- All the screenshots in the interview are captured from the game running in real time.
- The movement of the clouds in the game are controlled by the physics engine in the game.
- The game employs an open field concept, so you can travel anywhere except into mountains.
- The encounter system is a mix of random and visible encounters? (Confusing point, the blog doesn't seem clear either.)
- Battles are seamless. The only loading in the game will occur when moving between very large areas. They're aiming for the ultimate in seamlessness.
- Objects along the paths of roads can be destroyed.
- Most people will not believe their eyes when they see the high quality of the battles in motion.
- The staff are highly motivated now.
- There will still be improvements and more polish on the visuals made, the visuals in the screens are the game running at the moment.
- You'll be able to use a car as promised. You can exit it and move on foot at any time as well.
- Enemies will be visible on the field, and while some enemies are wandering around, others will suddenly appear and surprise you. (This clarifies what the random and visible comment meant, and it also confirms that game will be similar to FFXII in that sense.)
- Nomura says they're planning for a big unveiling of Versus at some point, but he doesn't really give any deadline for it.
More detailed info:
Most of the discussion focused on three new screenshots. It will be a bit tough to follow most of this summary without seeing the screens for yourself, but here are some textual descriptions.
* 1. A scene of main character Noctis standing on a cliff, looking out over a vast field, with a highway directly below, a desert clearing in the distance, and mountains in the far distance. The caption for this notes that you can walk as far as you can see.
* 2. A scene of Noctis standing in front of a gas station. In the caption for this scene, the magazine notes that one of the themes of the game is a "road movie."
* 3. A scene of Noctis facing off against a giant creature in a city-like scene. The visuals here look extremely modern -- you can see crosswalks and even bike lanes marked off on the road below. It looks like an in-game version of Tokyo, except for the giant beast.
The screens are all taken off real hardware, Nomura said. The game currently runs at the quality shown in the screens, said Nomura, and they'll be improving the visuals even further.
Not only are the screens real time, but they represent the perspective from which you'll play the game. The camera angle is for the most part what's shown in the screens -- from a third person view. They were originally considering switching to an overhead view when you moved into the outside world, but ended up keeping the the world as an open field in order to keep you close to the action.
Of course, actual screenshots will have menus and icons. According to Nomura, these bits were removed because they did not want to let details on the game out.
Nomura shared some details on a screen-by-screen basis.
Regarding the gasoline and field screen, Famitsu noted that the game's sky color is finely detailed. Nomura said first that they're using true physics calculations for the movement of the clouds. He also noted that it took the staff a while to determine the visual direction they would take with the game. They could do all sorts of different visual styles by changing such things as filters and sunlight color.
Regarding the field screenshot, Nomura said that the field is an "open field," meaning you can walk through "nearly everything" shown in the field screenshot except for the mountains. He also said, "If you want to go to the end, it's truly far."
Regarding the city scene with the beast, Nomura pointed out that the beast is a military-use behemoth. It has a giant sword on its back.
The city scene is actually a battle screen. Normally, it would have a command menu and other information.
The menus and prompts aren't all that's missing, though. Noctis is shown fighting the behemoth by himself. In the actual game, you'll fight as part of a party. The reason the party members aren't shown in the screen is because Square Enix has yet to officially reveal the weapons and clothing for these characters.
Famitsu noted of the battle scene, the "Shinjuku cityscape is real." The model for the area, said Nomura, is the surroundings of Square Enix's Shinjuku office, right down to the bicycle markings on the street.
The three areas shown in the screenshots are all connected. The screen with the field and the screen with the gasoline stand are from the same location. The field extends out from the rear of the gas stand. These two areas are located immediately outside the city depicted in the battle screenshot.
It all looks like a pretty large area for what appears to be the game's prologue location, Famitsu noted. No need to worry, though, as Nomura revealed that you'll have access to a car. You can board and disembark your car whenever you like. Take your car out into the field area, and you'll eventually approach the submerged area that was shown in past promotional trailers.
It looks like you'll encounter monsters out on the field. Some will be roaming about, with Nomura citing an example of a behemoth walking around on a hill in the distance. In other instances, monsters will appear quickly.
In this week's "Flying get" column, there was a bullet point about the game featuring both symbol and random encounters. I presume this is where these points come from. Nomura did not specially mention symbol and random encounters, though, so it may be a bit too hasty to picture an RPG-like system.
Asked if the field and battles will be seamless, meaning no loading or screen transitions, Nomura said that the battles will be for the most part seamless. When you move between large areas, and when there are event cut-ins, there may be some loading, although the staff is trying to make the game as seamless as possible.
The magazine closed off by asking Nomura when we can expect additional Versus XIII details. This is still a ways off, he said, but he added "We're making preparations for a big announcement."