Guns Undarkness – TGS 2022 interview with Shoji Meguro

At Tokyo 2022, we had the chance to sit down with the former Kickstarter.

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Silly question, but in choosing the year 2045 to set up, was that year chosen at random or is there a particular reason?

Megaro: “I am trying to look at the real world timeline of events and the development of technology and come to the conclusion that in a year like this the technology might be at a certain point. So when I showed it all I came up with 2045.”

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

Megaro: “Ah yeah, the player is going to decide his name. That’s a bit spoiled, but there’s a scene where Will says something like ‘Hey, sign your name’.”

Characters are often presented with a specific weapon. Is everyone limited to one type of weapon like Naomi to pistols or can you change them?

Megaro: “That’s a good question. For the protagonist, you can choose any weapon you want, while the side characters specialize in one weapon type, like pistols with Naomi, but they also have a secondary weapon that you can choose for them.”

Can you talk a little bit about the stealth system?

Megaro: “You can’t directly avoid confrontations like in some games. Instead, you try to infiltrate an enemy and hide your characters around the cover to try to get the best location for your stealth attack.”

“When shooting at enemies, a percentage of accuracy can be seen. The longer you focus on the enemy, the more accurate you are, doing more damage when starting the battle as well as not losing it. However, it is risky. The longer you hold, the higher the accuracy, But the probability that the enemy will turn around and spot you goes up too.So you’ll be in a situation where you’re aiming and thinking “Come on, just a little more to 100 percent…please don’t turn around.”

This looks a bit like XCOM.

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

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

Megaro: “Yes, it is very similar Character. You can talk with your teammates to increase your relationship with them which unlocks team attacks in battle.”

Now that you have developed a complete game instead of just music, you have to think about many things like modeling, animation, level design, etc. What is the most fun and challenging?

Megaro: “Everything is so hard. (laughs) It’s hard to pick one thing because I get tired of things quickly. I’ll do one thing for a month or two, then I’ll get tired of it and do something different for a month or two until I get tired of it and so on.”

When composing music for games, are they made to know it’s for a specific level or scene, or do you just create a set of tracks and apply them later?

Megaro: “80 percent of the time I make a track for a certain scene or level, and about 20 percent are songs that I’ve created and put after the fact.”

For video game music, do you have to think about anything game related like matching the tempo to a character’s speed or the timing of the chorus when an event occurs?

Megaro: “Of course we take into account the speed of the audio clip, and we make sure the song from one scene to the next isn’t annoying or different – there are so many components involved. Timing isn’t something I really think about, I’m just making 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 are really excited to achieve our goals and make the game for everyone. Seeing everyone excited has given us 120 percent energy to work even harder. I hope the fans will look forward to the music, and also support us in making our first game. As a designer I am just like a first grader with no experience.” I will continue to work hard to improve the game. To those who funded us on Kickstarter as well as those who did not, we thank you for your support. Please look forward to it.”

Thank you for your time, Mr. Meguro!