Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata discussed more fan feedback, key changes from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and dated version 2.0 of the Episode Duscae demo during today’s Active Time Report broadcast.
Get the full details and video below.
#1: “I want to buy and sell items in bulk.”
Tabata: “Of course, we will be making things more convenient in the final game. (So you will be able to buy in bulk?) I think you will, yes. (And also sell in bulk?) I think you will be able to, yes. I’m pretty sure it’s normal to be able to do that in games.”
Enemies also drop other items, like screws and bits, which sell for very cheap in the demo and serve no other purpose. Is there some other reason to have them in the game, including
“In the final game, you will have all kinds of dropped items and other stuff that you collect. And you don’t just have to sell them. Of course, we’re thinking about other ways to use these items. Of course, there will still be some items that exist just to be sold. But you can use some things to customize the car. There will be items tied in to doing that kind of stuff, too… You will probably need to collect 50 screws to do anything with them. But we do plan to include a proper system allowing players to use the items they accumulate.”
#2: “More sound effects. There is no music in the field sections of the demo, just environmental sounds. We want more sound effects.”
Tabata: “The sound team is currently working on that, and what they’re looking to do is program the environmental sounds to change dynamically through AI control. And they are currently working on getting the drivers and the AI setup in place, to make that kind of dynamic change possible. So if it all works, then we should be able to create a system where the sounds that surround the player will shift organically as the environment around them changes. Even if this isn’t possible, then at the very least we will have it so the effects change when you go to different areas.”
What about background music?
Tabata: “For the demo, we only included music during combat and events. So we will be adding more variety for the full game. And because it’s clearly an open world game, things like having the BGM start up again after being silent are very much a genre standard. So we weant to do what we can to meet those standards. I guess that, compared to the environment effects, the level of geekery is probably a bit lower but, rest assured we will be putting lots of effort into the BGM, as well.”
#3: “Thoughts on moving in the water and underwater battles.”
Tabata (paraphrased): ‘We need to set priorities for everything. Underwater action is labor intensive and takes a lot of work. If we just take moving around for Noctis, customizing the water physics, setting up new motions, diving and swimming, adding a special control system, etc.. But battles on top of that would skyrocket the workload. All battle motions, sounds, etc. would need to change underwater. If it were just Noctis alone, we might be able to do underwater battles. But to do the same for his team, it’s difficult. Current AI is for tracking while on land. Underwater ou also need a vertical element. The ultimate goal would be to have the party dive underwater and battle under there like they would on land, but it would be almost in possible tech wise. On the other hand, things like that can be introduced later via downloadable content. We’re trying to work in Leviathan segment from the E3 2013 trailer’.
#4: “Stamina gauge to tell you when you’ll tire out running.”
Tabata (paraphrased): ‘I cant’t say right now it would be best to have a gauge, but we can certainly look at including something to let you know before the stamina runs out.’
Versus XIII Changes
Some time has passed since announcing Final Fantasy XV, and Episode Duscae was a turning point in development. With all the demo feedback, Square Enix has set its sights on what to do during the mastering phase and what everyone is enthusiastic about. After last year’s Tokyo Game Show and leading up to the release of Episode Duscae, information released about the game was limited to the game system—what direction gameplay was taking. Tabata says he understand that fans are interested in information on the characters and story.
After the switch from Versus XIII to XV, the first decision Square Enix made was to make sure XV would have a complete and coherent story in one game. In deciding which elements would fit into XV from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the team went through everything in detail and tried to keep as many elements from the original story in as possible. The team considered what what would fit and what was essential for the story to be containefd in a single title. They decided to be as faithful to Nojima’s original Versus XIII story as possible, so they created a narrative that utilized the original story as much as possible.
But there were changes:
Stella – Presented as the heroine to play opposite Noctis in Versus XIII. The team wanted to keep her as a heroine and pursued ways to tie her into Final Fantasy XV‘s design, but we found it difficult to make sense of her character and role within the new game. So then they thought, “Do we want to recreate Stella in a different role and image, or do we want to start over with a new heroine?” After a lot of consideration, the team decided not to include Stella and go with a new heroine named Luna, who has a different role in the story.
Crown City of Insomnia – Shown in the trailer as the opening for Versus XIII. There was a scene of a party taking place in the castle within the city. And there was a sequence of scenes right after the party where the city is attacked by the enemy forces of Niflheim. This sequences has been deleted from the game. The reason is because scenes like those had to be regressed because of a very critical factor. Now the sequence is: Noctis and his crew leave Insomnia, then the Niflheim army attacks the crown city. The reason behind this is extremely important, but is considered a spoiler.
Tabata (paraphrased): ‘As we make these major changes, there are other characters that we introduced, like a woman with dark hair, and a female dragoon, that are still in the game with their own important roles within the story.’
Nojima (scenario) statement: “This is Nojima. As director Tabata just announced, the plot that was developed during the Versus era has served as the basis for the Final Fantasy XV story. I’m sure the story will make many changes as they adapt my draft into a more detailed script, but I believe that the important things I wanted to express will be taken to another level by the XV team. As I express my support, I will be waiting for XV to be completed just like everyone else.”
Tabata summed up by saying, in short, that Final Fantasy XV, while based on Versus XIII, is a different game.
Episode Duscae 2.0
The next version of the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo, version 2.0, will launch on June 9 at 8 a.m. PDT / 11 a.m. EDT / 16:00 BST.
Here’s an overview trailer:
E3 and Gamescom
Previously, Square Enix said it would showcase a short trailer at E3 before beginning the main game’s promotion at Gamescom. That trailer will not longer be showcased. You’ll have to wait for Gamescom, sorry.
Also, here’s an artwork teaser:
Luminous Studio 1.5 Tech Demo #2