• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Developer explains FFXV's "pre-beta" state: Playable start to finish, half polished

raven777

Member
Jan 30, 2012
17,605
0
0
Last month SE said Final Fantasy XV has finished 'pre-beta' phase. Today the developer explained what this exactly means for FFXV.

"Pre-beta is what we have achieved near end of October. With this we were able to achieve 2 things:

1. The game can be played from beginning to the end. So everyone in the development team can play the entire game and see the big picture, and share their thoughts on the overall game.
We can polish up the game, add/adjust some details so the game can reach the quality needed for the final product.
There are few elements that are in still test stage so it's not completely implemented, but it's important that we can share the big picture of the overall game to everyone.

2. The first half of the game is pretty much completely polished. So we have idea of how the final game will look and feel. We have idea of how much work is needed to make the game in it's final state. We also have some guests from outside the company come and play the game so we get the feel of how users play the game, and see how the pace/balance is for the players.

So in this stage of the development it's all about us programmers to show our skills. Please look forward to it."

https://forum.finalfantasyxv.com/discussion/813/%E9%96%8B%E7%99%BA%E6%83%85%E5%A0%B1-ffxv%E3%83%97%E3%83%AC%CE%B2%E7%89%88%E3%81%AB%E3%81%A4%E3%81%84%E3%81%A6


Update: Official English translation

Kitade-san who is one of the FFXV programmers wrote a message on the Japanese side of the forum to explain a little bit more about the pre-beta stage of developement. You can read the original message in Japanese here and below is the official English translation :)

=====

Nice to meet you all, My name is Kitade Satoshi and I am a programmer. I am mainly responsible for maintaining the development environment for FFXV. Today I would like to explain some more about the pre-beta version of the game that we talked about on Twitter a little while ago.

The term “pre-beta version” refers to the product of development on FFXV that was put together in October this year. We have managed to achieve two things with this pre-beta:

1.) We have managed to get the game in a state where you can play the whole thing through from the opening to the ending. By doing this, all the dev. staff are now able to get a shared impression of the overall game.

In short, we can now say that we have done the groundwork for finishing all the different areas of content in the game and the overall product itself to a high standard, polishing up each individual element and fine tuning the gameplay.
There are mechanics and elements that are still undergoing testing and are not implemented in the release code yet, but making it possible for all the dev. staff to grasp an overall image of the game is very important for the next stage of the development process.
As a programmer, I am now in a situation where I can concentrate on the process of optimization and will be pulling out all the stops to get the appeal of the finished product across to people as much as possible.

2.) We have polished the first half of the game to final retail quality and established the final feel of the gameplay.

By doing this we have been able to extrapolate how much work will be necessary in order to bring all aspects of the game, including the feel of the gameplay and the standard of the visuals, up to the final quality level we envisage.
At the same time we have been able to check how actual players will approach playing the game and the pace of their play by inviting valuable players from outside the company in for focus testing.
We have entered the final phase of development now, where the technology and people’s feelings and intuition come together, and this is where the programmers can really show their stuff. You can expect great things from us!

=====

One thing to note is that game development is very complicated and there's still quite a lot of work needed to be done on FFXV but the team are making good progress :)



https://forum.finalfantasyxv.com/discussion/816/development-info-about-ffxv-pre-beta
 

KZXcellent

Member
Oct 1, 2014
5,981
1
290
TX
Great news! It's nice to hear them talk about the overall progress with the game. I can definitely see them accomplishing a Fall 2016 release.

Not gonna lie, the ATR they did at PAX a few months ago when they showed off incomplete rooms, models ect got me worried about the state of the game. Glad it's actually going well!
 

aspiegamer

Member
Nov 10, 2013
6,546
0
0
1. The game can be played from beginning until the end. So everyone in the development team can play the entire game and see the big picture, and share their thoughts on the overall game.

So in this stage of the development it's all about us programmers to show our skills. Please be excited."
Oh dear, that's going to be the new "we swear it's going to be released on time, really!" benchmark, isn't it. "But they said you could play through it last October!"

Also, respect for the continued actual use of "please be excited" after being a punchline for so long. Will never get old.
 

Ludens

Banned
Feb 5, 2014
6,900
0
0
Really they put the "please be excited" thing?

Also...pre-beta? What does this mean? I read the article, but of course a beta is a beta, is not the final product so it's clear it needs to be polished and bugs ironed out. This pre-beta thing is stupid, so I call it an Alpha Plus.*
The more I hear about this game, the more I think it will be a mess.
And I love FF franchise (well, excluding Fabula Nova), so I'm not a hater or whatever.
*I don't want to give SE ideas, knowing them they could sell a FFXV Alpha Plus version with the same area of Episode Duscae but with Moogles on.
 

KZXcellent

Member
Oct 1, 2014
5,981
1
290
TX
Oh dear, that's going to be the new "we swear it's going to be released on time, really!" benchmark, isn't it. "But they said you could play through it last October!"

Also, respect for the continued actual use of "please be excited" after being a punchline for so long. Will never get old.
I like how they're running with the jokes. I remember they even joked a few months back "Yes we are announcing an event where we will announce a release date." Back when they announced the March XV event.
 

ElTorro

I wanted to dominate the living room. Then I took an ESRAM in the knee.
May 15, 2013
16,946
1
675
Germany
twitter.com
Time to realize that everything is shit, tear everything apart, and start anew with a new engine.
 

Rosur

Member
Nov 15, 2013
3,036
0
0
UK
Then why the wait till march to announce a date maybe they want more localisation done first. Somehow hoping for a summer date.
 

TheGreatLugia

Banned
May 3, 2013
2,207
0
0
Nice to have some more concrete details on the game's current state.
Time to realize that everything is shit, tear everything apart, and start anew with a new engine.
And then change it back to the original after hearing all the feedback.
 

raven777

Member
Jan 30, 2012
17,605
0
0
I changed please be excited part to please look forward to it since it it bit more accurate this way.
 

Sjefen

Member
Oct 10, 2014
2,164
0
0
Norway
"We also have some guests from outside the company come and play the game so we get the feel of how users play the game, and see how the pace/balance is for the players."

Where is my invitation?

2016 it is then
 

Philippo

Member
Mar 25, 2014
9,566
3
0
Venice, Italy
Really they put the "please be excited" thing?

Also...pre-beta? What does this mean? I read the article, but of course a beta is a beta, is not the final product so it's clear it needs to be polished and bugs ironed out. This pre-beta thing is stupid, so I call it an Alpha Plus.*
The more I hear about this game, the more I think it will be a mess.
And I love FF franchise (well, excluding Fabula Nova), so I'm not a hater or whatever.
*I don't want to give SE ideas, knowing them they could sell a FFXV Alpha Plus version with the same area of Episode Duscae but with Moogles on.

Sooooo, them using whatever naming system they want instead of the usual means the game is a mess? Okay.
Also whoa at that *, someone is really salty
 
Jun 5, 2013
12,779
0
0
Really they put the "please be excited" thing?

Also...pre-beta? What does this mean? I read the article, but of course a beta is a beta, is not the final product so it's clear it needs to be polished and bugs ironed out. This pre-beta thing is stupid, so I call it an Alpha Plus.*
The more I hear about this game, the more I think it will be a mess.
And I love FF franchise (well, excluding Fabula Nova), so I'm not a hater or whatever.
*I don't want to give SE ideas, knowing them they could sell a FFXV Alpha Plus version with the same area of Episode Duscae but with Moogles on.
They're not fluent English speakers. It's probably a direct translation of a Japanese saying.

Yes the game has gone past alpha, the next stage is beta, so yeah the game is pre-beta. Again Japanese =/= English so there could be something lose in translation but please be excited to call it a mess based on a translation.
 

seb

Banned
Jan 13, 2007
809
0
0
Toulouse, France
It's common wording people use in the end of the statement. I just translated it that way, but it could bb "please look forward to it!" or something else.
Oh, you translated it yourself. Thanks for that, really appreciated.
I can't believe FFXV is a real thing now, so close ;_;
 

Ludens

Banned
Feb 5, 2014
6,900
0
0
They're not fluent English speakers. It's probably a direct translation of a Japanese saying.

Yes the game has gone past alpha, the next stage is beta, so yeah the game is pre-beta. Again Japanese =/= English so there could be something lose in translation but please be excited to call it a mess based on a translation.
Of course I'm not calling it a mess because of this article, but because the game was/is in development from a HUGE amount of time, they keep changing stuff even now (and plot related, not only the character design of the king, how can you change a plot related thing with no impact on the story?), they keep updating the demo etc.
This is my opinion, of course, and I hope the game will turn out to be great because I'm really interested into it, but for now, until I see something real (and no cutscenes and redux version of cutscenes), I am pessimistic.

English is not my native language, so the translation is messy...
No problem, mate, but it would be funny SE itself using that phrase :D
 

birthbysleep

Member
Feb 26, 2013
652
0
0
The fact that the game is complete, with half almost final, and they can still only show off concept art makes no sense to me.
 

Madison Paige

Member
Jan 22, 2010
531
0
0
I'll still hold my expectations for a late 2017 or even early 2018 release, but I don't mind them taking their time at all. The game looks phenomenal. The only thing that's going to bother me is all the content changes from the earlier trailers, as I was looking forward to a lot of the stuff, but I also have no idea what all they cut. Whatever's best for the baby, though.
 

omnislayer

Member
Mar 26, 2013
1,673
1
0
I can't believe a living human being has played this game beginning to end...

I think it may really come out next year.
 

M_Night

Member
Nov 9, 2010
16,719
2
710
Now give me lots and lots of interesting optional locations and content.


Doooo iiiitttt.
 

True Fire

Member
Oct 9, 2013
6,627
2
310
The fact that the game is complete, with half almost final, and they can still only show off concept art makes no sense to me.
It makes perfect sense to me. They want to keep the best parts of the game under wraps.

We actually know very little about it, besides some of the political factions and the first few hours of gameplay (Insomnia --> Niflheim attack --> Duscae --> Titan --> boat to Altissia --> Leviathan)
 

Philippo

Member
Mar 25, 2014
9,566
3
0
Venice, Italy
Of course I'm not calling it a mess because of this article, but because the game was/is in development from a HUGE amount of time, they keep changing stuff even now (and plot related, not only the character design of the king, how can you change a plot related thing with no impact on the story?), they keep updating the demo etc.
This is my opinion, of course, and I hope the game will turn out to be great because I'm really interested into it, but for now, until I see something real (and no cutscenes and redux version of cutscenes), I am pessimistic.
But the game in it's current state (as XV) has been in actual prodution for 3-4 years, pretty much the same as most open world games (TW3, FO4, GTAV, Horizon).
They keep changing stuff because that's normal, some things only comes up closer to release. Also the game is still a year away from release, it's not like they're changing things one month before going gold.
And the story changes you're mentioning, they have probably been made at least in 2014, they're not so sudden, and what is being changed right now are small addictions (like moogles) or gameplay details (i'm sure they had a prototype of manual weapon switching well before the fan feedback and recent announcement).
And i can't see what's wrong with updating a demo (which happened only once to be honest), it's just another tool to check a few things in a controlled enviroment without taking too much time from actual developement.

I think you (like many others) are just way too negative on things that are normal in game developement.
Of course this is also (and especially) SE's PR fault.


The fact that the game is complete, with half almost final, and they can still only show off concept art makes no sense to me.
I'm okay with that, i've waited for so long that i want to discover all by myself, and SE has a bad habit of spoiling things.

I'll still hold my expectations for a late 2017 or even early 2018 release, but I don't mind them taking their time at all. The game looks phenomenal. The only thing that's going to bother me is all the content changes from the earlier trailers, as I was looking forward to a lot of the stuff, but I also have no idea what all they cut. Whatever's best for the baby, though.
Bruh brace yourself, it's coming much earlier than that.

Now give me lots and lots of interesting optional locations and content.


Doooo iiiitttt.
Yes please, i must say one of my biggest concerns is side content and quest design.
 
Jun 5, 2013
12,779
0
0
Of course I'm not calling it a mess because of this article, but because the game was/is in development from a HUGE amount of time, they keep changing stuff even now (and plot related, not only the character design of the king, how can you change a plot related thing with no impact on the story?), they keep updating the demo etc.
This is my opinion, of course, and I hope the game will turn out to be great because I'm really interested into it, but for now, until I see something real (and no cutscenes and redux version of cutscenes), I am pessimistic.
Welcome to development. If all devs were as open as Squenix is being you'd think all games were a mess. There is something real, it's the demo you mentioned, and it's fairly good of them to keep updating it to let us know where the gameplay is.
 

Rootbeer

Banned
Jan 9, 2012
16,204
12
785
I'd love to know what the total budget for this game is from beginning to end. Ridiculously long development period for (what eventually became) a headlining title.

I hope they've learned important lessons from some of the mistakes they made along the way that have delayed it so many times. At one time they even wanted to make it into a musical after Nomura saw the 2012 film version of Les Misérables... interesting thought, but it really illustrates to me just how in the dark they were about what they wanted this game to be for so long.
 

Ludens

Banned
Feb 5, 2014
6,900
0
0
Guys, I know a game can change (you talked about Witcher 3: the game had several builds, each one changing something from the build we already saw, in example, the downgrade from the Pre-E3 trailer is real, still the game is my GOTY) through development, but the fact is, excluding Duscase (which I played, I found the game has a HUGE potential, but Duscae left me with nothing), we saw nothing about FFXV. They keep releasing cinematics, that's it. I want to see more, even considering they just wrote the game is complete, playable from the start to end, why waiting March to release a date, why don't you create a hell of a gameplay trailer and go with it?
I'm sorry but for now I won't hold my breath for FFXV. I seriously hope to be wrong, as I told I hope this game will deliver.
 

georly

Member
Apr 23, 2013
14,066
0
410
Can't believe 2016 is actually possible. Wow. Really glad I picked up a PS4 this week. Can't wait.
 

Carn82

Member
Jan 15, 2014
4,115
2
435
when they showed off incomplete rooms, models ect got me worried about the state of the game. Glad it's actually going well!
To be honest, that's not a big 'showstopper'. Modeling and detailing levels takes time, but that is much more 'managable' (and outsourceable) than changing important gameplay mechanics or suddenly run into critical engine limitations. Also, when things are more set in stone it's easier to start optimising, and maybe even giving back some resources for extra assetts or effects.
 

Kain

Member
Jan 3, 2014
4,802
0
0
So this basically means they are ready to wrap up this thing and publish the game by 2016, right? Good, the sooner XV comes out, the sooner the company's effort can be focused on KH3 and FFXVI.
 

Gbraga

Member
Aug 6, 2009
23,746
0
0
Holy shit, 2016 is real then.

Can't believe I'll actually play this game before I die or get bored of games.