Reverse Design : Final Fantasy VI book cover
1st Edition

Reverse Design
Final Fantasy VI

ISBN 9781138323964
Published September 4, 2018 by CRC Press
80 Pages 100 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The Reverse Design series looks at all of the design decisions that went into classic video games. This is the first installment in the Reverse Design series, looking at Final Fantasy VI. Written in a readable format, it is broken down into six sections examining some of the most important topics to the game:

  1. How narrative elements, specifically the design of the fourteen player-characters, was the critical constraint which shaped the game’s production
  2. How the game broke with numerous RPG traditions in order to focus on plot and characterization, while still maintaining mechanical depth
  3. How the systems were designed to allow the player to use any combination of characters with equal levels of success


Key Features

  • Comprehensive definitions of key concepts and terms, introducing the reader to the basic knowledge about the study of RPG design
  • Summary of historical context of Final Fantasy VI how it came to be, how it diverges sharply from the class-based design ideas of older RPGs, and what systems in uses to replace those old ideas
  • Extensive collections of data and data visualizations explaining how Final Fantasy VI’s systems work, how those systems evolve across the course of the game, and how the overall game systems were designed to be balanced easily

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 When Narrative Has to Fit the Design

    Chapter 2 Examining the Balance of Plot, Exploration and Combat

    Chapter 3 Characters and the Music that Explains Them

    Chapter 4 The Sociology of the NPC World

    Chapter 5 Levels, Stats and Gear

    Chapter 6 Dungeons, Durability and Difficulty

    Chapter 7 Conclusion

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    Patrick Holleman founded The Game Design Forum in 2010 with the specific goal of publishing scholarly articles about videogame design. On that site he originally published the Reverse Design series, which has been used by game designers and students across the world to improve their understanding of their craft. Material from that series has been used in online courses as well as university settings, including the University of Toronto and Cornell. His writing has also appeared in Paste Magazine, Indie Game Magazine and Tutsplus. In addition to his writing, Holleman has worked as a part-time producer and consultant in the game development industry. He lives in Pennsylvania.