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Developers explain why they love the small details of Final Fantasy XV

All the small things about Final Fantasy XV are important, from the selfies to Florence and the Machine's cover of Stand By Me. Three developers explain why.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

December 9, 2016

2 Min Read

When so many games have “RPG” elements, what makes a straightforward RPG like Final Fantasy XV stand out? That’s a question that many were asking up until the game’s release, and now that it’s finally out, players and game developers alike have begun to re-examine what it is that defines the Final Fantasy series. 

And according to Train Jam organizer Adriel Wallick, Square Enix Montreal creative director Teddy Diefenbach, and former Riot Games designer Alexander Brazie, it’s the small details, and a commitment to reinvigorating what it means to “role play” in a triple-A game, that make Final Fantasy XV. During our stream of the game today (seen above) Wallick, Diefenbach and Brazie shared their different interpretations of how the game’s commitment to selfies, quiet moments, and good food help create a fresh take on the idea of role playing. Specifically, role playing as four friends on an adventure that brings them together. 

“I just really enjoy the relationship they built between the four of them, and the way they made it feel nice to hang out with them and get to know them,” Wallick explained. “The whole time you’re driving around—which they just make you sit there and drive for minutes on end…I really got absorbed in that, and I thought that was a good way to make this game about hanging about with your buddies.”

Brazie agreed, and pointed out a lesson he’d learned during his time working on World of Warcraft that Final Fantasy XV exemplifies well. “One of the things this game does emphasize is downtime, and making the downtime experience enjoyable. Recognition of the importance of downtime is underdone in the industry.” 

“For instance, in World of Warcraft, sure it’s a game, but it’s really a chat room with a game around it. That downtime gives you a chance to interact with the people around you, and this kind of plays off that energy and lets you get to know the team you’re hanging out with.” 

For more about all the small things that Final Fantasy XV gets right, be sure to watch the full stream for Wallick, Diefenbach, and Brazie’s other favorite mechanics from Square Enix’s latest game. 

Be sure to subscribe to Gamasutra’s Twitch channel for more developer interviews and gameplay commentary. 

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About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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