Luminous Engine was created by Square Enix to reduce development times and increase overall quality and efficiency.
It’s a known fact that they messed up with Crystal Tools, only using it with their Fabula Nova Crystallis series (FFXIII, FFXIII-2, and Lighting Returns: FFXIII), and then preparing to jump completely to Luminous.
Luminous is still not finished, Square Enix technical director Yoshihisa Hashimoto revealed; they’re “not working on anything full-time”. In fact, that’s not a surprise at all considering how slow they have been this gen when it comes to pushing out software. However, building an engine does takes time.
Hashimoto explained why they have created an in-house engine instead of just licensing something from third-parties. They usually use Unreal Engine 3 for some of their games but it seems the company is planning to stop relying on such engines entirely.
“In reality, when trying to do something a little unusual [using a third party engine], it becomes necessary to engage in negotiations with the company who created it, perhaps asking them to improve or extend some of the engine’s capabilities,” he said in an interview with 4gamer via Edge-online.
“The process is inefficient, and becomes a shackle to the artists. Therefore, with the technical side of Luminous Studio under our control, we can fashion an environment which allows our creators to let loose their full capabilities.”
They have also said that while the engine has the capability to churn out good looking AAA games, it will also be used to make smartphone and tablet games.
“Luminous Studio was not created for the sole purpose of making triple-A games,” he revealed.
“Luminous Studio itself will not only be used to power PC and console games, but also used for smartphone, tablet, and looking even further ahead, cloud-based platforms. The aim is to broaden the vision of the company, and establish a better integrated game development environment.”
Sounds good, now they just need to release Final Fantasy: Versus XIII, which apparently uses the Lighting tools from Luminous.