Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Entry #3: Preorders and DLC

For the longest time my staff and I have held the view that any game should be shipped as a complete game, containing all the game that was intended to be in the game (yes, you just lost).

But unfortunately, this philosophy caused a lot of backlash in the case of FFXIII. Not because people want to pay out the ass for content that should be in the original game (though if that's what you like, please do not let me discourage you), but because FFXIII, frankly, had no content. Like, nothing. This was fine because I wanted to make a story-driven game for a story-driven audience that would enjoy the game's story (driven).

A lot of people have accused me of using the term "story-driven" to avoid saying "we were too lazy to make towns in HD so everything's a tunnel". But that's just not true. You can't tell stories without tunnels, which is why people who play games like Fallout 3 always respond with, "There was a story?" when you ask them if it was well-written.

However, since FFXIII-2 is moving towards being player-driven, we've decided to adopt a more Western approach to game design, choosing to take tips from Western RPGs like Hitman and Tomb Raider, and also from companies like Bioware and Bethesda. As a result, we've laid off all of our bug testers, and told our programmers and artists to squeeze their testicles as hard as possible while designing, not releasing their grip until they're done. This has led to an astoundingly fast development time, which is why FFXIII-2 is only taking two years to make (or, in Square Enix time, about five minutes).

These Western practices have also led us to consider downloadable content and exclusive preorder content. We ran into a slight problem with this towards the end of development. Wanting to make the game more player-driven, we'd poured the entirety of our content into the game, allowing players a vast amount of choices such as what swimsuit color Serah should wear and whether Noel should get tighter pants. When it came time to decide on DLC, we had absolutely nothing left to offer. There was literally nothing else we could fit into the world of FFXIII-2, because the game had literally everything. Literally. I am not exaggerating. Name something and I will bet that it was in FFXIII-2. It had every other game ever made (and even those not made yet) contained within it, any of which you can play at any time at the Nautilus theme park.

Since it had everything, there was no extra content we could offer. We wracked our brains, hired an astrophysicist to help us theorize concepts outside of our known universe, created and built 10-dimensional game development tools (which actually took about ten times as long as Crystal Tools, but we moved back through the 6th dimension to get back to our original timeline so it doesn't seem as long). But even with all this, there was nothing we could create that wasn't already in FFXIII-2.

So, we did the only thing we could do if we wanted to offer DLC: cut content out of the game. Cut the hell out of it. So, whereas the older FFXIII-2 had literally everything, the current FFXIII-2 is pretty much just another Korean soap opera with battles. But the good news is that it has mini-games this time. Everything else will be released as DLC somewhere down the line.

We've also taken a unique route with the preorder bonuses. Whereas other games offer you a bonus costume or weapon for preordering at a certain store, we've decided to split the actual game up into several parts. To get all of it, you'll have to preorder from 5 different stores, which will each give you 20% of the game disc. Then you just weld it together at home (get your parents to help you with this) and pop it in your console to begin playing. I've been asked what to do if welding the disc damages it beyond repair, and for that you'll have to speak to the retailers who sold you the game. Hopefully, welding doesn't void your warranty.

People think we're fucking around when we talk about this game being player-driven. We're not. It's so player-driven that you have to write the game code and design the characters and environments yourself. Yes, I know I mentioned programmers and artists and testicle-squeezing before, and it seems pointless to have them if players themselves have to code the game. Well, to that I say: shut up.

The preorder system is also about being player-driven. We turned acquiring the game into a sidequest of its own. Now you can go on a journey to different retailers, collecting the pieces to FFXIII-2, and then put them together yourself. You're essentially playing the game for free before you even get it. I would ask you to thank us, but your money should end up doing that anyway.

I'm sure this is blowing the minds of all of our Western friends, who didn't expect Square Enix to modernize anytime soon. Well, not only are we modernizing, we're innovating, bitch.

So, preorder early and begin grinding, because the boss battle against GameStop customer service is a motherfucker.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Entry #2: Redefining the Narrative

At this moment we've pretty much wrapped up work on Final Fantasy XIII-2. The only reason you aren't holding the seed of my throbbing manhood in your hands right now is because the executives at Square Enix have decided to withhold release to build hype and, of course, troll. Troll hard.

But aside from marketing strategies that feel like they've been pulled from the Kama Sutra, I'm also posting to give fans a bit of an update on what FFXIII-2 is going to be like. I'm sure at this point everyone is a fan, even those of you who for some reason disliked my Korean soap opera with a battle system, which the execs crassly refer to as "Final Fantasy XIII". We're addressing literally every complaint you bastards had about the first game so you have no excuse.

Of particular debate was the story of FFXIII, which many called "confusing" and "poorly written" and "a piece of shit that feels like it was written by a drunk random number generator". Well, to all those plebeians, I assure you that I have made the story fairly straightforward and lacking of any and all complexity or mystery so as to make it comprehensible for you.

To illustrate this, I would like to provide a writing sample. The following is a pivotal scene in the game. In fact, you could probably call it the most integral scene in the entire plot, the one that ties everything together and takes the plot from the category of "narrative" to "absolute universal standard of perfection".

Here it is:

Purple Guy puts his sword away. He turns to Lightning, who is standing behind him, as I established earlier in the scene. But to make sure that you guys understand it, Purple Guy, whose name is Kaias but who I'm calling Purple Guy so that you guys understand, is standing at about a 35-degree angle in front of Lightning, who is standing behind him. Purple Guy has just finished putting his sword away. His sword is in the sheath. It could not be put away any harder than it is put away right now. That is one held-in-place sword if I've ever seen one. He turns to Lightning. He does a 180-degree turn to face Lightning. Though it's not exactly 180-degrees because as established above, he is at an angle of 35-degrees in front of her, so it's more like some number which I cannot recall at the moment. But it doesn't matter because it's not like you'd understand angles if you didn't get FFXIII's story.

What the fuck was wrong with FFXIII's story anyway? What exactly was so bad about it that you guys had to bitch and moan at every opportunity? Is an epic drama of friendship and fate, one of the most profound and original plots in gaming, not enough for you? What the hell? Seriously, what the hell?

Shit, anyway, Purple Guy is now facing Lightning, and his lips begins to move as he talks. Words come out, and they sound very similar to this:

Purple Guy: I am the villain in this game.

Holy shit, can't wait to see what happens next, can you? That was some deep writing, wasn't it? And I'm sure that none of you who complained about XIII being a "clusterfuck" had any trouble comprehending it.

Although the question on your mind might be why exactly I'm revealing such a big spoiler in a blog that could accidentally be accessed by anyone who searches for Asian ass porn. And to that, I say: are you really surprised? We showed Noel getting killed in the fucking trailer for the game. We don't care about spoilers.

Anyway, I'll update soon with more scenes from the game to make sure nothing surprises you when you buy about four or five copies on release day.

Toriyama out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Entry #1: This is all your fault

You guys just couldn't shut the fuck up, could you?

After five years of pouring countless hours into the masterpiece of interactive entertainment known as Final Fantasy XIII, after all the years of planning, designing, going to those stupid fucking board meetings with the stupid fucking executives designed only to suck the soul out of my masterpiece... after all of this it still wasn't good enough for you.

What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Now that masterpiece is sitting on retail shelves collecting dust across the globe while you guys bitch on the internet about how there weren't enough "towns".

Fuck your goddamn towns. Fuck them in the ass. Here's a pro-tip, asshole: if you step out of your mom's basement for five minutes there's most likely a town a few minutes down the road, or, if you live in a fucking city which you most likely do, there's one right outside. Am I going to fast for you!?

Now the boss Yoichi Wada has been on my ass about these complaints, even though they weren't my fault. Yeah, I know I'm the game director. And yeah, I know I went against people whose suggestions probably would've made the game a lot more well-received (such as the "fans"...LOL), but you guys should've liked it in the first place.

Now after spending 5 years getting my dick raw over FFXIII I have to dig everything back up and make FFXIII-2. I mean, don't get me wrong, nothing gives me greater pleasure than diving back into an orgy of attractive, young character models and tunnels, which I myself have created, but I worked so goddamn hard. And now I have to do it again.

Oh well, I guess this game could use my seed as much as any other. This time I will deliver a game that is not only a masterpiece comparable to FFXIII, but one that you common people can also appreciate.