At Tokyo Game 2022, we were lucky enough to sit down with the former ATLUS [1,880 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/companies/atlus”>ATLUS Composer Shoji Meguro [3 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/people/shoji-meguro”>Shoji Meguro to talk about his first indie game Fire arms [3 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/games/guns-undarkness”>Guns Undarknesswhich was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.
Fire arms is a stealth [24 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/stealth”>Stealth sci-fi RPG [14,497 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/rpg”>RPG where you try to get the upper hand on the enemy before engaging in turn-based combat. As Meguro’s first attempt to create his own game, he applied to Kodansha [6 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/companies/kodansha”>Kodansha’s Game Creators Lab, an independent game developer support organization. Although not shortlisted, it received 500,000 yen and raised the rest of the game’s development funds through Kickstarter.
Although he left ATLUS, he still plans to work with the company as a freelance songwriter. We ask for details below.
Now that you no longer work at ATLUS, does that mean you could work with other companies?
Shoji Meguro: “I have a good relationship with ATLUS, so I don’t think I will be working with other companies for a while. That’s not to say I can’t collaborate on a song or two with other people, but as far as doing a full soundtrack, I would only do that with ATLUS at this time. But neither is it a promise that I’ll be the composer of the future Character [8 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/series/persona”>Persona Games.”
How did your original concept Fire arms that you proposed in 2005 has changed so far?
Megaro: “It has almost entirely changed. All that stayed the same was that I knew I wanted to make a JRPG [553 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/rpg/jrpg”>JRPG with guns in a sci-fi setting.”
The story outline mentions that there was a gap between the rich and the poor. Does this game have a political message?
Megaro: “No, I don’t like to think about politics, so it’s not focused on political topics. In this world, the division of rich and poor leads to a war where the world is destroyed and we have to see what humanity does after such a big reset.
Silly question, but choosing the year 2045 for the setting, was this year chosen at random or is there a particular reason?
Megaro: “I try to look at the actual timeline of events and technological development in the world and come to the conclusion that in such and such a year technology might be at a certain point. So when I laid out all of this , I found 2045.”
In screenshots and videos, the name of the main character is simply “Protagonist”. Does that mean you can name the character?
Megaro: “Ah yes, the player will decide his name. It’s a bit of a spoiler, but there’s a scene where Will says something like “Hey, save your name.”
Characters are also often depicted with a particular weapon. Is everyone limited to one type of weapon, like Naomi with pistols, or can you change them?
Megaro: “That’s a good question. For the protagonist, you can choose any weapon you want, while the secondary characters specialize in one type of weapon, like pistols with Naomi, but they also have a secondary weapon that you can choose for them.
Can you tell us a bit about the stealth system?
Megaro: “You don’t avoid encounters like in some games. Instead, you try to sneak up on an enemy and hide your characters in cover to try and get the best positioning for a sneak attack.
“When aiming at enemies, an accuracy percentage can be seen. The longer you aim at an enemy, the more your accuracy will increase, which will cause more damage at the start of the battle in addition to not missing. It’s a risk, though. The longer you hold the position, the more accuracy increases, but the likelihood of the enemy turning around and spotting you also increases. So you’ll be in a situation where you aim and think ‘Come on, just a little more 100%…please don’t look back.’
It looks a bit like XCOM.
Megaro: “Ah, I love XCOM. He (shows Yuki Katayama, Kodansha) showed it to me saying ‘Hey, try this game!’ and I got so addicted that I fell behind in my work (laughs).
I see that there is a system of relations. Is it similar to Character? What are the benefits of developing your relationships?
Megaro: “Yes, it’s very similar to Character. You can talk with your teammates to improve your relationship with them, which leads to unlocking team combo attacks in battle.
Now that you are developing a full game rather than just music, there are many things you need to consider such as modeling, animation, level design, etc. What was the most fun and the most difficult?
Megaro: “Everything is very difficult. (Laughs.) It’s hard to choose one thing because I get bored quickly. I do one thing for a month or two, then I get tired of it and do another thing for a month or two until I’ve had enough and so on.
When you create music for games, are they designed for a specific level or scene, or do you just create a bunch of tracks and apply them later?
Megaro: “80% of the time I create a track for a specific stage or level, and about 20% are songs that I created and placed after the fact.”
For video game music, do you have to consider anything game-related, like matching the beat to the character’s speed or timing a chorus when an event occurs?
Megaro: “Of course, we factor in the speed of the track, making sure the song from scene to scene isn’t too jarring or different – there are many components involved. Timing is not not really something i consider, i just do a different track for a different scene.
Before you let go, is there anything you would like to say to the fans?
Megaro: “We’re really excited to achieve our goals and make sure everyone enjoys the game. Seeing everyone’s enthusiasm gave us 120% energy to work even harder. I hope the fans are looking forward to the music and also supporting us in creating our first game. As a designer, I’m like a freshman with no experience. I will continue to work hard to improve the game. To those who have funded us on Kickstarter as well as those who have not, we thank you for your support. Please look forward to it.
Thank you for your time, Mr. Meguro!
#Guns #Undarkness #TGS #interview #Shoji #Meguro #Gematsu