A video uploaded to the official Final Fantasy 14 YouTube page details the thought process that went into creating the game’s June expansion, Heavensward.
While Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward released last June, the development team behind the massive expansion has remained in close contact with fans of the MMORPG. Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward added airship raids and pet battles, which further cemented the game’s status as one of the premier offerings within its genre. Since then, updates and progression has slowed down to a more reasonable pace, which might have prompted the YouTube video’s release in order to show just how much work went into the expansion and how much will go into the game’s inevitable next adventure in the future.
The video in question is chiefly concerned with showing how the implementation of flying mounts in Final Fantasy 14 presented some logistical problems for both the game’s mechanics and visuals. The video explores how these problems were addressed, as various team members are interviewed and discuss their contributions to the finalized project. As each person describes their role in Final Fantasy 14, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the team behind the MMO is incredibly dedicated to both making decisions that are sensible and creating a world that is gorgeous to look at.
Another reason for the fervent passion for all things Final Fantasy 14 displayed by everyone in the video? The game was almost a total trainwreck. It wasn’t that long ago that Square Enix announced Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which was, in essence, a massive do-over for the MMO after it launched with a number of bugs and generally bland gameplay and presentation. The game’s community and people’s interest in it were both on life support by the time A Realm Reborn released, but the renovations were a smashing success and the result has been a Final Fantasy MMO that has a huge fanbase and the longevity Square had hoped for when it was first created.
The team behind Final Fantasy 14 hasn’t simply rested on its laurels, either. Game director Naoki Yoshida recently addressed concerns over the difficulty of Final Fantasy 14, citing that Square was still searching for the optimal balance between challenging raids and easily accessible end-game content. Fans can expect the next expansion to bring the game even further forward, although there’s no timetable for when such an addition to the already massive game world might be made.
Four years ago, the then-CEO of Square Enix stated the Final Fantasy brand had been greatly damaged. Since then, the series has rebounded to include a successful MMORPG, a hotly anticipated remake of an old classic, and the upcoming Final Fantasy 15, the latter of which looks like the evolution the franchise has needed for some time now. The YouTube developer diary helps highlight how this turnaround has been made, and the passion and work ethic that went into simply making in-game flying look aesthetically pleasing is remarkable.
Do you think Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward looks as good as its development team thinks it does? Do you usually expect Final Fantasy games to look very pretty? Let us know in the comments below.
Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward is available now for PC, Mac, PS3 and PS4.