At the Kingdom Hearts Fan Event at the D23 Expo Japan 2018, series director Tetsuya Nomura and series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto came on stage - along with a very eager King Mickey - to present exclusive Kingdom Hearts III content to the attendees. During their presentation, they disclosed some interesting information regarding the development of Kingdom Hearts III.
- Everyone in the Osaka studio is working on Kingdom Hearts III, with 100 additional employees from Tokyo.
Kingdom Hearts III has a dedicated Lighting Team and Facial Animation Team
- The Background (BG) team alone has 80 members and even outsources to a foreign studio, making it the biggest BG team in Square Enix.
- Nomura explained the development process of Kingdom Hearts III by categorizing it into three parts: early, middle, and late development.
- There are around 3 worlds per section - but this does not mean there will be nine worlds in Kingdom Hearts III in total.
- The early stage worlds are 90% complete, and the middle stage worlds are 60-70% complete. The audience was not given a percentage completion for the last stage, but he said it was something incredible, "something he's always wanted to do and put into Kingdom Hearts, ever since the days of working on Final Fantasy. It is bound to surprise everyone." While he didn't disclose the contents of this last stage of development, he appeared to be very satisfied with it via using phrases such as "everything can be done" or "culmination of the past".
- According to the developers, "It seems like this Kingdom Hearts is in a whole new league."
- Great effort was put into each world and they incorporate their own mechanics and gameplay elements to the point that
- A wide variety of gameplay is to be expected.
- Minigames were showing during the "Making of Kingdom Hearts III" video inspired by Giantland, a Mickey Mouse short from 1933 inspired by "Jack and the Beanstalk". They showed Rumplewatt the Giant at the table trying to catch a little 2D Sora, who is then seen hiding from him behind a fruit bow. A little 2D Mickey can be seen as well, jumping from the lamps. Hollie Bennett from PlayStation commented that this minigame looked like the Game & Watch games from the 1980's.
[unfortunately, due to copyright concerns we had to remove the photos. We apologize for the inconvenience.]
- When developing the game, the team write the story board, then develop the script and finally do the animation, unlike most game developers.
- There will be a special capture method for subduing rare Heartless. (For the regular Heartless, defeating them will be distinguished by striking them depending on what's on their head.) It was said that exclusive missions are being prepared.
- The "Making of Kingdom Hearts III" video also included a behind-the-scenes on how the Keyblade for the Monsters Inc. world was developed. The developers discussed the difficulty in designing a Keyblade that was true to the world, and showed a storyboard of images that helped influence it. They said they made several designs, shortlisted one or two, and selected the final design based on Nomura's preference.
Translations are courtesy of KH13 News Team Member @n_scribe13.