Today I’ll talk shortly about the incredible machines that will be used to repel the martian assaults!
When we started working on the machines’ design, the main two inspirations were the vintage ’50s toy robots and the movie “The Iron Giant”. The latter reference was a perfect tribute to the ’50s Sci-Fi movies while preserving a very modern aspect, and this is exactly the balance we were trying to strike.
However, two problems suddenly appeared: first, the robots felt too stern (we wanted the player to feel some empathy toward their machines), and it was difficult to have their design actually show their gameplay function. Secondly, we wanted Barney (we will come back to him later!) to be both related to the player and their machines. So we made the decision to drop partially the “’50s toy” aspect and go for a “shabby, rough and heavily-tinkered” feel.
So we directly used, old, tattered objects found in the barn to help Barney build the machines! For example, the fridge will slow martians down, the BBQ launches explosive embers, and so on.
Finally, it is easier for players to relate to mundane objects, which they may be using in their everyday life.