Tales from the Bonne Mecha Assembly Line

Apr 26, 2011
2011 Apr 26
GregaMan

 

::Note:: The following post is by Action Planner Shingu-san, not Greg-san. 

Hello. I’m Shingu, one of the Action Planners. I mostly deal with player actions, the Reaverbots, the Bonne Mecha, and dungeons. I’ve worked on game development for a long time, but this is my first time in the spotlight. Please be kind to me.

Now then,the purpose of this blog is to talk about in-game action, so we’ll be taking a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating the Bonne Mecha, which was the subject of a previous large-scale event on the Devroom that caught a lot of attention.

Put briefly, the Bonne Mecha design was selected from said event, then eventually implemented in the actual game, like this:

Mecha voted on in Devroom in a heated debate.

Final design selected by MML3 Dev Team from a list of finalists.

This greatest design was placed in the game.

As you all know, the selected design was the one submitted by Kobun #1! This individual’s design charmed us with its impressive repertoire of moves and each of those moves’ apparent versatility. However, it was clear that with the environment we were planning for this boss battle, there would be some intense difficulty in store. Thus, in creating this Mecha, we began by adjusting its difficulty while still leaving the design’s ideas intact.

Chapter 1: Idea Filtering and Figuring Out the Difficulty Level

The first thing we did here was figure out what attack patterns would be applied to what ranges in distance. For this Mecha battle, we were thinking that there would be three major “distance fields”, with varying attack patterns for each field. We first chose one solid attack for each field, creating the framework for a basic play experience.

  20-40m Long Distance

  10-20m Mid Distance

  0-10m Close Distance

After this, we added a few more moves for the distances players were most likely to find themselves fighting. We also added a set of “Big Moves”, which are attacks that players should be extra cautious of. At this point, the Mecha’s move set was confirmed.

Chapter 2: Increasing its “Bonne Mechness”

With the difficulty issue settled, the necessary fundamental elements of the Bonne Mecha were in place. At this point, we held a big staff meeting. The objective of the meeting was to figuring out how to both bring the original ideas to life while also strengthening the overall “Bonne Mecha” vibe of the design.

Of course, there’s no expression quite as vague as “vibe”, so there were times where our opinions were split, but it mostly turned out to be a harmonious brainstorming session.

In the end, the idea to use some kind of servbot-related gimmick was born.

(Here’s a small taste)

Aero: “Hm. . . It’s charging. I see! It’s running low on power!”

At this point, graphic artist Ueda-san also began making adjustments to the Mecha’s physical design. His aim was to leave the concept of original design intact, while emphasizing the “Bonne Mecha” look and feel of it.

Before. . . 

 

After!


Chapter 3: “Tron would never fit inside THAT.”

Having figured out the action-related bits, we moved on to designing the map. First, we ran a check to see exactly what would appear onscreen at the player’s likely distance from the Mecha. This would help us figure out what size it should be. For quick reference, we used a yellow box to represent the Mecha.

We performed this check a number of times, eventually fixing the Bonne Mecha at about four meters tall. However, this is where the designers stepped in:

“Tron would never fit inside the thing at that size!”

“Can you imagine the position she’d have to be in to board that thing?!”

Knowing that this would result in severe punishment later, we adjusted the Mecha’s height to roughly six meters. At last, both the designers and the planners were satisfied, so we made this the final size. We’re sorry, Miss Tron.

Afterwards, we used the size of the Mecha as reference for deciding the size of the room in which the battle would commence. When that was finished, it was time to create the finalized data.

Chapter 4: The Evolving Bonne Mecha Battle

Software engineer Ozono-san (who also worked on MML2) wove together the data created by the design, modeling, and motion staff, while “scroll” (background) designer Terai-san got to work whipping up the stage environment.

The Bonne Mecha battle was evolving day by day. A whole slew of Bonne Mecha-specific effects were added in, and we even added a special in-game event players could view if they met certain conditions.

The Bonne Mecha, built with love!

Chapter 5: Endless Tweaking

Once each of the staff members had finished their area of the creation process, it was time to start making our little tweaks and adjustments.

We thought we had figured out the difficulty level we were aiming for, but another problem arose here. It seemed that the way people used Barrett differed greatly from one player to the next, and thus their opinions on the battle’s difficulty were also quite split. Barrett players were largely divided into two types: Those who use his buster to fight from a distance, and those who fight with close-range attacks.

To deal with this, we called in the expert opinions of folks who had worked on past Legends games, beginning with Kono-san, director of MML1 and 2.

With their input, we were finally able to call the Bonne Mecha complete!

And that’s how the Bonne Mecha came to be. I guess that was pretty long. . . . Did you enjoy it?

We’ll definitely be taking just as much time and care with creating future content contributed from the Devroom. Please keep making submissions!

And lastly: Now that there’re some gameplay videos out there, I think you’ve gotten to see a bit of what the action looks like in MML3. As you can see, battles have become a lot more fast-paced. If you have comments or opinions on the look of the new action, definitely leave ‘em in the comments below!