Last week, the SMU Guildhall campus in Plano hosted Final Fantasy art director Yusuke Naora from Square Enix in Japan. He's worked on a large number of Square games, including the iconic Final Fantasy VII, but this is the first time a Square employee has come to America for this kind of event.
Naora was there in part to promote Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, which is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this month, but he also spoke to students, met with other local developers and even did some art on stage.
Before all that, I had the opportunity to talk to him briefly (through a translator) about the decision to come to SMU specifically, his favorite game in the Final Fantasy series and more.
Why did you decide to come to the U.S., and SMU specifically, for this lecture?
First and foremost, a lot of the Square-Enix Final Fantasy team, whenever we come to the states it's often for events like E3 in LA or New York or Comic Con. It's kind of skewed to either side of the country. So we were looking to come to the central US as well as try a different approach. It's also PR-related, yes, but it's more about being able to communicate with consumers as well as the developers in the area. We wanted to get the opportunity to do that.
Specifically with SMU, we had heard about their curriculum and what a great environment it is for game development and learning about game development, so we wanted to see that first-hand as well and see what kind of curriculum they had at SMU.