Posted at the release of Final Fantasy XV, Roberto Ferrari, Italian artist and one of the character designers for the game, spoke out on his Facebook about his designs from in the game. Despite this post being almost a month old, it seems that it went unnoticed by the majority of the Internet until today.
In this post, he describes changes made to his original designs for many of the characters and briefly describes the development of Final Fantasy XV from his experience. Thanks to the user Philippo over on NeoGAF for the translations.
She hasn’t changed at all, I only had to change the spear because it lacked scenic impact […] I drew a quick draft of Biggs and Wedge, but my prototypes weren’t taken into consideration and ended up being two “mannequins” in a suit. She initially was supposed to always be accompanied by those two. Her original was that of a member of a squadron that had specific attack patterns based on jumps.
Compared to my original concept, they changed Gentiana’s clothes for script reasons. Still, the new dress kept much from the two versions I drew (a formal outfit and a party dress). The face remained unchanged. She also originally had red-framed glasses. […] She originally had a white armor on the arm and a heavy sword at her side. Gentiana’s original role was that of Stella’s messenger, and a contact point between the countries of Tenebrae and Niflheim.
I gave birth to Ardyn in December 2010, before Kingsglaive was even in the works. The game’s version is closer to my concept.
There were characters that I liked more but got removed from the story: they were closer to ninjas and very similar to those who appear in Kingsglaive but more Japanese. […] This stays between us, but Umbra the dog was supposed to turn into one of those.
I wasn’t part of the 2010 group from XIII that “would have scratched their bellies” (and then turned into the XV one), I came into May 2010. I know I was called in when a (female) designer resigned since she wasn’t able to get any kind of approval from the art director. Then from 2010 till the end of 2011 I worked on the designs I got assigned with, without any big issues. That’s why when the team got resized from 200 workers to around 20 in 2012 (right before the arrival of Tabata and the Type-0 team), I was still there and worked with the newcomers till 2013. Then I left because I followed mister Nomura.
I had no story planned for Gentiana, but I can confirm you that the writers changed the script I received in 2011.
[…] I stand behind what Sakaguchi said about big budget games development: it’s not worth it anymore. But they are also very disorganized. The staff -200 souls- had to work when the story still wasn’t completely defined. In fact, this story kept changing every 3 months and the definitive delivery date for the game was for the end of 2014 (who would have thought it would have been pushed back to November 2016?).
Final Fantasy VII Remake
I’m already working on other episodes but what I did for XV was a lot.
[…] Sadly there aren’t many new characters in VII Remake, I just reinterpreted the ones that already existed. I don’t have the freedom of choice I had with XV.