The original Lumines is one of those games that people keep in their collections. People don't blast through Lumines to see the cutscenes, get to the ending, play a little multiplayer and then rush to trade in for maximum resale value. It's the game they play to relax and enjoy themselves with when they're taking a break inbetween all of the high-pressure triple-A action games. That said, I really think that Lumines: Electronic Symphony will be to VITA what the original was to PSP.
What details can you give us on the game's soundtrack? Is there any Mondo Grosso in there?
This is probably my favourite part of the discussion, so it pains me to say that I can't go into too much detail about the particulars of the music we're licensing for the game. The two artists I can confirm are the ones we built into the TGS demo, which are The Chemical Brothers ('Hey Boy, Hey Girl') and Kaskade ('4 AM').
The Kaskade track is actually the song that inspired the whole direction of the game, so if you don't know the song, give it a listen. One notion that I can put to rest is that 'Shinin'' will not be in the game. I know it's a sentimental fan-favorite, but we made a conscious decision to break from the past as much as we acknowledge and embrace it.
The soundtrack will be a combination of both licensed music and original compositions from Q's own sound team, but I think you'd be surprised at the number of licensed tracks we're putting into the game. I know some people will read "licensed music" and assume we're just throwing a bunch of club tracks into the game and calling it a day, but I can assure you that it's quite different.
We pay very close attention to the sound experience in all Q Entertainment games -- Child of Eden being a good example. Players may not realize it on the surface, but we tweak everything so that there's always an audio-visual payoff to their actions. So believe me when I say that we're making sure the sound design in Lumines: Electronic Symphony lives up to our reputation for quality music-based games.
How many track/skins are you aiming for?
The exact number will remain a secret for now, but it will be in the dozens. And then there's the matter of post-launch support for the game, which will only add to the default selection built into the game. So I don't think quantity will be a concern, whether you plan to augment your game with DLC or not.
Did negative fan reaction to Lumines II's more comercial soundtrack affect your plans?
As with any game we create, we listen to and absorb all of the feedback from the community. Since I wasn't with Q Entertainment when Lumines II was created, I have listened to what the original designers had to say about what did and didn't work, and reconciled that information with my own thoughts on the game.
Personally, I don't think the soundtrack was bad by any means. In fact, I thought it was quite fun. You may not have loved Gwen Stefani, but somebody out there did. I loved the Junior Senior track, and I discovered The Go! Team because of Lumines II. I think the problem was that it was too democratic in its tracklisting. It had a little bit of everything for everyone, but not enough of anything for anyone. Because of that, I made a deliberate decision to bring the soundtrack back to the game's roots and, as a DJ, I'm personally overseeing the track order to create an ebb and flow; to take players on an electronic, musical journey.
Time will tell once we release the full tracklist of artists supporting the game, but my goal with the soundtrack for Lumines: Electronic Symphony is to create an epic roadmap of some of the best music in electronic and dance music history, dating back from the 1980s to the present day.