MO:Astray - fofo
[Fixed] Some bugs
[Adjusted] Replaced UI for double jump instructions
MO:Astray - fofo
[Optimized] Game irregular delay
[Fixed] Partial mistakes of the written words
[Fixed] Small parts of the bug in the game
[Adjusted] Main character's partial sound effect
[Adjusted] Minor adjustments to lower the difficulty of the quests
MO:Astray - fiona
"The project stage"
When we decided to continue to develop MO, we reviewed the entire game. Because of lacking experience in the early stage, many contents needed to be optimized, including our protagonist.

In order to make the protagonist's dynamic performance smoother, we abandoned the original distortion dynamics and adopted stop-motion animation to make the movement switching ability performance more accurate. The appearance of the skin has also been tweaked and tuned to make the visual ratio well-proportioned. At the same time, to match the background scene, the fineness of pixels had been improved.

Fine-tuning of the size of eyes, the distance, and the angle of tattoos.

Moving (stop-motion)

Jumping and sticking (stop-motion)

Concept art

During the student stage of the game, the protagonist didn't have many abilities. What it could do was the very basic parasitic takeover, jumping and sticking (the speed of jumping up was even very slow at that time), so the protagonist's action was rather simple, however, until the current project stage, it needed new abilities and states to cope with different environments, and that became a problem in the subsequent design of the protagonist's action because the protagonist is just a drop of something gluey.

To pursue a good dynamic performance, the protagonist must be able to move all over the body, and there couldn't be only slight changes among each action since players might not notice that the protagonist is in different states of motion. Therefore, some important actions or states are performed exaggeratedly in the game through the appearance or behaviors of the protagonist.

Take being blown by the wind as an example, for different directions of the protagonist being blown, there would be different dynamics. This would make it easier for the protagonist to integrate into the environment of the game. However, to make players feel its changes, actions need to be a bit exaggerated.

Wind blow pictures

Having said so much, in fact, we didn't expect the protagonist would become like that at first. Ha! The rest part we will tell you guys later if there's any opportunity!!
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!~
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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.

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