Monday, December 3, 2012

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Behind The Name, World Driven Concept and More

4Gamer sat down with a few of the game’s staffers just recently – producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Motomu Toriyama, lead designer Yujii Abe, and art director Isamu Kamikokuryou. The group discussed the meaning behind Lightning Returns, the game’s length, and more.

Name behind Lightning Returns 

- Not called Final Fantasy XIII-3 because the team believes the game will be unique enough to warrant a different name
- If it was called Final Fantasy XIII-3, this may give some the impression that it would be a direct evolution of Final Fantasy XIII-2
- Kitase describes Lightning Returns as a “new experience”

“World Driven” concept 

- This game’s theme is very different than the previous Final Fantasy XIII’s
- Final Fantasy XIII is “Story Driven” while XIII-2 is “Player Driven”
- “World Driven” is to put the player in a world that is constantly shifting and changing
- In this world, the changes doesn’t necessarily revolve around the player
- World may feature some drastic, “bewildering” changes
- World runs in real-time
- Changes 24 hours a day
- This concept gives the player a sense of time and urgency to experience content that will not always be waiting for them
- Players can manage time in the world via Lightning
- Lightning’s actions slowly impact the ticking clock that counts down the end of the world
- Defeat a monster or perform a miracle to slow down/speed up time
- Day/night cycle still being finalized
- Will be roughly one to two hours


- Toriyama says that the nature of the game warrants replaying to experience the “World Driven” game differently
- May not experience everything the first time around
- Yujii Abe wants players to have an experience where they think: “Oh! I didn’t know that event occurred!” when on their next run


- The approach to developing Lightning Returns could be described as a game of “Daruma Otoshi”
- This will be discussed at the next Game Developers’ Conference
- Different parts of the game represent different wooden blocks
- Bottom-most would be the foundation, the “World Driven” concept Toriyama mentioned before
- The rest would be added on top


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