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Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Developer Q&A

We spoke with Beenox Producer Stephane Gravel about the upcoming Spider-Man game they're working on

By Marvel.com Editor Ryan Penagos

This September, gamers everywhere will experience a whole new dimension of fun when they step into the shoes of four different versions of Spider-Man in "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions."

Set across four different--and very distinct--universes, "Shattered Dimensions" tasks gamers with finding the scattered shards of the Tablet of Order and Chaos. Along the way, you'll utilize the unique powers and abilities of each version Spider-Man to battle dimension-specific foes. We've unveiled the Amazing Spider-Man and Noir dimensions, with the final two to be revealed at a later date.

A screenshot from "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions"
As we wait for those secrets to be unlocked, we decided to find out more about the game from Beenox, the developers behind the game. Producer Stephane Gravel discussed Beenox's resume, the different art styles used in the game and much more!

Marvel.com: The development team at Beenox is quite familiar with Marvel games, with "Shattered Dimensions" being your eighth title. Can you go into your history working on Marvel games--how the relationship began and what titles you've worked on?

Stephane Gravel: While Beenox has worked on Marvel games in the past, we collaborated closely with other Activision studios on the development process of titles such as "Spider-Man: Friend or Foe," "Spider-Man 3," "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance," "X-Men Legends II" and "Fantastic Four." That being said, it's also important to mention that "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" is really the first title in which Beenox is the only console developer on it and the first title Beenox has really worked closely on with Marvel.  So far, the relationship has been extremely positive and collaborative, with both sides bringing cool, unique and fresh ideas to the table while respecting the essence of the beloved characters, making the game an awesome experience.

Marvel.com: It's been a few years since you tackled Spider-Man or any Marvel characters. What new tricks, techniques and knowledge do you bring to the table to for this new, ambitious game?

Stephane Gravel: In terms of technology, "SM: SD" is the first Marvel title solely developed by Beenox, and that allows us to let our proprietary engine shine. We have access to almost every graphical shader out there and our rendering engine is pretty robust in order to get four unique looks for the universes.  We also have a lot of cool features under the hood that bring parts of the game--like the physics and animations--to a whole new level in order to make Spidey look and play really well.  We use all of this to create rich and unique locations, as well as really cool-looking animated characters that you can fight up close and personally.

A screenshot of Spider-Man Noir from "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions"
In terms of gameplay, we took great care to keep all the things that define Spider-Man; he's still the same web swinging, wall crawling and wisecracking hero that fans enjoy.  But with the concept of using four unique Spider-Men from four different universes, we were able to include some new things fans will be really surprised to see from a Spider-Man game.   The stealth gameplay in the Noir universe is just one such example of something totally different.  Not only did we tailor the art style of the Noir levels to match the mood of the Noir comics, but we also had to think differently about how to design the levels to make the stealth gameplay both rewarding and extremely satisfying.

Marvel.com: The two dimensions revealed so far take Spider-Man in different directions in tems of story, visuals and gameplay. Can you explain the style and gameplay aspects you've developed for each?

Stephane Gravel: For the art style of the Amazing universe, we wanted to give the levels a vintage comic book look.   To achieve this, we used a slightly de-saturated color palette for the textures and applied a hand-drawn/pen & ink treatment on them. We also added a thin black outline to the characters, objects and the environment that gives the art style its comic book quality. Finally, we complement the amazing visuals with a light full screen grain effect to bring it closer to the classic comic book paper look

As for Noir, the art style called for a darker, grittier theme.  We looked at Noir comics as well as classic film noir movies for inspiration for the color palette.  Compared to the Amazing universe, the textures in Noir have a more realistic quality to them.  Additionally, since stealth is a core component of the Noir experience, the contrast between light and dark areas needed to be dramatic, and shadows needed to play a big part of the each level.  To achieve this dramatic contrast, we gave the light sources in the world a slight yellow hue.    For this universe, we also applied a subtle film grain effect as a finishing touch to the Noir mood.

A screenshot of Amazing Spider-Man from "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions"
Regarding gameplay, both characters have all the normal Spider-Man skills: web swinging, wall crawling, spider-sense and super-strength.  The difference resides more in the way they are using it.  Each Spider-Man plays differently from one another and each Spider-Man utilizes unique abilities that the others don't share.  For example, Spider-Man Noir blends into the darkness and uses his webs to take down his unsuspecting opponents in interesting ways.  On the other hand, Amazing Spider-Man is not as concerned about staying hidden, so he uses his webs a lot more during combat to swing guys and objects around or create interesting shapes like a web hammer.

Marvel.com: Do Beenox staffers favor playing through one dimension over the other?

Stephane Gravel: The development  team is roughly divided into 5 squads: Amazing, Noir, [Undisclosed universe # 1], [Undisclosed universe # 2] and Core; that last team handles stuff that is shared by all universes such as enemy AI, combat, web swinging, etc.

So basically, the Noir team will prefer playing their levels while the Amazing team will prefer theirs. As for me, since I'm overseeing all worlds on a global scale, I'm simply unable to choose a favorite; it's like asking a parent to choose which child is their favorite...you love them all, and it's a heartbreaking choice to make.

Keep your eyes glued to Marvel.com and www.SpiderManDimensions.com for MUCH more about "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" over the next few months.


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I like Spider-man Shattered Dimensions so much that i think you should make a second one.


The game looks so awesom, so awesome that i can't wait for it to be in stores it will be awesome


not mysterious. It's the spider-man from the Noir series.


i think this game is ganna be a very good game just by showing more than one spider man in the game,differnt poit of views and the differnt costumes they have with the differnt story..i think this game will be the best spidey game so far.


i think this game is ganna be a very good game just by showing more than one spider man in the game,differnt poit of views and the differnt costumes they have with the differnt story..i think this game will be the best spidey game so far


Sorry Russel, but I think it would be perfect for X-Box and PS3 because if it was a Wii game than it would take away from the story and just be about moving around, also this game sounds like it needs good graphics and the way does not offer that.


I do care how well the game is but I would love it if it was for the Wii got it special offers for because I felt betrayed when the Xbox360 and the PS3 got all stuff for MUA2. :cry: I was about to return it was that bad.


Hello Marvel. I think that the new spider-man game is pretty cool and I just wanted to say that you're doing a fantastic job on it. I seen the trailers on this website and thought it was great! If there is one thing you can do to improve this game then try to make Spider-Man more agile and strong. Also increase his combat moves and web attacks to make the game more interesting. I think this is a wonderful game you are making with this mysterious spider-man figure and I look forward to playing it soon.