Final Fantasy XV has been in the making for about a decade now, but the long wait has resulted in an astonishingly pretty game.
At least part of the reason for this long development comes from the fact that Square Enix decided to build a custom, in-house engine called Luminous.
Speaking to IGN, World Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo explained that their ultra powerful engine was actually a little weird at first:
In the past, we designed image boards for detailed concept art that the team would take and re-create in the game. With Final Fantasy XV, the level of photorealism that can be achieved was far greater than our expectations. When we actually went in and created the environments in the game, it ended up feeling unnatural, so we would identify those areas and make the necessary adjustments and improve on it further.
Work on the Luminous engine began back in 2011. Apparently, real-time scenes in Final Fantasy XV will have a whopping five million polygons per frame. Character models are made up of 100,000 polygons each, while the inner hair of each character uses 20,000 polygons.
I think the technical term is a ‘fuck load of polygons’, but I can’t be sure.
As I’m sure you’ve seen from trailers and screenshots, Final Fantasy XV is an absolutely stunning game – very possibly the best looking console game ever, though we’ll have to wait and see how it holds up on launch.
Kamikokuryo also revealed that the team had always wanted to make a truly open world Final Fantasy, but felt that only now is the technology at a point where they could do it justice.
The team wanted to take on this challenge for quite some time, but were unable to achieve and overcome some of the obstacles until now. For example, in the real world the mountains in the distance will gradually get closer as you move towards it, and you may even climb them if you want to. This is quite normal for us living in the real world, but it’s extremely hard to replicate in game due to limitations that prevented us from achieving those feats. Therefore, overcoming that obstacle was huge.
Final Fantasy XV launches for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30, and a PC version in currently being considered.