Nov. 8th, 2019
MO: Astray: sMOothness out of rigidity - the reason for the mech

The development team share the original concept and design process for the mech…

“We first came up with this idea because we thought it’d be cool if the main character, who’s a slime, can drive a huge mech. It’ll be awesome. Ever since we had that idea, we’ve always wanted to put this kind of scenario into the game.”

The Initial Designs

After the story settings and the visual aesthetic became clearer and clearer, we put in place the segment in the game where all hell breaks loose and a massacre occurs. It was after that did we finally start discussing the design of the mech and the gameplay for that level.

Mech Concept for Early Stage Level Design

Mech Concept for Early Stage Level Design

However, since the early environment concept for the level was a large space filled with different levels of elevation, we needed to add a sense of high mobility. In addition, there are also restrictions with 2D game production. Therefore, the idea was scrapped.

After the level designs were set, since we’re massacring the Inhabitants and fighting against tanks, adding the image of a creature will make it feel more impactful. Thus, the mech has a distinct head, body, and legs.
In order to keep the laser cannons yet ensure that the main character is clearly visible in the cockpit, we can’t place the weak spot in a place that seems too easy to hit. Our solution was to move the cockpit to the center of the body, and turn what’s previously the head into the barrel of the cannon. The outline of the mech is also a tribute to the classic concept.

Since the “Bipedal movement” and “Mech transformation” were both super cool ideas to us, we took the exposed cannons from the earlier design and gave them the ability to retract. The paint design is also changed to show battle damage. The revised look of the cockpit also emphasizes the main character as the mech’s energy core.

Bipedal movement

Mech transformation

Mech transformation

To increase the mobility of the mech, the animation design added transformative components. In the game, you can see a cinematic of the mech going from a flying state to a landing state.

“To sum it up, because it looks cool as balls and it fits the story settings just right, it ended up the way it did.”

The mech in battle


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