Author Topic: What was the development context for FFVII's battle scripts?  (Read 266 times)

Bosola

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What were Square's motivations and design goals when implementing the battle scripting system?

I assume the main objective was to create something that could be easily hotswapped on a dev unit - as recompiling modules was presumably quite slow - but I wonder if there were other intentions too. Were battle scripts designed to be written by artists rather than programmers (perhaps in a simple intermediary format)? Did debug builds allow developers to step over / breakpoint AI code whilst beta testing?

How much do we know about how FFVII's battles were implemented? How different is the demo BATTLE.X from gold? Is much really known about this, or is it generally treated as a Square trade secret?

NFITC1

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That's knowledge that's probably lost to even Square. All source code has been lost and will likely not resurface again for years. Battle scripts weren't designed for artists, there's another set of scripts for those. I imagine it all came from a desire to make more complex AI after the previous FF's AI was so basic. They had a much bigger canvas to work on (so to speak) so all sorts of complicated AIs could be achieved.

FFVI had some very specific jump conditions. This is definitely a step-up in terms of customizations.

Bosola

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I suspect you're right. It's a project that finished over two decades ago. No-one close to the development of this module is likely to remember much or feel particularly motivated to talk about the development process. It's a shame; I find that kind of development archaeology fascinating.

MysticLord

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Your best bet to learn more is to read Japan-only guides such as perfect works and look up old gaming magazines. We found out that Saga Frontier used an event editor/interpreter to write and perhaps incrementally develop event scripts from a photo of it in an old Japanese gaming magazine. Granted the way they are organized it is ludicrous to develop them by hand, but it was nice to see an old theory vindicated.

Japanese forums and wikis usually have more info, that's where I would start.
« Last Edit: 2019-03-27 21:41:57 by MysticLord »

Bosola

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Thanks MysticLord - if I dig anything up, I'll post it here.