(Note, for some reason the format does not translate well. Tab indents etc. did not go through correctly and could not be changed.)
Mr. Fujioka is the creator and series director of the Monster Hunter game series. Monster Hunter is among the top five games played in Japan and is a huge series there. He was a designer for the first three Monster Hunters and has been the director of the series since then. That includes 7 internationally released Monster Hunter games, 12 Japanese releases, 9 iOS/Android spin-offs, 5 diary games, and 25 PC Frontier releases.
Mr. Fujioka’s approach to game design is unique; every monster that he creates is animated by hand, not using any sort of motion capture techniques. He bases the monsters movements on actual animals and mimics them as best he can to get a real feeling for them. The animators create all motion by hand and it requires careful craftsmanship as they talk with the game designers. He visits zoos and aquariums and also watches documentary films for reference material and inspiration. This is how Mr. Fujioka has influenced the field of game design; he has made an art form out of representing monsters in the digital world.
One new innovation he has added to the most recent iteration of the series is vertical game play. Climbing, jumping, hurtling, diving, and even mounting monsters from above have been incorporated into the game. This new mechanic, combined with weapon mechanics that capitalize on this aspect of game play, has changed the face of Monster Hunter. I myself have logged 400 hours in the latest international release Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the gameplay is like nothing that has been released before. The new multi leveled game play has completely reinvented the game.
Mr. Fujioka worked closely with designer Yuya Tokuda in Monster Hunter 3 and 4 and has mentored him throughout his career. Mr. Tokuda is the designer we can thank for the monster Lagiacrus and even the battle implementation of the monster Nargacuga. Both are major boss battles in 3 and 4, the game play for these battles are a trade mark for the series.
Lagiacrus (left) and Nargacuga (right), created by Yuya Tokuda.
Kaname Fujioka has contributed to the following games:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010)
Monster Hunter Tri (2009)
Monster Hunter Freedom (2006)
Monster Hunter (2004)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010)
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (2008)
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (2007)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1998)
Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)
Darkstalkers 3 (1997)
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (2008) (Creative Advisor)
Mr. Fujioka has a very impressive list of accomplishments. He is by far my favorite designer and director. It was only two years ago that I discovered the Monster Hunter series, and I have to admit, it is by far the funnest series I have ever played. I just can’t get enough!
“Gaijinhunter.” Yuya Tokuda Is a Designer You Should Thank For… Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“Kaname Fujioka Video Game Credits and Biography – MobyGames.” MobyGames. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“The Challenges of Designing and Animating Monsters for Monster Hunter – Siliconera.” Siliconera. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“The People Behind The Game.” Monster Hunter Wiki. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
ISTA 251: Introduction to Game Design
February 4, 2016
WILLIAM CROWTHER DESIGN CONSIDERATION
Before Skryim, Final Fantasy, Dark Souls, and all of the top names of RPG video games, there was a simple text-based RPG game commonly known as the father of RPG video games – Colossal Cave Adventure. While not known as a traditional or true RPG, the game, referred to as Adventure, was a prototype for games that acted as interactive stories. The game was designed in 1975 by a man named William Crowther, a programmer who pulled inspiration from his life to create a game he could share with his family.
According to colleagues, Crowther completely identified with “hacker mentality.” He was regarded as being within the top 1 percent of programmers in the world by those he worked with – “a genius for writing incredibly compact and efficient code” according to author Jimmy Maher. Maher goes on to describe Crowther as non-verbal and rarely displaying affect – a true “computer nerd” in every sense except one – his love of adventure. Crowther loved the outdoors, especially rock climbing and caving. It was his love of caving that inspired the theme behind Adventure. However, the inspiration to create the game was drawn from personal struggle.
In an interview about the origins of Adventure, Crowther stated, “Suddenly, I got involved in a divorce, and that left me a bit pulled apart in various ways. In particular I was missing my kids.” Feeling a disconnection from his two daughters that were living with their mother, Crowther wanted to create a game that would create a bridge between him and the family he missed so dearly – a simple game that his daughters could enjoy. Crowther drew inspiration from his three favorite pass times: programming, playing the tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons, and caving. After the divorce Crowther explained that caving had become awkward, so he decided to create a game that would re-create his caving adventures. He aimed to make a game that “would not be intimidating to non-computer people”, he states. Because of this, he focused on making a game that had a natural language input, and thus birthing the RPG and interactive story genre that is used today.
Adventure certainly was not the first game to stir up conversation, but it was the first game of its kind. The game Adventure quickly swept across the nation and had an unwavering effect on an early generation of programmers. Lines from the game quickly entered hacking culture and developers adapted the game to create their own versions – such as Zork, developed by MIT students in 1977. Successors to the game were among the best selling in the 1980s. The mechanics of Adventure, such as resource management and exploration of topography, became staples in adventure and RPG games. While graphic games became outdated due to the quick development in hardware, the text-based games remained popular and still appealed to consumers.
RPG games are among the most popular and immersive games in the video game industry and have made great distances since the first instance of Colossal Cave Adventure. Many RPGs rank among the top video games developed of all time. The element of RPG games is so popular that it exists lightly in many other genres of video games. These games all, in part, stem from William Crowther’s Adventure.
While Crowther may not be seen as a traditional video game designer, just as his game is not seen as a traditional RPG, Crowther laid the path for textual based games and exploration games. Adventure was the prototype of a new genre of game – adapted into many popular games such as MIT’s Zork and Scott Adam’s Adventureland. The game also inspired the first graphic adventure game – Mysterious House, by Ken and Roberta Williams. Adventure, while a computer game, has since then been defined as an electrical game rather than a video game, but William Crowther and his work will forever be the foundation of the classic RPG’s we know and love today.
Jerz, Dennis G. “Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther’s Original
“Adventure” in Code and in Kentucky.” Digital Humanities. 2007. Accessed February
Lowood, Henry E. “Electronic Game.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. April 3, 2015. Accessed
February 04, 2016. http://www.britannica.com/topic/electronic-game#ref796268
Maher, Jimmy. “Will Crowther’s Adventure, Part 1.” The Digital Antiquarian: A History of
Computer Entertainment. May 18, 2011. Accessed February 04, 2016.
“The Crowther and Woods ‘Colossal Cave Adventure’ Game.” The Colossal Cave Adventure
Page. Accessed February 04, 2016. http://rickadams.org/adventure/a_history.html