FINAL FANTASY Creator talks about his latest RPG fantasia and the diorama world it lives in

Hironobu Sakaguchi is not unfamiliar with experiments. In what would later become one of the game’s most ironic names, FINAL FANTASY was initially the moment of Sakaguchi’s “Jump! Rock Girl” in the game industry. Had Final Fantasy failed, Sakaguchi would have returned to college, and the RPG world would have been poor for it. The next game from Sakaguchi’s Mistwalker Development Studio, Fantasian incorporates the same level of personal investment and creativity as FINAL FANTASY. Earlier last month, Sakaguchi said FINAL FANTASY was a “game that shouldn’t exist.” When he talked to us, he clarified his statement by saying “a game with a diorama.” [development] The pipeline probably shouldn’t exist. “

As well as a collection of static backgrounds such as pre-rendered levels and environments for games like FINAL FANTASY VII, the Fantasia diorama is completely 3D and each is used for real city mapping. Scanned using the same type of 3D photo with drone photo.By scanning the conventional 3D scanning technology with a drone, “it has been proved that it is more effective to acquire 3D information from a diorama, extract it, and render it in 3D space,” Sakaguchi said. I called it a “unique challenge”.

Another challenge Sakaguchi and the company faced when creating the diorama arose from the inherent lack of flexibility. Once the diorama is created, it cannot be easily modified in the graphics program.

“Once you’ve pinned the design, you’ll create it. There’s no such thing as” let’s move this path this way “or” let’s add more trees here, “he said.

“We have to spend extra time in the conceptual phase. You are really enthusiastic about the environment and in a way changing the type of workflow.”

Sakaguchi said one of the benefits of being trapped in the diorama world is the ability to change game design ideas.

It’s like rocking your imagination in ways we never thought of, expanding the ways you might want to design your game.


“The actual objects are displayed and can affect the game design in a way,” he said. “It’s like this roof is really cool. I didn’t expect it to look like this. I think the character can walk on it. It’s unimaginable. Which game or its particular map? I want to design it like this. “

Fantasian introduces more than a novel level of design, bringing the new “Dimengeon Battle” system to traditional random enemy encounters. In a nutshell, you can “bank” encounters while exploring the world and send monsters to another dimension. Later, you can access this alternative dimension dungeon to fight enemies in one large group rather than individually. This system gives you the chance to earn higher rewards and gives you more say when and how to engage in combat.

Fantasia art and diorama

There is also an aiming system, where certain attacks have the opportunity to curve and attack multiple enemies, and cleverly aimed shots are given a bonus.

In Fantasia, Sakaguchi said he was inspired by his roots in Final Fantasy, but the diorama itself influenced the design of the story.

According to Mistwalker, Fantasian follows the story of Leo, a young man looking for his father. In a classic JRPG plot device, Leo’s memory is wiped out due to Leo’s “Big Explosion at the Hybrid Magic Factory”. His remaining one memory, “The Vision of a Young Woman,” leads him to a remote village where the greater quest for Fantasia really begins.

Dioramas have a unique charm and warmth that I don’t think can be reproduced in various other media.


“The diorama has its own charm and warmth, and I don’t think it can be reproduced in other media,” Sakaguchi said of how the setting helped convey the direction of the story. “I think there was a bit of synergy between the story and the theme of the diorama set game.”

Ultimately, the diorama and gameplay were designed using the Apple Arcade touch interface, which colors most of the process. Sakaguchi said there is a unique relationship “between these handmade dioramas and glass plates” on the iPad and iPhone screens.

“Players use their hands to interact with this handmade world” and “human hands play a major role in connecting the two” also influenced the direction of Fantasia.

Fantasian will appear at Apple Arcade later this year. It’s currently on the “Coming Soon” page of Apple Arcade.

Seth Macy is Commerce, Editor-in-Chief of and wants to be your friend.


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