Game Informer Fox Engine interview: TPP will bring new technologies not present in GZ

As part of their Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes coverage, Game Informer interviewed Konami’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron. Before joining Konami, Merceron worked at Ubisoft, Eidos and Square Enix, and is now involved in the development of the FOX Engine.

While there are a lot of differences when it comes to development progress between Japan and the west, Merceron immediately felt he could fit into the system and bring some positive changes. He explained Kojima was mainly interested in the tools and workflow. “Kojima-san has traveled a lot, and he has seen a lot of technologies around the world.”


Hideo Kojima and Julien Merceron at Kojima Productions LA

“The key thing for me also is to make sure that the FOX Engine is very much in line to what he [Kojima] wants to do.” Merceron said. “Metal Gear is moving in a direction where the team is trying to do something different. […] I can see things that we’re trying to do in Metal Gear Solid that I haven’t found in a lot of the other Japanese games.”

According to Merceron, there are four key pillars for the FOX Engine: the lighting, the multiplayer, the open world, and the real time editing.

Of course the team had to get used to the engine first, but now that they have created a prologue for the game, they have a lot more experience. “I’m sure that we’re going to push things a lot further.” Merceron said. “There are actually technologies that haven’t been brought onto Ground Zeroes because the learning curve would be too high. So we’ve kept some of the new for TPP in order to make the first step less problematic. Some of these aspects are related to AI and things like that.”

“It’s quite an achievement to have made it possible on current gen.” Merceron said with a smile, adding that in the future, he wants the FOX Engine to support high end PCs and smart devices as well.

Merceron said that since it’s impossible to know how thing develop in the future, it’s important to have a lot of flexibility. “We’re establishing a long term vision.”

He concluded by saying he hopes they will be able to meet expectation with Metal Gear Solid V.

To watch the interview interview, head on over to Game Informer’s website.

Source: Game Informer

  • Batzi

    One thing in TPP I noticed that is not in GZ in terms of gameplay mechanics is the ability for Big Boss to dive forward/through. Of course other things such as fulton recovery and Mother Base management are also mechanics to expect. The ability to drive a robot is another one since we already see Big Boss doing that at the end of the Red Band trailer which will bring along its own control scheme. Oh yea, Big Boss’ buddy, the dog will be another mechanic to look forward to and I am also wondering how tablets/smartphones/Vita will be used in TPP. We already know that base management will make it to tablets/smartphones I am just wondering how accessible the game will be from those devices. Knowing Kojima, he will fully utilize the tablet’s capabilities to complement the gameplay mechanics in TPP.

    26 days left! Can’t wait!!!!!!!!

    • flying_fox

      I think the dive will be in GZ too. You can see it in those daylight gameplay videos, Big Boss dives and stays on the ground when the helicopter crashes. I really think it’s the exact same move as the one we saw in that E3 trailer.

      • Batzi

        oh true how could I have missed that? damn it, the dive is in GZ, it’s just Big Boss was wearing different uniform 😛

    • TheF1BOB

      I saw your post in GAF about how GZ looks currently compared to when it first came out.
      Look in the comparisons thread. There’s pics to show the changes.

      Anyhow, regarding the dive, we can’t confirm or deny that’s it’s in there or not since there’s been no footage of it in GZ. You think it would be though.

    • Nyxus

      Also, the mechanical arm (probably from Zadornov) is only in The Phantom Pain, and it will come with its own gameplay mechanics, I believe.

      • Batzi

        True that. And smoking electronic cigars to advance time too is something GZ doesn’t have and I am really wondering how that could affect the gameplay in TPP. Maybe enemy count & location will differ?

        • Nyxus

          Enemy patrols and visibility will be affected by the time of day. Other things as well, maybe.

        • glitchbomb

          Has the passage of time via an e cig been confirmed? I know that Huey created an e cigarette so is not like they wouldnt exist.Could it be slightly possibility that the sieko company doesn’t want to be assisted with tobacco use or the negativity involved with it so to get around that, Kojima and crew had him smoking an e cig for that scene?

          • Nyxus

            Smoking a cigar will make time pass, that has been confirmed. Not sure about the e-cig though, but it looks like one.

  • CryptDemon

    They always manage to make it sound like they haven’t actually done anything at all on The Phantom Pain. Like they have some basic alpha level they created for the trailer and that’s it. This again makes me feel like they’re just going to scrap last gen versions of TPP eventually.

    • Batzi

      As much as I want them to do that so that Kojima Productions can fully utilize the power of next-gen you have to understand that this won’t be fair for those who bought it on last-gen. Now one piece of news that made your scenario more likely is the fact that data from GZ on PS3 can be transferred to TPP on PS4. It is leaning towards next-gen only.

      • Cyberlum

        Hope so, in 2015 the majority would already jump to ps4 anyway. More cross-gen games would only make the transition more painful. A lot of people are not impressed with GZ graphics so TPP really needs to bring all it’s got to the table and blow people away like MGS4 did.

        • Batzi

          I have to disagree with those people who don’t find GZ graphics impressive. But come March 18 we will be able to tell. In any case, I am looking forward to the story and gameplay which is what fans should focus on the most imo.

    • Golgari

      Nope. It’s just some TPP components are not ready.
      for example TPP will have complex weather system, more complex shadow-stealth gameplay and I really want to see how they managed with the real-time day and night life cycle because not sure that current gen will have the same thing compared to next gen.

    • Janeo

      They make it sound like they aren’t far but they have done a lot they would certainly be well over 50% by now so no point scrapping the last gen versions if they were going to then they would have said so by now

  • Stealth Simulator

    According to Merceron, there are four key pillars for the FOX Engine:
    the lighting, the multiplayer, the open world, and the real time

    I don’t get the Multiplayer part.

    • Nyxus

      I must admit I didn’t really get that either.

      • Golgari

        I think he means that the engine was developed for the multiplayer in mind because a lot of journalists said:
        Andy Robinson ‏@Espio1

        “There are lots of sandbox meta games for online competition; longest distance headshot etc.”

        Not every engine is capable of counting longest distance especially with physics-based game where you need to count the landscape and other important things.

    • TheF1BOB

      A new kind of multiplayer experience I guess.

  • Pingback: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain E3 2014 Trailer Analysis | Metal Gear Informer()

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