Time for a Blackstar update! Today I want to show you more of the work going on behind the scenes, designing the Mechs for the game. But first, let's recap what the current roster looks like, taking into consideration it's been changing month on month.
BLACKSTAR LAUNCH SET
- Kerensky K1A Mech (Western Military style Mech)
- Kerensky MKIII Mech (Western Military / Industrial style Mech)
- Unnamed Japanese 80s style Mecha
- Japanese Boxy style Mecha
- Classic Sci-Fi Mech or Soviet / Hind style Mekh
- Western Boxy style Mech
Last time I mentioned the Soviet style might not make it as the artist is expensive. He's the same artist as the Classic Sci-Fi Mech, right now it looks likely I can only afford to hire him once.
Finally, make sure you go back and read the previous Blackstar Devlogs:
JAPANESE 80s STYLE MECHA!
Japan has a long and rich history of Mecha, I'm a fan and grew up watching 80s and early 90s anime like Patlabor, Macross, Robotech, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs / Bismark, and of course Transformers. There is a history here of US production companies re-purposing Japanese material which I won't get into, but definitely seek it out on the web if you aren't familiar.
I'm sure I am forgetting other things I watched, and then there's Gundam, a reference you can't escape from when talking Mecha but one I've actually never been into that much.
To tackle the challenge of designing a cool looking 80s Mecha I hired talented Malaysian-based artist Bernard Chan. I had been following his work for some time and felt he had the skill and the vision to pull it off.
RETRO OR NOT?
We set some ground rules at the start in that I didn't want to make a retro looking Mecha. In order to fit in better with the rest of the roster, yes the Mecha needs to feel 80s in it's overall design but I wanted it to look detailed and still capable of being a machine of war and not just an animation cell or a toy.
I also wanted this unit to be Laser / Energy weapon based, no machine guns or ballistic weapons aside from small Missile launchers that streak all those wavy, tiny anime-style missiles!
As I mentioned in Part 1, the Mechs and Mecha of Blackstar weren't built for the Arenas originally, so they had to be designed with a military factory default look and then another, more crowd pleasing Tournament look would be created. The default look is what Bernard has designed at the moment. Everything kicks off with some figure studies to shape the direction we are going in.
I picked #4 for further development, and things evolved from there through several stages and conversations between both of us.
UNNAMED JAPANESE 80S STYLE MECHA
That brings us to the final military default look for the Mecha, artwork by Bernard Chan.
Plenty of things still have to be developed, like customization equipment, alternate weapons, the kind of play style he will have, the unique Tournament look for this Mecha, and the Faction's theme, but it's off to a great start!
IT NEEDS A NAME!
So what do you think? Is that a great looking Mecha or what? Let me know down in the comments what you think of the look, suggestions for Faction, play styles, and give me Names for this thing!