait too long, and not being able to be demolished and sold, although he agrees that some concepts are very good, but practical considerations The reality is not feasible, but also mentioned that if there is 15 years of development time, I would like to try to make a look at the open world, although such an idea is too difficult to implement.
The above content is excerpted from the interviews of various media with “FF16” producer Naoki Yoshida.
Sqaure Enix’s new title, Final Fantasy XVI, will launch in summer 2023.