Steams recent winter sale had Final Fantasy 9 on discount. Since I’ve been meaning to play FF9 for awhile now, that and a good price made for a match made in heaven!
Whilst playing these are ‘designery’ thoughts I had during the first several hours of it:
F99 starts you off in a dark room where it easy to focus on your player and understand movement. It then lights up the wider environment.
Narrative reinforcement – One moment where you have to remember and mention the princess name when they are going over kidnapping plan.
Level Exploration – In the scene below your character enters the scene from the bottom of the screen. Once you have control of the character the world fulfills the expectation of continuity by providing an area that’s the opposite way the player is encouraged to go (using the crowd who moves forward).
Lots of and easy to find initial pick ups from environment to quickly establish and encourage exploring the environment for rewards.
Storytelling Moments – Initial area showcases poverty/class differences through characters in the scene.
Lots of encouragement to explore through cutscenes. For example Steiner locked in room and the cutscene shows you are treasure chest which encourages you to go there.
Love the variation of activities right from the start such as finding the knights of pluto, and a scene of quick time events of sword fighting.
Writing Prompt: Name a game with fictional architecture that is based on real-world architecture. What does the use of that style convey about the in-game builders of that architecture? What mood does it create?
After studying a number of architectural styles. I believe a major architectural influence on this cities style is the Gothic style. In particular the Gothic Revival and Gothic Victorian style on its civilian structures.
What does the style convey?
In the world of Final Fantasy 9, Lindblum is regarded as the most technologically advanced nation who is making amazing progress. Their architecture seemingly melds a colorful Victorian Gothic style with sophisticated metal work in a high density of buildings. In addition sections of the city we see in the background are mind defying steep leaving on in wonder of how this is even possible? Additionally:
Clocks appear several times often embedded into buildings. This could imply a ‘precise society’.
The Gothic style is popular in the fantasy game genre. Given this is such a game the combination make for an interesting style to create the sense of a technologically advanced fantasy city.
So given the contrast of comparatively less ‘technologically advanced’ architecture styles the player has encountered before. The result I feel creates a mood of ‘wonder’ and ‘buzzing progress’, and leaves an impression that the builders are highly advanced.