TERA won’t be coming out until next year, but En Masse wants to keep the game fresh on everyone’s mind. The developers share a little bit about enemy design and BAMs (Big Ass Monsters) in this latest press release.

From the press release:

    One of the early call outs from critics and fans alike about the upcoming action MMO, TERA, has been the creature bosses known as BAMs (Big Ass Monsters) from the creative minds of developer Bluehole Studios and western production partner, En Masse Entertainment. To provide more insight on TERA prior to its North American release in 2012, En Masse Entertainment is sharing insider development details on the origins and inspiration behind the art style and game mechanics of these menacing BAMs. The BAMs help to support the game’s “all action, no faction” aspect as players are encouraged to work together to defeat them while taking full advantage of TERA ’ s contextual and positional combat system. They deliver huge hits to players who aren’t carefully avoiding the real-time attacks. By working together, players can flank and outmaneuver BAMs to deliver lethal hits—an essential tactic in TERA, where timing and positioning always matter.

    Due to their massive size, strength, and intelligence, combined with TERA ’ s pioneering real-time combat system, developing creatures with footprints as large a as a BAM’s poses challenges not found in other online titles.

    One such BAM is the ovolith—a spider-like giant that morphs into an egg-shaped cocoon. Capable of spraying poison at its enemies—which players must actively work to avoid—the ovolith is especially fast-moving and capable of dealing massive damage with its monstrous pincers. As it can shiftshape between spider and cocoon, the development team had to take both shapes into account as they affect both the ovolith’s hit detection and damage.

    To give more insight on the origins of TERA’s signature BAMs and unique art style, En Masse Entertainment is sharing a full document provided by the Bluehole Studios art team which you are free to share with your readers. From initial concepts to complete in-game objects and monsters, Bluehole Studio explains their creative process. To give you a sense of what this document entails, the quotes below are samples from the full document provided by the art team at Bluehole Studio—it includes both the ovolith concept art and its description and background.

    “The monster’s outer shape matters a lot in combat because TERA lets players aim their attacks naturally. Auto-targeting games only need a normal attack with different attack motions, but we have more aspects to consider because the player’s character actually gets hit in TERA. But this extra challenge is one of the joys of creating monsters for TERA,” says the game’s Monster Concept Lead Artist, Junghyun Kim.

    “After we make some sketches, we discuss our ideas and make decisions on how to create the monster so it’ll work in the game. Then we complete the animation in perspective view to deliver the feel of the monster, make three-view drawings (useful in creating 3D), figure out how the monster moves, and so forth,” says the game’s Monster Concept Lead Artist, Junghyun Kim.