Interview: Morels: The Hunt 2 Was Inspired By Real Life Experience Of Developers In Mushroom Hunting

Featured Image
Morels The Hunter 2 - via Abrams Studios

Morels: The Hunt 2 is a unique take in the simulation genre that focuses on exploration to hunt mushrooms and capture the photography of a highly detailed world. Featuring multiple species of mushrooms to discover surrounded by natural habitat, the game allows players to pay attention to the environment with some of the classic mechanics from the original game. As you progress the game, players will be able to earn unique points to upgrade the Mushroom Hunter level. 

That is not all, the game also provides a variety of items like hunting compasses, bird feeders, cameras, and vehicles to interact with the surrounding world easily. Morels: The Hunt 2 is a massive leap in the visuals and simulation genre to deliver a unique experience on each playthrough and there is so much more to learn about it. That is why we took the discussion to the game’s Lead Developer, Wes, at Abrams Studios, over an email interview. 

Capturing Habitat
Morels The Hunter 2 – via Abrams Studios

Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Morels: The Hunt 2.

Wes: I am Wes from Abrams Studios. Our studio is made up of just three brothers. I was the lead developer on Morels: The Hunt 2.

One of the surprising aspects of Morels 2 is its appeal to players beyond those familiar with mushroom hunting. How do you think the game manages to engage such a diverse audience?

Wes: Having a good portion of the game dedicated to wildlife photography I think is a big part of it. Also, I think once a player tries the game, they realize that it is a nice break from most games. The game gives you a relaxing feeling of being out in nature.

Morels The Hunter 2 - via Abrams Studios
Morels The Hunter 2 – via Abrams Studios

The game emphasizes immersion in nature and exploration. How did you recreate the feeling of being outdoors in a digital environment?

Wes: We tried to base a lot of the game on our actual experiences out in nature. We do go mushroom hunting and take photos of wildlife.

Can you tell us about your approach to deciding on a diverse range of locations for player exploration?

Wes: The first game was based in the United States only. A lot of the locations were influenced by actual places we had been. For this game, we really wanted to take the hunt worldwide.

We tried to include a wide range of environments so the player would feel like they were really at a new location for each map.

Morels The Hunter 2 - via Abrams Studios
Morels The Hunter 2 – via Abrams Studios

The addition of mythological creatures like the Unicorn was surely one of the major aspects of Morels: The Hunt 2. What is the central focus behind the addition of these mythical creatures?

Wes: It really started with Bigfoot in the first game. There are so many stories about Bigfoot in the forest that we knew we wanted to include him. We found it fun and exciting when we actually saw him in the game.

We decided to take mostly actual real-life stories from other mythological/cryptids of the forest and add them in as bonus mystery animals. Players loved it.

The inclusion of Exploration Mode and the ability to transform into animals adds a unique twist to the game. How did you ensure that these features were integrated seamlessly into the core gameplay experience?

Wes: We thought it would be neat to be able to play and see the game from an animal perspective. Mostly we just thought it would be something fun players could do if they wanted a break from the actual game itself. Transforming into different animals with the press of a button is pretty cool.

Discovering New Animals
Morels The Hunter 2 – via Abrams Studios


As developers, what challenges did you face in balancing the gameplay between mushroom hunting and wildlife photography?

Wes: In the beginning, it was mostly just a mushroom-hunting game. During some early playtesting, we realized that did not give the player enough to do. We decided to add wildlife photography. We found this just as enjoyable as the mushroom-hunting part.

It was definitely a challenge to get all of the animals and their AI in the game, but we think it has really added a lot to the experience. Based on feedback on the first game, we decided to add even more photography challenges in Morels 2.

You mentioned considering other nature simulation games for future projects. What aspects of nature do you find most compelling to explore in gaming, and how do you envision expanding on this theme in your future endeavors?

Wes: We love the idea of being able to explore places that we can’t in real life. We would love to do a Morels: Out of this World game. You would have beautiful alien planets to explore, never-before alien animals to photograph, and a bunch of new alien mushrooms to collect.

Morels The Hunter 2 - via Abrams Studios
Morels The Hunter 2 – via Abrams Studios

How many developers were involved in the development of the game?

Wes: I worked on the game with two of my brothers.

Looking ahead, are there any plans for future updates or expansions to Morels 2? What can players expect in terms of new content or features?

Wes: We are always looking at adding new content and features based on players’ feedback. We have a pretty active community on Steam. This is really helpful when trying to decide on content or features to add to the game.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Wes: We are a small but very passionate team of brothers. We loved Morel Mushroom Hunting growing up. We still do it every year. One of the greatest things about mushroom hunting is just being out in nature.

We take a lot of photos while we are hunting which is how the Morels games came about. We wanted to create an immersive experience of being out in nature, mushroom hunting, and photographing the beautiful environment around you into a game, without having to hunt something with a weapon.

Morels: The Hunt 2 is a mushroom hunt simulation game, developed and published by Abrams Studios. The game was released on April 17, 2024, for PC. 

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