Last week, Capcom hosted a panel dedicated to Monster Hunter World at San Diego Comic Con. Unfortunately the panel was not livestreamed, but thanks to YouTube user TheJackalope, you can now watch the full thing.
The panel was hosted by Producer Ryozo Fujimoto and Director Kaname Fujioka.
We hear how the game includes a living and breathing ecosystem. The team made sure to make the monsters “feel alive” in the world, thanks to an advanced AI system.
The Ancient Forest area was presented, and it’s mentioned as one of the first areas that we’ll explore. We get to see artwork of the Ancient Tree, which is teeming with living creatures and influences the whole area around it.
A map of the Ancient Forest was also showcased, marking a high-humidity area and a low-humidity area. The development team went about deciding all the plants that could populate those different zones.
After that, they decided which kinds of animals could inhabit each zone. For instance in the low humidity zone that is a open area, there will be herds of herbivores grazing. The dense forest area hides predators who hunt the herbovores. More powerful creatures can be found deeper in, ruling over the entire area. Finally, at the top of the tree there is the flying Rathalos.
Then, the team went on to create art to visualize what each area would look like, including the open low humidity area, the high humidity forest and even inside the Ancient Tree.
In order to model the plants, the team flew to Australia to gather reference materials. This gave them a better understanding of the size and qualities of the vegetation.
At this point, a gameplay video is showcased showing the results of all the planning and research. We learn that each monster has an unique way to mark its territory, for instance Anjanath uses mucus. Anjanath and Rathalos have each their own territory, and normally don’t disturb each other, but if they do meet, a fight for dominance will occur.
We get to see art a few pieces of artwork portraying monsters: Great Jagras, Anhanath and Rathalos.
In order to research for their designs, the team visited places like the Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden in Japan. Not only this gave them visual inspiration, but they also experienced how those reptiles interact with each other.
Some of the photos were scanned and imported in the 3D engine.
Work was also done on fur simulation, skin translucency, and muscle shaders simulating the way the skin moves over the monsters’ muscles.
More videos were showcased how it’s possible to take advantage of the ecosystem and equipment to hunt a Great Jagras and Anjanath. This video also shows the slinger, sword and shield, longsword, hunting horn, switch axe and light bowgun)
You can check out the full video below. The game will release in early 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC release following afterwards. If you want to see more, you can also enjoy the announcement trailer, the first screenshots, and some rather spectacular gameplay.