Final Fantasy XV – Kotaku Interview with Hajime Tabata

Final Fantasy XV went from that was in a long development cycle too one of the biggest releases of 2016 this fall. Head Director of the project got an extensive interview with Kotaku after E3 2016 and a lot of details where shared. Learning about how Airships got incorporated into the game, how the optimization of the project is coming along and more was revealed with this interview. The full interview can be found here and I will be citing specific quotes from it below I found particularity noteworthy.

Final Fantasy XV will be releasing on the PS4 and Xbox One this September.

Optimization:

Schreier: We’re very close to launch… how are you feeling?

Tabata: I do feel like it’s in front of us now. The release is coming up soon. We still have so much left to do on making the game itself, so until the actual day when we’ve got it out and there’s nothing left to do but wait for the release, I’m not gonna feel that it’s really done until that point.

Schreier: How much development is left? What stage are you at now?

Tabata: We’re really at the stage where we’re polishing up the final content and optimizing it for different consoles, and also the debugging phase is what we’re into now. One other thing there is that we’re doing a little bit of changing, switching up the UI to make it even better. That’s what we’re doing at the moment.

Schreier: Yeah, I keep noticing—in the Platinum demo, the UI is a little different than it is in the Trial of Titan.

Tabata: We’re gonna do one final round of brushing up to improve the usability, playability of the UI. We’re doing a little bit of brushing up of the NPCs too. We felt there was a lack of reality in some of the NPCs—they were still mockups a lot of them—so we’re brushing them up too.

PS4 Neo & Xbox Scropio Support for FFXV:

Schreier: Now that Sony and Microsoft are both announcing new consoles, the Scorpio and the Neo, have you guys been working with that stuff at all?

Tabata: No, we haven’t started anything… I first learned about Scorpio at the [Microsoft] conference. I was there waiting in the green room and I go “ooh wow, what’s that?”

Schreier: That’s pretty funny. Do you think it’s cool? What do you think?

Tabata: Until I actually see something moving on it, I’m not gonna get a real feeling of what it can do and grasp it, but certainly listening to the specs being reeled off, I think that did sound like something that’s got quite a lot of potential. It’d be really great though if we could have Final Fantasy XVsomething we can play on the current-generation Xbox One and PS4, also give them that choice that when the new, stronger-generation hardware comes out, to have them play at that level as well. I’d really like to be able give them that… I think you’ve probably got a 4K TV in your house, haven’t you?

Schreier: (laughing) No, I don’t!

Tabata: It’d be really great if we could give people the option, so the people who have hardcore 4K TVs, they could play on those. Just like you I don’t have a 4K TV, so we should play on the current generation.

Airship:

Tabata: You can fly around freely in the world, and if you really wanna explore in a lot more ways, you can fly around with the airship, it’s really great.

Schreier: You can fly anywhere?

Tabata: You can fly anywhere you’d like, but you need to find a road to land on. It’s not 100% land anywhere, take off anywhere, fly everywhere, but we really wanted within the system we’ve created to give the player the freedom to fly as freely as possible, anywhere they could. There’s a great level of freedom they can get from that.

Schreier: Was this developed with [Just Cause developer] Avalanche?

Tabata: The actual development work wasn’t done as a collaboration with their guys, but we had a big meeting with them. We sat down and discussed theirLOD development methods they use for that, and certainly the way that the LOD system handles textures was something we really learned from. We used the information we got out of that meeting to develop the system ourselves. But obviously the way our game’s created, and structured, and all the rich parts and systems, the way they interact with each other, it’s completely different FFXV with their game. So we can’t take their technology straight away and just block it in, there’s no way we can do that. But it really was a great reference for us, we learned a lot.

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