The Tokyo Team?



REGISTER TO REMOVE ADS

jahob000

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
110
Age
31
As a casual player, I usually don't look into anything further beyond the games, (i.e. such as the people who make it). However with the long development time of years of waiting, you inevitably run into lots of different information. Only recently did I bother to learn about the Osaka Team, The Osaka Effect and the Tokyo Team. Apparently, the Osaka Team was responsible for KH BBS and DDD, while Tokyo for KHI KHII. Also I heard that the Osaka Team is spearheading KHIII.

Which begs the question...What happened to the Tokyo Team? When did they split up/leave? Why? Was it because of something going on with the company? Or are they still together and the Osaka Team is just running things for some reason?

Can anyone help in shedding light on this? Any videos or interviews are welcome as well.

Thanks.
 

Audo

press △ to sora
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
5,366
Age
27
  • Put That Thing Back Where It Came From
  • Key of Destiny
  • O, Purest of Hearts
  • Savage Nymph
  • Graceful Assassin
  • Come So Far
The Tokyo Team moved onto Final Fantasy Versus XIII after KHII. At this point, it largely doesn't exist as it was and has been split into different projects. Around 100 people from the Tokyo Team are helping to work on KHIII though.
 

Launchpad

unwavering duck pilot
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
3,447
Age
23
Location
clothes shopping with your dad
  • Disney Royalty
  • In the Grid
  • Plum Goofy
Even the feared and abhorred "Osaka Team" likely isn't the same group it was when the more sisterly BBS/DDD games were made. You'll wanna eye the credits to see who the battle/scenario directors are in KH3, because I'm sure lots of new hands were brought on for KH3. They're not as dumb as a lot of people think they are, and Hashimoto has gone on record that DDD and BBS were more experimental.

Along with that, the company has had to take TWO extra glances at KH1 and KH2 for remastering purposes. I'm sure they know how these games tick by now.
 

Oracle Spockanort

the only villain on staff
Staff member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
31,964
Age
27
Location
California
Website
twitter.com
  • Put That Thing Back Where It Came From
  • 15th Anniversary
  • Just Short of the Mark
  • Advanced Chain of Memories
  • Beauty Within
  • No Name
As a casual player, I usually don't look into anything further beyond the games, (i.e. such as the people who make it). However with the long development time of years of waiting, you inevitably run into lots of different information. Only recently did I bother to learn about the Osaka Team, The Osaka Effect and the Tokyo Team. Apparently, the Osaka Team was responsible for KH BBS and DDD, while Tokyo for KHI KHII. Also I heard that the Osaka Team is spearheading KHIII.

Which begs the question...What happened to the Tokyo Team? When did they split up/leave? Why? Was it because of something going on with the company? Or are they still together and the Osaka Team is just running things for some reason?

Can anyone help in shedding light on this? Any videos or interviews are welcome as well.

Thanks.
Tokyo Team, part of the previously known 1st Production Division (Now Business Division 1), was assigned to Final Fantasy Versus XIII following the release of KH2 and KH2FM. Many of them were moved onto Final Fantasy XIII to help with its development. Over the years between 2009-2013, many of them either left SE, moved around to different projects like The 3rd Birthday and Type-0, or stayed on to work on Versus XIII which was internally “cancelled” and shifted to XV.

XV’s development staff consisted of a lot of newcomers and Type-0 staff along with whatever was left of the Versus XIII team. They were considered Business Divsion 3 until they split off to become their own studio called Luminous Productions.

As it stands now, what remains of those original staff members have been spread through the company. Some are working on KH3 (like Audo said, about 100 of them), some worked on XV and are a part of Luminous Productions, a LOT of them are on Final Fantasy VII Remake...
 

jahob000

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
110
Age
31
Oh wow...I'm very sad to hear that. I can see why a lot of people for a while had such a bleak outlook of KHIII. I mean, I've always been excited for KHIII and I still am but still...sometimes hearing about things can make you waver a little bit. I don't necessarily have a bleak outlook of the game before it's even come out but I'm more so sad.

The best way I can describe it, is to picture the Tokyo Team like that person in your family that makes a certain meal and you liked the way that they make it and how it makes you feel. You may try the same dish that others have made but it's not the same. I suppose some people are worried for replayability, which KHII managed to do well for all types of players, whether you wanted to challenge yourself or have a certain playstyle. With Osaka Team's work, the replayibility is low since they went for flashyness more than game balance.

In any case, I'm getting off topic.

Does anyone know of the other games the Tokyo Team has done? Where did they get their experience from? Do some of their other games have good balances like in KHII?

Even though there's a mini army of the Tokyo Team helping out with KHIII, do you think it will feel the same? Do you think it will be a blend of something new?
 

Audo

press △ to sora
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
5,366
Age
27
  • Put That Thing Back Where It Came From
  • Key of Destiny
  • O, Purest of Hearts
  • Savage Nymph
  • Graceful Assassin
  • Come So Far
I mean I wouldn't go into KHIII expecting it to be KHII-2 or anything. Approach it on its own merits with no expectations. It's going to be doing different things in different ways. It's been 12+ years since KHII. Game design and approaches and sensibilities are different. Better to just let go of preconceived notions and try to meet KHIII on its own terms.
 

Launchpad

unwavering duck pilot
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
3,447
Age
23
Location
clothes shopping with your dad
  • Disney Royalty
  • In the Grid
  • Plum Goofy
I mean I wouldn't go into KHIII expecting it to be KHII-2 or anything. Approach it on its own merits with no expectations. It's going to be doing different things in different ways. It's been 12+ years since KHII. Game design and approaches and sensibilities are different. Better to just let go of preconceived notions and try to meet KHIII on its own terms.
Seen above: the correct patrician opinion

If it weren't for the level design, I'd welcome KHII-2 with open arms. But... Hallways.

KH3 will meet, succeed, and fall short of the previous numbered titles in different areas. Think of the three of them as companion pieces rather than competing forces.
 

Oracle Spockanort

the only villain on staff
Staff member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
31,964
Age
27
Location
California
Website
twitter.com
  • Put That Thing Back Where It Came From
  • 15th Anniversary
  • Just Short of the Mark
  • Advanced Chain of Memories
  • Beauty Within
  • No Name
Oh wow...I'm very sad to hear that. I can see why a lot of people for a while had such a bleak outlook of KHIII. I mean, I've always been excited for KHIII and I still am but still...sometimes hearing about things can make you waver a little bit. I don't necessarily have a bleak outlook of the game before it's even come out but I'm more so sad.

The best way I can describe it, is to picture the Tokyo Team like that person in your family that makes a certain meal and you liked the way that they make it and how it makes you feel. You may try the same dish that others have made but it's not the same. I suppose some people are worried for replayability, which KHII managed to do well for all types of players, whether you wanted to challenge yourself or have a certain playstyle. With Osaka Team's work, the replayibility is low since they went for flashyness more than game balance.
We were never going to get the same staff to make KH3 considering it’s been 12 years since KH2. I think regardless of the circumstances, the team that made KH2 would have always changed. The only sad thing is that the Tokyo team was the de facto KH team and then due to management issues and bureaucratic nonsense, they never had the chance to be the main team to work on KH3.

Osaka is more than capable of developing a KH game. They have different strengths compared to the Tokyo team but that hasn’t made their games any less “Kingdom Hearts”. The games they made were also always meant to be experimental due to them not being the main team at the time, and also because the scope and budget of the games were limited.

I find KH2’s base game to be much more about flash than substance, so it isn’t like Tokyo ever had anything over Osaka on game balance. And it took KH2FM for them to fix KH2 into something more meaty and strategic.

KH1 released in Japan is different from KH1 released in NA/EU, and KHFM took what KH1 NA/EU fixed and added even more.

These games by Tokyo only became what they are due to revision after-the-fact. They weren’t a perfect team. Osaka isn’t perfect, either.

Does anyone know of the other games the Tokyo Team has done? Where did they get their experience from? Do some of their other games have good balances like in KHII?
Without sitting through a million credit rolls, it’s hard to say what every project they worked on was. Like I said earlier, the team was spread across different projects after KH2.

For a better rundown, what we know as Business Division 1 was the core staff at SquareSoft. They were broken into smaller teams internally, but the department was known for making SquareSoft’s FF games. Some of the staff who worked on KH1 had their starts with FF7/FF8. Some like Nomura had been at the company since FF5 working entry level jobs. Many were newcomers hired on for KH1. Some were attached to other projects within SquareSoft.

As things are at companies, individual staff didn’t solely work on one project. Some would finish their work on a project and move onto another.

Some of that team worked on XIII, XIII-2, and LRFF.

If we are talking the core Tokyo team, though, KH1 and KH2 are their main credits. They were devoted to those games.

Even though there's a mini army of the Tokyo Team helping out with KHIII, do you think it will feel the same? Do you think it will be a blend of something new?
I wouldn’t call them an army. 100 staff members on a project probably with at least ~500 internal staff and hundreds more externally working on this game is a fairly small amount. Osaka, the last time we knew, had a staff of at least 300. That’s relatively small for an internal development team on a AAA project...and we know they’ve done a lot of extensive hiring since the last count.

It won’t feel the same. It was never going to. For the reasons Audo listed, gaming has changed since KH2. KH3 is a completely different kind of beast with so many people working on it from so many different places.

Osaka, Tokyo, the staff they hired from h.a.n.d. and Jupiter, the studios they contracted in India, the external developers at a few Chinese studios, a small little team in the UK if I remember correctly...Probably some contractors in Montreal somewhere...I wouldn’t doubt a small asset studio in S.Korea is there too...There are a ton of hands touching this game.

What isn’t important is that it feels like any specific KH game, but that it feels like a KH game and plays better than any of them ever did. It will have its issues, but I think they can get most of it down in the first go. If they don’t...well, this is modern gaming. They will just patch it until it is right.
 

Ballad of Caius

Put on a Happy Face
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
5,533
Location
Gotham
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • You've Got A Friend In Me
  • In the Grid
  • Bravely Default
  • Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ
Seen above: the correct patrician opinion

If it weren't for the level design, I'd welcome KHII-2 with open arms. But... Hallways.

KH3 will meet, succeed, and fall short of the previous numbered titles in different areas. Think of the three of them as companion pieces rather than competing forces.
I'm expecting KH3 to be a natural evolution of KH2, mixed with concepts from BBS and DDD. Unlike KH-KH2, a lot has happened between the period of KH2 and KH3. And I share your sentiments, Launchpad. KH3 will meet expectations, exceed them and fall short on some departments that KH and KH2 had. Will the game be a piece of flop or mediocre? No. Will it be Greatest of all Time material? Maybe, but that's subjective.
 

jahob000

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
110
Age
31
I mean I wouldn't go into KHIII expecting it to be KHII-2 or anything. Approach it on its own merits with no expectations. It's going to be doing different things in different ways. It's been 12+ years since KHII. Game design and approaches and sensibilities are different. Better to just let go of preconceived notions and try to meet KHIII on its own terms.
I agree. I think the reason everybody is on edge is because as others have said, they've been experimenting on the other games. Everybody is hoping that they have perfected what they wanted and are no longer testing things out.

We were never going to get the same staff to make KH3 considering it’s been 12 years since KH2. I think regardless of the circumstances, the team that made KH2 would have always changed. The only sad thing is that the Tokyo team was the de facto KH team and then due to management issues and bureaucratic nonsense, they never had the chance to be the main team to work on KH3
Yeah, you're right. Lol. I guess I forget sometimes how long it's been. I went from a teenager to a full grown man, so I shouldn't really expect that team to still be together.

And it took KH2FM for them to fix KH2 into something more meaty and strategic.
True. What's funny is that everyone loved KHI just fine, even though it has it's flaws. That's one thing I can say about the KH Teams, they always tried different forms of gameplay for better or for worse. Then they can take the things that worked and implement them into new games. I know a lot of players (myself included) harshly criticize BBS and DDD but my first time playing through, I enjoyed it to the extent of being willing to try something new. It wasn't always my cup of tea but I still enjoyed it.

I wonder if there will be a KHIII Final Mix or if they will try to get this all in one go.

I'm glad I asked this question. I mean, I wasn't really having any sort of expectations for KHIII because I'm mostly just waiting for it to come out. As long as it can make me feel like KHI did, I'd be extremely happy.
 

Sephiroth0812

Guardian of Light
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
10,222
Location
Germany
  • Cloaked Schemer
  • Taciturn Stalwart
  • Chilly Academic
  • Whirlwind Lancer
  • Ever Gentle and Kind
  • Fairest of them All
As long as it can make me feel like KHI did, I'd be extremely happy.
I'd advise caution with such a kind of sentiment as this was already done back when KH II was still the newest horse in the stable and in most cases it didn't end well.

As Audo and Launchpad said, it is better to let go of preconceived notions and wanting the game to meet some imaginary nostalgic standard from one of the earlier games.

KH III won't either be another KH II nor another KH I in every possible case not only because of the technical aspects, but also because the environment of the series as a whole has changed in all important areas.

People who expect another KH II or another KH I are setting themselves up for disappointment.
 

DarkosOverlord

Bronze Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
2,671
Age
24
Location
Rome, Italy
  • Keyblade Master
  • You've Got A Friend In Me
  • The Foreteller
  • Savage Nymph
True. What's funny is that everyone loved KHI just fine, even though it has it's flaws.
Well... that sentiment is mostly shared inside the fandom proper. The general opinion of that game is, sadly, not as welcoming.

That's one thing I can say about the KH Teams, they always tried different forms of gameplay for better or for worse.
Yeah, but I'll say that there's definitely a thing as "too much".
The fact that they tried to switch things up and made experimental games doesn't exempt them from all criticism.
Nobody asked them to always deliver something different everytime and scattering 3-4 different gameplay styles throughout the series, sometimes you can stick to your guns, perhaps improve them a notch, and it just works. Give me a reason to play the next installment, not something I have to relearn all over again.
At the end of the day, in my favourite saga I have less than satisying results due to changes I didn't find all that necessary in the first place, and I have to live with that, experiment or not.
Some change is warranted, as I will say below, but big changes have consequences and I was never fond of automatically praise someone just because they tried. "Not changing" is always a valid option.

Then they can take the things that worked and implement them into new games. I know a lot of players (myself included) harshly criticize BBS and DDD but my first time playing through, I enjoyed it to the extent of being willing to try something new. It wasn't always my cup of tea but I still enjoyed it.
Hey, I remember when I discovered speedrunning and was in my "everything Osaka did was garbage" phase, which lasted... eh, way longer than it should have.
While I still like following and hanging around with some of the runners and defending them from people who think they "ruin this franchise", I will agree that after a while the air you breathe there can be a little... jaded.
I mean, now it's better than before but even just a few years ago you couldn't walk into a livestream saying you're a BbS/DDD fan without getting chat to go manhunt on you. It sometimes went over the line of joke, and you just gave in. Peer pressure and all of that. Also hearing those games' flaws over and over really made them seem bigger than they were.

Matter of fact, I like BbS. I probably have more fun with it than with KH II, just because I like the setting and characters so much. Better than "shonen kid re-enacts Disney movies and defeats anime villains while also failing at finding people" anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I still don't like how Osaka did things, like... at all. But I don't live it with a "KH III will be bad, the world is ending" mentality anymore.
In fact, I genuinely think Keyblade Transformations could be the next best thing about the franchise. So far I've seen only great potential for it.

I'd advise caution with such a kind of sentiment as this was already done back when KH II was still the newest horse in the stable and in most cases it didn't end well.
Heh, the truest statement.
Part of why I had to make an effort in liking KH II (aside from a short period of time at the beginning) was because I expected basically KH1 but more, and obviously didn't got it.
Forget that at the age of 12 I was even believing KH II would've had all the worlds and areas from KH1 in addition to the new stuff, the fact that there were changes in mechanics, exploration and writing was... devastating.
For... again, way longer than necessary, I've felt betrayed, like the game wronged me.

Of course, that was then. Things do change. I probably would've been happy with them releasing "KH1"s over and over, but that would be pretending the system to adapt solely to your tastes and it's pretty childish.
KH II is a fine game with great positives, mostly in the combat system.
 

jahob000

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
110
Age
31
Yeah, but I'll say that there's definitely a thing as "too much".
The fact that they tried to switch things up and made experimental games doesn't exempt them from all criticism.
Nobody asked them to always deliver something different everytime and scattering 3-4 different gameplay styles throughout the series, sometimes you can stick to your guns, perhaps improve them a notch, and it just works. Give me a reason to play the next installment, not something I have to relearn all over again.
At the end of the day, in my favourite saga I have less than satisying results due to changes I didn't find all that necessary in the first place, and I have to live with that, experiment or not.
Some change is warranted, as I will say below, but big changes have consequences and I was never fond of automatically praise someone just because they tried. "Not changing" is always a valid option.
I hear you. I suppose I was bit more accepting because I didn't really play games all that much. Back then I pretty much only played KH, Pokemon and DBZ games. I'm kinda sorta changing my mind or rather I can understand my side and yours. You're right though, you shouldn't experiment with something that can potentially alter the experience of the entire game from story to gameplay. It's kind of like how Hollywood keeps redoing the same movies over and over again until they get it right within the same decade. Or if like, a chef came up with a new recipe (without taste testing) and immediately puts it on the menu. It'll give that restaurant a bad rep if it's horrible.

So I see what you're saying. When a game is released, it should be the FINAL product and NOT something to use your fans as guinea pigs to see if they like it or not. Otherwise they will be heavily criticized, which comes with the territory of creating anything. Not every fan is going to be overly accepting.


Hey, I remember when I discovered speedrunning and was in my "everything Osaka did was garbage" phase, which lasted... eh, way longer than it should have.
While I still like following and hanging around with some of the runners and defending them from people who think they "ruin this franchise", I will agree that after a while the air you breathe there can be a little... jaded.
I mean, now it's better than before but even just a few years ago you couldn't walk into a livestream saying you're a BbS/DDD fan without getting chat to go manhunt on you. It sometimes went over the line of joke, and you just gave in. Peer pressure and all of that. Also hearing those games' flaws over and over really made them seem bigger than they were.
Well everyone gets caught in the moment, ESPECIALLY when you're in a mob. It's human nature. I find that my thoughts and feelings go back and forth mostly because I keep forcing myself to see the good or positives and I can end up blurring my thoughts. For example, I didn't like how the story of BBS was executed at all. I can see how they wanted to make everything dramatic and really tug at your heart strings but because of the fast pacing, horrible voice acting and too much telling how close they are instead of showing it. However, because I can see what they were TRYING to do, I can appreciate it. Aqua is my favorite character actually but in the English version, she's just terrible lol but I use my imagination to see beyond (this is all another topic though)


Matter of fact, I like BbS. I probably have more fun with it than with KH II, just because I like the setting and characters so much. Better than "shonen kid re-enacts Disney movies and defeats anime villains while also failing at finding people".
Lol the Square Enix/Disney scale was definitely tipped to Square Enix side. While I do think there was a lot of nonsense in there I did like how much more bright Sora's personality was.

Heh, the truest statement.
Part of why I had to make an effort in liking KH II (aside from a short period of time at the beginning) was because I expected basically KH1 but more, and obviously didn't got it.
Forget that at the age of 12 I was even believing KH II would've had all the worlds and areas from KH1 in addition to the new stuff, the fact that there were changes in mechanics, exploration and writing was... devastating.
For... again, way longer than necessary, I've felt betrayed, like the game wronged me.

Of course, that was then. Things do change. I probably would've been happy with them releasing "KH1"s over and over, but that would be pretending the system to adapt solely to your tastes and it's pretty childish.
KH II is a fine game with great positives, mostly in the combat system.
Well, let me clarify my statement "As long as it can make me feel like KHI did, I'd be extremely happy". I don't mean for it to be like KHI but just to have good immersion. I know it won't be the same because as everyone says, it's a different age in gaming and things change with time. Not only that, I'm older now and people change too. Things sometimes don't excite me like they used to. So I'm hoping KHIII can still do the same with their immersion.
 

Guernsey

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
667
Age
31
I'd advise caution with such a kind of sentiment as this was already done back when KH II was still the newest horse in the stable and in most cases it didn't end well.

As Audo and Launchpad said, it is better to let go of preconceived notions and wanting the game to meet some imaginary nostalgic standard from one of the earlier games.

KH III won't either be another KH II nor another KH I in every possible case not only because of the technical aspects, but also because the environment of the series as a whole has changed in all important areas.

People who expect another KH II or another KH I are setting themselves up for disappointment.
This is really good advice, I will be sure to keep that in mind when I play the game myself.
 
Top