Azario Lopez (@azariosays) from DualShockers had the chance to interview Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura only a few days after he revealed the new Kingdom Hearts III Toy Story trailer at the D23 Expo 2017.
Below are some of the highlights of the interview.
- Nomura stated that he is confident about releasing Kingdom Hearts III within the given release window. He talked of the planning of the development process, and reiterates why the development of the game had been taking longer than planned.
“In terms of when we decided that it’s going to be 2018, I can’t say for certain, but we knew that from the start of the project… We had determined how long the development period was going to be.
We had this goal that we set in our planning: we would spend this amount of time, and then our personnel would be increased at such timing. So the plan was already there, but there were some factors that tied-in with our company’s decisions. There was the decision to change the engine, also some personnel planning that had also changed. So there were some factors that were related to the company’s decisions which affected the actual timing at which we will be releasing. That being said, the period that we were planning to spend to create the game was still there, and it just naturally shifted. So we feel that we have been moving according to plan.”
- In fact, as stated previously in a GameSpot interview, there was a decision made by the company to change to an external engine, the Unreal Engine 4. In his interview with DualShockers, he stated that this decision was made after a whole year of development of Kingdom Hearts III. He reiterates that this delay was not due to any problems with the development team, and that he was not part of making the decision to switch engines.
“The company had to make those decisions and it didn’t work out for the targets that we were hoping to hit.”
- In regards to directing Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake at the same time, Nomura agreed that while it is the biggest challenge, he is not finding it as difficult due to the games being so different from each other.
“The differences between them actually work to my advantage. If both titles were too similar, they might start to look the same. With the two being so different, if there was one thing that I could not do in one title. I might be able to do it in the other. This actually works out well for me in that way.”
- Nomura admitted to feeling a “little bit of pressure” in managing expectation for Kingdom Hearts III. However, he will not be deviating from his original vision and plans for the game, (“which was ambitious to begin with”) and that there are fewer chances now to make last minute changes and do trial-and-errors.
- He cannot comment on the number of worlds in Kingdom Hearts III, but repeats that they will all be most likely revealed leading up to the release.
- As with his interview with GameSpot, he also repeats that while nothing is confirmed in regards to DLC in Kingdom Hearts III, he has told the development team to prepare for downloadable content in the future.
- He briefly commented on how Keyblade transformation was one of the main transformation assets they focussed on. You can read more about it in this interview he had with Game Informer.
- He recapitulated how the development team is allocating more “fun and gameplay” into individual worlds than in previous titles, rather than making many small different worlds.
“Since these are HD graphics, we need to be efficient on how we’re working on creating these assets.”
You can read the full interview here.