With all the slew of information that has ben released on Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man recently, one of the things that has caught peoples’ attention is the fact that players will be able to equip Spidey with a variety of suits in the game, many of which will be unlockable, with the Spider-Punk suit in particular gaining a lot of traction with the fans. But while these suits are often little more than nice bonuses for a vast majority of the people who play these games, creating these actually takes a lot of work.
Insomniac’s 3D character artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny recently delved into the entire process of creating these suits in a Twitter thread, and revealed a lot of interesting information on the various steps they have to go through. The process, of course, begins with pitching ideas for the suits that can be in the game to Marvel, who own the rights to most of the stuff in the “Spider-verse”, after which the team moves on to the design phase. Coelho-Kostolny talks specifically about the Spider-Punk suit.
It’s in this phase that they listen to design feedback, for a variety of things, such as “the buttons on his vest, others involved the white piping around the red areas.” Once the design is finally approved, the team moves on to 3D modelling, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds. It’s a process of “iteration and feedback” that can take weeks, and there’s a lot more layers to it than that too.
“Most of my job is making things that could animate like a puppet,” Coelho-Kostolny explains. “[Insomniac Games’s character technical director Sergio Sykes’] job is to make sure that the puppet has a supporting structure inside with bones and various tools the animation team can use to make Spider-Man run, jump, and punch bad guys.”
“A problem with constructing puppets is that they don’t have muscles, so you occasionally need to make sure that things like knees bending don’t look like weird bendy straws,” he continues. “This is where [associate character artist Marco Vilallpando] comes in. He sculpts special poses that fix the deformation to look natural.”
Following this, the character model is passed on to the team responsible for animations, and after work is done on that, it is then passed on for things such as mission design and combat design, in order to make sure the suit animates properly in all these scenarios. After that, the devs handle the user interface side of things, which is basically how the players will see and interact with the suit in menus, after which the process moves into its final stages, where it is passed on to Marvel’s marketing teams for the purpose of making promos.
“All told, over 200 people at Insomniac, hundreds of people on outside QA teams, focus testers, marketing specialists, outsourcing artists, and dozens of others contribute to the games we make,” Coelho-Kostolny concludes. “And that’s all to make sure a single thing like Spider-Punk gets in the game.”
That’s… impressive, to say the least. And ridiculously thorough. For something that most people won’t even appreciate, or even pay much attention to. Hats off to the people at Insomniac, for sure. Spider-Man launches for the PS4 on September 7. Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more coverage.