At Tokyo Game 2022, we had the chance to sit with the first year ATLUS composer Shoji Meguro to discuss his first independent game Gun Darknessrecently successfully funded Kickstarter.

Gun Darkness a secrecy– based science fiction RPG where you try to hit the enemy before starting turn-based combat. As Meguro’s first attempt at making his own game, he applied Kodansha‘s Game Creators Lab is a support organization for independent game developers. Although he was not selected, he was awarded ¥500,000 and raised the rest of the game’s development fund through Kickstarter.

Despite his departure from ATLUS, he still plans to work with the company as an independent composer. We ask for details below.

Now that you’re no longer with ATLUS, does that mean you can 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 with other people on a song or two, but in terms of doing a full soundtrack, I would only do it with ATLUS. But this is not a promise that I will become a composer in the future Personality games.”

What is your original concept? Gun Darkness Has what you thought in 2005 changed by now?

Megaro: “It has almost completely changed. All the same, I knew I wanted to do something JRPG with a gun in a science fiction setting.

The outline of the story mentions that there is a divide between the rich and the poor. Does this game have a political message?

Megaro: “No, I don’t like to think about politics, so he doesn’t focus on any political topics. The division of the rich and the poor in this world is leading to a world-destroying war, and we have to see what humanity does after such a great reset.”

Gun Darkness

Stupid question, but when choosing 2045 for the setting, was that year chosen randomly or was there a specific reason?

Megaro: “I try to look at a real-world timeline of events and technology development and come to the conclusion that technology may be at a certain point in such and such a year. So I came to 2045 when I laid it all out.

In screenshots and videos, the title of the main character is simply “Hero”. Does that mean you can name the character?

Megaro: “Yes, the player will decide on his name. It’s a bit of a spoiler, but there’s a scene where Will says something like, ‘Hey, put your name down.’

Symbols are also often shown with a specific weapon. Is everyone limited to one type of weapon, like Naomi with a pistol, or can you switch them?

Megaro: “It’s a good question. You can choose any weapon for the main character, and the side characters specialize in one type of weapon, like Naomi and pistols, but there’s also a secondary weapon you can choose for them.”

Can you talk a little bit about the secret system?

Megaro: “You don’t run away from the encounter like in some games. Instead, you try to sneak your characters around cover to try to sneak up on the enemy and get into the best position for a sneak attack.”

“A certain percentage of accuracy can be seen when targeting enemies. The longer you stare at the enemy, the higher your accuracy will be, which will cause more damage while not missing when starting a fight. However, this is a risk. The longer you hold, the higher the accuracy, but the more likely the enemy will turn and see you. So you’re going to be in a situation where you’re aiming and you’re thinking, ‘let’s go a bit more 100 percent… please don’t go back.’

It’s a bit similar XCOM.

Megaro: “Oh, I love it XCOM. He (points to Yuki Katayama, Kodansha) “Hey, try this game!” and I got so attached to it that I fell behind in my work (laughs).

Gun Darkness

I see that there is a system of relationships. looks like Personality? What are the benefits of developing your relationship?

Megaro: “Yes, very similar Personality. You can talk to your teammates to increase your relationship with them, which leads to unlocking team combo attacks in battle.”

Now that you’re developing an entire game with more than just music, modeling, animation, level design, and more. you have to consider many things like What was the most fun and the most difficult?

Megaro: “Everything is very difficult. (Laughs.) It’s hard to choose something, because I get tired of everything quickly. I’ll do one job for a month or two, then I’ll get bored of it, and I’ll do another job for a month or two until I’m bored, and so on.”

When you make music for games, do they know it for a certain level or scene, or do you just make a bunch of tracks and then apply them?

Megaro: “Eighty percent of the time I’m making a track for a certain scene or level, and about 20 percent are songs I’ve made and put in after the fact.”

For video game music, do you need to consider anything game-related, such as matching the beat to the character’s speed or timing the chorus when something happens?

Megaro: “Of course we’re taking into account the pace of the track, making sure the song isn’t too jarring or different from one scene to the next – there’s a lot of components here. Timing isn’t really something I think about, I just make a different track for a different scene.”

Before we let you go, is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?

Megaro: “We’re really excited to reach our goals and make the game accessible to everyone. Seeing everyone’s enthusiasm gave us 120 percent energy to work harder. I hope the fans are looking forward to the music and also support us in making our first game. As a designer, I’m like a freshman with no experience. I will work hard to improve the game. Thanks to those who funded us on Kickstarter, as well as those who didn’t, for your support. Please look forward to it.”

Thank you for your time, Mr. Meguro!

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