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Monster Hunter Design - Oryctomus (Creature)

So recently I had spent some time asking for portfolio reviews. One criticism I had was that not much of my designs seemed clean enough for modellers to use. I was guided towards the Monster Hunter artbooks (ones I already owned a loved), and was told they had very good examples of clean work, and excellent design.

With this I decided to kill several birds with one stone. Getting clean work, turnarounds, and also one character and creature design out of it. For this post however I'll be focusing mostly on the creature, as before you can build the armour for Monster Hunter, you must have a monster to carve its hide from. (If you want to skip this and go to the armour however, just click the following link: Oryctomus Armour)

I began by sketching down some general shapes for the monster. My original idea was to have a more mammalian design, as much of the creature in Monster Hunter are typically Reptilian. Perhaps something along the lines of an Aardvark or Anteater.

Once I had a shape I liked I further tweaked it, making sure I had a design I liked, but checking other possibilities as well, in case there was something I missed.

I now needed to begin working this into a turnaround sheet. Detailing the creature and giving me the basis for the rest of the work to come.

The problem I had with these designs were, there wasn't a strong silhouette. I knew I wanted this creature to have a very pronounced head crest of flint, but it all felt a bit choppy, not quite right. And so after playing with his silhouette. Making the head more square I had the following basic design.

Now things were really kicking off. I had my monster, now I just needed to depict it in a way that could fully display how it was built, how it walked, ate, and ultimately, attacked.

Figuring out both what this creature looked like on the inside, as well as the outside were incredibly important. A creature that gets build like this has to be fully functional. Although I had wanted Aardvarks and Anteaters to be it's main inspiration, most of it's anatomy came from rats and birds.

Now I had finalized it's design, both inside and outside I could begin working on turnarounds for potential modellers to work off of.
An incredibly important aspect of Monster Hunter is the damaging of the Monsters. The player has to understand the way a Monster is receiving damage through the use of telegraphing. I wanted my creature to be rewarding tactically too. Having certain areas damaged would reduce its range of attacks for instance. So my idea for this monster to use it's tail much like a matchstick for something flammable, removing said tail would thus make your experience rewarding and safer.

With my monster essentially designed, I now needed to give it a name, and a beauty pose. I chose the name 'Oryctomus'. Based on the Aardvarks latin name being ‘Orycteropus afer‘, combined with ‘mus’ (latin for mouse). Therefore 'Oryctomus'

I had originally wanted this sketch to be a full battle scene. But I was worried this might muddy up the design, and I wanted to represent its actions alongside this image also.

Taking those into consideration I ended up with this final image:

You can find more on the Orytomus' design pages and the armour here:


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