Final Fantasy X has been available on PlayStation Now since December and the PlayStation Blog continues the tradition of reminding developers of this release.
This gives us interesting insights into the development of that time. This time, Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of the game that sparked several revolutions in the series, remembers.
For the first time there was a game completely in 3D. For the first time there was no real world map and for the first time a Final Fantasy should have a direct sequel. But above all, with the new PlayStation 2 and important decisions, you faced many technical challenges.
“An important decision regarding the graphics,” recalls Yoshinori Kitase. While the PS2 was a big step forward, there were still limitations to consider. “So we had to decide whether we wanted better resolution or more colors.”
Originally, one would have thought that colors would have a better effect to represent a living world of Spira. “But as we looked at the trends of other developers and games that emerged during our development phase, it became increasingly clear to us that fans would expect higher resolution from the next-generation games,” said Kitase.
Big decision six months before the deadline
“So we changed our mind and decided to use a higher resolution instead of more colors — just six months before the master’s deadline,” explains Yoshinori Kitase. Of course, that would have meant major changes to the game, Kitase said. “A big risk for the planning. Fortunately, our excellent programmers and designers have done a great job.”
“In the end, a ‘high-resolution’ version of Final Fantasy X was created and we were able to deliver the high-quality graphics you would expect from a next-generation game,” said Kitase. Still, Final Fantasy X doesn’t seem exactly monotonous in terms of colors these days.
According to Kitase, the missing world map was a budget decision. “Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series that didn’t include a world map – because the game was developed in expensive full 3D,” Kitase recalls.
“As game developers, sometimes we have to make decisions where we balance game design with the exploding costs – in this case we had to omit the overview map because that was the most realistic solution we could find,” says Kitase.
Another decision that had a budgetary impact was that of voice acting. “A new feature that was also very important to me personally was the introduction of voice acting,” says Kitase. Kitase thinks he would have missed them in Final Fantasy VII, which otherwise would have been more emotionally impactful. “That was the driving factor behind the decision to bring voices to Final Fantasy X.”
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