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Mai Kobayashi

Mechdev comments thread

208 posts in this topic

Hmm, I don't know why, but I think Super Sentai fits Negima more than Gundam.

BAKA RANGERS!

Exactly, Yuu. Exactly.

Though, if you think about it, that might actually be an interesting, if not somewhat humorous, project to see done... hmmm... *writes in notepad*

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to expert or experienced mechdevers:

So I am recently on a roll with my mechdev brainstorming, where I ran into a snag. The baseline story is how a female pilot and an AI of a ship find out that they are "the same" being, as well as the fact that the AI is awakened to Newtype prowess. The story sounds interesting, and I might press on with how to create the story. However, in terms of mechdeving this AI, how would you do it?

overall problem: no sidekick/AI units in our forum can have defining skills and Newtype is defining, along with the fact that the ship has weapons and abilities that require psychic feats

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Are you sure about that? Cause like LCPU H-01 has Psychic Energy. And its also a sidekick.

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Are you sure about that? Cause like LCPU H-01 has Psychic Energy. And its also a sidekick.

woah.... but regularly, you can't acquire defining feats, such as newtype, to a sidekick. that's what I meant. As well, the AI itself already exists, so I thought, might as well just use the existing AI and later people can give it Newtype for Psychic Prowess, except people can't do that according to the rule...

so I am stuck with suggestions....

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Quick question: How much backstory is necessary? I can't write paragraph after paragraph of fluff, and it seems like fluff is a much needed part of the MechDev experience.

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Look at stuffs in MAHQ. You need around that much.

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You can't buy Newtype for a sidekick, but what if it comes with Newtype, or some other hardcoded ability to use Psychic Energy weapons?

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Christ, it's hard writing backstory for these things. The fact that I like to make original worlds and don't know jack about most of the mecha anime I watch don't help matters. It seems like making an acceptable Mechdev requires exposition that I just can't seem to write since I did the TSJ. I mean, I want to MechDev things, and winning contests would be nice, but goddamn I don't have the patience or ability to express my ideas with the sheer volume that seems to be necessary. It's bloody annoying to be sitting on these half-baked ideas while desperately waiting for the Dressups to get done.

Sorry for the rant; what I mean to say is halp plz.

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Hmm.. Yes I understand what you feel Kirby, it's kinda hard when we're writting our projects and most of the time frustrations on our patience or ability to our express idea can really hurt (one of the many reasons why my Advent Chronicles is on hold ATM >.<). But I think have a few suggestions (and a question) that can and might help...

1. Just like Nimbus said, "Look at stuffs in MAHQ. You need around that much.", which I believe is a good enough quantity to explain the unit's general overview. Of course, you can add or subtract the volume depending on your needs.

2. Look around the MechDev WIP or old submissions. You can see the variations of how long or how short you can write the required descriptions you need. There's alot of excellent examples there and I think you can use them as a pattern.

3. I would suggest reading and lots of it, it would give you more ideas. If, your not into reading that much, I'd suggest you can look around in MAHQ or those mecha entries in Wikipedia.

4. Try experimenting with different writing style for your MechDev submission form. Yeah, it'll take alot time, but once you got one where your confident the next few others would be a breeze.

5. If applicable, which and where are your problems exactly? Since reading above says your having trouble with volumes and how it should be written. Generally, all we need to explain is how and why the unit is created, with a reasonable story.

So yeah, these things I written above can and will work, all of them takes awhile to get used to, but remember those things shouldn't stop you from expressing your ideas. I remember in my old submissions and my newer ones, and I see a big difference now~

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is kirby's problem:

-writing a back story for an original series?

or

-writing a back story for an existing series, but for a new original unit?

my problem with writing an original universe story is that it does not sound original. Like if feels like I am copy-pasting some work I seen, and I some what dislike that...

The reason I started my original Gundam concept design series is the fact that I can get practice out of things... Like I feel that my Avanguard backstory write up was descent, and is the reason why I won that contest...

My question is, how do I make a unit seem fair? Like everytime I make, I feel that it is way unbalanced...

Edited by Akita Niko

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There really isn't much "volume" needed at all, Kirby. You don't have to give ALL the information about your series, just enough for the unit in question.

I mean, take a look at some of my stuff. There's a LOT of story still left behind Matey Match and SD Trooper Squad, but I have no need to actually write it up. Only the stuff directly relevant to my unit is needed.

Just take a look at some of these, for example: Matey Match grunts, SD Trooper Squad, Macross Centris, MUTPSATC-MKII, etc.

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In addition to what Umbaglo said... Here's my take on your problems...

is kirby's problem:

-writing a back story for an original series?

or

-writing a back story for an existing series, but for a new original unit?

On the original series' backstory, you only need to put the necessary information you need for them. You don't need to put all the backstory for a single unit. As for the other, a little backstory would do, like some brief explanation on how it goes or why its happening.

my problem with writing an original universe story is that it does not sound original. Like if feels like I am copy-pasting some work I seen, and I some what dislike that...

Can't help on this one as almost all of the current 'original universe story' that are published/produced/etc are all copy-pasting of some work but are taken with minor difference. Example would be... SEED being not-Gundam UC0079, BGMs in FF games are remixed versions of the old, and the list goes on.

Hope this helps you.

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Before anyone confuses my comment, I'd like to make sure it's noted that I was only saying what was NEEDED. Certainly people are allowed to write up novels of backstory and plot for their series, and no one is trying to prevent that. But from my experiences, the R&D mods really don't want to bother with having to go over that much, and only wants to know the minimum required for each unit submitted.

As for originality, the saying that nothing is new anymore is certainly active in this case. Just look at many old and modern mecha shows, and you can see many things which could be said to be "cut and paste" from other stories. It all comes down to presentation, in the end. How you present everything is what matters, not that your story is Generic Hero Fights Generic Bad Guys, With Mecha #57347373.

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Sorry if I'm disrupting anything, but I just need afew opinions on this unit.

Magical Soldier: Michiko

Empire of Guylas: Ready

IMF-003X Kusanagi X (Mana Frame, Mana Anomaly)

The Kusanagi after having undergone a physical evolution under the constant manipulation of it's mana flow by Michiko, causing it to 'mutate', it's body becoming sleeker, and the pins that made up it's hair becoming thinner, more resembling thin needles than the shard like pins. Ontop of the mutations from the altered mana flows, there are some human made additions, such as wings bearing adjustable animite blades, and an enhanced flight system. A final addition was added to prevent the Mana Frame from becoming unstable, as well as amplify the mana manipulation powers of it's pilot. (M-size)

Weapons-

Mana Vulcans: A pair of Vulcans mounted on Kusanagi's shoulders which fire off small animite capsules charged with mana.

Animite Needles: A simple twirling movement that sends a spray of thin needles from the Kusanagi's head out over a wide area.

Animite Needles [Charged]: A spray of needles charged with mana. Able to slip easily through most barries the come up against.

Seraphim Sabers: a pair of mana sabers, powered by animite shards, a pair of tiny angel wing like protrusions acting as hand guards. These are considerably more powerful and have longer blades than the Cherubim Sabers.

Dual-Mana rifle: A production model of the Kusanagi's original weapon, considerably more stable, and have more durable lenses.

Wing Cutter: A slashing attack performed by flying past the enemy at a high speed with the Kusanagi's wing blades turned outward.

Seraphim Sabers [Full Output]: Kusanagi's sabers, using the Anima's powers to bypass the energy limiters, making the weapons even more powerful.

Animite Buster: A massive double bladed sword crafted of animite, about as tall as the mech wielding it.

Wing Cutter [Charged]: A fly by slashing attack, charging the wing blades with mana to increase their destructive force and allowing them to cut clean through almost any barrier standing against them.

Animite Buster [Charged]: Animite buster charged with mana through an Anima's control over the energy. Able to cut through most barriers.

Mana Launcher: A powerful mana gun with a long rectangular barrely, using a multi-setting lens for focused or spread attacks, it's ammo is similar to that of the mana rifle, though the animite caps are considerably larger.

Wing Blades: Eight blades attached to the Kusanagi's wings (Four on either wing) by a length of wires, these wires are long strands of animite and can be used to guide the animite blades through a continious current of mana, this charge also transfers to the blades, allowing them to slice through barriers.

MAP Weapons-

Mana Launcher: A powerful mana gun with a long rectangular barrely, using a multi-setting lens for focused or spread attacks, it's ammo is similar to that of the mana rifle, though the animite caps are considerably larger.

Systems/Internals/Etc.-

Improved Mana Processor & Mana Reactor- The Mana Processor is a device that takes materials, usually animite, and breaks it down, releasing the materials mana and transfering the mana to the reactor, where it is stored and distributed throughout the machine. Due both to mana mutations and human made enhancements, the processor now works much more efficiently, perhaps even too efficiently as the reactor is often unable to contain all the mana being sent into it, creating a radiation that mixes with the units natural one. To counter this, the reactor had to be upgraded to allow it to handle the amount of mana being produced by the processor. (Simply looking for an imrpoved EN supply over the original Kusanagi's)

Improved Mana Boost Drive- Without this component, the unit cannot move without tapping into the pilot's own mana reserves. Simply put, it draws in mana stored in the reactor to allow movement of the unit's body. Due to the mana mutations and human improvements made to it, it has a larger mana capacity, allowing for greater ranges of movement and reduced strain on the reactor. (Looking for a slightly lower Agi. score than the original Kusanagi)

Boost Verniers- While before it's alterations the Kusanagi could only make short distance flights before having to land, due to the extreme strain it's original verniers put on the Mana Boost Drive (which in turn put strain on the reactor). However, with the Boost Verniers, it is now able to fly with minimal strain on it's components. (not looking for much with this aside from F move type.)

X System- A special system implemented into the Kusanagi after evolution. It interfaces with the animite capsule, greatly increasing the pilot's natural mana manipulatian abilities as well as their strength and reflexes. However, this system puts strain on the body, meaning it can't be used at full output for very long.

Other-

Animite Shell- the Kusanagi is coated with a fine layer of Animite, Improving it's armor and reducing damage from most physical attacks.

Crown sensors- the sensors in the Kusanagi's circlet provides a direct link to the pilot's mind displaying a highly detailed view of the surroundings beyond the pilot's range of vision.

Mana Field- An Anima piloting the Kusanagi can charge it's animite shell with mana, creating a barrier that prevents most low level attacks, though doesn't work as well against oncoming mana attacks.

Mana Radiation- The Kusanagi X gives off a natural field of mana radiation. This radiation disrupts any guidance system that may be present on incoming projectiles, making them less effective against this machine.

Mana Distortion Field- A warping effect that occurs around the Kusanagi X when the Anima piloting it redirects the mana flow, creating a false or distorted image, making the Kusanagi harder to hit.

Mana Anomaly- Due to the physical mutations caused by continuous contact with Michiko's powers, the Kusanagi is now able to gradually adapt to situations as it fights, allowing it to become stronger along with it's pilot with each battle, and allowing it to handle pilots with quick reflexes without too much strain. (Perhaps something like the effect of Orbital Frame unit type, or the Fused Organoid System, where it gains bonuses as it gains EVO points)

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To everyone who responded to my rant, thanks. It seems like I didn't explain myself well in the first post due to butthurt. The problem I have is actually making a Mechdev piece. It's a challenge to do anything outside of the attacks, because I can't think of a good way to explain how anything else works. I don't know how much information is necessary and seeing well-done walls of text as I research is pretty intimidating. I can come up with an idea in my head alright, it's expressing it that's the problem. Because of that, I haven't had the balls to write a in-series mech. Well, that plus the fact that I know very little about most mech series outside of humourous doujinshi/SRW/here.

EDIT: Yuu, the submission seems serviceable, but the first para reads badly. There aren't logical stops in ideas within that para, and it makes things confusing.

Edited by Kirby M.D.

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Well, again Kirby, I have to point to other projects, notably my own (though many other people have good examples as well). You should be able to determine yourself how much information is needed. Just ask yourself "If I was explaining this to someone who knows nothing about it, what do I -need- to tell them so that they get the same idea?" For many things, this is a lot less then people realize.

Is it important that you outline the life story of everyone in the series just to explain the hero's mech? That's not very likely, probably all you need is why it was built/how it was found, and then explain it's abilities.

For example, in Matey Match, R-Matey's entire submission only says that R-Matey was found on an abandoned planet, left behind by unknown forces. Is there a lot more to it then that? Of course, but none of that is actually important to the submission. It's an important part of Matey Match's first story arc, but only as part of the story.

In another example, for Macross Centris I start off the submission with a small story blurb which quickly describes that there's a war between UN Spacy and JAM. Nothing long, just a few sentences. The sort of thing you find on ANN or other sites. After that, each unit just gets technical details described, since there's no need to cover anything else.

In 99% of submissions, the only "wall of text" you should have is all the units you're submitting. Yes, some people like to write up a novel for their submission, but it's highly unnecessary in the vast majority of cases.

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how specific can you go, before the mech dev mods frown?

I mean I understand for weapons not to give like the exact damage, accuracy, and weapon tags and all, but what about abilities? How much do you need to describe in order to be understanded that a unit has a certain attributes? For instance, how far do I need to explain myself if I am building a CE gundam with a Hyper Deuterion Reactor and a VPSA? If there is a new attribute to be added, how much is too much?

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If your unit has established abilities, then you say you have those abilities. There's nothing wrong with that, I mean what else can you do? It looks incredibly silly to be making a SEED unit, but have the submission dance around the fact that it has PSA without actually saying it has PSA.

Of course, you still need to explain why it has them.

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If your unit has established abilities, then you say you have those abilities. There's nothing wrong with that, I mean what else can you do? It looks incredibly silly to be making a SEED unit, but have the submission dance around the fact that it has PSA without actually saying it has PSA.

Of course, you still need to explain why it has them.

I mean that is the problem (or one of my problem). I can say it has PSA but I really can't think of a reason why, other than it's a test type gundam and therefore, it has it.... Part of it is also about not having an exact story to base it off of... But yea...

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Does there honestly have to be a reason for it having Phase-Shift Armor beyond an engineer saying "Hey guys, let's give it Phase-Shift Armor"? I mean, PSA isn't even "out there" for SEED units. That'd be like Professor Saotome having to explain why he gave Shin Getter a giant freaking axe.

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What, do you think PSA is some kind of "secret" technology? Everyone and their mother has it, pretty much. They just don't tend to use it because beams are more prevalent, and it's fairly expensive. It's not like it's restricted to Gundams or anything.

What seems to be a slightly more important issue for you is that you don't seem to even understand the underlying series. Not even understanding the series is definitely going to give you problems trying to explain your unit.

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Mel > If I understood you correctly, I don't think that just saying the technology is available is a smart way to submit a mechdev, imo. As well, the analogy seems a bit off, b/c SRs can virtually do anything with guts and will. I believe a more appropriate analogy is whether to give an RR a beam gun or a machine gun, and actually explain the reasoning behind such decision (although, if the universe is fairly young, you can just say that the beam weapons are expensive, and bullet technology was cheaper).

Umb > And you just pointed to a test type mobile suit, because? I clearly stated in my post : I can say it has PSA but I really can't think of a reason why, other than it's a test type gundam and therefore, it has it....

I added Gundam b/c it's a bit more specific than test type mobile suit (being that in SEED, units with the acronym GUNDAM are special in some way shape or form), and it also describes my planned mechdev unit submission. I mean, is there more to the history to the PS-type armor, other than after the PSA creation, ZAFT thought one way (VPSA) and the Earth Alliance thought another (TPSA)?

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Uh, if the technology IS available to anyone, then saying such is perfectly acceptable. I mean, if your unit is actually begin made by the EF, ZAFT, or another established MS creation organization, then you can easially assume that they have access and capability to add PSA to whatever the heck they want.

Now, if your unit is being made by some Joe Schmoe, then you're going to need to have a better explanation as to where it came from. But otherwise, it's not like PSA is a restricted technology. If someone was making an R&D which was some new EF MS, then it's perfectly acceptable to just say "They gave it PSA". It's like saying that it has a beam rifle or a beam saber.

You should maybe look at some of the other SEED R&Ds that are in the Mechdev to get a good idea. And maybe you should research the universe a little better.

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