Rockman on its Way to Becoming a Notebook Computer

rockbook We've had a lot of really interesting Rockman merchandise coming from Japan in the past few years. Figures, soundtracks, mugs, cushions, keychains, clothing, and slightly provocative puzzles to name a few. And now it seems Rockman's next ambition is to become... a computer.

Ucchy-san of Rockman Unity has announced the Rockman Ultrabook Product Project, which is asking for user input in creating a Rockman themed Ultrabook. Users may vote on the polls once per day. Right now there is a poll concerning what kind of design will be featured on the Ultrabook's case, including an option for your own suggestion. Simply select the design you want, select your age range and gender, and submit. Two more polls will be opened in the following weeks.

When the final specifications are set, the Rockman Ultrabook will go on preorder March 29th. Preorders will end in May, and the notebooks will ship in July. The Ultrabook promises a third generation CPU that reduces energy consumption, a 14.1" non-glare LCD monitor, a solid-state drive for storage, and a 19mm thin form that weighs 1.67kg. Other specs and the price point are currently unknown.

Guessing it's really unlikely these are going to make their way out of Japan. I wouldn't worry much, though. Japanese keyboards are kind of weird.

Old Mega Man Docs Reveal Interesting Art

A user by the name of Buyatari has uncovered an interesting collection of materials, seemingly distributed by Capcom back in the days for various purposes. They include things like character model sheets, ad mock ups, and concept package designs. Lots of rare and fascinating stuff! Some of it gets pretty out there. A Mega Man 2 toy line? Ground Man in the Mega Man Mania box concept?? Mega Man X Soccer??? I would love to know the story behind how and why much of this stuff was made!

You can check out many more materials on this Digitpress forum post. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Buyatari!

Behold! Your final MegaMan design!

D wins! Today's newest Devroom update has revealed the second round's results. Design D came in first with an overwhelming amount of support in both Japan and worldwide, with 66% and 57% respectively.  With that out of the way, the dev team can finally complete MegaMan's in-game design!

You might notice a few slight, additional changes to the final design. These were made to make his color and physical attributes fit with his previous appearances. If all goes well, we should be seeing a lot more of this design in the near future.

Source: Japan Devroom

The Unseen Worlds of Mega Man Legends

I think it's fair to say that Mega Man Legends was pretty ambitious for its time. It was an all new series that departed greatly from what many people recognized as Mega Man then. It was also Mega Man's first step into a 3D adventure, a game design that still had a lot of unexplored territory. Of course before things could jump to 3D, they had to be plotted out in 2D by artists and planners. Above is Mega Man Legends' Apple Market. On the left is a concept design, and on the right is what we got in the game. Quite a disparity, but understandable given the technological limitations of the day. Furthermore, the concept art isn't simply to picture something for a game, but also something to draw ideas from and help flesh out a world. Plenty of material like this is made, creating the world we see in Mega Man Legends, as well as the world we don't see!

Since it's a holiday, let's sit back and have fun taking a look at these concepts after the break. Just a warning, however, it's pretty image intensive!

Here's Apple Market again, for you to view in larger size. Next to it is a scene from Apple Market's back alley, seemingly between the market and Downtown. I don't believe this is an area that made it into the game. Playing Mega Man Legends I always got the sense the town on Kattelox was like a 1950s, TV sitcom middle American town. But these concepts give the air of something more warm and less modernized. There's a very European feel to the layout and detail.

A concept design on a main street in Downtown. Again, a very European style environment with the clocktower and double decker bus and such. I really like the small details, like the umbrella tables out on the sidewalk.

More of Downtown; here we have a rough concept of a residential district. This looks a bit closer to what we got in the game, with its flat-sided buildings and equal areas segmented by streets. Again, keep in mind this art doesn't represent what they tried to make the game look like, just what they imagined it could be like.

Speaking of residential, although Downtown is full of houses you don't get to go into any of them. But that doesn't mean the planners didn't conjure up what they would look like on the inside. Of course, this style of open floor design made its way into Battle Network and Star Force as well. This looks like it could be out of one of those titles.

More of Downtown. It's got such a quaint and organic feel to it. Though I guess it would be a little odd for people to create such a town with the limited resources on a small island like Kattelox. But who knows?

Moving to Uptown, we have the hospital and art museum. The text on the hospital notes that the rounded structure on top could be made larger, and resemble a syringe. They really went full blown with that concept in the final design in the game. Meanwhile, it seems the art museum originally started out as a general museum, and was a bit larger. It even would have had a planetarium at the top. It makes me wonder what thoughts they'd have on space, considering things like rockets and space travel are very fanciful concepts here; the stuff of myths.

Of course, surface-dwelling society is just one side of the Legends world. There's also an entirely different world beneath the ground.

Here are some of the earlier concepts for underground ruins. They were definitely running with more of a mechanical theme, and come off more like the insides of a factory or a battleship, with all the pipes, ladders, grates and such. I suppose they have a bit of spookiness, but they don't command the kind of awe you'd expect when uncovering an ancient and advanced civilization.

Here the design is starting to get closer to what was found in the game, at least in consideration of the sub areas that connect the major ruins. The notes indicate a yellow colored water or some other type of strange liquid flowing beneath. Hrm.

I really love this image. This is definitely starting to get closer to the kind of weird and awe-inspiring elements the ruins ought to have. The strange mechanical pillars are really cool.

Now the concepts are much closer to what we see in the game, with greater emphasis on an advanced and polished look with repetition of geometric shapes. And of course the trademark red Reaverbot eye. The top image is pretty interesting; it was conceived as a life support system room for a boss, centered around a shielded monolith which presumably has its own defense system. The second image is of a reactor room, which would eventually translate into the room where the treasured Refractor rests. The last room is a control room. I can see these becoming the control center found in the Clozer Woods Sub-gate. But you really have to marvel at what this thing is with its floating clockwork and eye. Is it a building or a Reaverbot?

The last images we'll look at leave Kattelox entirely. These images are intended to conceive what kind of world all these events take place in. This is the most fanciful stuff, which is of course why I saved it for last!

First we have what appears to be concepts for a home for the Caskett family. On the left is a castle-style home. There is a place for the Flutter to moor in the space between the home and the windmill (which is partially cut off). On the right is a factory-style home. Here Roll appears to be gazing out the window while bathing. I guess maybe she's not actually that shy. Since the Flutter itself is a flying house, I never before imagined MegaMan, Roll and Barrel having an actual home somewhere in the world. But it's certainly possible they would have a piece of land staked out for themselves; it would be tiresome to always be flying around.

Here is a concept for a typical city. It appears that as the city grew, they just kept making buildings over buildings. That's perhaps why it's such an interesting combination of houses and factories. I think there's even a cannon in there!

A city suspended in the air, constructed on an enormous brace. Possibly something left behind by the people who came before. Notes indicate it looks like it once may have been a veritable paradise, but has now fallen into disrepair.

An underwater city; assuredly not in present use. Considering Mega Man Legends takes place in a time where the world has been largely flooded, these types of submerged cities ought to be all over the place.

This is not so much a city but one of the first takes on designing ancient ruins. Surrounding it are mountains of wreckage presumably that remain from whatever form of society may have once been present. A little depressing to look at.

And again, saving the very best for last. This impressive image is really what inspired me to put this article together. A depiction of the general world, these cities built atop enormous cogs suspended in the air seems almost too fanciful for what we're used to from the games. Then again, if a place like this truly exists in the world, it's understandable how air travel would have become so prevalent. This image simply adds so much more mystery and awe to what we already have seen from Mega Man Legends. I love it.

Taking all this in, it really feels like the games have only shown us a shred of the bewildering world the Legends series takes place in. It also makes me wonder what kind of fascinating stuff we'll witness in Mega Man Legends 3. I do know one thing, though. Recall that I began the article commenting how the technology didn't allow the game match the detailed and expressive landscapes the designers envisioned. Looking at what we've seen from Legends 3 so far, I don't think that's going to be an issue any longer!

All of the artwork from in this article is featured in the Rockman DASH Capcom Official Concept Document Great Adventure Guide (ロックマンDASHカプコン公式設定資料集大冒険ガイド). Many thanks to AWD! for scanning it for me to show off.

MML3 Devroom: MegaMan Design Round 2 - FIGHT!

Or, VOTE! rather. MegaMan's fashion crisis continues on and it's up to us to resolve things. However, given the results of the last poll, backers of designs B and C were pretty close. So those designs have been redefined in the new D and E designs, which have taken into account user feedback as well as analysis over MegaMan's appearance in the game. What's interesting to note is that the new designs have been made with the idea that the game will appeal to an older audience. I wonder if that mindset is going into other aspects as well, like the story? Also, some particular advice to keep in mind before you vote:

As a bit of advice, or perhaps a request, I hope that you’ll see these designs for what they are, and not get hung up on how the designs have changed since the previous poll. Try to forget about the previous round and just focus on what’s before your eyes now when you make your judgment. What impressions do they leave on you? What do you like or dislike?

So this will be the deciding factor. D or E, the result of this is what we play! Decide what you like and make your voice heard! You have until next Thursday, the 26th, 6PM PST. Aside from that, you can also check out the article for some insight into Roll's new design.

Final Design for Winning Reaverbot "Calamity"

Following a previous "before and after," here we see the Devroom's winning Reaverbot design dubbed "Calamity." On the left is the original submission by kankan, and on the right is Ishihara's final design of its in-game appearance. And you might notice... it's not terribly too different! Indeed, Calamity has such a unique and fascinating design that little needed to be modified. However, that doesn't mean a lot of tweaking and consideration didn't go into the final draft. Ishihara's report at the Devroom details all he went through in coming about with the end design, as well as the other variations on things he attempted. Now that the design is prepped, it sounds like the in-game model is the next step. Let's hope we get a look of it soon!

Pick the Design for MegaMan Volnutt

Of all the Devroom activities to come along, this one is pretty interesting despite its simplicity. The dev team is considering changing up MegaMan's appearance in Mega Man Legends 3, and letting the fans vote on which they like best. You can go with the original MML2 design, a second design that features a little more detail, and a third design that gives Mega Man more of human-wearing-armor appearance. I'm sure some of you might think that changing MegaMan's design would be blasphemous, but do recall that it did change ever so slightly between Legends and Legends 2 (namely with the addition of an orange backpack). And to be honest, the detailed Design B really stands out to me! Still, I'll have to consider this carefully. You should too; get voting! You have until April 25th to make your voice heard.

Here is Your Winning MML3 Reaverbot Design

With over 400 entries from Japan and the west for the devs to choose from, they finally settled on this truly unique and fascinating design "Calamity" by Capcom Unity Devroom member kankan. Congrats kankan, we look forward to battling against your design! With the devs fancying designs this interesting, I can bet Legends 3 is going to have some of the strangest Reaverbots yet. The special runner up was Japan Devroom member beatinggun with his design of "Dantragoty." And the additional runner ups are Ziifee, NOCO, Boris and Invader Dan. Check out their designs and details in full in the Devroom post, as well as the honorable mentions by various Devroom staff! And really, good work on everyone who entered! Also be sure to check out Kinako's two latest reports, one concerning "Mr. Famous" and the other delivering some Valentine's sweetness.

And of course, the Town Easter Egg Event is still running!

Devroom Reaverbot Event Reminder

You been drawing them Reaverbots? Making sure they're just the right amount of creepy? Sneaking up on unsuspecting Diggers in a dank and dark ruin ever so quietly, until they suddenly start to notice the faint red glow around them. They slowly turn around and... Oh, right. This is just to remind you that your entries are due in the Devroom by this Tuesday, February 1st, at 1:00 PM PST. "Better late than never" does not apply. If you're still finishing up, or even just thinking about entering, get the lead out of your pants and hurry up! I know it's been pretty tough, with this going on along side the Mega Man Tribute submissions (which ends tomorrow). Just how many art contests can someone take?

Legends 3 Event 4: Build a Reaverbot

The next Mega Man Legends 3 event is upon us, and I think this is one that many people have been waiting for: Design a Reaverbot. You know, the creepy and mysterious robots that patrol the ruins in the Mega Man Legends world. The Devroom heads are looking for a design for a four-legged Reaverbot. The time for submission will run from now until February 1st, 5PM PST (Tuesday). All people who submit a design will receive 5000 Unity Points. Runner ups will receive 10,000 Unity Points and a special badge. The grand prize winner gets 30,000 Unity Points, a special badge, a premium Servbot number AND their name in the credits!

There are a lot of details for this one, so be sure to read all the conditions and guidelines carefully! Especially since you only have a couple of weeks on this one! The page also has plenty of suggestions and general design elements for Reaverbots. Good luck to everybody!

Hmmm, what's a cool and creepy Reaverbot design...

Bonne Mecha Contest Voting Back on Track

Good news! The devious Birdbots have finally been reckoned with, and voting is back on at Capcom Unity's side of the Mega Man Legends 3 Bonne Mecha design contest. Because of the delays, the voting deadline has been extended to Wednesday, December 8th, midnight PST. Again, you're free to give a 1~5 rating on every entry. Be sure to go through them all! So get on over and vote! Especially for that koenigzblat-whatever one! :B

Hurry Up with Those Bonne Mecha Designs!

If you've been planning on submitting a Bonne mecha design for Mega Man Legends 3, and potentially becoming part of the game's staff, you're about out of time! Remember that the deadline for submissions is this Monday, the 29th, at 11:59PM PST. You can head over to the contest page at the MML3 Devroom for all the details on how to propose your design, and how to enter. Get a move on, because the deadline isn't getting any further! ...Oh man! I still need to create my design!!

Legends 3 Project #2: Design a Bonne Mecha!

Update: Full details now at Capcom Unity. Check it out! Before the Legends 3 devroom kicks off, another project has come along to undertake. This time, fans will be able to design and submit their ideas for a Bonne family mecha. The Devroom blog on Capcom of Japan has lots of details on this endeavor. First of all, they provide images of previous Bonne mecha to give you an idea of what the designs are like.

However, unlike other boss contests where you can design whatever comes to mind, there is a certain direction intended for this one, which is presented in a 4 page packet. The first page describes the scene of the battle, where you imagine yourself deep in a ruin that has a strong feeling of danger. As you try to grab the treasure, however, the Bonne family suddenly comes crashing through the ceiling in their mecha to attack you!

The following pages provide an above view of the room, and coming in from the right, the treasure is below and there's a door above. Ishihara provides a visual idea of the ruin, saying it has an environment like the Lake Jyun subgate from the first Legends. It's a damp and gloomy ruin, which seems to have water pouring out from the sides and puddles all around. The Bonnes crash through this ceiling, but this activates a trap in the ruin, causing the whole ceiling to start coming down. While this is all going on, the floor suddenly starts to rise. This leads to a moment of humor with the Bonnes, with Tron yelling to close the hatch. The mecha is unable to attack here. But it will use the water to move to a proper battlefield, as water is pouring in from the hole in the ceiling.

Eguchi adds a little image of Servbots synchronized swimming... This seems nonsensical, but there is an implication that the Servbots will be used in the battle somehow, a la Legends 2. However, there will of course be entirely new actions and abilities in this. As advice, Eguchi says the most important thing is to consider the experience you want as a player, and to consider the Bonnes' operations. Also, if you have trouble describing the concept details with words, describe it with images. Further down in the post, there are dossiers of the Bonne family to acquaint people new to the series with them.

It's sure to be a tough competition, but it will be worth it as well, since the winner will get their name in the credits! Also, people whose ideas are selected will be awarded "Devroom Zenny," though what exactly this is will be explained later. (If you like you can check our articles as well: Tron Bonne, Teisel Bonne, Bon Bonne, Servbot)

Well folks, start thinking of those designs! Though before you start drawing something out, be sure to check by Capcom Unity for their reciprocal post on the matter, which will certainly have many more details than here. Additionally, there so far seems to be no means to submit designs, but I suspect this will be resolved with the opening of the Devroom.

Legends 3 Heroine Contest Reminder

The first project in Mega Man Legends 3's fan interaction, the Heroine Contest, is still going on strong. Already the contest has gotten over 15,000 cumulative votes via Capcom Unity, Capcom of Japan and Capcom of Japan's Mobile Site.

Additionally, Capcom of Japan has published some preliminary results. So far the leading design is Shinsuke Komaki's, followed by "Sensei" Haruki Suetsugu's in second, and Tatsuya Yoshikawa's in third (all three pictured above). Incidentally, I know on the Unity side that Sensei's design leads, so it looks like this race is a pretty close one!

If you haven't voted yet you still have time, but it's running out. Voting will run until October 25th, 10AM Japan time, which is October 24th, 6PM US Pacific time. After voting is tied up, Capcom will announce the winner on October 29th! (around 5PM in Japan, 1AM US Pacific). So get those votes in!

Here Are Our Mega Man 10/Rockman 10 Package Design Winners

It seems almost like forever ago that Capcom announced their contest in creating a package design for Rockman 10 or Mega Man 10, a game that requires no package. Well the day has come that the three main prize winners, as well as five runner ups, have been decided. And here they are! Winner of the Capcom Prize Artist: Y.K of Aichi

Artist's comment: I gave it a shot drawing this on my first PC. Since I'd used Forte by then through downloadable content, I tried drawing him in as well.

Comment from MM10 producer Takeshita: This picture overflows with the happiness of children pleading when lining up in a toy shop. The production of the brightly shining effect behind Rockman and co. is also very deep. The package designs for 3 and 4, and 9 too, now that I think of it, have this direction. And being full of the boss characters' faces drawn in, it's wonderful.

Winner of the Rockman 10 Prize Artist: YUJIN of Hiroshima

Artist's comment: I tried making this with a serious and dramatic atmosphere. Besides that, I'm happy with how many Rockman figures are being sold this year.

Comment from MM10 director Ito: Making this with CG models must have taken a lot of time and work. You really feel affection for Rockman. It's very pleasant how this picture is created with CG models, without destroying atmosphere of classic Rockman. With Wily appearing a little bit kind, I wonder if this takes influence from this game's scenario. It would be very interesting to see CG models like these of Rockman and the bosses moving around.

Winner of the Nico Video Prize Artist: Jintaro Shinsaka

Artist's comment: In the tradition of "Mega Man," I drew this while being conscious of the odd American comic book style. I couldn't express the original character designs suspiciously very well, so I resolutely changed them all into old men. I would enjoy people finding fun in guessing at which is who.

Comment from Nico Video manager Megane: I was going to choose a Nico Video-like work, one overflowing with gags. As the creator himself indicated, this American comic book quality is extremely cool! Rockman's (Mega Man's) facial expression, and of course the bosses too, are made incredibly well, and impressive! By the way, Commando Man looks just like one of our employees. (laughs)

And below are the five runner ups.

by azi

by em

by Miyako

by Rio

by Neomaru

Seeing the "Mega Man" pieces really makes me wonder what Japanese fans think of us... Anyway! I also expect the Capcom*Unity Prize to be announced soon, so stay tuned!

Reminder for the Mega Man/Rockman 10 Package Design Contest

Capcom*Unity has a reminder, as well as some resources, for Capcom's Mega Man/Rockman 10 package art contest, which involves creating your own box design for Mega Man 10, would it have came in a box. The instructions for entering, as well as the available prize packs, can be read here. Additionally, Capcom*Unity is also offering their own prize pack, which includes: + 1 E-tank pillow (currently they are only available in Japan)

+ The complete Japanese collections of Rock Man MegaMix and Rock Man GigaMix manga! The collections are in Japanese, but they'll make great collector's items!

+ 1 Mega Man 10 t-shirt

+ 1 Mega Man 10 poster

You can submit your entries via PM to jgonzo on Capcom*Unity by May 10th, and the winners will be announced on May 20th. So get crackin' and put out your best effort! It's unlikely you can beat my awesome design.

Capcom of Japan Begins Rockman 10 Package Design Contest

Mega Man 10 may very well be the most "contested" Mega Man game ever. Capcom of Japan has just announced their own Rockman 10 contest: create a package design for Rockman 10, provided it actually came in a box. I'd always wondered why Capcom of Japan wasn't revealing their own package art for the game (as they did with Rockman 9), and it seems this is the reason. Designs can be made in either in landscape "Rockman" format, or portrait "Mega Man" format. Images must be 300dpi, stay within 2MB and be saved in JPG, GIF or PNG format. The contest page gives specific layout details for the required image dimensions, including the border area. Submissions will be sent to Capcom via e-mail with the title ロックマン10のパッケージイラストを描いてみた コンテスト (Rockman 10 package illustration contest).

What will become of the design chosen as the winner? Well, it will be used to make an actual package, albeit for what purpose I'm not entirely sure.

There are some additional things to note. All entries will be uploaded to Niconico Seiga, and become materials on Niconi Commons. Furthermore, entries will become property of Capcom of Japan.  Because of this, you may not submit an illustration that has already been submitted to another contest. Only the creator of the illustration may enter on his or her own behalf. Do not enter multiple works at the same time. Finally, if you are younger than 16 you need your parents' permission to enter.

While this may seem like a Japan only thing, a blog post on the Rockman 10 homepage by assistant producer Akiko Ito states she wants to see many entries from not just Japan, but from abroad as well, making it both a Rockman and Mega Man contest. I'd presume then that official guidelines will be presented on our side soon.

Well, better get drawing!

Edit: Actually, the English instructions appear to be right here!

Edit 2: Capcom Unity is pitching in to help out as well. Find out how by clicking here.