GDC 08: Taku Murata on the technology of Final Fantasy XIII, Crystal Tools
Unlike western developers favoring middleware like the Unreal Engine, Square Enix built different technology from scratch for every game they have developed.
It’s only recently that they began to standardize their technology, from the White Engine to the Crystal Tools. In this interview of Taku Murata, he talked about the philosophy behind Crystal Tools. Find out more after the jump!
In the recent GDC, Taku Murata, Square Enix‘s general manager of research and development, spoke about how their technology has developed from the White Engine to the Crystal Tools. He then participated in an interview to shed more details on the technology behind Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
In his interview, Murata said that the philosophy behind Crystal tools is that the company considered a cross-platform approach in order for them to compete in the worldwide market. Although they’ve been used to target a single platform and develop it further within that system, they found it difficult to move a game from one platform to one another.
Marata said that with the Crystal Tools, they found it easier now to do that. Since the Crystal Tools is a shared library of development programs, various factors like video memory, processing cores and textures sizes are all accounted for already. They are now able to develop games for different consoles in parallel.
As for Nintendo’s system, the Wii, Murata said that they found bigger differences between the Wii and the Xbox 360, PS3, and the PC. Furthermore, Murata added they’re “not at the point in development where Wii support is completely ready.”
Unlike their traditional method of making separate technology for every game, the standardized Crystal tools is very much expandable. Murata said, “we can continue to build better things on top of what we already have in place.
On a final note, Murata said that with the Crystal Tools, they will be able to develop game in a much shorter time span. With this, they can better focus on other things like creating better visuals for the game. After all, Square Enix has always been known for their breath-taking cinematics.
With this, better keep your eyes glued to QJ for more updates on Square Enix and their games!