Sunset in Final Fantasy XIV

I’ve been far too tense lately, and that has been reflected in my blog posts, so I thought I’d show you one of the reasons I love playing Final Fantasy XIV so much.

ffxiv coco and sunset

As you can see, FFXIV is graphically beautiful, but what makes it so immersive [I think I just made that word up] is the blend of time, weather and graphics.

Time passes in FFXIV. During the course of a few hours we go from day to night, and in the process we have sunrises and sunsets. And they’re not all the same. This particular one was so beautiful, it literally made me catch my breath, as if I were looking at the real thing.

The weather, too, affects me like the real thing. Dappled sunshine seen through leaves gently swaying in the breeze makes me happy. Mist is eerie, rain is a bit depressing, thunderstorms with lightning kind of make me duck my head.

And then there are the sound effects. My footsteps crackle on dry grass, squish when running through puddles, tap on stone, have a slightly hollow sound on wooden boards.

Add all this sensory sleight of hand together and you have a world that looks and feels real. Innerscape may not be that far off after all. :)

cheers

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

23 responses to “Sunset in Final Fantasy XIV

  • Candy Korman

    As a COMPLETE non-gamer, I often read your game-ish blog posts with an odd fascination. I escape into writing, reading, dancing, traveling… but I have yet to feel drawn into a gaming experience. Even when I worked for a virtual reality company (in the early 90s when it there wasn’t much there) I was always happier with a book, a play, a movie.

    That being said, I really enjoy your enjoyment and the specific pleasure you get from the artistic details in what is rapidly becoming a new art form as well as a standard source of entertainment.

    • acflory

      “..in what is rapidly becoming a new art form”. You know I’ve never thought of it in those terms, and I’m sure no other gamer would either, but…it’s actually true. It’s an interactive art form that combines story, visual art, music and ‘ambient’ art to create something quite different.

      Thanks for a really perceptive comment. I could feel the gears in my brain rearranging themselves. :)

      • geooorge

        Ohhh trust me, there’s a whole debate between gamers and … specialists, about games being art or not.
        You can’t dismiss them, but you can’t just accept them as art IMO. It’s just like any other medium. I guess the problem starts from us calling them “games” instead of interactive experiences. There are some stupid games just to pass the time but there are those that have real depth, if someone stops to think about it a bit.

        • acflory

          You are so right George! The label really is misleading. I consider console games to be ‘games’, simply because most are linear. But MMO’s? They’re open-ended and in a very real sense, players have to create their own’game’. I think that’s another reason the good ones can be so addictive.

  • Jon Jefferson

    The different environmental affects are one of my favorite parts of gaming as well. Sometimes like a very good story you find yourself sucked into the world.

    • acflory

      Yes, very much so. And we provide our own adrenaline as the final ingredient to the experience. :)

      On the rare occasions when I use Skype during a dungeon, the experience is heightened even more because my companions suddenly have voices.

      I should probably do that more often. Just hate my headset.

      • Jon Jefferson

        I never really got into the whole talking within a game thing. Might be my introversion taking hold but I prefer to type everything.

        • acflory

          As a general rule so do I, Jon. But there is a depth of immersion you don’t get when you type. Now that could be both a good thing and a bad. For me, a good game is far too seductive already. I have to keep it rationed!

  • dadirri7

    I am also a non-gamer Meeka but I can imagine easily being immersed in an environment like the one you have shared … I do love adventures and stories too … I love sci-fi and fantasy worlds so I really should try a game one day!

  • davidprosser

    I’m the only person I know who could walk into a room in Second Life and not be able to get out again. I must have been there for 2 years now. Gaming and I just don’t mix, I don’t have the right mental attitude but I love to see you having fun. Yes, Innerscape is probably nearer than we think, but does that mean the book is nearly done too???????
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • acflory

      lol – I think you picked the worst possible ‘game’ to try out David! The mechanics are atrocious, but point taken. And sadly no, Innerscape is nowhere near finished, even as a very raw first draft.

  • chrisjames282

    I’ll echo what Candy said above. The last game I played was “Descent”, about 15 years ago, where you had to pilot a ship through deserted alien mines. Problem was, I found it so completely addictive I just knew it wouldn’t be good for me. My wife and I had just had our first child (of three), and I was half-way through building our house. I decided then to leave gaming till the kids grew up and the mortgage was paid off. It’ll be something for my dotage.
    But I also enjoy reading about what you’re getting up to :)

  • EllaDee

    My brain and imagination go into overdrive when I think about this, and the amazing gaming worlds being created… As you say they are immersive and so convincingly real but other-place. My reaction was to think, in centuries to come, will they games become new selective reality options for real life…
    Hmmm… such talent just makes me wonder :)

    • acflory

      I believe the answer is very much ‘yes’. I’m sure it won’t be the way I described in the beginning of Innerscape, but there will be some kind of alternate reality for people to enjoy, or escape to. I’m sure of it. :)

  • metan

    Final Fantasy does look like a beautiful game, I can see why you’re addicted!

    I don’t play world type games, I never have enough time to get into them, as soon as I work out what to do I’ve got to shut it down and do something else. :)

    The kids are living in the Minecraft world at the moment, and it’s hilarious. Their own 8bit world created by young boys. As you can imagine it’s not the beautiful and (mainly, apart from the battles ;) ) relaxing world like FF, they are spending their time blowing up mountains with tonnes of TNT and building massive castles or pyramids, filling them with chickens and covering them in lava….

    So many of the sc-fi books I read have a character or environment where an online ‘life’ is a part of the story or a major character. I imagine that one day it will be something available but I wonder how many people will have access to it? It is an interesting idea for the future isn’t it?

    *cue tinkly music indicating the shift to a dream sequence* ;)
    A privileged upper class living full time in their own personal heavens while the rest of the population toil for their few allocated hours online. Still the underclass, just in a different place! Shoulda stayed home….. ;)

    • acflory

      I never did get into Minecraft – mainly because of the graphics – but I can see why it would be so much fun. Being able to create something, as well as blow it up, is immensely satisfying.

      At the risk of boring everyone to tears, I’ll be posting about the housing system in Final Fantasy XIV very soon. With lots of pics :)

      And yes, even now, online games are divided between the haves and the have nots. We only have a tiny, bedsit sized house in the Final Fantasy world because that was all we could ‘afford’. Many player groups have mansions, and many more have nothing at all.

      Sadly, we breathe our real life expectations into the virtual worlds we create, so ultimately it’s all the same world with the same rules [more or less] just less sweat.

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