"I believe that game creation is a comprehensive art form that combines various genres such as literature, mathematics, and music. That's why I always respect game creators."
We had an interview with Neo, the representative of the Korean game production company CodeCAT, who supervised the music for "The Azure of Celestia Game Music". Neo told us a lot about his impressions when he supervised the game development and how he evaluates the music. We'd like to share them with you. Now, please enjoy the interview with Neo!
ISAo: Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. First of all, could you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Neo: Hello. My name is Neo from the game production company CodeCAT. We started our full-scale game business with the development of "Sword Master Story". It's a collectible RPG, a mobile game featuring fast action and a sense of impact.
- "Sword Master Story" won the TOP 10 prize at Google Play Indie Game Festival 2020 in South Korea. As of now, it has exceeded 10 million downloads in 150 countries around the world.
A game production office owned by CodeCAT in Seoul. There are treadmills in the break room and it is very comfortable.
Isao: How did you come to know my music and works in the first place?
Neo: I first learned about ISAo's music through “dova-s”, a sound source website. At the time, I was working on another RPG, and I was so impressed by the special sensitivity of ISAo's music that I immediately started using them in my own work. Since then, I've been using ISAo’s music almost exclusively. Eventually, I wanted to ask you to produce some music pieces for us, so I contacted you personally, and you graciously agreed to do so, which made this collaboration possible.
ISAo: Thank you very much for using my copyright-free songs such as "Altimathure Night" and "Greyscale Scenery" from the beginning of "Sword Master Story". I also arranged the BGM for the gacha roll in the same game.
- Here is the package that contains the above two songs.
"Altimathure Night" and "Greyscale Scenery"
Neo: I've always enjoyed listening to ISAo's music, so it was really fun to actually collaborate with you. You suggested that we use one of your songs to enhance the mood when a special character is summoned in a particular part of "Hands Up!", and you did a really nice job arranging and composing the music to enhance the atmosphere of the game.
"New Gear" is an improved version of the original "Hands Up!", with the first part of the song drastically cut down to give it a more pop feeling with a higher tempo. In the game, the tune is played only when a rare gacha item was drawn, creating a special and dynamic effect."
ISAo: That's how "New Gear" was born. As I was working on the song following your instructions, I remember thinking to myself, "I should have made it like this from the beginning!” Those were great ideas. I soon realized that Neo had a great eye as a producer. I wanted to produce a copyright-free BGM album supervised by Neo someday. And with this album, "Vol.10 The Azure of Celestia Game Music", my wish has come true.
Neo: In the first track of Vol. 10, "The Azure of Celestia," various instruments were intricately intertwined to create a single piece of music, as if it were the pinnacle of all things. In particular, the fourth track, "The Imperial City, Evernauts," which is the BGM for the city scene, was so wonderful from the introduction that I wanted to purchase it for my new game. Again, the overall quality of the music seemed to have been improved.
ISAo: Thank you very much. For this project, we wanted people to be able to use copyright-free songs without having to worry about licensing, and at the same time, have the pleasure of using sounds of quality found in existing games on the market. For this reason, we carefully worked with the illustrator to create the design of the package. I went through many revisions on my own to make sure that the concept of the songs and the worldbuilding of the game matched. However, I was concerned that I would not be able to brush up the music in the right direction by myself. The song may lose its demand as copyright-free BGM if it went too far beyond what people expect, and if you focus too much on versatility, it may lose the sophistication that existing games have. In order to maintain a good balance between these two contradictory aspects, I desperately needed advice from someone I could truly trust."
Neo: When the actual album of "The Azure of Celesita" was released and we listened to it, we were really impressed. ISAo respected our opinions and we were able to create a richer and more sensitive sound. Unfortunately, there were some pieces that I could not supervise due to circumstances, but I think they were also very good. I'm looking forward to using them in our new game as soon as possible.
ISAo: Neo, what do you value most in the game production on a daily basis?
Neo: What I usually focus on in creating a game is to give the player motivations. I always ask myself, "What does this game tell me, and why should I go on an adventure?" The most important thing is to maximize the sense of immersion, and I think that the music in the game plays a role in this. I think ISAo's music is really helpful in maximizing this sense of immersion.
ISAo: Lastly, do you have any message for game creators around the world?
Neo: I believe that game creation is a comprehensive art form that combines various genres such as literature, mathematics, and music. That's why I always respect game creators. During the creation process, you will always encounter obstacles, but when you overcome them all and release the game, you will be rewarded with a good reputation and positive word of mouth from the users. I think it is important to never give up and to challenge yourself until the end. Finally, I would like to thank ISAo for requesting this interview. The quality of your music has been improving in recent years, and I am looking forward to your upcoming album.
ISAo: My pleasure! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today!
"Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Neo for agreeing to be interviewed despite his busy schedule, and to those who have read this far. Thank you!"