Don't expect DeLoreans, hoverboards and sports almanacs. But, according to Wan Hazmer, Final Fantasy XV lead game designer, the title has found inspiration in an unlikely source: Robert Zemeckis' 1989 sci-fi flick.
In an interview with Travel Garage TV, Hazmer talks about how the game's developers are striving to create believable environments. "A concept of Final Fantasy XV is actually, 'Fantasy based on reality'," says Hazmer. "When we talk about reality here, we want to talk about no matter how far you go to the deep ends of the town, you can actually feel that they are united in design." While the worlds are not real, they need to feel believable — as though, they are inhabited by actual people.
What inspired Hazmer's approach to realism? One of his favourite movies of all time, Back to the Future: Part II.
"Near the start of the movie, you actually see Marty McFly walking through this alley. It's his first time in the future," he continues. "And then, when the scene opens up, you can actually see flying cars and people wearing weird fashion. There are hoverboards and that stuff. But people are walking normally, right? Why they're walking normally is that they have seen that culture throughout all those years, so they wouldn't be surprised. But you would be surprised, right?"
"The idea of the whole creative process is provide that culture shock," he continues." But, at the same time, you have to make it realistic." What the Final Fantasy XV doesn't want is for players to be taken out of that world. It needs to make sense.
For Hazmer, this approach is what separates the worlds in FFXV from the ones in other Final Fantasy titles. "It all starts at that process first," he explained. "We think about the culture first."
Watch the full interview right here.