The Final Fantasy VII Remake is a Fantasy

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If they thought they could make enough money off it, all of a sudden it would become "feasible" to release a remade FF7.

Also, Shamus, you are massively overselling the difficulty of the project. I don't understand why, because shouldn't it be enough to say, "Well they'd have to start over from scratch, so it'd be like making an entirely new game." instead of going on about how much time and effort it takes to say, create a 3D model and animations (or art assets in general). Yes, it's probably the most time consuming process of creating a modern game, but it's obviously not some herculean task we should be grateful for, otherwise no new games would ever be made.

Ultimately it comes down to money. If Square thinks they can't make enough money off a conversion, then I believe them. After all, they should have the bean counters in place to figure this kind of stuff out.

But then again, sometimes you do things that are not immediately economically profitable because they enrich your brand. After the debacle of the last couple of FF installments, I actually wouldn't rule out a remake regardless of what the company is saying now.

Good article. :) I mean, totally glass is half empty, but a very rational breakdown as to why it'd be an unlikely remake. But here's where I'm doubious; Companies make games, all the time. More over, lengthy games. Bioware is a good example of an RPG developer that makes a 60 hour game, with a brilliant story, multitude of environments, voice acting, motion capture, etc etc! They do it, a lot!

So when I see the list of reasons why it'd be a monumentous task, and read "reasons why it'll never happen," I can't help but think the excuse I'm hearing is, "We can't do it, cause it'd be haaaaard."

We'll see in time. It may never come, and I'm hopeful that it will one day.

(I'm hopeful that SOMEONE will develop a library of mo-cap development assests that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of mo-cap development itself, so that it can be applied to gaming assets and help cut cost/time. Tell me that's not a good idea. I'd be surprised if I was the first person with that idea.)

Even if they did remake it why does it have to be next gen level of graphics. I don't see what is wrong with updating it to something like FFX style level. I am not saying that won't be expensive and hard but I don't see a problem with that compared to FFXIII levels.

I think FF7 fans need to come to terms with the fact that Chips is old and needs to be put to sleep.

Skullmaster123:

xscoot:
Why do people want an FFVII remake? They can just play FFVII.

Why buy something you already have?

Cause they're bloody fanboys, that's why.
I'd buy a sequel to a game like FF7, but not a remake.

Why would you buy Dirge of Cerberus?

Want better graphics and shit?
Take some acid while you're playin' the damn thing.

Or you could mod the PC version. You know, like people already HAVE.

Get over it, its not going to be remade anytime soon. I'm sure its an awesome game, but a remake would probably piss more people off than it would make happy.

Of course a big, modern, full 3D, HD remake with player-controlled cameras, high-poly motion-caped models with facial animations etc. would be difficult and expensive. But who says the remake would need those things? Why does no one consider a middle ground along the lines of the FF4 DS remake? Just take the original game, same proportions, same level design, same view angle; and recreate it in decent-looking 3D. No more difficult and expensive than any other game.

The only problem is the idea that ever game on the HD consoles *must* be a graphically advanced big-budget monstrosity or the players will snub it. Solution? Make it for the Wii! :D

I can't disagree with Shamus because I imagine production for games nowadays is terribly expensive. It makes sense too, seeing as games have changed gaming into being normal rather than a closet hobby.

I would contend however that with the focus on technology and graphics, be it customer driven or developer driven (or more likely a vicious circle), it will be awhile, if ever, before games as epic as Final Fantasy 7 come around again. Creating an entire fantasy world is serious business and it doesn't seem we're at a point to realize it.

Oh, and on the technology focus; putting story (and sometimes gameplay) 2nd to graphics is a bad habit companies are getting into a habit of.

You can hate Square Enix for leaving fans hanging. Maybe they'll be crazy enough to attempt it someday. But do not imagine that because they have some old 8-bit music and fifteen year old PSOne source code sitting around that they have some sort of jump-start on the project.

First things first: No FF7 Remake.
None. Zero. Zip. It would accomplish nothing but what all of these franchise reboots have done; destroy the original work in comparison.
They would have to include all of that horrid bullshit nonsense from the compendium since it's apparently canon. Nearly all of the new plot related stuff is mythic in how bad it is.

So...Squeenix.
Yeah, I can respect their decision to not do a remake of FF7.
I just find it ironic that they resell and repackage so many of their games, but that's the golden goose they refuse to touch.

Whatever. It's not like anything Squeenix has made in the last 8 years has been particularly innovative or refreshing.
Can't wait for the next flop in the Series That Should Have Died Years Ago, Squeenix.
What will it be next time? A nancy ass boy with the power to draw energy from shiny rocks teaming up with a loser in a kangaroo suit to save the world from Emperor Politician?

Atmos Duality:

You can hate Square Enix for leaving fans hanging. Maybe they'll be crazy enough to attempt it someday. But do not imagine that because they have some old 8-bit music and fifteen year old PSOne source code sitting around that they have some sort of jump-start on the project.

First things first: No FF7 Remake.
None. Zero. Zip. It would accomplish nothing but what all of these franchise reboots have done; destroy the original work in comparison.
They would have to include all of that horrid bullshit nonsense from the compendium since it's apparently canon. Nearly all of the new plot related stuff is mythic in how bad it is.

So...Squeenix.
Yeah, I can respect their decision to not do a remake of FF7.
I just find it ironic that they resell and repackage so many of their games, but that's the golden goose they refuse to touch.

Whatever. It's not like anything Squeenix has made in the last 8 years has been particularly innovative or refreshing.
Can't wait for the next flop in the Series That Should Have Died Years Ago, Squeenix.
What will it be next time? A nancy ass boy with the power to draw energy from shiny rocks teaming up with a loser in a kangaroo suit to save the world from Emperor Politician?

image

Seriously man, calm down.

Firia:
(I'm hopeful that SOMEONE will develop a library of mo-cap development assests that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of mo-cap development itself, so that it can be applied to gaming assets and help cut cost/time. Tell me that's not a good idea. I'd be surprised if I was the first person with that idea.)

Why bother? For background/walk on characters, just use stock mo-cap files.

And if MoCap is out of your budget for more important character animation, used the dozen or so other methods (all much more time consuming and skill demanding from your animators) instead.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again if I need to: Square Enix has crippled itself with its own top-of-the-line technology. Its amazing really. The obsessive, nigh-pathological need to make every single detail of the game as needlessly maddeningly beautiful as possible with the greatest graphical power available is an impressive feat, but it doesn't make a good game. I played FFVII ten years after it first came out, when its graphics had aged so badly that they are more laughable than convincing. But even so, the game, the story, the music, the emotion of the game was better than FFX - which had a billion times the graphical power. FFVI and Chrono Trigger have completely flat 2D graphics, but they're still timeless classics despite that.

This is why FFXIII had to be so linear. They just CAN'T make an open exploration game with towns and villages that like you had before on the PS2. It isn't within their power any more. Instead they threw everything into graphics, so the games suffer. Instead of wide-open towns and plains like in FFXII, you get fifty miles of corridors. Square Enix did what they could with this sort of limitation, taking clues from linear FPSs but that doesn't change the fact that they didn't have a choice. The game HAD to be made this way.

So if you want a FFVII remake, you're going to have to ask for a severe drop in graphical power. I'm talking FFXII quality, if not worse. It can be done, but it won't be the insane graphical shine you might have gotten with FFXIII. Unfortunately, if you made the game like that, no matter how good it might be, people will bitch about the graphics. They'll be morons, but they'll complain anyway.

Seriously people if you want it. Go get a degree in animation, or game design something like that. And go work for Square. Or write them a detailed letter citing all your finds with legitimate sources. Telling them how much a remake would benefit them. Then maybe they might do it.

As an immense fan of the original, allow me to say in the most respectful way I can that having to hear about this game for THIRTEEN STRAIGHT YEARS has made the bile instinctively rise in my gullet every time I hear the title spoken of, and I'm overjoyed that Squeenix has finally blurted out the truth that this is NEVER NEVER NEVER going to happen.

For God's sake, let this thing rest. Everyone is just getting more and more sour about it, and nothing good has or will ever come out of hanging its corpse up on wires and making it dance for a few more bucks out of the fans.

RhomCo:

Firia:
(I'm hopeful that SOMEONE will develop a library of mo-cap development assests that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of mo-cap development itself, so that it can be applied to gaming assets and help cut cost/time. Tell me that's not a good idea. I'd be surprised if I was the first person with that idea.)

Why bother? For background/walk on characters, just use stock mo-cap files.

And if MoCap is out of your budget for more important character animation, used the dozen or so other methods (all much more time consuming and skill demanding from your animators) instead.

I know zilch about mo-cap and how it relates to development and cost. I just know it's costly. :) But I imagine that if ~I~ were selling a mo-cap library for companies that didn't have the funds for actors and studios, I'd have a variety of qualities. Something for the characters that have focus, and something for background characters. The casual walk, and different flavors of it. The skittish business man, man with cell phone, man with camera. Yaknow, stock stuff, and different variations. :)

But that's just an idea. Without knowing how the field or technology really works, I could be missing something.

I don't think Square-Enix hates their fans, but they obviously hate money. Yes, re-making FF7 would cost a lot, but their profits from sales would far outweigh the production costs. Every-freaking-body would buy that game. Especially if it was cross-platform between PS3 and 360. Maybe they'll change their tune when Starcraft 2 is released and they see how much money a re-boot of a popular game is actually worth.

Rodyle2:

Seriously man, calm down.

I wasn't aware I was angry.

Crunchy English:
Besides guys, Final Fantasy 4 better.

As true as that may be, I for one wouldn't mind a revamp of either IV or VII.

Atmos Duality:

Rodyle2:

Seriously man, calm down.

I wasn't aware I was angry.

Both

They would have to include all of that horrid bullshit nonsense from the compendium since it's apparently canon. Nearly all of the new plot related stuff is mythic in how bad it is.

and

Whatever. It's not like anything Squeenix has made in the last 8 years has been particularly innovative or refreshing.
Can't wait for the next flop in the Series That Should Have Died Years Ago, Squeenix.
What will it be next time? A nancy ass boy with the power to draw energy from shiny rocks teaming up with a loser in a kangaroo suit to save the world from Emperor Politician?

give off more than a little bit of "mad" vibes.

Personally I think the only truly horrid FF7 spin-off is Dirge of Cerberus. Advent Children was stupid but fun for what it was, a huge CG brawl. Crisis core was actually GOOD.

Also I wonder if you've actually seen any of their NON-Final Fantasy material...

There's only one game that needs a graphic update with ZERO gameplay changes anyway: System Shock 2.

Its a convincing case however, in this case with FF7, why that's unlikely to happen. The cost involved in making any game these games is so scary.

LewsTherin:

Crunchy English:
Besides guys, Final Fantasy 4 better.

As true as that may be, I for one wouldn't mind a revamp of either IV or VII.

4 has been remade. Twice at least, once for the GBA and once for the DS. Also there's a sequel game, which supposedly sucks but I haven't played it.

Besides, I would argue that 4 was just a cliched fantasy story while FF7 actually tried to be creative.

But then there's my favorite, 5, which was a SELF AWARE cliched Fantasy story with an incredibly fun little job system. It's been remade once for the GBA, and that got a truly awesome localization.

twcblaze:

Nimbus:
I get that it would be expensive, but I still don't see why it would be more expensive than, say, making a new final fantasy game (E.G. FFXIII) from scratch, and considering it would probably sell crazy good... I'm still not seeing why not.

look at the differences between the two games, 7 had the entire overworld you could explore at just about any time, it had hundreds of characters you *could* interact with at (again) almost any point in the story, and most of them had changing dialogue.

there's a reason they've taken out the airships and running around the world map in the later games, the same reason they've bogged everyone down into the "run through this straight corridor to get to your next objective" linearity that everyone hates... exploration's expensive and time consuming.

I guess games like mass effect 1 that also have changin dialog or star wars the old republic which is suppose to have every char Has changing dialog but its too hard right? Some games run off of the same engine as it predessor but some how they say this is near impossible? I call bs on that. They want fans to move away from final fantasy vii and on to thier newer ff projects but the newer ones will not be as great as vii imo Fans=customers, and in the end square is a business and yes the money would be a big roadblock cuz it will cost a but load, but if they sold about 10mil copies at 60 bux theyd have about 40 mil ever 1mil they sell(retailers still need to make money). They simply dont want to do it, instead they will invest in a ff mmo instead right? Square is sitting on a untapped gold mine and they know it, i think imo this is hype.

Chinese proverb:
The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

I'm not the biggest FF7 fan in the world, but I want to make a point here: We are quite easily capable of all the same things that were in FF7 all that time ago. If today's game development companies can actually start keeping their graphical budget (by budget, I'm talking megabytes and pixels, not dollars) where they can handle it, and try to aim for systems that are more easily expandable (text rather than voice acting, putting strong early effort into good editing tools and scripting environments for cutscenes) then it's very possible.

If a 6-hour game of given quality takes longer to make than before, then that means our technology has gone BACKWARDS. Period. If I were put in charge of FF7's remake, I'd assure all the loved features were there, but I'd make a few rules:

1. Any features that 90% of people will agree were dumb, I will take out.
2. I will be open to gameplay changes if it makes the game more fun. The original game's director was not "a perfect god". He was really good, but everything can be improved.
3. Graphics will be updated from the HooveHand troupe, but will be kept to a reasonable degree; ie, low-detail world models will still be used for most things like the original, so we can keep graphical budget down, and they can look more appropriate for comical in-town conversations. FMV's for cutscenes, like the original, are likely.
4. Text, still. No voice actor is perfect.
5. No heavy marketing until we have some fair assessment that the game will be awesome.
6. No Advent Children models. Square, you do KNOW why people say Cloud is the epitomy of the whiny emo blond, right?

I find it fascinating to peer, if ever so slightly, into the mechanics of the game industry. I am amazed that I have spent SO much time doing something and yet know so little about even the rudimentary aspects of the making of the product. Cripes, that was an awkward sentence.

Pkay, so WHY WON'T THEY JUST SAY THIS TO THE FANS?

Why do they keep coming up with bullshit about having better projects, or wanting to do other things, or just vaguely saying, 'we can't do it?' Although my various reasons for hating Square Enix are enough to fill sheets of paper, my biggest one is that they dick around and aren't consistent in their reasoning.

While we may have had several threads on the Escapist proclaiming 'FFVII remake even further from view' they all state a different reaosn why FFVII is further from view, and never in any detail, because the developers won't give any details. That's not good fan management, that's just being unnecessarily dickish about the whole thing.

If they had sat down when they remade the opening cutscene again to showcase the PS3 graphics (which was a nice teabag from them anyway) and told us outright all of the reasons you've just stated, it would have been disappointing sure, but it would have been reasonable, and we would have understood. Instead they said something vague about it not being a profitable direction and let it lie for a few years.

I don't care what they make next (I hated Last Remnant and FFXII, but I hold onto hope that they will eventually make a good jRPG again), but I do care that they stop jerking us around so much.

I still dont see what's keeping them from using something other than state of the art bullshit.

We're talking a hundred hours of work versus hundreds of thousands of hours of work

No. A hundred hours of work is a couple of writers putting in moderate overtime for one week. One does not write Final Fantasy VII from "Hey let's make another Final Fantasy game!" to "Done!" with two guys and a week.

The overall thrust of your argument is fairly sound, but there are quite a few hairs (like that one) to split.

The main objection I have is not that they're nearly done because of the work on Final Fantasy VII. My objection is that we have current games that have already accomplished the technical feat that Square says is nearly impossible.

What exactly is supposed to be harder than any other current gen game? The presence of an overworld? Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect 2, and Dragon Age Origins found elegant solutions to travel between locations. The variety of the environments? I can sort of grant this, but then again, I may as well point back to Lost Odyssey.

Hell, forget it. Lost Odyssey *is* a current gen Final Fantasy VII. If Mistwalker can do it, why can't Square?

EDIT: Incidentally, Lost Odyssey gives a fair idea of what it would take, too. It's not fully voice acted. When you talk to random townspeople, you get text bubbles. It makes heavy use of a third person fixed camera like FFVII did. How does it handle the overworld? Well, you can literally fly a little ship around a representative 3D model, just like with FFVII's airship. I'm guessing Square thinks these features would be unacceptable in a current gen game. Personally, *I'd* find them acceptable. When I picture an FFVII remake, Lost Odyssey's gameplay is basically what I picture.

Well written, Shamus.

I'm game just to fire up my PS1 and blast through the game again.

twcblaze:

Nimbus:
I get that it would be expensive, but I still don't see why it would be more expensive than, say, making a new final fantasy game (E.G. FFXIII) from scratch, and considering it would probably sell crazy good... I'm still not seeing why not.

look at the differences between the two games, 7 had the entire overworld you could explore at just about any time, it had hundreds of characters you *could* interact with at (again) almost any point in the story, and most of them had changing dialogue.

there's a reason they've taken out the airships and running around the world map in the later games, the same reason they've bogged everyone down into the "run through this straight corridor to get to your next objective" linearity that everyone hates... exploration's expensive and time consuming.

Funny. Many sandbox games manage to deal with it. Although at the price of graphics. And let's face it, Mr. T HAS to be Barrett.

Companies make games, all the time. More over, lengthy games. Bioware is a good example of an RPG developer that makes a 60 hour game, with a brilliant story, multitude of environments, voice acting, motion capture, etc etc! They do it, a lot!

Still Square would have to take in account EVERY LITTLE DETAIL or else the fans will go berserk and etc. So in a sense it's a lot more difficult than making a Big game on something new, where's you're not bound by a code.

"This feature too difficult to make? - Let's not do it" won't roll with the fandom.
"Let's leave this for the sequel." - can't do it already was in FFVII.
and the list goes on.

So it's easier to make an FFXV bigger than FVII, rather than a faithful recreation of FFVII's world.

The thing is not that it would be "impossible" but that it may not be feasible, as in, they would spend a lot of money and is not certain that they would recoup it.

The fanboys then say "but it would sell millions upon millions!". Well, I'm sure you believe it, but if this would really come to pass, that's another story. The same fans that cry now for a remake would find things to complain about it. Some say "don't do full-blown next-gen graphics" but other fans would say that a FF7 with less-than-next-gen graphics would be just a rip-off. And so on.

Companies WANT to make money. If the people at Square thought they would make much more money than they would spend doing it, they would certainly remake FF7. The rest is fanboy speculation and wishful thinking.

(I don't care about a remake. FFVII was fun, but that's it. Lots of other games to play.)

Rodyle2:

Both <of those posts>

give off more than a little bit of "mad" vibes.

Personally I think the only truly horrid FF7 spin-off is Dirge of Cerberus. Advent Children was stupid but fun for what it was, a huge CG brawl. Crisis core was actually GOOD.

Also I wonder if you've actually seen any of their NON-Final Fantasy material...

I'm less "angry" with Squeenix (excepting Dirge of Cerberus, which is pretty much anti-thought put into a video game and sold for profit), and more "disappointed". I certainly don't lose any sleep at night over their products.

As a matter of opinion, I hated Advent Children's story. They took FF7 and turned it into Dragonball Z, cramming in as many cameos as they could just for the sake of it. It was at that moment, I started to think that remaking FF7 was not such a great idea.
Dirge merely cemented that belief. In Rebar-reinforced concrete.

Crisis Core was excellent...if you cut out the shoehorned-into-the-game-because-we-needed-a-bad-guy-for-you-to-fight Genesis silliness. That's really my only major complaint with Crisis Core besides the incredibly easy and boring combat system (but not a bad system in theory).
The story was actually compelling for once, and the main character had human emotions/motivations; something that is virtually unheard of in any mainstream game today.

As for other Squeenix titles...
Well, I had a post for a topic, but discarded it due to time constraints. Fortunately, it's still in my clipboard, so I'll just paste in what I didn't use then. Enjoy.

Ever watch that Unskippable episode that did Radiata Stories? Remember how stupid that looked? Yeah. I actually rented it way back. The game tried to do something new for once, but was limited by painfully obvious budget constraints. I appreciated it for the humor it introduced to a tired genre, even if it wasn't that great overall. And no, I don't just mean the graphics. This is the closest thing to "innovative" I saw Squeenix get in the last 7 years, and they deliberately limited its potential because they could not risk it."

In their minds, they had no guarantee of sales, even though I could see the system being much better than what we saw out of their flagship series.

Oh, and my last bit of beef with Squeenix's other titles: Thanks for carting the Mana series to its grave.
A true disappointment is a waste of good style and lore.

Yvl9921:
I still dont see what's keeping them from using something other than state of the art bullshit.

The fans. For every fan that wouldn't mind less than state-of-the-art graphics just for having a newer FFVII, 10 would say "I didn't mean this CRAP when I cried about a remake. Squeenix just wants my money". And wouldn't buy it.

People don't understand that it's quite a risky undertaking. There are few things harder than trying to please the fans.

Crunchy English:
The game isn't worth it, is the thing no one wants to tell fans. It was big, not just because of what it was, but because of when it was. The cost doesn't balance out with the final product. A remake would be weak on narrative since it retells a story we've been constantly exposed to for over a decade. It would be on treacherous ground gameplay wise, either undoing everything SquareEnix has tried in the last few additions or just stomp all over something everyone liked in 7.

Besides guys, Final Fantasy 4 better.

I like the cut of your jib.

Except Final fantasy VI was the best. Don't believe me? Play it yourself and see.

Usually I agree with Shamus. Speaking as a game development student myself, though, I've done my research on this, and...

#1: Game budgets haven't ballooned by a factor of ten.
The average game budget still sits around $30,million, with even the most expensive games of the current generation being just upwards of $50,million and rarely climbing over $60,million, unless you include the extensive and lavish marketing campaigns that publishers like Activision and Microsoft use to practically brainwash the public into purchasing their games. Those few cases in the top ten tend to include games like Too Human, which have ludicrously long development times due to indecisive design and bad direction more than the cost of the graphics in the game. People make assets, get forced to re-make them when the platform specs change halfway through production, the entire script changes about three or four times due to some whim the director has about adding a new character, the whole game gets re-built from the ground up because they didn't prototype it properly and decide that it sucks, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Final Fantasy 12 in particular suffered from a few of these problems, with Vaan and Penello being added in at the very last minute of preproduction and huge changes in the team's upper staff in mid-stream, and I imagine 13 didn't benefit from having cross-platforming foisted on it midway through production either.

#2: These environments aren't that impractical.
The average environment in Final Fantasy 7 is no more complex than any given Unreal Tournament 3 deathmatch map, many of which take place in extremely detailed, highly urbanized locales that have a way of faking a larger scope than they actually represent; something environment artists are or should be well-practiced at. It's not all that unreasonable to expect Square to be able to produce these locations, especially since viable blueprints exist in the artwork for the original game--not useable assets, mind, but blueprints. Speaking from personal experience working on environment art myself, I can tell you that the blueprint really is the hardest part of the work, even when you're working on HD models. What they don't have the blueprint for is all the stuff you don't see on the top-down perspective--the cityscape in the distance, that sort of thing, but as I say, if UT3 has taught us anything it's that you can make even a tiny map feel like it's part of a big city with some clever fake-jobs.

Meanwhile the overworld's an antiquated means of exploration at this point, Square would probably have a rough time finding a way to make that look good, but most folks probably wouldn't care and it's kind of their jobs to figure out how to solve problems like this. Frankly, on the scale of design problems, "how do we make the overworld not look like ass?" is pretty low on the totem pole, somewhere beneath "what's a good alternative to this crappy planet-scanning minigame?"

A lot of Square's problems developing environments, I think, stem from their overdependence on unique assets. If you haven't heard, basically they make environments the same way they do characters--they just model it from the ground-up to be completely unique. This worked well on the PS2, giving games like FFX and Kingdom Hearts a lot of memorable setpieces, but it's a terrible pipeline for making any volume of content. Other developers use "whiteboxing" to block in the layout of an environment first, balancing it in sheer level design terms while environment artists work on the pretty parts. Usually these consist of a lot of reuseable assets: cliffsides you can stick up against walls, rocks that you can shrink and grow and rearrange to create pebbles and boulders alike, smokestacks you can stick through rooftops, chunks of houses, segments of skyscrapers, repeatable textures that tile seamlessly, et cetera. Using this scheme you could easily re-create a lot of the environments in FF7 in no time at all; I can literally pull out my strategy guide and pick apart all the modular pieces I'd have to build in less than an hour. Building them, texturing them, and assembling them into a single one of those environments would take me a few weeks, but probably no longer than it took them to produce the original environments for FF7 with the junk tools they had at the time.

You can see where Square tried to pick this technique up in some places with FF13, but they didn't get creative enough with how they did it, opting to repeat huge chunks of their environments and often having them just floating in the middle of skyboxes without any reference points. It's as lazy an environment design as I've seen--and I've seen student environment artists at work. The fact is Square hasn't updated their pipeline in many years and it crippled their production big time. If they pursued making environment art the way they did in FF13, where I suspect they had to reassess what they were capable of multiple times after beating their brains against a wall trying to force environments the way they normally do it rather than adapting a better, smarter pipeline, they probably would take 40 years.

#3: So, I'm a student. You don't have to take MY word for it...
Maybe it aint worth much since I've never been on a production this size myself, but let's play the compare/contrast game with some of the other companies in the industry and what they've been producing lately.

Square had a team of 300 people for Final Fantasy 13, and it took them 4-ish years to make it.

Bioware, with comparable resources, produced both the Mass Effect games in roughly that time. Each game was fully voiced and developed far more complex interactions than the likes of any game Square has ever produced, creating a game of equivalent scope to any Final Fantasy.

Naughty Dog, with about a third of the resources, produced both the Uncharted games--which, while modest in scope compared to the likes of a Final Fantasy game, won unprecedented accolades for technical and artistic achievement with respect to its environments.

Finally, Ubisoft created nearly all of Florence, nearly all of Venice, the entirety of Tuscany, the hills surrounding Tuscany, and more, all while making these venues veritable jungle gyms of interactivity, populating them, and furthermore bringing that population into the gameplay itself.

Each of these examples proves something about what modern game development can achieve that Square didn't come close to with its latest entry into the Final Fantasy series--something I think you'd have to admit even if you enjoyed the game. I'm not saying "I can do better," I'm saying these three companies and others did in fact do better--each twice over, in fact--in the time it took Square to make FF13. With all due respect they have proven themselves decidedly inefficient at producing games compared with any of their competition, who've actually increased their scope in many ways as opposed to scaling back. In the case of Insomniac, the Ratchet and Clank Future series actually has more levels and content than its PS2-based predecessors, if not then just as much. In the case of Naughty Dog, Uncharted may not have the sprawling exploration-based platforming environments of the Jak series, but it has easily stronger content where it's lost a bit of volume. As much as we wax nostalgic about the games of yesteryear, I'd say we have a lot of good examples here as to how developers have managed to top themselves. Developers other than Square, I mean.

#4: Who the hell said an FF7 remake would have to be on the PS3?
What's wrong with putting it on PSP? Or, hell, even PS2? As long as fans can play a version of the game that doesn't have block-men running around I don't think they'll be all that bothered. Shoot, Final Fantasy 8 and 9 pretty well approach the PSP/PS2 standard (just with a lot fewer polys and a lot lower-res models) and have the same scope, I don't see why this wouldn't be reasonable. If you need to sacrifice stuff, sacrifice stuff. Ditch voice acting. I don't think anybody liked Cloud's voice actor anyhow.

Honestly, though, we have every reason to expect better out of Square and we have every reason to think that an FF7 remake is completely doable. The pipeline's there, they just don't use it because they don't want to spend the effort to teach their artists a new way of working. The precedent's there, they just can't live up to it. The budget's there, but they're making projections from hugely flawed productions and ignorance of their competition's techniques. We have every reason to expect this re-make can happen.

Just not by Square's hands.

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