‘Video games will become cinematic quality’: FFXV GTC Demo- Are fans right to be worried?

Recently at the GTC 2017 Nvidia tech conference. A trailer demo of Nyx from Kingsglaive was shown that recieved a bad reaction from some Final Fantasy fans. The idea that videos games in the future could look like cinematic quality CGI on par with the FFXV movie. Are fans right to be concerned? Will Square Enix really push FFXVI to achieve what Nvidia boast the future of gaming could look like? Is story really coming at the expense of good graphics?

A ramble on my thoughts over the matter.

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Chaotic Heretic says:

There is no such thing as a good open world game.
I’d rather play in a sandbox where all my toys are close by, new, and functional, instead of a barren desert where it takes me half an hour to find destroyed ruins.

PrettyPink MMA says:

Open world is fine….just make the side quests tie into and match the intensity of the primary plot. Like in FF15, while the world is crumbling, don’t ask me to fetch fucking frogs or take photos by a lake. More appropriate side quests would have been saving children from demons,uncovering info on Ardyn, uncovering ground zero of the star scourge, etc.

therandomdot says:

Developers spend so much time adding cinematic effects to games… which I just immediately turn off.

The problem is humans are prone to “new toy syndrome”. IE: when they get a new thing to mess with, they want to over-do it. When developers get a new shader or better detail to mess with they want to dial it up to 11 to really cram it down everyone’s eye holes like “see… SEE!? Isn’t this fucking AMAZING!?”

Yeah… it’s amazing… it also makes the game unplayable.

Through-out the 00’s gamers got to see developers shove Bloom / HDR down our faces in over-done fashion. Seemed you couldn’t start up a game without there beeing this over-saturated blur on all objects from bloom.

Then came Depth of Field … you know what makes a game great? Let’s make everything fucking thing that’s 20’+ out from the character FUCKING BLURRY! Yeah, that’s fantastic… I can’t see shit.

Let’s not forget eye adapt / dynamic brightness. When a real person goes from shadows into light their eye adapts to the light and darkness. They imitated that effect in games, but for a long time it was never subtle. You’d get a constant “pumping” of brightness as you moved between light and dark, and it is FUCKING ANNOYING. It was especially annoying in some games where you moved fast between light and dark (like racing games where you drive into tree shadows) and it created a constant pumping… or, worst, coming out of shadow into light would create temporary blindness from too much white saturation to simulation sun blindness. You know what’s fucking amazing? NOT BEING ABLE TO FUCKING SEE WHERE YOU’RE GOING FOR 2 SECONDS DURING A RACING GAME WHILE DOING 120MPH. Yeah. that’s awesome…smh.

The issue is that some of these effects didn’t “add value”, they made things look great for screenshots, but they made gameplay awful.

So, developers started turnning them down. When you turn some effects down to the point they’re bareable… they almost become pointless (like eye adapt).

It’s only been recently that it seems many development studios have found a good balance between style (over-blown shaders) and substance (toned down to be able to play the damn game).


What the industry needs now more then new hardware is a common shader library.

Almost every game out there needs shaders for common stuff … DOF, AA, Bloom, water, dust particles, god rays, the list goes on and on.

There are times you need custom shaders, like doing a special effect that doesn’t exist in real life (like an alien explosion or shimmery fantasy effect).

But, many games just need a common shader library of highly-optimized shaders they can call to automatically take care of stuff like water… how it looks making waves, how it looks underwater, etc.

Developers should just have simple shader functions like “waterSurfaceShader(wave size, wind direction, opacity, etc, etc, … variables to determine water surface look)” that they call.

Instead, developers still have to code up pages upon pages of shader code to make water effects themselves. Or, use a third-party tool that they fiddle with some dials in while looking at an object to get the shader to look right and then trust that the code spit out by the program is optimized. (It sometimes is not… eg: the shader code spit out by the automatic program may be great… for ONE object, but when you apply the shader effect to TONS OF OBJECTS ON A LANDSCAPE… it bogs a computer down.)

Game devs, Nvidia, Intel, AMD, MS… they all need to work together to create a common shader library that gets installed when you update your graphic card drivers. Then games could just refer to them instead of reinventing the wheel…. poorly…. themselves.

Fr3aKeD says:

NEVER really cared for top of the line graphics, I want CONTENT! I wanna get into the game and not be able to stop playing for 8 hours a day for a couple weeks. 😀 Probably why i like MMORPG, sort of, is cause longevity. I prefer games i can play solo though. The DLC for FF15, Gladio, Come on, i barely got to sit down and relax before it was over. }: [

Che Hector says:

whare is the footage at 01:40 from?

Krish Lius says:

im down for beautiful graphics so long as it isn’t the main focus of the game. we all seen what became of final fantasy 14 1.0. i’d be lying to say i doin’t care about graphics, i didn’t spend almost 2k on this beast for nothing 🙂

DustApple says:

It’s all fun and games until the game plays like shit, has shit framerate, a limited soundtrack, and fucking annoying characters to compliment its garbage story. But those graphics though! Yep! Priorities!

Orlanzo Telfer says:

the main line final Fantasy games are about the pinnacle of gaming…and yes that includes graphics

Victor Pereira says:

They take forever to make and release games now and still keep teasing us about the next FF to be remade, even though the first one announced (FF7) doesn’t even have a release date lol.

Flaming Gilgamesh says:

I have a feeling that they focused on making FF15 look pretty and that’s why everything else was crap

ChronosChris says:

To be honest, it feels like we’ve already reached that point of too much focus on cinamatics and graphics and less focus on everything else… I mean FFXV basically just felt like a sightseeing simulator to me with one of the shortest storylines ever. I really can’t imagine how much more they could dumb down this franchise to push even more photorealistic graphics in our faces.

Connor Merritt says:

The open world obsession is so annoying.

Esther Rogers says:

I’ve always liked a more linear experience, maybe with some moments of further exploration. XIII was too corridor-based for too much of it, but I loved when games like VII give you an area to explore (like a town) before moving on in the story, or the ability to trigger optional content. That gives you the experience of exploration, without having to go full open world. So yes, I hope they ditch the open world idea moving forward. I actually love XV, but even during the open world half I found myself using a guide to ensure I didn’t miss a campsite or dungeon that triggers more character interaction, which made it feel linear in a way. Instead of accidentally stumbling onto these events, I was creating a list of places to hit up, and moving from one spot to the other. Imposed linearity 🙂

munjed younis says:

I think ff will always to stick to higher tech graphics , it is of the essence of the company frenchise

Juan Manuel Esis says:

I think we need to focus on the director speech, because Nier Automata is normal if you do only one playthrough nut is complete story B and C you start looking that is a master piece. In FFXV case, Tabata focused on the TRIP/JOURNEY, in other words, most of the storyline was OK like going to a famous touristic place that everyone knows while the best parts where the sidequest because they are like the little place we find as a surprise that most of the time we enjoy the most.

Another problem I see is that ALL of the things we saw on Versus 13 Trailers are in Kingslaive and no in the game like the insomnia invasion, the throne room battle, etc. And that was the biggest mistake of Square Enix with Final Fantasy XV.

But at list this game was necessary to see how a FF game work on this sandbox or open world wave we have nowadays in the industry so they need to learn A LOT OF this situation

Castiel Leem says:

linearity on JRPG are so common back in the days, it got nothing wrong about it why the change squareEnix? when i play a FF I’m not expecting the gameplay to become something like Witcher 3. FFXV was such a let down, hell i even bought the Luna Edition. F!

leopreo says:

Why would you criticize a tech demo? The people working on the graphics are a different team than the ones working on the story. Lol

PrettyPink MMA says:

The problem is that they want to make these games look beautiful and, as we saw with FF15, they underestimate how much time it would take to complete a project like that. As a result, we saw that they clearly prioritized other things about the game over the story telling which is WHY MOST OF US PLAY FF.

Devan Fava says:

Dude, whatever the fuck. Journey is not simply graphical showcase for hardware. That game has true heart, but since I haven’t even wanted to play ffxv I can’t say whether or not the same could be said. What I can say is Journey is something i’ve revisited multiple times and shared with all sorts of people. Tabata’s boyband fantasy probably doesn’t fall in that category because basically it’s an embarrassment for many ff fans. Whatever the fuck, fight me, I get the sense I’m right.

Drakengard65 says:

I want the FF games to have a open world maps like the first FF games up until 9. You don’t need to have the whole map detailed out and shit to do absolutely everywhere all the time. FF7 is my ideal idea of an open world map tbh.

J Taylor says:

FFXV is a half finished broken mess. It is beautiful looking trash.

Croz Raven says:

Let’s face it SE has never been truly great in storytelling for FF game since FFX, pursuing graphics is the least of problems, there is nothing that need to be sacrificed there cause’ they’re AAA devs. It’s mandatory to have great graphics and art designs for AAA games. What really need to be improve is the story writings, gameplay system, and of course meaningful quests. many conventional jrpgs still doing mmo style quests nowadays including ffxv.

Quadzilla says:

Spread ya glutes fuckin LOL!!!!!

Gabby Bih says:

Horizon Zero Dawn is a good example of how you can mash gameplay, graphics, and story in one while still be able to do a good job…

Orlanzo Telfer says:

an open world game can’t be at that level???

tell that to CDPR the team behind the witcher 3
open world….check
deep story so deep you’ll play it over multiple times. ..check
great combat…check
beautiful graphics…check..the game is a work of art….

right every developer should be playing the witcher 3 with a notepad and pen….
that game made the dumbest fetch quest engaging. …there’s a quest for you to go in a woman’s house and get her frying pan..and they made that quest have more depth then main quest in other games…how did they do it….narrative driven context..take notes square

Sian PB2012 says:

Can’t believe you called journey a game just to look pretty! Gosh I felt such emotion playing that game.

Pierrot. says:

Old man yells at cloud

Fabian Lelo says:

Every time I see Noctis and Crew driving around, I always have the Jane’s Addiction song (Superhero I think it’s called?) in my head. Yes, I’m talking about the show ‘Entourage’ here… 😉

Link Luver says:

Ff15 when it first came out was more a 4/5 finished thing with some coffee stains

Disembowell says:

Playing something like Undertale really hammers home how unimportant graphics are when it comes to RPGs. The main issue with “good graphics” now is that 9 times out of 10 they come to the detriment of story or characters..

Gatsu berserk says:

They should also spend MİLLİONS on getting FRAME PACİNG right.

wetfusion1986 says:

console peasant rant.

8un3zz says:

“Nier was the greatest experience I’ve had in a game”. Ok, I’m leaving.

Venumidas says:

While I agree that FF shouldn’t go for the most graphical edge, instead of focusing on all the other things, I also wanna believe that once FF reaches the point where the game basically looks better then something like the Kingsglaive Movie, then they can fully start to go wild with stylistic game design, cause once they reached the peak, they have to change it up or else it get’s boring.

So I believe pushing for that might look like a waste of time, but you can also consider that it might be one of the best things to happen once they reach that point of quality.

OmnipotentPeaceMan says:

the problem with square is they want the money from western action games, and they don’t want to make JRPGS any more, Square enix drove every western title into the ground they owned, ( Thief, Hitman, Deus ex. ) Three of my favorite series of all time.

Personally I don’t think they made a good FF since FF8, Square should focus on smaller groups making 10 hour JRPGS with the price tag of 40 dollars US,
the AAA market is completely fucked, company’s who are not AAA devs are claiming too much for their games *cough ubi soft*

Square should cut back down and get back too it’s roots, maybe even let new people direct games.

Yoghi Adhi Sri Bawono says:

final fantasy should get back to Nintendo again as the main focus then port and remaster it to sony & ms, I guess. At least the hardware limitation makes them focused on gameplay & story.

ZGoten says:

Just a couple of years ago, Square mentioned that it was a mistake to have 70% of the budget behind FF12 go into the graphics and that they aimed not to repeat that mistake. Now I’m not so sure they still mean it. I mean this is just a harmless tech demo, but it does seem a bit foreboding.

Sam Hassani says:

Well different companies have different work enviorments, tools, policies and visions for how they work and what the people at the company strive for. We as consumers always want whats best for us and that the end product matches our taste and expectations. That is of course normal cause we are paying for it.

But if you look at Square they have always pushed the limits when it comes to visuals in every console generation all the way back to the SNES. There are hundreds of interviews with both devs and people higher up in management where they clearly say that they always want to push the limit in graphics when it comes to the mainline FF games. And their artists are always mentioning how happy they are, when their art comes to life with todays technology.

As developer myself (not in the games industry) being provided with the best tools possible to develop is crucial for both the company that I work for and my personal growth as a developer. I would imagine that alot of the devs and artists in the games industry feel the same way even if their situation is a bit more rough when it comes to budgets and deadlines.

Square has pushed graphics/visuals for almost 3 decades now. I know that they will keep doing so cause it is a vital part of their vision as a company and as a way of letting their artists and devs grow in their craft.

AnimeWatcherJM says:

to be honest I am a total graphics whore. I love games with amazing graphics but I tend to mostly play the story only…. ^^’ So amazing graphics with a great story would be my ultimate dream!
also tbh ffxv is my fav game so far but I agree that the story, especially all the details, was not too well presented. A lot of detail and backstory can be easily missed while playing it.

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