The Developers of Monster Hunter Explain What It's Like to Build Monsters

It only took 14 years, but with Monster Hunter: World, the rest of the, uh, world finally understood what Japanese players had been obsessing over. World was not just a hit, it was a massive hit, becoming Capcom’s best-selling game ever. Instead of immediately pivoting to a sequel, Capcom has continued to update World with new quests, gears, and monsters. And with this fall’s Iceborne expansion, Capcom is basically delivering a sequel; the winter-themed map will reportedly be bigger than anything featured in previous games.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/gy4ke4/the-developers-of-monster-hunter-explain-what-its-like-to-build-monsters
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Great interview. I am so happy that Monster Hunter is enjoying the success it is.

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I’m very glad the PR person just off the cuff knew about nerscylla when Patrick asked about spiders.

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Maybe it’s kind of ruining the magic a little but if you pay close attention to the monsters the detail about how monster rigs are re-used to save resources becomes very clear.
I noticed some time back, the base move-sets of for example a Paolumu and a Rathian are pretty similar, just on a whole other scale, same with Jagras, Girros and Dodogama, and Anjanath to Deviljho.
I think ones that might be unique would be the elder dragons, including Nergigante, but I’ve seen very similar types in footage of older games.

Anyway it’s a very smart way of implementing more monsters, new and old, into the game without having to start from scratch every time; wish people were more understanding of that when they complained about Fo76 using a Skyrim rig for one of their wasteland creatures.

Very excited about Iceborne but I wish they’d finally reach release and content parity between the versions, at least it’s not a 7 month gap.

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Yup! It’s a lot more prevalent in some of the earlier games, where you can see that the base structures, animations, and moves for a lot of the monsters are quite similar, but I never considered the fact that it’s a smart decision to help make development easier. Pretty clever!

On another note, one small thing I found particularly interesting was this bit: “When you get into some small details—we did some focus testing before we released Monster Hunter: World and we realized a lot of Western players didn’t like not having damage numbers.”

I actually made a thread about this exact thing when World launched last year!

I’m actually surprised it’s not the other way around. I would’ve assumed that with damage numbers being common in JRPGs and such, Japanese players would prefer them, whereas Western players would be fine without them, since you don’t tend to see them as often in popular western genres (FPS and Action for example). I guess you learn something new every day!

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Not directly related, but I spent a little time recently learning the basics of 3d character animation in a Unity/Blender/MakeHuman workflow for fun, and if you’ve never done this: let me tell you, it does not take long to see why this stuff is expensive and hard to get right. The sheer amount of detail it takes to get from idea to “that kinda looks right”, never mind “That monster sure looks cool, and reacts to my actions” is mind-blowing.

It’s a pretty important thing to highlight. If you can re-use that work, you absolutely should.

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It’s honestly super impressive, and it’s not like World was a big outlier, the previous games have also had incredibly expressive animation, these people know what they’re doing.
Working within the same or adjacent pipeline certainly helps put it in perspective how well they’ve pulled it off and how much work goes into getting a single monster into the game, doubly so if it needs a new rig.

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The quality of animations they got out of the PSP and 3DS astound me. Lot of talented folks on that team.

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I love Nerscylla. Nothing quite like a monster web-swinging over to attack you.

I hope they plan on putting more bug monsters in the game since I think they’re some of the most fun to fight in the earlier games like the aforementioned giant spider Nerscylla or the Seltas, a flying mantis type bug, or the Seltas Queen, a huge heavily armored beetle like monster that can use the Seltas as a weapon during a fight. I also wonder if they need to make entirely new rigs for MH World since it still runs on MT Framework which the previous monster hunter ran on as well.

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Looks like there will be a Playstation only Iceborne beta the next two weekends? This weekend for PS+ people, and then the following weekend for all PS4 players

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