Rabanastre rendered in Unreal 3

The gang is  just getting out of the Square-Enix event  at MIT.

The first presentation was by  Hiroshi Minagawa,  the  art director for Final Fantasy Tactics and XII as well as co-director of XII. This presentaion was from GDC 07 going into some degree of depth into the process of creating the visuals in Final Fantasy XII, particularly the internal tools used (with cute names like model-san, motion-chan etc). Of note was the sheer amount of artists needed for the team.

Artists in red as a percentage of the team. Green:  design.  Blue: engineering.

Naoto Yoshioka  who is chief technologist, RnD talked about the newly created Square-Enix  reseach and development team based in Tokyo what will go online tomorrow (April 1, 2009).  Showing the evolution of consoles since the NES, his presentation underscored  the need for Square-Enix to research future technologies particularly the kind that would be used in future consoles (jokingly referred to as PS9). Particularly optimizing performance in  networking and multi core systems.

Development Workflow

The the final presentation by Joel Horne was incredibly interesting in that it showed what was going on behind closed doors at S-E.  Especially with  regards to the  move towards standard engines.  His presentation featured video of Rabanaste rendered in Unreal 3  and using the character interaction/AI tools developed for Assassins Creed. This is notable because Hiroshi Minagawa  had mentioned earlier that the development tools for Final Fantasy XII alone had taken several years of development time.  I suspect we can expect to see third party tools in future releases.  His second presentation featured an implementation of a probability based AI system developed by a member of the Halo team.

One interesting tidbit regarding Final Fantasy XII, while the game doesn’t share the engine with Final Fantasy XI like much of the internet speculated, there was a lot of interaction between the two teams and several assets like monsters were initially imported from Final Fantasy XI.  Hiroshi Minagawa also would  not comment on the implications for Final Fantasy XIII, the White Engine or the console wars (yes, some jackass asked)

Oh yeah, and there was swag:


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