Square Enix held an online presentation at Game Developers Conference 2021, titled “Animation Summit: From Design: Full Procedural Animations for Mechs.” The presentation was particularly noted as the company’s engineers used models of Wanzer mechs from the Front Mission series. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
In the presentation, Square Enix’s AI engineers Tomohiro Mori and Kousuke Namiki revealed MULS (Multi Unit Link System). The system can automatically generate animations for a robot model based on its joint structures. The robot will aim its weapons towards a target and land its feet on various terrains on its own without any help from human animators.
The engineers did not mention any game titles directly. However, some of the robot models used in this presentation are based on the Wanzer mechs that had appeared in Square Enix’s Front Mission series, such as the Zenith, Frost, and Schakal. The engineers will make the new animation system compatible with quad-legged robots and fixed arms without elbow joints. Such robot parts also existed in prior Front Mission titles.
Earlier in March 2021, Square Enix renewed its Front Mission trademark registration in various regions worldwide. Most titles in the series were turn-based strategy RPGs taking place in a near-future where militaries around the world utilize humanoid combat mechs called Wanzers. Square Enix also recently revealed new Structure Arts plamodel kits that it will release in December 2021.