Kingdom Hearts III is now using Unreal Engine 4

Discussion in 'Kingdom Hearts News & Updates' started by libregkd, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. libregkd -

    Sep 30, 2006
    In the full interview about Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, Famitsu asked Nomura on a status update on the development of Kingdom Hearts III. In his answer, Nomura stated that development was proceeding as planned, however the team is no longer using the Luminous Engine and have switched to the Unreal Engine 4 for a variety of reasons. He says that because of this switch there have been having some graphical rendering issues but that Epic Games is working closely with the development team to resolve them.

    Famitsu Interview. Translation regarding the change to the Unreal Engine courtesy of duckroll at NeoGAF.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
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Discussion in 'Kingdom Hearts News & Updates' started by libregkd, Oct 6, 2014.

    1. Hayabusa
      This is...kind of disappointing, actually. I was really impressed with what I've see done with the Luminous Engine, and I think Kingdom Hearts III would have been the second game ever to release developed on it.

      Unreal Engine 4 is still really good, and I'm glad that the game is at least transitioning to such an engine.
    2. libregkd
      Switching engines doesn't necessarily mean they are getting rid of the graphic work that they have done. The quote has Nomura saying that there are currently some graphical glitches occuring because of the switch, so to me that sounds like they are porting their Kingdom Shader work that they were using for the game and getting that to work with what UE4 is doing. UE4 is incredibly robust in its rendering breadth and customizability so I'd put money on the game not really looking that much different from what we have been seeing.
    3. Hayabusa
      Oh, I know they're not just ditching the stuff they have lol. I just like to see more engines. Keeps visual styles a bit more varied in games, though Unreal can still do the Kingdom Shader as you said, so I'm less worried.
    4. Explode
      A lot less cool sounding, but as long as it looks good, I don't care what engine they use.
    5. Allen Tor
      Allen Tor
      I sure hope that Unreal 4 resolved some of Unreal 3's issues; I don't want texture pop-in all over my Kingdom Hearts. Also I don't think Unreal 3 could've handled the graphics we've seen so far in trailers, can anyone vouch for Unreal 4?
    6. libregkd
      I personally would have liked to see Square develop it's own engine just because I'd like to see what they would have done with it and how it could potentially boost their development cycles, but it seems like Square is essentially giving up on that venture. But atleast they do have an engine, a well documented one at that. So I take this as good news for KH3 because it means there are less hurdles in the way for speedy development. But I'm not too worried about visual variety tbh, engines don't really dictate visual style. I mean just talking about UE (Which usually gets the criticism of the games all looking 'same-y') you got stuff like this:


      Which all are very distinct from one another (with the last two being Unreal 4 games). So hopefully we'll get some sort of trailer some time soon that shows off the game running on it's new engine.
    7. Dredica
      I'm not even going to pretend to know or not, but is that engine switch...better for a more cinematic experience? Or will the animations be fluid? Like what does that actually mean for the less savvy of us?
    8. libregkd
      In general terms, you can think of a game engine as tools needed to create a game. They provide a basic framework for a variety of elements of a game(including stuff like a rendering engine for graphics, physic engine, frameworks for sound, AI, scripting, animation, etc.). You can then use that foundation and start customizing things to create the game you want to create. In essence it gets rid of a lot of busy work associated with doing simple tasks to create basic functions all video games must have.

      In terms of how this engine switch affects Kingdom Hearts, it means very little on how the game will look or play; the game will still be a Kingdom hearts game. Switching the engine to something like Unreal 4 means the development team no longer needs to waste time and diverting resources into trying to create their own proprietary engine (Luminous) and all the technical hurdles that come with that. Instead they can devote their resources into the actual game development of Kingdom Hearts III.
      Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
    9. Dredica
      Alright, so instead of trying to do all of the technical stuff from the ground up, they're using a more template approach? I'm actually very happy with that news. At least the game's important aspects, like its writing, can be focused on more. I looked up a video showcasing Unreal 4's capabilities and I'm really impressed, so this is all actually better news than I had expected. Thanks.
    10. Antidote
      As long as it doesn't hold things up and helps development along, there's nothing really wrong with it. Weren't they having problems with bugs with the old engine anyway? That's not something you want to be stuck with.
    11. Misty
      sooooo PC release? sounds like PC release to me lol
    12. 61
      For people like me who aren't very knowledgeable about video games, what does this mean? I mean I get that it seems significant (the change), but why?
    13. libregkd
      Certainly makes the possibility more likely lol

      If just talking about how it is significant to you, the consumer, it means that Square can actually divert most of their resources towards actually making the game and not waste time trying to tackle technical hurdles that are associated with trying to get a game engine up and running. In other words, KH3 may actually come out sooner than expected.
    14. 61
      Oh, that's neat. What about the development process? How does this affect the game itself and why is switching engines noteworthy?
    15. AuraMix
      With Square Enix, and now Disney being on Steam. It could be possible for Kingdom Hearts III may get a PC release.
    16. DigitalAtlas
      Please UE4, don't suck. Pleeeeeeaaaaasssse.

      Square-Enix doesn't seem to have a good history with western engines, and I REALLY don't want long loading times in KH. I'm not even familiar with KH having loading screens in the past and it's not something I want to see.

      Related: D4 came out. Its wiki says it was made on UE3, but the UE4 wiki says that D4 was made on UE4. It looks like UE3 to me, but asking anyway to see if that's a demo of the engine.[DOUBLEPOST=1412849439][/DOUBLEPOST]
      I don't mean to counter Libre here, because he's not wrong at all, but a big problem in the last gen is that so many games used the same engine and didn't diversify their profile enough. That's not going to be a problem for Square Enix with KHIII. However, there is a reason big developers swear that every game should have its own engine. Even, ironically (and maybe hypocritically), Insomniac Games. The reason for that is if you build an engine with the design of a particular game in mind, then you know it's going to handle everything the game needs- no more, no less. Which is great for a game because you can kind of prioritize the systems you want. In terms of an engine like UE3 (I'd say UE4, but I can't speak for it honestly), or MT Framework (Capcom, but to a lesser degree), the engine is more universal meant to handle few particular situations and is a rather broad spectrum. But as Libre said here, because they don't have to program an engine, they now have more time to focus on the game portion of the game, which you'd be surprised how late that comes into play. Is it a problem? No. With UE3 in particular it was because it handled models in a particular manner, it was easier for it to render dark colors with complexity and depth (a lot of colorful games on UE3 were either still gritty or very simple to counter this, so I've read), it was really bad for action games (How Killer is Dead functions on UE3 I do not know), and it was known for long loading times and big texture pop ins. So we had a lot of games that had similar patterns that, frankly, didn't need to be there and arguably put a bruise on a generation (I disagree with this sentiment, but it's arguable that we lost a lot of identity due to laziness). A more positive example for using a universal engine would be MT Framework from Capcom (which basically exists to render things at very high quality, make big areas, load well, and have lots of things going on- it's actual magic compared to UE3) or iD Tech 5 from... erm... iD. Basically, with that in mind, it could mean a lot of things for KHIII and a lot of it depends on how stable the engine itself is. It could mean PC release because UE4 is a pc-based engine so there'd be no porting involved. But, like the finished Luminous Engine, the work is still in Square's hands. The engine switch isn't going to give them an excuse if they fuck it up.

      Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
    17. Hayabusa
      On the talk of specific engines: I really liked MT Framework, which made games like Devil May Cry 4 and Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 look and play really well.
    18. DigitalAtlas
      MT Framework is freaking magic. Dead Rising had zero slow down and dynamic events among the hordes? Lost Planet 2 was huuuuge and could contain levels within levels and display both for each player so no interruptions? Crazy

      Capcom REALLY should've sold the engine to other studios. They'd not be in the crisis they are now.

      But that's unrelated
    19. libregkd
      Well first, the Luminous Engine isn't finished. FFXV is running on a hybrid of an old engine and Luminous Engine and Tabata said that he was was hopeful that they would eventually transit entirely to Luminous. Which given the recent news like this and news from earlier in the year that Luminous's technical lead left and Square replacing him with nobody I guess that's never happening if they want to ship the game. The reason KH3 isn't going to use the Luminous Engine should be rather clear by now; Square is giving up on their engine. Either it's just temporarily or permanent I can't say but right now Square is more concerned with making and releasing games than anything else it seems.

      I made mentioned of this somewhere else on the site but it seems that Epic has been trying, and successfully, courting Japanese devs into using their engine. As you know, the early days of last generation had a lot of games using the UE3 engine just out of sheer necessity, game development moved in a direction where creating custom engines for every single game you release is not sustainable. That has changed going into this generation as we have large western companies all having their own proprietary engines. EA with Frostbite, Ubisoft with Anvil and UbiArt. , etc. So now the focus is on Japan. We've seen some preliminary stuff like Killer is Dead and Guilty Gear Xrd (which I will openly admit Arc System have to have wizards working for them to get that game running on UE3 looking as it does at 60FPS) and D4. And now we are seeing other, more well-known properties use UE4 like KH3 and Tekken 7.

      As I kinda mentioned in this topic I'm not really worried about the engine switch because UE4 is hella versatile and you can do some insane customizations in regards to a game's looks, this includes still retaining a look the series in known for. Tekken 7 has had limited arcade launch in Japan and, well what do you know, the game still looks like Tekken. And of course I already posted it but Rime looks absolutely gorgeous and the style reminds me a lot of what we've seen of KH3 tbh (colors are a lot softer in Rime however) so yeah. The switch actually has me excited because it means KH3 actually has a chance of releasing in 2016 now lol.