How was “Monster Hunter” born


Cooperate in hunting and enjoy the joy of victory.

Players on the Switch platform are waiting for “Monster Hunter: Rise”, at this time it has been 17 years since the birth of the “Monster Hunter” series.

At the turn of the millennium, console online games were the new frontier of the gaming industry. Sega Dreamcast created a precedent for hosting online games, but due to its short life cycle, its influence is ultimately limited. On the PS2 console, Capcom adopted a three-pronged strategy for the development of online games.

“As for how to use the network function, Capcom’s three games at the time had different concepts. These three games were the racing game “Internet Speed ​​Racing”, the horror game “Resident Evil: Outbreak” and the multiplayer action game “Monster Hunter”. “.” “Monster Hunter” supervisor Fujioka explained, “Therefore, the birth of this series should be attributed to our early efforts and attempts to develop online games.”

Fujioka wants to join Capcom’s arcade game business in its heyday. As a character animator and action designer, he has accumulated experience in Capcom’s arcade game department and participated in the “Darkstalkers” series. In addition to game development, he was also responsible for designing characters for “Red Earth”. However, he has never developed an online game with 3D graphics and hunting behemoths as the main gameplay.

“Monster Hunter” on the PS2 platform, released in 2004

From start to innovation

“For online games, we are beginners, so we will draw inspiration from existing works.” Fujioka said, “For us, the first step is to understand the structural differences between online games and stand-alone games. We conducted research on “Final Fantasy 9”, “Diablo”, “Network Genesis” and “Phantasy Star Online”.”

Fujioka mentioned many MMORPGs, but the original “Monster Hunter” is completely different from them. First of all, “Monster Hunter” is a hunting-themed game. Players will challenge predators who are getting larger and more difficult to deal with during the game. Secondly, there is no upgrade system in the game. Players can use monster corpses to make armor to enhance the hunter’s power.

Hunting itself will not be carried out in the dungeon, but in a vast arena environment filled with animals and plants. What’s even more surprising is that players can’t see the monster’s health and can only judge their health by observing their behavior. If a yellow velociraptor starts to retreat into the nest crookedly, it means that it has been seriously injured.

“Monster Hunter P” released on the PSP platform in 2005

Capcom pays great attention to the animation design of “Monster Hunter”, which also makes the game feel different from many fast-paced action games. Players need to learn to understand and respect animation frames, whether they are swinging weapons, using drugs, or being knocked down or knocked into the air by monsters. In this way, the development team hopes to immerse players in a more realistic and realistic environment than most of the same games, especially those MMPRPGs that rely on menu commands, cooldown timers, and mouse clicks.

“Different online games have different styles. Frankly speaking, they all have advantages and disadvantages, so I think the biggest challenge in designing Monster Hunter is to understand the possibilities and limitations of each concept.”

The original “Monster Hunter” is not a numerical RPG, nor is it a hack and slash action game where players can cut grass. For some stranger reasons, players can’t click the buttons madly-“Monster Hunter” puts the attack button on the right stick of the PS2, the player uses the left stick to move the character, and the cross button controls the camera. It also means that if you want to move the character and the camera at the same time, you have to master a unique technique called “The Claw”.

3DS version of “Monster Hunter 4”, released in 2013

In those days, except for FPS games, using the right joystick to move the camera was not the default option for most players, so all options were open and could be tested. Capcom has used many experimental methods to let players find their way in a 3D environment. “Resident Evil 4” and “Hand of God” are examples. “On the PS2 platform, we hope to design a battle control system that is more analogous and responsive, thus forming a unique style that allows players to use the right joystick to swing their weapons.”

Similar to the original works, the subsequent works of the “Monster Hunter” series also incorporate key hardware performance into the operational design, such as allowing players to use Wii remote controls and 3DS touch screens to wield weapons.

Other features of “Monster Hunter” have also become part of its core DNA, making the entire series completely different from other types of multiplayer online games. In addition, Capcom has also adjusted the game structure according to the functions of various hardware, such as dividing a huge hunting ground into smaller areas and separating them with a loading screen. “We have our own ideas about what “Monster Hunter” should look like on each platform. Starting from pragmatism, we need to figure out which concepts are feasible under the hardware function and architecture, and compare them with us Intent to combine. This is critical.”

“Monster Hunter XX” was released on 3DS and NS platforms in 2017

How is the monster designed?

In the “Monster Hunter” series, various types of monsters have attracted many players. From harmless herbivorous dragons to chirons wearing stone helmets and flying in the air, “Monster Hunter” contains about 20 types of monsters, which appear in areas of different climates and terrains.

“Because the hunter is like the player’s avatar, it is more important to design monsters with stronger and unique styles.” Fujioka said, “All monsters in the game are unique in design, and players can easily use their silhouettes and colors. Recognition. I think this is why many monsters are memorable and loved by players.”

Fujioka wants to reveal that in the original “Monster Hunter”, his favorite monster is the two-legged wyvern female fire dragon, which has a poisonous tail, and is actually the other half of the cover star male fire dragon. “The female fire dragon was the first huge monster we designed for the game, and the whole process became our blueprint for later designing large monsters. For players, hunting female fire dragons is very challenging, but it is also very interesting.”

At the same time, the development team also needs to build a progress system for the game to ensure that players can feel that they are making progress. As series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said in an interview with Kotaku in 2014: “No one wants to encounter a very powerful enemy at the beginning, because if you can easily defeat him, you will feel too stupid. For this reason, we hope Adding a certain funny element in the early game will save you from having to fight a group of seemingly powerful enemies at a very early stage.”

From left to right are Fujioka Kaname, Tsujimoto Ryozo and Tokuda Yuya

In the first generation of “Monster Hunter”, the first few tasks you encountered were all related to collecting materials. Gradually learn how to make useful items such as meat and potions. In the first real hunt, you need to kill a group of annoying blue velociraptors. When you “graduate”, you will meet the larger blue velociraptor king. Later, you have to face the more difficult ones such as flying dragons. monster. As long as you have enough patience, you can gradually grow from a fledgling rookie to a master of hunting monsters.

However, only when you cooperate with other online players can you experience the true charm of Monster Hunter. By cooperating with each other, players are more likely to hunt down powerful monsters. Although communication between players is very limited (unless an external keyboard is used), Monster Hunter allows players to use gestures. According to Fujioka, this feature was added to the game later in the development.

“Because time is too tight, most gestures are based on the action designer’s capture of their own movements, and then they are directly put into the game. I think this is why they make some players feel that they are not orthodox!”

The original “Monster Hunter” was released in Japan in 2004 and landed in the European and American markets the following year. Although the media has mixed reviews on this game, the networking elements have received wide acclaim. For example, “Edge” magazine gave “Monster Hunter” 8 points (out of 10 points) and wrote in a review article : “It has made an excellent attempt to encourage players to cooperate. This should not be ignored.”

“Monster Hunter” has become Capcom’s best online game for PS2, and this is largely because “Internet Speed ​​Racing” and “Resident Evil: Outbreak” lost their unique selling point of networking when they landed in Europe. . However, because broadband connections were not yet widespread at the time, not many players had the opportunity to play Monster Hunter. Fortunately, the release of the PSP collection “Monster Hunter: Freedom” allowed the “Monster Hunter” series to avoid being abandoned by Capcom.

“Monster Hunter: World” comes to console and PC platforms in 2018

“Portable handhelds like PSP allow people to use temporary local networks to play great multiplayer action games together.” Fujioka explained, “Players find the experience of playing Monster Hunter this way is great. , The popularity of the entire series has also been greatly improved.”

From PSP to Nintendo 3DS, the success of the handheld version of “Monster Hunter” mainly comes from the Japanese domestic market, because the handheld is popular with young players in Japan. But in any case, the subsequent works of the “Monster Hunter” series iterated its success, and finally attracted the attention of European and American players-many players were dissatisfied with the gold mechanism of modern large-scale games, and “Monster Hunter” brought a wave fresh air.

Classic

“Monster Hunter: World” released in 2018 uses existing technology to allow players to easily cooperate in a huge and changeable hunting environment, but its core DNA that restores the excitement of hunting remains unchanged. Fujioka is now serving as the executive supervisor of the “Monster Hunter” series, and even he is unbelievable that this series has brought him great changes. “Monster Hunter” has become the second best-selling series in Capcom’s history, second only to “Resident Evil”.

“When I was a designer, I was always immersed in my work and rarely went out to breathe fresh air. Compared with that time,’Monster Hunter’ gave me the opportunity to go out and meet all types of people. . The experience of developing games for’Monster Hunter’ allowed me to see things from different angles, which I will never be grateful for.”

For millions of new players, the original “Monster Hunter” may be like an ancient fossil. It is incredible that the whole series has always continued its spirit, that is, let players cooperate in hunting and enjoy defeating powerful enemies. After the joy. Players have reason to cheer for this.

原文标题:《”We were beginners when it came to online games”: The making of Monster Hunter》
Author: Alan Wen, Retro Gamer Team
Translator: Wait
Source: Touch Music
Address http://www.chuapp.com/article/287805.html[compiled from gamesradar.com]

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