As mentioned last time, I'm going to make an OVA (somehow) and am throwing around story ideas and whatnot.
>Last time: http://4archive.org/m/res/10954810
Here are some updates and some character designs with placeholder colours. Tell me what's good and what's shit and I shall endeavour to get it to a level where most people think it's at least OK and don't throw up upon seeing my weaboo ugyuuu drawings.
So, we'll need 4 dedicated mechs. Here's some brainstorming for configurations.
Since it'll just be me animating on my own, having the same basic cockpit for all 4 machines will save on time (if there's a sniper unit, that will have a dedicated sniping scope setup though, etc etc).
So, these 4 people will have to be interesting and have some kind of character traits, as much of the film will be them chatting over the comms.
Well, I think I'll probably just go with whatever 4 configs that folks here think look the least stupid.
Cockpits look cool, still not remotely fond of the chicken-walker western style of mecha you're going for though. And while I don't have any direct evidence to suggest it's a bad idea to ask the public to fund you while drawing such units, I don't think you'll get nearly as much support because of the style of mech as you would with something more humanoid regardless. If you're aware of this complaint and don't care though, then carry on. It's your project, you're free to do with it as you wish. Just raising it as a possible concern/criticism.
Might I suggest one keep a musical instrument in the cockpit and play it, either to himself, or over the radio during downtime or when the mech is moving on autopilot? You can have it as a guitar and call him Nick(y) Basara or something if you want to go whole hog with a reference. Or just make it a harmonica or something if you want it to be less of a reference.
Well, in terms of actually making the thing, I'd need so little money to live for a year that it would probably be the least expensive kickstarter ever. No need to hire staff, really, or pay for equipment. I'd just need to pay the bills, pay some voice actors and music/sound mixing person.
Which is kind of fortunate because the general public really won't be interested in a "realistic" mech operation tactics procedural drama.
>So, er, I assume that SW thing got delayed further.
I have it sitting here with all the visuals complete, but I'm just waiting on a few seconds' adjustment to the music and I can upload it. So... another week, I guess? I'll mail Zak and see how he's going with the music.
>That throttle goes right to the pilot's elbow. Don't you think that would be a bit uncomfortable?
Ah, easily fixed, cheers. Noting that down.
> Which is kind of fortunate because the general public really won't be interested in a "realistic" mech operation tactics procedural drama.
I don't know. I thiink the generally positive view of 08th MS Team in the west could be an indication otherwise. I don't know of any other animations beyond Takahashi stuff off-hand that tried to portray soldiers as soldiers doing soldiery things to any big degree to say whether any others succeeded or failed, but certainly the west likes seeing soldiers given the success of Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and so on. It's just the mechs part that might be a stickler. Make it right and I doubt anyone would care. Right being the tricky part obviously.
I'm just going to the shops for some rations, but will leave this super amazing map I drew and pose the following questions to you that I asked /k/ (they were very helpful, incidentally!).
Let's say it's a shitty little planet with enough trees for breathable air where some outlaw types have set up mining operations (Target HQ).
So our 4-mech squad dropship down a couple of days' walk away (map is not to scale, obviously) and must take the HQ intact or more likely destroy its anti-air guns so their carrier in orbit can send marines down right on top of the place to rescue hostages or something.
>How do you make their journey interesting? There are a number of routes to the target, and a number of things happening along the way that they can bypass and hide from or go and check out. They might have to mow down a village full of locals to maintain secrecy. Some decent sniping positions if they scale some of those mountain bits. Jungle for 08th MS Team action.
MUH REALISM concerns-
>Why did they have to dropship these guys down in the first place and how did they avoid detection?
>How are they avoiding detection during the mission? The mechs are customisable so I'm thinking one can be a dedicated C&C unit with a radome that uplinks to the carrier in orbit for satellite maps and the like. But what kind of Radar-like things are they using, etc?
>Any thoughts on ammo types and what would make for interesting battles?
If your mech is going to have modular components, then it should probably have some visible hardpoints on the base machine where they connect. Maybe a few (/) shaped caps in the sides that can be unscrewed to insert a component.
But even with that, I don't think this thing was designed with weaponry in mind at all. Like, you could put some small arms on it for anti-infantry use, but the big things you've bolted on look like they'll snap off.
Designate this as a scout and move on.
Or maybe try adding a folding cannon on the top that extends a couple of legs for extra stability, to serve as an extra long range artillery piece.
the villages could be a source of information, but could risk exposing the operation that could be used to create dramatic tension. Can the locals be trusted?
>Why did they have to dropship these guys down in the first place and how did they avoid detection?
uh dunno, honestly hostages is as good a reason as any
>How are they avoiding detection during the mission?
Flatbed trucks, they only deploy when they absolutely have to
>Any thoughts on ammo types and what would make for interesting battles?
Napalm and agent Orange is always fun
also, no infantry/drone support?
Whoever controls the orbitals, controls the world.
However, let's presume the enemy base had some sort of Iron Dome thing that could intercept any incoming orbital drop projectiles. So the mechs had to insert some distance away and approach on foot, using terrain as a cover, to get close enough to disable the missile and railgun emplacements so the drop troopers could come in force.
As for detection? Maybe the mechs use stealth technology similar to modern fighters like the F-22 and F-35? That is to say, scattering angles and wavelength-absorbing paint. I can't imagine outlaw types having the best radar technology.
Either that or go for some kind of minovsky-style universal jammer.
Oh, and they don't want to just nuke the site from orbit because brass wants intel on the outlaws, maybe even to capture a few of them alive. Outlaw raids on poorly-defended colony worlds have been a problem lately, and the brass wants to know who's behind it.
"Only logic engines can track and target drop pods!"
Usually, you can't not be detected making planetfall, considering how empty space is and everything. But staying below the horizon when they don't have space assets is possible. You could use drop-cocoons and keep the DS in orbit, hot-drop your mechs by dipping into the atmosphere, or land and deploy your mechs the conventional way; right off the ramp.
Landing a distance away is pretty easy to justify. Maybe they have orbital guns, maybe you want to be undetected, or maybe you have to pick a trajectory that doesn't let their fighters or bigger stuff intercept.
This feels so almost-battletech it hurts.
>Any thoughts on ammo types and what would make for interesting battles?
Night-time battle initiated by an enemy Ramba Ral who correctly predicted that the protagonists would be landing with armour. With limited resources, he strikes with fast hovercraft launching flares to light up the targets for his light mechs to hit from concealment.
If you're going this route then he should probably shoot out something that can stick to the protagonists mechs and highlight them when the flares are up so that the protagonists mechs are permanently visible to him, but the enemy are mostly hidden by darkness to our protagonists. I can't imagine it'd be difficult to McGuyver up some kind of sticky light that can be thrown or shot. Cue protags having to stop and try and put out the light, scrape off the luminous paint or what have you so they can regain the element of surprise.
Though why the enemy wouldn't be able to detect them using night-vision or heat or something I've no idea.
Presumably it would be a zero-emissions orbital insertion. Set it on the right trajectory and you don't need to burn any fuel. Hmm, except maybe to slow it down once you get in the atmosphere, but maybe that could be done with parachutes?
>Her skin needs to be darker
>her hair needs to be curlier
But I kind of like the hair...
It's pretty much stolen from Halle Berry. But I'll meet you halfway. She's the squad leader by the way, I think.
>Can you make his hair black please.
Incidentally, some thoughts that /k/ had:
>Active Protection Armor like ARENA or TROPHY would protect from the biggest annoyance to walker mechs: little bastards on the ground firing rocket launchers up at them.
Here it is in action
> if you're trying to make it "realistic" most of the entertainment is going to need to be squad banter (believe it or not, tankers don't talk entirely in the phonetic alphabet). Dialogue is going to need to be sharp and funny during downtime. Tension can't be constant, unless you're a Ridley Scott tier director. Character development should either be new recruits becoming tough and close friends if you're leaning pro-war, or recruits slowly turning sociopathic and disconnected as a result of the mechs if you're going anti-war.
>The danger is going to need to come from the environment, maybe an exhaust line breaking and contaminating the cockpit, shit like that. Enemy combatants should be a much rarer problem. Survival in a hostile environment with complex machines as your only safety should be the overarching threat.
>Engagement with enemy mechs should be a really big fucking deal. If you want to do what I think you do, which is something realistic and different, it's cant be Die Hard with robots. Engagements should be as tense and scary as possible, with eventual explosive release of that tension.
>One reason why they might drop off is because there was urgency and they couldn't walk all the way. However, radar has insane ranges so to really avoid it the VTOLs would have to fly at something like treetop level.
As for comms, a radome is retarded because radar isn't used like that. Instead, get rid of the stupid top gun and replace it with a comms suite.
>Not making Adam Steiner up there lance leader
Why do they have to drop the mechs in?
>Invent some plots such as the site is a large deep space radar/anti air-space gun that shot down capital ships from orbit.
>The planet could be inhabitable or desert and the Red guys just use it as a military base. As a result, very little infrastructure and no roads.
>The site is protected by advance laser point defend or magical space-shield and so the only way to take it down is by infiltration.
>One thing about OP's design is that it doesn't seem all that friendly towards the pilot's vision.
>No gimbal mounted FLIR cameras?
>It seems sort of inefficient to rotate your upper torso to look around.
>This, add at least a couple of these small FLIR pods for 360 degree vision augmentation
Also, as the mechs are on a stealth mission and we don't want the story to be over the moment they land due to being discovered by RADAR etc, I wonder if these kind of adaptive panels could work to disguise them from detection?
If so, that means that we're back to the Gundam-style "they have to be seen and visually targetted because of Minovsky shenanigans," which is what we want really for drama purposes.
> Personality trait suggestions
One of them could have a parent or sibling higher up the chain of command they're worried about impressing so that they tend to stress out during down-time and over-extend themselves during confrontations. Whether they make an effort to address this or not would obviously be up to yourself and how much time it's going to go.
One of them could waiting on confirmation on whether a lover in another section of the armed forces is alive or not following their own mission. The lack of confirmation leaving them on edge constantly as they try to reassure themselves they still are, but try to face the reality they may not be during quieter moments.
One of them could a superiority complex due to breezing through school and training, but suddenly find themselves hitting a wall when it comes to the real world application of all those skills and the fact that at least other member of the unit is also highly skilled. Whether they buckle under this pressure or learn to knuckle down and actually start to apply themselves, and whether the other person even realizes and how they react to it is up to yourself obviously.
One of them could have been recently fucked up another mission, or blame themselves for a fuckup that wasn't their fault, the harbored guilt following them through on to this mission - possibly even having the mission parallel the other one somewhat, causing them to second guess themselves and their actions at times.
> Personality tic suggestions
Bad habits: spitting, scratching balls/arse, picking nose, biting nails
Scratching chin or head, rubbing nose or eyes, pulling ear-lobes, licking teeth etc when pensive or thinking about something.
Echopraxia or echolalia (repeating yourself or repeating what others say), stutters, tourets of some description.
I especially like the idea of a tourets character, just to echo a joke I saw in a documentary about it where the girl suffering it said that despite cursing regularly as part of her syndrome her father could still tell when she cursed as an actual curse instead of a reflex. Having someone build up to that moment where the other characters call them on it could be fun.
> In cockpit activities
Read a book, either on screen or by hand, playing an instrument, training equipment of some kind, like those grip exercising things, stress-balls, fuzzy dice, sleeping bag or blanket in case they're sleeping in mechs during night watches.
>Echopraxia or echolalia (repeating yourself or repeating what others say), stutters, tourets of some description.
This is all extremely painful to read.
I mean, a character with these traits would be hellishly annoying.
Probably, but I was just throwing out every suggestion that came to mind since there hadn't been a single personality suggestion so far - only suggestions for combat scenarios, weapons and so on. Also, it does depend how often the characters will even be speaking, which I imagine won't be much.
Nice to see something other than the stereotypical humanoid mecha for once. I love the "chicken-walkers," myself, ever since Starsiege and MechWarrior. They also feel far more "real"-robot-y than all the rest. So please, please do this, and I will give you all of my money. All. Of. It.
This'll sound silly, but a melee focused one with shin mounted laser blades (like in Zone of the Enders) and some type of fields or shields to protect it, as well as supplemental boosters, used when it attacks
For some reason, I like the original clawed feet and the angular cockpit better. Here's something I slapped together quick to illustrate.
I liked the new legs but the old upper torso and weapons arrangement.
(Really) rough enemy unit sketches.
So these things should be much lower tech than the main characters' units, but make up for it in numbers. Since it's an OVA with no restraints, we could have gory scenes of people being shredded inside these things I guess.
Story-wise, I'd like it to leave an impact in the viewer's mind for a few days after they watch it, and the only things which really do that for me are endings like Gunbuster, Cowboy Bebop, Giant Robo, etc. Obviously it's all just brainstorming at this point, but what endings have left an impression on you? Since I'm not thinking of sequels or anything, I can quite easily kill everyone for poiniancy, as long as I handle it right and it doesn't seem like a cheap attempt at making the audience cry.
dat spot light and smoke launchers on the tank
the movie Glory, and the ending theme for the Fourth season of LOGH always hit me hard. I guess I'm just a sucker for symbolic/yet to be apparent victories bought with the lives of good people
I think an anticlimatic ending would work very good for leaving a strong impression. Something like, when they arrive the enemy left, or an armistice is signed, or they just receive orders to withdraw and secure more important objectives. It would also illustrate how military operation never go as planned. Watch Generation Kill for ideas about that, I guess.
I really think you should change the design to something more wanzer like
the humanoid form lets you shoot around cover, reload, drag and throw objects among other feats. I think you'd be missing out on alot of dynamics choosing a pure chicken walker design over something with arms.
it would be interesting if you could prove me wrong though. but it's not looking like you can the way it is.
Nah, having such technology makes it too easy. It's almost as if they have a tactical genius......CREEEEDDD!!!
Seriously though, it makes sense to use these plates to reduce IR emissions while on move at night. Current tactics is to move by night while staying under camouflage in the day, which means IR plays a big part when using orbital or drone detection systems.
I'm writing down all the suggestions and stuff so far, so feel free to keep it coming!
So, are people OK with the character designs?
Those ones: >>11087999
This is the squad formation I'm thinking of going for, so if folks agree with this I can get Chris "Mechmaster" to model the mech and these 4 weapons loadouts, and I'll do some animation tests.
Also, I have no names for these guys yet so if you can think of any /m/-related ones that aren't too blatant, throw them this way!
USA! USA! USA! USA!
looks cool, will we get to see their CO's and the upper brass? or will they be shadowy blacked out faces appearing from a stark blue neon screen to communicate the divide and distance between the enlisted and lower officers from the command?
any named/faced hostiles?
It's a bit of a nitpick and just my opinion, but I'm not really feeling the American guy's 'ready to mow down non-combatants' thing.
I understand being terse and harsh because they have a difficult and important job and because he wants to spare the younger ones but the non-combatant thing feels like it's going a bit far. To me it seems like it would make him too immediately unlikable and that in a somewhat realistic mecha warfare setting there would be some ROE.
Personally, I think that something like wanting to let civilians, that they could save, die to not compromise the mission would be fine and more understandable to a viewer. Which is a rather thin distinction, and may not even come up, but I believe an important one.
Are those extra guns underneath the cockpit or something like the daylight television camera mounted on an Apache helicopter's nose? Because I do admit to having a fetish for watching underslung compound camera arrays rotating and moving to gain more info about surroundings.
Needs more BRRRRRRTTTTT.
I'd recommend taking off the top cannon on the leader's machine and replacing it with a nice big gatling cannon mounted below the cockpit.
Would it not make sense to have one of them be from a new, off-world nation - or to just discard the idea of nations in favor of planets altogether for a galactic story like this? Having one of the pilots with a known language to play off as an anachronism is a good idea, but having all four makes your setting seem kind of oddly small and like it's literally just transplanting Earth on to a cosmic scale instead of actually creating any setting.
I love these mechs. Refreshing to see /m/ shit that isn't just people that we're pretending are machines.
I really love the triple cannons mech's weapon placement but not so much the thing sitting on top. I really like that the mechs are so "squat" and that thing gives it almost, like, a head. Not my thing.
Good luck getting this project off the ground.
>Refreshing to see /m/ shit that isn't just people that we're pretending are machines.
I've absolutely no idea what you're talking about. /m/ never does that.
Is this the future of the Japanese race?
Also Columbian keeps trying to get Brit to "sample" his "coffee"?
That's military code for anal
Maybe Jap girl is token lesbian-but-not-really-a-lesbian?
Maybe Captain America has a wife back home?
Thinking about pre-determined relationships could prove interesting.
Well, visually speaking, they need to be easily distinguishable from the opposition in some way unless it's the creator's intent to do otherwise. Maybe the enemy designs could be more rounded or something along those lines. I'd imagine the allied units would have different color schemes, but maybe he'd want to do a unified color scheme for the teams which would be a good way to make them easily identifiable though that may make the individual units themselves less memorable.
I'm loving the character designs, and the tweaks from this thread all seem to be good ones. 'Talks in foreign language' is a trait shared by two of them, so I'd maybe try and make sure to differentiate how they use it (Columbia only uses occasional phrases and comments, Japan just doesn't really like using english much, or somesuch).
My only worry with that description is that you have artillery, sniper, radar, and only 1 close combat unit. I might switch Columbia to a closer range model, to create more dramatic close encounters while maintaining a tactical approach using radar guy and railgun sniper.
Also, sound is an issue as well. The only machine that sould engage with any degree of stealth seems to be Britain. Mortars means lots of explosions, and railguns are theoretically supersonic, meaning a loud sonic boom. You could get around this by having Japan need to lower the output of her railgun to cut down noise, or have the space between areas be large enough that sound isn't an issue.
There are some really random spots for enemys, when they seem to be focused on the mine and their base, and given the planet is supposed to be relatively remote. If they do show up there, there should be a reason, like something not included in the mission profile, but big and important.
Killing off characters just to leave an impact is VERY tricky to do well. If some of the characters die, the narrative should be built around that end, which would leave a rather depressing tone to the content. Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but if you want to make a fun tactical mecha battle OAV, then that kind of atmosphere could be a drag on that. This is only 1 episode (I'm assuming) so you can't really shift the atmosphere too much as things progress. Killing characters is hard to do, think of cyber newtypes. If one shows up, you accept they're going to die, and so their ineviatable deaths lack impact.
> token lesbian-but-not-really-a-lesbian
In general, for a 1 episode OAV, the focus should be mainly on the interactions between the four. You have a limited amount of time, which makes every external characters a minus in a zerop sum game.
The only one I was serious about was American having family back home that he had to become/keep acting cold-blooded in order to protect. It could be a good bonding moment for the whole group when they finally get him to explain to them what's going on. Just a quick idea.
Captcha army simplyr
Perhaps not coincidentally, that was the one I actually could actually work. I'm still not sold on it completely, as I don't like 'the aloof, no-nonsense tough guy is just putting on an act' cliche all that much, but it could be made to work.
Something like Advance Wars comes to mind, each has a different colour, while the enemys are all black, maybe one with a stripe to show the commander. But given the 'real robot' feel he seems to be going with, a generic colour scheme with a few highlights to differentiate them may be best.
Maybe you could just work a surname in there. For the Japanese one for example, I've always liked "Izumi". Shouldn't be way too obvious.
Wow. This thread is still going.
Have some line art, I guess!
>will we get to see their CO's and the upper brass? or will they be shadowy blacked out faces appearing from a stark blue neon screen to communicate the divide and distance between the enlisted and lower officers from the command?
>any named/faced hostiles?
Yeah, I'm thinking of starting it with the carrier coming into orbit around the target planet and a briefing & hangar scene before they go down to the planet to begin the mission.
I don't think I'll bother with named bad guys. just nameless grunts really.
>I'm not really feeling the American guy's 'ready to mow down non-combatants' thing.
I'm thinking he's more like Oberstein in LOGH: Takes the fall for all the evil stuff because it's necessary. During conversation scenes I think he'll probably be not nearly as aloof as Oberstein though, maybe even fairly nice, which will make his switch to cold & calculating during "situations" more pronounced (hopefully).
>something like the daylight television camera mounted on an Apache helicopter's nose?
It is indeed! (pic related)
>I'd recommend taking off the top cannon on the leader's machine and replacing it with a nice big gatling cannon mounted below the cockpit.
We do already have gatlings on all the units except the ECM one though...
>Would it not make sense to have one of them be from a new, off-world nation - or to just discard the idea of nations in favor of planets altogether for a galactic story like this?
Well, the nationalities thing was just for characterisation purposes. They won't go into the state of countries or mention where they're from in the film, I don't think. Tech-wise, it's still just Earth and some terraformed colonies and mining asteroids, I reckon.
>We do already have gatlings on all the units except the ECM one though...
I didn't mean a dinky little anti-infantry gun. The A-10's gun shreds tanks like they're made of paper. A gatling gun with some real punch to it would be a great thing to see on one of the mechs.
>Also Columbian keeps trying to get Brit to "sample" his "coffee"?
I think she'd kill him.
>Maybe Jap girl is token lesbian-but-not-really-a-lesbian?
Maybe she keeps looking at a photo of a loved one and we all assume it's a girl back home but it's revealed at the end to be a cat.
But American dude, yeah. he needs a reason to be all "the mission must succeed no matter what" so a wife or daughter on Earth could be a good motivation.
>I'd imagine the allied units would have different color schemes, but maybe he'd want to do a unified color scheme for the teams which would be a good way to make them easily identifiable though that may make the individual units themselves less memorable.
I think if it's a jungle/rocks setting, then they'll all need to be painted in a greenish colour for camo/REALISM reasons, and the silhouette of each machine will hopefully make them recognisable.
>'Talks in foreign language' is a trait shared by two of them, so I'd maybe try and make sure to differentiate how they use it (Columbia only uses occasional phrases and comments, Japan just doesn't really like using english much, or somesuch).
Exactly, yeah. It's also a way to get some believable conversation in, as I can just steal stuff I talked about in Japan (everyone talked to me in Japanese and I replied in English, so it's not as weird as it sounds. Hearing a language and understanding it is a lot easier than forming a response in spoken words in that language).
>Killing off characters just to leave an impact is VERY tricky to do well.
Indeed, yeah. I think if I do, it'll have to be shock value main character deaths very close to the end of the thing. Maybe two deaths in rapid succession.
>Maybe you could just work a surname in there. For the Japanese one for example, I've always liked "Izumi". Shouldn't be way too obvious.
Countering your electronic measures.
>The A-10's gun shreds tanks like they're made of paper.
It doesn't tho. Light armor yeah, but not heavy armor. The A-10 had to watch how it attacked T-62's with its gun and that's with being able to get top down angles on it.
There needs to be a sex-related translation gag. If there's one thing I recall from military time, it was that cracking sex jokes intentionally or unintentionally regardless of sex was a sign everyone was close enough to handle it and turn it back on you.
I'd assume it'd be just one mood lightener in the early part of the story, probably during early recon or infiltration, before shit gets real for the rest of the time.
(how) does it reload, refuel and service itself?
how does the pilot get in?
how does the pilot get out?
what if the cupola's blocked?
is the glass dome looking bit actually made of glass? is that where the cockpit sits?
can it lie or sit down without breaking things?
how's it going to get up when it falls over?
does it have an infantry phone?
what's it powered by? how does that get serviced?
how does it deal with power lines or tripwire traps and obstacles?
how are you going to handle infantry?
why have you showcased heavy armor and mechs instead of enemy light armour, transports, mortars, anti air, helicopters ? wouldn't those be the best suited for this kind of terrain?
will they be operating without assistance from your usual combined arms forces IE infantry,?