Final Fantasy XVI Producer Interviews Naoki Yoshida – Real-time combat, AI party members, not an open world, more

What do you think of the basic principles of the file Final Fantasy Game? Did the development team look to previous titles in the series for guidance or inspiration when building Final Fantasy XVI?

Naoki Yoshida: “I would say the basic elements of Final Fantasy The game is a deep story, deep gameplay, advanced graphics, advanced sound … as well as chocobos and moogles of course.

“In 35 years of history Final Fantasy series, the guiding policy has always been that each new part should be the best game the director at the time could put together, no matter how the game world, characters or battle system changed. Because of this, the players and Final Fantasy Fans around the world have very different ideas about what Final Fantasy It should be the game – but to me, it’s those elements you mentioned.

When it comes to deciding what to do Final Fantasy XVII thought again when I played the original version Final FantasyAnd I remembered how it felt like I was playing the lead role in a movie. I wanted to get that feeling back Final Fantasy XVI, but with state-of-the-art game design and the latest modern technology. The entire development team, under the management of Hiroshi Takai, has come together to make this dream a reality, so I hope you all look forward to it.”

Thinking back to the beginning Final Fantasy XVI Project, do you remember how the conversation went when you were asked to produce a new main entry? What was your initial reaction?

Yoshida: I said ‘Thanks, but my hands are full Final Fantasy XIVSo let me think about it. I have been truly honored that the company has chosen my department, Creative Business Unit 3, to be responsible for making the following entry in Final Fantasy series. But, as you probably know, I’m already a producer and director Final Fantasy XIV. I was worried that if I took over as a manager Final Fantasy XVIAlso, fans of both games will have good reason to believe that I didn’t give either project my full attention.

‘to ensure the development of Final Fantasy XVI did not affect it Final Fantasy XIVWe picked a very small group of core team members to start with, and over the course of several years, we moved them slowly and carefully to begin work on the new game, until the team was fully assembled. “

How was the composition of the rest Final Fantasy XVIThe development team decided?

Yoshida: “Being a manager Final Fantasy The game is a harder job than most people can imagine. Not only do you have the expectations of fans and media to meet, but you are also under pressure from the development team as well. You always have to be up to the challenge.

“I’ve worked with Hiroshi Takai for many years, and he’s one of my most trusted colleagues, as well as a veteran developer, so I asked him if he’d take on the role—and luckily, he agreed. That’s how it all began. We brought two more members into the group, and between the four of us, We sketched out the basic concepts of the game and its world, as well as the main themes that we wanted to bring up, and started working on writing the main story.Later, we brought in a few more members to take charge of the battle system and graphics, and through the process of building on what worked and undoing what didn’t work, we gradually moved towards development The whole time, I was thinking in the back of my mind ‘Please don’t let this sway Final Fantasy XIV! “

Speaking specifically about the story-writing process (not the narrative details), how did it feel to switch from a multi-year, multi-expansion arc to a standalone, stand-alone story?

Yoshida: “I’ve worked on non-MMORPG games before, so it wasn’t a major stumbling block. Plus all-new Final Fantasy XIV The expansion has a similar level of new story content as a standalone RPG, or maybe more, so it wasn’t all that different from my work on that game. The only major difference I noticed was that if I wanted to predict something, I had to push it faster! “

All Final Fantasy The logo conveys a core theme of the game in some way. How can the Final Fantasy XVI logo do this?

Yoshida: “Yoshitaka Amano’s logo design is full of meaning, as you would expect. Two iKON appear facing each other… the rest, for now, is a secret.”

after the appearance of Final Fantasy XVIThe new trailer for “Dominance” During the gameplay, we finally have a launch window! Where will the development team focus their efforts during the final year before the game’s release?

Yoshida: “At the moment the entire game can be played from start to finish, but we have a lot of voiceovers in several languages ​​that still need to be recorded. Final Fantasy XVI It’s a very action-oriented game, so we also do a lot of gameplay testing to adjust difficulty levels, as well as finalize scenes, and go through extensive debugging. A year is a short time in game development, so we’re all striving a little bit to cross the line. “

Some have now been confirmed Final Fantasy XIV The development team members (including you!) Final Fantasy XVI—Do you have specific systems or processes in place to ensure teams can perform at their best through two tonally distinct games without burning themselves (or yourself)? I imagine a lot of work Final Fantasy XVI It should happen around the same time as the final Final Fantasy XIV: Endwaler Preparations…

Yoshida: “I wouldn’t call it a system per se, but the project managers and co-producers on both projects do a great job planning my schedule to make sure I’m not overburdened. I wouldn’t have a clue how to organize myself without them!”

“I try to leave any decisions regarding the overall management of the department in the hands of senior management as much as possible, allowing me to focus on my work as a producer and director. Rather than a specific system or process, it is a sense of teamwork that we have built over the years. Masayoshi Soken has his staff in the audio department. who handle his schedule on his behalf.”

Two-part question: What is your favorite frequent recall from Final Fantasy The series in general and why? What is your favorite summon? Final Fantasy XVIAnd why?

Yoshida: “He must be Bahamut to me. He destroys not only his enemies, but the land on which they stand – even entire planets! Every time he appears, you know something incredible is about to happen. It helps to be such a great part of the story.” Final Fantasy XIV, very. As for the summons that appears in Final Fantasy XVII already have my favorite, but I can’t tell you right now because it must lead to a lot of speculation. What I can say is that they are all awesome as hell! “

The new trailer for “Dominance” also teased more game music. With Masayoshi Soken now confirmed as Final Fantasy XVIComposer, can you share any idea of ​​the trailer’s music? Was the music we heard in the trailer tailored to that beat, or does it include dominant themes and ideas that we can expect to hear all over the game?

Yoshida: “It’s not all over the music yet, but Soken is a composer who loves to repurpose parts of the in-game soundtrack into trailers. I’m sure you’ve heard some themes and ideas that will make their way to in-game music in the latest trailer. You’ll have to invite Soken for action. Interview to find out more — but please, as soon as he’s finished working on the soundtrack!”

What are some opportunities for PlayStation 5 hardware that weren’t possible in previous generations?

Yoshida: “With more processing power, we can obviously make the graphics richer than we could before, but it’s the ultra-fast load times that really impress me. Final Fantasy XVIYou jump straight from story scenes to real-time battles and back again without any load times, keeping gameplay flowing at a fast pace. Only with the power of the PlayStation 5 system can we make it Final Fantasy XVI Riding a roller coaster as it is.”