the only villain on staff
The flood of interviews does not end even though E3 2018 ended last week. GameSpot has released a brand new interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura, giving us an insight into the expectations surrounding Kingdom Hearts 3, his feelings as the lead of a development team, Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts 3, and more!
In the past fan expectations didn't affect Nomura at all because he always felt confident that he was creating a game that would be fun for fans. With Kingdom Hearts 3, the excitement from fans has been overwhelming so Nomura began to feel some pressure, but has been able to push through it because he realized that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be a great game for fans.
Nomura also mentions how these expectations have affected te development staff working on the game:
"I also have experience working on Final Fantasy titles as well, but Kingdom Hearts is a very unique one where a lot of people that are on the title really love Kingdom Hearts 3. They're overflowing with love. They're just like our fans as well. So because their love towards the title is so high, they've been creating the game with that much love and so I think that we are able to push out a game that meets expectations or even more than what you might expect."
As a developer and as a person, Nomura has seen a lot of personal growth over the years. Where he once was aggressive and trying to pull everybody around him forward, he now feels that he is the sage of the group while everybody around him is more energetic and aggressive.
"The Kingdom Hearts series has become a huge title nowadays and back then it was more like I was making it secretively in the corner, but now that a lot more people are involved I do feel that it's not my title anymore, it's everyone's title. And just talking about all this … It actually kind of makes me really sad."
Nomura feels that these changes as he's gotten older have helped him to become more mature, making him able to decide on things and realize his limits. At the same time, he does not feel like he is teaching the staff what the best way to make a game is, or dictating to them what should be done. Instead, he feels that the people around him believe he expects a lot out of them, so they automatically push themselves to go above and beyond what is necessary to create high-quality work.
"The staff that I have, they actually have this image of me that, "Oh, Nomura-san won't approve if it's like this. It needs to be better." They just have high expectations for themselves or they think that I have really high expectations for them. So when I actually go ask to see something early in development, they say, "Oh, I can't show it to you yet. It's not finished at all." So what they usually tend to do is that they would take whatever order I give them and just create something that's of a higher quality than what I've asked them to do. So if you look at the trailer, I think it's pretty apparent, but they have been pushing out things that are really high quality. I'm very grateful for that."
When it comes to Final Fantasy characters, Nomura has said it in previous interviews over the years that he feels that the main characters of the series have a lot of issues that need resolving, and it doesn't leave much room for Final Fantasy characters to appear. Despite that, Nomura has seen a lot of demand for Final Fantasy characters to appear in Kingdom Hearts 3:
"Actually, in interviews throughout E3, I think every single interviewee has asked me about Final Fantasy characters and so I realize that that probably means that everyone's actually looking forward to them. There weren't that many titles out in the world that had all these Final Fantasy [characters] comes together in one [place], but nowadays there's just so many games out there that incorporates all these different Final Fantasy characters together, so I actually felt that it might not even be necessary to have another one of those in my game. But now that I've been talking with everyone, I've realized that maybe it is necessary, so I'm a little surprised by that."
All of these things leads people to wonder just what Kingdom Hearts represents to Nomura:
"It's probably the title that represents who I am. When I was a starting as a developer, like I wasn't an industry veteran yet, when I was creating Final Fantasy titles with Mr. Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, and at that time, he said that Final Fantasy is a game that has everything in it. I don't think that there are that many people left in Square Enix that have actually worked with him on Final Fantasy. Of course, Final Fantasy is still continuing on--they still are committing to push out titles. But when I started creating Kingdom Hearts, that was when I kind of had this time away from Final Fantasy. And of course, I am working on a Final Fantasy title right now, but it was at a time when I was not working on a Final Fantasy title, and I really wanted to realize what Sakaguchi-san said about Final Fantasy, that it is a game that incorporates everything, to Kingdom Hearts. So I brought that idea to Kingdom Hearts. Currently looking at the newer Final Fantasy titles, to be honest, I don't think it really incorporates that idea of having everything. So I think that Kingdom Hearts, to me, is a game that has everything in it."
Thanks to forum user Silver_Soul for the tip!