• Final Fantasy XV is about 55% done


    Final Fantasy XV has been in a bit of development hell. It's been 8 years and has changed it's name, directors, direction, graphics engine, system, and generally has had little to no info released in this time frame. That is, until Hajime Tabata came into the development team.

    By the time Tabata had joined the team, Square Enix had been working on XV for 6 years as Final Fantasy XIII Versus. During those six years, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 came out and the production of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was in full swing. Final Fantasy Crisis Core and Final Fantasy Type-0 came out during this time and Agito was being worked on all by Tabata's teams. The MMO Final Fantasy XIV crashed and burned and was reborn during this time as well thanks to Naoki Yoshida.

    Tetsuya Nomura, recently stepping down to focus on other games such as those in the Kingdom Hearts vein, left the spot open for Tabata as the director. Attempting to keep most of Nomura's Vision in tact, Tabata and his team have been working hard on the numbered entry. He now says that the game itself, since him joining, is at about 55% completion.

    According to Kotaku, whom did the interview with Tabata, more was going on internally, "So, when I joined the development team, we've also shifted from primarily using pre-rendered CG to a mix of pre-rendered CG and in-game images that are at the quality of a pre-rendered image." According to Tabata, the graphics are about 70 percent of what they are aiming for. "I think we can get the demo's graphics at about 80 percent of what we hope to achieve," he said. "By the time the game is released, we hope to achieve 100 percent."

    He went on to explain how the car itself is a tool to explore the world, akin to the airships of the past. "Whether it's driving or combat, you can do what you like in the game," Tabata said. "There is that freedom. It's open world, and it's possible to go where you want and explore."

    So it's been 8 years and 55% is complete. Now this isn't 55% of Versus complete. This is 55% of Tabata's XV complete. We might as well restart the clock and think of it being in development for only 2 years, as that's how long Tabata has been in control. Even though, of course we can't do that.

    55% complete? Any thoughts on that percentage and the new development information coming to light?
    This article was originally published in forum thread: XV is about 55% done started by Freya View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
      Scotty_ffgamer -
      Quote Originally Posted by FFFFsephychibi View Post
      It really doesn't make sense, that nomura's idea's were so ambitious, his idea's cannot be executed, with ps4 technology. (when compared to the ps3)

      They sure don't seem to have trouble spending 6 months perfecting water puddles though.

      I'm tired and sick, so I may not be making my point clear... not that it matters in the grand scheme of things. I just think they are reevaluating what they can and can't do in general so that we don't run into more ridiculously long development cycles and find out that their overall vision doesn't work on the PS4 as well. Whatever ideas they had while it was still a PS3 game doesn't mean those ideas had been implemented on it at all.

      It's not really that there were things the PS3 was capable of doing that the PS4/Xbox One isn't. I think his statement just has to do with having a realistic vision for the system so that we don't have another ridiculously long wait for the game to come out from this point on.
    1. Del Murder's Avatar
      Del Murder -
      Why not just release it now? If 55% complete was good enough for XIV, it should be good enough for XV.
    1. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
      Wolf Kanno -
      As I've said before, I feel the reason the game is only 55% complete and still took 8 years to make was largely because the team pulled an FFXII and had to build a completely new engine to get what Nomura wanted. Tabata saying they wouldn't work on implementing anything new mainly means that even if someone came up with a cool new idea at this point, it won't make it into the final game because it would take too long to figure out how to program it.

      Back when Versus XIII was first announced Nomura was talking about making the cities fully explorable with your characters able to enter every building with NPCs and various rooms as well as seamless gameplay change with Noctis being theoretically capable of switching from an action game mechanic to a FPS one on the fly and this was still before anyone knew the PS3 was a kind of a bitch to program for. I'm pretty sure this got toned down and even though the PS4 could potentially make some of these ideas come to fruition, the fact it took them 8 years to get to this point means the team is done with trying to expand the scope of the game, which is why I feel Tabata said that. The finalized what they wanted the game to be and they are sticking to it instead of trying to throw every bell and whistle they dreamed up in pre-production into it while also trying to finish the game. Its been almost a decade, SE needs to cut their losses and build the best game they can with what they have developed so far.

      I am not concerned about Nomura stepping down, especially since it had more to do with getting him back to work on other projects he's put on hold for XV as opposed to being removed because he's a lousy director, most interviews I've read say the story, characters, and game structure are still Nomura's ideas, Tabata is just seeing them to completion. It sounds to me that the software has been finalized and they chose someone familiar with the hardware, so 55% completion is probably not as bad as it sounds since he'll be able to make the team build the game pretty smoothly. Of anything, we should be happy Tabata was honest enough to seriously give real answers to the questions fans have been asking for awhile. I find it amusing that it's the new comers Tabata and Yoshi-P who are being more up front and frank about their projects as opposed to the old guard of Nomura, Kitase, and Toriyama.
    1. FFFFsephychibi's Avatar
      FFFFsephychibi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scotty_ffgamer View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by FFFFsephychibi View Post
      It really doesn't make sense, that nomura's idea's were so ambitious, his idea's cannot be executed, with ps4 technology. (when compared to the ps3)

      They sure don't seem to have trouble spending 6 months perfecting water puddles though.

      I'm tired and sick, so I may not be making my point clear... not that it matters in the grand scheme of things. I just think they are reevaluating what they can and can't do in general so that we don't run into more ridiculously long development cycles and find out that their overall vision doesn't work on the PS4 as well. Whatever ideas they had while it was still a PS3 game doesn't mean those ideas had been implemented on it at all.

      It's not really that there were things the PS3 was capable of doing that the PS4/Xbox One isn't. I think his statement just has to do with having a realistic vision for the system so that we don't have another ridiculously long wait for the game to come out from this point on.

      Nah brah it's cool. I'm just cranky over these interviews. I'm glad it sounds like they are prioritizing to get the game done.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post

      Back when Versus XIII was first announced Nomura was talking about making the cities fully explorable with your characters able to enter every building with NPCs and various rooms as well as seamless gameplay change with Noctis being theoretically capable of switching from an action game mechanic to a FPS one on the fly and this was still before anyone knew the PS3 was a kind of a bitch to program for. I'm pretty sure this got toned down and even though the PS4 could potentially make some of these ideas come to fruition, the fact it took them 8 years to get to this point means the team is done with trying to expand the scope of the game, which is why I feel Tabata said that. The finalized what they wanted the game to be and they are sticking to it instead of trying to throw every bell and whistle they dreamed up in pre-production into it while also trying to finish the game. Its been almost a decade, SE needs to cut their losses and build the best game they can with what they have developed so far.

      I mean skyrim, did exactly that on both ps3 and xbox360. Shame square can't figure that out themselves, time to hire new programers.

      It's a shame they can't make an evolution of the KH hearts battle system on a ps4 either, when they perfected it on the ps2. It's starting to smell like Square got nervous over last years e3 2013 trailers reaction to it being an action rpg.
    1. Mirage's Avatar
      Mirage -
      Skyrim can do that through extensive asset-reuse. Not that I think Skyrim isn't a cool game, but I don't want FF15 to go that route when it comes to art direction and level design.
    1. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
      Wolf Kanno -
      Quote Originally Posted by FFFFsephychibi View Post

      Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post

      Back when Versus XIII was first announced Nomura was talking about making the cities fully explorable with your characters able to enter every building with NPCs and various rooms as well as seamless gameplay change with Noctis being theoretically capable of switching from an action game mechanic to a FPS one on the fly and this was still before anyone knew the PS3 was a kind of a bitch to program for. I'm pretty sure this got toned down and even though the PS4 could potentially make some of these ideas come to fruition, the fact it took them 8 years to get to this point means the team is done with trying to expand the scope of the game, which is why I feel Tabata said that. The finalized what they wanted the game to be and they are sticking to it instead of trying to throw every bell and whistle they dreamed up in pre-production into it while also trying to finish the game. Its been almost a decade, SE needs to cut their losses and build the best game they can with what they have developed so far.

      I mean skyrim, did exactly that on both ps3 and xbox360. Shame square can't figure that out themselves, time to hire new programers.

      It's a shame they can't make an evolution of the KH hearts battle system on a ps4 either, when they perfected it on the ps2. It's starting to smell like Square got nervous over last years e3 2013 trailers reaction to it being an action rpg.
      Mirage beat me to it but I think Nomura was going for more of every building being unique as opposed to just copy/paste nonsense. Not to mention that when Nomura was doing these interviews it was like 2007 when Oblivion was just coming out. The point I didn't make was that Nomura wanted these structures to allow players to interact seamlessly with the outside, in an old Edge interview, he mentioned his original idea would look like fighting enemies on the street in an action setting and then jumping through a window into a building and switching to FPS mode to gun down the enemies from afar before moving up the stairs and jumping into the next building to avoid enemies. At the time it was unheard of but not far fetched now. Basically whole cities (plural) were suppose to be seamless with the game not loading new content just generating everything at once and allowing the player full freedom to navigate through it and switch from a DMC style combat system to a First/third person shooter mode on the fly with no loading or anything. Skyrim can do similar stuff but it also reuses textures and its combat system is hardly flashy if not kind of boring to watch. Japanese developers need that flashiness whereas Western developers are more practical.

      As for the combat system, I felt KH perfected it with Birth by Sleep and frankly I'm not bothered by XV being an Action-RPG since Nomura was always up front about this. I think some fans are whining because A) they didn't really follow the few breadcrumbs fans had about Versus XIII and thus the revelation it was an Action-RPG caught them flat footed, and B) the majority of the console JRPGs on the market are some variation of an Action RPG which some people don't care for. It's not like we had a lot of gameplay video to really get an idea of how it was going to play out in the first place and frankly since we've never seen the team show the old scenario from a few years back redone, there is no reason to believe that night raid gameplay footage isn't still part of the game. I honestly don't think we ever knew enough about Versus XIII's original concept to get worked up over any changes that have been made since the latest developments. For all we know, Nomura may have dropped concepts from early footage long before Tabata joined the project.
    1. FFFFsephychibi's Avatar
      FFFFsephychibi -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mirage View Post
      Skyrim can do that through extensive asset-reuse. Not that I think Skyrim isn't a cool game, but I don't want FF15 to go that route when it comes to art direction and level design.
      Agreed, a direction like skyrim probably wouldn't be the best. Just thought it sounded weird they originally were making it sound like those things were impossible on ps3 when there's huge open world games like skyrim (and oblivion/fallout/morrowind) that implement those functions.

      One thing though that makes me super happy from these interviews is that they've given choice to the player to explore or progress the story.
    1. Bolivar's Avatar
      Bolivar -
      It's crazy they've been talking about this game since before Oblivion came out, after which Bethesda went on to ship not one but two gigantic open world epic RPGS that will go down as two of the most ambitious games of the generation.

      I know Square hasn't really cared about consoles for quite some time but I just wish I could have my Final Fantasy back.
    1. Depression Moon's Avatar
      Depression Moon -
      It sounds good to me. We could get it by the end of the next year at the earliest and at the beginning of 2016 at the latest.
    1. Mirage's Avatar
      Mirage -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bolivar View Post
      It's crazy they've been talking about this game since before Oblivion came out, after which Bethesda went on to ship not one but two gigantic open world epic RPGS that will go down as two of the most ambitious games of the generation.

      I know Square hasn't really cared about consoles for quite some time but I just wish I could have my Final Fantasy back.
      And both those two Bethesda games added together still has fewer visually impressive locations than the almost entirely linear ff13. And I say that as a Ff13 hater.
    1. Pete for President's Avatar
      Pete for President -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mirage View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Bolivar View Post
      It's crazy they've been talking about this game since before Oblivion came out, after which Bethesda went on to ship not one but two gigantic open world epic RPGS that will go down as two of the most ambitious games of the generation.

      I know Square hasn't really cared about consoles for quite some time but I just wish I could have my Final Fantasy back.
      And both those two Bethesda games added together still has fewer visually impressive locations than the almost entirely linear ff13. And I say that as a Ff13 hater.
      However at least in Oblivion/Skyrim you can actually visit whatever you see on the horizon. FFXIII has mostly pretty wallpaper, that add nothing to the world in terms of gameplay.

      Dark Souls does it right. The world of Lordran is packed so tight all of it is noteworthy and none of it is blurb. Everything you see in the distance you will visit at some point, and clever map design makes it never go boring unlike the examples mentioned above.
    1. Mirage's Avatar
      Mirage -
      I know. It's one of the bigger reasons why I dislike the game.
    1. Rostum's Avatar
      Rostum -
      I think it's important to reiterate that the "55%" is just for the last two years, not eight.

      However I don't understand why SE talk in percentages. It has absolutely no bearing on how long development takes. There are so many major stages in development that there's stages within stages. Alone pre-production could take much longer than actual production. Basically what I'm saying is that 45% they have left to develop could take three months or it could take another two years.
    1. Lawr's Avatar
      Lawr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rostum View Post
      I think it's important to reiterate that the "55%" is just for the last two years, not eight.

      However I don't understand why SE talk in percentages. It has absolutely no bearing on how long development takes. There are so many major stages in development that there's stages within stages. Alone pre-production could take much longer than actual production. Basically what I'm saying is that 45% they have left to develop could take three months or it could take another two years.
      I felt the same way but I had to rethink about why anyone would say 55% instead of just saying 50%. So (I think) the 55% is more of like "we're at this stage of game-making now," as opposed to, "we're a little over halfway done." Similar to what Wolf Kanno said, they're done laying the groundwork and throwing their ideas at the wall; whatever stuck is what they're gonna go with until they get to 100% in 2022.

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