“We had to make necessary adjustments.”
Final Fantasy 15 will be the first and almost certainly last showcase for Square Enix’s own in house Luminous Engine technology, that they developed from the ground up for this game, but also with the hope that their other titles would use it too. But Luminous turned out to be an absolute mess and a nightmare, and most Square Enix projects switched to third party engines, such as Unreal.
That said, it sounds as though once Square were finally able to get Luminous working, it worked even beyond their own wildest expectations. Speaking in an interview with IGN (via WCCFTech), World Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo remarked at how the performance they were getting from the engine for Final Fantasy 15 was far better than what they had aimed for- too good, as a matter of fact.
“In the past, we designed image boards for detailed concept art that the team would take and re-create in the game,” he explained. “With Final Fantasy 15, 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.
“There was continuous back and forth between design and production in creating this world. Until now, it was pretty much a one way conversation in which the person designing would hand something off to the person creating it in the game, but now it felt like we were engaged in a two way conversation and that was a huge change compared to past titles.”
In the end, Final Fantasy 15 looks to be a technical showcase- and it is abundantly clear that, no matter whether or now the game itself lives up to the ten years of hype surrounding it, from a sheer technical perspective, it will probably go down as a masterpiece.