KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Masaki Otani (Art Director: Environment)
Note: He is part of the 2D Art section of the Environment department.
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: KH3D, KH 1.5, FFX, SaGa Frontier, Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana
Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the backgrounds from the original movies.
A: In order not to disappoint the fans, I really obsessed over the small details. For example, when making the ship in The Caribbean, I gathered reference data and even went to model exhibitions and museums for research.
Q: Which point did you fuss over the most?
A: I think Toy Box, which the background art team really expended a lot of their energy on, ended up being a really creative world. All of the toys and boxes on display in Galaxy Toys were designed from scratch, so in order to make them seem realistic, we visited toy stores for days and days. The original movie is set in America, so I even went to stores in America.
Q: Which point was the biggest struggle?
A: In the background, there are a lot of letters that end up forming words you can read, so checking that was really, truly difficult. (note: he means for the Japanese staff who are making words in English) Especially in the case of Galaxy Toys, where there are lots of product packages, we were often helped out by people from the localization team, Legal Affairs, and people within the company from English-speaking countries.
Q: Please tell us something you won't forget about the development process.
A: When making Toy Box, when I first heard the preparations from the initial planning team, I thought "for real?!" in surprise, and on top of that, when the shocking estimated budget and schedules were submitted and then approved, I remember just shrugging my shoulders like "guess I'll just do it!" [laughs].
Q: What kind of work would you like to try next?
A: Honestly speaking, I'm not the best at action games, so I'd like to try making a game that kind of makes you feel like you're sightseeing. I'm interested in VR, as well.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
In Galaxy Toys in Toy Box, the "X" symbol, something that holds quite a lot of meaning in terms of the story, is used in various places in the background. Also, "7 & 13" were also placed into the designs here and there, for example, on the Leviathan that you can ride in The Caribbean; the stern of the ship has 7 windows, and below that there are 13 ornaments.