There’s a reason why the food in Final Fantasy 15 is so realistic – the development team went out and tested the in-game recipes using actual camping equipment.

Final Fantasy 15 has been out for nearly a month now and there’s no doubt that players everywhere have used that time to complete the game’s lengthy 50 hour campaign, as well as thoroughly explore every inch of Square Enix’s long-awaited RPG. While some opine that the RPG remains unfinished despite a decade-long development period, one aspect that no one can find fault in are the visuals, particularly the game’s photo-realistic renderings of food. According to the development team, there’s a reason why the in-game food looks so good – they actually cooked the food themselves.

Food blog Eater recently interviewed Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata and art director Tomohiro Hasegawa about the process in creating the game’s delicious looking food, and it was revealed that not only did the team work off food photography, a number of team members actually went out and cooked the in-game recipes using camping equipment. Stating that it is “actually pretty difficult” to make food look good in a game, Hasegawa further revealed that not only did the development team go camping and cooking in order to get the recipes to look just right, a lot of emphasis was placed on conveying the feeling of how “even the simplest foods can taste really delicious” when out camping under the stars.

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In addition to actually cooking all the in-game dishes using camping equipment, Tabata revealed that the history and culture of Final Fantasy 15‘s game world was also deepened through its cuisine. Stating that “food is part of the expression of each city’s culture“, the director stated that the development team worked hard to “give the impression of traveling long distances by showing how culinary cultures change by region.”

Judging by all the positive reviews and how cooking and camping is an important gameplay mechanic in Final Fantasy 15, all that cooking certainly paid off for the development team. With over 100 recipes to discover in the game, players are certainly in for a delicious ride when completing this lengthy side-quest.

It remains to be seen whether additional recipes will be added to the game via future DLC packs, but should the development team decide to add in new dishes, they’ll most certainly come after the new “Holiday Pack” DLC expansion. Given that there’s a lot of post-game content still to come, such as the first story DLC pack titled Episode Gladiolus and an upcoming boss battle featuring Square Enix President and CEO Yosuke Matsuda, don’t be surprised to see Ignis whip up even more delicious-looking meals in the future.

Final Fantasy 15 is available now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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