SPOnG: Speaking of the hardcore fan, you mentioned that each Spider-Man will be voiced by actors who have assumed the role of Spider-Man before, like the cartoons for instance. Can you quickly run through who each universe's hero will be voiced by?
We've only announced two so far. For Noir
it's Christopher Daniel-Barnes, who was the voice of the 1990s cartoon series, and for 2099
it's Dan Gilvezan, who was the voice in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends
. There will obviously be two other voices as well (laughs). They'll be people who have played Spider-Man in the past, but not necessarily from cartoons.
SPOnG: In the trailer, we can hear the voice of the Amazing Spider-Man at the end, right?
SPOnG: But you're not going to tell us who it is, are you?
Correct, I'm not (grins).
SPOnG: Isn't it a bit risky if someone knew who that was by recognising their voice?
(Laughs) Well, somebody's going to take a lucky guess! You might think that not many people have voiced Spider-Man, but you've got to think of movies, games, TV shows... there's enough. But we did pick fan favourites, and we sort of looked at what worked and what didn't work in past games as well. I think we've chosen the best ones ? that goes for the villains too. A lot of the actors who have played the various villains have appeared in other Spider-Man
SPOnG: How involved were Marvel comics in this project? Did they simply give you the license and say 'good luck,' or did they have a more hands-on approach in development and get stuck into the creative process?
The latter. We worked really closely with Marvel to both craft the concept of the game, the stories and the characters that are involved. Especially because we were creating new characters in some of the universes, that had to go through a particular process with everyone at Marvel and make sure it was all in line with the brand, as well as what would make for some really fun gameplay.
SPOnG: Some of the special moves that we've seen in the Amazing Spider-Man gameplay involved using Spidey's web in the form of various weapons. Was that lifted from some of the comics, or was that a mechanic of your own design?
A little bit of both really. In the 1970s, Spidey got kinda... goofy (laughs). He would make giant hands and stuff. So we wanted to keep that element in there somewhere ? there's a move that I showed in the demo, like a huge web fist - without being too corny.
We still wanted weapons to be present in the game too, to make Spider-Man feel powerful, but still be fun. As a result, there will be big maces and objects that you can make with your web really quickly ? it was inspired by the comics, but we've updated it for the modern audience.
SPOnG: Is the combat an evolution of Web of Shadows, or does it take its inspiration from another game?
It kind of takes a little bit from the best of everything. The swinging has been refined over the years ? it's very much a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' situation there. But with these unique combat moves and mechanics for each universe, we ended up building upon those foundations. The core mechanics of play will feel familiar to those who have played Spider-Man
games in the past.
SPOnG: Were there any specific lessons you learned from Web of Shadows or the movie tie-ins that you took into account when making this game?
You always learn stuff, from every game in any kind of series. You find things that didn't work as well as it should have done in the past and you build upon that and correct it. We have a new developer working on this, which has a lot of fresh ideas to bring to the table, and it was really exciting to revamp Spidey a little bit but still keep it within the license and the fans' expectations of the brand.
SPOnG: I imagine you took on board a lot of feedback from fans, from all corners of the comic sphere who would be interested in this game, and of course those who enjoyed the past games. What sort of things did they suggest that you decided to take on board?
I can't really say specifically, because it's an amalgam of fan feedback, developer comments, Marvel, the production team... everybody decides to collectively suggest ideas that might be great for this game. It wasn't a case of saying ?Oh, these guys want this so we're going to put it in and please them,? it was more that we listened, and we tried to get everything in there. But there isn't one specific thing that stands out.
SPOnG: Thank you for your time.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
will be seeing a multi-platform release come September 2010.