Hello to everyone reading the blog. I’m Yoshifumi Hattori, and I was in charge of character modeling on Vanquish.
During the production of Bayonetta, I was primarily working on enemy models, but mid-production I was shifted to Mikami’s team. Since I was the only modeler on the team, I have a feeling that I ended up making the player character and enemies at the same time. By the way, Sam’s character was designed by Makoto Tsuchibayashi.
We focused on having lots of volume with the back pieces of Sam’s suit, as well as placing plenty of moving/transforming parts around the suit. These transformations kept changing on me, so we were often deciding on Sam’s design as we were modeling. At first, the entire suit would transform into different shapes, and there was even an idea that a female android “partner” would transform and combine with Sam (I was a fan of that one). As the player would hoist her up, their bodies would change shape in various ways from forming an enormous gun to having the android change into a boomerang and be thrown into the field.
We also had a dog character that survived all the way through the modeling phase. The robotic dog would do various things to support Sam during the game, including combining with Sam’s suit to become a powerful piece of armor.
As you can see, we went through plenty of trial an error, but considering game controls and playability, things sort of “quieted down” to the design you see now. But if you look at the small details of the suit, you can see the remnants of the previous full transformation versions.
The transformation that takes place when the helmet opens up was really well received. I wanted to see where else we could put in these elements, so we ended up with having the weapons transform as well. Johnny (Weapon Designer at PlatinumGames who designed the weapons on Bayonetta and Vanquish) already had some weapons designed, but he created new designs that fit the transforming weapon concept.
So we kept working and adjusting things until the very end, so I hope you give the ARS suit a spin for yourself. I think that you will have a great time!
Until next time!