Square Enix is currently looking for additional staff to work on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and it seems like the new hires will not be the only new staff members to work on the game, as most of the team is made up of new developers who didn't work on the original game.
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: “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.”
Takai also talked about how the team is approaching the development of the remake, stating that now even the smallest element has a level of depth not found in the original.
CGWorld: Fans who were left with a big impression at the time may particularly have big expectations from Final Fantasy VII Remake. Takai-san, what are some of the things you’re thinking about keeping or changing from Final Fantasy VII?
Shintaro Takai: “That’s a difficult question. I don’t really think about ‘This is how Final Fantasy VII did it, so let’s do it like this for Final Fantasy VII Remake.’ Back when Final Fantasy VII was being developed, I didn’t think as deeply about effects as I do today. For example, let’s say when a certain enemy in Final Fantasy VII attacked they would shoot out red fire, but maybe there wasn’t much meaning behind that red color. If it were today, I would think more along the lines of ‘This enemy was born here or there, they use these kinds of weapons, because of the energy source it shoots out red fire, and explodes with smoke.’ Even if that’s not part of the official setting, I would take it upon myself to come up with a reason and story. So the representation from back then and today are not necessarily directly connected.”
So you’re saying that you won’t just take the world of Final Fantasy VII and reproduce it using today’s technology.
Takai: “While it can’t be something that will make fans of Final Fantasy VII feel like ‘something is off,’ we can’t just simply increase the graphics quality either. I want us to make it with deep thoughts. For example, I tell the effects designers that if they’re going to heal using Cure, instead of just making shiny particles ‘Make it energy around a character that can’t be seen but is being collectively visualized and absorbed into their body as light.’ I will tell them to think of stories like that while working on it.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake is now in development for PlayStation 4.