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Learn How Final Fantasy XV Takes Photos For You In This GDC Talk
Final Fantasy XV may be flawed in some ways, but the systems they paid attention to make the roadtrip of the four boys were certainly brilliant. The idea that your companion Prompto takes photos for you instead of a dedicated photo mode (which was later added in an update) is one bold move that we never see in other games yet.
At the recent GDC, Square Enix shared how exactly they achieve this and it was all made using crafty AI. Led by Prasert “Sun” Prasertvithyakarn, the lead for AI and buddy system, he explains all the reasoning how it came to be and how he and his team implement it. Those pictures certainly were taken from Prompto’s point of view, and a lot of small things were working behind the scenes to capture and select the photos. Even the small quips when you browse the photos at the end of the day was a deliberate touch to make these characters come to life, as if they were browsing the photos too, not just the player. Some corners were cut to achieve this as well. Character poses don’t happen during gameplay, but the AI system tweaks that for the photos.
The photos indeed help sell the roadtrip vibe the game was going for, which made the open world part of the game very enjoyable as per our review. The payoff of those photos by the end of the game was also masterful. During the session, Sun talked about how he was inspired to make something that can make players feel emotions- like how he did when that scene in Final Fantasy VII happened. Personally, some joyful tears were shed as the credits roll for Final Fantasy XV so consider that a job well done.
It’s a thirty minute video. So get yourself comfy before tuning in.
Good to see that South East Asians too can be a great developer working in the game industry, in Square Enix no less. Sun hails from Thailand and they also have Malaysia’s Wan Hazmer contributing to the world-building, including the now famous roti canai and teh tarik appearance.