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Even Final Fantasy 16’s developers couldn’t follow its story, so they made a tool to help

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one of the neatest features of final fantasy 16 Which is called active time lore. You can pause the game at any moment – even and especially during cutscenes – to bring this screen up with a click of the touchpad, and it gives you helpful little capsule bios of all the characters in one scene. Gives, as well as notes on location, factions, any concepts the characters are discussing, and any jargon they may be using. It’s like the X-Ray feature on Amazon Prime Video that can tell you the name of a character actor who looks familiar, but for arcane video game lore.

This is useful. It is also very important because final fantasy 16 Has a byzantine setting that confuses even its own developers to begin with.

final fantasy 16The world includes many nation states, with names such as Valoed, Sanbreck, and Dhalmekia jockeying for power. Each of these cultures takes a different approach to things like the use of magic, giant Mothercrystals that tower over the land, and Dominants – humans who can summon and control the divine Eicons that guard each empire.

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that’s a lot, and final fantasy 16 Chooses to throw players in the deep end with all of this stuff, rather than spell it out for the players in exhibition scenes. It’s a good choice for the pace of the story, but it can be confusing.

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A black screen with four bubbles on it.  in two

active time in learning screen final fantasy 16,
Image: Square Enix

This is intentional, explains producer Naoki Yoshida; While his team at Square Enix was launching the game for HBO game of Thrones was at the height of its popularity, and they wanted to create something similarly large-scale, elaborate, and plot-heavy.

“It was always our intention to tell this kind of story, this sweeping, grand, epic story with this huge ensemble cast — something that was so complex and interconnected,” he says. “And throwing players into it at the start sets you up for what’s to come. Not necessarily overwhelming the player, but showing the player that we’re trying to tell this grand story very early on.

The team realized that players might need a little help, however, as the game’s developers were too baffled when the initial script was read and struggled to keep up.

“I think it was May in 2019,” Yoshida remembers. “We brought together the core staff from all sections working on the game, and we read the entire script together. […] And we learned that a lot of inner core staff were lost too, they didn’t know what was going on! So we suddenly realized that we needed some way to support the players who were going to feel that way. Because if we gods are feeling it, the players are definitely going.

As well as an active time lore system, the team included some characters in the Hideaway – which serves as a home base for the game’s protagonist, Clive Rosefield – that can help players keep track of it. Loresman Harpocrates wields an unlockable library of lore snippets, while Vivaan Ninetales is a political scholar who can interpret the current situation and its key players, mapping characters’ relationships on a radial chart and ground But can show military status.

You could argue that these are improvements that a well-told story and a solid setting shouldn’t require. But, based on a few hours of play, Active Time Lore is a simple, generous, and user-friendly feature that can be as easy as getting your head around it the first time you pick up a game after a while. try. Time. It will likely be widely copied by other games – and I can think of a few TV shows that could use it as well.

final fantasy 16 Will release on PlayStation 5 on June 22.

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