Get ready to take control because "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows" is nearly here! While the game hits shelves tomorrow, we touched base with Lead Artist Vince Riley to get some new inside information into the creation of Spidey's latest, and greatest, adventure. Check it out!
Marvel.com: For the uninitiated comic fans out there, what is a character designer's role in creating the video game?
Vince Riley: The Character Designer helps define the look of the character along with input from [the] Design dept, the Art Director and Marvel.
Marvel.com: How do you decide on a look for a character, especially in cases where a character looks different then they do in the comics?
Riley: The look is determined by several factors. There is the overall look of the game, the source material and the abilities of the character. We always start with the look of the costume design from the comics. Often a character will have several different costumes, but we focus on the most iconic variation. From there we deconstruct the elements of that costume to define the most important aspects. It might be the color, an emblem or a combination of several pieces. We also look at what the character will be able to do in the game. Their abilities effect the direction we take, as we want to clearly communicate to the player danger areas, weaknesses, etc. Finally, we wanted all of these elements to be of a consistent look with the rest of the game. We strove for a certain level of realism with "Web of Shadows," so that tended to push the characters in a specific visual direction.
Marvel.com: Where did you look for inspiration for the designs? Anything (Any comics) in particular?
Riley: We pull our inspiration from a large variety of sources. We did look quite a bit at Terry Dodson's work on [MARVEL KNIGHTS] SPIDER-MAN and Brian Hitch on THE ULTIMATES. They both managed to keep that comic book feel, but also add a level of realism to the costumes that we were also trying for.
Marvel.com: Which Spider-Man suit do you prefer?
Riley: Both suits are great, though I personally love the look of the red suit.
Marvel.com: Did you enjoy designing the symbiote versions of other characters (like Wolverine, as we've seen before)?
Riley: The sym versions of the characters were a lot of fun to design. We went through a lot of revisions as we experimented with different looks. It had to be recognizable as that character, but still be something very different which was a fun challenge.
Marvel.com: Why did you decide to go with a more technological approach with the Vulture's wings as opposed to a more feathery approach?
Riley: For Vulture, the designers wanted his wings to be able to send controllable projectiles. This lead to the blades as feathers, and to clearly communicate this on a TV screen, each blade had to be fairly large. We then did several passes on what those blades would look like, and how they function. This whole process took the character more towards a technological approach than the traditional feathers.
Marvel.com: What was your inspiration for Luke Cage, it looks like a melding of his classic costume and his current one?
Riley: That's exactly what we were going for. We looked at his current look and his old costume and tried to come up with something that hit that right blend. The artist that did the concepts was a huge fan of the old comics, and was also into the newer Iron Fist books. We all felt that the new Iron Fist does a great job of blending his old costume with a more modern look and we wanted to do the same for Luke Cage.
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