Final Fantasy Could Adopt Western Development Process

Final Fantasy Could Adopt Western Development Process

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The next Final Fantasy could be outsourced to another studio.

Final Fantasy XIII had a fraught development process and director Motomu Toriyama - speaking at GDC Taipei - revealed what Square Enix will do to solve the problem. Future entrants to the Final Fantasy franchise may see much of their design outsourced to other companies, as Square Enix switches to Western-style game development.

"With a large-scale development team, we didn't use our time well," Toriyama admitted. Communication between departments and team members became one long game of Broken Telephone, since there were changes happening all the time but people weren't necessarily abreast with every single nuance of the changes. The end result was a lot of wasted effort, with workers laboring on plot points and art that wasn't needed thanks to narrative alterations.

"We are also thinking that we will not do large-scale internal development any longer," Toriyama told the GDC Taipei crowd. It's a targets issue; the larger a project the more unwieldy it is, and therefore more likely to miss its milestones. "We have a lot of great creators in Square Enix," Toriyama said, "but for larger-scale development we will be doing more distributed and outsourced development to reach our targets on time."

It didn't help that Square Enix tried to keep the details of Final Fantasy XIII a secret, since this meant that - in order to keep a lid on it - they couldn't test until much later in the development cycle than was wise. In the future, Toriyama says, Square Enix intends to apply Western development techniques, and use sensible project goals.

Square Enix hopes that their new strategy will reduce the costs of future entrants to the franchise, as well as making testing and development that much easier.

Source: Gamasutra

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Maybe we can actually get some gameplay in the series again!

How about you ring up the guys who did the story for FFs 6-10 and ask them for some pointers as FF 10 was round about the time people started to dilike your games so much. I have always loved the storys of FFs 6-10, even 8 (stop judging me I liked it).

Using western techniques? Does that mean they're going to increase the amount of money spent on marketing by like 10000%?

Anyways, I haven't played Final Fantasy since 9, and I didn't even finish that. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Prediction: nerd-rage. Followed by apathy.

Final Fantasy as developed by Bioware? Say it ain't so!

GoddyofAus:
Final Fantasy as developed by Bioware? Say it ain't so!

>.>

that would make it worse ... how? ones about as boring as the other right now

yeah

i said it

Bioware games are as boring as Square games

GoddyofAus:
Final Fantasy as developed by Bioware? Say it ain't so!

They're not talking about the style of the game, simply how the internal development team works.

Could be interesting. Hopefully they choose better developers than Konami did for the Silent Hill series.
Either way it's good their trying something. Too many big name developers don't even realize when they're starting to stagnate, too high off their own ego. Letting someone else take the reigns, even only for a little while, can be a big help in showing what techniques work and what do not.

I'm not sure this is exactly the right approach. After all I fail to see how adding more links to your game of "Broken Telephone" is going to solve that problem.

Gizmo1990:
How about you ring up the guys who did the story for FFs 6-10 and ask them for some pointers as FF 10 was round about the time people started to dilike your games so much. I have always loved the storys of FFs 6-10, even 8 (stop judging me I liked it).

Stick with 4-6. Maybe 9 and 10. But 7 and 13 seem uncomfortably close, story-wise. And 8 was just...

Japan's starting to get a real inferiority complex over their games lately, eh? Some positive, after all being the dominant order for too long basically makes you suck. Some negative, though, since we're going to be seeing a LOT more shitty copypasta FPS games in the near future.

I dont see how this can be a bad thing to at least try, but a western dev process on Japanese style games?

Be an interesting experiment to say the least. Change the communication and devlopment style, yes. But please keep your storytelling, quirkiness and colour scheme the same please.

Western development process? I feel an attack of cynicism coming.....

Step one: Hire an 800lb fangirl who specializes in awful fanfiction to write your dialogue trees. Bonus points if she's into furry Thundercats yaoi.
Step two: Make a buggy unfun game painted in varying shades of brown. Make it first person, to enhance shittiness. Also add simulated sex acts that don't feature anything worse than PG13 stuff. Bonus points for adding homosexuality.
Step three: Populate with boring character designs. Your main character must be modeled directly after the art director. Bonus points if he's a complete douche with '90's douche haircut.
Step four: Release as a bare-bones game and dribble the rest out as DLC that players must pay for to simply finish the game.
Step five: Don't forget the crappy ending that fans will whine about for months, if not years while no one else gives a flying shit. Then, as a middle finger to everyone involved, follow up with even crappier "true" ending that raises the whining to a fevered pitch.

There Square Enix. Now go back to producing things we love, and stop all this whiny "nobody likes us, videogames are hard" bullshit.

The trouble when Japanese studios outsource to western developers is that, well, they always go for the cheap ones. That means the games suck. See: Every Silent Hill since SH4.

Most of Square's real talent is long gone anyway. I doubt it'll make future entry's quality any worse than it already has been, honestly.

Zero=Interrupt:

Step one: Hire an 800lb fangirl who specializes in awful fanfiction to write your dialogue trees. Bonus points if she's into furry Thundercats yaoi.
Step two: Make a buggy unfun game painted in varying shades of brown. Make it first person, to enhance shittiness. Also add simulated sex acts that don't feature anything worse than PG13 stuff. Bonus points for adding homosexuality.
Step three: Populate with boring character designs. Your main character must be modeled directly after the art director. Bonus points if he's a complete douche with '90's douche haircut.
Step four: Release as a bare-bones game and dribble the rest out as DLC that players must pay for to simply finish the game.
Step five: Don't forget the crappy ending that fans will whine about for months, if not years while no one else gives a flying shit. Then, as a middle finger to everyone involved, follow up with even crappier "true" ending that raises the whining to a fevered pitch.

I *think* that was an attack on something specific. Can't place my finger on it though. I'd say ME3, but the 800lb fangirl is on the DA team, so that can't be it...

Kudos to Square for FINALLY doing something to address their development cycles. I hope it works out for the best.

Buretsu:

Gizmo1990:
How about you ring up the guys who did the story for FFs 6-10 and ask them for some pointers as FF 10 was round about the time people started to dilike your games so much. I have always loved the storys of FFs 6-10, even 8 (stop judging me I liked it).

Stick with 4-6. Maybe 9 and 10. But 7 and 13 seem uncomfortably close, story-wise. And 8 was just...

As a story 8 sucked. I know that but for some reason I loved it. (9 was my favorite you know why.

This guy is why.

It was obvious that the team for FF13 was bloated and had poor communication. I had a decent understanding of the game until the end of chapter 9, where everything became a bloated nonsensical mess that completely ruined the rest of the game. The gameplay wasn't my favourite but it was serviceable. All the cutscenes seemed like they were rendered, and then the rest of the plot was built around these amazing setpieces. Ultimately, the fate of many characters didn't make sense, or were incredibly contrived. I just want a smaller, more intimate adventure if this is what FF has come to.

I can only imagine this means Final Fantasy XV being made by Eidos Montreal, which could be a good thing as long as they understand what makes FF great.

The only other team I would trust with any japanese title would be Retro Studios but as they're Nintendo owned that won't happen.

It's the same with Ninja Theory's dmc, at least they seem to understand what makes Devil May Cry great and unique so as long as Square Enix pick a team that "get" the franchise this can't be a bad thing...though they could team up with Bioware (Square have strong ties with EA) and that could be a horrible mistake.

Those games are just huge money pits. So little time goes into gameplay mechanics with Square games, the rest just honestly falls apart. As an example, they put all the big time and money into making FFXIII look pretty, but the level of customization for party members was a joke. And running around the map was like watching a really boring movie. The story was fine, if not completely convoluted, as these games tend to get. So you end up with development time that is way too long and a product that is lackluster.

Gennadios:
Most of Square's real talent is long gone anyway. I doubt it'll make future entry's quality any worse than it already has been, honestly.

Zero=Interrupt:

Step one: Hire an 800lb fangirl who specializes in awful fanfiction to write your dialogue trees. Bonus points if she's into furry Thundercats yaoi.
Step two: Make a buggy unfun game painted in varying shades of brown. Make it first person, to enhance shittiness. Also add simulated sex acts that don't feature anything worse than PG13 stuff. Bonus points for adding homosexuality.
Step three: Populate with boring character designs. Your main character must be modeled directly after the art director. Bonus points if he's a complete douche with '90's douche haircut.
Step four: Release as a bare-bones game and dribble the rest out as DLC that players must pay for to simply finish the game.
Step five: Don't forget the crappy ending that fans will whine about for months, if not years while no one else gives a flying shit. Then, as a middle finger to everyone involved, follow up with even crappier "true" ending that raises the whining to a fevered pitch.

I *think* that was an attack on something specific. Can't place my finger on it though. I'd say ME3, but the 800lb fangirl is on the DA team, so that can't be it...

I think it is at Bioware in general, as they are trying to adopt western developer practices, not individual game stuff.

Zero=Interrupt:
Western development process? I feel an attack of cynicism coming.....

Step one: Hire an 800lb fangirl who specializes in awful fanfiction to write your dialogue trees. Bonus points if she's into furry Thundercats yaoi.
Step two: Make a buggy unfun game painted in varying shades of brown. Make it first person, to enhance shittiness. Also add simulated sex acts that don't feature anything worse than PG13 stuff. Bonus points for adding homosexuality.
Step three: Populate with boring character designs. Your main character must be modeled directly after the art director. Bonus points if he's a complete douche with '90's douche haircut.
Step four: Release as a bare-bones game and dribble the rest out as DLC that players must pay for to simply finish the game.
Step five: Don't forget the crappy ending that fans will whine about for months, if not years while no one else gives a flying shit. Then, as a middle finger to everyone involved, follow up with even crappier "true" ending that raises the whining to a fevered pitch.

There Square Enix. Now go back to producing things we love, and stop all this whiny "nobody likes us, videogames are hard" bullshit.

Japanese Game Development
Step One: Write a plot no one understands right away. Bonus points if it has more confusing pronouns than any other JRPG out there.
Step Two: Use the same combat system as every other JRPG out there. Bonus points for however much player control is eliminated. Just make it a fucking movie if possible. They'll buy it.
Step Three: Make the ending as confusing and as uninteresting as possible, so as to reward players with nothing for the minimum 60 hours they put into your game.
Step Four: Add in useless mini-games and crafting systems that explain nothing but "this is a crafting system."
Step Four: Make sure there is a lolita style character for creepy men to get attached to. Bonus points if she has some stupid back-story like "my race lives five times longer than humans" but still looks like she's eight.
Step Five: Market only to Japanese gamers or to Japanese fans, tell no one else about the project and take absolutely no input from any other creative outlet.
Step Six: Fail utterly compared to past successes. Innovate nothing and put out same game as last year with same character archetypes and sympathetic-but-not-sympathetic-villain.
Step Seven: Let idiotic fans fill in blanks for you with fan-fiction and 'interpretation' so people will praise your game for being 'deep' when really you just put out the same story as always.

JRPG process is CLEARLY better than Western process.

That was painfully apparent from the E3 trailer being about terrorists with automatic weapons attacking a brown slum.

...Whatever, Square. Just make another damn good FF game. Give it to the Russians, for all I care. Just get back into developing cool RPGs with pseudo-coherant stories and likeable characters.

It's not that hard, you know! You did it 10 times in a row! You can probably do it again! Just sayin'!

Why do I keep getting the feeling that me and about half of the guys and gals here on the forum could run a company waaaaaaaay better than the dudes who are actually PAID to run these gigantic publishing/development houses? And here's a suggestion; if your game sucks due to a break-down of communication, try FUCKING TALK TO EACH OTHER!

bazaalmon:
Using western techniques? Does that mean they're going to increase the amount of money spent on marketing by like 10000%?

Anyways, I haven't played Final Fantasy since 9, and I didn't even finish that. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Prediction: nerd-rage. Followed by apathy.

When I first saw the topic I had the cynical thought that they were going to purchase a bunch of smaller companies and slowly squander any talent they found before ultimately dismantling them.

On Topic: Hopefully this will give the series the shot in the arm that it so sorely needs; Square hasn't known what to do with Final Fantasy since the PS2 came out. (I liked FFX quite a bit, but it was obvious that they didn't know how to adapt to newer technologies then, let alone current and next gen systems.) If they kept going as they were FFXIII would definitely have been the last Final Fantasy game I ever played.

 

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