GDC 08: Square Enix’s White Engine renamed Crystal Tools

In a panel this morning hosted by Taku Murata, general manager of research and development at Square Enix, the White Engine internal game engine was renamed Crystal Tools.

Murata says that since September 2007, Square Enix has been using ver 1.0 of Crystal Tools to create Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and an unnamed next-generation MMO. These in-house authoring tools and runtime libraries were developed for cross-platform use, supporting the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. 

He covered the history of how Crystal Tools came about, citing technology used in games all the back to Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. Things came to a head with Final Fantasy XII in 2006, and soon after, an internal division was established to create this engine. 

Murata showed screenshots of Crystal Tools’ graphical user interface, character viewer, and score editor, explaining how each work within the system. He followed the discussion with an impressive new Final Fantasy XIII trailer, explaining how everything shown was created in Crystal Tools. 

Dale North