The Reverse Design series looks at all of the design decisions that went into classic video games. This is the fifth installment in the Reverse Design series, looking at Final Fantasy VII. Written in a readable format, it is broken down into eight sections examining some of the most important topics to the game: How latter-day critics have misunderstood the artistic goals of Final Fantasy VII How RPG history began to diverge significantly after 1981, allowing for the creation of specialized RPGs like Rogue, Pokemon, and especially Final Fantasy VII How Final Fantasy VII does not abandon complexity in its systems, but simply moves that complexity to the endgame to aid the narrative elements of the game 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 VII going all the way back to Dungeons & Dragons Extensive collections of data and data visualizations explaining how Final Fantasy VII’s systems work, how they are organized to prioritize exploration, and how they interlock in a positive feedback loop that peaks at the end of the game
Chapter 1 Final Fantasy VII and the History of RPGs
Chapter 2 Narrative and Design
Chapter 3 Quantitative Analysis of the Game Script
Chapter 4 Game Difficulty and the Four Phases of FFVII
Chapter 5 Finding Complexity in Wide Levels
Chapter 6 Enemy Archetypes
Chapter 7 The Design of Towns and Dungeons
Chapter 8 Music and Design
Chapter 9 Conclusion
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.
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