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Development for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT began as an arcade exclusive release before eventually being ported for PlayStation 4 and Steam.

HardwareEdit

Around the end of 2012, producer Takeo Kujiraoka was talking with Dissidia Final Fantasy director Mitsunori Takahashi about creating the next Dissidia entry. The first thing the two tried to nail down was which hardware platform to go with. At the time, it was being planned as a sequel to a PlayStation Portable game, and thus going for the PlayStation Vita was a natural choice, but Taito, a subsidiary of Square Enix, suggested doing an arcade Final Fantasy game.[1]

Character designer Tetsuya Nomura felt that "all that there is was to do" was accomplished by the two PlayStation Portable Dissidia games and took the stance that it was "completed." That's why the direction with the new Dissidia Final Fantasy was decided to be different from the start. Ichiro Hazama, the producer, approached Nomura with the idea for an arcade version, and Nomura gave the go ahead.[2]

Kujiraoka was unfamiliar with the current arcade scene, and started with research. He was shocked how much arcades had changed since his youth, with people now using ID cards for save data. Discovering this feature was the catalyst to go with the arcade platform. With a console release that includes the desired characters and features and adds new characters through DLC and rebalances the old ones, the number of players still steadily decreases. With arcades, however, players can go and play and always have the most up to date version of the game, creating a fair online environment for everyone. The user can save their game, and Square Enix can keep adding new characters. Thus, the developers figured the arcade platform was workable both for players and creators.

As this was this development team's first foray into arcade gaming, Kujiraoka talked with people who had previously published arcade games with Square Enix, like the Lord of Vermillion producer Takamasa Murasaki. He was told how interesting arcades can be with the short distance between developers and players, and the possibility of going to an arcade and seeing people play the game, gather feedback and respond to it in a timely manner. This was an attractive proposition to Kujiraoka, who had witnessed players' excitement at Dissidia Final Fantasy tournaments.

Hayashi's team felt that 60fps was necessary, despite members outside of the team expressing doubt over it. Hayashi has explained it makes the game glide along in a simple, stress-free way—something he considers integral to getting people into arcades day after day.

Dissidia Final Fantasy was announced during the Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) trade show in Chiba, Japan on February 14, 2015.[3]

In a press conference on April 10, 2015, Sony Interactive Entertainment president Atsushi Morita revealed that the game is being developed with the core technology of the PlayStation 4. Square Enix said that they want to release it for arcades first and the console version will not be available until at least a year after the launch.[4] Producer Ichiro Hazama contacted Sony (SCEJA) about getting PS4-based arcade hardware. What he got was literally an arcade machine with a PS4 inside it, albeit one that had been customized for arcade use. The game will use a controller akin to a divided DualShock 4 in lieu of traditional arcade buttons and stick to help traditional Final Fantasy players get into the game.

Cooperation with Team NinjaEdit

The work started on the game at the beginning of 2013, and full development by the end of the year. Team Ninja put Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade out in 2013 under Sega Interactive, and the team was in talks with Taito to work with them. Acting director from Tecmo Koei, Yosuke Hayashi, told he would create something on the condition he could use Final Fantasy characters, but at the time he was not thinking specifically of doing a Dissidia game. The producers Ichiro Hazama and Takeo Kujiraoka introduced Hayashi to the Dissidia development team. Kujiraoka stands in as director from Square Enix's side, but other than that, Team Ninja handles everything internally with Yosuke Hayashi at the helm. The team does get indirect cooperation from Square Enix, such as overseeing the CG work.[1] Tetsuya Nomura is one of the people on the Square Enix side overseeing the graphics.

Battle systemEdit

It was decided early on to go with a 3 vs 3 concept.[1] The developers wanted to give the game the "FF party feeling" by including multiple characters to a player's side. A 1 vs 1 concept was ruled out as Team Ninja already had a 1 vs 1 fighting game IP (Dead or Alive), so even if the team was to create a new one, it would inevitably be the same fundamental gameplay, and the team felt it would be difficult to alter that into something distinct. 3 vs 3 allowed the developers to think of something new, and a chance for players to co-operate with friends, play against others, and create a team they could call a "party."[1]

Although design briefs did not change much there was a time, Kujiraoka's feelings on the 3 vs 3 player count would change daily. He considered exploring 1 vs 1, or having the computer take over for two of the characters, or even having teams of four. At one point, he even considered 10 vs 10. During the development of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Takahashi said that creating a party was an expected part of a numbered Final Fantasy–something he wanted to replicate. He felt convinced they could create Final Fantasy-like battles if they used something like the party battle system in the previous Dissidia, where the player controlled one character at a time.[1]

Conceptually, the new Dissidia Final Fantasy game was to be fun to play socially, but also fun to play seriously. When releasing an arcade game, it was not enough to just be fun socially, as players need to understand why they lost. Hayashi explained to Kujiraoka why it was necessary for the game to be fun on the basis of pure action and that is why the RPG elements of the previous Dissidia games needed to be mostly stripped. Kujiraoka, in turn. had Hayashi play Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy to showcase the feel of the game he was looking for.[1]

Although the team is trying to replicate the visual and sound effects from the previous Dissidia games, there will be some changes as before since the animation would freeze during Bravery Breaks; this was deemed unacceptable in a tense match. At one point, there were talks about scrapping the Brave system, but ultimately it was kept in, as it was conceived as a way for those who struggle with fighting games to have a chance of turning the tables, and it had been received well previously.

There will be only few arenas available for the game's initial phase because level design has changed a lot from the previous games, and the team wants to see how people play and the kind of strategies they come up with so that the developers can add new arenas accordingly.

The PlayStation 4 version has 1 vs. 1, 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3, 2 vs. 2, and 2 vs. 3 options apart from the default 3 vs. 3 gameplay.

StoryEdit

DissidiaNTStory

The menu shows that one cutscene is available to view. The next one can be unlocked by participating in more battles and so forth.

Both the arcade and console versions share the same worldview and story written by Kazushige Nojima based on Saori Itamuro's draft, with the console version chronologically taking place first.[5][6] Ichiro Hazama explains that the new conflict between Materia and Spiritus "is not just a simple battle between good and evil," contrasting how the old conflict between Cosmos and Chaos was depicted as "a classic struggle between good and evil for the fate of that world" in the previous Dissidia games. He emphasizes the storyline will center on the warriors discovering why they have been called back to this world and why the new conflict is taking place between Materia and Spiritus.[7] The tale is told through cutscenes known as "Events" that can be unlocked by participating in battles. The game will have over 60 minutes of cutscenes. When asked whether or not characters like Ramza and Ace will be involved in the story, and the possibility of adding more cutscenes after the game's release through patches and DLC that would allow them to participate, Hazama reveals that Tetsuya Nomura has expressed interest in adding new story cutscenes through DLC after the game's release.[7]

CharactersEdit

Upon the game's initial arcade release, there were only the 14 characters. Through regular updates the count is increasing towards the developers' goal of 50 characters, including those from spin-off titles.[8]

Tetsuya Nomura has said he'd like to see Minwu from Final Fantasy II in the game, but there was no statement from the development staff on his inclusion otherwise.[9] Ichiro Hazama and Takeo Kujiraoka said they'd personally want Umaro from Final Fantasy VI as well as Auron from Final Fantasy X and Aranea Highwind from Final Fantasy XV respectively, to be playable as well. Hazama also stated that, although he was impressed with the idea, including Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX would be "impossible" (at least for the 'Villains Year', which was 2017).[10] that he would be interested in seeing Noel Kreiss from Final Fantasy XIII-2 become playable,[11] and that Kenichi Suzumura, the voice actor of Zack Fair from Final Fantasy VII, approached him and asked to have a role in the game.[12] Furthermore, Team Ninja has stated that it has no plans to include Dead or Alive characters; however, they have brought up the idea of including guest characters from other Square Enix franchises. In the Secretum event, Auron and Rinoa are mentioned, with the latter eventually becoming a playable character. Further, Phoenix was featured during the live reading, though whether or not it will appear as a summon in the game is unknown.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dissidia Developer Interview (Part 1): “We must have recreated Cloud’s face almost a hundred times” (dead) (Accessed: January 19, 2016) at Automaton
  2. Tetsuya Nomura on Redesigning Characters for Dissidia Final Fantasy (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at Kotaku
  3. Square Enix Announces Dissidia Final Fantasy for Japan Arcades (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at IGN
  4. Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade Game Is Being Developed By Team Ninja (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at Siliconera
  5. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Announced (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at IGN
  6. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Developers Talk About The Setting And Its Few Too Many Heroes (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at Siliconera
  7. 7.0 7.1 Interview Dissidia PGW : Ichiro Hazama (ENG (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at Finaland
  8. Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade will likely get a PS4 version (after a year) (dead) (Accessed: June 10, 2016) at Gamesradar
  9. Tetsuya Nomura on Redesigning Characters for Dissidia Final Fantasy (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at Kotaku
  10. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT interview: Square talk eSports, reviving classic characters, fan service and expectations (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at vg247
  11. IGN SEA Interviews: Ichiro Hazama & Takeo Kujiraoka Of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
  12. Square Enix Members: DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Interview at TGS Q&A (Accessed: February 18, 2020) at /r/dissidia @reddit
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