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 Now Gamer ~ Hironichi Tanaka Interview!

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Khalus Akuhei
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Khalus Akuhei

Joined : 2008-05-21
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Now Gamer ~ Hironichi Tanaka Interview! Empty
PostSubject: Now Gamer ~ Hironichi Tanaka Interview!   Now Gamer ~ Hironichi Tanaka Interview! Icon_minitimeThu Jun 24, 2010 9:04 pm

Another interview with once again, not the greatest of questions, but still not bad!

Quote :

The fantasy goes online once more...

What is the idea behind Final Fantasy XIV? What are you looking to achieve and what will the player experience be like?
There are two unique points to Final Fantasy XIV. The first is Ďguildleveí, a system that allows people to get rewards or learn certain skills in a short time, like 30 minutes. So even if you are a solid player or part of a smaller group you can still manage your time very efficiently and level up your character any way you like. We also have the armoury system, which allows players to change class by holding different equipment, so this allows more flexibility to players. They can learn abilities during this process and by combining different abilities you can customise and create your character. Also, because itís Final Fantasy, you can expect a huge storyline.ďBecause itís an MMO we feel itís very important to be Ďin the gameíĒ

From the mission I played it was difficult to get a handle on the size of the world as we were fighting in a cave setting. How expansive is the in-game world?

So what we have in the beta version is 20 per cent of the actual game content, so itís like 5 kilometres across.

It was an unexpected pleasure to play the game in 3D and I understand thatís just an experiment. What do you find exciting about 3D from a game designerís perspective and why was it important to try that here?

Because itís an MMO we feel itís very important to be Ďin the gameí and 3D really adds that aspect to your gaming experience. We believe itís very suitable for MMOs. It feels like this year is a 3D year for every company in the industry so we thought weíd try it out and experiment to see how it goes.

Can you tell us more about the different character classes and how they relate to Final Fantasy games that we already know?

This time there are four different categories; Disciples of War, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of Land and Disciples of Hand. Within each are many different classes. By changing your equipment you can customise your character, so there are several characters in the game. By learning different abilities you can make your own class and actually this time, we purposely decided not to use job names we used in previous Final Fantasy titles, so you really have to make sure you combine the exact skills you need to become say, a white mage in the future. So it really is up to you how you develop your character.

You mentioned before an epic storyline running throughout the entire game. Thatís quite difficult to do in an MMO because youíre either going on a secondary mission or, - the way Warcraft does it Ė is to have the story going on around the player, rather than through the player. I wanted to see how youíve made the player feel very much a part of that storyline and to still give them a sense of freedom...

The main idea is the same as the package titles of the Final Fantasy series. NPCs will be the key trigger of the game, so by talking to NPCs they will give you the storyline and you will experience it in this way.
The key points of the Final Fantasy XIV storyline are that you will be experiencing what happened in the past. By doing that you will discover the secrets of the world. If itís a package title, sometimes by following the story you canít do anything else, you just have to keep following the story. But because itís an MMO, you can stop the story at certain points when you like and try out a different quest. So you have much more freedom and also by trying the quests that might help you experience the storyline, the character will feel a part of the main story. We managed to do that as we have a lot of experience from Final Fantasy XI so we have the know-how to do that.

This is the second time the Final Fantasy series has gone into the online MMO space. How do you feel about the MMO genre as a whole and because, to an extent, itís younger than RPGs, do you feel that itís still coming of age? Do you feel there are a lot of places for it still to go, or has it reached a point where itís maturing?

Final Fantasy XI has been out for eight years now, when you think about how long the new game has been in development, itís been about ten years now. My experience in the games industry has been about 27 years, so about a third of my life in the games industry has been spent on online titles. So I believe that MMOs are much more established now, however, it will evolve in the future, it will keep on changing as Final Fantasy XI did. Thanks to version updates, the game can change drastically, so there are a lot of possibilities for change.

Whatís the business model? Is it going to be subscription based?

Itís going to be a 30 days subscription model and for the price we are currently unable to confirm, but we should be announcing details shortly.

When I pick up a new MMO and I really like it, I pretty much play it to the exclusivity of every other game in my collection and that ends up being the only game I play. I was wondering if there has been any resistance at all from platform holders like Sony, because obviously if you bring out something like Final Fantasy XIV, letís say a million people play it and they donít want to play anything else, how does this affect the relationship with the platform holder?

Thatís a very good point and also a concern. With the PS3, you will have to log in to PSN to enjoy the game so thatís an aspect we ask for.

In terms of where the MMO space can go. Do you feel we could ever see a Final Fantasy MMO on handhelds? Could that work?

Yes I believe so. Itís definitely possible. Both DS and PSP both have networks so itís definitely possible, but The CPU of these mobile consoles are much lower spec when compared to home consoles or PC so
that could be the aspect that causes difficulty when you want to transfer a console MMO to handheld. If you want to make one custom built for the technology, this is more possible.
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