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Designing Charismatic Characters For Alien Spidy, Coming To PSN In June

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One of the key factors for a game to be successful revolves around the charisma and empathy of the lead character, a task that seems simple, but can be an endeavour of epic proportions.3

The first step in the concept process was to try and think of a main character who would be full of charisma and have natural abilities, enabling them to move around the world and adapt to the kind of mechanics we wanted to build into the game.

So, after a lot of brainstorming, coffee, comic reading, watching cartoons and lots of other inspirational tools, we thought that it would be interesting to play around with a small spider with big eyes that would be able to bring some “human” emotional connection to the game. We also decided to stick six legs on instead of the standard eight legs to make the character a little more friendly looking and little less creepy, as there are a lot of people with arachnophobia! See, we do care!

Once we decided on a spider, all the mechanics would have to be created around web spinning abilities, which in turn adapted very well to the controls for the platforms we had in mind.

Here you can see some concepts with 6 and 8 legs, along with those characteristic big yellow eyes.

The initial concepts were very neutral with a lack of expression and very similar body styles, so we decided to bring more life into the eyes, and in the overall animation styles.

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Then we played around with the overall shape of Spidy, based on different ‘styles’ of spiders, paying special attention to the eyes so we could incorporate more expressiveness.

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From there, in full Technicolor, we played with other elements of Spidy, like the Antenna…

Once the spider concept became clearer and we were confident on how it was progressing (and how people felt about it being a spider), we decided to concentrate on other aspects of the 5game, taking in consideration the targeted platforms for development, to leverage the differences of each machine and create a unique experience for each of them. We quickly decided to rethink the overall game concept to make it suitable for controller based platforms like PS3.

Now that the plan was to target the bigger consoles, we would need to have an interesting story that would capture the player’s attention. So we thought, “how can we make a character look charismatic and handsome like George Clooney, but at the same time, a spider?” The answer wasn’t clear at first, but after more coffee, more cartoons and several bags of Invader crisps it hit us! Aliens can be whatever you want them to be, especially cool spiders with their very own spaceship. So that is how Spidy became a spider from the outer solar systems.

At this point, we have a charismatic character and an interesting story, so we were only missing the right setting and environments to make a vibrant adventure. Right from the start, we wanted the game to be different, not only from a gameplay point of view, but also, from a visual one. Games are visual entertainment; therefore we wanted the first impressions players had of the game to be visually striking ones. The team took inspiration from many different sources and created an amazing game world. We developed our own visual style by mixing colourful and dynamic multi-layered backgrounds with darker active colours in the foreground that can tell the player about potential dangers. The end result is everything linking together to create a very high quality, visually appealing game world.

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We also played around with object shapes in both the foreground and backgrounds to create some totally unique environments.

And we tweaked them until we finally came up with just the right balance.

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We hope that you have enjoyed our ramblings and that they give you a small insight into the development of Alien Spidy. We have been working hard to deliver a truly exciting, fun and challenging experience for gamers of all abilities. We will be back very soon with more stories of our adventures in the development of Alien Spidy and hope that you will join us on our journey from storyboard to release!

21 Comments
4 Author replies
almighty-slayer 03 May, 2012 @ 13:05
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I thought this was a Vita game?

Andrew McKerrow 03 May, 2012 @ 15:57
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Hello “Almighty-Slayer”

I am the Product Manager for Alien Spidy,
I’d like to add that this title is only PSN, XBLA, PC and MAC at the moment.

Of course we are always looking to get Spidy on to as many platforms as possible. We are currently evaluating the possibility of Spidy on the Vita.

CoolRichy008UK 03 May, 2012 @ 13:38
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this game is a ps store download nothing todo with vita

almighty-slayer 03 May, 2012 @ 13:45
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Yes, i can see that…but it was announced as a Vita game http://bit.ly/qMkeiw

Andrew McKerrow 03 May, 2012 @ 16:09
3.1

This is easily explained.
Enigma (the developer) worked hard at getting the game noticed by Publishers.
In doing this they pitched the title on nearly every platform, and the Vita was heavily advertised by Sony, which is why you have found this video, which is dated quite some time ago.

Have a quick look at this video http://youtu.be/xooTeottvio
Enjoy :)

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Oh gosh I sooo hate spiders! Anyway looks like a… Batman game :D
Could be fun and fits perfect on PSVita…

i no im asking in the wrong blog sorry but keep asking in the right ones and dont get an answer. is there any news on MW3 comeing to psn please as xbox have had it for a long time so why not psn the disk for the game kills the ps3 just google it and see so carnt play till there is a psn download for the game. i see eveyone going on psn needs ps1 and ps2 games why!!! thats what a ps1 and ps2 is for you dont buy a ps3 to play ps1 games theres just no need.we need more up todate new games at a realistic pice.sorry for ramblin sony rocks

Pata pata patapon !

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I like number 14 :) You could make a Mr Men of spiders with them.He’d be the old hippy of the group.

This reminds me of a idea I had for LBP2.You started off as a baby spider in someone’s food cupboard,and after eating you’d grow.Eventually you’d become so big you’d rampage in a city and have the army hunting you down :)

The game looks great visually, but the gameplay video felt too basic and didn’t show any unique abilities that the character possessed, even though it’s called, Alien Spidy.

Other than attaching a web to trees and platforms and swinging the spider across brambles to safety, there wasn’t much variation. Since its an alien spider, I would have liked to see the spider being able to coil its web around enemies in order to use them as a projectile, or allow the spider to wrap itself into a ball and roll around at a fast speed, or shooting laser web shots.

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what would peter parker in his black suit say if he knew about this alien spidey game? lol

CoolRichy008UK 03 May, 2012 @ 16:13
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um i hate spiders but might get the game

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I’ll execute a spider every 20 minutes till you bring the game to PSV !

almighty-slayer 03 May, 2012 @ 16:40
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Thanks for the explanation :)

Andrew McKerrow 03 May, 2012 @ 16:48
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I’m glad to have helped :)

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very good

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must say gfx artists did thier job good ;)

Andrew McKerrow 03 May, 2012 @ 17:29
14.1

I have to agree,
Enigma have some incredible skills,
They are a real pleasure to work with.

commando-robbo 03 May, 2012 @ 23:23
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Looks like patapon (which is awesome)

TINTINTB303 07 May, 2012 @ 15:22
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Yet another game/developer where they say something along the lines of “It’s being released on every format but we are thinking about a Vita release or doing something in the future for the Vita, maybe…”
More commitment towards Sony’s pocket rocket and less ‘hmm the Vita’s great but…’ announcements that we seem to be getting with increasing frequency.
Please don’t let the brilliant Vita die just because you never had the gonads to deliver a game for a device when you are releasing it for EVERY other format but the Vita.
I’m praying for good SOLID Vita release news at E3. It would be such a shame for such a superb console to fail due to developers um’ing and ah’ing about projects for the mighty mini!! JUST DO IT… please

No buy then if it’s not for the psvita. Thanks alot for getting my hopes up for showing the trailer for psvita and then don’t release it.

Guess I knno which dev I won’t be buying any game from in the future.

Oh wow. Basically admitting to being ever so slightly deceitful to raise your games profile. That’s honest of you, at least.

Tired of these devs who use media to bump their games to a hype they don’t deserve, and ignore their own claims.

Hope the game fails, hard.

RedPriestRezo 09 May, 2012 @ 07:50
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So… Why would I buy anything from guys that downright LIE to everyone to get attention? If there ever was an indie company that deserved to fail miserably – I’m quite sure this is the one.

And that is even without talking about logic of creating clearly portable game for everything but a portable console.

Just… WOW. That was the most horrible thing I ever heard from an indie developer.

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I think ppl are to hash, i haven’t seen the trailer but i think they never said NEVER on a vita i never seen a title have to be release at same time Ps3 & Vita.

MGS-collection on Vita is a good example.

@ andrew is it comming on vita later down the line. :|

TINTINTB303 09 May, 2012 @ 12:15
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Dirty dirty tactics. Simple

When challenged on the Vita issue you say:

“This is easily explained.
Enigma (the developer) worked hard at getting the game noticed by Publishers.
In doing this they pitched the title on nearly every platform, and the Vita was heavily advertised by Sony, which is why you have found this video, which is dated quite some time ago.”

and then go on to say “look at this great ‘new’ trailer we have”…

Your comment does not explain your actions in the slightest. It actually makes you and your company seem like they have no difficulties in using any tactics possible to get your game out there in the public domain!! I hope you are proud??

Utterly disgusting and you haven’t actually even had the gonads to come on and appollogise for misleading (to put it nicely) your potential customers!! Shame on you. A simple sorry would be nice…

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