Tetsuya Nomura enjoys modern settings – if you couldn’t tell from the latest Final Fantasy XV trailers. This “fantasy based on reality” will enjoy many real world settings retuned for Noctis to explore.
But is the game perhaps too modern? NBC News had a chance to sit down with the director and quiz him on the various aesthetics of this “new” mainline entry to the series.
“I don’t like the extreme cases of tech or magic,” says Nomura. “If I choose, I choose a modern setting — but that’s not a good setting for a game. So if you look at FFXV it starts in a very modern world similar to Shinjuku (in downtown Tokyo), but when the story starts, you go to the medieval world — but the weapons they are using are high tech-weapons; that kind of combo is what I like.”
As with every Final Fantasy title, there’s really no lean toward extreme high or low fantasy – there’s always been this sort of mixture. For some titles, there’s been a lean to one side or the other – such as the sci-fi style of FFXIII or the medieval style of FFXI and XIV – but for Nomura, when he plays games he says he “can’t be emotionally involved if the game starts in an imaginary fantasy world” so he wants to start out in a modern world and then branch out to fantasy elements from there.
When it comes down to character design, things can get complicated according to Nomura. During the design process, he tends to like to make suggestions when creating the outlines for certain characters – like if a character should carry a long weapon sheathed on their back or what have you. Nomura actually used to design weapons as far back as Final Fantasy X – having suggested both Cloud’s buster sword and Squall’s gunblade previously. Before that, he worked on monster design such as the behemoth – originally designed for FFVII – is now redesigned for FFXV.
But where does Nomura’s inspiration come from? Is it modern fashion or personal insight?
“It’s not like I’m always thinking about character design,” says Nomura. “When I receive orders, I start imagining things. The image of that character, the “silhouette,” comes into my mind, and from that I start thinking of details. In the past I would probably flip through the pages of fashion magazines, now I look through the web pages of my favorite brands.”
Of course, perhaps the most iconic part of Nomura’s designs is the hair styles – something that has become easier to replicate in the game world due to ever increasing technology. Nomura notes that the real world doesn’t really cater too well to extreme hairstyles and as a result, he feels that game characters should shoulder designs that are often unique. He believes it’s just one way to show off a certain character’s personality.
“Sometimes I wish we had the easiness Western FPS [games] have, to make everyone bald. We’re a company that’s known for unique hairstyles, but in a way we’re running out of ideas.”
Via: NBC News.