Square-Enix are ready for the next generation of consoles, and they’re not afraid to tell anyone who’ll listen. Back in early June, the company released a tech demo for their next-gen engine, which is called the Luminous engine. Called ‘Agni’s Philosophy‘, the video showed off just how good a next-gen Final Fantasy game could look. Square-Enix’s chief technical officer, Yoshihisa Hashimoto (speaking to RPGsite), recently talked about what was going on behind the scenes in the demo:
For the backgrounds used in this – the mountains, the houses – we are using exactly the same assets as are used in the Visual Works CG version.
For reference, Visual Works is Square-Enix’s CG movie studio – who produced the feature film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, as well as the fancy CG cutscenes seen in Final Fantasy XIII. Hashimoto continued:
Of course, it’s too massive of a data to use in a game as-is, but I think the look and feel will probably remain. If we had time, we could’ve compressed the data even smaller. We didn’t have time to do that, so we just used the same master data – but it can definitely be reduced. Of course, enabling 60 frames per second – that is somewhere we’d like to aim, definitely. The sort of high speed processing required for that is definitely inevitable eventually. To make games at this quality level, it’s also the minimum.
Asked whether squeezing all the data into the currently used disc formats would be difficult, Hashimoto confessed:
Yeah, that could be a challenge. There’s a possibility that just one Blu-ray may not be sufficient.
Although he likes the engine, Hashimoto certainly doesn’t expect it to be used in every game that Square-Enix develop for the next generation of consoles:
It’s not going to be that this engine is in every single game by Square Enix; it will be a team decision. It’s going to be one of the options that the teams can decide on, depending on the game they want to create. Right now, I can’t really talk about what might be using this engine.
It’s still early days though, as neither Microsoft or Sony have even announced a new console at this point. Square-Enix will surely continue to optimise the Luminous engine, as well as their data compression, over time though. Now, if only they could manage to finish work on Final Fantasy Versus XIII…