The Creation of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers

Go behind-the-scenes of the latest expansion with our multi-part video documentary. Watch the whole series here!
By Duncan Heaney

If you’ve played FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers, you may have found yourself wondering: how in Norvrandt did they make all this?

It’s the biggest expansion to the game yet, filled with new areas, new battles, new races, new music and one of the most acclaimed stories in the FINAL FANTASY series to date. Now you can find out how it all came to be.

In our video documentary series - The Creation of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers - the developers take you behind the scenes. Over the course of six episodes, they talk about every aspect of the game, from the story and sound, to the monsters and battle design.

It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes and a must watch for any fan:

Episode One: Telling a Tale

The first episode of the series looks at the incredible story of Shadowbringers.

The expansion is packed full of richly detailed lore and an acclaimed narrative - but how did it come together? Find out from the creators themselves, including:

  • Naoki Yoshida (Producer and Director)
  • Banri Oda (World Lore Creator and Main Scenario Writer)
  • Natsuko Ishikawa (Main Scenario Writer)

Episode Two: Forging the First

The region of Norvrandt provides the main setting for Shadowbringers. It’s a large, diverse area, packed with memorable sights unlike anything else in the series.

The second episode looks at how the artists and designers approached the creation of this new world, and features interviews with:

  • Takeo Suzuki (Art Team Lead)
  • Masato Shida (Background Artist)
  • Arata Takahashi (Lead Level Designer)

Episode Three: Shaping the Styles

Things get fashionable in Episode Three, with a look at the creation of the Hrothgar and Viera races, designs for the gear and how the team approached key character redesigns including Y’shtola and Urianger.

It has interviews with some of the top artistic talent in the game, including:

  • Ayumi Namae (Character Concept Artist)
  • Yuji Yamazaki (Character Artist)

Episode Four: Making the Monsters

What would a FINAL FANTASY game be without its menagerie of menacing monsters? Shadowbringers features some of the most visually stunning enemies in the series to date - particularly bosses like Titania and the Voidwalker.

Episode Four delves deep into the design of these creatures, with the help of:

  • Shinya Ichida (Art Team Lead)
  • Yusuke Mogi (Lead Character Concept Artist)

Episode Five: Spawning the Sounds

If you’re a fan of the Shadowbringers soundtrack (and to be honest, who isn’t?) then Episode Five will be music to your ears.

It focuses on every element of the sound design, with comments from:

  • Masayoshi Soken (Sound Director and Composer)
  • Go Kinuya (Sound Designer)

Episode Six: Building the Battles

Ever wondered how to design a combat encounter in an RPG? That’s one of the subjects discussed in Episode Six.

The team talks about how to keep combat interesting on repeated playthroughs, designing key battles, including the NieR raid series, and how to make Ultimate difficulty… ultimate.

The devs also discuss the Trust System, which lets NPCs join you in dungeons to help out in battle. The episode features interviews with:

  • Masaki Nakagawa (Lead Battle Content Designer)
  • Tsuyoshi Yokozawa (Lead Battle System Designer)

We hope you enjoyed this fascinating look inside the development process. If you've yet to experience Shadowbringers - or perhaps FINAL FANTASY XIV Online as a whole - the game is currently on sale with 40% off (until April 29, 2020).

For the full experience, you should choose the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Complete Edition, which includes the original campaign and all expansion packs, including Shadowbringers.

If you've already played the base game, you can purchase the Shadowbringers expansion alone - it's also currently 40% off.

To stay up to date with the latest news about the game, make sure you follow FINAL FANTASY XIV Online on social media: