Square Enix’s Kimitoshi Tsumura has detailed how Final Fantasy 15’s development team mimics the passage of time in the game.
In an update on Square Enix’s website, one of the company’s Japanese community managers spent a day with Tsumura from the game’s lighting team which is responsible for making the skies and weather effects. Tsumura makes his own equipment by hand, including a head-mounted display and reflectometer, in order to capture data for use in the game. He then gives lectures in the office to attendees about his findings.
“Like in the real world, there are 24 hours a day in the world of FFXV,” community manager Taji says. “In order to create the flow of these hours, we had to get as close as possible to the real world, with the sun and the moon, and mornings and evenings. So we check if the skies in the game are correctly being simulated with just the sun and sky! First, we take a photo of the real sun and blue skies.”
Tsumura uses a 360 HDR panoramic camera to shoot at an undisclosed location in Tokyo and drop that footage into the game. Using a feature called Sky System, they adjust the inputted footage for use in the game.
The image below shows the real sky in the game (left) and the Sky System version (right).
While there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference, Taji explains “in the real world, as we experience our mornings, days, and nights, there is not one minute, or one second, where light is the same. For instance, the sun is 400,000 times brighter than the moon, though it’s impossible for the human eye to detect! To get closer to that in FFXV, the sun is set to shine more than 100,000 times brighter than the moon.”
Taji says you won’t see it, but not one second of the game has the same brightness as another. Sky System also adjusts the exposure to ensure it’s just right within the game.
Final Fantasy 15 is set for release on September 30th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.