Where are all the Kingdom Hearts fan games?

Discussion in 'General & Upcoming Kingdom Hearts' started by makine, May 8, 2016.

  1. makine Merlin's Housekeeper

    Apr 7, 2016
    It just strikes me as odd that there's not really a game community around this franchise. So far all I've seen has been some sprites and this ambitious attempt.

    And it's not like the narrative is so tight that you can't make a game without messing up canon. You can set it before [chi] or in the Realm of Sleep. You can put in worlds that haven't been seen at all. It's actually a pretty big playground when you think about it. So where they at?
  2. Truly Mad Moves Destiny Islands Resident

    Apr 12, 2012
    That's a good question. That's fanmade? Wowza. I would love to see more stuff like that... wish I knew how to do this... not even make games or other art like that, if I just knew how people hack the game to get all the character models, just to see all the models... If nothing else, it'd be like I had dozens and dozens of Disney dolls to play with! Whee!

    I've enjoyed a lot of 3D art made from KH sets and character models, but wow, I never thought of going so far as to make entire games with it...
  3. Misty gimme kiss

    Sep 25, 2006
    Cisgender Female
    A consideration may be Disney's rather strict policies regarding fan games or people using their properties in general. Even Square is under strict guidelines regarding how they can and can't use Disney characters. They originally wanted Dissidia to be a Kingdom Hearts fighting game but Disney canned it because they didn't want their characters fighting one another (if I remember correctly), and the late Disney Infinity suffered for similar reasons. A Kingdom Hearts fangame could never exist without incorporating Disney characters, worlds, and elements, otherwise it's missing a solid chunk of the Kingdom Hearts equation; but including Disney properties is also a great way to get slapped with a cease and desist.

    The climate for fan games altogether is tricky. For starters, developing a game even as a hobby is very time consuming for just one person or a small team of people. Considering they would be doing it with little financial return, not to mention the skills required to develop games, it's a task few would want to take on. If they gain any sort of notice or attention, it's likely the developer or publisher will catch wind of it too and legal action taken (which usually amounts to just a cease and desist). Even if they manage to put out a finished product, they can't sell it for anything -- which, you can of course pose it as a "labor of love" type deal, where they're not looking for money, but again, it's so time consuming to make a game. That's why things like spiritual successors exist -- if you have the skills and desires to make a game, and are inspired by an existing franchise, you (legally) can't just pick up copyrighted properties and such, even if it's just a fan effort.

    As a slightly related example, a group recently set out to remake Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in Unreal Engine 4, called Apeiron, adding new worlds and characters and such. Because they'll be using the original game's files (audio etc.), they're posing it as a "mod" and stating you will need to own a copy of the game in order to play it. Regardless of personal opinions on the work they've done (I don't like it), most fans' initial reaction was dubious because of the scope of the project and the legal status of it. On the latter point, Apeiron comment on the legal issues on their website:
    Convincing, no?
    In an AMA, many redditors asked the so called "Video Game Attorney" to comment on Apeiron. He says:
    It's not Fair Use, either. These are copyrighted characters and models and music and you can't just use it and distribute it.

    Kingdom Hearts fans therefore settle for hacking and modding the existing games, or modding Kingdom Hearts characters and weapons into other games. They're smaller efforts unlikely to gain notice by Square or Disney, and even if they do, it's a pretty common practice within mod communities. Building an entire game is a way different story. The fan game you linked is definitely ambitious, but if it gains any traction it will be shut down. Sure, if you're just tinkering around on your computer, learning about game development, Disney isn't going to sue you or anything. Once you start distributing your work -- their work -- it's a different story, and while it's unlikely you'll actually be taken to court, you can bet they'll stop your project and remove it from the internet (by telling you to, under threat of legal action).

    Here's an article you can read if interested in other fan projects that have been shut down, including one shut down by Square (a fan sequel to Chrono Trigger): http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-05/5/investigation-are-fan-games-legal