Skip to main content

Gamasutra Article on Lost Odyssey

This is a great article which provides some insight on the development of Lost Odyssey. Click the link below to read the whole thing.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17559

Here's a snippet:

Feelplus president Ray Nakazato was at the 2008 Game Developers Conference to discuss the collaboration between Final Fantasy producer Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker group and Feelplus to develop Lost Odyssey. It originally began as an in-house Microsoft project before Feelplus assumed a role, Nakazato explained, as he showed a trailer of the fantasy RPG.

Feelplus was established in 2005 to develop Lost Odyssey. Currently, there are 100 developers and artists on staff, many of them Microsoft and Sega veterans, and Feelplus also relied on freelancers to help develop the game. The studio is part of holding company AQ Interactive Group, a larger merger between three development studios: Artoon, Cavia and Feelplus. In addition to supporting Sakaguchi on Blue Dragon, Feelplus contributed to Yoshi's Island.

Cavia was responsible most recently for developing Biohazard (Resident Evil): Umbrella Chronicles for Wii. Altogether, the three studios have some 300 employees. Currently, their primary business is to make games for other publishers, but AQ Interactive has recently become a publisher itself, having recently acquired U.S.-based publisher XSeed.

Nakazato then explained the division of labor involved in Lost Odyssey: The project was funded and project-managed, tested and asset-localized by Microsoft. Mistwalker, with Sakaguchi and award-winning Japanese novelist Kiyoshi Shigematsu at the helm, took responsibility for the story and character design, with well-known Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu creating the music, while Feelplus devleoped the actual product.

"To develop games, or to try to get professional game developers under the auspices of Microsoft was quite difficult, and it could be that Microsoft employees are expensive. So for that reason, they decided to create an independent studio, which is why Feelplus was established," Nakazato explained. It took the team more than four years, including the earliest days of Lost Odyssey's development, to create the game.

In the middle of 2006, Feelplus developed a Japan-only playable demo. "We developed this, or finished it, around June 2006, and then gave it off to the players in December 2006. But I think this was too early, because it ended up being a version that wasn't particularly polished at that point. But we launched a playable version a year and a half before the full launch," Nakazato recalled.

The game uses Unreal Engine 3 as middleware -- and the team did UE3 integration four times, which Nakazato said was "quite a task."

For the ambitious development project, the team divided into several groups: one responsible for building the game itself, a design group responsible for database systems and AI, and a level design team. A production management group was in charge of the game's cutscenes, of which there are over eight hours, including about 40 minutes worth of pre-rendered movies with the rest as scripted real-time events.

"All of these groups would create these parts and then put them together, and then the game and the cutscenes would be put together by combining these components. And then the Microsoft project manager would be in charge of project management," explained Nakazato. Finally, a Mistwalker-Microsoft liason would coordinate among the groups.

Popular posts from this blog

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Xbox One - System / Games general review

We picked up a [kinect-less] Xbox One a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. Overall, right now I feel pretty good about this console. But I have to admit, the first experience of buying it is not very good. I'll go with the BAD news first. But do note that it isn't all bad news....

- The first time you bring it home, the console can't work without Internet. That's because it needs an absolutely-unoverrideable mandatory update. Basically, if you get this for your birthday and it's 7PM, expect to actually play games on it around a day or so later, depending on your internet speed.

- The first patch I got for it was around 800MB. This number might have changed by the time of this writing.

- All the launch games now have accumulated patches/updates over 16+ GB in size. Not just Dead Rising 3, which has been reported widely in the media. Even Forza 5.

- My internet at home is PLDT 3Mbps; managed to get all the updates pretty quickly....that's a…

E3 2015 Conferences from the Big Three - My thoughts

Microsoft:

- They get a lot of points from me for actually announcing games that will be out in 2015.
- The Backwards Compatibility update is a huge surprise that I absolutely did not expect. Having BC is difficult and expensive to do, but somehow MS managed to do it, which leads me to believe the solution they found is an inexpensive one if they've decided it's practical to do QA work for the Xbox 360s gigantic library of games and make them all work on the Xbox One. If it was too complicated or expensive they probably wouldn't have bothered. But since they did, I think we're going to see full BC some time soon for all games. It's only a matter of time.
- Halo 5 looked fantastic, but 343 has a lot of work to do to restore faith, after the horrific launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection. I think they can do it, and I'd imagine they're certainly motivated now. If they screw this one up....MS might reconsider forming a new team to handle the Halo franchis…