Daemon X Machina features two prominent people behind the helm: producer Kenichiro Tsukuda and mecha designer Shoji Kawamori, who also worked together on the Armored Core series. In a recent interview, they talked about some of the concepts behind the mech designs for the upcoming game. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights:
On why the mecha in Daemon X Machina are “mecha”, and not “robots”:
Kenichiro Tsukuda, producer: “It’s a bit hard to explain, but one of the reasons is that Japan and the West differ in terms of the definition of the term. The term “robot” in Japan is used to mean various things that can move automatically, and has nothing to do with whether it’s humanoid-shaped or not.”
“It’s not really about which definition is right or wrong, but because the Outer Gear that are called Arsenals are more like an exosuit or powered suit, it was more appropriate to call it a mecha rather than a robot.”
On the design concept for the Arsenals:
Shoji Kawamori, mechanical concept designer: “Although it has changed over the course of this project, originally we discussed basing it on a modern interpretation of medieval armor.”
4Gamer: It does feel like armor, but the muscular design is also quite striking.
Kawamori: “That muscular trait is exactly one of the characteristics of Arsenal designs. When we thought about what sort of mecha could incorporate the identity of this project, we believed that instead of making it fully armor-like, something that looked more like it boosted the pilot’s physical abilities would be better.”
Tsukuda: “The Arsenal’s base concept is designed around “wearing it to fight”, and the game concept of swapping out multiple weapons mid-battle. The image I asked Kawamori-san to create was a mecha that, despite equipping multiple heavy weapons, could still make human-like movements.”
The back designs of a mid-sized Arsenal. Even the way the pylons extend are drawn.
On balancing realism with ideals:
Kawamori: “This is true for anime as well, but one thing important to mechanical design in games is how you pay attention to “reality within the game world”.
Kawamori: “In terms of industrial design, it would be whether it’s physically possible for the Arsenal to stand up and move around. However, even if it would be impossible for it to move with such heavy armor and weaponry in real life, in games and anime it is feasible.”
“If we get even one step wrong, it would be too much like a super robot. Yet, even if you want it to be more realistic, it just wouldn’t be interesting if it didn’t look heroic or incorporate character traits. It’s about the tug-of-war between these two aspects.”
Daemon X Machina boosts onto Nintendo Switch in 2019.