Guns Undarkness – TGS 2022 interview with Shoji Meguro

At Tokyo Game 2022, we had the opportunity to chat with former ATLUS composer Shoji Meguro to discuss his first indie game The obscurity of weaponswhich was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter.

The obscurity of weapons is a stealth sci-fi RPG in which you try to attack the enemy before starting turn-based combat. As the first attempt to create his own game, Meguro applied to Kodansha’s Game Creators Lab, an independent organization supporting game developers. Although he was not selected, he was awarded 500,000 yen and raised the rest of the funds to develop the game through Kickstarter.

Despite leaving ATLUS, he still plans to work with the company as a freelance composer. Please provide details below.

Now that you are no longer working at 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 have been working with other companies for a while. It doesn’t mean I can’t collaborate on a song or two with other people, but when it comes to making a full soundtrack, I’d only do it with ATLUS right now. But this is also not a promise that I will be a composer for the future Person Games.”

What’s your original concept? The obscurity of weapons which you came up with in 2005 have changed to now?

Megaro: “It has changed almost completely. It just didn’t change that I knew I wanted to make a JRPG with weapons in a science fiction setting. ”

In the plot outline, it is mentioned that there was a division between rich and poor. Does this game have a political message?

Megaro: “No, I don’t like to think about politics, so I don’t focus on any political topics. In this world, the division between rich and poor leads to a war in which the world is destroyed and we need to see what humanity will do after such a big reset. “

A silly question, but choosing 2045 as the scenery, was that year chosen by chance or is there any particular reason?

Megaro: “I am trying to look at the actual schedule of events and technology development and come to the conclusion that in such and such a year technology may be at some point. So when I put it all out, I came up with 2045. ”

In the screenshots and videos, the main character’s name is simply “The Protagonist.” Does this mean you can name the character?

Megaro: “Ah yes, the player will decide on their name. It’s a bit of a spoiler, but there’s a scene where Will says something like, “Hey, sign your name.”

Characters are also often shown with certain weapons. 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, while the side characters specialize in one type of weapon, like the guns from Naomi, but also have additional weapons that you can choose for them.

Can you tell a little bit about the stealth system?

Megaro: “You don’t avoid meetings like you do in some games. Instead, you try to sneak up on the enemy and hide your characters behind cover to get the best position for a surprise attack.

“You can see a certain percentage of your accuracy when aiming at enemies. The longer you aim at an enemy, the more your accuracy will increase, leading to more damage when starting a battle as well as not missing. However, this is a risk. The longer you hold, the greater your accuracy, but the chance that your opponent can turn around and spot you increases as well. So you find yourself in a position where you aim and think “come on, just a little more to 100 percent … please don’t turn around.”

It sounds a bit like XCOM.

Megaro: “Oh, I love you XCOM. He (points to Yuki Katayama, Kodansha) showed it to me saying, “Hey, try this game!” I got so hooked that I lost at work (laughs). “

The obscurity of weapons

I can see there is a relationship system. Is it similar to Person? What are the benefits of developing your relationships?

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

Now that you are making the entire game and not just the music, there are a lot of things you have to consider such as modeling, animation, level design and so on. What was the coolest and hardest?

Megaro: “It is all very difficult. (Laughter) It’s hard to choose one thing because I get tired quickly. I’ll do one thing for a month or two and then I get tired of it and do another thing for a month or two until I get tired of it and so on. ”

When making music for games, are they made with a specific level or scene in mind, or are you just creating a few songs and applying them later?

Megaro: “Eighty percent of the time I create a song for a particular scene or level, and about 20 percent of the time is songs that I have created and put up after the fact.”

For video game music, do you need to consider anything related to the game, such as matching the rhythm to the character’s speed or timing the chorus when an event occurs?

Megaro: “Of course, we take the speed of the song into account, making sure the song from one scene to the next is not too irritating or otherwise – there are many elements involved. Timing is not what I consider to be something, I just make a different track for a different scene.

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

Megaro: “We are really excited to achieve our goals and make a game for everyone. Watching everyone’s enthusiasm gave us 120 percent of the energy to work even harder. Hope fans are excited to hear the music and they will also support us in making our first game. As a designer, I’m like a first-grader with no experience. I will work hard to improve the game. We would like to thank those who founded us on Kickstarter and those who did not. Please wait for it. ”

Thank you for your time, Mr. Meguro!

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