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  1. #1
    Super Ninjarator Foxy's Avatar
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    Crystal Tools Wii

    In a recent interview with Taku Murata, 1UP had the chance to question Square Enix's general manager of research and development about their new Crystal Tools engine, and why it only partially supports the Wii. Interview below:
    1up Wrote:
    1UP: The most important aspect of Crystal Tools is that it's a multi-platform environment. How easy it is to move a game from one platform to another? Say, hypothetically, you wanted to port Final Fantasy XIII from PS3 to Xbox 360... how difficult would that be?

    TM: Traditionally at Square we used to target just to a single platform and work deeply within that system, so it was very difficult to move a game to another system. But I'd say it's easier now. You still have factors like video memory and processing cores, so you have to adjust things like texture sizes. But Crystal Tools is a shared library, so it's much easier now. Those factors are already accounted for by the libraries, and it's possible to develop for different systems in parallel.

    1UP: You mentioned at the panel that Nintendo's Wii is partially supported by Crystal Tools, but not completely. Why is Wii development lagging so far behind?

    TM: The differences between Wii and 360, PS3 and PC are much bigger, and we're just not at the point in development where Wii support is completely ready.

    1UP: Well, contrast Crystal Tools with Mr. Tsuchida's WiiWare team -- do you think what they're doing with Crystal Chronicles, using NintendoWare and third-party scripts, is a better fit for the platform?

    TM: It really all comes down to the title in question and what you're doing with it. For instance, hypothetically -- don't take this seriously! -- if you wanted to create Final Fantasy XIII for PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii simultaneously, you'd need to use Crystal Tools.

    If you don't know what Crystal Tools is, here's a quick rundown courtesy of Wikipedia:
    "Crystal Tools, is a seventh generation game engine built to be used with "all of the Square Enix's forthcoming next-generation games" on the PlayStation 3, as commented by Final Fantasy Versus XIII character designer Tetsuya Nomura. The first games to utilize it will be Final Fantasy XIII and its spinoff title Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Nomura commented that the switch from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 was difficult, saying that "the hurdles are greater than they were in the move from the PS1 to the PS2." This in turn gave way to the creation of Crystal Tools.

    One of the main aspects of the engine is that it allows photorealistic CGI to be rendered in real-time. Nomura has commented that the engine will be able "to recreate battle scenes reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children." It also handles advanced audio processing, cinematic cut-scene transition, physics effects calculations and special effects rendering.

    How exactly this will benefit the Wii is yet to be seen. Will it provide CGI-like graphics to be rendered in real-time even on the Wii? Will it just provide a graphics boost that Wii owners aren't used to? Either way, this spells out good news for Wii fans clamoring for an update in graphics. Depending on just how strong this engine is, will we finally receive beautiful graphics to go along revolutionary controls? What do you think?
    Source

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  3. #2
    Confiscation of the Mind iOwnage's Avatar
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    Cool, nice find.

    Hopefully we might see this engine, if they get it fully cooperating with the Wii, on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers.

    I wanna see what this engine can do.


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  4. #3
    WiiChat Member AoWFraggit's Avatar
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    has a release date been set for crystal bearers yet?

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  5. #4
    Super Ninjarator Foxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AoWFraggit
    has a release date been set for crystal bearers yet?
    As of yet...No.

  6. #5
    WiiChat Member AoWFraggit's Avatar
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    ah, well has there been any mention of online capabilities for the game?

    personally, i'm not much of an rpg fan, but an online feature would definitely catch my eye.

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  7. #6
    Super Ninjarator Foxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AoWFraggit
    ah, well has there been any mention of online capabilities for the game?

    personally, i'm not much of an rpg fan, but an online feature would definitely catch my eye.
    It's been pretty quiet however rumours of it being cancelled circulated.

  8. #7
    WiiChat Member WiitnessID's Avatar
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    This use to be the White engine-

    Nice post I've know about this for a while and they have not actually demo it publicly yet. The tools where seen on Japan tv I forget where but I remember seeing a full city lit with clouds running thur it (volumetric clouds it seemed very cpu gou intensive). Lots of geometry it seemed yet it moved in a full 60 frames. This engine is serious and these guys where an owner of the Ut3 engine lic yet I think these are the guys who will give epic a run for their money engine wise if they can get this thing running on the PS3. Which is totally possible because even my open GL pro 3d apps support most of the stuff in this engine in real time in the view port.

    Lots of post processing things can be done in real time now due to shaders. Can the Wii do this stuff?
    Well fur shading was once a post process of professional 3d rendering. This is also the thing that lets you do realistic hair. That is in nintendoware. So with the added support of the Wii for the crystal engine and nintendoware appearing almost back to back pretty much says that they may get pretty close minus some polys and texture resolution yet square enix may be using shaders rather than textures to produces the textures I've seen them using.

    Any way this is big and actually will provide more momentum for factor 5 to really show up and dazzly every one. I was sure some one had posted this? Think of this engine like this. Crysis runs ok with 460p and a few effects turned off. Still looks ok if you don't sit too close. Yet the full crystal engine is like running it full blast and maybe even loosing some frames. Yet crysis was never designed to be shoe horned into such limited specs as those on consoles. The Wii is become the budget GPU card of the next gen consoles. Which is actually a good thing. The PS2 support may be following soon after. Reports from japan are saying that FF13 has slipped to a 2011-12 date...LOL OuCH! This is from an analysis I believe but if that is true you can say yes to lots of square enix Wii games happening to pay for the extra time.

  9. #8
    Confiscation of the Mind iOwnage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt.McCloud
    It's been pretty quiet however rumours of it being cancelled circulated.
    Oh god no! I have been waiting for this game for months, on top of months.

    EDIT: IGN says that the game is now undergoing some changes, and is likey to not release this year, and if it does, it'll be at the end of the year.
    Last edited by iOwnage; 03-01-2008 at 04:16 PM.


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  10. #9
    I am Casual Caliko's Avatar
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    Yeah I heard of this engine already. Since it's a new engine they might have to create Crystal Bearers' graphics all over again. This seems tedious and like a waste of money. Their best interest might be to drop Crystal Bearers altogether and create a new game.

  11. #10
    WiiChat Member WiitnessID's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliko
    Yeah I heard of this engine already. Since it's a new engine they might have to create Crystal Bearers' graphics all over again. This seems tedious and like a waste of money. Their best interest might be to drop Crystal Bearers altogether and create a new game.
    Most engines don't requirer you to recreate every thing. Most modeling packages have ways to export almost every thing to a rival package and game engines are even better at this. This engine is a sign of the times. Shader are going to be big for these guys... just look what it did for epic games!

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