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Alien Spidy on PSN: The Creation of a Character

Daniel Parente's Avatar + Posted by Daniel Parente on Sep 21, 2012 // CEO, Engima Software

Alien Spidy on PSN

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 easy in essence, but which can be an endeavour of epic proportions.

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

Alien Spidy on PSNAlien Spidy on PSN

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 rapport to the game. We also decided to stick six legs on him — instead of the standard eight — 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, we knew the game’s mechanics would have to focus on web spinning abilities, which in turn adapted very well to the controls for the platforms we had in mind.

Alien Spidy on PSN

Here you can see some concepts with six and eight 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.

Alien Spidy on PSN

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

Alien Spidy on PSN

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

Alien Spidy on PSN

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 game, taking into 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 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, 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. That’s how Spidy became a spider from the outer solar systems.

Alien Spidy on PSN

At this point we had 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 beginning, 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.

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.

We hope that you have enjoyed our ramblings and insights into the development of Alien Spidy. Look for more updates delving into other aspects of the game soon!

//Add Your Own

28 Comments

1

+ Emerald_Swords on September 21st, 2012 at 12:08 pm said:

Will we see this game come to the vita?


2

+ spideyal on September 21st, 2012 at 12:17 pm said:

This game looks fantastic. You guys should consider bringing it to the Vita since I feel it’d work perfectly there.


3

+ snakeeyes211 on September 21st, 2012 at 12:35 pm said:

I don’t even understand this game but I like it ;-) $$


4

+ AwRy108 on September 21st, 2012 at 1:00 pm said:

Looks neat, but not putting it on the Vita would be a huge fail.


5

+ brooklynzak on September 21st, 2012 at 1:11 pm said:

I’d just like to add my voice to the pro-Vita chorus here. Getting high-quality indie games like this one on a high-quality hand-held system would be awesome.

Speaking of… any chance of a “Journey” Vita edition?


6

+ Neil on September 21st, 2012 at 1:25 pm said:

luvs it


7

+ gilgamesh21 on September 21st, 2012 at 1:27 pm said:

This looks great! Is it fun too? Thanks for letting us know about this game!


8

+ stlthriot on September 21st, 2012 at 2:02 pm said:

Whoa, this is a surprise, and i love the visuals! :D


9

+ cosmis_chaos on September 21st, 2012 at 2:08 pm said:

When is it coming out?


10

+ Frejim on September 21st, 2012 at 2:17 pm said:

Se mira genial! a probarlo!

reading that you wrote “8 patas, el abdomen y cabeza es lo mismo”, I know you’ll understand!


11

+ vanwinkle on September 21st, 2012 at 2:42 pm said:

I have a PS3, and this looks great, but I will not get it. This was originally announced to be on Vita, and that is the perfect platform for this type of game. No Vita support, no buy.


12

+ boxmyth on September 21st, 2012 at 3:06 pm said:

Getting a Pixeljunk Eden vibe with the web gameplay. Certainly one of the better games to take inspiration from.
I love these development blog posts and getting to see how things develop. Keep ‘em coming.


13

+ Elvick_ on September 21st, 2012 at 4:34 pm said:

Beautiful art design. Looking forward to this.


14

+ loveordie04 on September 21st, 2012 at 4:51 pm said:

This game was announced on the Vita to gain publishers attention and then when picked up by a publisher it wont even be coming out on the Vita. BS to the maaaax. Fun looking game though, it would have been perfect for the Vita. Atleast you PS3 owners get another fun looking game. They had my hopes up for this on for over a year and crushed them when they explained the Vita situation especially when my expensive Vita needs more PSN style games like this. Shame on you.


15

+ Elvick_ on September 21st, 2012 at 5:47 pm said:

@14: thanks for that. Read up on the game some more.

Now I won’t even bother. I don’t like that kind of stuff, so won’t be supporting this game or developer.


16

+ Chuckbait on September 21st, 2012 at 6:20 pm said:

Seems like Pixeljunk Eden was an inspiration for this game? (translation, I will buy)


17

+ jable_10 on September 21st, 2012 at 7:58 pm said:

i dont get this game still h avent got but it looks kina boring to me


18

+ Sevyne on September 21st, 2012 at 9:05 pm said:

@14: Yeah, I won’t support that kind of nonsense. I wasn’t getting this anyway since I’m such a wuss when it comes to anything with spiders, but if I was interested then what you said would instantly have me against this game.


19

+ gemuvan on September 21st, 2012 at 9:47 pm said:

Wait. This coming to PS3? Not Vita? WTF? O___O World is full of disappointment….

Good story though. And i like concept and looks of the game.


20

+ ARtsIndustries on September 21st, 2012 at 11:31 pm said:

Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita…

And also:
Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita Vita.

Will buy if only for PS3, but would rather have it in Vita.


21

+ lajaro on September 22nd, 2012 at 7:17 am said:

+1 for Vita


22

+ Ryumoau on September 22nd, 2012 at 8:47 am said:

meh….i’lll play the demo, but not that excited for this.


23

+ saintaqua on September 22nd, 2012 at 9:45 am said:

Do the people at Sony and game developers not even read the comments on the blogs?
I imagine if they did they would support Vita more since that’s what we cry out for on every game!
I would probably get this if it was a Vita game for $10 or less, but as a PS3 game it just can’t interest me. :(


24

+ nikrel on September 22nd, 2012 at 11:47 am said:

Looks awesome, but I prefer downloadable titles on my vita now a days. I’ll purchase if there is vita support.


25

+ CatatonicAlex on September 22nd, 2012 at 1:20 pm said:

I thought this WAS a VITA and PS3 game.
Is it PS3 only now? Or did they just tweak the game a bit to make it suitable for the PS3 too?


26

+ Bcrazyman on September 22nd, 2012 at 9:57 pm said:

hey looks very good to play cant wait!
looks very nice great pictures!
very good to play ps3? yes!
vita? maybe, coming soon? will see!
any word on a release date? need to know thanks!


27

+ kivi95 on September 23rd, 2012 at 11:42 am said:

Looks like the liares are back here. I won’t be buying and suporting this game. This was supposed to have been released for psvita too but you just used E3 2011 as a ad for yourself.


28

+ GOMES617 on September 23rd, 2012 at 10:28 pm said:

Why are they releasing a portable game on a home console and completely ignoring a portable device like Ps Vita,it makes no sense. I will only play games like this on a portable not on my Ps3.They shouldve at least made it for both systems and made it Cross buy


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