Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers games Interviews Natsuko Ishikawa PAX Takeo Suzuki

PAX West 2019: FFXIV Scenario Writer, Art Lead Discuss Work on Shadowbringers

PAX West 2019: FFXIV Scenario Writer, Art Lead Discuss Work on Shadowbringers

Last Fantasy XIV has grow to be one of the fashionable MMOs in a very long time, and with it a slew of varied updates to keep gamers invested. Shadowbringers was an extremely-anticipated replace that followers have been wanting ahead to since its announcement and upon release didn’t fail to disappoint. It was an enormous success for the collection, bringing praise to the overall writing and design of the story that had been crafted. We had the prospect to take a seat down with Major State of affairs Writer Natsuko Ishikawa and Artwork Lead Takeo Suzuki about their work on the huge enlargement.

[Hardcore Gamer]: Are you able to give our readers a quick introduction of yourselves and your work at Sq. Enix?

[Takeo Suzuki] I’m the art workforce lead on Remaining Fantasy XIV. For Shadowbringers we’ve three individuals in type of the lead position in the art department with one artwork director and two leads. I oversee character designs, cutscene designs and a number of the technical points of the paintings.

[Natsuko Ishikawa] I’m one of the most important state of affairs writers on the XIV staff. I dealt with writing the primary state of affairs for Shadowbringers and as a recreation designer I work with the other groups including Suzuki’s staff to make requests for different design parts as well as working with the sound workforce to request totally different background music.

How was working on Shadowbringers compared to previous entries?

[Ishikawa] With Shadowbringers being our third enlargement we didn’t need individuals to see our enlargement and assume it wasn’t going to be as necessary or huge as the previous two, so we went into it with full drive. As such we did go into lots of issues that we needed to cover. We considered what we might embrace in Shadowbringers. Simply the sheer quantity of issues we needed to perform inside the enlargement was a whole lot of onerous work, but we have been actually putting our efforts into it.

[Suzuki] When it comes to the artwork perspective, we had a serious new introduction when it comes to the characters that you’ll be able to play with. We didn’t have new races launched in Stormblood, however with Shadowbringers we have been capable of introduce two new races in order that was very massive. When it comes to the totally different environments and backgrounds we introduced within the recreation, with our previous expansions we might have the skills of flying mounts or with the ability to dive or swim and go sub-aquatic and it leaned into increasing on the participant experience and bringing something new in that facet whereas Shadowbringers didn’t essentially have a function just like these parts but we have been in a position to usher in very new environments. We weren’t merely adding new areas as we might with our earlier expansions, we are actually going to the First which is a totally new world that we have been depicting.

Shadowbringers has some relatively monumental revelations. Roughly how far prematurely have been the events of the enlargement deliberate? Do you ever make final minute modifications?

[Ishikawa] With the totally different parts that have been launched in Shadowbringers in fact some have been in the works from a while back but there have been also some parts where we might oversee the place we’re headed and then need to make tweaks. We now have a template for a way issues shall be deliberate out, however for some parts it’s fun to take a position for those who consider that present lore was already there from a very long time in the past after which simply related with the enlargement that’s completely fantastic and if individuals consider it’s one thing that’s brand new with out being related, that’s alright as properly.

For many who never did the Crystal Tower Alliance Raid, they wouldn’t really perceive the impression of the Crystal Exarch’s reveal. Was it a troublesome option to make its id tied to an elective portion of A Realm Reborn?

[Ishikawa] The priority was undoubtedly there for the gamers who haven’t experienced the Crystal Tower collection however the intent of having the crystal exarch seem on this narrative is to offer that story factor to Shadowbringers. We tried to ensure even for those who didn’t experience the Crystal Tower collection you’d still travel together with the crystal exarch and fall in love with him anyway. In fact it is rather necessary who he’s however we needed to make it that it wasn’t required or obligatory to do the Crystal Tower collection. We needed to make certain we have been depicting him properly throughout the story of Shadowbringers as his own character so that for many who didn’t take pleasure in it’s going to nonetheless come to like the character.

This enlargement addresses the Warrior of Mild’s, and all the world’s inhabitants, self value; how did you handle writing such a inner battle with a personality that represents the participant?

[Ishikawa] So at the start, Remaining Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG but we’re nonetheless a Ultimate Fantasy mainline title. With an MMORPG you do create your personal character, so to talk, but we additionally needed to usher in the type of factor from Ultimate Fantasy the place you are the protagonist of a Remaining Fantasy story and doing one of the best to depict that. We felt that Shadowbringers was a great alternative to take yet one more step into that exploration of the participant character being the protagonist of the story. That being stated we also needed to provide freedom to the gamers because it’s still an MMORPG. When it comes to specific character traits or character if the protagonist likes anyone or if there’s a specific meals they find more tasty than others that’s something we don’t need to dictate and ensure that’s one thing the participant experiences on their very own. We attempt to hold that obscure or depart it as a multiple selection to allow them to nonetheless decide their character and have that sense of roleplaying.

What portion of the story did you take pleasure in writing probably the most?

[Ishikawa] I really like to put in writing the dialogue before and after an encounter. I might sit there listening to songs that greatest fit the battle and environment and provide you with dialogue and wording. Like, going into the battle what sort of dialogue would match the battle and so fourth.

Outdoors of the raids, can we anticipate extra stories to be advised in The First or has most of what you needed to convey been absolutely explored?

[Ishikawa] With Shadowbringers we did go into The First and dove into points concerning the realm. Identical to with Heavensword the story didn’t finish with just 3.zero there have been the next patches and our story type of continue till the 3.3 patch. With Stormblood the story didn’t utterly finish at four.zero so we do anticipate to proceed the narrative for Shadowbringers beyond 5.zero and we want to proceed.

Shadowbringers flips expectations round with mild being the source of destruction as an alternative of darkness. What have been a few of the inspirations creating the world and inhabitants?

[Ishikawa] We needed to make one factor clear in that Mild isn’t utterly evil or the important thing supply of destruction either. In fact it did trigger some troubles but we needed to pose a question, get the gamers to start out considering, perhaps mild isn’t 100% great all the time and that was type of our basis. We’ve got what we call the flood of sunshine and before you go in to defeat it, it’s all the time mild, so I’m positive the visual staff needed to depict this mild climate so it’s not just lovely but so there’s some type of nuance behind it.

[Suzuki] With the flood of sunshine there was some paintings created when it comes to concepts however finally we did work with a 3D workforce to convey that to mild in a visual facet. The 3D workforce experimented with numerous lighting and how did we need to symbolize this mild. We tried doing the choice of blinding mild with the whole lot being washed out however we realized that wouldn’t be optimal from a gameplay perspective so we tried totally different ideas like just a little bit of shade however still maintaining some parts washed out and white. I labored with the setting employees members to tweak how the sunshine was being represented and as soon as we had a working foundation we continued to work with them but in addition consulted with Producer/Director Yoshida to see if we might refine it even further so that we will finalize the coloring of the setting. There was another aspect I used to be concerned about in that if we had all of the environments similarly shiny it’d start to get slightly bland for gamers venturing by means of these places. I made positive that there was a superb variation in colors so you will notice that totally different colors being accentuated more in sure regions and each area has a special expression.

What have been a number of the most memorable elements of creating a brand new but considerably reminiscent world? Are there any areas that stand out above anything to you?

[Suzuki] When it comes to environments and backgrounds I feel the land of the pixies was very memorable. The artwork staff made positive that we had that type of distinction from the supply. So if you stepped into that land it had that type of vibe. We have been very cautious making an attempt to depict that within the visuals. The opposite visual can be the Tempest the place the workforce was very specific concerning the visible representation.

What have been a number of the challenges you faced in creating The First?

[Ishikawa] The fact that lettering is totally different was a problem.

[Suzuki] Within the supply we now have the Eorzean alphabet but now that we’ve The First and you bounce over to Norvrandt there’s one other set of the languages. The lettering’s totally different, we had the pixie’s personal language so that was an enormous challenge for us to point out that we’ve come to another word and present that it’s utterly totally different from what we have been used to in the source.

[Ishikawa] In fact the dialogue itself is represented in whatever language the participant is utilizing so you won’t see the distinction there but when you take a look at a number of the environments like say you see a field and there’s a label on it we will’t use the Eorzean letters. For those who see signage on a house it’s truly totally different units of letters that we had to create for Norvrandt. So these have been a few of the challenges that we had.

Virtually all points of Shadowbringers has been drastically acquired, but wanting back, is there anything you’d have changed or better expanded upon given the prospect?

[Suzuki] I might have beloved to have Feo Ul the pixie that you simply had with be given her personal rigging. The rationale we’re producing character fashions there’s an order to which we are constructing these characters. It just so happens with the pixies we had a common rigging and order with them already and we needed to paste Feo Ul on that as nicely. It’s troublesome to deliver out her personal characteristics and how she’s expressing herself. How her pigtails would stream within the motion as a result of there have been limitations in building her. So if we had the opportunity to return and visit it might have been nice to offer Feo Ul her own boning and rigging. But that being stated in fact the employees members on the character modeling staff worked actually exhausting to offer Feo Ul her personal character so we’re not dissatisfied with how she got here out in fact.

Was there anything reduce from the story that you’d have beloved to have seen put in?

[Ishikawa] We tried to squeeze in as many parts as we probably might so in that facet we’re okay but in fact with with the ability to stuff so much in did put lots of pressure on our employees members. We felt dangerous in pushing our employees a bit of too exhausting to get all the things squeezed in.

What was a few of the largest feedback you acquired from Stormblood you needed to enhance upon in Shadowbringers?

[Ishikawa] That’s truly quite robust as by the point Stormblood was launched a few month after we have been already planning for the next enlargement. So the define of what we needed to do for Shadowbringers was already being discussed just a little over a month after Stormblood was launched so I’m afraid not much of the suggestions would have made a large impression on the framework of the narrative. That being stated a few of the model new parts resembling having an instanced battle on the primary state of affairs quest line we did study from Stormblood that if we had an instanced battle closer to the start of the narrative it might cause a bottleneck so that was one thing we needed to deal with in Shadowbringers. We tried to ensure we didn’t have one so close to the beginning of the story line.

Contemplating Last Fantasy XIV is an ever ongoing and evolving product, is there ever any time for relaxation?

[Ishikawa] If we go an excessive amount of into details because we now have our supervisor present we’d danger stepping on some landmines! But we’ve got taken a break!

Do you could have any last words on your followers?

[Suzuki] At the start we’re glad to have such nice reactions from individuals and it’s method past what we had expected. In fact with so many gamers having fun with the sport they are spreading the phrase and we see new individuals coming during which is great to see. Our circle of gamers has increased in measurement so we now have extra players becoming a member of us so we’ll proceed to fill this recreation along with great effort.

[Ishikawa] With Shadowbringers a variety of narrative did embrace making an attempt to tie up the questions that have been posed within the earlier situations and narratives and tying the lose ends and that we’re finishing things we have been foreshadowing. But simply wanting again at the fact that we have been even capable of do Shadowbringers is proof of how a lot we have been capable of get to players and construct upon their time enjoying while constructing the narrative all through the experiences. Last Fantasy XIV and Shadowbringers wouldn’t be here with out our gamers who are our warriors of light, or warriors of dark on this occasion, however we might love for gamers to continue being with us and supporting us.