MO:Astray - fofo
[Fix] Fixed a few aesthetic issues
[Fix] Incorrect spelling/characters in English and Japanese versions
[Adjustment] Balanced out difficulty level for a few parts of quests
MO:Astray - fiona

2019 Steam Awards Nomination
"We were meticulous when designing the puzzles in each quest, from things as small as obstacle breakthroughs or the order of totems, all the way to bigger concepts like utilizing switches, enemies' characteristics, the environment, features of MO, etc. We hope players take the time to take it all in and appreciate it. There may be some tricky challenges that take a few times to get through, but we believe players will receive much more satisfaction and fulfillment when nailing quests that require some contemplation."
Did you like the quests meticulously designed by the MO team? Feel free to give us some encouragement and feedback for the annual Steam Awards Nominations.
"The Best Game You Suck At Award" ~We need your support, come on!~
Nov 28, 2019
MO:Astray - fiona
It's Thanksgiving! Hot and crispy turkey for MO!
*Munch munch*...

MO:Astray - fiona
The development of the protagonist can be divided into two stages. The first could be called the student stage and the other could be called the project stage. Today, I'm going to share with you the evolution of the MO during the student stage~

The Student Stage

During this period, we decided to develop a game that had ""mucus"" as its focus. After constructing an initial idea of what the gameplay would look like, the first thing was to think about was the protagonist's appearance. Although the protagonist was essentially mucus, the game material had nothing to do with a classic fantasy world, so in the beginning we didn't conceive of the protagonist as slime, and just wanted to make it a drop of liquid (?)

We decided to design the protagonist's appearance based on its abilities: a liquid feel, able to adhere to both horizontal and vertical surfaces, without a specific shape and able to swallow anything. Something like a waterdrop that could be manipulated.

Early concept design based on the idea of the gameplay at the time.

Although its appearance matched its abilities, it simply looked like a drop of water. There were no real defining features of a character nor anything that would draw people in.

So we tried giving the waterdrop a core, as if it had a heart or something, emphasizing that this waterdrop had a life of its own, that it was a living creature. But giving it this core didn't help give it any defining features that's required for a character.

We tried a variety of skins, added new settings to the earliest prototype, changed the core of the liquid to a skull with distinct eyes, and adjusted the pixel art. This skin was put on the prototype for the first time and several dynamic tests of the protagonist's abilities were carried out.





Concept art

After we'd added the eyes, even though it had the feel of a character, the overall art style of the game was still being adjusted. The color tone of the background environment and the protagonist were both too high, but if the protagonist's color was too dark then problems with identifying it arose. Luckily, at the time there were many changes and adjustments to the concepts of the prototype and gameplay. After three months, we've decided to restart the whole project due to problems of scale. We also decided to redesign the protagonist, but still wanted to retain its "liquid" attribute.

We'd also thought of skins for the protagonist that could be switched

We tried out some styles of skins that were really out there :P

After a few months of trying, we found that it was not that easy to make a non-typical character. Most of the gameplay that had been produced was difficult to use as reference material. Even though we found a lot of information, it couldn't be directly used as an example. In the gameplay design, quest design, character's abilities, and art performance, we needed to explore every possibility on our own.

One of the original types of gameplay was a main factor in determining the skin design. When coming up with the gameplay, we thought the protagonist must have the ability to defeat enemies. We came up with a kind of protagonist that could accumulate electric power and then release it to attack enemies. It was then that we designed a look that is closest to the current one.

In this skin, we kept the concept of eyes and a core from before. In order to reflect the electric shock ability in its appearance, two protrusions that looked like plugs were added to its head. They were like a pair of ears, giving a cute feel to our protaganist.
We thought this element looked great, so it remained as we continued to develop the character.

Continuing with the previous skin design, we finally designed a character prototype that was closest to the official one in the game. Although the electric shock ability was removed, the most recognizable features remained. Considering the dynamic performances and expressions that would appear in the game, we replaced the sense of transparency and the core, making the color purer and more visually recognizable.

The tattoo on the head and the bright eyes signify that there is energy in the protagonist. The connection between the energy and the protagonist's abilities can be clearly seen in the game. With the little horns on the head, it is easier to express the character's emotions and physical state.

Some concept designs made after the gameplay was confirmed.

After confirming the character's look and ability, we redesigned the character's movements and completed the design of the protagonist for the project.
MO:Astray - fofo
[Added] Special Collections
[Fix] Some bugs
[Added] Mouse sensitivity adjustment
MO:Astray - fofo
New: Steam trading card
Adjusted: Order of the Monster Memories in the options menu (Infected, Inhabitants)
Adjusted: Difficulty level of a very small number of quest sections has been lowered
Fix: Some bugs
Fix: Age of monsters in the English version
Fix: Some screen scrolling, placing of items, visual direction, resolution, and other aesthetic issues
MO:Astray - fiona
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

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"

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.
MO:Astray - fiona

MO: Astray has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam!!!

We thank the media for coverage. The MO team will do our best to forge ahead.

Friends who have already downloaded MO: Astray, please feel free to come to our Steam page and leave a comment!"
MO:Astray - (John Walker)

I m almost tempted to celebrate the appallingly named MO: Astray for not> being a Metroidvania. I loves me some Metroiding, but it s proved a real pleasure to play an action-platformer that focuses on continuous progression without a trace of backtracking. It s especially a pleasure when it happens in a game as precisely designed as this.


MO:Astray - fofo
New: When the main character is damaged, you can still attack Mass Produced Defense Units
New: Controller sensitivity adjustment option
New: Original soundtrack MP3 file tag
Adjusted: Some parts of the levels have been balanced out
Adjusted: Background lighting adjusted to make platforms more clear
Adjusted: Method for calculating bottle opener accomplishments
Fix: Parts of text files in various languages
Fix: Some bugs

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