What do you think are the fundamental principles of a Final Fantasy play? Did the development team look at previous titles in the series for guidance or inspiration when creating Final Fantasy XVI?
Naoki Yoshida: “I would say that the core elements of a Final Fantasy game are a deep story, deep gameplay, cutting-edge graphics and cutting-edge sound… plus chocobos and moogles, of course.
“In the 35-year history of the Final Fantasy series, it has always been the guiding policy that each new installment has to be the best game the director at the time can create, no matter how the game world, characters, or battle system changes. Because of this, players and Final Fantasy Fans all over the world have very different ideas of what a Final Fantasy the game should be, but for me, it’s those elements that I mentioned.
“When deciding what to do with Final Fantasy XVIi remembered when i played the original Final Fantasy, and I remembered how I felt like I was playing the lead in a movie. I wanted to get that feeling back in Final Fantasy XVI, but with state-of-the-art game design and the latest in modern technology. The entire development team, under the leadership of Hiroshi Takai, has come together to make that dream come true, so I hope everyone looks forward to it.”
Thinking back to the start of the Final Fantasy XVI project, do you remember how the conversation went when you were asked to produce this new main entry? What was your initial reaction?
Yoshida: “I said ‘Thank you, but I have my hands full with Final Fantasy XIVso let me think about it. I was really honored that the company chose my section, Creative Business Unit 3, to be responsible for making the next entry in the Final Fantasy Serie. But, as you probably know, I’m already the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV. I was worried that if I took over the leadership of Final Fantasy XVIAlso, fans of both games would have good reason to believe that I wasn’t giving either project my full attention.
“To ensure that the development of Final Fantasy XVI did not affect the Final Fantasy XIVWe picked a very small group of core team members to start with, and over the course of several years, we slowly and carefully ushered them in to begin work on the new game, until we assembled the entire team.”
How was the composition of the rest of Final Fantasy XVIThe development team decided?
Yoshida: “Being a director of a Final Fantasy Gambling is harder work than most people imagine. Not only do you have to meet the expectations of the fans and the media, but you are also constantly under pressure from the development team. You always have to be ready for the challenge.
“I have worked with Hiroshi Takai for many years and he is one of my most trusted colleagues as well as a veteran developer so I asked him if he would take the role and luckily he agreed. That’s how it all started. We brought two other members into the group, and between the four of us, we outlined the core concepts of the game and its world, as well as the key themes we wanted to convey, and started writing the main story. . Later, we brought in a few more members to take care of the battle system and graphics, and through a process of building on what worked and discarding what didn’t, we gradually moved towards full-scale development. And the whole time, in the back of my mind, I was thinking ‘Please don’t let this impact Final Fantasy XIV!’”
Speaking specifically about the process of writing the story (not the narrative details), how did it feel to switch from a multi-year, multi-expansion arc to a stand-alone, stand-alone story?
Yoshida: “I’ve worked on non-MMORPG games before, so it wasn’t a major hurdle. Furthermore, each new Final Fantasy XIV The expansion has a similar level of new story content as a standalone RPG, or maybe even more, so it wasn’t too dissimilar to my work on that game. The only big difference I noticed was that if I wanted to foreshadow something, I had to pay for it much faster!”
Each Final Fantasy The logo conveys a central theme of the game in some way. how does he Final Fantasy XVI logo do this?
Yoshida: “Yoshitaka Amano’s design for the logo is full of meaning, as expected. It shows two Eikons facing each other… and the rest, for now, is a secret.”
After the debut of Final Fantasy XVIState of Play’s new “Dominance” trailer, we finally have a release window! Where will the development team focus their efforts during this last year before the release of the game?
Yoshida: “Right now, the game is fully playable from start to finish, but we have a lot of voiceovers in multiple languages that still need to be recorded. Final Fantasy XVI it’s a very action-oriented game, so we’re also doing a lot of playtesting to adjust difficulty levels, as well as putting the finishing touches on cutscenes and going through a large-scale debugging process. A year is a short time in the development of a game, so we all try our best to overcome it.”
It has now been confirmed that there are some Final Fantasy XIV development team members (including you!) working on Final Fantasy XVIDo you have specific systems or processes in place to ensure that teams can perform to the best of their abilities in two tonally different games without burning themselves (or yourself) out? I imagine a lot of work Final Fantasy XVI must have been happening at 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 production assistants on both projects do a great job planning my schedule to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed. I would have no idea how to stay organized without them!
“Any decision regarding the overall management of the division I try to leave in the hands of senior management as much as possible, which allows me to focus on my work as a producer and director. More than a specific system or process, it is a sense of teamwork that we have developed over the years. Masayoshi Soken has his own people in the sound department who handle his schedule for him.”
Two-part question: What is your favorite recurring invocation of the Final Fantasy series in general, and why? What is your favorite invocation in Final Fantasy XVIand because?
Yoshida: “It has to be Bahamut for me. He not only destroys his enemies, but also the ground they stand on, even entire planets! Every time he shows up, you know something amazing is about to happen. It helps that he’s a big part of the story of Final Fantasy XIV, also. Regarding the Summons that appear in Final Fantasy XVI, I have my favourite, but I can’t tell you right now as it will surely lead to a lot of speculation. What I can tell you is that they are all cool as hell!
The new trailer for “Dominance” also showed off more of the game’s music. With Masayoshi Soken now confirmed as Final Fantasy XVIComposer of , can you share any thoughts on the music for the trailer? Was the music we hear in the trailer made just for this beat, or does it include themes and leitmotifs that we can expect to hear in full in-game?
Yoshida: “Not all the music is done yet, but Soken is the kind of composer who likes to reuse parts of the game’s soundtrack in trailers. I’m sure you’ve heard some of the themes and motifs that will appear in the game’s music in the latest trailer. You’ll need to invite Soken in for an interview to find out more, but please only once he’s finished working on the soundtrack!
What are some of the opportunities offered by the PlayStation 5 hardware that would not have been possible in previous generations?
Yoshida: “With the increase in processing power, we can obviously make the graphics even richer than before, but what really impresses me is the super-fast load times. In Final Fantasy XVI, you jump directly from story scenes to real-time battles and back again without any loading time, making the game flow at a breakneck pace. Only thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5 system can we do Final Fantasy XVI the roller coaster that it is.