Square Enix on what makes a Final Fantasy

#101gunbladeuserPosted 11/28/2012 8:02:01 PM
I play for the gameplay aspect in most games but *que dramatic music* Final Fantasy is the one game where I can truly say story was the driving feature. (Atleast starting at FF6). I have a dream...no better yet...a vision from Etro that one day Final Fantasy will once again weave together a masterpiece of plot and gameplay.

This vision may cost me my lifespan and I could become like Yeul, beautiful yet sinister Yeul...I curse the moment I first met her in the Year 3001.5, a world where Baldy Bald has taken over the Earth and hairhunters enforce baldness. But one man with an afro, BoBoBo Bo BoBoBo, or should I say The Sazh. Will save the world and lift up the name of Final Fantasy.

Okay I'm done. Shout out to Kupo.
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#102YukitoRamboPosted 11/28/2012 8:02:53 PM
kupo1705 posted...
kotaku.com/5963157 (I don't recommend going there, enter at your own risk.)

*BS about what they think are FF qualities*




You'd think suckers at S-E should be allowed to think of whatever they want to think as 'The Five Pillars of Final Fantasy' or whatever that **** is. Legally they are; the Final Fantasy brand is registered to Square-Enix as part of all the IPs Squaresoft owned.

By principal though, how many of the remaining team members are part of the team that used to make FFs? Plenty of their most talented guys left to form companies by themselves even before the merger; guys who formed Sacnoth and MonolithSoft. Also, with Hironobu Sakaguchi no longer present?

Sakaguchi may have created a commercial blunder with Spirits Within, but that was still at least technically amazing.

No one but Sakaguchi really has any credibility to determine what Final Fantasy is. It was he who headed development of the famous games of the past, of which the current gen games are relying on their reputation to sell.
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#103DaKingOPosted 11/28/2012 9:55:49 PM
Final Fantasy Tactics story > every other FF story

imo....
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#104Honey-BoyPosted 11/28/2012 10:57:01 PM
DaKingO posted...
Final Fantasy Tactics story > every other FF story

imo....



that's no opinion.
thats a fact.
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#105mrklarrydPosted 11/28/2012 11:43:45 PM
Honey-Boy posted...
just what happened?

final fantasy used to be the mark of compelling and interesting stories with amazing character development...

rich and detailed worlds...

now its been reduced to this, the 13 series is the perfect example with everything wrong in modern game design and bad story telling.


Square used to be called "the greatest game company in the world" back in the 90's, and in the early 2000's made some of the most interesting and experimental games in existence...

vagrant story
xenogears
einhander
secret of mana
secret of evermore (the most experimental game square EVER made)
final fantasy Tactics
brave fencer musashi
final fantasy 5
6
7
9
parasite eve 1
parasite eve 2
mario rpg legend of the seven stars


HOLY CRAP, they made THE best games for like 10 years straight and then BAM...

nothing.

how?
why?


The broad answer to your question is the people who were responsible for the things you're asking about are either at Mistwalker (lost oddysey), at Level 5 (bunch of crap), Monolith (xenoblade) or out of the business, except for the parasite eve guy, whose thing is to remake final fantasy 4 every two years (and do an awesome job at it every time, even though this sequence of projects is illogical).
#106mrklarrydPosted 11/28/2012 11:59:04 PM(edited)
Honey-Boy posted...
marcBook posted...
You make it sound too dramatic.

It's not. Spirit Within happened. It's as easy as that.




there must be more to that...

creativity is free, it dosent cost money to have quality story telling or smart characterization.


you can have all the best graphics in the world and none of it will matter if you cant get the important thing right... an emotional connection to he audience.


No, he actually put it better than I did.

Squaresoft was a company run by an artiste.

This artiste collected other artistes and his company became the most-thriving hub of creativity in console videogame history.

Then, like many artiste are prone to doing when given no restraint and huge funds, he made a monumentally arrogant and stupid business decision called The Spirits Within, cynical, tasteless businessmen forced him out, and, one-by-one, just about every creative game designer, competent writer and talented composer walked out the door or were shown it in the next 5 years to be replaced by slobbering. no-talent yes-men.

Incidentally, in about ten years, there will be someone on a forum like this asking the same question about Bioware, because they were in the same position about a decade after Square's peak and the exact same thing's happening to it right now that happened to Square in the early aughts.
#107Zetta-Honey-BoyPosted 11/29/2012 12:08:19 AM
mrklarryd posted...
Honey-Boy posted...
marcBook posted...
You make it sound too dramatic.

It's not. Spirit Within happened. It's as easy as that.




there must be more to that...

creativity is free, it dosent cost money to have quality story telling or smart characterization.


you can have all the best graphics in the world and none of it will matter if you cant get the important thing right... an emotional connection to he audience.


No, he actually put it better than I did.

Squaresoft was a company run by an artiste.

This artiste collected other artistes and his company became the most-thriving hub of creativity in console videogame history.

Then, like many artiste are prone to doing when given no restraint and huge funds, he made a monumentally arrogant and stupid business decision called The Spirits Within, cynical, tasteless businessmen forced him out, and, one-by-one, just about every creative game designer, competent writer and talented composer walked out the door or were shown it in the next 5 years to be replaced by slobbering. no-talent yes-men.

Incidentally, in about ten years, there will be someone on a forum like this asking the same question about Bioware, because they were in the same position about a decade after Square's peak and the exact same thing's happening to it right now that happened to Square in the early aughts.




so the suits stifled the creativity?

dont they realize they arent on top anymore because they are styming the artists?
that they could make more money if they just do what they do best?


i look at platinum games, and i see a modern version of what square used to be (only specializing in high octane action games instead of rpgs) and i think this is what square couldve been...


even with bioware, when they were at their peak, they were no where near as good when square produced chronotrigger, ff6, and secret of mana.
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#108zodiac_swordPosted 11/29/2012 1:14:32 AM
Honey-Boy posted...
DaKingO posted...
Final Fantasy Tactics story > every other FF story

imo....



that's no opinion.
thats a fact.


no
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#109TorgoForeverPosted 11/29/2012 1:15:31 AM
zodiac_sword posted...
Honey-Boy posted...
DaKingO posted...
Final Fantasy Tactics story > every other FF story

imo....



that's no opinion.
thats a fact.


no


Okay, zode. What is your favorite?
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#110mrklarrydPosted 11/29/2012 2:06:15 AM(edited)
Zetta-Honey-Boy posted...

dont they realize they arent on top anymore because they are styming the artists?
that they could make more money if they just do what they do best?


i look at platinum games, and i see a modern version of what square used to be (only specializing in high octane action games instead of rpgs) and i think this is what square couldve been...


even with bioware, when they were at their peak, they were no where near as good when square produced chronotrigger, ff6, and secret of mana.


TL;DR answer is "no."

Can't sleep, though, so I'll give you the long answer, in case you want that too.

To someone making decisions in a large megacorporation like Square Enix, if the reason for a sales loss or "brand damage" can't be expressed

a) through a demographic-related metric, ("games with male protagonists with black hair sell X more copies in region Z than ones with females with blonde hair with a 90% confidence interval")
b) through an specific, feature-related difference between your product and another (God of War 2 has more QTEs than God of War 1 and sold better...therefore QTEs correlate positively with sales)
c) or through a common response in a focus group that spends an hour with your product ("This is boring...I'm sort of just walking in a straight line"),

they'll find a wrong explanation that does fit into one of those three molds. Explanation B is why when something sells less than another thing, the next iteration just gets multiplayer or quick time events, whether it makes sense or not. Halo 4 has QTEs. Hitman Absolution is great when it plays like hitman, but there's these sections that are clearly (ahem) "inspired" by Uncharted that are, to be charitable, out of place and not good at all.

Thing is: you can't really phrase "Masato Kato is more a more creative game designer with better ideas than Hiromichi Tanaka" into any of those forms. In fact, you can't quantify that at all.

That explanation just doesn't jibe with anything they teach you in business school, unless, perhaps, you went to the business offshoot of a film school. You would think looking at Apple's performance with, without and again with a "visionary" (I'd prefer to say outside-the-box-thinker) like Steve Jobs would make them think differently (or Microsoft's stagnation after Gates' retirement), but you'd be wrong.

If an employee is a single point of failure in some way, your business is just organized wrong. It's not because he or she has some unique or rare skill that can't be satisfactorily backfilled by the friend of the guy in the office next to yours.

I mean, to an extent, that might be true of vacuum cleaners, but videogames are a creative industry. The strangest thing is that television is one of the only "creative" industries that gets this now. That NEVER used to be the case.

On Bioware's peak: I'm not sure any company ever made a game as good as Chrono Trigger and I know JRPG fans were known to be a bit sore about their pretty sweet run, but that doesn't change the fact that Bioware occupied pretty much the exact same space in the aughts as SS did in the 90s. RPG maker where every large release was met with critical worship, fan popularity and cult following right up until Electronic Arts Age 2: "Press a Button and Something Awesome Happens."

It's just a cycle: entrepreneur or talented underling does something that puts a company on the map, they make it big, have more success, then either branch out into something new, the risk taking that got them there backfires or they sell it and it ends up in the hands of a conglomerate whose thinking process devalues the very thing they bought. Call of Duty's following the same pattern, by the way...its just taking a lot longer than normal.