Great games don't simply happen. They're made by huge teams of people. And these teams are lead by creative minds. It may sound obvious, but every element of a huge game like Final Fantasy XII is a finely-tuned, separate instrument. Here, in cooperation with PSM, which provided some of the questions, we take time out to chat with the three of the creators of the latest Final Fantasysaga.
Battle Designer Kazutoyo Maehiro cut his teeth on the Final Fantasy Tactics games - epic strategy sagas where a single fight could easily last an hour. But in a complete about-face, the seamless Active Dimension Battle system in Final Fantasy XII is in real time, with individual bouts lasting a few seconds on average. What gives? Find out below:
When creating a battle system, what's your starting point? How does it evolve from there?
For Final Fantasy XII, I wanted to create a battle system that was in-tune with the system we used for Final Fantasy Tactics. However, this is a different genre of gaming so it's not possible to transplant the turn-based elements from FFT to FFXII, so we went back and decided which elements would work.
For Final Fantasy XII we set out to make the grandest-scale RPG possible, one with limitless possibilities. It was also important that we create a system that wouldn't take the player out of the environment, so we needed something that could seamlessly blend combat and exploration. In the end we conceived the Active Dimension Battle system. By putting combat and exploration on the same plane, more time is spent engrossing players in the game world and less time is spent transporting them in and out of it.
In conjunction with the Gambit system, we allow players to stay in the thick of the battle without having to micromanage each of the party members. Set the Gambits correctly and the [characters] will behave exactly as you would had you been directly controlling them.
We've tried to create the most in-depth combat system possible while keeping it intuitive and user-friendly. We hope that North American players will enjoy this as much as the Japanese players have.