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News ► Unreal Engine Spotlight focuses on KINGDOM HEARTS 3


Oracle Spockanort

written in the stars
Staff member
Jul 13, 2008

Epic Games, the developers of the Unreal Engine, spoke to Square Enix to discuss the role source code access and Blueprints played in the development of KINGDOM HEARTS 3.

The developer spotlight goes through the various development processes the programmers at Square Enix went through to build KINGDOM HEARTS 3 and also how direct access into Unreal Engine's code allowed them to make their own custom adjustments to suit their needs when working on the popular 2019 game.

Saito Eiji, Environment Art Director: Kingdom Hearts 3 has more than ten worlds in total. These included a variety of worlds based on Disney's and Pixar's movies, as well as Kingdom Hearts' original worlds. Each world has its own unique design and style.

Shibata Tomokazu, Battle Director: Of course our most imortant goal was to recreate the world of Disney in the game.

Oono Kazuki, Level Director: One might sail on a ship in Pirates of the Caribbean or ride on a toy robot in Toy Story. Our goal was to create a game full of different elements like a toy box or a theme park.

Saito: The biggest challenge for us was having to make separate assets for each world that were unique and different.

Yoshioka Kunitaka, Programmer: We needed to realize a lot of unique expressions and visuals. In order to do that we needed to heavily customize the source code. 

Chiba Dai, Lead Technical Animator: Having access to source code was also very helpful for us when we did our optimization and performance tuning of the game.

Hayashi Takeru, Lead VFX Artist: Also, whenever the animations or effects didn't match what we had envisioned or planned, we could follow the source code and find out what was happening internally. So, having access to the source code was enormously helpful.

Yoshida Takeshi, Programmer: We used Blueprints for many things, but mainly it helped the game designers set up the entire game flow and easily mock up a prototype.

Oono: We also used Blueprints for mini games and missions, So, someone would come up with an idea and the level planner would create a mock-up using Blueprints. It would be something that worked well enough that you could even check the playability. After it was discusssed and agreed to, the programmer would finish it.

Yamazaki Tooru, Character Art Director: The Material Editor enabled artists to change or tune materials in real time right in front of the team. This allowed the technical artists to do all the tunings in real time without needing help from the programmers.

Saito: So we created lighting and materials based on physical phenomena as closely as possible and made assets that were highly versatile. Then we added unique flavors for each particular world. This approach enabled us to create a large number of unique assets in a relatively short period of time.

Hayashi: We created a wide variety of effects for KH3 and we put a lot of energy and passion into each one. Please play and enjoy our awesome effects!

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Well-known member
May 23, 2020
I wish they coul have used UE4 for KHDR. I'm salty af this looks so cool


Jul 25, 2019
I wish they coul have used UE4 for KHDR. I'm salty af this looks so cool
It does make sense to make it for mobile because Dark Road might be long and is a part of Union Cross. I'm hoping they make something like a back cover for Union Cross and Dark Road though.