Tag: Mech

The Omniframe – A M.E.K. Battlesuit

UPDATE: These frames are *fast*. They move like Firefall characters. They do not lumber like mechs. Just and FYI for those wondering.

This is the Ember character as it will most commonly be seen, sporting an Omniframe MEK (Mechanically Enhanced Kinetics) Battlesuit. Players can jump in and out of the suit to get to other vehicles in the game such as aircraft and ground vehicles, but the suit is always summonable and ready to go. It is the primary means that players will fight alongside T.H.M.P.R. mining MEK-A and other encounters.

The Omniframe contains jumpjets as well as glider wings, allowing it to jumpjet over obstacles as well as glide from high points to more distant locations. It does not, however, fly under power. The entire suit is actually very light, being composed primarily of aerogel titanium reinforced at a molecular level with an energized integrity field. This make it light enough to glide, but strong enough to break through a brick wall.

This is the Omniframe without the pilot. It is made of Titanium Aerogel and supported by an integrity field.
This is the Omniframe without the pilot. It is made of Titanium Aerogel and supported by an integrity field.

The pilot sits exposed, but protected by energy shields. This is a what I like to call a “design conceit.” I wanted a way for players to fully customize their character and not have it hidden by a an armored suit all the time. Yet, I still wanted the feel of a MEK you can ride and customize like a car in a racing game. A classic problem with mech designs is how dehumanizing they are, reducing the connection between player and character. By keeping the character visible, you can identify with it more and form a closer bond to both your avatar and your personalized Omniframe.

Both the Omniframe and the character will be customizable. The Omniframe can be improved with crafted components both internally and externally. You’ll be able to give it additional functions and abilities with crafted upgrades, improve its jumpjets and glide capability, sensor arrays, replace heads, wings, armor plates, etc. You can create stealth versions, heavy armor versions, mobility based versions, and specialize your Omniframe for any given role. You can collect more than one frame, customize them for different roles, have them in you garage and switch between them.

Both Omniframe and the player's avatar can be customized in a variety of ways.
Both Omniframe and the player’s avatar can be customized in a variety of ways. These are color examples, but armor plates, heads and wings can be interchanged.

Both the player avatar and the MEK can have a variety of cosmetic options. In addition to swapping out components of your Omniframe, you can add custom paint and decals to achieve a variety of looks. The player character can also be customized in clothing and colors, from casual to fully armored looks. Character will have morphs targets in places like facial features and body sliders, but height and proportion will likely have to remain fixed so we can make sure you fit in your Omniframe properly (and other vehicles). The plan is to have both male and female models available.

The player character can be customize with sliders and clothing. You can wear as much or as little body armor as you like.

The combination of player and frame is an interesting one. While no design is set yet, one idea I’m playing with is to have the player have skills and stats that can be improved (such as piloting skills for different vehicles). These skill would be improved by use and practice in the field. The Omniframe abilities, on the other hand, would be dictated by internal and external crafted upgrades. Abilities and features would reside in the Omniframe. Some features and abilities would only be usable by players who have attained enough skill in the relevant areas to use these features.

Once again, the basic principle of horizontal progression is the goal. As you improve you expand your options and capabilities, but the power curve is shallow compared to a MMO. Your skill as a player should be an integral component to how well you do in Ember.