Insomniac Shares Early Spider-Man Prototype And How One Key Mechanic Became The Cornerstone of Its Combat

Insomniac Games were at devcom to talk about their recent projects including Spider-Man PS4. They shared some interesting details about the project including the implementation of one key mechanic that was absent in the early prototype but ended up being the cornerstone of the whole combat.

The keynote was done by Jacinda Chew, the art director at Insomniac Games. She began the keynote by first walking through some of the early prototypes for their games including Sunset Overdrive and Ratchet and Clank. We weren’t able to get a video for them but you can see a glimpse of what they looked like in the images below.

  • Insomniac Games originally developed the prototype for Sunset Overdrive during a game jam.
  • They liked how the areas and buildings were all connected and they wanted to take this idea further.
  • They called it “an open world game with interconnected platforms.”
  • Insomniac also shared an unused concept for Sunset Overdrive which according to them was too ‘realistic’. It didn’t fit their lighter aesthetic.
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man is the most ambitious project for Insomniac Games.
  • They had to consider bosses, a large number of enemies and things like that for Spider-Man.
  • They needed to develop a system to procedurally generate buildings and skyscrapers, which are key to Spiderman’s traversal system.
  • The animation team in spiderman was able to work much quicker than the environment team.
  • Jacinda shared a photo of the animation team on Spider-Man vs. Sunset Overdrive.
  • They outsourced the facial animation while character animation was done in-house.
  • They also outsourced the environment manager which helped them avoid making newbie mistakes as they did on Resistance.
  • Classic knee high red boot can be seen in one of the concept art as it was in pre-production but later removed since the art director didn’t like it.
  • They also had a skinned Sunset Overdrive model used during the pre-production.
  • The white gauntlet was a choice of a concept artist and it was retained by the art director.
  • Spring off move mechanic was missing in early prototype and they felt that it was needed in order to make him more like the web-swinging hero from comics.
  • Once they added the mechanic, it ended up being the cornerstone of Spider-Man’s combat.
  • Fast travel wasn’t a priority and it was not a part of the early prototype. It was later added and became an important feature.

If you are interested in reading more of the keynotes from devcom, check out a making-of presentation on God of War and never before seen concept art. Remedy also had a keynote on their Ray Tracing solution.

Marvel’s Spider-Man will launch on September 7th exclusively for the PS4.

Khurram Imtiaz

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

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