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The Man Behind the Monster Hunter World Wyvern Ignition Greatsword: Frank Yang

It was recently announced by Capcom when players can get their hands on the winning weapon of a community weapon design contest prior to Monster Hunter World's release. We interview the artist, Frank Yang.

Before Monster Hunter World launched, Capcom announced a community weapon design contest that allowed anyone to submit a design. These were then voted on by the community, which was filled with hard choices as many of those weapons looked incredible. The winning design of that contest was the Impact 702 Greatsword designed by Frank Yang, a concept artist who is on the verge of graduating with a degree in Game Development. That weapon was recently announced to be hitting the game in the Spring, renamed as the Wyvern Ignition Greatsword.

Looking at the design, the thought crossed our minds on what it must feel like to win the contest and see the weapon hitting an extremely popular game, where potentially millions of players will be using it to take down monsters. Of course, the design had to be made by someone, so we tracked down Yang through the internet and was able to reach him via Facebook. We interviewed Yang all about the Wyvern Ignition through Facebook Messenger, as well as asked about a few aspects of his life as a whole.

An in-game look at the Wyvern Ignition.
An in-game look at the Wyvern Ignition.

We first asked how it feels to have his design become a part of Monster Hunter World. “It feels awesome,” said Yang. “I have played the series since Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. I have always wanted to make weapon for this series and can’t believe I actually made it through across all of the competitors.”

Since playing Portable 3rd, Yang has been a big fan of Monster Hunter. “Back in high school, my friends and I were always playing PSP at the back of the classroom. I was still in China back then and bringing a PSP to the school was like a trend.”

When it comes to being a concept artist, we asked Yang where that began. “That is something that started 3 years ago, I think. I was a first year Game Development student, and I found out there is a job that actually let’s you design games. That’s how I got into it.”

“I’m actually about to graduate and I hope to do concept art for environments and hard-surface. Hopefully, I can land my first job after I finish college.”

T-1 Thunderbolt Concept by Frank Yang.
T-1 Thunderbolt Concept by Frank Yang.

Yang wasn’t sure if having his sword in Monster Hunter would be as much of a resume booster as one might think. However, it certainly makes a great conversation starter for interviews and something to be proud of.

We asked Yang what sort of advice he would give to aspiring concept artists. “It is all about design,” he said, “Always think outside of the box. Always think in first principle."

Concept design inspiration comes from all over the place for Yang. We asked him about other hobbies he enjoys outside of gaming. “I am a simple man, I see my life is all around concept art. I go hiking, and sometimes, I just go to explore around. Going to unknown places always gives me inspiration. Like one time, I visited a shipyard at Toronto for no reason at all. I just passed by, yet seeing a structure that I do not see usually is refreshing.”

AJA 03 Mining District by Frank Yang
AJA 03 Mining District by Frank Yang

Yang is ready to use the sword he designed in the game and he won’t have to wait long as the update will be available starting on April 6th alongside the Spring Blossom Fest. “I'm so hyped up for the weapon. The in-game render looks absolutely amazing!  Gotta shout out to the development team, they did a excellent job.”

We also asked if this weapon would further inspire his work. “It is definitely more inspiring than whatever I had done prior. This contest was a lot a lot of fun; it’s all about fun for this one.” It seems like designing the sword had less limitations than his usual fair, “Typically, when I do an environment concept, it will have a lot of constraints.”

"Welcome back, Master." A sketch by Frank Yang.

Yang does use the Greatsword as his main weapon, but he did say that he also enjoys using the Switch Axe.

To find even more work from Frank Yang, check out his Art Station portfolio. He also sometimes will stream his artwork on Twitch. Being that community makes this game great, check out our article on companionship in the hunt!

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