BLACKSTAR DEVLOG #002: THE ART OF CREATING MECHS, PART 1

Welcome to the Mech factory! Once again I'll take you all on a trip down memory lane, but first let's recap what I'm calling the Launch Set of Blackstar Mechs.

BLACKSTAR LAUNCH SET

  • Kerensky K1A Mech (Western Military style Mech)
  • Kerensky MKIII Mech (Western Military / Industrial style Mech)
  • Japanese 80s style Mecha
  • Japanese Boxy style Mecha
  • Classic Sci-Fi Mech
  • Soviet / Hind style Mekh
  • Western Boxy style Mech

Out of those, the one that might change is Soviet style, I'm still negotiating with an artist who is perfect for the job but very expensive, so there is the possibility it doesn't make it. Now, let us begin!

THE KERENSKY K1A MECH

Way back in the far away times of 2006 a few of the remaining modders of Battletech Mod Productions aka BMP (a long story for another day...) were gearing up to do an original project, using Unreal Engine 3. That mod was called Project Deus, being a cross between a Battlefield style game with Mechs, and the cyberpunk elements of the Deus Ex series applied to multiplayer.

Alex Iglesias, better known these days as Flyingdebris and the designer of all the MWO Mechs was our lead concept artist, having joined BMP a few years before, while in high school, to work on our Battletech based mods - particularly MTS - Mech Tactical Simulation, for Battlefield 2. He came up with several designs, some of which you can still see in the depths of his deviantArt account.

Being inspired by the Battlefield series, the Lore was based on real world conflicts of the near future and as such we were dealing with roles for units - the Skirmisher was one such Mech designed by Alex for the mod.

Project Deus eventually folded the year after while I was building a 3D model of the Skirmisher which I decided to call the Kerensky, as a homage to Battletech and a cool name. Although a bit flimsy in some aspects, it's a design that stuck with me over the years and as such I recently asked Alex if I could use it for Blackstar, which he graciously gave permission for.

I managed to salvage what I could from some half-broken 14 year old files, and I'm currently rebuilding the Mech to feature in the game.

One of the challenges with Blackstar is the fact it's not an Army game - you don't have soldiers, vehicles, fighters, etc. Should the designs be more in line with gladiatorial combat, or straight military machines?

The answer is both!

None of these Mechs were built for the Arenas. They were all built to fight wars out there in space, in planets, moons, and asteroids. They have stock configurations, a standard military look. At the same time, the warriors who pilot these machines have customized them to deal with the requirements of the Arena, both in terms of combat doctrine and aesthetics.

I'm designing all units to have a factory default look and a more crowd pleasing Arena look.

SO WHAT'S THE KERENSKY MKIII?

I'm glad you asked! A few years later in 2015 I wanted to do a portfolio piece not just about modeling, a full illustration / scene. I decided to revamp the original Kerensky with an Industrial Design look inspired by the work of artists such as Aaron Beck, Ben Mauro, and Theo Stylianides - the Kerensky MKII was the result, and despite having quite a few glaring mistakes it got a 3DTotal Excellence Award and Featured for the month, which was cool!

The problem with it, however, is that it uses some parts of Nick Govacko's Kitbash Kit, which is only for non-commercial use and not for re-release, as such I've never put it on the Patreon.

The solution is to make the Kerensky Mark III, replacing all those parts with my own, making improvements on the design and 3D model that I've wanted to do at the same time. I will respect, however, the fact that a previous version existed, so effectively the Kerensky MKII has just become Blackstar's first Unseen!

That's all for this Devlog, join me next month for The Art of Making Mechs, Part 2.

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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 188 exclusive posts
924
Images
49
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25
Writings
4
Videos