Tag Archives: yoshinori kitase

Confirmed: Nobuo Uematsu Returns to Compose Music

Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed in a recent interview that legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu is in fact working on the upcoming remake.

 

Here’s what Kitase says in the above snippet:

Yoshinori Kitase, Producer: “I’ve worked on numerous titles with Uematsu-san, and while I’m currently working on the production of Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s actually been since Final Fantasy X that I directly worked with Uematsu-san. So when I first went to ask Uematsu-san to come work on the music for the remake, I thought he would give me the cold shoulder since he had already left Square Enix and found success.”

Uematsu previously said back in 2015 that he was not working on the remake so either this has changed or Uematsu was being tight lipped like Square Enix is generally is.

It’s currently unknown how involved he is, but in the past he supervised the soundtracks in the remakes of Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV along with the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X so it would seem the most likely. The song used for the latest trailer at PSX 2015 was composed by Uematsu’s Distant World team.

It’s also possible he might compose the theme song, something he has also done previously in the remakes of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV along with the original Final Fantasy XII.

Source: Siliconera & Final Fantasy Union

 

Only a Few Members from Original Staff for Remake

Square Enix is currently recruiting planners and other members to help develop Final Fantasy VII Remake, and according to Art Director & VFX Director Shintaro Takai, it only has a few original staff. Here’s a part from his interview with CGWorld, where he shared a bit on the current team as well as the original staff behind the classic RPG.

CGWorld: About how many people are there working on Final Fantasy VII Remake that previously participated in the development of Final Fantasy VII, such as yourself, Takai-san?
Shintaro Takai, Art Director & VFX Director: There are only a very few. Starting with producer Yoshinori Kitase-san, director Tetsuya Nomura-san, and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima-san, there’s only very few of us. Most of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s developers are those with experience on the Final Fantasy series after Final Fantasy VII along with new people who joined. We have a lot of people apply saying “I played Final Fantasy VII when I was a child and I really liked it so I want to be a part of it.” It seems like Final Fantasy VII is a bit of a special title even among game developers.

About how many people worked on effects production for Final Fantasy VII?
Takai: About 5 to 6 designers. Add about 5 to 6 programmers to that, and it was a pretty high-scale team for it. The others and I were new to making games with 3DCG, so we went through a considerable amount of trial-and-error while working on it. After all, it was full of people who came from a world of 2D pixel-art, and there were many cases of people using Photoshop for the very first time, let alone 3DCG tools.

The addition of a Z-axis (depth) definitely left an impact to a world that only had the X-axis and Y-axis. The amount of information for a game suddenly increased and it left a big impression to many players.
Takai: The impact was huge as a developer. We all struggled together saying “What’s a Z-axis?” [laughs]. I, too, struggled to make a texture on Photoshop, and it was actually Hironobu Sakaguchi who passed by and said “You can do it like this,” and showed me how to use filters. He said “I often use this for processing photographs of my kids” as he walked away. Sakaguchi-san might not remember that, but it was a deeply impressive moment for me.

Now that sounds like an impactful and unexpected experience in its own right [laughs].
Takai: Even when I look back now, I still feel that Final Fantasy VII’s development had some amazing people. At the time I was pretty much a private rank of the effects team so I didn’t get to see its development as a whole, but the feeling of “I’ll make something amazing with the parts that have been entrusted to me” was certainly there. I was in charge of most of the Summoned Beast effects, but even when I look back confidently thinking “I made some great effects,” when I look at it together with the other parts it shows just how much great work all the teams put into it. “This title is going to be huge” was something I felt even back then.

Final Fantasy VII’s Summoned Beast scenes were very elaborate for those days. Especially Knights of the Round with its high attack power, its splendidly long scene was really amazing [laughs].
Takai: That one was long, in hindsight [laughs]. I think every team from modeling, animation, and effects put in some incredible work, to the point that it may have been a little too much.

*Knights of the Round is Final Fantasy VII’s most powerful summon that brings out 13 knights who perform individual moves, taking up close to a minute and 40 seconds for the whole scene.

Source: Siliconera

Recruiting for Internal Development

Square Enix’s Business Division 1 that is in charge of developing Final Fantasy VII Remake posted core staff recruitment messages from Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura, and development leader Naoki Hamaguchi on the company’s official website.

Yoshinori Kitase

Business Division 1 Executive

Business Division 1 is the section that is responsible for producing Mobius Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy VII Remake. In 1997 we completely changed the gaming scene at the time with the worldwide hit that is Final Fantasy VII. And the remake of said masterpiece is Final Fantasy VII Remake.

For this project, we aim to surpass the original work in terms of quality by increasing the number of staff to strengthen the core company development as we head into the development progress phase.

In addition to myself, we have director Nomura, scenario writer Nojima-san, and more from the original Final Fantasy VII staff lineup that continued working as staff on the production of past Final Fantasy titles, and they are now joining the team one after the other.

How would you like to join us, together, in the Remake of Final Fantasy VII?

We are looking forward to receiving your applications.

Tetsuya Nomura

Final Fantasy VII Remake Director

I believe that many of us developers share the same feeling that Final Fantasy VII is a special title.

Twenty years have gone by and the number of generations that aren’t familiar with Final Fantasy VII is increasing, so we must remake the game using today’s technology and systems in order to make it into a title that can last several more decades.

Reproducing the world of Final Fantasy VII in high-definition requires an extraordinary amount of time and resources, so we’ll need all the help we can get to shorten that.

As those of you concerned with the industry may already know, the number of domestic staff is significantly lower compared to that of foreign high-definition developers. Therefore, in order to further strengthen the development of this title, we must urgently recruit as much staff as possible.

By all means, please join us in delivering the world of Final Fantasy VII, once again.

Naoki Hamaguchi

Business Division 1

Final Fantasy VII Remake Development Leader

With the strong backing from producer Kitase and director Nomura’s thoughts of wanting to make Final Fantasy VII Remake into the best possible product for the fans, it’s been decided that I would step into the role of development leader in order to strengthen staff structure.

From the pursuit of a new Final Fantasy game experience that can only be made through this remaketo the graphical challenges that come from the possibilities of evolving technologies—yes, we have everything that a creator needs to create in this here environment.

I promise you that now is the best time for creators to display experience and abilities, for this title with high expectations from around the world.

The emotions I felt from playing Final Fantasy VII twenty years ago, that’s what I want to revive, as new emotions for the present generation.

I’m very much looking forward to receiving applications from those of you who feel the same way.


After posting a recruitment message for the development of Final Fantasy VII Remake, we were reminded that its development will still take a while, and Square Enix sent the extra reminder in a financial results outline.

According to Square Enix President and Representative Director Yosuke Matsuda and Chief Financial Officer Kazuharu Watanabe who presented the company’s Financial Results Briefing Session, we can expect to see the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III sometime in the fiscal year of March 2018 and beyond, as shown in the image below:

Square Enix Release Timeline

“This slide shows our release lineup for FY2017/3 as well as for FY2018/3 and beyond. We plan to launch each of these upcoming titles in the next three years or so.”

So unfortunately for those of you looking forward to playing either of those titles by the holiday season this year, you’re kind of out of luck with a window that is set for sometime in the next three years, or 2020 and beyond.

It isn’t rare to see Square Enix work with other developers for work on big titles as we’ve seen in Final Fantasy XV, but it’s been revealed that they’re shifting to an internal development focus for Final Fantasy VII Remake. 

The information comes from a recent two-year anniversary live stream event for Mobius Final Fantasy, where its project leader Naoki Hamaguchi, who was also recently revealed as the project lead for Final Fantasy VII Remake, shared the following comment:

“Information is already out there on the Internet, but it’s been decided that I’ll be in charge of the development side for Final Fantasy VII Remake. As for the process (it’s a sensitive topic), until now we’ve been going forward with the game’s development with help from the outside, but the company has decided to shift to an internal structure for mass production and quality. The reason we’re doing this is to have a stable schedule and to be in control of its quality.

In related news, Square Enix recently stated that it may take up to “three years or so” for the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Source: Recruitment on Siliconera and Internal Development

Voice Acting for Main Story Is Almost Complete

Key Artwork with Cloud and SephirothFinal Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase revealed in an interview featured in this week’s issue of Dengeki PlayStation that the game’s main story voice recording is almost done.

Here’s what Kitase said:

Final Fantasy VII Remake requires hefty readiness. The voice actors are practically finished in recording voices for the main story. Fans might be picturing Cloud from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children for it, but it’s a Cloud in his “prime” from before Advent Children, so you might sense a fresh new performance from it.”

Keep in mind that it wasn’t specified, but Kitase was probably talking about the first part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake series.

“The new visual [pictured above] that was presented at the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary has something that wasn’t in the original, Sephiroth (with the black wing?) and we’ll leave it to your imagination as far as the meaning behind it goes.”

Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development for PlayStation 4.

Source: Siliconera

Key Artwork Released! Producer Talks Progress

Key Artwork with Cloud and Sephiroth

New key artwork revealed at anniversary show

Square Enix is hosting their special Final Fantasy 30th anniversary event today, where they showed off a new key visual for Final Fantasy VII Remake featuring Cloud and Sephiroth. Producer Yoshinori Kitase talked about the latest of the upcoming PS4 title in an interview with Famitsu magazine.

Famitsu: What’s the progress condition for Final Fantasy VII Remake looking like?
Yoshinori Kitase, Producer: We’re currently brushing up the scene from the announcement trailer. We can now see the line of quality that we’re aiming for more clearly, but there’s still a ways to go.

Should the production be prolonged due to being in multiple titles, will the rest of the titles maintain the quality from the first?
Kitase: With the quality line set in place, it’s our duty to carry on and protect it until the very end without having any disturbances for the episodes under production. But of course as we advance through the episodes, it’ll only be natural to have quality that is fitting for the next generation [of when the episode releases].

Will there be anything to fill the gap while waiting for the next episode announcement?
Kitase: Final Fantasy VII expanded through a compilation. We don’t have any fundamental plans on that for now, but since the game volumes won’t be something that we can release in just a few months, we’d like to think of a way to supplement those gaps to maintain interest.

Such as releasing videos using models from Final Fantasy VII Remake?
Kitase: There’s plenty that we’d like to do.

Will there be DLC and smartphone developments as we saw in Final Fantasy XV?
Kitase: I’d like to use that as a reference. A live stream or a program to keep in touch with the users is something I’d like to do, but Final Fantasy VII Remake will be episodic, and if we want to have it go all the way to the end of the original version, then I believe we’ll need to devote everything we got for it, so I have no idea what will happen for things such as filler development [between episodes] and other works.

About battles.
Kitase: The base of it is solidified. Tetsuya Nomura is a given, and Mitsunori Takahashi who worked on the Kingdom Hearts series and Dissidia Final Fantasy series are going to work hard on it.

What will happen with the Materia system?
Kitase: There’s still a lot that I can’t say but we won’t be removing any parts of the original Final Fantasy VII that was well-received.

Tetsuya Nomura talked about wanting to show the progress on Final Fantasy VII Remake sometime this year
Kitase: That’s what we’re hoping for, but it’s still undecided. However, as for when we’ll release the next information, for example, I think that it’d be nice if we could have it playable or a trailer for it at an event.

Please remake Final Fantasy VI!
Kitase: We’re currently working on Final Fantasy VII, so… I’m also asked the same from company staff, but I’m keeping it pending for now

Source: Siliconera

New Elements for Final Fantasy VII Remake

Speaking with Game Informer, Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase had a few words to share on the upcoming PS4 title about the game’s multi-part format, adding new elements, and more.

When the remake was first announced, there was some confusion among fans about its multi-part format. Is comparing it to the Final Fantasy XIII saga fair in that regard? Will each entry have that kind of scope?
It will essentially be a full-scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In XIII, each installment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory, in a sense. Whereas with Final Fantasy VII Remake, we already have a preexisting story, so it wouldn’t really make sense if that isn’t encompassed in the multi-part series, and it wouldn’t make sense to remake it if we don’t encompass that that entire story.

With regards to the current HD capacity and volume, the idea is that we wouldn’t be able to encompass it all in just one installment. So, if we’re just looking at each of these parts, one part should be on par with the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game.

Have you decided how many installments there will be?
Yeah, we do have an idea on the project side in terms of how many installments it may consist of, but unfortunately, we can’t share that at the moment. Of course, as we’re creating and developing the scenario and the stories, these are things that move in real time. So, the plan may change along the way. But, that said, we do have a vision for how many installments it will consist of.

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII added new wrinkles to the story and lore behind the game. How is the team approaching the integration of those new elements into the remake?
It’s not to say that all or some of the characters from the spin-offs or other Compilation works will appear in the remake, but if there are any areas where we can use the settings or the characters, we do want to try to incorporate it in there, so it gives off that sense of nuance and those other stories existing.

So, there isn’t any pressure to include every character and storyline from the Compilation content?
Yes, there may be instances where the characters appear themselves, or are just referenced in dialogue. But, of course, it would be difficult to follow up on everything that happened in this universe. So, maybe some of the characters who weren’t as famous won’t appear or be mentioned. But in terms of the characters and instances that remain in the memories of our fans, we do want to try our best to integrate that in some fashion in the world.

Some fans seem to want a remake that is mainly visual upgrades, with none of the story or gameplay altered. Was that ever considered for the project?
The starting point was – and our executive producer [Shinji] Hashimoto-san has mentioned this – it would even be okay if we just upped the graphics to the quality of Advent Children. But, in terms of game styles and battle systems, it’s been 20 years since the original, and a lot has changed. Trends have changed, and I believed that we needed to revisit and rethink that aspect for the remake.

You can read more from the interview over at Game Informer.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is in development for PlayStation 4.

Source: Siliconera

Delving More into AVALANCHE and Dating

In this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine, Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura, and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima had some details to share on the upcoming PlayStation 4 title. The interview features various details that we previously reported, but Hachima put the following notes on some of the interesting tidbits.

Jessie and Biggs

Jessie and Biggs

PSX-Cloud-Wedge

Cloud dissing AVALANCHE

 

  • We’ll get to explore around all the areas of Midgar.
  • Square Enix would like to delve more deeply into Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie.
  • They can’t say how many volumes the entire Final Fantasy VII Remake will be in this stage.
  • Can’t say anything about any online features for now.
  • The main scenario for the multi-series’ first part is already completed.
  • As previously reported, the game is using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 to create the game. They’re also getting technological assistance from the Kingdom Hearts team, and may work together for the game in the near future.
  • Cloud’s auditory hallucination scenes are being shaped up to be more meaningful.
  • The [voicing] cast is expected to be the same from those of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
  • The “ATB Gauge” that turns red is different from a Limit Break, and Square Enix plans on having a special system, one that they can’t show yet, but it will change depending on the play-style of the player.
  • They’ve yet to decide on whether there will be a guard.
  • The game will be fully-voiced for the most part, and there will be a new cast of voice actors for those that didn’t have lines in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
  • The “dating event” will likely be fully-voiced, as it was quoted “we can’t just not voice that part.”
  • The reproduction of events from the original version will be done carefully, as social situations were different back when the original game was made compared to today. For example the bath house scene at the Honey Bee Inn.
  • Square Enix can’t say anything of the time being as far as map info goes, but they’re not going to put much focus on whether they’ll call it open world or sandbox. However, Nomura wants to have some kind of environment with backgrounds that can be affected by the characters.
  • They want to have all the mini-games that still remain in the memories of the fans. There was a variety of big and small mini-games in the original game, but they’re currently testing out whether they should all be redone with the latest technology.
  • Its current development status is at a stage where they can say that they were finally able to get started. Nomura says that they have some ideas for the battles, but it’ll still be a while until they can implement it into the game.

Source: Siliconera on Avalanche and Dating

Details On Combat, Exploration, And Cross-Dressing

Cloud Exploring in Midgar for Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s key developers in Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura recently shared plenty of details during an interview with Famitsu. Here are some highlights from their conversation.

  • The official title is Final Fantasy VII Remake. Square Enix thought about adding some kind of subtitle that is related to the game’s story, but they decided not to, since they didn’t want to give the wrong idea of it being some kind of “Legends” or a sequel-type game. They thought of different ideas, but in the end, they figured that having “Remake” in the official title would make it easiest to understand.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake will be done in multiple parts, rather than a single entry. The reason for this is because doing a full remake of Final Fantasy VII using today’s technology would be a lot of work. Kitase felt that having the “voluminous” feeling you get from Final Fantasy VII wouldn’t be able to work with just a single title for an HD remake.
  • Nomura also commented on the subject saying that they would also have to make a lot of cuts if they decided to make it all under one title, and they would have no choice but to make it into a Final Fantasy VII “digest,” and they felt that it would be pointless to do a full remake if they were going to do just that.
  • For example, you’ll get to explore various parts of Midgar that you weren’t able to in the original version; however, in order to do that, it would need to be pretty dense. Of course, that also means that some parts will be cut from the game, but overall they’re adding much more to it.
  • As far as models go, Visual Works director is taking care of it, but they’re also getting a lot of help from external sources. Roberto Ferrari, the Italian designer for Square Enix, is focusing his work on sub-characters like Biggs and the others that we saw in the recent trailer. Additionally, Square Enix will get help for roles such as programmers, planners, and other core members from external companies.
  • Some of the other companies that will be helping include CyberConnect2, who’ve also helped in the development of Final Fantasy VII: G-Bike.
  • Kitase says that CyberConnect2 have experience and great knowhow in action games, and he feels that they have a special sense for cinematics; however, since their production “taste” is different from that of Square Enix’s, along with some complaints from Nomura, they decided to make the latest trailer closer to their own style.
  • Square Enix is using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 to create the game. This means Square Enix has worked with Epic to ensure the game is running properly. Final Fantasy VII Remake won’t be Square Enix’s first game to work with the Unreal Engine 4. It is using it for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts III as well.
  • The characters we saw in the recent trailer looked very close to actual humans, and Nomura says that it’s their current goal to make it as realistic as possible.
  • Square Enix is not using models from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, as it’s something from over 10 years ago, meaning that its technology is too old, and that it looks a bit too “deformed” when they look at it now. For the remake’s visuals, they’ve done numerous adjustments and balances between realistic and deformed parts of eyes, nose, hair, and other parts. They were finally able to settle on something they all liked.
    Cloud from Advent Children Complete

    Cloud from Advent Children Complete

    Cloud from Final Fantasy VII Remake

    Cloud from Final Fantasy VII Remake

  • Everything that was shown in the latest trailer is from in-game footage, and not pre-rendered material. After the camera goes close up on Cloud when he’s on the train, it’ll throw you right into the game. Nomura says that as far as quality goes, they’re still brushing up on it, and they’re only going to keep making it look better from here.
  • Famitsu mentions that Cloud looks a bit thin in the video, but Nomura says that it’s likely due to lighting, and also because of his pale skin.
  • Next, they ask if that means we’ll get to see Cloud in his cross-dressing appearance. Nomura responds with a laugh saying yes, the cross-dressing scene is in the game, but they haven’t done the design for it yet.
  • Square Enix was originally going to go with Barret’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children design, but they decided on going with a new design from scratch. Nomura says that they’ve wanted to make all the party members revamped from the beginning.
  • When asked whether the battle system will be closer to Kingdom Hearts or Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Nomura says “if anything, it’s action,” and it’s completely different from Crisis Core. It might not be as much of an action title as say Dissidia Final Fantasy on arcade or the Kingdom Hearts series, but it leans more towards there.
  • There is an ATB gauge, but it won’t be like the original version where you get to attack when the gauge fills up, but an action-based system that can only be done through the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Kitase says that they may even change the name to something else other than ATB. Nomura also teases that the part you’ll want to pay attention to is how “the ATB gauge may also turn red.”Cloud in Combat for Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Parties will consist of three members, and you’ll get to freely switch between the characters with the L1 and R2 buttons, but it won’t be a requirement, as you can stay as the same character for the entire time.Barret in Combat for Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • As far as the battle tempo goes, Nomura wants to make it close to that of Dissidia Final Fantasy on arcade. He says that what we saw in the trailer is simply the base of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s battle system, and that he’s currently thinking of some kind of original structure for the battle system that adds a strategic element, in the midst of being able to switch through characters, an action that involves more than simply hitting enemies.

Source: Siliconera and Famitsu

Final Fantasy VII Combat System and Release Details

PSX-Cloud-Wedge

Final Fantasy VII Remake producer, Yoshinori Kitase, has said that the upcoming game isn’t “completely action-based” but it has “more of that element and real-time than the previous game.”

The conversation above is over 4 minutes but here are bits of what was said:

“The hardware itself has evolved since the release of Final Fantasy VII, and the games are more real, and real-time based. The previous Final Fantasy VII was a command-based RPG that utilized active-time-battle. Real-time and GMC are the trends these days.

I can’t say the new game is completely action-based, but it has more of that element and real-time than the previous game.

However, what makes Final Fantasy and RPG different from other games is that the players have the ability to choose weapons, capabilities and magic to be strategic minded, so while the new game has more real-time element, it will also maintain that strategy building element, balancing these two factors perfectly to enhance the gaming experience.”

This sounds very promising for the remake.

However, we also received not so promising news of the remake. “Final Fantasy VII Remake will be told across a multi-part series, with each entry providing its own unique experience.” We need clarification on this from Square Enix, since it’s a bit vague, but that doesn’t leave much room for interpretation.

If this is indeed a multi-part series, this could possibly be devastating to Square Enix. If they mess up on the first game, will fans receive an incomplete saga?

Source: PlaystationLifestyle.net and Kotaku

Final Fantasy VII Remake Coming To PlayStation 4

Cloud and Sephiroth with an updated, modern look.

The Final Fantasy VII remake will use a more modern art style for Cloud, similar to his appearance in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It is being created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII.

Sony announced the game at their E3 press conference, specifying that the Final Fantasy VII remake is coming “first” to PlayStation 4.

The game will be directed by Tetsuya Nomura, with a scenario written by Kazushige Nojima. Yoshinori Kitase returns as Producer for the remake.

(And no, this isn’t the Final Fantasy VII port for PlayStation 4 that was previously announced by Square.)

Source: Siliconera